Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rock you like a hurricane

I feel bad that I haven't blogged in a while. Part of it is that my usual internet connection at home has become flakier and I have to perch my computer in a very uncomfortable place (the back of a Volkswagen?) to get signal, which is amenable to checking other people's blogs, but not really updating my own. Also, worky worky, etcetera. The panic about needing to have enough juju to sell myself on the job market come next winter is beginning to set in.

You may recall Cricket spent Thanksgiving with my family, which went well. Certainly not the disaster foretold by stage and screen. She found them agreeable and charming, and they were of course smitten with her, and I'd like to think it was due to her qualities beyond being the first girlfriend I've brought home for the holidays, or even the first girlfriend my parents have met.

Being a long-distance type thing, we'd been planning a serious vacation for some time, and being poor but curious we opted for our NAFTA partner, and flew into Cancun on December 15. I had no desire to spend any time in Cancun proper, mostly because (like the Caribbean) it seems it's only worthwhile if you chuck a few thousand at the vacation and stay in one of the inclusive resorts. I've also just had waaay too many drunken all-night parties with topless Spring Breakin' (or snowbirding) hotties hanging on my every word; that scene just gets old, you know? Cricket of course understood this completely, so we rented a car as soon as we got out of the airport and headed south along the Caribbean coast. When she signed the rental agreement it said "manual" and I of course don't drive stick, so she (fatefully) signed up to be the only driver. We of course ended up with an automatic, leaving me the perplexing choice of being perpetual navigator and sleeping while she drove, or being a terrible boyfriend who doesn't want to risk trouble even if it means letting his girlfriend drive 1000 km or so herself.

Fact about Mexico: gas is nationalized and costs the same everywhere! Even in middle-of-nowhere places where you'd totally get gouged in the States. Sure, the attends try to screw you occasionally by starting the meter at a nonzero value, but hey- it keeps you on your toes!

We pulled into Tulum's hotel zone in the late afternoon. Tulum is home to some fancy ruins and really pretty beaches. Everyone who comes to the Yucatan goes to Cancun; of those people, probably half see Chichen Itza, and probably 5% go to Tulum as well, with essentially nobody doing anything else. So already we felt like members of a secret elite. Unlike my boss who recommended the town, we didn't stay in the all-inclusive extravaganza north of town, but in a cute 10-room or so hotel right on the beach. The rates hadn't yet tripled for the Christmas high season, which was nice.

Our room had saltwater faucets and showers, a brand-new mosquito net on the bed, and you could fall asleep with the crashing of waves. While we unloaded our stuff, Cricket pointed out one minor problem:

The view from near our room:

More to come. Novel-lenth blog-posts, so gauche.