Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mexico - Chapter Two

Another difference between Tuesday night and Wednesday night is that on Tuesday we had a camera and on Wednesday we did not: "Por el vino me quede sin camara"...  Where it went, no one knows.  Chris, always the optimist, still thinks it will show up.  Anyone know what I think?

Without tequila or a camera on Wednesday night he drank beer and I drank red wine. I read aloud to Chris from a memoir of short stories by Augusten Burroughs called Possible Side Effects. I highly enjoy hearing the sound of my own voice, lisp and all, so whenever I get a chance to read out loud I gladly take it. This is probably the real reason why I'm an elementary school teacher.  Anyhow, I read to Chris for a couple of hours, which he described as "like watching an indy (independent) movie" and then we drifted off to sleep believing that Thursday would be spent in the same fashion as the last two days had.  This did not turn out to be the case.

Thursday began as most others had thus far.  Chris went out for a morning surf and I propped myself up on the thin green hammock to read.

After reading a few of Hemingway's short stories - one about bull fighters in Spain and another one about a boy named Nick who has his heart broken by an Indian girl - I decided to use all the free time I had to start writing my next blog post.  I got a pen and small notebook out of my purse and began this blog.  When Chris returned from the salty grip of the Pacific ocean we walked up to the dining room for breakfast. We both ordered waffles: mine with fruit and his with fruit, bacon, eggs, and a hash brown - the "Surfer's Special" they call it.  While sipping our coffee we contemplated what to do that afternoon and we thought it would be a good idea to walk southeast along the main dirt road to the tiny town of Troncones where we could stock up on water, beer, and wine.  The American prices at the inn were not outrageous, but they were not the Mexican prices that we knew we could pay instead.  We asked our waitress if it was safe to walk to town and she answered, in perfect English, that it was safe but very muddy since it had rained so much during the night.  She recommended that we walk to Troncones along the beach instead of along the main road.

An hour later, after walking over old volcanic rocks, dredging through sand, and sweating profusely, we had made it to Troncones.  We knew we were near the center of town because the hotels and restaurants along the side of the beach became more numerous and closer together.  We were both completely soaked with sweat so we shared a bottle of water at the Burro Borracho (Drunken Donkey). Afterwards we meandered through the tiny center of town looking at jewelry, art work, and random souvenirs.  We wanted to buy some cheap rings that we could use as our wedding bands when traveling abroad.  We eventually found one for me while sipping a cold beer at a hotel with a restaurant on the beach.  A young man was selling handmade silver jewelry from his backpack to the patrons of the establishments dotting the beach side and he had many rings to choose from.  Unfortunately for Chris, the rings were all designed for women.  Upon finishing our bottle of beer we walked to the "mini-super" and bought all of our essential provisions: a twelve pack of beer, two bottles of red wine, and two large jugs of water. We had just enough pesos left to ride the small busito back to where we were lodging.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent just as those before: surfing, swimming, drinking, reading, writing, staring at the ocean, and thinking about life.  Occasionally we would wonder about the whereabouts of our camera.  For dinner we shared tuna ceviche and a fajita plate for dinner, washed down with beer and wine.

A light rain had formed, cooling down the evening, so we took our beverages to the beach to watch the sun extinguish under the ocean.  We took another dip in the pool and retreated once the thunder sounded closer. Back in our room Chris mentioned feeling a physical strangeness - a headache and weirdness in his stomach.  Since we were staying at a place managed by two Americans and owned by two Americans from California, a place that was not cheap, I did not think the uneasiness Chris felt could have been anything we had eaten so I attributed it to the alcohol.  Thinking nothing more of it we settled into bed and I read Chris several of Hemingway's short stories. Soon we were alseep only to be woken by Montezuma's Revenge on Chris. According to Wikipedia (don't tell my 17th century literature teacher I used it as a source) Monctezuma II was the ruler of the Aztec Empire in Mexico when the Europeans, specifically the Spanish, defeated them.  Monctezuma was killed during an invasion led by Spaniard Hernando Cortes. Folklore tells us that Monctezuma's spirit exists to revenge his death and the eventual fall of his empire.  The best way he saw fit to distribute his revenge was to inflict travelers of European lineage (hence Chris, who has Croatian in him) with violent diarrhea. This revenge seems flawed to me, though, because I also have European ancestry in me from my father's side - German blood - yet I rarely suffer from traveler's diarrhea.  My grandmother's maiden name is Gutknecht, you really can't get more German than that!  Yet for some reason my mom's Colombian ethnicity trumped the European one and I look like a Colombian girl that descended from Indians.  Whenever I wear my hair in two long braids I always am compared to, and called, "Pocahontas".  This all leads me to believe that Monteczuma is quite superficial and only dishes out his crappy revenge to those that look European.  It's unfair but I really can't complain - I'm definitely fortunate to have a strong stomach.

Within what seemed like a few minutes after falling asleep I was awakened by the sound of Chris retching violently into the toilet.  Four hours later the same scenario occurred and after that he stopped vomiting.  The vomit had been replaced by a terrible case of diarrhea that kept Chris, literally, running to the bathroom every, literally, thirty minutes. Each time I prayed it would be the last and finally, at some unknown, dark hour, we both managed to fall asleep and stay asleep until sunrise.


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