Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can smell Mexico although I haven’t been in years. It saddens me to realize that these days, months go by in which I forget to think about the country that introduced me to humidity, friendly strangers willing to communicate without the commonality of language, tequila, and a belief that The Point is working to live rather than living to work.
I used to travel to Mexico almost every year. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, getting there from Denver was quick and inexpensive. You could buy airfare and a five-night luxury hotel for less than $800.
My dad and my step mom were the first to take me. It was my senior year in high-school, so I’d have been 17 years old. I loved everything about it including the fact that on the night I never returned to the hotel room I shared with my brothers went mostly unnoticed by the rest of my vacationing family.
That trip, and one taken with a boyfriend a few years later, hooked me on the beauty and magic of Mexico.
Sure, I’ve heard horror stories and urban legends that involve bandits, waking up in a tub full of ice with no kidney, having a finger chopped off for a ring, and the rest of them.
My personal experiences have never included fear or danger.
I mean, there were times that certain epic failures were my own fault. To say that I’m grateful that Facebook and cell phones didn’t exist back then is an understatement. I kind of feel sorry for young people today who have each and every drunken episode recorded and mocked on social media.
Anyway, the point is that when I was young(er), social media still meant sharing a dial-up modem with an office full of other people who wondered what the point to sending a file online was. That, and my own personal epic failures.
Like the time that I went on a horseback jungle ride tour. It was amazing, and beautiful, and full of hiking and photos (on film) of the beach and the views, and then it was time to head back down to the resort.
On the way down the mountain in Puerto Vallarta, our guide asked if we’d like to stop for refreshments. Desperate to pee, I said yes, expecting an actual establishment fitted with bathrooms. Instead, we ended up hanging out with two locals in the middle of the jungle. There was a thatch-roof “bar” about eight feet long and bar stools made from sawed off palm trees rooted in the ground from which they grew.
This next part is how urban legends are created and today’s epic fails are broadcast on Twitter. The guys at the “bar” asked us if we wanted some tequila. Um, duh of course.
Except for then, they poured – from a bottle of rum – something- into our shot glasses. I pointed at the bottle and asked in English “rum?” They laughed and told me this was “the real tequila.” As in, homemade. Two shots of the stuff and the sun setting meant that it was time to go. Confidently mounting my horse to take the journey back to the beach resort, I enjoyed the scenery. At some point, I “fell asleep.” On the horse.
Here’s a “Live Photo” that never ended up on FB, Twitter or Instagram. I think it’s important to note that it was taken around 7pm local time and that I was done for the night. Whatever was in that homemade tequila? Well, I’m also glad I drank it when my young liver could process it because it’s possible that if I tried it now, I’d be like this for a week:
Other Mexico epic fails come to mind, like the time that I took laxatives there, unable to read the box…
Overall, when I think about Mexico, I feel the scents of humidity, choices, and freedom. I want to take my son Tucker there.
I want to live the way that I did back then – full of abandonment and the now. I’m also really really thankful that social media didn’t exist to record my almost epic failures…
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Each week, I host bloggers and writers who want to participate in a prompt and make new writer friends. This week’s sentence is “When I think Epic Fail, I think…”