Saturday, September 22, 2007

Leaving Mexico

A small town cemetery.

A roaside store selling statues of La Santisima Muerte.

Rhonda loved seeing the chickens and turkey wandering the streets.

The Virgin of Guadalupe and Coca Cola; a perfect combination.

A roadside dentist office.

"Here Meets the Church of Christ"

A "public" restroom on the road back to Cancun.

We left Valladolid and somehow missed the turn to the toll highway leading back directly and quickly to Cancun International Airport. Instead, we ended up taking the free highway passing through more than a dozen small towns. Actually, I was glad for the experience of seeing some of the more mundane places within the Mexican countryside.

These are some of the sights we saw, but two of these photographs deserve some telling.

We photographed the dentist office because the previous night I accidentally pulled the wire out from my braces. I had nightmare visions of having to visit some back alley dentist, and so I ran upstairs and pounded on my mother's hotel room door. "Wake up mom, you have to help me!" I shouted.

When she saw the problem, she objected, "I'm a nurse, not an orthodontist."

"I don't care!" I answered, "I'd rather you fix the problem than some scary dentist in a jungle hut." So she pulled out a pair of dirty tweezers and somehow managed to re-string the wire into the brace. Amazingly, she did the job right and when I returned to the States, I needed no additional treatment. In hindsight, our methods were probably no more clean or safe than a real dentist in Mexico, but at the time, the thought terrified me.

The second story is related to the last photograph. Rhonda had to visit a bathroom with some urgency, but unlike the States, we didn't expect to find public restrooms or rest stops. We finally had to stop and ask around. A woman pointed us in the direction of a flower shop with a "public" restroom out back. It was Rhonda's first experience with a "scary" bathroom in Mexico. It was simply a little detached toilet and shower room, with a blanket hanging over the door. She really hated that bathroom, but circumstances didn't allow for many options. I just laughed; I know, no sympathy here.

Then the funniest part was that after we left the bathroom, a horde of little little boys chased us out demanding payment for use of the facilities. I gave them $10 pesos and went on my way.

From there, we rushed back to the airport to catch our return flight. Such an interesting end to a fabulous trip. Ultimately, I was sad to leave, but I know we will return someday.

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