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Still in Mexico, Now with Added Sunburn

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Since I am still away and have limited access to the internet, I first want to say thank you to everybody who commented on my Discover post, I will be replying to all of them when I get back. I got such thoughtful messages and honestly it’s made this holiday even lovelier than it is already. Given that I am currently typing this in my bikini from a beach bed in front of an astonishingly blue sea, with a palm tree overhead with ACTUAL COCONUTS, that’s saying a lot.

I haven’t had any odd stranger interactions here (yet), although yesterday I did take a colectivo*, and the driver had four sets of rosary beads wrapped around his rear view mirror, a virgin mary statuette glued to the dashboard and a rabbit’s foot dangling from the windscreen, which honestly did not instill much confidence in his driving abilities.

Scrubs and I arrived on Sunday and laughed smugly at the amount of people walking around sunburned. Almost everyone we saw had a rosy tint to their skin, as if they’d been passed through instagram and coloured ‘red’ in the edit. “We have factor 30” we reassured each other. “We’ll be fine!” Factor 30 is already at least 15 more than I usually use, so I was feeling pretty confident.

Pride goeth,’ as the text says, ‘before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Well this haughty spirit was very wrong. This haughty spirit should have bathed in factor 50 before inching so much as a toe out into the midday sun.

It turns out the sun over Mexico is not like the sun over Spain. Or India. Or Egypt. Or Miami. The sun over Mexico is not playing games. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the sun over Mexico is being focused through an enormous magnifying glass with the explicit intention of burning us like little ants. Today, Scrubs and I have joined the ranks of the rosy-hued. Hence the beach bed, with the shade, and the coconut trees.

That will teach us.

The coconuts here are huge by the way; I avoid walking directly underneath the trees because I am convinced that one innocently falling coconut could conceivably end my life. Death by coconut. That would be embarrassing.

“Oh, that’s so tragic” they’d say. “How did she die?”

“Her skull was crushed by a falling coconut.”

Cue at best an awkward silence, and at worst a hastily-stifled horrified laugh.

So lately I’ve been wandering around with one eye turned to the palm trees overhead, reminding myself of a stray cat who, years ago, showed up uninvited at my family home. At the time I named him Twisty because he walked sideways with his head tilted at an awkward angle as if he were listening for something the rest of us could never hear. Later it turned out he had Feline AIDS and had to be put to sleep, but for the short time he was with us he would zig-zag around the place looking perfectly content to have one eye on the sky the whole time.

Maybe he was keeping an eye out for invisible falling coconuts.

*A colectivo is sort of like a bus but not quite, and sort of like a taxi but also not quite. You simply stick your hand out and it either stops for you or it doesn’t, and when you hop on you tell them where you want to go and sit down with about seven other sombre faced individuals. When the colectivo reaches where your destination, you pay and hop off. My colectivo was full of Mexican locals with their packed lunches on their laps, getting dropped off to work for the day.

0 thoughts on “Still in Mexico, Now with Added Sunburn

  1. Oh no! Sunburn during a vacation is the worst! Being a fair skinned red head, I have to have a minimum of 75 SPF and even that will last me for maybe 2 hours. As for protection from the rogue coconuts, I would suggest cracking open a coconut yourself and placing one half on your head like a hard hat. People may think you’ve had one too many to drink, but your on vacation, so let them think what they want!

  2. I don’t recall being bopped on the head by coconuts while I was in Mexico. Then again, I do recall consuming copious amounts of fruity alcoholic drinks while I was there. That may have something to do with my poor memory. I hope that you’re having fun and the sunburn isn’t too bad.

  3. I had a similar experience in Puerto Rico, applied spf 50 about every 1-2 hours, came back with the most horrific sunburn across my neck, back, ears, nose. It was agony trying to sleep for 2-3 days, lol. I’m pretty fair skinned, but I never wear sunscreen outside and don’t get sunburned at home, but that tropical clime did me in apparently! Lol, I’m sorry I’d be one of those trying to stifle a laugh if I heard you were killed by a falling coconut, but I’d be very sad for you of course. Personally, I’d love it if I died in a silly way that could bring a smile to my loved ones faces as they remember me even in death 😁

  4. Even with the sunburn, dangerous drivers and coconuts I’m jealous, currently adding another layer…snow in April sucks!! Have a great time maybe get yourself a crash helmet for the rogue coconuts!

  5. “Cue at best an awkward silence, and at worst a hastily-stifled horrified laugh.” This statement is so spot on accurate. There is no in between. I may be mistaken but I think around 70 folks a year die of falling coconuts. Too tired now to double check my numbers. Anyhow, you keep your head up. Can’t wait to hear more about your journey.

  6. Maybe I’m the weird one here, but I would freaking love it if people got to tell others that I died via falling coconut. Way more memorable than “peacefully in her sleep.” Just sayin’.

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