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24 Oct 2001

CHETUMAL, MEXICO — We're heading out of town this morning, headed for the border of Belize, about half an hour away, and its border town of Corozal. We've spent a week in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and have found it to be a lot like the Mexico we know, but also different. I think it's an interesting place to start a world tour, because you can tell you're not far from the US, especially when small cafes in a town of 200 people are broadcasting the Yankees/Mariners playoffs.

At the same time, though, it allowed us to immediately immerse ourselves in a foreign culture: a different language, a different currency, and lots of weird food. It also gave us a good taste of what things will be like for the next year or so: washing laundry in the sink, access to phones only once or twice a week, eating the same three meals all the time, because we can't figure out what the other ones are, and, of course, going to the bathroom a lot.

I've written a lot in my journals, but here are some of the main points I've come to learn about Mexico.


It goes without saying that people aren't as jumpy around here as they are in the states. So, of course, I have lots to say about it, or at least good stories.


Is it hot down here, you ask? Well, did you know deodorant can melt? Or gum? They can.

It's not hot here: it's goddamn hot. Africa hot, only with 6500% humidity. Two minutes outside was all it took before our shirts were stuck to us for the rest of the day. Ten minutes, and I could feel the suntan lotion evaporating off my skin. Thirty minutes, and I felt like I was ready to pay whatever the Holiday Inn wanted for an air-conditioned room. (Two thousand US dollars? Sold!) We drank so much water that our stomachs were filling up faster than we could replenish all our lost fluids.

I can't imagine how people survive without air conditioning. I especially wonder how really obese people manage. You'd think everybody here would sweat off ten pounds a day, but looking around, that's apparently not the case.

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Last updated: 27 Oct 2001 22:59:10