After the last visit, we realized two things: the food is irredeemable, and we have to set aside time to consume it twice a year.

Let me put it another way: my wife works extraordinarily hard. Unless a stick of dynamite is placed under her chair she will work without cease on the matters that concern the hospital system, clarifying and perfecting. Now and then it is my duty as a husband to string ropes around her and lift her out of her thick work cocoon.

Her joy in life is tennis. She’s pretty good, too. We decided last year that we would go to the Abu Nidal Tennis Centre - okay, Rafael Nadal Tennis Center at strategic times: when the winter had truly set in, and when the winter had become too much.

Of course you ask, concerned and compassionate souls that you are: what does your GH get out of this?

Indolent languorous reading with proximity to sand and water.

You know I love the cruise ship Caribbean experience. Yes, it’s a cliche. Yes, it’s a rote banal sequence of indulgences. The morning buffet. The deck chair by the pool. The blaring sun. The afternoon buffet. The tender to the shore, the white sand and beautiful blue ocean. So it’s a cliche! So? I love two things in life: walking around a dense city, and The Beach. The resort is the terrestrial equivalent of the cruise ship. It is fantastically beautiful. When we went there last March I knew: oh yes, oh yes. This is the place.

This is the place.

Two months ago I made the reservations; a few weeks before I started assembling the books and media for the plane, because that’s an important part of the Travel Experience. These things were hammered into place long ago: there must be Perry Mason on the plane! The electronics bag must have all the necessary cords. I’m the sort of fellow who, a fortnight before a trip, makes sure the bag has the one cord that powers the emergency battery pack, and tests it to make sure it hasn’t gone sour. As cords sometimes do. Well, rarely.


What if - and bear with me here - you’re bouncing through a rutted road in the jungle, and your phone dies?

You might say: A) probably won’t happen because you can run your phone off the USB on the plane, right? So you’ll be charged. Also B) use the emergency battery, no big deal. But what if the cord is sour, and you can’t recharge?

I game this out as a pastime, and also I know it’s not going to happen, and I also know that there’s virtually no downside if it does, because the chances we will be waylaid en route by bandits is quite low. The Mexican government does not want tourists to think they will be stopped on the rutted twisted roads to the distant resorts. The cartels know it’s bad for business. But what of the cowboys, the unaffiliated youngbloods looking to make a name and a quick strike? You think: well, if we’re waylaid and robbed and shot, there will probably be reprisals, so there’s that.

But really, there’s almost no work involved in making sure you’ll have power to text the details of your jungle death, so yes, why not?

All of this presumes you’ll make the plane to get there, which is a question because I’m not in total control. Must convince wife to get up super ultra early, because we are leaving on Thanksgiving Day. So there is no relaxation possible until we are at the gate. I leave it at that. I will take this up if we get to the gate in time. IF.

6:20 AM

Here’s the line:

It’s a bit deceiving. The direction you want is the opposite direction everyone’s facing. You’re looking at the line to get into the parking ramp lobby. This line makes a U turn and becomes the line that goes to the security lines.

It moved with surprising speed, thanks to the dog. They had a sniffer dog run the security line, and that meant no one had to take off shoes or remove their electronics or any of that nonsense. DOG SEES ALL, KNOWS ALL. It makes you a big peeved they don’t have DOG all the time.

Everyone has to walk past the sniffer dog in pairs. The man is commanding us over ad over again to walk together in pairs to the end, walk together in pairs to the end. Everyone hears it 20 times by the time they get up to the sniffer-dog lane, and half the people are still confused when they get there.

Now we're waiting.

Now to board.











Cancun is not an ancient place. It was founded in 1970. The resorts tower over the small streets. Newer ones come along every so often and the older ones slide a bit down the chain.

The big resorts give way to ordinary street scenes, more interesting than the giant walled structures. Wonderfully garish underpasses:

Blocks of decay:

These are all stills from the video I shot. Under construction, perhaps:

So . . . you drive your car through the portal into the building?

Drop in for a quick, cheap prognosis:

That's how you sell tires:

The Mexican street gives you an excellent lesson in the power of paint.

It was something, once:

No, there's not roosters fighting here. Cocktails.

Even the ruin is interesting.

From the safety of the van, of course.



Tomorrow: The difficulties of ease.




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