(9 a.m.) Feel pain on left side. Get sonogram because can’t be too careful after recent events and sonograms in Carrillo cost $30.
(11 a.m.) Email results to New York doctor.
(noon) Receive “no big whoop” message from New York doctor.
(9 p.m.) Receive “no big whoop” confirmation from Dr. Raul but also recommendation that I poop in a cup to be checked for parasites.
(10:30 p.m.) Come home, drink beer and enjoy brain melt that comes after worry-cloud lift.
(11:30 p.m.) See several ants. Remember noticing ants on guest bed. Lift guest bed mattress: big ants, ants with wings, eggs. Scream, drop mattress,
(11:35 p.m.) Put on shoes, commence Rambo-style Raid spraying and stomping of escapees.
(11:55 p.m.) Sweep.
(midnight) Collapse in bed.
(5 a.m.) Hear crash in outdoor kitchen. Creep to window. See sheepish cat, lake of balsamic vinegar and glass shards. Sigh because a) cannot leave vinegar to fester in tropical heat b) had to travel over an hour to buy balsamic vinegar.
(noon) Get up, Skype, pack.
(2:30 p.m.) Get on collective van (combi) to town of Jose Maria Morelos, population 12,000, home of good friend who a) looks like me and b) is one of two gringas in greater Jose Maria Morelos metropolitan area
(4 p.m) Cause confusion/concern by disembarking in Jose Maria Morelos.
(4:15. p.m.) Meet friend, go to restaurant, have delicious molé chicken and juice made of celery and chaya (Maya “tree spinach”). Explore neighborhood of pole/thatch huts, children, turkeys, pigs, stray puppies.
(5:30 p.m.) Meet friend’s next-door neighbors who ask if I like empanadas.
(5:40 p.m.) Meet friend’s mother-son street dogs Lua and Chester who have strangely human eyes, watch them try to eat each other’s faces.
(5:42 p.m.) Explore friend’s landscaped jungle backyard. Covet.
(6:15 p.m.) Walk dogs with friend, confound neighbors by looking similar to friend and walking similar dog.
(7 p.m.) Mix tequila cocktails.
(8 p.m.) Receive giant empanada delivery from neighbor.
(8:05 p.m.) Commence mass consumption of empanadas, tequila cocktails, plantain fritter (buñelos). Decide still have room for tamales. Roll to bed.
(9 a.m.) Leash dogs, walk to local jungle farmland.
(9:30 p.m.) Wander past orange groves, annatto trees, corn fields, apocalyptic scorched earth plot burned to prepare for future cultivation.
(10 a.m.) Let dogs off leash, see farmer threaten dogs with machete, watch friend placate farmer.
(11:30 p.m.) Return to house, receive new food delivery from neighbor of pork with tomatoes and salsa. Realize neighbor is indicating she is hirable should I need cooking services.
(1 p.m.) Run errands with friend by “mototaxi,”—canopy-covered bench propelled by motorcycle driver.
(2:30 p.m.) Take bus back to Carrillo.
(6 p.m.) Catch combi from Carrillo to Bacalar (home to giant turquoise lake populated by hippies) to meet coworkers for overnight trip.
(8 p.m.) Ask seatmate how much further to Bacalar, am informed just passed Bacalar.
(8:10 p.m.) Get off combi, cross dark Mexican highway, wait for combi going in other direction.
(8:45 p.m.) Get off second combi, flag taxi. Ask to be taken to “Green Monkey” hostel, hope cab driver understands English words “Green Monkey”
(8:50 p.m.) Get out of taxi, note destination is not Green Monkey, get back in taxi. Drive around while cab driver repeats “G-Reen Mon KAY?” into CB radio until he gets directions.
(9 p.m.) Arrive at Green Monkey. Find coworkers. Find restaurant. Eat.
(10:30 p.m.) Arrive at bar, find mime-duo performance in progress. Hurry to seats among hippies and watch 15 minutes of earnest miming.
(10:45 p.m.) Get drinks to recover from earnest miming, observe while coworker is hit on by man in leopard loin cloth and sequin hat who states his purpose is to “spread love.”
(midnight) Return to hostel to find that sleeping accommodations are pup tents on lawn by side of lake and coworkers have forgotten to procure bedding. Establish that bedding is in main house but no one knows where. Elect to split bottle of wine on dock.
(1 a.m.) Climb into tent and wrap self in sarong. Realize feet are cold and since have no socks, wrap feet in bathing suit. Sleep.
(9 a.m.) Finally see turquoise lake, incredible in bright sunshine. Lie on lawn and watch water turn colors while drinking coffee.
(10 a.m.) Switch to beer because we have it and why not.
(11 a.m.) Hike to cenote, limestone sinkhole sunk into edge of lake. Swim in crystal water, egg on coworkers as they climb a tree and decide whether they’re brave enough to dive from the branches. Talk to a Mexican and realize I’m having a conversation in Spanish that involves jokes.
(3 p.m.) Snarf empanadas stuffed with chicken and beans and coated with queso blanco.
(4 p.m.) Roll back to main highway to get combi, realize that the night before’s combi had not stopped because there is no stop for combis in Bacalar. Stand on side of highway and try to hail speeding combis.
(4:45 p.m.) Hail combi. Sit next to little girl with puppy in box. Ask its name: Doggy.