Monday 6 November 2023

1987 Travel Journal: A Memorable Washroom

    It was a pretty miserable long ride for me.  I had developed a full blown cold.  I was very congested and my nose wouldn’t stop running.  At one point the bus stopped in front of a store and the bus helper got out and went in.  While everyone on the bus remained sitting or standing in the aisle waiting, the bus helper was inside the store doing his personal shopping.

    At another stop at a small place called Valladolid, I got off of the bus to use the washroom.   It was a horrible experience.  The urinals were occupied, so I made the mistake of going into the stall.  Inside the stall I was confronted with an unworkable toilet filled with unimaginable grossness.  On the floor beside the toilet was a pile of toilet paper tissues, used toilet paper tissues, pieces of newspapers, and even a corncob (also used) deposited on the floor.  Plumbing, or lack of plumbing, was always an unwelcome surprise in Mexico.

    Back on the bus, a little kid standing over the back of my seat started crying suddenly, and I didn’t know why, but his mother shushed him up.  A bit later, as I reached into the back pocket of my jeans, to retrieve my much-used, wet handkerchief, I felt something else in my pocket, it’s was a jack.  I guess the kid must have dropped it when he was leaning over my seat and it fell into my back pocket.  That was why he was crying.  I gave the jack back to his mother, when she woke up.

    I had been to Merida (Photo above) with my wife five years earlier, but this time the bus stopped at a different bus station.  I got a room at the Hotel Colonial for $11 a night.  It is very nice and all of the plumbing works.

    I walked to the bus station I remembered five years earlier, to see how much a ticket to Mexico City cost.  It was $20.  Then I recalled how terrible and long that trip had been, so I walked back to the center of Merida to see how much a flight to Mexico City would cost.   That was $80, discouraged, I hiked all the way back to the bus station and bought a bus ticket.  I allowed myself to spend another day in Merida, which I remembered as a beautiful place during my first visit.

    I bought myself a turkey sandwich and Coke at the same place I had had a memorable ham sandwich five years previous.  Once back at the Hotel Colonial, I had the switchboard girl, try to get through with a collect call to my wife back in McBride, but there was no answer.  I will try again tomorrow.

    I noticed that the movie, “Crossroads” is showing in Merida.  It was one of my favorites, all about a young guitarist, striving to play the blues.  There was a lot of good music in the film.  Unfortunately, even though I searched, I couldn’t find the theater. 

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