Saturday, September 08, 2001


I never thought I'd go back to that crazy country. What could draw me back? The corruption? Lack of basic infrastructure? The oven hot heat? The total disregard for environmental concerns? Mosquitos that carry off small children?

OK, so I guess it was the surf. But, this time, even more promising than the surf was the prospect that there was this crazy chica who seemed nuts enough to want to go with me. She would not be deterred. I told her it was dangerous; she said she'd bring a stick. I told her it would be hot; she said she liked it hot. I told her I'd spend most the time surfing; she bought a board. I told her we might be there a long time; she quit her job, said she hadn't liked the lab she was working in anyway. Damn, I was beat -- guess I was going back to Mex. I bought a car. We packed it. And drove. A lot. I told her we could come back after three weeks, or maybe two, if we didn't like traveling together. We traveled for two months. Only came back because we had to go to Burning Man. Turned around just shy of Guatemala.

There was so much that happened on that trip. Life seems so much fuller when you're traveling. We learned mucho Espan~ol, swung in hammocks, filled our bellies with good cheap food, got lost in cities, surfed (a lot), read (about twenty books), stayed in beautiful hotels, stayed in dives, camped on the sand, cranked up the AC when we were feeling amorous (hee), hung out with locals, chased crabs on the beach, ate gelato (?!?), surfed (a lot)... so much. And drove. Eight thousand miles of Mexican road. Down the coast. So many beautiful beaches. And ugly ones too. It was adventure. And the oddest thing about it was I never did get sick of her... just kept liking her more. I started feeling patches of actual happiness come back to me. The kind of happiness I had lost the last time I was in Mexico, two years ago. It was wonderful -- and I didn't know if it was because of the girl or just because of time -- but it was good.

The girl:

Oblivious to the morning traffic:

Can you spot the gringo in the plaza?

You'd think a physicist could think of a safer place to camp than under a large, unstable, overhanging cliff face. That was an exciting night...

Yet more evidence that, yes, men are dogs:

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