Madeline Parmet

Madeline Parmet

1 April 2006 Interviews & Editorials, COMMUNITY 18

Dear Mr. and Ms. Yucatan Living People,

While we have had dealings in the past, may I re-introduce myself? I am Violene Desplantes, the misbegotten fool who has spent the past six years in service to Ms. Madeline Parmet, owner of Hotel Luz En Yucatan. (Ms. Parmet likes to call herself La Duena. This feeds into her fantasy of being royalty in exile. Plausible, really, considering the weight of her person and/or her presence, either being more than sufficient to have caused the toppling of one regime or another, leaving its members no choice but to flee elsewhere.)

In any event, La Duena is in possession of the "Yucatan Living Expatriate Interview" which you sent to her. (Really, I think there are probably clinical standards which would exclude her from being referred to as a "LIVING" Expatriate. For myself, I think a classic definition should require that parts of the brain, other than the stem, are used more than occasionally.) I have seen her sitting at the computer, the screen displaying the interview questions. I have heard her bellow, "Dear God, what do those two want from my life?" And then, within a short period of time and no interview questions having been answered, she will lumber away from the computer and up the stairs to her apartment, with nothing more being heard from her, (other than the occasional, "Food! I need more food!!"), for the rest of the day.

I suspect that the reason she is having such a difficult time with this project is that the concept of "reason" or "a reason" is, for the most part, unfamiliar to her. As I have noted, she functions at a fairly primitive level, her actions being more the consequences of reflex and instinct than thoughtful consideration. Thusly, I, Violene, am taking it unto myself to answer the questions for La Duena. I will do so in a narrative style as, again, to do so in a precise and organized manner would be inconsistent with this woman's actions/motivations, (or lack thereof). Rules of order do not apply when describing CHAOS.

La Duena moved to the Yucatan seven years ago. I would say this move was in keeping with the trend of previous moves, i.e. subsequent to her first BIG MOVE from New York to California, (this having been a horizontal move meant to change/improve her lifestyle), all further moves were preceded by a failed or no love affair and were headed in a southerly or downward direction. (As in California to the Southwest to the Deep South to the Deeper South and thence to the Yucatan.) I cannot say with certainty why she moved to the Yucatan. I do know that she moved to Florida because she believed it to be populated with old men desperate for her companionship. Alas, she over-estimated both her appeal and the level of desperation of the male Floridian. And so, alone, she moved on.

La Duena's original intent was to open a fat farm in Merida. (My dears, talk about the blind leading the blind!!! ) Indeed, after eight months, a group of dieters appeared and participated in the "Weight Loss Program". Though I was, mercifully, not present to witness what transpired, word has it that tears were shed, insults were hurled, threats were made and, at the end of it, Ms. Parmet retired to her apartment, damning these folks to stew in their own fetid juices. "Screw them", said she, "If anyone else hauls their fat ass in here, they get a bed, a crapper and that's it." And thus, the concept for "Hotel Luz En Yucatan" was born.

Indeed, much to everyone's surprise, this odd little establishment has flourished. This despite the fact that Ms. Parmet had scant funding, no training in/knowledge of the hotel business and only a feeble grasp of the Spanish language. (Alas, after seven years in Mexico, while she APPEARS to speak Spanish, really, she does not. I do believe that her "success" with communication can be attributed to the fact that the people with whom she is speaking work especially hard to comprehend what she is describing, in order that the business at hand can be consummated and they are then freed to get on with their lives, away from her sphere of influence.) I cannot comment with surety as to whether or not the business has been a financial success... though, obviously, it has provided her with funding to buy sufficient FOODSTUFFS. She has, from time to time, returned to the United States to labor as a nurse. (And, between you and me, my mind boggles at the thought of those poor souls, ill and with diminished capacities, being exposed to her not-so-tender mercies.)

Other miscellaneous questions:

As to whether or not she would ever return to the US to live, I have heard persons ask her, "Would you return to the US? ( And I do believe this is being said more as a plea than a query.) I have heard this delicate flower reply, "Yes, I would... when pigs fly out my butt."

Does she like it here? What does she love about life here?? Really, the woman is a malcontent, so these questions do not apply. A difference between living here as opposed to living in the US... It is cheaper to find people to put up with her here.

La Duena is not a Mexican citizen. Does she think she will become one? Does she plan to stay in Yucatan? As I've noted, thought and planning are not Ms. Parmet's preferred activities.

How is she treated by the Mexicans and does she feel welcome? She is treated quite well, indeed, and has been made to feel most welcome. (And this, I believe, speaks more of the patience, forbearance, generosity and good-heartedness of the Mexican people than the "worthiness" of La Duena. Between you and me, she is just such a trial to us all!)

Finally, La Duena has recently placed the following advertisement:

Hotel For Sale...............

The owner of this charming Colonial hotel in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico has not had sexual intercourse in many years. While she does not necessarily blame the hotel, she has concluded that it has failed to imbue her with allure sufficient to land a partner. As such, she has determined that it is time to sell the hotel, now convinced that it will take cold cash to get the job done.

From this, you can infer what it was that La Duena missed in her life in the US, and what it is she misses in her life in the Yucatan. And it will also relate to your question, i.e. "What is the most important piece of advice to offer to someone considering moving to the Yucatan?" I believe La Duena would say that such a one would be well advised to consider that life in the Yucatan, as opposed to life wherever it is you are coming from, is completely different, and exactly the same. And this can be both the good news, and the bad.

Con Carino,

Your Violene.


  • Catherine Harvey Victoria, BC Canada tel: Victoria 778 440 7788 6 years ago

    darn it just deleted my whole email.... Miss you Madeline..... Please hurry back again to Victoria, BC Canada We had such a lovely visit last time. Come and stay a while and recuperate on the beautiful pacific ocean with me in beautiful James Bay.... My door is always open for you dear heart... Love you Love you Love you.
    giant hugs from Catherine in glorious Victoria xxxxxxx

  • Ann 7 years ago

    For all who love Madeline, or who simply appreciate her uniqueness:

  • Steve 7 years ago

    I think La Duena must be the same fabulous lady who lived up the block from me in an as yet unrevitalized downtown, about 15-20 years ago. At the time, she drove a Geo Metro. To ward off break-ins, on a sheet of shirt cardboard, she posted a sign in the rear window: "To Whom It May Concern. There is nothing of value in this car. Indeed, if I had anything of value, I would not be driving a Geo Metro. Thank you for your attention to this matter."

    It would be great to hear from her again. Steve

    • Working Gringa 7 years ago

      Steve, that absolutely sounds like something that Madeline would do! She has moved to Montevideo, Uruguay some years ago but we are still in touch.

  • Working Gringos 11 years ago

    We love Madeline too :-)!

  • Mollys mom. 11 years ago

    I love Madeline. She was a great mentor to me in my early years of nursing . Her knowledge and compassion were invaluable. Hope I am blessed enough to cross paths with her again one day. Mazel!

  • CasiYucateco 15 years ago

    I miss Madeline. She was a treasure!

  • Working Gringos 16 years ago

    Luz has indeed been sold to a group of three very nice young men, two of whom are living here in Merida and working at Luz. If you go there, you'll probably meet Tom, a former tour guide in the US, now turned hotel owner. The other local owner is Donnard, also a former tour guide but from Ireland. He lives here with his beautiful wife Fabienne and their two sons.

    The new owners are very interested in keeping the wonderful ambiance of Luz while improving things so that staying there is an even better experience. One of the first things they did was buy new appliances in the kitchen and new mattresses!

    We're sure there are more changes to come.

  • Beryl Gorbman 16 years ago

    Luz has been sold to a small group of investors and I understand Madeline is living in a condo somewhere in Uruguay (no kidding). Maybe WG can fill us in on the new owners, how the hotel will or won't change, etc.

  • Francisco Cavero Alprecht 16 years ago

    As you may know, in undeveloped countries as Peru, the over population of homeless dogs and cats is an important issue for the society. Unfortunately in Peru, there is no reliable data of domestic animal population available, only the one provided by the National Institute of Statistics and Informatic (INEI) and the General Health Directive (DIGESA), based on the National Rabies vaccination campaign. These data shows that Lima has one million dogs and 420 thousand cats.

    The actions taken by the authorities against this over population were the easiest, but not the best options. For many years they have used “strychnine bites”, a powerful poison that causes a long and painful death, to control this over population. We know that this action is neither the suitable nor the cheaper solution. On the opposite, we consider that sterilization is the most intelligent alternative from the humanitarian and economic point of view.

    HUAW (Humanitarian Association for Animal Welfare), is a non profit association created to assist, protect and defend the Peruvian fauna with special emphasis on domestic animals. We give a special attention to homeless, careless, abandoned, sick or physical abused animals, giving an accurate veterinary care, fomenting the sterilization, adoption an a responsible caring.

    HUAW owns for two years now, a Veterinary Hospital. It is well recognized in Peru as a teaching unit where social and technical education is provided to veterinary students from 5 different Veterinary Schools of the country (*). Here in the Hospital, we offer social aid to homeless dogs and cats through our program “Adoption windows”. This program provides a low cost veterinary attention, such as sterilization surgeries (for USD $15 each), and educational programs to the community in order to promote an adoption culture. Through this program, we also assist animal associations, shelters and caring persons, with pockets filed with only good intentions. In this link , you will see one of the interviews we have made. "Primer Impacto" from the “Cadena Univisión” of Mexico, wanted to show a piece of our work in the Hospital, specially in the Neurology and Traumatology areas

    Unfortunately, we want to continue with our social work but we will not be able to do it in a long term of time, since our resources are limited. We need more than good intentions to continue helping these unlucky animals in a long term project. To be more efficient and helpful, we need diagnostic, laboratory and surgery equipment, such as laparoscopic surgery equipment, to perform more and faster sterilizations.

    We know that you care for the abandoned animals and for this kind of non profit projects. We need your help. Any donation on money or equipment could make the difference we need to continue helping. Please, contact us trough the e-mail asociació or our phone (511) 4466179.

    Thank you in advance of your kind attention.


    Francisco Cavero Alprecht VM.
    HUAW President
    Veterinary Hospital Director

    HUAW registers all the clinical cases attended by the Hospital and all the stories of adoption (*).
    (*) We have documentation on this regard if required.

  • diane and andy 17 years ago

    La Duena,
    What a wonderfully amusing column!...Will the LUZ still be open? If so, who has been brave enough to take your place? And will you please have the gifted Violene or another magical person write to us from wherever you go next? Which, by the way, Andy and I will be visiting in please have the long suffering Violene send us your new e-mail?
    Diane and Andy
    Who was nuts enough to take the birds? And what will the cats do without you?

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