Mexico: Part 5

We arrived without anywhere to stay again. So after Sergio made a couple of phone calls to places, he found somewhere a couple of blocks away, but ever since the hostel in Acapulco, people were insistant on seeing a place before we booked it. So 4 people went off to check out the hotel. I stayed with the bags with Lauren and Susan. I was the only one happy to stay in the Acapulco hostel, so my standards are clearly the lowest of the group, so I figure, if they're happy, then I'm happy, so it seems a little pointless me going. There's a McDonalds across from the bus station and Susan goes for an ice cream there, which leaves me and Lauren alone. This was a problem. I'm the kind of person who gets stupid ideas. Normally I'll be surrounded by sensible people who don't want to join in and they fizzle out. So when I suggested to Lauren that we get drunk at the bus station, a normal person would've shot me down. This didn't happen. Before the others had got back from walking 2 blocks, we'd started with a shot of tequila and had the cards out to play drinking games with other drinks. (I had pretty much a bar in my bag at this point. I kept on picking up liquors and mixers under the assumption that I was going to drink them, and then never did. I had a litre of rum, some vanilla vodka, some tequila, coke and diet coke, a couple of packs of cups and a couple of beers.) Unfortunately the others didn't take too long, so we couldn't really get started, but it was a sign of Bus station things to come. Now Mexican's aren't the most in-shape race of people. In fact I'd go so far as to say, I didn't see a single one this whole trip that I'd be willing to trade physiques with, and I'd been on junk food for 3 weeks by now. This sign at the bus station I felt captured this notion pretty well. Information, exit gates and... candy. When candy gets the same level of publicity as information, and where the buses actually leave from; I think that's when you know you're fucked.

Once we were all checked in; we had 2 interconnecting rooms; I was with Susan and jen, the others together; then the first port of call was Playa Del Carmen's famous beaches. I've gotta say... overrated. Had there been some space on the beach, it might've been nice. The water was pretty, the sand was good. But there were thousands of fucking tourists here. Any paradise is going to be ruined by an influx of people. I'd rather be at a shit beach that you could actually move in. Playa Del Carmen was supposed to be just like Cancun, but less touristy. That's what you here. But that is absolute bullshit. In Cancun, the beaches were relaxed, with a few tourists, but you could get 100 square feet of beach and sea to yourself without too much bother. This place was fuckin' sardines in a can. So we had a good swim here. I went a good distance out, which might not've been too sensible given the sharks that are supposed to be around. But I never saw any, and I needed the exercise. Once we were out the water though, the heat was so much that we were back at the hotel before long. What I don't really understand, is that most people on the beach were under umbrellas. Surely the point of coming to a beach is to get a tan. With this many people around, it damn sure isn't to relax. They were just laying under umbrellas. Seems a little strange to me.

We decide to go for a little walk through town after this. Every damn shop owner in Playa Del Carmen is beckoning us in. A group with 5 white people in; they must think we're rich. I was being offered drugs at every turn in this place as well. Not so much when we were in a group like this, but when I was on my own, every 5 yards someone would offer me a free sample of weed or coke or something. I figured this was normal for a white person in a place like this. But when I find out it's not happening to anyone else... do I look like someone who takes a lot of drugs? My favourite line of the trip from dealers was here. I'm just walking along, and this guy comes up to me, speaking in English: "Where you from amigo?" "From England" I reply. "Really!" he says. "I've got a friend from England. His names Charlie. Do you know him?" He's kind of nodding at me and smiling as he says this. And I must've been slow as hell when this happened, because it took me a while to click. "[Thinking, thinking.] No I don't think I know anyone called... Oh Charlie! I get ya. No I don't want to meet charlie thanks." And I don't know if it was my face or what; I must look like I take a lot of drugs, because whenever I said no to them, they looked all offended. "Wh-Wh--Why not?" They would get very upset that I didn't want their coke. It did get ridiculous here by the end. I got offered a lot in Acapulco, and I got offered a fair bit in Cancun. But if I was by myself, it was every 5 yards. If I had taken every free sample that I was offered, I would've been high until Christmas.

Back to today though, and it's not long before we come across this awesome little pizza place. Just sells by the slice, 20 pesos. We were only in Playa Del Carmen for four nights. I must've come back here 6 or 7 times more. This was awesome. By the end, the girl behind the counter just laughed when I walked up.

Now you remember Melissa from Cancun? She was the girl who got the bus with us to Coco Bongos. Well we run into her in the street outside this pizza place. I was never a big fan of hers... probably one of the most boring people in the world. She keeps on appearing and reappearing over the next couple of days. Very obnoxious. The kind of person it'd be fun to see get eaten by a bear. Though the others seem to like her for some reason, so she comes and goes. By this point, what we've decided is that the best thing to do, would be to get some beers, and have a few drinks on the beach. Watch the sun go down. So we go to a nearby liquor store. The store is open, but the beer fridges are chained closed, and the other alcohol is fenced off. Turns out, it's fucking Jesus day. And for some stupid reason, Jesus doesn't want you buying alcohol from a liquor store on a Sunday. Fuckin' Jesus. Since the bus station, I've been steadily drinking. I wouldn't say I was drunk at this point, maybe just confident. Lauren is the same, so about every third sentence that is ushered for the next 10 minutes, loudly includes the words, fuck Jesus. Now anyone who's read a few of these blogs will know I'm not a religious man. In fact I despise religion. To me it is fantastical bullshit that causes so many problems in the world. Now I can put up with all these bullshit religious wars etc. That is just religious people playing religion. But when fucking Jesus stops me buying my beer, well that is a step too fucking far. You want to play religion, play it on your own fucking time. When it starts fucking with my life, then fuck Jesus. It makes it my business when it starts fucking with my life. And it affects other people. Jesus pissed me off, which put me in a bad mood, which will've worked out worse for everyone else. If you want to play your little religion game, then do it on your own fucking time. Don't stop me getting drunk. That's taking it too fucking far. That's probably why that Herod guy and that Judas had him killed. He wasn't exactly the life of the fucking party was he. He probably hid all their beer. Now I'm pretty sure I offended Susan by saying fuck Jesus for the 100th time. And she said that to me. No offence Susan, but based on this trip, it's not like you're a model fucking Christian. In fact I think god will still be pissed at you right now. That's another thing I've always wondered about. Surely, you're in a religion, or you're not. What's all this half-assed religious crap nowadays. People claim to be Jewish, but eat sausages, they claim to be Christian but fuck everything under the sun. Now I'm not saying I approve of Muslims suicide bombing everything. But at least they're dedicated to their cause. They truly believe it. In the West, most people like to say they're religious, but then only follow their religion when it suits them. Like all this controversy with gay bishops now. "I'm Christian... except I like to put men's penis's in my anus." Well, I'm sure god will be really fucking happy to have you join his club. Now either you guys are going straight to hell, or the laws of your religion don't matter much. Whichever it is, the fact you are part of that religion, surely makes a mockery of the whole thing. Now I apologise if I offended any Muslims in that little tyrade. I'm a little concerned that you will come and kill me. I don't apologise to anyone else, because the worst you're allowed to do is forgive me. Haha, fuck on that. Bet you wish you'd joined a club where you could do other stuff now!

Well this whole Jesus and beer thing put a downer on the whole day. See, he's even fucking up people's holidays. Go Judas! So instead we had to get beer in a bar. I don't understand why Jesus allows that, but for some reason sitting at the beach drinking isn't allowed. Sitting in a bar drinking is. Maybe bars couldn't stay in business not opening on Sundays, so they re-wrote that bit of the bible to make it ok. We got a couple in this little place, which was essentially a restaurant. Then we went to another bar, which would've been awesome, apart from the fact they played some diabolical music. No wonder it was empty. The whole getting drunk idea had kind of been thrown by the wayside now. Jesus fucked up this whole night. So instead, there was a show or something, happening a few blocks away so we decided to go to that. And when we got there, it was really good. There were people playing Fountain with fire and it was really cool for a few minutes. Until this idiot with a guitar got on stage anyway. He was rubbish, so we didn't hang around now.

We were just leaving here, but there was a stand selling corn in one form or another. Alyssa wanted some, so I waited with my feel in this little fountain or pool. That's not a very exciting story, but it made for a nice photo. I had a bit of the corn as well. That was pretty good.

From here we went onto another bar. It had buy-one-get-one-free cocktails so we thought why not. There were 6 of us at this point: We'd lost Jen and Susan, but still had this Melissa. I think between us, we got 10 cocktails. The problem was that the bar only had one blender. And they weren't clever enough to make 2 or more of the same cocktails, in one mix. So they literally came out two by two. Fitting. I might've got angry, except our server was really hot. And it's hard to get mad at hot chics.

From here people decided to go to the beach. We hadn't seen Jen or Susan in a while, so I went back to the hotel to see if they were coming out. They were both there, and Jen came with back to the beach. By the time we get there, everyone is doing hand stands for some reason. And it seems, every couple of years I'll be on the beach and try to do a hand stand. And every couple of years, it really fucking hurts. Same thing this time. I kind of landed on my ribs and was in pain for a while. The pain is fresh enough in my mind now, that I probably won't try for another couple of years. Corn

From here, we decided to go to a club. Now I said back in Acapulco, or in Puerto Escondido, that clubs where girls get in free, and get free drinks, piss me the fuck off. This was one of the reasons that I despised Playa Del Carmen. Every damn club was like this. If you're a guy and you go out in this place, you're essentially paying for 2 people. The others were going to go into this bar; mainly because the girls had got wristbands that gave them their free-entry and free drinks, but like fuck I was going in. Luckily Jen had forgotten her ID and couldn't get in. Her and Melissa were still going to go, so they went back to the hotel to pick it up. The rest of us ended up going for a walk along the beach, before sitting in the sand looking up at the limited stars for a while. This was nice, it was relaxing. Was just chilled out for a while. After a bit though, the others headed back to the hotel. I wanted a bit of alone time, and was quite happy on the beach, so stayed for a while by myself. Not too long. Maybe 20 minutes or so, before deciding to have a look around town. Turns out that on a Sunday at this time, everything is closing, so in need of food, I ended up at 7-11. Buying a muffin. This was right by the hotel, and I thought it a little unfair to whoever was sleeping in the room to go in and start eating, so I walked to the end of the block that the hotel was on, just for the hell of it. When you're not looking out for something is when you find the greatest things. It was like heaven. I stumbled across an NFL Internet bar. It had about 10 computers, each on had the wallpaper as a different NFL team. And it had beer. What more do you want from life? So I sat here a long while by myself on the Internet. In a place like this, it didn't look weird to read 5 different websites views about the Brett Favre situation. It was awesome. And it didn't seem to close. Every other bar, apart from the nightclubs, in Playa Del Carmen had closed. This place was nicely busy still. It was awesome. It wasn't like the locals bar that I was in, in Cancun. It was quite touristy. But it had everything a man could ever want apart from strippers. It had football, and it had beer. It was awesome. I was here long enough that I didn't get back too long before Jen, who'd been out clubbing. What a bar!

The next day, it was breakfast at this pizza place for me and Serg. The others all went to this healthy cafe. Fuck that, I'm on holiday. I want pizza for breakfast. After which, it was beach again.

When we first were about to go into the water, Lauren goes first. She gets a little way in, before turning around, running to the sand saying "Get the fuck out of the water." She actually looks genuinely scared. There was nothing there, but she'd thought she'd seen a shark, so that was fun to make fun of her for, for the rest of the trip. "Get the fuck out of the water" haha. Like I think I've said before, I don't like heat. I'm essentially a cold-blooded human. I live for cool temperatures, so being out in the open of this damn Mexican heat was killing me. Lauren wasn't feeling it either, so we decided to go to a bar. We have a lot of drinking to do to make up for Jesus fucking everything up the night before. I think this NFL bar would be a good place to go; why wouldn't it be? So I tell the others, "Come out of the hotel, turn right, and it's at the end of the block." We didn't see them in that bar. Turns out by saying turn right, people think you mean turn left out of the hotel, then turn right. Ok. I didn't think they were hard instructions to follow, but apparently so for a bar on the same side of the same block as this hotel. That meant we were alone in a bar for several hours. This was a dangerous situation to be in. We came up with drinking pool. Essentially pool, where in every game you have to drink a beer and do a shot of tequila. This was an awesome way to spend the day. I didn't feel I'd spent much time with Loz this trip so far, and we were never too close back in Halifax. But I think we really bonded drinking in this bar for hours, being almost their only customers. It becomes a bit of blur from here. We got through a lot of pool and a lot of alcohol, and some nachos I seem to remember. I remember one of the members of staff putting some money into the dukebox, but then getting called away. Before he gets back we'd selected half of his songs for him. And at one time, all of the members of staff are just standing around watching us play pool, which is a little disorientating. I think they just had nothing better to do. When we tried to ask them what Lauren Drunk was up, they didn't speak English and we didn't speak Spanish so we didn't get too far, but they stopped watching after that. It was a really cool afternoon. I don't really remember much from the rest of today. Lauren was throwing up in the toilet for hours, then passed out. I have no idea what happened to me after this. And I have no photos of anything. I do have this one of Lauren unconscious. This was taken at 18:00, so I'd guess that I filled the rest of my night with something. Can't remember for the life of me what though. Probably something to do with the tequila.

Actually, I do have a vague memory of being in a club. I think that was tonight. I remember it being really shit though, and I just sat at the bar.

The next day I think was a bit of beach. That seemed to be everyday. Probably some pizza. That seemed to be everyday as well. But I honestly can't remember details. It's strange that I can remember every single detail of the early days of this trip. But now in the last place before going back to Mexico City, it all goes vague. Maybe I'd fried my brain with alcohol enough over the passed 3 weeks, that it had stopped working. It was probably just a relaxing daytime. I think I remember spending a lot of it in the hotel.

I do remember the evening though. It will've been about 16:00 by now. I was laying in bed in the hotel watching TV. Jen and Susan come back for a bit, and they say to me: "We're going to the market. You want to come?" I haven't been to the market yet, so I agree. And I have no idea where it is. Anyway, we get a few blocks away, before they tell me that they're actually not going to the market, and in fact are going to womans clothing stores. Ok. Good one. I don't know what they thought they were going to gain from telling me we were going to a market. I was in this shop less than 30 seconds before going for a walk down the street to see what else there is. It was a little annoying seeing as I was in the middle of a film in the hotel, but ok. Anyway, I tell them that I'll be back in a bit. Anytime I've been with them before, they've been in shops a minimum of 45 minutes, so I have a while. This whole street is crap to be honest. Absolutely nothing of appeal to me, so I go back to the shop after about 15 minutes to see how they're getting along. They're gone. They have the key to our room, and they're gone. They later claimed to have been in here for ages, and were probably in the changing rooms, but I don't know. I walked around the whole shop and didn't see or hear them. Having the key to our room, I'm pretty much stumped at this point. I don't really want to shop, and I can't go back to the hotel. So I decide to have a walk around Playa Del Carmen. I hadn't been to this part of the town yet, so I have a look around. I even manage to keep myself entertained in a sports store for a while. Obviously I didn't buy anything, but at least I was "shopping." Being realistic, I felt that 19:00 was enough time to give the girls to get back to the room with the key. They knew that they had the only one, and the shop where I lost them was at most a 5 minute walk from the hotel, so I assumed, that they would, even if not going back to the hotel, have the decency to drop the key off behind reception by 19:00, knowing that I would be locked out. So I walk aimlessly onto this quay. And I find a nice wall to sit on that looks over the beach. It was a really nice place to sit. It Beach was relaxing and quiet. It had a nice view. So I sat here for about 90 minutes, thinking to myself. Getting some alone time. There were even a load of crabs crawling about below, so I could watch them as well. In the end though, I go back to the hotel: It must've been about 19:30 by now, so they've had probably 3 hours or more to either get back, or drop off the key. I ask at reception. They have no keys. So I go up to the rooms, and not a sole is in. So I go back down to reception, and ask if there was any spares. He tells me that he ususally has 2 keys for both rooms, but both are gone. I didn't realise there were 2 keys, so they actaully have both of them. I'm pretty hungry, so I go to Burger King; get some dinner and kill some time. I was deliberately slow to take up more time. It had a balcony over the street, so I sit here people watching for 15 minutes once I've finished eating, just to take up more time. I go back to the hotel. "Any keys yet?" No keys yet and the rooms are still empty. I'm running out of things to do by this point, so I go up onto the roof for about half an hour. Crab Sit in the dark on some sun-loungers. Come downstairs, knock on the doors: Still nothing. So I go back upstairs for another 30 minutes. Come down, knock on the doors. Anything? Nope. So I go back to the reception, see if he's seen anything or anyone. He apologises, thinking I was in by now, but he has this old tub with a few out of use keys in. He looks through to see if there is one for my room. There isn't, but there is one for room 28, which was the others' room. So I go and wait in there. The rooms are interconnecting, but the doors are locked, so I can't get into my room this way. I lay on one of the beds and turn on the TV. After being locked out of both rooms for nearly 3 hours, I lay down for 3 minutes, and what happens, people walk in. Fucking great timing. No Jen and Susan though. I ask if anyone has seen them. "Oh. They're downstairs in the Internet cafe." After all this time; about 6 hours since I'd seen them last, and them having the keys to the room, it still hasn't even comprehended in their brains, that I might be locked out of the room. With no more words than "key", I go and get the key to the room.

This whole thing, really pissed me the fuck off. Those two don't realise how much I was doing to make sure they had a good time and were included in everything, because after Acapulco, a lot of people didn't have too much time for them. I had done more than they'll ever realise to make sure they were still included in everything. And the fact that they didn't have the courtesy to take 5 minutes out of their day to drop the key off at the reception, it pissed me off. The fact that it did not even occur to them that I was locked out of the room, it pissed me off. I had got on with them really well this trip, but fuck they'd pushed me too far right now. They were leaving the next morning. And the way I felt right now, it was good riddance. This was pretty much as pissed I got at anything this whole trip. Just no realisation or consideration that I was locked out, in the 6 hours between seeing them; it pissed me off. They still hadn't even realised, and we saw them in a liquor store about 10 minutes later. Someone says something to them. The absolute final straw, was Susan's reaction: "Well you were the one that left us." Now I was pissed. At least a sorry or something. But this was all I get. If they hadn't fucking told me we were going to a damn market, then I wouldn't have had to leave them in the first place. This had really got to me though. It's still annoying me now. And after getting along with them so well for this whole trip so far, now I was just going to be happy when they left. It was a real shame, but this absolute lack of consideration got to me so fucking much.

We were at the liquor store to get some beers to go to the beach. Jesus allowed us tonight. And we were expecting them to come to the beach as well, but in the end, I was pretty happy they didn't. We stayed here for a little while. Sean had a guitar that he'd bought in San Cristobal that pissed me off 95% of the time because he'd start playing when I was trying to relax in bed or something. A beach is one of the few acceptable places for a guitar though, so it was alright. But it turns out that liquor stores can't sell you alcohol passed 11 here, as well as not on Sundays. So this night was quite short-lived. I don't think that we went to any bars or anything after this, so I guess it was an early night. I wasn't really in the party mood tonight anyway.

Jen and Susan were leaving the next morning, and I didn't want to leave them on a bad note, so I tried to be friendly with them. It didn't work though, the more I tried, the more it pissed me off. We all got up early to go to breakfast with them, and went to this pretty nice place down on the beach. Beach 2

We didn't have much time before their bus, so couldn't hang around after breakfast. Everyone went back to the hotel to pick up their stuff, except me and Alyssa went to a cash-point. It turns out we nearly missed them. I didn't realise they were leaving quite so soon, and we only ran into them as we were walking back from the cash-point, on their way to the bus station. I was still pretty fuming even now, so is wasn't exactly the warmest of goodbyes. Quick hug each, then out. I didn't even wait for them to get into the queue. It was a sad way to end things because we'd got along really well this whole trip. And I'm sure there won't be any problems when we meet in the future. Unless they read this blog anyway. But it was a really shit way to end with them. I was just still fuming right now about being locked out the room for so damn long with absolutely no consideration. My mood lightened nearly as soon as they were gone.

The plan for today was to go to these weird little swimming caves or something like that. Lauren wasn't going, but the rest of us did. It was supposed to be a 30 peso total taxi journey away; so M$7.50 each. When we got to the taxi rank though, the driver didn't know of these caves, but he knew of some more. They were like 60 Pesos away. But then he knew of some better ones. They were like 120 pesos away. But the really really good ones, well they were 160 pesos away. This just stunk to me of being screwed. The others wanted to go to the 160 peso caves, so it had gone from a M$7.50 journey, to a M$40 journey. I still wasn't in the best mood, so this put me off, so off the others went. Turns out they had a good time, but I do wonder if they just paid M$160, got driven around for a little bit, and got dropped at the 30 peso caves. That's what it sounded like to me when they were talking. So instead, I went back to the hotel. Loz was nowhere to be seen, but the cleaners were in there. I initially went up to the roof so they could do their job in peace. But then yesterday dawned on me, and I realised, with Loz not being here, I should get into the room whilst I still could. So I sat on the balcony with a rough guide to plan out my day. I was toying with going to Isla Cozumel, which is the island that the quay I was sitting on yesterday has boats going to. But then Loz came back, and one of the first things she says: "You want to go for a beer?" Good girl. I realised later that this was more because the cleaners had just seen her naked, which, seemingly like all Australians, made her really disoriented. I don't know why, but Aussies, one of the most confident races in the world, are really shy and scared about their bodies. In a bikini they're fine, but they're all really worried about being naked. It's weird. If it was me I'd find it quite funny. But she really needed a beer.

With neither of us remembering leaving the NFL bar, we thought it best to try somewhere new, so we just wondered around until we found this nice little place. It was very tourist aimed, and had swings instead of bar stools, as many of Caballito the bars seemed to, but it was pretty nice, so we sat down for one. And then another. And then after a lot of persuasion, just one tequila. That became more like 10 tequilas. And this was the NFL bar all over again. It was one of the highlights of my trip; this bar was really awesome. The staff were doing tequilas with us. A seahawks fan even sat down next to me. It was like god was making up for screwing us over on Sunday. The staff were what made this place though. This hot bar girl was teaching us Spanish. The tequila was fucking with my memory somewhat, so she was writing things on my arm instead. On one side of my right arm, I had 'caballito' written, which means shot, so I could ask for another shot of tequila in Spanish. On the other side of my arm, I had 'puta madre'; fuck your mother. Not too sure how I ended up with that, but I remember getting the whole bar saying it in unison at one point. We got photos with a few of the staff; they were on Lauren's camera and I haven't got copies yet, but if I do I'll add them, but 'puta madre' became the new 'cheese'. When you're getting your picture taken... "Puta Madre". This place was a lot of fun, and one of my best memories, from what I remember of it, of the trip. My mind goes blank, and I don't remember leaving the bar. I do for some reason remember the others meeting us coincidentally on the way back to the hotel. I seem to remember us being pretty normal, but apparently we were stumbling all over the place and being really loud, being pretty obviously the only unsobre people in the whole place. Who cares though eh?

Lauren What I love about Lauren, is she'll never be outdone. I'm about twice her size, and she went drink for drink with me in the NFL bar before spending hours vomitting in the toilet. And she went drink for drink with me here. Now if she ever reads this, she'll hate me... probably forever. But when we get back to the hotel, my memory is very vague. But first off she wets herself on one of the beds. And then after regaining consciousness, falls asleep next to the toilet. I did that in Mexico City on the final night there; I think I forgot to add it when I was writing then. But I think I was for only a few minutes. I can tell you from the first photo and the last photos that I took of her there, this was more than 3 hours. I'm actually quite proud. 3 hours next to the toilet haha. Now I know my memory disappears at some point, because I have fireworks in my camera that I don't remember seeing. But I do remember going to dinner, back near to where this bar was. It was pretty uneventful, apart from the hot hostess asking us when we were leaving, which we were doing tomorrow. Then saying (in Spanish to Sergio), "That's a shame. I was going to invite you to my place for a party." She still gives us Hot Hostess her card and tells us to add her to Facebook. I added her, and this is one kinky girl. I cannot believe we were leaving tomorrow. Could've made this trip even more memorable. I even have fuck your mother written on my arm still.

Back at the hotel, Lauren is still unconscious by the toilet when we get in, though the bustle of us being back seems to wake her up and she stumbles into one of the beds. My alcohol has warn off now so I'm not really in a partying mood tonight. Especially seeing as these are all girls drink free bars, but the other 3 go for a night out.

I didn't sleep too well tonight. The air-conditioning in the room was shit and loud, compared to the quiet and awesome one that we'd had in the room next door for the previous 3 nights. So I was awake when Lauren wakes up at about 4am. She starts saying to me... "Dude I'm really scared. I don't remember any of last night, and I think I might've pissed myself." I can't remember if this was before or after exclaiming really loudly, "What's the matter with all of you? You all look dead." She'd been unconscious a Puta Madre good 10 hours now in either the bed, or next to the toilet, and didn't remember any of it. I think she thought it was about 9pm or something. It was pretty funny. Two of my favourite memories of this trip were getting drunk with Loz in Playa Del Carmen. I hated this place the rest of the time, but those two times were awesome.

I don't actually know why I hated this place so bad. The food was good, the bars were good. I think it was a combination of being offered drugs every 5 yards, which was just a hassle, being surrounded by tourists non-stop, and the fact that things went wrong here. The only time I actually enjoyed Playa Del Carmen was when I was drunk. The trip had kind of got on top of my by now I guess and I was more stressed than normal. Maybe that was it. Whatever the reason, it didn't matter, because it was back to Mexico City today.

Roof 1 We were flying back to Mexico City, but when we'd decided on a flight, for some reason, they would only accept my credit card. I was booked on this flight before we realised this, so I was flying back alone. The others had to get another flight that went to a different airport and at a different time. This meant that I was out the door before the other 3 (except Lauren) were awake. She came to the bus station with me; it was flying out from Cancun, and when I was hugging her goodbye and said "see you in a few hours," she only just realised that this wasn't the final goodbye. I'd thought she was getting a little emotional. And I'd have been pretty offended if the others hadn't even bothered to get out of bed. But anyway, I boarded my bus, and had the next few hours to myself.

Now this journey was perfect: The bus was on time and I had a front row seat; the plane left on time and there were no queues. It was perfect. Perfect until I landed in Mexico City anyway.

Roof toilet First off, I get off the plane, and nothing is clearly sign-posted. So I follow a sign that looks like it's for baggage collection. After a while of walking; it's a big airport, I end up at the passport control that I was at when I came into the country. And waited at for fucking ages. This seems a little strange as it was a national flight, but it was the only place signposted to. I ask someone, who doesn't speak English, but there is a girl behind me in the queue, and she translates. This guy clearly doesn't have a clue what he is doing, as he tells me to just stay in the line, although I didn't realise this at the time. I must've queued for somewhere between 60-90 minutes; they still seem to have no regard to treating foreigners well, before, probably for standing here so fucking long, a girl nearby to me faints and falls on the floor. Bad for her, but they need to clear her some space, so everyone in the immediate vacinity to her is rushed through, so I finally get to see an agent, a lot earlier than I otherwise would've done. After queuing all this time, it takes him about 3 seconds from looking at my passport to Roof 3 ask me, "Where did you fly in from?" I reply Cancun, and he informs me that this is international arrivals. I needed to be at national arrivals. Well no shit Sherlock. It'd be good if everyone at this fucking airport knew the same. Now there are no signs in this large airport, so I am walking for at least 10 minutes, having to ask staff members along the way, until I get to national arrivals. I must've had a pretty scalding expression on my face, because when someone offers me a sample shot of tequila, I just shake my head without even glancing at her, and I hear a scared "Oh!" from her direction. And people weren't getting in my way either. I think I was so pissed at standing in line for so fucking long at the wrong place, I had that fire in my eyes. So that was cool. Of course after this long, my bag is no longer on the conveyor, so I have to spend a while locating that, getting sent to 3 different counters before I finally pick it up. And it turns out that if you arrive on a national flight, you don't even need to show your passport on entry. Worth knowing if you ever have to sneak into Mexico. You can get an international flight, and if you don't have to pick up any baggage, there is nothing stopping you from walking straight in through national arrivals. So that was a good start.

I don't really want to pay the M$200 for a taxi by myself, so I'm planning on getting the metro. And it turns out that the Metro station is right by where I come out into the airport. Only they don't seem to feel the need to signpost particular things here. The closest thing I can see is the airtrain, so I go towards that. Now this is fucking miles away, so I am walking and changing floors, for maybe 10 minutes with my backpack. Getting to the airtrain, I ask the security guard who doesn't speak Engish, and he points me back the way I've just come from. I go to the nearest information point, and ask there. She speaks English and tells me I need to go through door 1. Door 1 coincidentally being right by national arrivals. So I have to walk back. The instructions I have for the Metro, which were printed off the hostel website, say go to the South-east corner or something like that. Well that would be great if I had my fucking compass on me. Might've made more sense to just say door 1; saved me about 20 minutes. Even through door 1 it still isn't clear where you're supposed to go, so I just follow the crowds until I eventually see a sign for the metro, really conveniently right before the metro entrance.

I can work out the train I need fairly easily; the instructions aren't too bad for this bit, but it is quite busy. And I am getting on behind a couple of cops, whom seem to not feel the need to take more than about 2 steps onto the train. So as I'm getting on behind them, I almost get trapped in the doors, but one of my bag straps does. Now I wanted the next stop, and guess what. The platform was on the other side of the train, so as my stop rolls up, I'm stuck in the doors on the other side of the train and have to watch it go by. I have to wait until the next stop to get off, and get a train back. Great. This 4 train journey has just become 5. It went quite smoothly from here, but this really wasn't the start I wanted back in Mexico City. I was really pumped to see some stuff when I got off the plane. Now I was just pissed. I've read in books, that if you have a backpack on the Metro, you'll be a target for thieves. I was just begging for someone to try and steal something from me right now. I was so stressed, I was just looking for an excuse to take my anger out on someone. No one ever did.

Mexico is the first time in my life that I've been in a country where white is an ethnic minority. And man I felt it on this Metro. Everytime I looked up I would see someone staring at me, or more than one person. I'm not sure that they like white people on their Metro, because they seemed quite angry stares, and I didn't see another white person, on what was now 5 trains. I think they expect problems here as well, because on every platform, there were police on higher platforms holding guns. With that journey finally over, I was just happy to get back to the hostel. I was just praying that, having left Playa Del Carmen an hour earlier, and then the others needing to get a 40 minute bus journey from their airport, that they didn't beat me here. That would've been embarrassing.

I did have plans for when I arrived here, but they had all gone out the window since it took me so damn long to get to the hostel. Instead I decided just to relax until the others arrived. Getting fed up with the accomodation situation, I had pre-booked this hostel. They hadn't. So it was really up to them to find me here. There was this old guy; I'd guess 50's in the dorm as well, so I was talking to him a bit. He was English, just now doing his world travels. And good luck to him.

Getting hungry and going for a McDonalds, I managed to miss the others coming to the hostel. I just get back and go to the desk to buy some Internet time, and there is a note for me sat on a clip-board. This place was fully-booked and they were staying around the corner. See you here at 9, it said. It was about 5 now.

So I hang around the hostel until 9, and find them scattered about the place. When we finally reconvene, we sit upstairs in the lobby and watch this jazz band who're finishing up their set. Nothing seems to be really happening after this, so we walk to their hostel with the intention of sitting in the film room for a bit. But there, the room is full and they're half way through a film, so I leave them, and head back to my hostel. It wasn't the best last night for Lauren, but I don't think there really were any good last nights for people this trip. We arranged to meet up again the next morning.

Orange roof The next day, and the last full day in Mexico, Sean and Alyssa have gone back to the pyramids we went to on my first full day here by the time I meet with Loz and Sergio. We end up going to some markets, and then some weird place for geeks who play Pokemon and that kind of stuff, but with real cards. You could buy... yes buy cards for up to M$250 because they would give you special powers. I would be willing to write down any power someone wanted on a piece of card for less than M$250, but these idiots weren't buying it. I was exhausted by now, and I don't like shopping at the best of times. The problem was I had no idea where the hostel was. So when we came across the hostel on our travels, I took the opportunity to leave the others and go back in. I had a couple of hours kip, and it did me the world of good. Almost felt human after.

We were meeting the others again at about 4, so waking up at around 2:30, I took the time to have a look around town, take a few pictures. I didn't really find too much of interest, but it was nice just to get a feel for the place. I got back to the hostel around 3:30, and the other two were already there, so with Lauren leaving, we took the opportunity to have a final couple of beers. The other two appeared about 4:15. After a little while, then that was the end of Lauren. Sergio went with her to the airport, but the rest of us said our goodbyes here. I was going to miss her. I think we bonded in Playa. If nothing else, because we got so damn drunk.

I went for food after this, whilst the other two went to look at the cathedral. Turns out, there's nowhere in Mexico City to get decent food except in McDonalds, or in the hostel. So after walking around for 30 minutes, I ended up getting dinner at the hostel. We were going to a lucha libre thing tonight. That roughly translates as Mexican wrestling (I don't know what it really means), but we had to all be in the hostel at 7 for free beer and tequila. Sergio cut it fine, only just making it back before I drunk his free beer, before the group going got into the minibus. Now I don't know why, but for some reason the tour guide earmarked first me and Alyssa, and then later Sean, to where the Nacho Libre masks that he had. Unfortunately they don't allow cameras at these events, so I don't have any pictures, but it made it a really fun journey knowing noone can see your face. Alyssa was doing the Macarena in the minibus at one point.

I was expecting only a couple of hundred fans at this even. It's not the WWE afterall, but when we get there, the number must've been closer to 10,000. I was still wearing my mask, and attempting to drink beer through it. And drinking enough to feel confident, the tour guide was telling me all these chants to start, which were essentially in the same league as Puta Madre, so I learnt a lot of new Mexican slang tonight. As for the wrestling itself, it had no real storyline, but the in-ring action was awesome. Much better than you see in the WWE, which I watch from time to time. And beer gets delivered to your seat.

On the way back, the tour guide offers to take everyone to a club, discount entry, we can leave when we want. This is our last night in Mexico and our last night together, and people just say no. What the fuck? What the hell has happened to the youth of today? It's not like we had any backup plan. This was a minibus full of 12-14 people in their 20's, and I was the only one who wanted a night out. Fuckin eh! There was a time when that wasn't even a question. If it's your last night somewhere, you just go out. It's a given. The world is changing man, I couldn't believe that. Anyway, not needing the last of Pesos now we weren't doing anything, I bought the Nacho Libre mask I'd been wearing all night off the tour guide. I'm sure he charged me a much higher price than it was worth. But he claimed it was semi-professional; much better than the ones you can buy on the streets, and I had no use for my pesos. I think it cost M$250.

So great. We sit in the hostel bar instead. Fuckin' livin' it up. Other people appear around our table and I somehow get surrounded by 3 not very attractive, and very boring Belgian chics. I stay for a bit, but I don't even finish my first beer before I'm so damn bored I end up going to bed. Last night in Mexico. Wahey.

Me and Sean have an early flight the next morning, so we arrange to meet downstairs, ready to leave at 07:30. So when I get there at 07:25, and without a hello, all he says is "You're late." I tell him I'm not, so he then asks what time it is. If you don't even know the fucking time, then why the hell have a go at someone for being late. So good start. I then go to checkout, and book a taxi. Whilst doing so, I ask him if he's ready to go, and all he says: "I want breakfast. We'll get a taxi later. The plane can wait." Now this really isn't what I need to hear. The plane can wait? I don't think that's how it really works. I'm not a morning person normally, but I was doing ok before this, but this really got under my skin. This whole trip, from New York to Mexico, everything we've done as a pair, I've sorted out. Flights, accomodation etc. All he ever has to do is turn up on time where we agree, ready to leave. So when his attitude this morning is "The plane can wait" I just get a block, and all I have on my mind, is fuck him then. When it turns out he spent his half of the taxi fare last night as well, it gets to me even more. I have about ¾ of the fare, but I cannot afford it all. So not only does he wait until about 8 before he decides he's ready to leave, he then has to find a cash-point. And when he returns after his first trip to without finding one, he has to go out again. I've lost patience by this point. All he has to do, is turn up on time, ready to leave, and I'll sort out the rest. If he can't even manage that, then he can fucking sort everything out himself. If we missed this flight, I could afford another flight. He couldn't. And if that's how it turned out, I was willing to cut off my nose, to spite my face. He eventually gets his act together and we leave about 45 minutes late, saying goodbye to the other two. This isn't the most comfortable taxi ride, and we barely usher a word the whole way. I'm still pissed at him for fucking around, and he doesn't really know how to handle it. I think he's pissed at me for leaving him to actually do something. And my fears about "the plane will wait" are nearly justified as the queue to check-in takes an age. We make it, but it can't have been by much.

One thing I've noticed about Mexican airports, is the people at check-in seem to just guess the gate number. I'd had 19 written down. Turns out it was 35; probably a 10 minute walk away. I think it's just a game they play or something, to see how many they can guess right over a day. It never seems to be the right gate though. Now you'd think already being through security, you could buy drinks to take onto the plane. Apparently not. US security seemed to think I was going to mix my can of sprite with an orange juice to make an explosive device of somekind. Flight We got searched again boarding the plane. I even had to take my flip-flops off, and she scanned the soles of my feet with a metal detector. What the was she hoping to find? I have a bomb hidden in my feet? This is taking security to a stupid level. The mood has lightened a little with me and Sean now, though we aren't sitting together, so we get about 5 hours apart during the flight to get rid of any remaining animosities. I have a window seat, the seat next to me is empty, and the aisle seat has in it, I think my perfect woman. She's hot, she's latino, she's wearing a low-cut top, and she gives me food. She was perfect. This whole flight was full of hot chics actually. I had barely seen a hot Mexican girl this whole trip. It's because all the hot ones were on this flight. Weird. It was a pretty good flight though.

We get the Subway down to the hostel, which is more complicated than it needed to be because they decided to run a blue train along a different line, and didn't really have a speaker system that worked too well so couldn't hear what was going on. But we got there in the end. We didn't fill New York with too much exciting this time around. (like we did last time?) Just did some things online at the hostel; I booked my Gatwick shuttle, had a bit of sleep, then got some beers to drink for the evening. I tried calling Kate from 4 different phone booths, but it seems that New York is actually void of any working payphones, so I didn't manage to get through to her, so we just sat here drinking beer and playing cards. This was my final night of alcohol. About every year, I do a dettox to let my body clean itself up. Last year it was 58 days, no alcohol. This year I'm planning on 100. And this night of the 19th July, was my final night. We met a couple of girls throughout the evening. One Aussie and one Brit, and ended up going with them to Flight 151. The Aussie was only 20 though, so was drinking Jro tap water whilst we got food, before we headed to another bar where IDing was a bit more lax. We only stayed here for the one drink, as the girls had to be up early in the morning. Our flight on the other hand, wasn't until late afternoon, so we arranged to meet at checkout the next day, which was midday.

We'd stayed in this hostel on the way to Mexico. And then I was lucky enough to me in a room with air conditioning. This time I wasn't, and I don't think I've ever tried to sleep in conditions so hot before. It was like sleeping in a lake of your own sweat. I was the top floor of the main building. It wasn't a pleasant night. Not sleeping too well in this heat, I'm up not long after 8 the next morning. Once showered etc, I decide I may as well use my time here a bit, so decide to walk down to Times Square. I get a McDonalds breakfast. As soon as I'm back in the UK, not only is the alcohol going, but so is the junk food. This McDonalds was like my final goodbye. I was hoping to see this sign near Times Square that I saw when we were here previously, that was part of Flight 151 the fashion institute. I don't know what the 'T' stood for, but this sign said F.I.T students only, which I thought was really funny, so I wanted a picture of it. Couldn't find it anywhere though unfortunately. I did though find a good newsagent and get a further fantasy NFL magazine. Something hard to come by in the UK, and a good read for the flight.

Beyond here I found the time for Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge from a distance, a bit of broadway, and even stumbled across the Museum of Sex, before having to get back to the hostel.

We were both checked out before 12, but with a while before our flight, we sat down for what turned into a ridiculously long game of Rummy. We were planning on leaving once we'd checked out. Not because we needed to, but because you get more choice of seat if you're early, but we end up playing this game for what must've been close to 2 hours. And I lose. Fuckin' eh! But we get there with plenty of time. And the check-in staff are some of the friendliest I've ever had, just chatting away to us. Stupid US security also means our check-in luggage has to be scanned as well as our carry-on. Empire State Building

On the plane there is a shit load of seats not taken, so before take-off, I sit in the middle of an empty 3 seats. This makes for a pretty damn good flight. I had the space to lay down, and after dinner was served, I slept the whole remaining 5 hours. Regarding the dinner though, there was a choice of chicken or pasta. Now it's pretty much science that if there's chicken, I get chicken. They had run out of chicken by the time they got back to me. This would have been an awesome flight. But events like this are unacceptable. I always get chicken. It's just the way the world works. So when I got fucking pasta, the equilibrium of the globe was thrown into disarray. Events like this are just unacceptable. Apart from this mammoth injustice, it was a good flight.

Back in the UK, the security is the opposite of how it is in Mexico. Here they let all the foreigners through in a second, but if you're actually a citizen of this country, you have to wait for hours. All they have to do is look at your fucking passport for fucks sake. But apparently that takes half an hour. Before we'd taken off in New York, we'd been in a queue of 30 planes or something. This after it loading late, and I forgot to mention, some shambolic airport staff having no clue what was going on. At the gate in JFK, despite the board quite clearly stating that we needed to be downstairs, these Air Jamaica staff, who had nothing to do with Zoom, refused to let anyone passed. They were about as unproffessional a group of people as I've seen, and when we finally get downstairs, there's already a few people waiting. So the 30 or more people that Museum of Sex they made wait; they should've acually been downstairs. The lesson here: Never listen to Air Jamaica staff. Whatever they say. Anyway, with these delays at JFK, and then waiting for ages at passport control, I was late for my Easybus. So when I got through security with Sean a way back in a different queue, and I see my bag as soon as I get upstairs, I don't really have an option but to leave him without a goodbye, to at least try and get my bus. I feel a bit harsh, but I did look to see if he was coming. I didn't get that shuttle, but did manage to get the one after, which, although a lot longer than the train, was a 19 person minibus, with 4 people on, so I could stretch out a bit. A lot of fucking traffic though.

With nothing worth mentioning after here, that, as they say, is that. That was Mexico, 2008. Now I might've made it sound a little negative here. I have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of things. They're a lot easier to write about if nothing else. But what 4 week trip won't have its problems. This was though, absolutely awesome. Even when it sounds like I wasn't getting on with people; I've already spoken to Jen since I've been back. I was probably overreacting to the whole being locked out thing. But when you're travelling for that length of time, smaller things can seem magnified and stress you out. I really found this towards the end of the trip though. I guess those are the moments that define a trip though. Any idiot can go on holiday and sit in a hotel 24 hours a day. But you remember when things aren't going well, as much as when they are. Like I said, I may have excentuated the negatives here somewhat, but I wouldn't change a moment of this trip for anything. If things never went wrong, then you'd never appreciate when they were going well. Just like when I did Canada and the US in '05, this is one of those trips I'll remember as long as I still breath. Something to tell my grandkids, god forbid I ever have any. And through any problems that seem bad in this blog, they matter nothing. I love every person on this trip. And as Lauren put it on her last day... I know I'll see you again. Well maybe unless they read this blog anyway. I might've been a little too honest. But that was Mexico. One of the best months of my life!

The group

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