January 5th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Today’s entry ticket

Eleven ladies dancing.”  I was struck today by some obscure bug, more of a debilitating nature than anything active, robbing me of hunger, energy, enthusiasm.  Nonetheless, one must persevere, or endeavour to, at any rate.  We walked to the ruins, stopping at a small café there to drink Coke.  The hammock shop was shut – we had missed our opportunity of striking when the iron is hot… or drunk.

The ruins, apart from the enviable quality of their situation, overlooking the sea, were unimpressive.  Tho’ of course I am biased, since my own weakness did not allow me to appreciate anything.  Afterwards, we ran into a friendly American we’d met in Chichen, + as well as introducing us to the cheapest Pepsi in the area – at the tienda we’d overlooked before – he regaled us with good stories about Guatemala.

On the way back to the camp-site, a tragic sight: an Indian boy had been hit by a hit-and-run driver, and was lying at the side of the road, obviously dead, guarded now by a policeman.  The first death I’d seen… not that that warrants comment.  A little further down the road it was almost worse, as we met the family, running towards the scene, at their different speeds – brothers, father, a fat, crying mother.

Lay around in the sun in the afternoon, reading – there was oil on the sea, keeping me, at least, out.  Isn’t man ugly?  I’m enjoying, to my surprise, the Gore Vidal novel, and find myself copying the style, as I did Trollope’s when reading “Finn”.  We were determined, on this occasion, to cook earlier, + lit a fine fire, despite being delayed by a short shower (which enabled a couple of people to take a shower.)  Unfortunately, I was still ill, so we reduced the feast we had planned to peas + carrots.  Just as well, since almost immediately it was ready, the storm returned with renewed, tropical vigour, that sent us scurrying to a cabana to enjoy our meal.  Val left a saucepan sitting on the fire in the storm, +, remarkably, she was able to make coffee during a lull.  Then she went to bed, fearful of bugs, which have plagued her dreadfully, while I sat a while in the café, drinking pepsi.

The most notable section concerns the dead boy – apologies for the slightly crass way I made someone else’s tragedy into being about me – and the impact his death had upon his family.

More information in the way it tended to come then, from other travellers, enthusing us with news of Guatemala.

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