Central America | Mexico | Pacific Coast | Oaxaca | Puerto Escondido – proving once again She has a sense of humor
If being overcharged isn’t enough to make you move out of a hotel, your neighbors will probably help it along.
I’d spent two weeks riding with a surfer from Northern California all the way down the Pacific coast of the United States and Mexico. I finally had enough when we reached Puerto Escondido and got out of the car to start my journey alone.
God tends to remind me on a pretty regular basis that She has a sense of humor. Mostly, She does this by sending Her guardian angels in very, very curious packages.
I’d been let out on the ‘surfer side’ – the overpriced, bar-ridden side where everyone goes to party and only the surfers (and tourists) stay to sleep.
My next door neighbors were a couple of bleached out surfers from london and capetown, south africa. within an hour, a grill had been brought out in front of our rooms, a local fisherman and his wife were hired to catch and cook, and a party ensued. within another hour, at least 100 surfers and the idiotic women who love them had planted themselves out in front of our hotel room.
the next morning i awoke at 7am. after i took my earplugs out and turned off the fan i realized surf rock was still blasting from the room next door.
i’d found a cheaper hotel room in the center of town the previous day and had made plans to move into it – i was going to move into town, and then spend the day getting shipping a pile of stuff back home, making travel plans to get to guatemala, and getting the heck out of this slightly-seedy dodge where local Mexican kids yell ‘get out of Escondido!’ at cars with American plates.
thankfully, mexicans get up early – you need those morning hours to get anything done. siestas make total sense, as by noon the heat here is so oppressive it’s beach or hammock and nothing else (somehow in all of this, Mexicans wear jeans). i got my package together, grabbed a taxi to the other side of town, and tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to explain where i wanted to go.
After once again being overcharged, i was dropped off at a hardware store. i didn’t question it at first – this is Mexico, a place where it’s actually likely that FedEx gets sent right behind the plumbing supplies.
i tried to explain that i needed a box to FedEx my bag of stuff – wrote it on a piece of paper, but without knowing the word for ‘box’ i drew a square and eventually I thought we’d made contact.
‘AH!’ he said, and went off and found me a box.
after that, we were at a roadblock and it started to become clear that no packages would be sent from this store.
That’s when my guardian angel arrived.
Or, rather, her breasts arrived.
All of a sudden, in Spanish-tinted English, a monumental pair of breasts housed in a white tank top asked me what I needed.
I explained to breasts what I was trying to do. She whisked me off in her jeep and we spent the next few hours running around town. We ran her errands. We ran my errands.
After all was said and done, the breasts looked at me and said, ‘I have a house, you want to come see it? Let’s go get your bags so you can check out of the hotel, and after we go to my place I’ll take you back to town.’
I am quickly slipping into manana territory and dreading both the conversation involved to arrange the trip and the hours-long bus ride to Guatemala. And my best travel experiences have almost always been preceeded by a ‘screw it’, so i went.
Long story slightly shorter, for a few days I wound up staying in what was once the maid’s quarters of her house. The house itself, which my apartment was attached to, sits at the top of a cliff overlooking a small, quiet beach on the edge of town. The beach seems to be uninteresting to everyone except a few local gringos and the hostel tenants, which for me is perfect. Having oysters for dinner meant yelling down the cliff to order with the fisherman below, and then walking a set of stairs half a block away that drops you off on the beach. When I lifted my head from the pillow, I looked at the ocean. All for less than a dorm bed at the nearby hostel.
My mammarial guardians were attached to a 38-year-old bipolar Mexican-American divorcee from Dallas. She was also an ex-truck driver and (of course, because it just wouldn’t make any sense otherwise), a stripper. The double-D breasts were hers because she bought them.
Her mother was also in-house at the time. She was a full-blooded Mazatec from Oaxaca. At some point in her early 30’s, on her way to virginal spinsterhood, a Swedish man twice her age came through, offered her a lifetime of never having to work again in exchange for having his children, and she bit.
Elizabeth, my guardian angel, was the result of this. Somewhere along the line, her mother became a Jehovah’s Witness. Whenever she’d come to visit Elizabeth, she’d go preach in the streets all day, and then come home to cluck at me with my tattoos and cigarettes. She was about five feet tall, brown as a brazil nut, and dressed all in white. She seemed as unsure about the creature she’s created as any of us.
It’s funny, I never would have picked Puerto Escondido as a place to sit down for a second, but so it goes. The message was driven further home when we went to visit a friend of hers. He’s an ADD-addled Brit in his 40’s who bought a set of bungalows a year ago, tucked away in town.
The two of them together were a raucous package I can hardly handle, but for some reason, he wanted me to do some work on his website, and after meeting his graphic designer I just couldn’t say no.
In a country of brown people, I of course found a blue-eyed, long-eyelashed and angelic dutch boy (and, I think the only other person here who doesn’t surf), and so I spent the earlier hours of that later night/next morning sitting on my deck, looking out over the pacific ocean and talking about literature, psychedelic drugs, travel and computers, passing some local back and forth and wondering how long it would be before I got to smooch the latest in people who seem to randomly pass through my life on the road.
As if it weren’t all hysterical enough, the angelic little thing had a tattoo on his right bicep. It said, simply, ‘VIRGIN’.
Geez, you can hardly blame me, right?