Thursday, February 24, 2005

Where I Went On Holiday - Playa Del Carmen, QR, Mexico

[Originally posted on]

This is going to be long and boring. Don't say I didn't warn you. The theme is probably "how can so many things go wrong and still be perfect?"

Day -2
I'm sitting in front of trying to find some firm data on BOTB, if you know what I mean, when I sneeze. A minute later, I sneeze again. And then four in a row. You know how when you turn Furby upside down he says "worrrrried...."? That's me. I will NOT get effing sick the day before my trip, I will NOT.

Day -1
But of course, I do. Full-blown cold, still getting worse by the second. I absolutely hate cold medicine of all kinds, I hate the stoned feeling more than the symptoms that they mostly don't take care of. But this is important; I'm going to be on an airplane. Damn it! Damn it! Plenty of fluids, echinacea, sacrifice a chicken in the back yard, I've tried everything, and now there's nothing to it but hard drugs. Rush to drugstore and stock up.

Day 1 (there's a zero in Maya numbers but not here)
Our flight is at 6:00 am, so here I am loading my bag into a cab at 3:30 AM, freezing in my vacation clothes. The bags have been obsessively packed and repacked approximately 400 times as several kinds of pointless anxiety sets in: should we bring the blender? Do they have towels in Mexico? Honey, I don't think the kitchen sink is going to fit in here, can it go in your carry-on? Nancy (my lovely and very patient wife) is having her own internal travel panic, which unlike mine is a deeply internal one; she appears to be in a standing coma.

One advantage of early morning travel for me is that I'm used to moving around in an unconscious state. Plus there's the Tylenol Cold pumping through my veins -- I think I took both "AM" and "PM" just in case. I have no recollection of arriving at Sea-Tac or getting on the plane.

I hope this doesn't offend anyone here, but it seems like people from remote areas have less of a conception of how to behave in crowded circumstances. The Alaskan woman sitting next to me appears to be full-on insane. She doesn't want to sit in the middle seat, so she stakes out an aisle seat up ahead that's not hers and glares bitterly as we load at anyone who thinks they have a ticket for it. She's also offering a loud running commentary of all the things she doesn't like about flying to her poor husband six rows back. She shifts several times before slinking back to her proper seat, where she puts her feet in my foot-cubbie and sprawls over my armrest. I'm so wired by this time I just sit there staring straight ahead.

I gather from the ticket stub that we stopped in LA, but all I can remember is having to get up to pee about eight times. I'm bad that way, but this was ridiculous. I blame the Tylenol, or maybe it was the Sudafed I topped it off with. The medicine wasn't really working all that well; if you were on that flight and got sick, I apologize. I what was rapidly becoming the world's most repulsive bandana wrapped around my exploding face most of the time, at least, so the by-spray was at a minimum.

Next: Cancun

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