Joel and I moved into our new place the evening of the 30th, grabbing a carload of stuff from my parents' house on the way home from the airport. We were more concerned with how many things we could tetris into Joel's little hatchback than we were with the usefullness of the things, or with our surivial for the next twenty-four hours. As such, we ended up with no cutlery or bowls, no towels or toilet paper, but we did have our raclette grill, our art-deco letters spelling the word 'HOME,' and the exoskeleton of a puffer fish that we bought in Mexico (his name is Carlos, and he sits on the back of our toilet).
Since any report of my activities for the past few and next few days will read thusly: 'Packed shit in boxes. Moved boxes. Took shit out of boxes. Found place for shit. Didn't like place, found new place. New place proved impractical, moved back to old place. Took swig out of one of four wedding-gift-wine-bottles' and since I did nearly no blogging on my trip, I will regale you with daily adventures in the past tense. Today, I will tell you the story of how we bought Carlos, and gave ourselves melanoma.
We were trying to balance fun activities with blatant relaxation, so every day we would have one adventure, and spend the rest of the day lying by the pool. Or on the beach. Or eating long, luxurious, ridiculously sumptuous meals. On my berfday, we decided to walk down to this little market one town over and get our shopping out of the way. It was our second full day in Mexico, and we were extremely proud of how we'd survived one full day with our skins intact. We'd sunscreened up thoroughly the day before and spent maybe an hour outside, getting our pasty Canadian selves indoors before any damage occurred. So here we are, thinking we're all smart and invincible and that a two-hour walk down the beach will be get us off of our lazy asses so that we'll finally be hungry for a change. So we sunscreen up good with our SPF 15, and truck on down the beach. Sooner rather than later, the smooth, firm sand near the water has become a smooth, slippery layer of jelly fish near the water, and we have to huff it on the softer, dryer, more exhausting sand. By the time the stretch of jelly fish ends, the sand has turned to gravel that gets into the sandals and scrapes the feets, and makes walking without the sandals awkward and unpleasant. Still, the sun was bright and the breeze from off the water was refreshing and we were honeymooners and off to market.
We spent about an hour touring the market, picking up kitschy vases and tawdry t-shirts and putting them back down. We were looking for something mildly functional and fabulously decorative to bring back for our house, something like the wooden-hand-wine-bottle-holder I found in Thailand. Joel and I have been unable to get a for-real puffer fish, due to the difficulty of working with salt-water fish, so imagine our delight when we saw Carlos there, in all his spiny glory! His innerds have been scraped out, and he resembles nothing so much as those paper-mache pinatas you make in elementary school, you know the ones, you build them around a balloon with newspaper and glop, and then let them dry, and then pop the balloon, and then you have a fragile newspaper shell that you paint, and then and only then do you realize that there's no candy in it, and that it's really a crappy pinata, and you hate art and Mrs. Miller both. ANYway, we bought Carlos up and packed him carefully in our checked luggage because we were afraid he'd be stolen from us by customs, being an animal product and all, if we took him in on carry-on, and the first thing we didn when we moved into our new place was check to see if he'd survived the trip. He did, and here he is, and he's creepy as hell.
Finding Carlos was pretty much the highlight of the market, so we headed on back home. I cannot emphasize enough how deceptive a cool breeze off the water can be. We tralala-ed down the beach with no idea the trouble we were in. We saw three dead carloses, one giant fish skeleton, and Joel collected a handful of beach glass, and then all of a sudden he turns to me and says, babe, you'd better put on my shirt. You're looking a little pink.
A LITTLE PINK!!!!! Over the next few hours, that 'little pink' would deepen into an intense red, before becoming an excruciating purple. We'd been in the sun for five hours, from 10 to 3 (read: hottest part of the day) with a thin veneer of spf 15 the only thing between our skins and the laser rays of the Mexican sun. We spent the next few days alternately pitying each other and bickering over who's burn was worse, taking the long route to dinner to avoid walking through any sunny patches, and slathering ourselves with an outrageously-priced medicated aloe (they threw in a stick of spf 50, knowing that if you needed the aloe, it was because you were too dumb to pack your own spfs).
And Carlos watches me when I shower, because we have no shower curtain.