Leaving land and heading out over the ocean at the moment, which apparently is an occasion for great turbulence. The phrase “may the road rise to meet you” comes to mind, as the keyboard below my fingers seems to be floating up, or down, depending on which way we are being buffeted.

Thus far I had a roast beef lunch, which I procured the previous days after a difficult set of requests and demurrals. It was at Lunds. I asked for Lunds roast beef, sliced sandwich thickness, one third of a pound. A voice behind me:

“Do you want to try to new Lunds Waygu roast beef?” A cheerful red-faced retiree product demonstrator was sitting behind a small table, wearing the store uniform, shreds of Waygu at the ready.

“I just popped a peppermint lozenge in my mouth,” I said. “I don’t think I’d be able to do it justice.” I turned back to the lady behind the deli counter, who, I should note, was wearing a standard 2020 era mask, and she also had an accent, the two combining to complicate communication. She asked if I wanted the Lundsanbyerys roast beef or the Boar’s Head. At this point I didn’t care, unless there was a significant price drop. There was not. She cut up a piece of the roast beef and offered it to me to sample; I said no, I had a peppermint going. A Life Saver, in fact. Okay. How much? A third of a pound. Thickness? Sandwich. As noted at the top of this exchange. While I was waiting I turned around to see what else was going on, and caught the eye of the product demonstrator.

“Did you get the Waygu beef?” she asked. I said that I did not. “Would you like to try it?” Still working on that peppermint, alas.” Turned back to the counter.

“Mffmfmfmffmff?” Said the deli lady. I asked her to repeat herself, and she wanted to know if I wanted Boar’s Head or Lundsenbyerlys. At this point I began to question the sanity of everyone involved with this enterprise, and was happy to leave.

There was more to the weekend than that, believe me - when we’re done with the tale of this trip, I have some delightful things to recount from the weekend of Barcelona Exchange Student’s Return + Natalie. But let’s cut to the important thing of the morning: preposterously priced airport store child mollification objects.

These are all miniature versions of the “real thing,” and in this case we’re assured that Hairy Harry works just like the “real thing,” which is to say NOT AT ALL.

Tiny plastic Jenga - oh yeah that’ll work great on the tea table. My favorite: a miniature miniature car that comes in its own plastic blister pack which comes in its own plastic blister pack.


The food court area has been ripped up and diminished. It’s still run by one company, still has all the same items - burger pizza etc - but it’s less interesting somehow. I’m sure the reconfiguration was done after they studied the performance of the original design and decided to dump to tweak what wasn’t working. YES YES I know, insights like that, you’d swear I was an econ major in college. Anyway, they introduced new fake brands, and I’m not sure if I like this one.

It was a bolshy great brek O my brothers with eggy weggys and toast lets and get lomticks of jam

Anyway. The whole morning was fine. No rush to get ready. Cab on time. Airport line easy. TSA line unpopulated. Boarded, pushed back, up at the appointed time. Smoothest day I’ve had so far. Which means, probably, a hellishly long customs line and baggage wait, but I know what’s ahead. At least an hour at the airport before we’re freed and 20 minutes to find the transportation and 50 minutes to the hotel and so on. But I am prepared for all it and am the model of calm and forbearance.

No really. It’ll all be fine. Here we go!









"It’ll all be fine"

He said, having fully incorporated his expectations of the baggage situation into his projections of the course of the day, but still confounded by the interminable wait and anxiety of the late, late, late bag appearance. It took half an hour. But at least I had the airline updates that said the bag was, indeed, here - I just figured it was stolen or subjected to tossing in the back.

On the way down I sorted something that always fascinates me: abandoned or failed developments.

Here’s one . . .


And another.

And this looks like the entrance.

I wonder if I can find it on satellite street view . . . no. It’s not the entrance.

It looks like an enormous basketball court.

Also seen in the neighborhood on Google Satellite:

  what the hell?

So many investment graveyards on the airport approach. Also, when I checked one of the business names, a crematorium.

Next: into the scrum. What are the changes the driver will be here, where he’s supposed to be?

Excellent, as it happens: he’s right there, waiting. So we clamber in, and it’s time for the tour. Let us examine the new and old once again, in Mexico, Land of Contrasts!

Also, Land of Saturation:

You always find the new and clean and modern next to its opposite:

I always enjoy this bus stop:


I remember this also:

Same graffiti as last time. I checked the records.

And then we are back at our destination!

Except this time, my friends . . . it’s not the same, not at all.

That'll do! Updates resume.