Published: July 8th 2008July 8th 2008
Okey-dockey. Well, Bern, Chucky-chazza and Val are again playing a waiting game. Tequila is, for all those that are possibly not versed in the finer tequila details, a specific type of mescal--like a pink lady is a specific kind of apple. We are waiting for a bar to open--very charmingly called La Cucaracha (the cockroach)-- where we will be taking a taster flight through the joys of mescal. I am expecting it to get nasty. Luckily we are staying the night in Oaxaca again tomorrow, and so any hangovers should be sorted out by the time we board our last (sob, sob) long distance bus to take us to Mexico City where we will ride out this crazy trip. We are staying in a "home away from home"--the cutest little hotel in town--but at least at home, if you do, or Bern or Charlie or Val, need to ride the porcelain bus, you dont have top contend with the fact that the bathroom has a canteina style swing door that does not allow for much privacy. Basically, for example, if Bern was to have to ride the bus, while I lay, prone, on my bed, I would see her feet pocking out from under the door--their are also issues with the size of the bathroom. But hopefully, it won´t get that nasty. Oh, and if I haven´t grossed you out with potty talk enough, Chuck has, in her bag, to enjoy with her tequila, a little plastic bag full of roasted, crunchy, chili flavoured grasshoppers--it´s a bit of a dare thing. (eeeerggghh).
I have so much to catch up on so please bare with me. I think I left you last while we were waiting for the bus in Tulum. Bernii just reminded me of something that happened in Tulum that I forgot to mention. We had seen this restaurant that had as one of the things they always bring out on the table (salsas, corn chips etc), a large bowl of what looked like roasted vegetables. I am missing vegetables. You seem to really have a lot of carbs here--tortillas, tostadas, tortas, tacos etc--a lot of meat--and if you dont want meat or are a veggie, cheese is your other option, so these veggies beckoned like an oasis.Rurned out they were pickled--damn coz I love roast garlic, pickled garlic is odd--but yummy carrots and onion and then there were the chilis! Pickled whole, they were of the little type. I ate a green one. Seems okay Bern. Bern ate an orange one. How is it Bern? Yeah, fine. You ate the whole thing? Yeah. Delayed reaction. In a baños later I saw a poster about all the different chilis. I located the one Bernii had eaten. On a scale of one to ten, this little habernero was rated at ten. I have never seen someone cry so much from a meal. If she hadn´t been having heart palpitations, it would have been funny. Chilis are like mexican showers--sometimes you have to wait a long time for them to get hot. Bern usually takes her chili consumption a lot slower now.
From Tulum we took the bus to Chichen Itza. It turned out that the die-decision wasn´t really totally in our favour. (Bern just bit a neck-snapping look at me and said "you and your die, no one knows what you mean, it´s a dice." I am giving you all much better linguistic capabilities than she is, and assuming you know what I am talking about.) Or, probably more precisely, the guide book was being guidebook-esque and just reminding us to not always trust it. The hotel was 3 kms away from the Eastern entrance (described in the book as "on the road approaching the ruins"--technically true). We were dropped off at the Western Entrance. It was a harp back to the old Europe days when you would have to spend a bit and so would say "oh well, we have spent so much so far, whats a little more going to do". (Like the day I had to buy a new fridge and so I bought a ticket to Hawaii as well--you get the idea). Taxi to the hotel, corrida dinner (set menu) (I had the Chicken Itza option), some more Micheladas.
The hotel had two pools and one fool. One pool was built over a cenote. It had been concreted over and enclosed, but was still like swimming in a rock pool with lots of nooks and crannys and (neurosis kicking in) places to get a foot caught and get stuck. But it was empty of smooching french couples and surrounded by birds, and so we hung out there and I went swimming. As one does when one has to swim on ones own as ones friend is piking it, I had to start amusing myself. There exists now a filmic version of me doing a dislexic Esther Williams impersonation; another of me musically choreographing my own fountain spectacle; and in both the camera shakes as Bernii just laughs at me--AT me. Many an evening is spent by her reviewing her photos and when the giggling starts again, I know just what she is looking at.
We did get to see Chichen Itza before the hoards. Amazing place. To think that it was once covered in plaster and painted vivid colours. The paths betwen the buildings were painted red. Every tour group that went around would stand in front of El Castillo and clap. The noise resounded through the place. In its hey-day, fifty-five thousand people would stand in the same place and cheer for their leaders. The noise would have been intense. I remember coming home from a night shift one day and sitting on the couch with my raisin toast and watching the cartoons before I went to bed. There was a cartoon where these kids had to play this weird ball game against some men. If they lost, they would lose their heads. Turns out that is a Mayan ball game. We took a tour to get more Mayan goss and the guide was saying that they are currently unsure if it was the winners or the losers who would lose their heads. The sacrifice was to appease the gods and so it make a modicum of sense that the gods would want the best to be offered to them. It would put a new spin on being a competative person wouldn´t it?
That afternoon we caught the bus to Merida. I don´t know about you, but I think reclining your bus seat is for night. Bern and I were in seperate parts of the bus (it was being used by a tour group as "local transport"--get on the second class bus I say--and was chocker-block full). I was next to this cutest little old lady but behind a day-time recliner. I had her seat in my lap and a conscience about doing the same to the person behind me. It was a horrible trip but I did manage to read my book by basically balancing it on her head and getting the knee in a few times. Merida, home to about one million people, looked cute as a button. It was low rise and fabulously colourful--layers of colour peeling to reveal their histories, and great grates adorning every window. We arrived in the evening and went straight out for coffee. It was sunday evening and all the squares were filled with musicians. We chose a place where the coffee machine had broken down and so had Baileys instead. Bern got a piece of chocolate cake which had cream in the side that was actually that marshmallow whip you can buy at Coles that comes from America (if you want to try it come and see me, I have a jar at home and it is really just best eaten with a spoon--they have the same thing here but it is caramel (goats milk caramel called carjeta)) Correction courtesy of Bernii who keeps looking over my shoulder: "You have a jar with one spoonful left. Which is probably green now." Rebuttal: "There are too many preservatives for it to go green Bern, and I am considering buying another one. Also, specifically, (excuse the grammar, its an in joke between Bern and I, directed at an amazingly rude birdwatcher we encountered ... it is a national park after all) can you do your own blog." Anyway, there was a band playing "romantic music" across from us and people salsa-ing and tango-ing in the street. It was so much fun to sit and watch. Little old ladies would put down their shopping and dance. A man whose clothing style stopped in the 70´s--imagine white pants and shoes, beige skivvy over a carb enhanced belly, a plethora of gold chains and an eye for the ladies. Merida has a great feel.
The time for cucarachas, chapulines (grasshoppers) and chugging alcohol has arrived and so I will post now and hopefully talk to you later (not today later ... that would just be silly!)
Love to all
Lalarge and Charlie