Wednesday, March 16, 2011
In Which We Become Ugly Americans
Our second day in PV has been a bit of a bust. We slept late, rolled off the boat around ten, and ambled down to the docks to see if we could find a short whale-watching trip. The only one we found was from one to five, though, and the boat's leaving at 3:30, so that didn't work. The tour operator offered us a private trip for $200. I know buyers are expected to bargain in Mexico, but I just wasn't up to it, so we told him we weren't interested.
Walking back to the cruise pier, we saw two Mexican soldiers with machine guns and grenades casually guarding the tourist docks. Mind you, this is inside the cruise complex, which is surrounded by fencing topped with barbed wire and guarded by private security guards who check cruise ID at the gates. (Getting off the boat, one of the HAL crew had told me, "Be careful with your belongings!") After seeing the machine guns, Gary decided that he wasn't up to exploring. I'd wanted to amble around old PV when I thought I could get there on foot, but having to take a cab -- and not being sure how reliably I could get one back -- made me chicken out, too. If I had more energy today, and if we'd had more time, I'd have gone for it anyhow, but I'm exhausted. I've been having a lot of nightmares on this trip (the nuclear news from Japan certainly hasn't helped), and last night's was a long, complicated dream about losing my job, so I didn't wake up feeling very refreshed.
So what did we do? We crossed the street and, heaven help us, went to the mall, where I bought a Nike swimsuit I've wanted and hadn't been able to find in the States. Then we went to the Starbucks and had iced coffee. I used my tiny bit of Spanish only to apologize for the fact that I speak only a tiny bit of Spanish. The Nike saleswoman and I communicated largely with hand gestures.
On our way back to the ship, it occurred to me that one isn't supposed to drink iced beverages in Mexico. I just hadn't been thinking: we were in an American-style mall, buying from an American chain, surrounded by Americans on their laptops, but that doesn't change the fact that the fauna's different down here. I'd committed the very definition of a stupid tourist mistake. Whoops. Back on board, I talked to a member of the crew, who rolled her eyes and told me I'd probably be fine, but that if I got sick I should call the medical department.
So far we're okay, but the crew member said it takes twenty-four hours. In the meantime, we ate lunch. Gary's pacing the deck; I'm blogging. I wanted to take a nap, but our stateroom's right above the showroom, where there's a rehearsal for some extravaganza with thunderously loud bass, so that wasn't going to happen.
The ship's internet cafe is ten decks up. From up here, the view's lovely, and I just saw two pelicans fly by. That's the highlight of the day so far.
I'm so glad we have an excursion booked for Cabo tomorrow. I just hope we're healthy for it.