… or so it would appear.
It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day I ride, there is always a steady stream of cars going by. I’m thinking, where are all these people going in the middle of the day?
I mentioned this to a few people at dinner, and the consensus was: it’s the retirees. Which makes me even more nervous being on the road around here.
One of the people at dinner then went on to rave about the community where his cousin lives: how it’s got walls and a security gate, stores, pools, perfectly manicured lawns, even a theater. And they don’t allow anyone under 40 to live there for more than a few months in a row. You really don’t have to go outside the gate. Another guy and I exchanged sideways “WTF?” looks.
It then struck me that this whole area feels “unreal”. More contrived than organic. The gated communities, the strips of grass requiring extensive watering, the roads that seem to exist only because they end at a housing development. Palm trees that don’t grow here naturally.
And almost everyone seems to be from somewhere else. Every person I’ve talked to while out riding, or who works in the local restaurants or stores, has not been from the area.
I’ve concluded that the entire economy is based on people working in stores and restaurants making their livings off of the people who work in the other stores and restaurants. But that would be an entirely closed system. Then I realized the other source of income to the system is from the retirees who come here in winter.
Now I have to say, I’ve enjoyed the warmth and sunshine, and the people I’ve met have been quite friendly and pleasant. But even with the crap weather waiting back at home, I will not be sad to leave here.