Monthly Archives: June 2011

curse you, aztec king!

today is a better day.
it feels like (fingers crossed) my body is finally kicking the curse of montezuma.. for the second bloody time!  around 10-15 pounds lighter and 5 days without sleep, the curse had its way with me.  those who arent in the know, a quick history lesson: the old tlatoani king, montezuma II, and his aztec civilization took a whoopin’ from cortes and the spanish.  not particular fond of enslavement and eventually obliteration, its said that the king cast a curse on the invaders and anyone else that stepped foot on their land.  well, it seems the curse is still alive and kicking.  i understand you were angry and justifiably so, but youre a jerk, montezuma.
here i come chicken quesadillas.

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a trip to zihuatenejo

i can still feel the waves.  whether im walking or lying down on the bed, i can somehow still feel the push and pull of the ocean in my body.  weird, eh?

on a whim we decided to catch a 9 hour bus ride to the pacific coast of mexico.  desiring to stay out of the main tourist cities we found a small town on the inside of a gorgeous bay.  our first day spent in zihuatenejo was a hot one.  take the hottest day in canada and turn up the humidity to 100%.  we forgot to bring sunscreen with us so had to buy some at the corner store.  12 dollars for a small bottle of 30spf.  they know how to stick it to the tourists in this town.

we meet a couple canadian guys while hanging out on the pier looking for a water taxi.  we exchange pleasantries and they invite us to hang out with them on their boat.  soon we set foot on the biggest boat in the bay.  it has triple the space of our hotel room and it comes equipped with a flat screen tv, giant living room (with air conditioning!), large upper and back decks, two inflatable boats and one seadoo.  i accidentally called it a skidoo and they made fun of me.  they told us to take it for a rip around the bay and i quickly forgot about being made fun of.  great hosts.

i met a wandering dog near the city center and befriended him.  scrawny little guy looked like he hadnt had much food in his belly.  i knelt to pet him for a minute then got up to keep walking.  he wanted more attention and jumped up on me, tail wagging playfully.  i obliged again and knelt.  another minute passes and i stand to leave again.  he starts following us.  since our pet spider has gone awol, i decided to bestow the great pet name ‘ted’ on our new canine friend.  whats even better is that he answers to it!  he follows us around all night.  kat is convinced hes our guardian angel.  nothing bad happens so how am i to argue?

we made friends with a local named abraham.  tourist guide extraordinaire.  he showed us all around town and introduced us to different people. he had all the best connections it seemed.  he got us boogey boards and brought us snorkeling.  i held a blow fish.  it was creepy looking.  i chased other fish trying to catch them but they outwitted me every time.  im fairly sure they toyed with me, allowing me to think i had them, only to watch them glide away effortlessly.  and i also got bit by two fish.  they made me bleed!  guess chasing them made them mad.  fish 21 lucas 0.

since tourist season is over in zihuatenejo for the year, there werent too many other foreigners in the town.  sometimes i felt more like the spectacle with all the stares and constant taxis beeping than a simple tourist.  it donned on me that the stares were based partly on our skin and partly on their view that we were a couple of rich travelers.  anyone that knows me knows that i aint rich (at least not in monetary form) but that would be by canadian standards.  here in this part of mexico, i was not only seen as rich but i actually was rich.  the value of my canadian currency made it so.  i asked at one point how much average wage was.  i was explained that the average days wage was 100 pesos, less than 10 dollars per day.  with a family to feed and a house to be paid for, i wondered how they were able to make it work.   it made me realize how blessed i was compared to so many other people in this world, whos only fault (being born in a third world country) was no fault of their own.  while this isnt the first time this realization has donned on me, being in such an environment, i think, made it hit home just a bit harder.

basketball is big in the town.  this surprised me a lot.   most places in mexico are dominated by their love for football (soccer to us back in canada), so to find great basketball courts with large turnouts from the community to play and watch was awesome to see.  i think that might be my ‘in’ when i come back.  i think a kids basketball camp might be in order.

thanks, mark and marvyn and abraham and alexander and raul and all the other great people in zihuatenejo that we met and made our trip great.

hopefully see you sooner than later.

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playin’ tourist and climbing aztec pyramids

for the first time in my life i had the opportunity to not only see in person pyramids made by people thousands of years removed from me, but to also step foot on them and see the beautiful landscape that surrounds the great aztec monuments.  and, wow.. words cant begin to do justice.

no sooner than we stepped outside of the taxi we had venders trying to sell us something, anything.  ‘almost free’, spoken in broken english would be the catch-phrase of the day.  some venders had a shop which situated them, while others took their show on the road, following tourists and attempting to bargain with them as they went along.  a simple ‘no, gracais’ worked for a few traveling salesmen but they usually didnt take no for an answer.  if i ever start a business i know where to find my salesmen.

the climb to the top of the larger pyramid was quite a steep trek.  along with the altitude difference, it made for an interesting climb.  it seemed as if i was looking straight up in some places where i was to walk.  i watched as toddlers, without much supervision from their parents make the trek up and down so i figured it couldnt be that dangerous.. they made it look pretty easy, too.

the one thing that was not as readily available by the venders, which one might think would be numero uno on their inventory lists, was water.  booth after booth, traveling salesman after salesman, no one seemed to think to sell water.  then after trekking down one pyramid and looking to make our way to another, i heard a faint whisper, almost a hushed word a little ways from me. ‘agua?’  it was the type of whisper id heard many times before passing drug dealers in the streets of downtown vancouver, only this time the dealer was selling something i wanted.  something i desperately wanted.  i didnt even care that he jacked the price up on me.  i was willing to pay more for to not only quench my thirst and dry mouth, but to also reward one salesman for thinking inside the box for a change.  thanks, water dealer.  you made my trip to the aztec pyramids complete.

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