Here’s a snapshot of what I do on the reg.
Wake up at about 5.30am and walk the beach. Sometimes get caught sneaking through private property to reach the beach. It’s hard to sweet talk your way out of things when you don’t speak the language. But not impossible. Tip to the wise, smiling goes a long way. Watch the sunrise. Never tire of the sky. Everyday it’s something different. Sometimes sherberty and sweet, big fluffy clouds and a neon sun poking its head out. Sometimes so stormy and oh so moody, a tropical storm brewing out at sea. Always beautiful and intoxicating.
(Not intoxicating: tons of plastic on the beach and being swept in and out with the lapping waves. I despair. Really. It makes me so sad and so helpless and stupid. How can the human race be so irresponsible?! I’ve tried picking it up but it’s never ending and there’s no actual bins anywhere… an impossible and thankless tasks that leads to more despair. So I’ve devised the “one giant handful until the bin” routine, where I pick up as much as I can in my one free hand (the other usually with my key, thongs and phone) until I can pick up no more, and then find a bin. Repeat usually twice there and back. Something is better than nothing.)
Get home. Potter about, rearraging things in my 2m by 2m room. I haven’t described that yet. Hmm. Ok. Let’s go.
2 metres cubed-ish. Cement floor, rendered walls, thatched roof. One door. No fly screen. Two big windows with fly screen. One little window with fly screen. Curtains that don’t give any illusion of privacy, especially as the wind picks up for the ever more frequent tropical storms and the curtains billow allowing me to see everything outside (my two big windows are on the two big sides that face out to the public) and everyone outside, in. (And at the moment there’s a lot of building and plumbing as they’re extending the palapa fleet. And restaurant customers coming and going. To the back toilets, cos the restaurant toilets are out due to the new construction)
Anyway…One twin bed, comfy and two pillows, comfy. Plus, the addition of my pillow and sleeping bag. This ensures that I a) have a couchy like shelf for netflixing and b) to get the damn things out of the way.
One metre of bamboo strung up with 6 hangers. A little shelf.
One desk under (but perpendicular) to the front window. Barely fits macbookpro on but does. Just. Easier just to lie in bed with computer.
Mosquito net. More to field the dropping of lizard poo than the insects, I’m pretty sure.
One light and one ceiling fan.
Outside theres a plastic bench seat. I imagine it’s for sitting on. Maybe reading. But it’s too hot outside. I like to sit and read on my bed, under the fan. Or in town at the café, Don Cafeto’s with three whole industrial fans up in my face. Aw yeah.
I pay for my room (us10) and the use (shared) of two toilets and two showers. Everything is salt water.
I also get drinking water, a bike, a discount at the attached restaurant (healthy organic by day/ thai by night), and the use of a “kitchen” a rather exaggerated term for a room with a sink, some glasses and a dozen spoons. Still. It’s provided me with somewhere to unpack my junk and settle for a bit. Which is nice, cos backpacking is kinda exhausting, especially when you have to force a yoga mat, sleeping bag and pillow into your luggage every damn day.
I have taken it upon myself to ride the 7/8kms into town at least once per day. I do this usually as soon as I’m back from the beach. I do this to get laundry done, eat, get coffee, go to the supermarket for a tiny relief from their air conditioning or to fetch breakfast from Don Cafeto, the café/restaurant that fast became my regular breakfast joint for the simple fact it does the best value for money/good tasting black coffee in town. And I’ve looked. It’s strong and comes in a big mug and they only charge 20 pesos for it. And you can get milk on the side, if you want it and when you work out how to say “on the side” in Spanish. It also offers generous breakfasts: mayan, american, european and mexican; plus hotcakes, granola, toast. I’ve tried them all. And they serve the more savoury dishes with a bowl of hot (spicy) fresh salsa and a bowl full of pickled carrots and garlic and such. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s delicious. And the staff are bloody lovely too.
After I polish off my breakfast and second coffee and finish the latest chapter on my kindle app on my phone (I’m a total convert to the kindle lifestyle. I don’t have to carry a book around now. Just my phone. Whoa!), I’ll usually walk around for a bit, graciously saying “no, gracias” to all the invitations to go inside shops and buy hammocks. And then I’ll get on my bike, head to the supermarket (for that sweet AC hit, and usually a muffin or something. They’re like 60 cents) and then head home in the searing heat, with sweat and sunscreen dripping down every possible surface of me, basically gushing out of all my pores. Despite being so very warm and so very moist, I will take my scarf and extend it out so it shades my arms and chest and create a nice little cocoon for capturing yet more heat. But I like to think it will stop me from a premature death from skin cancer. Let’s see how that pans out.
At home, (or at any point of the day in different lighting conditions and bodily configurations) I will note an increasing number of freckles. The freckles have increased exponentially, while my tan is maybe only two shades darker. Which, is a good thing I guess. Maybe the scarf is doing the job I think it is.
I will lay under my fan in my room, reading or planning yoga classes, or avoiding booking my onward travel because it involves being precise in times and dates. Or I will watch tv shows on my computer. I’ve been through a lot of shows. Sometimes secretly I think I could take half of every year off just to watch TV. Hmmm.
Once the sweat dies down, I’ll lather myself in sunscreen and walk along the beach again. Watch kite surfing. Pelcians soaring and diving for fish. Tourists swimming and laughing and honeymooning. Dogs. Kids selling friendship braclets. Friggin’ turtles hatching and making their way into the world! Whoa. And, of course, more billions of trash. Again. Still.
I usually teach yoga from 5 til 6.30. I usually get smothered in mosquito bites and sweat. So after class, I’ll shower and immediately break into a sweat and then I’ll ride back into town to find the tamale stand I like. I don’t have to “find” them. They have a permanent corner. The dude there knows me. He’s nice. And patient with my Spanish. I’ve tried all his tamales now. They’re 15 pesos each. And come with spicy sauce.
On the nights I don’t get a tamale or two, I’ll get tacos or tortas or tostadas. All the food starting with T. It’s all really good. I’ve also tried the vegan place, the raw food place, the burger joint… there’s no shortage of food. The challenge is to eat without mozzie bites. I usually fail in this. Usually cos I fail in remembering the bug spray.
By now the sun has set and I am forced to ride home in the dark with my phone torch on. Which works well enough. It’s just the other dick weeds on the path with no lighting that come up RIGHT AT THE LAST MINUTE that fuck with me. I don’t listen to any music or podcasts at night, but it’s not like you can really hear people walking in the dark when you’ve got the wind whilstling in your ears. So I’ll usually grumble under my breath something like “fucking shit fuck cunt. I almost fell into the bog there, buckaroo, where’s YOUR goddamn light, asshole. Everyone has a fuckin’ phone, sunny Jim”. I’m not making any friends on my rides home.
Arrive home, sweaty again. Or still, whatevs. Never escape the sweat. Grow tired of the beach bunglow lifestyle and crave (in a very non yogic fashion) oodles of air con.
Brush my teeth in the briney water. Floss. That’s the most surprising thing about this whole trip. I’m flossing pretty much every day. My dentists would be proud. I then take some time to set up my curtains. I weigh spots down with water bottles. I add my sarong and my scarf to the mix for a little more modesty coverage, hoping that folks can’t see in. Cos it’s too damn hot to sleep in PJs. Even keeping undies on is a challenge. And then I’ll fall asleep watching yet more TV. Rick and Morty or Gravity Falls. Cartoons are my go-to sleep crack.
Repeat. I’m getting kinda tired of being here. And I keep seeing creatures on the bike path now. First a giant fury spider. Then I saw a smaller alive version of that spider in the toilets at home… And second a beautiful, but dangerous looking snake. And there’s the crabs and the mozzies and the lizards and dragonflies and the things. All the things. Yikes. It’s lucky I’m not too squeamish… Even so, maybe tomorrow I’ll get around to booking my onwards travel.