Saturday, February 14, 2009

classy lady with an iron stomach

One of the things that my passengers always assume about me is that I never get sick. Like my year and a half down here has been sufficient to arm me against any bacteria I might encounter. I am here to tell you that that is flat out not true. I really really really really wish it was true, because guiding and barfing suck.
Another thing pax love to do is ask leading questions like, "have you ever been so sick you couldn't lead a tour?" The moment a question like this falls from someone's lips I know I am in for it. Call it fate giving me a heads up, or whatever, but more often than not when someone asks about something like that it happens with in a couple weeks.
So it was really no surprise I ended up barfing 3 times on the way from San Ignacio (Cayo) to here (Caye Caulker). Good thing that even while barfing along the highway no one took it upon themselves to take a photo, nor did I shit my pants.
The shitty thing is I went out drinking the night prior to with a couple of the guides I work with in San Ignacio. So of course when I appeared the next day ready to barf my brains out everyone assumed it was the Belekin not evil bacteria causing the problem. Let me tell you all something right now, I have guided groups hung over many a time, and I am old enough to know when enough Belekin stout is enough.Plus, I spent the second half of the night drinking water, even when the crazy belizians insisted I kept drinking, so when I woke up the next day feeling especially blargah I was surprised. The thing about hangovers is they don't give you THE Revenge (as in motezuma's), at least no hang over I have ever had. And that was when I knew I was f***ed.
The thing about the squirt/barf combo is that often when you go to barf you shit your pants. I really have no problem with tossing my cookies in front of just about anyone, but shitting your pants is like a whole 'nother echelon of humiliation, and let's be honest, I humiliate myself enough as it is. So in that sort of situation (Mikee and Eva can back me up here) you just want to be left the hell alone in a bathroom, preferably a sound proof one, I instead had 7 people all waiting to get in a van to drive to Belize City and the boat out to Caye Caulker. Let's review: what I want = sound proof bathroom, what I get = 1.5 hours in a van, 45 minutes in a boat with 7 pax plus my driver.
So off we went, with Joe, who was playing fucking who knows what classic rap on his imitation ipod. Not far along the western highway, pretty close to the taiwanese/belezian ag research center I barfed up rice. Too make the whole experience better/funnier/more terrible a man appeared selling tamales, so my retching was combined with, "Tamales?" I'll give the man props for taking advantage of an obvious business opportunity (tourists stuck in a van) but last time I checked a barfing person is usually not much of a appetite inducer. Finally to top the whole thing off I got back in the car and said, "I am pretty sure I have rice stuck up my nose," and then snotted some right on to my hand. Classy, classy lady.
At this point I passed out, or maybe not at this point, actually I think I told stories about shitting my pants and how happy I was that this hadn't been one of those times, and then I passed out. I woke up right around the belize city grave yard to Kid Rock. Joe really needs to improve his musical selections. And by the time we had arrived to the ferry terminal, after being serenaded by Kid and Sheryl singing, "pictures," I was ready to puke and not ready to have a conversation.
Something else you should know, all belizian transport workers love tour leaders, whenever a troop of tourists appears these guys crowd around asking which one of us is the TL. In the case of being the TL who is hard trying not to barf on a passenger, you don't want to talk to some dude who knows the boat times. Especially when they give you belizian answers, "What time is the next boat?"
"What time is it now?"
"Enough time to relax and have a drink. You the tour leader?"
My answer was barfing on the street. No joke.
I then dry heaved for the next five minutes, and ran past about 500 cruise shippers over to the ATM before downing a gatorade and getting on the boat. Work never stops. The surprising thing is I didn't throw up on the boat, round 3 was after walking down the island, after laying down for 1/2 an hour, but before taking to my group to lunch. And after throwing up the third time I finally put up the white flag, sent the group on their own and passed the f out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

back on the train

images taken at the Copàn Ruinas, Honduras, Central America

I've been off the blog train for a while now, two weeks in fact. Which is LAME. Because even when I am not writing on the blog shit keeps going down. I like to blame the volcano trail for this sort of thing. The Volcano Trail being the fly by the seat of your zip off pants slalom through central america which I frequently end up leading. This last go round was complete with its wildness, quetzal spottings after late nights at bar amigos, a bit of diving on our stop in Utila, and some ruins visiting in Copàn.
I really dug my last group, they were hard work, but kept me on my toes. I`ve gotten kind of geeked out over birds in the last couple months and a couple of them were really into it. On this trip to Copan I spotted a turquoise crested mot-mot from a fair distances, geeky I tell you.