Day 33- Playa del Carmen, Mexico

OK so I’m on this Caribbean cruise and making my first stop after two days at sea.  Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

As I said in the previous post, I had never been on a ship before so it never occurred to me that the ship would be too big to dock close to where I was suppose to get off.  When the doors opened I, along with several thousand others, stepped into small passenger shuttle boats that took us from the ship onto land.  Ok-  whatever works.

Once on Mexican sand I felt like I really accomplished something big.  I had not only taken my first flights, taxi ride and ship stay, now I was out of the US for the very first time. That’s a huge big deal.  (you never forget your first lol)  Upon first glance I wasn’t too impressed with Mexico.  It looked nothing like what I expected… but then again, I probably didn’t really know what to expect.  I assumed Mexico would be dirty and look impoverished – you know, like Texas does. (I can say that because I lived there) Playa del Carmen was very Americanized.

I had little interest in shopping in Mexico and didn’t want to waste my time in port on the strip. I did buy a gold charm etched with “Playa del Carmen” in a semi-circle above a palm tree. Not wanting to lose the charm I slid it onto my necklace with the intention to add it to my bracelet once back home. Seemed like a good idea– (keep reading)     After spending a few bucks, I decided to flag down a taxi. I admit that I was slightly taken aback when this tiny, rusted blue, and beat all to hell Chevette came to a quick halt in front of me.  “Was this a taxi?”  I was a little confused and I didn’t just want to get into someones personal ride…. you know??  A big ole Mexican was pretty much shoe-horned into the tiny car so I just stood there like a huge goober because I didn’t know what else to do.  The man leaned over to the passenger side window and asked me if I wanted to go somewhere. My first thought was, ‘uh uh not with your kidnapping-ass.  I’ve seen dateline.’   But then I realized he had a name tag on that said, “Frank” – – seemed legit. LMAO  Between his broken English and my very bad Spanish we got a plan together.  He agreed to take me to a beach away from the tourist area, a place where I could snorkel and he would come back for me in a couple of hours!!  Frank’ dropped me off at a beach that wasn’t overly crowded – was beautiful. When I went to pay him he said to wait until later–

As I traipsed through the soft sand with my backpack, I about tripped over a 200 foot iguana. The hell??!  Making my way over to a palm I came across a waiter carrying a tray of coconuts decorated with little umbrella’s and a straw – I thought, “Hell, why not?”  I bought one then planted my butt in the shade of the palm.  So there I sat, under my palm tree sipping on a coconut full of alcohol, minding my own business when a rather large woman (no less than 4 bills) decided to share the shade of my tree. Saying nothing, I continued to sip my coconut unfazed while she got butthole naked right there beside me, while changing into her bathing suit.  It really wouldn’t have been a big deal to me if she hadn’t bent over. OMG! Ass-crack for days!! I about choked, no joke. I have to admit, I watched the entire process from beginning to end, amazed by not her getting naked in front of an entire beach of people but rather by the fact she was wearing a two-piece bikini and her bush was hanging out of the sides of her bottoms.  That was enough excitement for me- was times to hit the Gulf.   Unlike the shade-stealer, I had my bathing suit on under my cloths.  I stripped off my shorts and tank and crammed them into my backpack, slathered SPF9000 on my milky white skin, sucked down the last of the coconut nectar, grabbed my snorkel gear and headed out.    Man- I cannot tell you how awesome it was.   So many big gorgeous fish, lots of coral (never touch the red ones), and brightly colored tropical fish littered the water.

Ok, so I’m floating around taking it all in when I see a long silver fish..   with my snorkel sticking out of the water, I sat as motionless as the ebb and flow would allow.  That freaking fish was a barracuda, no less than 4 feet long.  I knew that damn thing had teeth and it would attack and it was sitting as motionless as I was, staring at me.  Wanna know why?  Remember that charm I slid onto my necklace back in Touristville? Well it was hanging down and clanking against another charm I had on my necklace. The sun was hitting it just right too… which basically made me lure. Shit. I slowly turned around and Michael Phelps’ed my ass back to shore.  As I was speed racing, I felt something bite me on the outside of my knee..I reacted by swatting at it, and it bit me again on my hand.  That was it, I was going to bleed to death in the Gulf of Mexico. I was being attacked by a killer barracuda and it had just taken my leg and my hand off– but I didn’t panic. I knew if I did I would probably not make it and I didn’t want my kids to have to identify my body, if in fact it ever made it back home, so I kept swimming until I got to the shallows where I could stand and run.

Gasping, I stood on the beach trying to catch my breath when I realized, I had my leg… and my hand. I laughed for like two seconds until I saw a red swirled pattern on the side of my knee. I looked at my hand – same thing. OMG!!  I WAS ATTACKED BY A FLIPPIN’ JELLY WHILE TRYING NOT TO BE EATEN BY A BARRACUDA!!!   I hobbled over to the tiki hut that sold those tasty little coconuts and pointed to my inflamed swirl. The barmaid had me sit on a chair and she poured some sort of alcohol on it. It made it hurt worse for a few minutes but then it stopped.  I guess the alcohol neutralized the poison (shrugs)  When it was time, I walked back to the road to wait for Frank.  He came back just as promised.  He laughed and shook his head when he saw my leg.. he said, “I take you to Charlies.” I smiled but kept thinking to myself, “Holy mother of God, who is Charlie??”     Frank sped down the gravelly road, swerving past other cars.  Many times I thought we were going to die in a head-on collision but at the very last second, the oncoming car would zig to Frank’s zag then they’d each continue to speed along. No wonder Frank’s car looked beat all to hell.  Frank stopped and pointed- I followed his finger with my eyes to a sign that said, “Carlos n’ Charlies.”   He asked me the name of my ship- and asked me for more money than was due him- which I found a little curious.  I handed him a wad of cash and told him the name of my ship.  He nodded with a smile and waited for me to get out of his cab. I shrugged that little bit of weirdness off and head into Charlies.

omg Charlies was the most fun I ever had in my entire life (up to that point anyway)  I danced on the tables while strangers threw popcorn at me.  I started to get ticked off until it was explained to me that popcorn is thrown at good looking people; then I was like, oh ok.. toss away!! hahaha. I also made a few trips too many around the restaurant in conga line, making pit-stops at designated waiters so they could pour flavored tequila down my throat.  All I remember after that was making myself throw up in Charlies bathroom and stumbling outside.  I don’t know how long I sat there but I do remember Frank putting me into his cab and driving me to my shuttle boat.  I remember seeing my reflection in the brass doors inside the elevator on the ship. I knew I was trashed but tried so hard to pull my act together so no one else would know. Yeah, that’s funny.  Ever see a legally embalmed person trying to act normal? hahahahaha   Somehow I made it back to my stateroom and slept it off without dying of alcohol poisoning.   I’m really thankful for Frank because he knew just by looking at me that Charlies would kick my ass.  He was right. Now I know why he asked for extra money- it was to pay my debt before it incurred.

Smart man.

Charlies

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