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Don't Deny Subconsciousness
by xander-man
( Male from NY, USA )

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mexico trip day 1
03-19-12 09:18 PM

from last tuesday through last night, kim and i spent her spring-break in cancun mexico.  it was a terrific vacation, and a fun adventure.  kim arranged the details while sitting bored in class only a few shorts weeks prior to our trip... i stayed away from the planning part.  kim did a terrific job as this trip went largely hassle free!  neither of us had been to mexico before (i think i was there when i was 2 years old or something... doesn't count), but we had a bunch of preconceived notions/stereotypes going into the trip, that i will address as i write this entry.  mark twain said 'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.'  there is so much truth in this quote... 'don't go to france!  the french are snooty and hate americans!'  nope.  'don't go to mexico!  the mexicans are so lazy, and you'll probably get shot, or kidnapped, or you'll get dysentery from the dirty/nasty food and water.'  nope.

day 1:
3am alarm, kim and i get up and drive to the buffalo airport for a 6am flight.  we fly from buffalo to DC, then DC to cancun... all smooth flights, and minimal layover time.  arrived in cancun at 11am!  the flight from DC to cancun only had 30 people or so on board (leaving dozens of seats empty) which was surprising to me since i heard cancun was such a 'spring break' hot-spot.  one minor on-board crisis on the flight to cancun:  we had to fill-out a mexican immigration card declaring where we would be staying, and all of this other information... the aircraft only had the 'spanish-only' cards, and strangely, NO one on the flight was comfortable enough in their spanish language skills, to complete the card... NO one on the flight spoke spanish, on a plane heading to mexico?  ah well, it turned out one of the passengers had an english language card, that got passed around to each passenger to help with translation.  i suggested to the flight attendant 'just go on the loud-speaker, and go through each question 1-10 using the master-card!'  she says to me 'well, that would interupt people watching the on-board movie.'  me:  'new year's eve?  no one's watching that crap.'  she laughs and moves on.  i guess i shouldn't be surprised that a reasonable suggestion would be totally ignored forcing all passengers to bumble through the work as inefficiently as possible.

we land in cancun... 80F... sunny... beautiful.  we pass through customs and separately through immigration, pick up our bag and head out towards the entrance.  i was warned 'watch out for pick-pockets, and watch out for people trying to get you to attend time-share meetings!'  nope!  i didn't see ONE time-share person the ENTIRE trip (much less the airport).  anyhow, while kim was in the restroom, i found the airport's 'foreign currency' booth... 10 pesos for 1 US dollar.  this seemed low to me as i was expecting at least 11.5 or 12, so i suggested to kim we wait.  our shuttle bus was air-conditioned and comfortable, with the driver offering to sell us 2 beers for 5 bucks before we even had out bags put inside.  the drive to the hotel had me a bit apprehensive... kim was struggling to comprehend the shuttle driver (despite her decent high school/college education in spanish) and i felt pretty uncomfortable overall for some unknown reason.  needless to say, these feelings dissipated within the next 6 hours or so.  the hotel 'the flamingo' was right in the heart of the hotel-zone right along the beautiful ocean-front.  i was disappointed to find that our room wouldn't be available for another couple of hours after our arrival, so we hauled our belongings (including cash) down to the beach to sun-bathe and test the ocean-water.

after 3pm, we check into our room... spacious... air-conditioned... well maintained.  beautiful!  what to do, what to do?  we head down to the lobby and inquire about the local transportation from the hotel-zone down-town.  i also convert 300 american dollars to pesos (12.1:$1 conversion... win!).  the bus-stop is immediately in front of our hotel (very convenient!).  we hop-on, with a few local mexicans... 8.5 pesos each way, per person on the bus... (less than $1 to travel many miles!  win!).  now, here's where kim and i were short-sighted... again, kim was not yet confident about her language skills, so we 'guessed' which stop to get off to find the large market we read about.  the bus was becomining packed with mexicans (no other americans), and a couple of kids with clown make-up/red-noses got on to entertain the passengers by having an 'abbott & costello' style dialogue loudly on the bus.  kim and i were sitting there uncomfortably as the kids eventually got to us to have a laugh at our expense.  ha... ha.  ah well... they were kind-spirited though (in fact, everyone on the bus was either quiet, or content to chit-chat in low/friendly voices (except the two comedians of course)).  so we pass the hotel-zone, make it into the city, and eventually reach a point where it seems like there are tons of locals walking around with food, and a lot of the passengers got off, so kim and i got off as well.  probbbbbbbably not our smartest idea ever.  hundreds of mexicans wandering around going about their evening routine, but no market-place to be found, no little-restaurants... no nothing.  just a lot of mexicans, a million cars driving every which-way, and the most confusing street-signs in the intersections that i have run-across to date.  we had a map that may as well have been a map of north america... notttt exactly conveying the level of detail we needed to navigate these streets.  'okay according to the map, we're in... mexico.  so i guess... keep walking straight?'  after wandering around like fools for 25 minutes or so (with a grumpy 'don't mess with us' george-costanza face, in an attempt to dissuade locals from approaching us), we boarded another bus to head-back to the hotel zone.  after 5 minutes or so on the bus, we realized where we should have exited, as a hand-ful of drunken obnoxious white tourists boarded and promptly sat down in the part of the bus reserved for pregnant women and crippled people.  dammit.  i wanted to jump off here and keep wandering around, but kim wanted to return to the hotel.  bummer.  thankfully, when we returned to the hotel, there was a little local restaurant 'habeneros' 50 yards from the hotel, serving local cuisine (price for dinner was approx $5 total for kim and i!).  the owner was very friendly and showed us photos from a vacation-book praising 'isla mujeres,' where he encouraged us to visit.  then it was back up to our rooms, and time to crash for the night (after inspecting the bed for evidence of bed-bugs).

a quick aside:  kim and i took several bus-trips from the hotel-zone to down-town, and i was always amazed that at any time we were travelling, there were dozens and dozens of mexicans hard at work either in construction jobs (i'm used to watching city workers where there are 8 guys standing around for every 1 or 2 guys working), or tending to the land-scaping, or painting... all hard at work.  nice.

more to come....


There are 5 pictures attached to this entry.
[hotel-room view] [me] [kim] [me beach] [me kim]

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by skyrider, 03-19-12 10:06 PM   
I am so jealous right now! Damn, I need a vacation!
by girl i know<3, 03-19-12 10:45 PM   
You two are adorable together!
It sounds like a well deserved and awesome vacation.
I'm extremely jealous.
by 4myeyesonly, 03-19-12 11:11 PM   
I remember you telling me you weren't going to be in town, but I had NO idea where you were going. Nice to hear you had a good time. Can't wait for the rest.
by nedlat, 03-20-12 09:10 AM   
Nicely done. cancun is close to cuba. didn't know that. did you go to isla mujeres? It's great to get out of america/europe and discover how cheap things can be in other countries.
by ♥bbygrl, 03-20-12 10:47 AM   
kim is gorgeous! i'm trying to figure out how much it would cost me to go to cancun next year for my own spring break!
by sweetstrawberry, 03-20-12 03:45 PM   
Awesome view!
by karabeara, 03-20-12 03:47 PM   
the bus experience would give me so much anxiety!! sounds like you two handled it like pros though, without any major mishaps.
The view from the hotel = GORGEOUS!! the water is so blue, it looks fake. Kim is rockin' an AWESOME tan - i'm jealous :-D
by xander-man, 03-21-12 10:03 AM   
hahah yeah the bus-ghetto trip... kinnnnd of scary. yeah kim has an epic-tan. :-D


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