Thursday, June 6, 2013

Staggered home, last night. GOOD for me !!


Blazing, scorching, searing hot.  My room doesn't have a/c, but ... with the floor-standing fan on, the breeze makes it plenty tolerable.

Unless the power goes out at 8am ... the morning after the one night I got drunk.

Which it did, and which *I* did.

I ran into Matthew and Dwayne -- the Oklahoma boys -- in the street, as I was heading back to the hotel, last night.

We started drinking, and didn't call it quits until after midnight, and after I'd sung "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay," at THE local karaoke bar, which was chock full of glistening tourists, pretty much all plowed, spilling drinks, and stumbling on the dance floor, in what could only LOOSELY be called an effort to dance.

It was fun.  I reeked of beer -- mine and others'.

Steve and Casey were there.  Steve turned 31 (today), so I bought him a shot of Jaegermeister -- a traditional birthday shot, and a sure fire way to get him hung over (also today), on top of Kamikazes and Belkin beer.

Today, we sat on the pier of their hotel, largely since the power wasn't due to come back on until 2pm (which it still isn't ... 2pm).  Steve had to either go throw up, lay down, or both.

I was simply really tired, and more than a bit dehydrated.

The power went off ... three drops into my automatic drip coffee maker dripping.  Oh, bother.  I never sleep in.  I slept in.  I missed my morning coffee.  Rat farts !

Talked with Shirley, for a while -- the proprietor of my hotel.  80 years old.  Fascinating lady.  Loves to travel.  From British Columbia.  Holds Belize, UK, and Canadian passports.  Healthy, but ... getting older.

SHE had coffee, but only what was in her cup ;-)

I marched into town to find Amor y cafe, reputed to have good, if pricey, food and coffee.  I had both.  It was both -- good and pricey, relatively speaking.

I awoke with more Belizean money than I had when I went out, yesterday.  Oh, yeah.  10pm ATM run.  It's starting to come back to me now.  The ATM vestibule, at the bank, was brilliantly air-conditioned !  My new all-time favorite place (in the 0 - 12 square foot category) in Caye Caulker.

Steve is an IT guy.  Casey is doing marketing for a real estate agency.  They're from Portland, live in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, and are contemplating a move to Boulder, Colorado.

Also in the water, off the pier of their hotel, was Hilda, a Law Clerk at a huge Canadian firm, in Toronto.  Hilda and Casey asked my story, which -- unusually -- I decided to tell.

They (as well as Dwayne and Matthew, who got the nickel version, last evening) were horrified at the way I had been treated, and the condition in which I was left.  But ... like me ... they were acutely aware that it "allowed me" to travel.

Small consolation, they agreed, but ... better than nothing.  I think.  Occasionally.  Depending on how you look at it.  Professional driver.  Closed course.  Your mileage may vary.

Which brought us all to politics, man's inhumanity to man, and how hard it is to make the simplest decisions when you're vacationing in Paradise.

We're going for Italian, for dinner, tonight.  That was easy.

What TIME we should go ... was the subject of -- not intense debate, exactly.  More like .... nobody cared enough to even voice an opinion.  I told them I'd swing by around 6p, and we'd decide whether or not TO decide, or if we should simply light a fire under our collective butts, and DO the bloody 12 minute walk into town.

Or blow it off and have a pizza delivered, by golf cart, from up the road.

We agreed, and felt exhausted by the process ;-)

It's that kind of island.

Hilda's fascinating.  Big talker.  Good lady.  Asks great questions.  Is interested in the lives and opinions of others.  Casey's just groovy.  Wants to be a writer.  Has a strong independent spirit.

Steve was too hung over to form opinions about, other than ... the opinion that he's pretty hung over


Which seemed a lot more like an objective fact.

"Body by Jaegermeister."

Happy Birthday, Steve :-)

It's 87* and 79% humidity in my room.  Ever so slight ocean breeze, but ... nowhere near enough.  I miss my fan.  So near, and yet ... so far away.  It's 1:45pm.  Could be 15 minutes.  Could be hours.  This is an "emerging nation," after all.

I've chatted with a few people about the Bowen family, owners of most of the big Belizean industries.  All agreed that the latter patriarch, who fatally crashed his airplane a few years back, was a bastard of epic proportions.  It's commonly known that he had a national monopoly on beer, and that -- when the politicians could no longer support that monopoly, he -- literally -- had the beer bottles of the competition smashed, until the other beer companies were forced to buckle.

He left a couple of daughters behind.  I found one on Facebook.  She had a Grateful Dead reference/icon on her page.  I reached out to her.  Seems like a very nice lady.  Married to the guy who now runs half of daddy's empire.  I refrained from asking the age-old question: how DOES the heiress to some very dirty money sanitize it, or make peace with the stain that's indelibly associated with it ?

We'll leave that for another time :-)

I've done nothing, today, save for the walk into town, around town, and back to the neighboring pier, where ... I also did nothing.  I think I shaved, or my whiskers went on sabbatical.  Something changed in that regard.

Shaving was like skiing moguls, because I actually have a handful of mosquito bites on my face.

On my face.  Can you stand it ??

We were going to rent kayaks.  The water is very calm.  But nobody could be bothered.  Hilda just splashed around in the Caribbean.  Casey jumped in and out.  I was dressed, and just baked on the pier.

I bought a cinnamon roll, in town.  I keep seeing them.  Placencia Village AND here.  Fine.  I can take a hint.  I just can't eat the darned thing, yet.  Not after two iced coffees, an iced mocha frappa-whatever, scrambled eggs, two English muffins, and a glass of watermelon juice.

And two gallons of rainwater -- one poured over me to wet my shirt.  The other put into me, to whet my whistle.  Is rainwater, from a food-safe tank, potable ??  We shall see.

Last night, I had an actual bacon cheeseburger at a Cuban restaurant.  And a mojito.  I needed a break from beer.  The waitress -- amused that I spoke Spanish (wait.  DO I or DON'T I speak Spanish reasonably well ?  I have no idea), and complimented me on my discerning tastes.

It's just a cheeseburger -- first one I've (intentionally) had since about 1985.

And ... yeah ... it was really good.  They don't seem to do that steroid/hormone/antibiotic stuff, but they don't use lofty terms like "organic" or "free range" or "grass fed, grass finished."  It's just beef ... like it was a century ago.

I didn't tell Casey, the animal rights activist at heart, that I'd stopped being a vegetarian on this trip.  Some stories are better left un-told.

Meaning: shrimp linguine for dinner again, tonight :-)

I'm going to rest/nap.  I found out that I DID pack "eyeglass retaining straps" that SHOULD allow me to use my glasses to rent a kayak -- much easier than the prescription swim goggle thing.  So ... provided I don't drink, this evening (easily done), maybe tomorrow will be Dia Del Poached Neil Al Mar.

And now a word from our current sponsor - Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.....

A year ago, tomorrow ... I spent one of the worst nights of my (now almost a half-century) life ... in the Larimer County Detention Center.  

Happy Anniversary to me, huh ?

I'll be contemplating a way to spend tomorrow that nurtures me, brings me some measure of peace, exposes me to beauty, and keeps my mind as uncluttered and quiet as possible.

Maybe it's a whirl at kayak rental.  Maybe it's a day sail on a local charter company.  Maybe it's renting a golf cart, and just being silly.  Maybe I'll walk around the rather desolate southern part of the island, and try to urinate on big lizards and blue crabs.

Or maybe I'll just hang out in town, and tell each person I meet a totally different and wildly untrue back story about myself.

Either way ..... I suspect I'll take a Clonazepam, just to hedge my bet :-)

Ciao for now ... from ... Kelvin and Hobbes, in .... The Gulag.

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