January 8th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
The Post Office, Belize City

We started the day early – tho’ this was largely accidental, such being the perils of travelling, a la Easy Rider, watchless.  I’m afraid we were prone to temptation, + as one should do in such circumstances, we surrendered.  Immediately.  Headed straight for the large supermarket, and bought: a half pound of strong cheddar cheese; a jar of Marmite; a packet of corn flakes; a quart of milk; a pot of raspberry jam.  Then straight back to the hotel room to consume some of them.  You would like to hear, I am sure, that they proved disappointing.  Well, they didn’t.  Nectar.

Later, we performed other little tasks.  We visited the tourist information office – they were remarkably, and rather surprisingly, unhelpful.  And we packaged up some of the usual stuff to send home, the people in the post office being friendly, smiling, + helpful; and changed some money… likewise.  We certainly appreciate the West Indian temperament (for despite being accidentally deposited in Central America, Belize is a West Indian country) as opposed to the Mexican.  So much more smiles + laughter, as opposed to the Mexican sullen antagonism.

Perhaps the best part of the day’s proceedings was our triple encounter with the British soldiers.  I asked one, a bus-driver, where it was possible to buy a British paper.  He said it wasn’t, but he’d send one out on the next bus.  At 2 0’clock, we met the next bus, whose driver knew nothing of it, but said he’d bring some out himself on the next bus.  At 5.30, there we were again, waiting, + to our rather surprise delight, he’d come up with the goods: a couple of Suns, just a few days old, + the Christmas Daily Express.  Able to discover that West Ham had beaten Everton in the Cup.

Apart from those incidents, our day was spent strolling around, in sun + rain – they had some very heavy thundershowers, +, of course, reading.  The evening we passed in a small café where we ate very well, + were able to chat with the owner.  They served bread pudding too, so we both had some of that (making our second portion of the day.)  Not like Mum’s, of course, but it’ll do for a while.

Don’t really know why I should have assumed any reader would want a poor outcome for us – quite the reverse, if anything – but there you go.  And it does indicate our desire for delights from home.

Bureaucracy then, a regular occupation.  And another example of our (my) desperate search for news of any kind.  We would have given both of the newspapers mentioned very short shrift if there had been any choice, but as it was, we were extremely grateful for anything at all.

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