Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Crowded Hour

Then...

We spent the day in Buscerias.  I went to get my sandals fixed among other things.  Wide open coastline, & nobody around.  Street lights & street signs, not knowing anyone & having to stop for traffic...  Threw us off completely.  I had been questioning why I didn't understand the beauty of Sayulita & it took me going only an hour outside of town to figure it out.  Guacamole with lime & Pacifico on the beach.  Damn.  Life is good.

On the bumpy bus ride through the jungle I laugh despite myself again.  Cause I am travelling.  And proving to myself that nothing is perfect.

I had great conversations with our neighbors - another benefit to travelling slowly.  Then watched a bunch of baby sea turtles try to crawl their way into the sea.  Not even joking.  So cool.  Every night after sunset, at around 7ish...  It's amazing to flip them back over on their tiny shells & help draw them into the water.  And hope they don't get swept away by the waves down the beach.  They are pretty helpless things...  Watching them crawl through the sand under the stars at dusk.  Wonderful.

Wandered around.  Made new routes around town.  Talked with some old & new friends around drinks in the Plaza as usual.  Salsa night at Don Pedro's has us watching from the beach.  A good portion of my night would eventually consist of being sandwiched between live Cuban music & the low tide waves crashing on the shore.  Consistent, but overwhelming - the noise.  Played fetch with a dog in this juxtaposition with my borrowed Crocs & a half bottle of Bacardi stashed in the sand.  How I wish I could take black and white pictures of the beach at night.  The dog hears better than he can see, and I can tell from the lighting, so I started lobbing the stones in the air.  It's chido to see him baseball slide his way into catching up with my rocks.  Up & down the beach.  No matter what.

I almost adopted that dog tonight, despite my current dog-less situation.  We came out of our house & he was sitting on our steps.  The best way to appreciate simple pleasures is to play with dogs.  Tamara gags when she sees the slobber on me.  She calls me the Dog Whisperer.  I play rough & work hard to be the alpha female.  We had to walk him back into town, knowing he's not a street dog but one of those dogs that has an owner & just sleeps around.  When I hear the usual dogs that keep me up at night go off, I wonder if it's because of him & if he's on his way...

Overcast again.
Yeah, despite all that shit this morning, I'd say today was a good day.
:-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Overwhelmed

After getting locked out of the house last night, & waking up in a van this morning, I ate cereal with ants in it, found out my bag in mouldy & my credit card doesn't work online.  On top of finding out Madison was put down yesterday.  Overcast again.  It's just one of those days today.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Last night in town

Someone told me not to censor myself.
Do you really want to know what a Friday night is like around here?

Woke up at 11:30, it's almost 3.  Feeling worse for wear.  No beach yet.  I have a scab on my elbow & cheezie fingers.  I think I have a bump on my forehead.  No more bruises than usual.  No hard feelings from Vince or Viloy.

Vince's last night means a big night out.  It's always someone's last night.

Dusk surf session with better waves than all day.  Cuba libre & Pacifico at the beach bar Camaron.  Sang Stand By Me at home drinking vodka soda.  The drummer from Don Pato's told me he likes me.  Spinach pizza at YoYo's.  Canuck's won 4-1.  Won 3 games of pool.  Got yoga tips on how to strengthen my legs.  Charlie offered me a free boxing lesson.  Nobody made any comments about my dress.  I played fetch with Buddha, Gabe's dog, for about an hour at Dragon Rojo.  This guy Eric told me I was his hero.  I slapped a friend of mine again; I really need to keep myself in check when it comes to that.  I go off whenever the song New York gets played, and Tamara knows it.  The DJ at Dragon Rojo is mad at me cause I haven't been hanging out with him.  Walked home arm in arm with two friends.  Darryl tried to sleep on our floor, so we walked him home.

Pretty successful night I'd say.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stand By Me

Overcast means: Can no longer tell the time.  Need to invest in a towel.  Stark contrast between the green, brown & white.  Very few people in the water.  The waves a strange mercurial colour.  A reminder of home.

American Thanksgiving means:  Send a message home to Al of assorted pie guesses.  Invite to Tamara's new employers in San Pancho.  Hamaika tea.  So much food & so much leftovers.  Bitten by a duck.  Lentil loaf, yams, carrots, beans, stuffed mushrooms, spring rolls, asparagus, salad, fruit salad, spaghetti alfredo, cabbage rolls, including the usual turkey, stuffing, ham, potatoes &  gravy.  9 pies for 20 people.  Pie hovering.  Amazing house with a rooftop patio.  Some things are universal.  Like a fear of heights & gazing at the stars.

Sayulita: dreadlocks, familiar faces, smiles along the road, sand in my bed.  Breakfast at Chocobanana, One Love, Break Fast or El Espresso.  Friends on the surf.

Learning about this new idea that it's not my job to reassure people.  If you've got a problem or concern, it is quite literally your problem.  :)

Today has a surf session in the cards.  FINALLY!
No longer recovering from turkey effect.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

el Jimador

It is an interesting feeling waking up at Home in Mexico.  Very cool.  This is the first time I haven't experienced the "where am I" feeling when I wake up.  No disorientation.  And I wake up at home every morning, without fail.

A bit of devastation when I found out the spine of my surfboard was broken.  I got two good runs out of it & I could tell something was off.  Sunday I cheerily walked around telling people I was on my way to bust skulls, but Ramone at the surf shop gave me another one without me having to ask.  Every day I learn a little bit more.  Whether it's the timing, or which ones are good to ride, or where to be careful of the break cause it'll toss you like nothing & you won't be able to get your feet on the ground. These aren't even the worst ones.  It's great learning the waves.  Getting the feel for when it's time to dive into them & see how far you can get.  Laughing at your friends tumbling.

I love the feeling of laying in bed & still feeling the waves.

Tamara & I have tons of fun knocking people down a few pegs.  We take the piss out of everyone.  We're like teenagers together, and she doesn't know what to do when I leave.  We make games at the bar to liven up the place, or get the barkeep Tony to let me play dJ at Dragon Rojo.  Somedays we stay in & watch How I Met Your Mother, or sit around drinking wine.  Contemplating.  She has a Masters in Psychology, so we have great discussions.  The rumour around town is that we're lesbians, cause we're pretty inseparable.  The other day was Revolution Day, so I spent the majority of the day with a moustache & beard on.  Quite attractive, even in the waves!  We act silly & I have acquired an adoptive Aussie name, since I am an Ozophile.

On the other hand of girl-time, I am always one of the boys.  I spent Sunday with Darryl (London), Bret (NZ) & Vince (BC) at the sports bar.  CFL playoffs, Oilers & Canucks hockey, poker & pool tournys ->  You'll be happy to know Darryl & I kicked ass.  At least, once we figured out how to compensate for the crooked cue.  We all surf together, except I haven't seen Vince since we came close to fist fighting that night.  And yes, it was my fault.  Later when Darryl introduced Tamara & I he said "Tamara's great & Joss's fuckin awesome"!  (See: post about Tamara's claim to be the most awesome.)

Sidenote:  Something missing in every bar in Canada is dogs.

Every night is a little bit different with a little bit different characters.  Today had afternoon fireworks for some sort of fiesta in the arena.  It is Wednesday, right?  There is also a 15th birthday party across the street with a huge live band that is currently going off.  The equivalent of a bahtmitvah.  We're going to the Plaza in town to meet some friends & see what happens from there.

You might be able to tell where my priorities lie.  I spend all day watching the water, waiting for the perfect chance.  I sometimes lose focus by dancing, singing, laying down, or trying to do pushups on the board & miss the waves.  It's easy to get distracted.  Every day I want to do a morning session, but sleep in without fail.

There is something to be said for constantly failing at something.  I am picking it up piece by piece.
-Jozza

Cuba libre

Walking home in Sayulita is like this.  Very solitary.  The smell of dust from the road.  The unmistakable crunch of your feet.  Orange streetlights.  Occasional barking or howling.  Silhouettes of palm trees against the moon.  The electrical buzz of insects.
Or, if you're in the plaza, restless pigeons overhead.
And roosters, depending on the time of night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Omar es mi amigo

Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico.

Tam just made me this awesome chic pea + rice dish.  So so so good.  Homemade fooooooood.  Yum!

Sitting on Darryl's porch with Tamara's laptop.  Everyone is way too nice to me.  She offers up her home & shares her food with me cause she likes having me around.  Levi & I really get along too, and it seems alot of people are picking up on that.  The landlord here said when people stay over, she asks them to make a donation for rent that goes to the school on the corner.  That is awesome!  Darryl said if I need a place to stay I can always stay in his campervan.

I have recently realized that if you are open to them, amazing things can happen.

Mesmorized by the black-and-white surfing videos at El Tigre.  Wondering if what they do is possible.  Not sure if I can conceive it quite yet.

A dog playing with a coconut on the beach.  Ripping off the outer shell & chasing it around.

Tiny fish washed into shore at the dusk tide.  Kids throwing them up to these massive swallowtailed eagles.  They usually come out to scavenge the fishing boats when they come in, but are almost always out at sunset.  Bat-like against the sky.  4-5 ft wingspan.

Sitting where the ocean only occasionally licks our feet.  Chatting & chatting in the lazy afternoon sun.  Danielle was mad at me/teasing me about all the little things I did.  I scrambled back, just in time for the one wave that was brave enough to lap us up.  We were fools to think we were safe.  We laughed for the next hour about our misfortune.

Talking at sunset with Simon, the manager of Yo Yo Mo's, the sportsbar.  He tells me about the different swells, how the flood changed the beach, the change of the tide throughout the day & month, the different breaks along this coast, and where to find good surf in the UK.  I am set because of people like him.

Wading through a river everyday.  Fed by the floodwaters.  I am told in a few weeks it will be gone.

Tam & I spent all day having great talks.  Meandering around successfully looking for a softtop longboard.  Ripper beauty!  9ft.  I will talk to Patricia in the morning about storing it in her compound near the beach.  It turns out to be too wide to carry it to & from the house.  Hurts my wrist to attempt it.

Burrito Revolucion.  We are evidentally central time, which is kind of weird cause we are still west coast.  Skyped with dad & Susan.  Saw Maddie & Cyrus.  One of the girls here asked me to keep it down, for yelling at my family.  Same old stuff at the house.  Tam had the perfect cue, when I literally said "I don't drink every night, I'm not drinking right now" & she handed me a vodka soda.  Ha!

We chilled out this evening with Darryl on the porch, thinking about our past present & future trouble.

Lovely moments in this fine town.

I don't like giving the impression I am completely wreckless or that it's very easy.  Right now, life is grand.  Sayulita is a pretty safe place.  Not only do I know many people in this town, but I have good friends to watch my back.  Tamara completely trusts me, even with her money & her son.  It goes both ways.  I am never concerned for my well-being.  When it comes to my stuff, I am careful.  I am learning it is a controlling attitude that makes me do this, & it's only stuff.  At this point I have nothing of value to take, except money.

On the other hand, travel is easy.  When you're on the road, you have your bearings around you.  You get to know what people are like, and get a good sense of your own instincts.  Nobody has double-crossed me on this trip.  I have been quick to avoid characters I feel uneasy around, or uncomfortable situations.

No worries.  Another day in paradise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ciudado Piso Mojado


Sitting in the courtyard of the villa I am staying in. The pool is really noisy cause Levi's got the jets turned all the way up. Tamara is Skyping a friend on the other side of the courtyard – closer to the router, furthest from our place. It's funny the way we say “we live here”, then explain we are also from Australia, the US & most often Canada. There are Canadians everywhere here.

Let me rewind.

Immediately after setting up camp I was shaking hands with some people over breakfast. Only a couple of the friends I've made this week are still here, but such is the way with the transient community.

It's so hard to give an overview of people & places in my life. I guess this is why short constant updates are important.

This weekend means my nights have been far longer than my days. Tamara, Danielle & I had become a team. Every night we did a round of a couple bars. We know where things are happening. Sayulita is a town of a couple thousand people. It's easy to walk down the street or beach saying hello to everyone on the way.  Ky & Tamara are the ones who know everyone, but I'm catching on at my own pace.

Ky was this great guy who made plans with me as soon as he shook my hand. We would travel together at the end of the month, and maybe even split a place to save on rent. I would razz him cause he's one of these guys everything comes easily for. Everyone likes him! He met 10x more people then any of us. He was a rafting guide in Alaska this summer. Originally by way of NZ/SoCal. Surfing since he was little. Cool attitude, sense of humour & a genuine nice person. Good salsa dancer too. It seems everyone had some sort of higher experience with him. I know we had some really great talk about life the universe & everything. One day he told us he'd had an epiphany & it was time to move on. I hope we meet on the road one day.

Danielle left today & has gone to be a chemist in Alaska for a couple weeks. We will probably meet up with her later Tamara is living here with her son Levi. She tells us how awesome she is all the time, and has almost formally adopted me. One day she was stung by a sting ray & screaming in pain. She had clay treatments & I helped out with pain diversion & tequila shots. She still came to the pool party later that night. Levi is 11. He is the coolest kid. So funny, insulting & pretty foul-mouthed, but I'd expect no less from the Aussies. Danielle & I said we'd both pay money for him to talk to us. Oh and he weilds a butterfly knife.  Levi doesn't do swimming in the ocean too much, Tamara is now scared of the water, but Danielle & I surf together. When she comes back we'll do a trip to La Lancha.  Danielle has her share of stories. She's worked as a horseback tour guide in New Zealand, a dive instructor in the South Pacific & studied martial arts in Thailand. I am amazed by their stories, and they just shrug & say “that's what happens when you get old”.

Life in the details.

Today I found a dead scorpion right over there. The locals call it Cancle, but it's also known as a tail-less whip scorpion that looks kind of like this (http://www.animalparties.co.uk/Animals/Whip_Scorpion.html). I lost my camera & cried about it. Lucky I had some good friends to cheer me up. Taking pictures is a luxury. In such a small town, it wouldn't be unlikely for it to turn up. The good part being that I've started drawing again. Feels good, and looks half-decent too. A different type of memory. I wish I could capture the colours of the flowers, buildings, sunsets, sunlight, water, sand... The sand on the side of the beach where the beginners surf is black & gold, like fool's gold.  The colour of the clouds at sunset in indescribable, and incapturable.

Tamara may as well be my new vegan mother. She made rice, tofu & seaweed for lunch. We eat a lot of quesadillas & tacos & vanilla awesome cake & burritos from Burrito Revolution. She says she owes me her life from the other day when she was stung, but I owe her a lot for even just letting me stay with them. Our nights in, we watch How I Met Your Mother on her computer. She is Barney.

This weekend has had so many different elements & has been rediculous & fantastic and possibly not unlike a night out in Melbourne. We watched some local boxing just across the street here. It was very cool. I made some friendly wagers & won 7-0. 350 pesos! I've become something of know-it-all too. We did a lot of dancing & laughing at each other's dancing. Avoiding people & random meet-ups. I had a great conversation about the CFL playoffs with a dude wearing a hollow clown's head pinata & a bottle of tequila in his waistband. I wore a sombrero at some point everyday this weekend. Saw some killer live latin music at Don Pato's. Danced salsa with Ky & with a salsa instructor from a resort in Bucerias - both at Dragon Rojo.  I've closed out the bar every night we've been out, & every night we've been out we end up at Dragon Rojo.  Not unlike back at home.  My dealbreaker is that if they play I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, we have to leave.  I stepped on a wasp, but was walking with EMT/rafting guide Andy at the time, so I was set. No adverse reaction, and totally downplayed cause of the stingray & my subsequent teasing. Andy lets me try his paddleboard sometimes, which is extremely difficult.

This post is all over the place, but probably a more accurate depiction of life. If only I could tell you all the inside jokes about Warriors, Aztec Demigods, red tracksuits, or football players. It's always the people that make the place, and I am lucky to have so many good friends. We have a new neighbor Darryl, a Brit who seems to be a lot of fun. I kept him from going home by saying shit like “Brits can't hold their liquor” the first night we met. His friends found him wandering around at noon today in the clothes from last night with one toenail painted red. He woke up in a hammock in someone's garden on the other end of Sayulita. Yes, I do believe he might be fun.

I should go continue the search for a surfboard & get in the water instead of sitting in the shade! My board rash is healing up, but not for long if I'm heading to the surf.  If I get a board I'll have to invest in a rashguard & real boardshorts.  One day I will do laundry too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Headed down south t the land of the pines...."

My surf:

I am in the surf.  I am picking it up.  Today was the best day in the water so far.  I got up a couple times, & caught just about every wave I went for.  Creating these surf-only relationships with people on the water.  No names, just about waves, boards, practice, ability & the time.  I get tangled in the leach alot.  I am goofy foot - right foot forward.  The waves here can get fair sized, & are very constant.  The best time for beginners is afternoon ish. 1-4 = siesta time; when the tide is out.  Though we don´t have the huge breaks like Puerto Escondido, most of the top surfers in the country come from here.  There are two breaks - one right & one left.  The left is a sand bar & all the lessons & beginners hang around there.  It breaks right up to the beach.  It is very easy to fall into 2 feet of water without realizing how close to shore you are.  The right is behind the rocky shore, and for the more avanced dudes.  Some guys paddleboard while standing & make it look incredibly easy.  I wear some cheap white shorts & a rash guard - a long sleeved shirt.  The rash guard must do wonders, cause I´m got rashes on my thighs, knees & left elbow.  I couldn´t imagine bare stomach too.  Not to mention it won´t go away cause I just keep surfing on it...  I rub pure aloe on it.  They are toughening up.  The guy at the surf shop says I am becoming a surfer. Oh and I bought my first bikini the other day.  Yes, you can tell this body gets no sun.  Quite pasty.  My routine is to catch a few waves for usually 2 hours in the afternoon, wash off & wash my hair, then hang in the sun to dry off since I don´t own a towel.  Haha!  Then it´s about time for sunset, which I watch pretty much everyday.  It´s the best indicator of time & I´ve become super romantic....

My home:

So I didn´t plan to be camping!  You knew that, right?  It´s so much cheaper at the campground, when Sasha went to Vallarta I got him to drive me to Walmart & picked one up.  I am cautious on the verge of paranoia.  I make sure no one sees me go in or out of the campground, since I am the only one staying in it.  My stuff is so tucked away & completely invisible to the beach.  When I walk in with my friends, I try to get them to find where I´m set up & it´s pretty cool when they can´t.  There are two in town & I am the one that´s fenced in.  The other is open to the beach, but I don´t want any thoroughfare since I won´t be around alot to safeguard my stuff.  I have some friends at the other campground, but this is an okay deal so far.  I tie it up from the inside when I´m sleeping.  My biggest fear would be if a bunch of people were to carry me off in it at night, but I don´t see that happening.  When I am in there I am dead to the world.  No one knows I am there.  Well, the people that count do.  The first night was fitful.  I thought it was storming all night, but it was the crash of the waves.  Constant.  Dogs howling too.  I am sheltered by a palapa, so I would never know if it rained.  I need to get something to sleep on though.  I am straight grounding it.  It´s okay for right now.  I´ve got a knot in my back right now from that & craning to look behind at the waves.  By the weekend I will be staying somewhere else in town.  There is apparently some sort of skateboarding competition maybe?  And it will be busy with weekenders.  Ky & I are working on finding a cheap place to rent.  He´s got a couple on the line with possibly 120$ or 150$ a month rent, which is less than both our campgrounds & would be amazing!!  It doesn´t get much basic than camping, so we are not picky.

Soon I will introduce my fair town - Sayulita.  And my new pack: Ky, Karen, Tamara, Levi, Carlos....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Changoleones

I spent 7 1/2 hours biting my nails in transit Saturday.  (Saturday? I don´t even know what day of the month it is - this computer thinks it´s still October.  Friday I think maybe.)  All day a bit on the edge.  As soon as I pressed the enter key on the post, I realized everything was closed.  Hmmm.  At the nearest store: "Sabes una hotel abierto viente quattro horas?"  He asked the fellow next to him who spoke english.  We stepped outside...

Time stood still.  There was never a need to contact anyone, know the time or day or what anyone else´s concerns were.  Ultimate relaxation.  Plus with no computer, phone or camera...  Everything slipped away.

Calle Cielo (Heaven), Casa de Magia (Magic House) - http://www.sayulitalife.com/magia

Let me introduce you to the (former) usual suspects.

Sasha runs this show.  He´s the reason everone else is here & the renter of the big empty house above the ocean.  He is a German electronic artist, who came here at the end of a tour for vacation.  He´s a real easy going guy, & takes all day doing anything - no hurry.  He invited me to stay with him, with his friends from Puerto Vallarta.  He´s desperately trying to finish his latest album that he´s been working on for 2 years, & I guess I surprise him with knowing something here & there about the recording process, or creative process of recording.  The road up to the house is the craziest roller coaster.  The last house on a windy road through a "jungle" at the top of a hill.  Absolutely insane.  Sasha´s at the house on vacation, so he´s chill about everything.  When it comes to partying - this is his job.  So on vacation he wants to take it easy, but with a raverbrausen in him he´s easily persuaded.

Fito was the tall gentleman at the store who was probably picking up Camel cigarettes, but instead picked up trouble as well.  He is a radio host/producer at the University of Guadalajara station in Vallarta.  Es Mexicano.  He´s got a Barry White type of voice.  He´s a decent guy, but if I get vibes off anybody it´s him.  I like his girlfriend better.

Mauro is the co-host of the show at the station in Vallarta.  He´s a very cool guy.  We had some cool talks.  Very funny.  Apparently he might be the funniest guy on Mexican radio.

Maya is super cool.  Originally from San Francisco by way of Boulder, CO.  Been living in Vallarta a year & a half.  Amazing spanish.  Great gal.  Showed me some places I could stay, & hangouts I should know about, places I could get jobs and the like.  She´d explain cultural differences, or recent happenings to me.  Apparently there was a fairly devastating flood this year no one heard about because of the going´s on in Pakistan.  It hit them really hard.  The buiness she had poured her heart & soul went uner because of this & because of the H1N1 shtick.  We talk about entrepeneural stuff, as well as general anything.  She´s very cool to talk to, and extremely nice.  Calls people sweetie & has something good to say about everyone.

Fatima or Fafa is a friend of Maya´s.  Very quiet, shy & nice just the same.  She gets silly drunk.  She was with a Canadian named Jamie.  He is a surfer from Whistler with a cool palm tree tattoo on his chest.  He helped me get over my fear of jellyfish.  He was completely stoked on life Saturday, & just everything was going his way...  He´s a DJ, has family out here & is moving to Australia in a month.

They are all gone now.  Like it never happened.  Back to square one.

Sasha gave me a ride into Vallarta this morning to get some stuff at Walmart.  Bathing suit, camera...that sort of thing.  They are playing christmas songs there now...  He seemed to be nonplussed about me hanging around.  I had told Maya my concern, that I was the only one not officially in the crew, & she said it was a very Mexican thing to overstay your welcome until somebody asks you to leave.  He had no problem.  He´s heading to somewhere south of Tulum, then home for December - hopefully get the album finished - then to Thailand for two months.

Man, there were crazy bugs at this house too!  Praying mantis & colouful moths & butterflies.  Beetles the size of my fist!

I have decided that amazing things can happen to you, if you are open to them.

Oh and I spent all afternoon in the surf today!  Brutal.  Paradise is punishing.  It´s deadly hard to keep up with the wave.  I now know the definition of wipeout, & catching a wave.  Got up a couple times, and I will be back again tomorrow!  If this rash goes away....  Ate my weight in sand, salt & surf.  This is a horrible sport.  But it will be worth it.  The thing´s I´ve heard about getting up....are amazing.  It turns out I spent 3 hours on the water.  I am really not sure how to tell the time when you´re out there.

I´ll figure it out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Urban Sombrero

Woke up in Guadalahara.  Chill night.  Spent the evening mending my shorts.

The thing about burning out is you need to know something about downtime.  Appreciate it.  Know that not everything is glamourous.  I could have told you that.

I am in Sayulita after a day of travelling!  6 & a half hour bus ride, then an hour cab ride.  I need to figure things out a bit more.  I´m going to run & check out what´s happening in the park across the way, and figure out what to do about my computer & camera situation.  See how it goes!  Feeling it out!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On hold in Cancun.

Moving on.  This is the laziest place in the world.  Nobody does anything.  Yesterday was nice to go to the beach, but I knew the beach culture wasn't for me.  I didn't take my initial advice to get out oif this city.  There's nothing happening really.  Even all the folk here are struggling with ideas.  I need to get out!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This parade can't even handle me right now

Cancun, Mexico.  Ka'bey Hostel.

Great time.  I spent all day yesterday at the airport - come to think of it, around 13 hours between two different airports.  Spent some quality time at the post office, writing & taking note of all the things I have lost.  During this time I didn't bother sending any last minute couch requests & opted for a hostel.  My first time paying for accomodations this trip.  Also, because I was getting in late, I wanted to get online asap to Skype with the old man.  No such luck.  :'(

Despite all this "misfortune" stuff, I am baller at this traveller thing.  Despite my next story too.

Stumbling around Cancun with no camera.

Last night I arrived at this hostel.  Already, we are a crew of friends.  Well, ish.  Not so much as I've had previously, but we watch out for each other.  So after being here a couple hours we all took off to the club.  I was skeptical, but not willing to stay in.  Imagine how far I am from what was expected.  We all took the public bus to the strip, where all the resorts are.  There was a guy on the bus playing guitar & we were all singing along to Wonderwall & La Bamba (which I distinctly remember Maya knowing all the words to) for big tips!  It was Shane, Kane & Mick from Oz, Simon from Germany, Jon from Canada, Carmen & Medellin from Mexico, George from England, plus me.  All us girls got in free!  For an open bar too!  Together we tore the place up, dancing on stage & singing along.  Typical club night.  We were all on stage at one point, dancing away!  During Don't Stop Believing we were all singing along, as white dudes do - and yes, I identify with that group.  Drinks flowing.  We got out when the bar closed, probably around 5am.  Somebody said "Let's go to the beach" & I was so there, mesmorized by the water.  Nobody followed me, but I stood in the tide until it was ready to knock me over.  Killer.  My mind was racing.  Everything I'd ever dreamed....

I used to tell myself that there were places you could see the ocean from your house.
I've been in 3 oceans thus far.

I wandered over to the busstop & found that they hadn't forgetten about me afterall & were hanging out waiting for the bus.  I heard today that possibly they were making out, wrestling on the beach, getting propositioned by postitutes, blacking out or whatever as well.  When we came back George went to get some beer & those of us left sat for a few.  One in my case, before I called it quits.

I've wanted to be in Mexico for Day of the Dead, which is today, but didn't do anything to that respect at all today.  I have adopted this No Hurry attitude, and found a cool place with cool folk I'm not super eager to leave right away.  Which is always nice.  Otherwise I would have been in Vollodalid for Dia de los Meurtes, like Marcos suggested.  Today I got up, didn't have breakfast like I was stoked for, & went on the computer for a good portion of the afternoon.  Everyone was pretty struggling after last night.  Even I found some strange looking bruises, like I was the one falling off the stage!!  *(I wasn't.  Honest.)*  Woke up at noon.  Had a great hour & a half & some conversation with my buddy Kev Brent down in DRC.  On the patio, in the kitchen, in bed.  50,000 pounds is what he's supposed to remember this time.  Crazy stories.  Shane asked from beyond my screen if I wanted to go to the beach, so I shut 'er down.  If he makes it through this trip I'm gonna see him in like 24 days or something.  Hopefully we'll go surfing.  Man, that'd be killer!

As soon as I shut it off I thought I haad lost my passport, credit card & all my money.  I still went to the beach, going over it in my head what I did when I got back to the hostel, how careless & stupid I was, and what my next step was.  I was not looking forward to writing the post saying that I was stuck in Mx or whatever.  I still went to the beach & thought about my next step the whole way.  It's always good to make an assessment of the situation & what your priorities are - like I did before with all my missing things.  Funny how my passport didn't make the list.  Mick said he'd lost his most important stuff a couple times in SA & just held tight a week or so before he got it back.  I was pretty calm considering.  Jon had something stolen when I'd arrived & Kane was saying he lost some money last night too.  I should have known better.  Sticky fingers.  The beach was awesome by the way.  I went with Mick, Shane & Medellin.  I was swimmin in my clothes since I left my suit in Key West.  Trying to ride the waves with the Aussies.  Practicing.

No worries.  When I got home I strip searched my stuff & found all the contents of my pockets.  I vaguely remember now taking all the soaking documents out, stuffing them in my bag & hanging my pants up to dry.  Lucky I had.  Now I know, despite all the cautions or whatever, to be careful.  My plans have changed one hundred times in the past week alone, now they change again.

We went from resort style beaches & Mexican public transit to grocery shopping & asking innocent enough questions about a language.  "How do you say We're going shipping?"  One of my favourite things is the receipt I got from the veggies we bought for dinner & my soapy products.  Marcos knows his way around something fierce, despite being from Dallas.  He says knowing our "resort" that the rum will be done before 11pm.  The resort lifestyle is not so glamourous either, but this is practically all inclusive.  Medellin keeps making us burritos or quesadillas with traditional quacamole.  Spicy!  Shit! 

This hostel is the coolest.  Eat whatever you want in the fridge, sleep in however late you want...  The people are super cool, navy shower policy, & AC in the bedrooms.  The tv's been on with House, Law & Order, or Austin Powers all night (Spanish subtitles).  It's got a good rating online because of it.  3 hammocks on the patio, cool music & your stuff is pretty safe.  Somebody is pouring me a cuba (rum & coke) as we speak (but only because they drank all of mine).  See what I mean?  All these girls around me are speaking Spanish & I'm picking it up once & awhile.  My beginner spanish is getting me by alright - better than my beginner kiswahili for sure.  One day I will end up back here & somewhere on the road I will definately see some of these guys again.  Especially Helen from Melbourne I met tonight who plans to go west & surfing!  I will head there quickly & meet her there.  Imagine that!

Medellin knows this band called Los Fabulosos Cadillacs who she refuses to share with me!  But they are so good!  They are like Suenalo!  Who are also good.  You guys are so behind.

Thursday at 7 sounds good.  I will put in a super duper effort.  Even if it means missing the sunset.

Monday, November 1, 2010

FINALLY!!!

Arrived in Cancun.  I almost tagged along with some foreigners to Playa Del Carmen, but waanted to hit up the Skype thing quickly.  Missed it by a couple hours.  I am the only girl staying in the hostel.  A bunch of us are going out tonight.  Today was All Saint's Day & tomorrow is Day of the Dead!  I didn't miss it!!!

How's your sense of humour?

I just almost missed my flight.  I was sitting for about 3 hours outside gate E9, until boarding's getting close & there's still no action.

I am sitting in seat E9.
......
Christ.

Taking off, ya hosers!

**I've added pictures to a couple posts, so they are worth revisiting**

Fort Lauderdale Airport

This scrambled egg sandwich is made with love.  I can taste it.  Maybe it's because it's less about the sandwich than the situation.  I'm curled up by at outlet at 7am in my pajamas, eating my perfectly-grilled tinfoil-wrapped breakfast with my OJ.  We need to have picnics like this more often.
(Brooke I know you're reading!  Thanks for everything!)

Fantasy Fest was absolute madness.  I've never experienced anything like it.  Tuesday night I got body painted on the street, and even though it was freaking me out, it took going to Walgreens & eating pizza with Bryan to calm me down.  Went to see Entrain that night at the Alamo!  That was the last time I saw Bryan.

Wednesday was the night a couple tried to pick me up.  It was 3:30am-ish, and the woman bee-lined across the street to tell me how hot I was.  Sitting between Cameron & Damon, I got more advances than they did.  It's nice getting looks when I'm one of the only women in the street with my clothes on.  I was pretty uncomfortable, but I'm pretty good at making awkward situations my own.  This was too much though.  Dancing around.  All Damon could say was "I'm so jealous...."

Thursday was the arrival of Wendy.  C was working, & D was with Wendy, so I wandered on my own.  Traipsed over to the world's largest toga party at Sloppy Joe's!  I think it's super/mad funny that one night is fancy - white lace or serious bondage type dress - while the next night it's dressed down.  Like casual Thursdays.  Togas!  I could have pulled that one off, but didn't want to steal my friend's silk sheets.  The best part of this night was running into Paul across the street from the Red Elvises at the Green Parrot.  He played a bluegrass gig earlier that day, and made all this huge contacts.  Former mayor Tom Sawyer, his wife Kelly, a local promoter, a man who's sailed around the world...  We sat on the street drinking beer & dropping in periodically for a song or two from the Elvises.  Pretty good band!  Tom says he could get us into the parade on his float.  .........wait, what?!

The night before had a scene similar to this, where Damon, Paul & I were sitting across from the Parrot singing Johnny Quest thinks we're Sellouts & Dopeman.  Dude!  Made my day!  Damon was like "yeah!  LTJ!  I hung out with those guys for awhile..."  How are we just having this conversation now?  My heart is soaring!

Friday was a recovery day from our late nights.  Ah yes, Friday was the day we called it in early.  There was one night I succeeded at the impossible, & we woke up next to the pool at 7:15am.  There was one night I discovered how close it is to walk anywhere on the island, & the night I was given a She-Ra tiara from a Mexican on a bike.  There was one day we didn't leave the house until after sunset.  One night I called it in early from the bar, and wandered down the pier, and down the beach on imported sand taking the long way home.  Justin, C's roomate, was groping Damob's costume before he realized he actually knew us.  I kept almost getting hit by the ceiling fan when I was dancing on the bar at the Alamo.  One entire day Damon was completely lost & next time we saw him he had a job & his hands were butchered up from an 8ft sailfish.  I definately broke Cameron's pirate hook in 3 pieces at some point, and got schooled at pool many a time.  That's right!  that must have been Friday!  Justin made me a delicious rum cocktail in a coconut that was surprisingly heavy.  He wields a machete like a motherfucker!  Cameron's right - all the days this week blend together.

For Saturday I had been told to show up down the block at 6pm in a stripper outfit.  My friends are all fairly sure strippers don't wear clothes.  I figure I could do bodypaint, or just go in my underwear or something.  I showed up as is - holy NOFX shirt & all - drinking Four Loko with Damon on my tail at once complaining how he can no longer stand and in the same breath saying things like "I'm in this for the long haul."  Our float is from the Key West Golf Course.  All the men dressed as Tiger, and all the women as strippers.  Paul lucked out & got a red collared tee & black shorts from the Salvation Army.  From our angle, this parade looks un-believable!  We finangled ourselves some wristbands & a red tee for Damon.  Unreal!  I can't believe this is happening!  Ours was the only float with an open bar.  Dancing all night!  Flirting with men streetside.  I would pick beads up off the ground & gave them to people who had none, usually older guys.  The street kids are taking over!!!  Next year Paul's running for mayor!  I wasn't even flowing as much as the other paraders, cause I'd have half a drink & give the rest to Paul, sitting on his crutches at the back of the float.  30,000 people were there taking pictures & singing along!

Cameron slept through the parade.  Some people here are just as lame as people back home.  Hahahahaha!

I got off the parade & went to some girl's house who was in the parade.  Wandered Duval awhile, ending at Mallory Square watching the silhouettes of the fish.  So cool!  Took a nap there by the water, then wandered back to Cameron's later.  Got pretty trashed.  The next day there were questions.  My texts from last night say things like "I'm not sure where I am...I'm going to work on that first" & "Sitting on the balcony at the Alamo.  Sniper mode is on.  Watch yourself!"  I have a stamp on my hand from Cowboy Bill's....but if I was there, why didn't I go mechanical bull riding?  Where did my tiara go?  Why are my legs so sore & what are these scratches from?  By the time I got back I had completely sobered up.  It was a long night.

During the parade I lost my camera, and ran back a couple floats to find it - somebody said they'd put it in the cab of the float we were following.  The driver didn't know what we were talking about, but I think they meant the bar...  Bummer.  But i got a wicked phone secondhand with a camera on it!

Got a ride through CSing with this guy Mike who came down for the weekend from St Petersburg.  He rented an RV for 25$ a day.  Sweet ride!  I am not picky with rides, or meeting CSers in gerenal, but I guess I passed all these tests he had for me.  We went down to Miami Beach & met with the Ft Lauderdale crowd, and Brooke & Bryan.  I was his first experience using the site, & everybody was super welcoming & hospitable.  Man!  Lincoln Road ruled!  Huge party!  Tons of fun!  Brooke & Allan made the news with their costumes - her & Bryan were 80's arobics instructors, and Allan was a fisherman with a shark hat covered in blood.  Leaving early was fine with me.  Life is going to kill me shortly.

Didn't eat Key Lime Pie & didn't ride the mechanical bull - my two missions for the week.  Also didn't get green plaid, or any plaid.  Did get body painted though...

-x-x-x-x-x-

...my missions aren't failures just yet.  This place has a crazy hold on me, like the island from Lost.  I am somehow magnetically drawn to it, and I have no control over it.  My flight is boarding right now, & I am not on it.  I've always wanted to be That Guy who gives up their flight for cash & prizes & free flights.  By giving this up I get a free roundtrip through Spirit to anywhere they fly, meal vouchers, & transportation to Miami, where I fly out later tonight.  (Little do they know is if I have bought a ticket on the overbooked flight, I am never there.)

How many flights have I missed so far?  The answer is 4.  In two weeks.  I am 20ft away from where I fell asleep 13 days ago.

A tally of the things I lost in Key West:
-camera
-Tilly hat
-a blue bra
-bathing suit
-rechargable batteries
-SD card reader
-CKUW sweater
-sunglasses
+sunglasses
+a cool touch phone w camera

All of the most valuable things I had assessed I wouldn't want to lose when I was in Africa - I have lost already.  My hat, notebook & camera.  My hat is with a friend & is ready to get shipped out at any time.  That & I have Damon on the trail for my camera, which should have GPS hooked into it.  I mean, really.  And I don't need my camera accessories if I don't have it.  Now, my most valuable piece is this computer.  I have used it so many times.  This post is so long, can you tell I've been here all morning?