Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Honeymoon Story: Part 3


If you haven't already, reading  
is a good idea.


A Honeymoon Story 
AKA
 The First Episode of a Longstanding Tradition in Unlucky Travels and How I Came to Appreciate American Soil 
I.E.
The Mexico Debacle
PART THREE



We did manage to find our little hotel with no problems.  I use the term "hotel" loosely.  mr made all of our honeymoon arrangements himself and he thought it would be much more romantic to stay in a little cabana on the beach, off the beaten path, secluded and tucked away, than it would be to stay in a large, overpopulated resort.  And under normal circumstances he would be right - that would be more romantic.  But these were not normal circumstances.  These were completely stressful Murphy’s Law kind of circumstances. 


Once we located the front entrance and checked in (easier said than done), we were directed to our small, one room hut.  There was no air conditioning and no hot water.  Actually, with no air conditioning - no hot water was a blessing.  But there was no cold water either.  Just this tepid, sun-warmed water, even in the jug they left us to drink from.  There was also no electricity except for a few hours in the evening because the whole cluster of cabanas ran on one small generator.  Which meant we only enjoyed the delicious relief of the ceiling fan for two hours every night.  The door was locked with a padlock - from the OUTSIDE - and the windows didn’t lock at all.  And above all, we shared this cabana with a gigantic, hairy spider which we nicknamed Jorge, El Stupendo.  Oh, and halfway through our stay, a large lizard named Bob moved in.  I believe he may have eaten Jorge.  Though I have no proof. 
All of the above I could have tolerated in the name of romance.  Really.  The hammocks were heavenly.  The beach was miraculous.  
The view all around was inexplicable.  BUT, the next morning we discovered that this “hotel” had no phone.  Not even for emergencies.   We were told to go around the corner and buy a phone card from a small shop - but not just any phone card.  A “Telmex,” because apparently they were cheaper and "better" than normal ones.  (What does that MEAN??)  When we got to the shop, I asked for said "specific card", but she had none - she only sold "normal ones".  I bought it anyway and tried it right away on the pay phone just outside.  No luck.  Just some Spanish rattled off much too quickly for me to understand.  We drove to a different phone and tried again.  No luck.  (Really??)  I grew desperate and tried to ask the operator if she could connect me to the United States – “Uh, necesitamos llamar los estados unidos…” – but this was a mistake because she then thought I was fluent in Spanish, despite my ridiculously lousy accent.  Since I couldn’t understand a word of her reply, I hung up hastily, fearing I may have just told her I needed to wrestle the wet cat or something equally ridiculous.  So we drove back to the hotel and begged for help.  The guys there told me to go into the village and try.  “These phones on the beach, they are no good,” they explained.  mr thought this was absolutely ridiculous.  As if the phones in town would magically work when nothing else would.  There was nothing else for it, though.  We had to try.
We searched and searched for a regular pay phone, but all they had in town were Telmex phones.  Wishing I had waited and purchased a Telmex phone card somewhere else, I finally decided to try the normal card on the Telmex phone because I was desperate and it was hot.  And, miraculously (or not miraculously, to this day I don’t know what the difference in the cards or phones are) it worked.
mr was finally able to call the bank back and we stood in the sweltering sun on the corner hoping for good news.  When mr hung up, I could tell there was no good news.  We were approved for an extended credit line, but due to the aforementioned miscalculations and carelessness, it was completely used up with our debt already.
There we sat on a small step beside a steamy alley, watching tourists walk in and out of shops, counting shabby cars drive by, sweating in the oppressive humidity.  We sat in silence, each of us at a loss as to what to do.  I had visions of being hauled away by a corrupt police department and rotting in a rat infested jail cell while we tried unsuccessfully to contact the American Embassy and our parents held press conferences to convince the Mexican government to free us.  
We sat a bit longer, our mouths watering at the smell of Mexican food drifting our way from vendors and open air restaurants.  We sat, sad and drained and hopeless.  My visions changed to Jaime hiring the Mexican mafia to break our kneecaps or deposit us at the bottom of the ocean where we would likely become fish food.  I knew mr was thinking the same thing when he sighed and resigned himself to calling his parents for help.
I’m not sure if his parents knew the extent of the situation at that point.  I know it’s a good thing mine did not.  But they informed us that they intended to give us a monetary wedding present anyway, so they would deposit it in our account as soon as they hung up.
Feeling ashamed, yet relieved, that we would have enough money to pay our debtors and do fancy things like eat, we called Jaime to let him know we had the rest of the payment for the car.
Later that night, (after we'd already gone to bed to be precise) Jaime appeared (woke us up) and collected his cash.  I'm sure he was hoping he'd have no more trouble with this particular clientele - and trust me, so were we. 
Things went remarkably smoothly for a few days.

At one point, mr left the car lights on all day while parked in the hotel parking lot, and when the staff finally told us, we were sure we’d have car trouble - but amazingly we didn’t.  We visited two Mayan ruins (in Tulum and Coba) and both times it poured on us... and when I say “poured” what I really mean is that the skies cracked open and let loose a torrential onslaught of never-ending water which soaked us through to the bone, creating rivers down the pathways and waterfalls down the stairs and ruining everything in our backpack, including a novel mr had borrowed from his mom.  There was no possible way to get wetter than we were in that tropical storm - unless perhaps we had jumped into the ocean with our clothes on.  
While at the Tulum ruins, my purse was stolen out of our car.  You’d think this would be the low point of the entire trip, but fortunately I had been wise enough not to keep anything of value in it at all.  I had simply been using it to tote around our lunch of soggy peanut butter sandwiches.  There was no visible sign of forced entry to the car, and the thieves were nice enough to politely lock the doors after themselves.  
Also at Tulum, mr got horrible sunburn - the worst part of that being that we couldn’t locate aloe anywhere - and our camera batteries died which was depressing because of course we hadn’t thought to bring extra from home.  I bought a disposable camera for the rest of the trip.  None of these small annoyances phased us, though, for we had already survived much worse!  Nothing could stop us from having the most perfect time on our honeymoon!
On our last full day in Mexico, mr decided that it was time to throw caution to the wind.  We’d had a lot of stress, and he wanted one full day of fun with no worries.  We settled on a trip to Xel-Ha, 

an eco-park not too far from our cabana with beautiful nature walks, scuba diving by the carnivorous fish, 

coves for snorkeling, caves, cenotes, 

cliffs to jump off, a river to float down, hammocks, massage parlors, swimming with the dolphins and fantastic restaurants.
We couldn’t do everything, so we picked some things that looked exciting and spent the day walking,

floating, jumping, swinging, 

snorkeling

and eating our stress away.  
At the end of the day, we got dressed and headed back to our car.  Then mr said those fateful words - "Do you have the car keys?"








*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!
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