3/4/2007 - JERS UP DATE

i have found this on jer's my space. it was posted on feb 24th. we have good faith in jer and hope to see him in panama.

Friday, February 23, 2007
part of what's up

So if you've been keeping up with the infinite road sight you know that I am now traveling solo for a while. I messed up and after a simply amazing day of watching howler monkeys, that night I had some beers with our guide Jake and his cousin who's name I forget but I found very cute. The part that makes this extra stupid of me was that I wasn't trying to get drunk but instead caved to an imagined pressure of fitting in. After we had all had a nice diner together we went back to Jakes place and when he asked if I wanted a beer I said yes. A deal being a deal Brian, Erika, and myself split ways after leaving Monte Pio where the indregrestion had taken place and we where miles away in Ciudad de Carmen along the coast. The next day we amicably parted ways with the idea being that we will meet again in about a month in Panama to reevailute things. All said and done I did a stupid thing but the way we handled our situation was about as good as it could have been. I haven't been using their absence as an excuse to fall into my old ways, in fact I need my wits about me now more than ever.

So I hope you will forgive me if events of recent have my writing attention more than the events of when we last left off. I will not forget to talk about the first cloud forest I've seen or the monkeys, and you can always see the website for Erika's take of the trip, But for now....

SOLO, (or the real adventures of Jeremy begin...)

... with a sever case of the dreaded Revenge, Montezuma's that is. Let's start in the parking lot of the Fiesta Inn across from the parking lot where we parted ways. I watch B and E drive out and think how good of friends they are to leave me in Mexico, alone, a ton of valuables on me, not speaking a lick of spanish and actaully expecting to see me alive again. You can't buy friends like that, friends like that are earned.
And I am actually a little greatful to be on my own. My backpack is heavy and awkwardly loaded. I have a completely stuffed camera pack hanging in front of me, but hey, I'll just go into the Fiesta, get a room and sort things out. Right?

So when the valet at the counter tells me 150 for the night I'm releaved, the place looks really nice for 150 pesos. Which of course, it is. After setting the money on the table the man gives me a quick look and returns his eyes to the computer. A moment passes and he looks back up at my pesos.
"One hundred and fifty U.S." he says plainly.
I have rarely had the ocasion where I have uncontroabley laughed in some ones face. It just came out. I have never spent that much of my own money on a room in my life. (And in truth even if I had stayed there, I still wouldn't have.)
"You're kidding right" I explode.

Back on the road the heat of the day is getting to me. It's only been five blocks. Finally I turn into a place that still looks too nice but I might as well check it out anyway. It is at just shy of fifty U.S. but it's just one night, they boast internet and I've got to figure out what I'm doing anyway.
The room is comprable to a nice hotel in the states. I take off the back pack and turn up the a.c. I pop on the cable t.v., lay on the bed and breath a big deep breath. "And so it begins" And did it ever, just 'it' wasn't the solo adventure of travel but just a very solo side effect.

Thankfully free bottled water came with the room. It better had, I spent two more nights there. I'd look at my wallet, look at my bag then look at the bathroom. The bathroom always won. I won't bother you with anymore detail than that but thankfully they had a pharmacy right there. I'm not sure how bad this gets, but I would have pity on anyone with less of a touch of it, let alone more.

The internet, which worked slowly when it decided to work at all was pretty much my best friend while I went though a very large range of emotions. Should I really press on? Would I only being doing it just so I wouldn't feel like a wimp and a failure? Should I just head back and get a real job? That last question always got me. How bad could winding up dead in the jungle really be? At least there is something nice to look at. Besides getting stabbed couldn't be any worse than I feel right now right?

Still weak I took a cab down to the bus terminal to get a ticket south, eventually to a town I had read very nice things about, San Cristabol de las casas. I bought my ticket and headed back to the room to get my stuff and push my exit as long as I could stall so as not to wait at the bus terminal to long. My maid whom I called 'Antinia' after the name of the writer of the song "Sexy Mexican Maid," although only two of those things were true, stalled and put me on the end of her list, having simpathised through her laughter.

So strap on the back pack Gringo, make it to the bus station, and get out of town right?

The hotel across from the bus station was much cheaper, thank god, and while my shower did have a one foot gap in bricking that ajioned the shower next to mine, it did have better cable channels. Not better cable mind you as the t.v. would blink on and off due to the considerable strain running twenty rooms off of one feed can cause. In short the bus had been over booked and it's had to fight for your space on it another language.

The good news was that if you didn't count the twelve hour stall in a seedy hotel, it would actaully take less time to get there. I wasn't able to get any rest as I was to worried about missing my bus, and a thousand other things let's face it. I did however manage to eat an entire plate of "tacos de pastor" without fear, which is meat of some kind, lamb I assumed as it was pressed meat roasting on a stick, gyro style.

Everyone knows the Swaking Box effect. Grocery stores, drive in's, and bus stations all have it. That garbled voice that makes you strain to hear hopefully at least enough phonetic sounds to put the words together. You can already tell where I'm heading right?

After bumping around the crowd, still trying to figure out the spacial distance and width my back has gained, trying not to look to much like a deer in headlights (at least they tend to have that 'hey, that's new' look.) trying not to piss off the gaurd to the door, who is armed by the way, with what feels like constant pointing to my ticket and asking "Es me Ah-toe-coche?" I'm finally let into the garage with the row of buses. This does me very little good as now I know one thing, one of these is my buses, but part of the puzzle is still missing. A voice from the group "you no espansiol?" It's a nice guy who looks at my ticket and points to to the right bus.

Checking almost everything you own to a guy who is going to put it under a bus is a little unnerving. They give you the ticket with you number on it and put the sticky tag in the bag, but still, I've spent at least a week and a half on buses in my life, I want it next to me. This is not an option however as this bus is full.

Bus systems in Mexico, from what I can tell in my limited expierence, are much, much better than in Los Estados Unitos. I think it's because for many people here, flying just isn't an option. Capitalism, bless it, takes hold and guess what, without compition from a completely different style of travel, it's pretty nice. Even after I swicthed buses and was on a bus that was basically empty I still couldn't sleep. The view had gotten pretty good and I'd micro nap my way along for the rest of the trip.

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