Michaela Merz

Welcome to Miami – Bienvenidos a Miami

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I have the good luck of attracting unique events and exceptions. Like during the Christmas holidays, when I was travelling in Florida. After 29 years, snow and cold in Florida. If I’m honest, I couldn’t care less about the snow, that’s not the reason I have travelled such a distance. An hour from home I could enjoy the powder snow. But fortunately, Florida is big and snow in the North of Florida still means 16 degrees and sunshine in Miami.

With my young son we walk along the beach and admire the sea with its colours, its dynamism and its drama. The seacoast is simply inspiring, the vastness exhilarates the spirit. There is so much to be found that the sea has thrown up. First we look for mussels and broken off coral, then for industrial waste. You could build a house from the discoveries. What I notice is the quantity of plastic in all forms and colours. When I read an article that the seas are suffocating in plastic, for me it was all very theoretical. There, on the Miami beach, hundreds of pieces provide evidence of this plague.

And honestly, it’s not really surprising here. Almost everything we bought, especially food and drinks, was served on or packed in plastic, and that even if one consumed it on the spot. On top of that, the plastic packaging was too big, there was no way to avoid it. Although the whole of Florida seems to be clean and everywhere there are signs that littering is punishable with a fine between 50 and 500 dollars, when you look closely you find a lot that has been left lying around.

Although the seawater is warmer than the outside temperature, I found swimming in the sea difficult. Before my eyes I saw the invisible plastic and felt uncomfortable.

What else could one visit? We liked the Wynwood Walls. In a run-down former industrial area the best street artists have decorated the walls and the result is worth seeing. All around innumerable galleries have arisen and with them a new life, a new purpose. We were amazed by the diversity and fantasy and couldn’t drag ourselves away from it.wynwood-walls-dm-photography-dan-mongosa

Gastronomically the Nobu restaurant is a sensual experience of the top class. But nothing for a tight budget. By the way travelling with a child (my youngest is 11) gives you access to a series of price reductions for entrance tickets, transport and for meals. Only, very frequently, the staff at the ticket box know nothing about them. I had to learn that very quickly. You have to ask for them yourself and know what one can demand. Therefore, reading, reading and again reading is of great importance for own’s own purse. Or put in another way: knowledge is power and money.

What surprised us is how poor the service is in the South of Florida. We didn’t really feel appreciated as customers and the kindness and cordial contact, which we experienced in other places in Florida, was missing here. But a journey is always worthwhile. You have to see and experience such things yourself.

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