Cancun, Mexico

I started my month-long trip from Cancun, Mexico. Arrival went smoothly. The immigration lines were huge, the advertising on the airport walls had spelling errors. After I had bought my bus ticket to town, I noticed that it said "NiƱos" (children) and the ticket price mentioned was 2x less than what I paid. So that's how they're making some extra pocket money. The bus driver let me on board with it, so he was in on it too. I didn't mind. We're all in this together.

As I hardly have any agenda and deadlines, I am not in a hurry to do anything. So I decided to walk from the bus station to my hotel. Even though I had looked it up on the map before, I still managed to get lost and it took me 2 hours to get to the hotel. But again - as I am not in a hurry, it was a good way to get to know the city. I discovered that people are friendly and helpful, everyone I asked for the way responded kindly.

The city reminds me a lot of Panama City, the older parts (not historical, but older), so I felt right at home. I was anticipating to have at least some problems of integration, but none. Speaking Spanish sure helps.

Today I spent the day on the beach. The beach area, known as the hotel zone, is of a different league. It's kind of a mix between Dubai and LA - expensive, off-limits to poor people who actually live there, and very American (every American chain you can imagine is there). Of course, its full of Americans too. The two second largest groups that I noticed where Japanese (there was even a dedicated Japanse hotel with Japanse staff and all) and Russian.

While the law says the beaches are public and for everyone, the hotels don't think so. Every hotel on the beach has tried to make the access to the their beach impossible for non-guests. Since mine isn't on the beach (I wanted to stay near the bus station for easy travel), that was frustrating. The first one I tried to enter was all inclusive, so naturally they didn't want me on their beach (even though I tried to walk in like a guest).

Second hotel - no problemo. Being a blond white dude I just walked in and to the beach, picked my beach chair and enjoyed. Peace lasted until I ordered some drinks. They kept on insisting that I reveal my room number. While contemplating taking a shot, I chose a safer route and said I'm here with a friend, don't remember the room number, but the name is Cassidy Williams. That was sufficient. Got my drinks, paid in cash and all was good.

The weather is just perfect - not too hot, sunny. The Carribean is warm. I'll go again tomorrow.

I feel really happy in the tropics. The energy in the wind has something in it that makes you feel easy and happy. Add a 3-course dinner for 60 pesos (~$4 dollars) and its as good as it gets.

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