Monday, December 14, 2009
So I’m preparing for my trip. Packing for extreme cold and extreme heat. Spectrumic extreme.
1) Bought out my trusty backpack – and considering whacking a Saffa flag on it so that the Mexicans don’t confuse me for American;
2) Lying in the hammock on my balcony in my bikini to get my skin accustomed to vitamin D again;
3) Am on Level 2 of my intensive Spanish course. And sound like a flaming retard. It’s Spain Spanish, so everything is ‘th th th th’, and frankly, it’s sounds fucking ridiculous. Argentinian Spanish was certainly softer, and Mexican Spanish I hear is slower and they don’t do the ‘th’ with every z, or c or s they see. Crisis. Anyway, it’s coming along;
4) Done the obligatory Streetview.
I took to Mexican Streetview on Google Maps to check out some of the towns we’ll be staying in, now that we’ve booked.
I’ve conjured images of this place that is Mexico, in my mind. As one does.
I mean, if you’ve never been to France, the stereotypes of men walking around in stripes with handlebar moustaches and carrying a baguette in their armpit. Under the Eiffel Tower may come to mind. Russia, you think of vodka and factory workers. (Jokes, but in the 80s, very much so.)
Excuse my blatant naivety – and I blame the Lonely Planet and all other cliché images that have been fed to me through the medium of sight – but I pictured Mexico, before Streetview, as flat desserts, lots of cactuses, and floating sombreros. And Americans wasted on tequila, and taco shells.
Well, I haven’t seen anything of the sort as yet. Puerto Morelos, a town south of Cancun that we’re staying in for a good few days, looks like this:
Those are quite the potholes, is this Maputo or Puerto Morelos? On the Caribbean? The dude looks interestingly machismo in the right corner:
Ah finally. Shrubbery cascading off a post-modernist Spanish looking thing in Cancun:
So not exactly a Club Med brochure, in other words.
Am nervous now.
Because it reminds of some of the more third world holidays I’ve taken. Which is fine and completely expected, but no doubt, the Brit and I are in for quite an adWENture.
What I know is this:
1) If you love the unpredictable and chaotic – then Mexico is for you! [sic]. The Lonely Planet has forewarned us of the guaranteeable fuck ups. I mean, I’ve already booked a wheelchair purely by ignorant accident on our internal flight. So there you go.
2) Swine Flu started in Mexico. N1H1.com. There’s malaria in some parts, cholera, all sorts of nasty shit to potentially avoid. Not tapeworms though. Which is incidentally how I managed to pick up the Brit in the first place. Back in April. And they say romance is dead.
Do I take a mask to street parties when hammered on margaritas?
3) Half the population of America will be around. It’s going to be a loud holiday.
4) We’ll be snorkeling the reefs of Cozumel, some of the most renowned and beautiful reefs on the planet. Baracudas and rays included. Will shit myself, but hang on closely to my snorkel buddy.
5) The tequila is made from agave and worms. And you sip it like an aperitif.
6) We can climb the Mayan temples and venture into jungles on the same day.
This time next week I’ll be in England. Never have I been so excited to be in the midst of dreary rain, cold, dark mornings, bitter cold in my life. I can’t wait to see him again. Also to experience a Brit Christmas is going to be something completely new.