December 31st 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Our New Years Eve party in the Zocalo

“Six swans a-swimming”  A thoroughly lazy last day of the year.  To begin with, a late start.  Then we decided to stroll around the town a little, + do some shopping.  This proved to be a mistake – the sun was so fierce + hot that we both managed to obtain pounding headaches, + consequently, become rather ratty with each other.  Most of the time, we do manage to get on fine, tho’ living with each other, on each other, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (etc), does lead to the disquieting situation that we don’t have anything to say to each other.  At which point we’re either just stonily silent, or become very childish, or we bitch.  Anyway, on this occasion I left Val to sit in some shade while I looked for some leather thread – the stuff we’d been searching for.  However, despite trying a shoemaker, I was unsuccessful, so had to return with a couple of Cokes instead.  In Merida they’re relatively cheap – the price really varies across Mexico – so it was a small price to pay for Val’s eternal gratitude.  Later, we treated ourselves to another fruity milk-shake, then took off back to the hotel for siesta…

Later that same day, I emerged from our bed (leaving a sleeping Valerie) + collected our film – which miraculously had been developed on time, + bought Val a bottle of Kahlua for the evening festivities.  She’d awoken to find me missing, so had come out in search of me – successfully.  We bought a bit more shopping, then went back to the hotel to look at the photos. – they were OK, proving that there’s life in our camera yet.  We then showered + went out on the town.  Unsurprisingly, we found nothing going on.  Sat in the Zocalo for a while, drinking brown cows – that Kahlua + milk – + playing the penny whistle.  We then wandered to another square – got someone to take our picture – then returned to the Zocalo + joined a group of gringos there.  Slowly our numbers swelled – Kiwis, Israelis, Germans, a Dane, Americans, Dutch, Canadian, even 2 other Englishers.  Val had recently been lamenting the lack of English company, but these made her change her mind.

There is a fairly extensive history recorded here of us managing to irritate each other, but, as on today’s occasion, we generally managed to get back on track.  I suppose that should be always, since, somewhat miraculously, we are still together.

Another reference to drinking coke – we must have been keeping the company afloat.  But this was before the ready availability of bottled water – except for very expensive, imported French stuff, and the other alternative was to use the disgusting water purification tablets that all travellers carried at that time.

And so to New Years Eve, our first abroad.  And lots of travellers, all cast adrift, coming together for company.  It was, as the photo shows, a relatively sedate affair, but so much better than just being on our own.

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