Most visitors to Playa are tourists. They act like tourists, and are treated like tourists, in that they want to shop, eat, drink and go on tours... and they get constant bids from salespeople on the pedestrian walkway. I've been a tourist, but transitioned to "traveller" pretty quickly. The longer I stay here, the less I need and want to buy stuff and do pre-packaged tours. Now that I'm here for 3+ months, I am even eating out less, definitely drinking less, and am more interested in building relationships with people who aren't going to leave in a week. Once people here begin to recognize me, and learn that I'm here for 3 months, I'm also treated differently. People rarely are trying to sell me stuff. Rather they greet me, ask how my day is, and invite me to share their lunch with them. I feel grateful and welcomed as a temporary resident, and a part of the family.
As a little tribute to my building relationships with this particular group of guys (who have never tried to sell me anything!), I spent the day doing henna and playing snakes and ladders on the street.
These are just a few of the guys of about 10 who have adopted me.
One of the guys was a tattoo artist for 10 years, and did this one on me.