After the breakfast, the pool.
I had the same chair I had last time, and thought: well, that was yesterday, wasn’t it?
No. There was three and a half months of cold, and here we are on the other end of that. I read an entire book today. It was not a long book. Obviously. It was a mystery set in ancient Rome, first in a series. There are about 528 such series these days, Rome being a subject of keen interest; distant mirror, and all that. The mystery was solved with more alacrity than you would suspect possible, as people responded promptly to official summons, records were easily located, and so on. It’s possible that civil society was much more efficient than we might think in the reign of Antonious Pius.
Who? The guy before Marcus Aurelius. Fourth of the Five Good Guys. It was not a time of great war or political upheaval, so perhaps everyone had the space to improve preexisting things. As usual, though, the hero’s wife is smart and sarcastic and insightful and independent-minded, which seems to be a prerequisite for the Roman Wives of these novels. It’s preferable to them being in the shadows, of course, but it seems as if every Wife in these books will start talking about the necessity of admitting women to the Senate. For that matter, one should be consul. Don't give me that look, you know Claudia Mertullus tells her husband what to do about everything, the man couldn't find his own nose with his hand if she didn't guide him.
What to do now that the book's done? Begin another? No. just meditate on the shapes and meanings of the clouds. The day had been quite windy - strange pterodactyl-like birds with long beaks hung high in the breeze, motionless. Gauzy white moved across the big blue sky, and I listened to the music I discovered a few months ago and had swore to be the soundtrack for this trip. A group called Kinobe, which does throwback "easy listening" that never gets around to changing keys.
So here you are.
At the moment I'm at the bar in the lobby bar - see the big banner picture above. A guy banging out show tunes on a grand piano. People are taking a painting class.
I’m down here for an Americano while Sara naps. There is a nice plate of lurid sausage and pliable cheese laid out to forestall hunger. We ate at noon at Poseidon, as is the custom. There was a pan of hamburgers, which made me wish for a real hamburger, not these fossilized divots. I’ve never had a good hamburger outside of the
United States. Has anyone?
It’s odd: I never think about food as much as when I’m on vacation. Then it is central organizing idea.
Anyway. The main problem of the meal was helping Sara send a text to an English number of a tennis player who wanted to set up a match the next day. The number made no sense, as transcribed, and we had to figure out how to use the country code, or NOT (it’s complicated), and how many numbers there were in English phones, and so on. Nothing worked. So while she was at the pool doing water aerobics I went back to the room, and discovered what I will now call the Northwest Passage.
The clerk who checked us assured us there was a way to get from our Edificio to the Village, but we saw no such way over the canal through the jungle. In daylight it was plain, and I explored.
It takes you to the back of the church, where some saturnine lizards sunned themselves. The massive stones gave the view an ancient look, and it wasn’t Rome.
LATER: Every time we’re here, there’s an Indian wedding. Really. They last for days. Huge parties that last all night. There was also a conference for a company that does metallurgy of some sort, with corporate banners flying and everyone in identical grey shirts. All men, all about the same height and hair color, cloned over and over again.
Drink at the Aqua bar, but no one we knew was here - the couple we met last time was supposed to be here this week, but alas - and so no long conversation into the night. No one seemed up for a conversational sally from strangers. Early night, and that was fine.
Tomorrow: the Great Baths of Cancun!