Make sure airplane leaves L.A. right on time—if right on time means Mexican time, which it does, then depart 45 minutes late for no apparent reason. Check.
Arrive in Puerto Vallarta airport to 30 degree temperatures (celcius, that equals 85 ish for you U.S.ers) plus humidity wearing jeans and 14 layers of sweaters because they wouldn’t fit in the extra suitcase obtained free from a crack alley in Venice, CA. Check.
Wait in an unorganized, wandering Customs & Immigration line-up for an hour while removing layers of clothing and worrying about mangy Mexican narcotics dogs detecting drugs in the lining of my crack-alley suitcase. Check.
Develop stinky stress- and sweater-induced BO. Check check.
Remind self to inquire if Mexican jail cells include Wi-Fi.
Arrive at Customs & Immigration wicket, barely have time to smile before acquiring passport stamp for immediate entry. Regret not packing organic U.S. food supplies not obtainable in Mexico. Pout. Check. (Remember that I had no room for food supplies. Unpout.)
Meet Flee Market and Mini Flee (3-year-old adorable daughter of Flee Market) who have been waiting an hour and a half at the non-air-conditioned airport. Oy. Learn not to say oy. In Spanish oy sounds the same as hoy, which means today. Replace oy with ayayayaya, which takes much longer to say but essentially means the same as oy but is more fun to say. Check.
Take shuttle to car rental. Wait longer. Get car: VW Gol (one level down from a VW Golf). Drive to the Mega Store. Notice lack of organic foods available but appreciate air-conditioning even though it’s killing the planet. Determine I will sacrifice my life and starve to death before the local Farmers’ Market, which has muchas organicas. Fold. Buy a chemically sprayed tomato and red pepper, four bottles of organic vino (wine) and organic black beans. For sure, these items will hold me over for 5 days. Expect muchas gassy ass. To be kept in check.
Drive 20 minutes to Sayulita, resident population: 4,000. Weather feels like: 4,000 degrees. Celsius. Check.
Go to Don Pedros open-air-palapa-constructed-beachfront-fine-dining restaurant. Eat creamy so-not-Mexico pasta. WTF. Flee eats dry pork chop. Determine to eat at street taco stands from now on. Or until my ass hurts. Check.
Arrive at Flee Market’s townhouse, promptly unpack, put clothes away. (Fold skivvies neatly. Of course.) Townhouse: comfortable two bedroom with granite counters, equipped kitchen and laundry, high ceilings; king-sized bed, my own bathroom (!) and patio overlooking swimming pool; across from beach, 3-minute walk to gluten-free wood-fired pizza, 7-minute saunter to El Plaza Centro with espresso shops (free Wi-Fi!), French bakery (!!), shops, restaurants et al. Hello—Check!
Sweat. A lot. Do not sleep first 3, okay fine, 5 nights due to heat. Put ceiling fan on high speed, hope it doesn’t dismount itself and chop me to bits before I see the playa (that’s beach for you gringos, which is slang for yankees which is slang for U.S.A. white people. Canadians are just called Crazy Canadians, only in Spanish). Commence new evening wine drinking habit, as a sleep aid, gringos, a sleep aid. Feel chill (but hot). Check.
Take advantage of 3-day car rental. Visit all surrounding towns and villages, ask a lot of real estate questions, feel like a land pimp again, get caught up in the high of it, join a real estate company, sell million dollar homes to the rich and famous, meet Gerard Butlersen, have sex on the beach (not the drink), buy a vacation home together (with environmentally friendly cooling system), live happily ever after fornicating like rabbits. Shit, this is so unchecked! (Yet?) I know, I’m disappointed, too. (But we did tour around. Check.)
Visit Flee Market’s Frenchman client (she does property management here). Admire bare beer belly, handlebar mustachio, Mexican girlfriend (40 [50?] years his junior with painted on eyebrows and silver stilettos). Decline cervesa (beer). Visit other clients, ask more real estate—how to invest in Mexico and avoid the Mexican mafioso—questions. Sweat some more. Check.
Visit La Cruz (de Huanacaxtle) Farmers’ Market, find organic vendors, rejoice (but quietly because it’s too fucking hot to get excessively excitable.) Stock up on leafy greens to make up for all the local queso (cheese) I plan on eating. Buy local cheese. Check.
Get lost, arrive an hour late to hang with Flee Market’s friends staying at Mega Resort, Grand Mayan, in Nuevo Vallarta. (Um, this resort complex has several buildings with over 5000 rooms—many starting at over a grand a night [perhaps hence the naming of the place?], 18-hole golf course, numerous restaurants, shops, clubs and a water slide park soon to be constructed. It’s a whole village of luxury resort towers—a cross between Vegas, Disneyland, Miami and the Matrix. It even has a tram system. No shitskies! We’re not in Comox, anymore, Toto.) Sit by the kiddy pool all day—in the shade—get seriously sunburned unevenly. OCD twitch. Determine not to shed my clothes in front of a man until l shed my damaged dermis. Not that I would get naked, anyway. What kind of a single lady do you think I am? (Uptight.) That was a test. You failed. I forgive you. (Clearly, someone needs to get laid. Sideways glance. Just kidding. No, really. Raised eyebrow.) Check please! (Actually … put it on their tab.)
Wander the town of Sayulita. (This takes 7 minutes. Slight under-exaggeration.) Realize I know just enough Spanish and French to f’ up both languages and wind up with 2 coffees instead of toast and coffee. (Toast and coffee sounds like dos cafe, apparently.) Enrol in Spanish classes. Check.
Investigate real estate ownership. Email MLM (my little mom): Do you still have your Mexican citizenship? (So far, no reply. This delay may defer me from making a rash international investment decision.) View properties. (Or perhaps it won’t deter me. Eh, shrug.) Find local land pimp, set up appointment to view casas (houses) next week. Check.
Test three different espresso shops with free Wi-Fi so I can get caught up on nothing-important-but-I’m-pretty-sure-I’m-addicted-to-java-junctions-after-all-the-time-I-spent-in-them-in-Cali, plus it sort of feels more official to check Facebook from ‘my office’, er, and real estate listings, of course. I might note here that I haven’t even seen the beach yet. Hmm. Add to jam-packed (not) schedule: see beach. Go home with jitters from too much caffeine. Check.
After almost a week, finally venture out determined to touch sand—though there is beach access directly across from where I’m staying, for some reason I’ve been compelled to traverse to town via cobblestone, ankle-twisting, dog-shit scattered, urine-smelling side streets instead. (Perhaps a need to find what my Lonely Planet persuasion deems authentic Mexico?) As soon as I exit the complex gate, I see a fellow walking up the road toward me. This is a tourist destination and, as such, everyone is friendly (and/or drunk depending on time of the evening/afternoon/morning). We greet each other, and he asks if I know of anything for rent around here? I don’t. I abandon the beach to wander the back roads in search of lodging. The dude is kind of cute but looks young and, even though he does have eyes à la Brad Pittsburgh that make me swoon, I’m more interested in lots and land for sale. Eventually, we hit the end of the road so he asks if I want a beer and though no me gusta cervesa (I don’t like beer), I could use a cold bevy, so off we go. We cut through a private residence property down to the beach and walk back toward town in the sand, chatting non-stop. (That might have been me, though. In fact, it kind of was. Okay, fine, I totally hogged the conversation. Whatever, get over it.) Anyway, turns out guy is a guide on some ranch in Montana. He’s tatted up and talking trucker trash like me! I so get this guy! We find a beach bar with palapas and promptly park our asses down. Fernando, the waiter, asks us if we want margaritas and, even though I’ve already told Montana Man I don’t really drink, I decide to have one, just one though … Four margaritas, a tequila shot and a strawberry daiquiri later, I’m perched on the edge of my beach chair shovelling nachos in my face and thinking how my little mom has Crohn’s Disease, and I probably won’t popo for a week with all this queso. In case you didn’t guess, popo is Spanish for poopoo, but that’s only used with children, as makes sense. Is that TMI? It is, isn’t it? Anyway, next topic … So, I’m pretty sure I am only thinking these thoughts, but I find out later (via email) that I shared other bits of TMI, so honestly, I can’t be sure if I only thought these BM TMI thoughts or if I need be more embarrassed than I already am. Being drunk isn’t necessarily in and of itself shameful—though, there are limits, and I was probably past them. But it was possibly noticeable because the Canadian couple swaying under the palapa in front of us were def definitely more barachos (drunk) than we were, and my pal wasn’t even hardly drunk at all which means he can hold his liquor pretty damn well for someone who doesn’t drink that much anymore either. The Canadian couple comment on how they think I look familiar, and this somehow leads to them determining I resemble Kathryn Heigloff, who I look nothing like but appreciate and have been told before (possibly by other inebriated persons). So Montana Man and I decide we’re Brad and Kitty tonight. Things become a bit fuzzy after this, but I do remember the friendly Canadian fellow didn’t actually drown in the surf, and I’m pretty sure it only took one surfer to haul him out. I may also recall recounting my self-celibacy contract whilst allowing Brad/Montana Man to hold my hand and to escort me home (for safety’s sake, of course) and while educating him on the importance of pheromones in animals, and in Anna, thereafter planting my nose deep in his arm pits. Yes, both of them. Yes, more than once. He was a perfect gentleman. And even though he’s actually only a few years younger than me and has pleasant smelling BO, he left the next day so we’ll never know if we could have made beautiful babies. Sigh. (We also discussed the benefits of no babies.)
Get drunk on the beach with a cute, random man in Mexico. Check.
(I was only mildly hung over and feeble for class the next day.)
What have I (re)learned?
Save the liquor swinging/swigging for the weekends, kid. OMG! I just realized I was handed my prescription of beaches and blowjobs and potential U.S. citizenship via Montana Man, and I blew it! (But not him.) (Oh well.)
Pick up real deodorant, damn it. Clean sand out of shower.
P.S. Please click on my new ej post and share if you care! I will love you foreverrrr. (Unless you’re a weirdo creepy person, then I will only love you temporarily. Actually, I will still sort of love you forever but only in a keep-your-distance-I-don’t-know-you-but-love-is-the-answer kind of way.)