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Showing posts from June, 2017

At the Metaphorical (and Literal) Crossroads

At last I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Things that appeared to be in limbo have now become solid and I am free to begin wandering in earnest.  Mexico turned out to be pretty great.  I'd recommend Playa Del Carmen as a resort town with a little more for those willing to pay for it.  And the historical stuff is well worth the visit as well.

I'm back in Toronto for a couple of days.  Due to certain outside forces I can't really leave the continent until August (and then you better believe I'm getting out of here!).  My hotel runs out on Friday so I needed to make some decisions about where I'd be spending the majority of July.  Looked at Vegas, which still remains very much on the list, but I've decided -- as was my original plan -- to see Canada.

Rental cars are a weird thing.  For a simple 11 day trip between here and a coast it can cost upwards of 2 grand.  Unless it occasionally costs far less for some reason.  I would assume because a car needs to be taken…

A Strange Familiarity

Globalization travels along many different wavelengths and frequencies but always with the same familiar shape -- golden arches.  I was a little uncertain taking the cab into Playa Del Carmen as I wasn't sure what to expect.  I'd been by and it looked like mid-sized coastal city but I'd never been to the tourist area.  Now, I've been to tropical 'tourist areas' that were hot urban sprawl nestled between megamalls and others that were barely a group of markets with a gravel lot for buses.  Hell, I'd been to one of the latter on the way to Chichen Itza.

I needn't have any concern at all.  There would be no fear, no worry, no potential for trouble.  Playa's Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) is the perfect representation of the modern tourist trap.  Some street entertainers, including a living statue so good it actually freaked me out, with some local colour and restaurants all the while layered with the usual diaspora of global branding--Old Navy, The Nik…

Tales of Chichen Itza

Canek had been awaiting a sign but none had come.  His priests had sacrificed a captured boy from an enemy state by throwing him into the sacred cenote to drown, but there was nothing.  The king had called together a game in the ball court--it had lasted hours and both teams had played honorably--the winning captain met his death with no fear.  Still, nothing.

Kukulkan was real, the king knew, as real as the seasons and the harvest--everyone had seen the god's undulating shadow come down the temple steps every spring to bring life to the crops to come.  But, he also knew that the winged serpent was nowhere near as predictable as the stretch of days, so long ago mapped out by the learned men of the Mayan people.

Kukulkan was displeased at him, for taking his finest warriors to Uxmal and taking Sac-Nicte for his own.  She was so beautiful, and she loved him, in a way that Ulil would never know.  But Canek had broken tradition, had broken the laws of the Maya, and for as long as the…

A Rainy Day in Paradise

The tropical air hits you--a mass of humidity and heat and the feel of a people who've been hustling in all of it one way or another for millennia.

I'm in Mexico.  It was a long night at the airport since I decided to save money by staying there instead of a hotel.  An airport in the wee hours is a weird place, a confluence of long-day exhaustion, too-early risers, and the few people working the scattered food places still open.  There's an eerie quiet to a place normally swarming with activity and a kind of unspoken human understanding between those waiting a long while to get away from there as fast as they can.

I was up all night for a 6 am flight.  The good news is I slept through the flight from takeoff until the announcement it was time to fill out the Mexican custom forms.  The tiredness did catch up to me eventually, and I slept the rest of the afternoon at the hotel.  Not such a terrible loss since it was raining heavily.  A tropical storm is making its way thro…

The Continuing Adventures...

It's been a long time since I last typed out words in this somewhat crappy (though reasonably improved!) blogger interface.  I ran my own site for a while before I realized my ROI on that was basically zero.  I have been bitten by the travel bug yet again, and so I decided to resurrect this rusty bag of digital bolts.  Anyways, some updates for you 1-2 readers who probably already know me anyway.

1.  Dave the Charger has gone to the farm upstate.  By that I mean I sold his ass back to the dealer.  Dave was a good car and we had some good times.  But in winter he failed me, and so he needed to go.  It was probably my fault for buying a rear-wheel drive car in Canada anyways.  Now I feel bad for Dave.

2.  In honor of my sudden sympathy for Dave the Car, I have decided that all cars I drive for the purposes of this blog (and there may be many) shall be referred to as Dave.  If any people-Daves happen to be met during my travels they will be referred to as Dave Jr to ensure no confusion…