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Broken Down In Bucerias

Somewhere between the earths cooling and the dinosaurs rising Susan and I traveled to Mexico to celebrate the onerous life long commitment both of us made in front of witnesses that is modern day marriage. We had a wonderfully great time and even if we left the hotel room it was still okay.

We met another couple that, like us, had doomed themselves to a lifetime of servitude to one another and when they left their room we hooked up and drank, laughed, fished and drank some more. He was an RCMP member and I know you may find it hard to believe that an RCMP officer drank, but I am here to tell you he did and was really good at it too, so was I come to think of it...

It was in Puerto Vallarta that we decided to rent a jeep and go about the countryside exploring and searching for alternate places to serve us cervesa and other liquids to slake our thirst. It was fucking hot out and the jeep (VW Thing) was roofless and did little to keep us out of the sun. Driving north from PV in the hot sun we developed a thirst and it only grew in size as we drove further up the road. After what seemed to be forever we happened on a little town called Bucerias and we decided to stop and sample a light, chilled and tasty beverage.

But first we needed to find a restroom (baño / baña) and after driving around asking for direction to the restroom we happened on to a place that made tortillas and along side the tortilla factory there was a store-restaurant that could offer us respite from the hot sun (it was August). We entered the store, sat down, and ordered a beer. The fine gentleman served us and then went about his business.

Finally, sufficiently quenched, we paid the publican and left the store. I tried to start the Thing and it protested that demand loudly. So there we were, sitting in the hot sun, drying out rapidly, sitting atop a broken down piece of shit VW Thing. Our thirsts grew worse. Exponentially worse.

The store was now closed as the operator began making tortillas to supply the to growing lineup of people who were queued up outside its door, most of them holding little bowls or plates in their hands, presumably to place the tortillas upon.

So we waited, because as it turns out, at that time the only operational telephone in Bucerias available to the great unwashed such as us was in the store, and the store was closed until the tortilla rush hour was over. So there we sat, roasting in the sun being stared at by a few dozen people standing in line to buy their tortillas. They looked at us, we looked at them. Neither side knowing what the other was doing in that dusty little town. I felt like an exhibit in a zoo. Quite uncomfortable really. I learned then what a chimpanzee must feel like when being stared at by dozens of strangers. Without the poo flicking of course.

Finally the tortilla rush was over and the operator returned to his storekeeper duties, we then entered the store and asked him about light refreshing beverages that would once again quench our collective thirsts. Since I was driving I ordered a Coca Cola as did the others since we needed to keep our wits about us given we were "Broken Down In Bucerias" and needed to formulate a plan to get back to our hotel and our hotel rooms since it was our honeymoons after all. We had an important thing to do I must say.

The storekeeper dropped off 4 bottles of Coke to our table and turned to leave.  At the time he delivered the bottle in front of me I touched it and my touch was greeted by a hot bottle of Coke (it was August and we were in Mexico and he had no AC). I asked the kind man for some glasses and then  asked,"Do you have ice?" and he immediately responded, "Si senor!"

Having suffered a time or two with Montezumas Revenge and not wanting a repeat, I asked the nice man if the ice was made with purified water (agua purificada). He replied too quickly with, "Si! Hielo hecha con agua purificada!!!" But as he was telling me this he was squinting his eyes, averting eye contact and the tone was ominous. Everyone at the table came to the same conclusion when I translated his response to them, and that was; he was full of shit. We passed on glasses and ice and drank our steaming bottles of Coke with little complaint from that point on.

I will add at this point that having taken Spanish in high school and having had traveled to Mexico previously to use and practice that newly acquired language, I was proficient with it and could converse moderately okay if the speaker spoke slow. Better than the average tourist but not a native tongue by any means.

After going through the paper work we had from the rental company we finally found the phone number and imagine my surprise that when we finally got someone on the phone there (we asked for the lovely lady that rented the car to us, who, I have to say, spoke flawless English at the time we rented the Thing, and now she didn't speak a lick of English. Not a fucking word!!!

By that time I was getting riled up and having a hard time holding a civil tongue (I know that surprises many of you) as she was trying to blow smoke up my ass, when a nice older gentleman who was listening to me talk on the phone and struggle both with the language and my temper and knowing our plight, stepped up to help.  

He asked me if he could help and seeing the exasperation in my face he asked if he could speak to her for me and I gladly handed him the phone.  He spoke in very direct terms to the now monolingual car rental hostess and from what I could understand he was suggesting that he would ensure she would lose her job if she did not get help for the stranded travelers and handed the phone back to me. Imagine my surprise when I began to speak to her that she had had a miraculous recovery from her mental lapse and began to speak English to me once again. Only in Mexico you say...

So as she told me that help would be there in an hour or so we offered our wonderful interpreter a beer, he accepted and then we sat and visited for a bit.  Turns out he was a retired business man of some means from New York who retired in PV and was developing property in the area. He was a big man, ex Marine, about 60ish and a great guy.  We enjoyed his company and he left us once the "tow truck" arrived and we were headed back to our hotel in PV. That trip is worthy of another blog posting I can assure you.

I will say that when we finally got off that life threatening ride in the "recovery vehicle" and stood face to face with the lovely part-time unilinguist we were a little "agitated".  Susan having been subjected to more than she could bear (and she could bear a lot I tell you) at that point started to argue with little Miss Forgethowtospeakenglish and demanded a refund.  The clerk was holding the paperwork with our Visa imprint included in her hand (remember those?) and Susan reached over the counter and grabbed the Visa slip.

An epic wrestling match ensued and both parties gave it their all.  There was grunting, squealing, swearing, yelling and hooting. Then when the combatants got vocal it really got loud! Finally Susan got a firm grip on the paperwork and the tug-of-war ended up with both feuding females each holding half of the Visa slip. Susan spoke some enlightening words to the clerk and marched off with her half of the Visa slip with me following close behind, certain now that we were going to spend time in a Mexican jail for assault and theft. We got to our room at the hotel unaccosted by any authority figure, quickly closing and barring the door to keep out the SWAT team that we were certain was going to be there anytime. They did not show up.

Finally back in our locked room, calmed and relaxed, we were able to honeymoon, stomp cockroaches and drink ice water with purified ice, enjoy the air conditioning and......

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