January 7th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Belize City

And so, tis done – Christmas, New Year, all.  Tho’ I’d rather they’d have waited, patiently, at home for us, so that we could have the whole caboodle in a grand, glorious, triumphal return.  As it is, the festivities, Mexican style, have been rather a damp squib, + I have the nastiest of feelings that our return will be also.  What I really want, of course, is for us to be feted, courted, + generally made a huge fuss of, but my vision in more rational moments is of the drab mundane… Heathrow, most likely, or maybe Dover, + then, when all of the things we dream of are within our reach, will we appreciate them?  I think not.  Tho’ maybe a little, until their newness turns stale once again.

Much of our talk recently concerns food, the things we long to have once again: bread pudding, pasties, roast beef, toast + marmalade, tea, fish + chips, treacle pudding with custard, just bread + butter… I must stop.  I should stop too, or this list of gluttony will deny any proper space to a true + full account of January 7th… tho’ really there isn’t much to tell.  Rather a wasted day.  Treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast first thing – eggs, + a sort of ham burger/sausage.  Too expensive really, but nice.  (More food.)

We then strolled thro’ Orange Walk, to the Post Office, to buy 2 stamps, + generally window-shop.  Drank coke back at the hotel, then thought about leaving for the big city.  Packed up, + walked out to hitch.  There was a bus waiting there, as it happened, but we decided to leave it, + try our hand at hitching.  This turned out to be a mistake, since hitching was only of any use in making us mad at each other + getting hot + bothered – there was virtually only local traffic.  So we gave it up as a bad job, went to the square, + read, waiting for the next bus, at 6.30.  Met 2 Americans we’d met before on that, + luckily got a seat together – it was a very crowded bus.  Belize an amazing shanty city – + we heard Jimmy Clitheroe!  Found a cheap guest house for Val + I – our friends had already taken a dearer place.

Whenever I allowed myself to indulge in a bout of food porn, as with the above, it indicates a dissatisfaction with the current circumstances.  Actually, in this case, it refers back to the past holiday, which had proved disappointing.  And also provoking some gloom about our return, whenever that might be.

And actually, if anything things were looking up, since by all accounts Guatemala, our destination after Belize, was a lot cheaper, which ought to affect our standard of life, and hence our enjoyment of the place.  But first, Belize, which with its English background provided us with tantalising reminders of home.  I ought to explain Jimmy Clitheroe.  He was a radio star of the late 50s and 60s, actually a very short middle-aged man playing a naughty schoolboy, and was popular on Sunday radio, with his own half-hour programme.  I saw him live on stage once, giving the goldfish in a bowl a stir, because they weren’t lively enough.

And finally, a word about Tulum, the last place we stayed in Mexico.  Then it was very sleepy, just a few isolated buildings, but now I understand it is packed with luxury hotels, with all the stuff that comes with them, good and bad.  Bad including corruption, in the way the land was acquired, and, just recently, violence, with gunfire on the beach.  But that is Mexico’s story.


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