“Travels to a Different Time” : September 1989: Cancun, Mexico: Drinking Tequila from Baby Bottles and Now is Not the Time for a Shark Attack!

Off to Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) just off Cancun. It has some incredible beaches and there is the Cave of The Sleeping Sharks made famous by Jacques Cousteau. $30 USD on the “Festival Cancun”. Beautiful turquoise water! Buffet continental breakfast was served. Lots of juices and pastry. Mostly young American couples in their twenties. There was even a live band which added to the festivities although they were not particularly good. After breakfast it was open bar and the gringos were guzzling down tequila like it was a frat party. Actually most looked like they were frat boys and girls. In 90 minutes we were at El Garrafon beach which is a national park with coral reefs and tropical fish that swim around your feet. It was a beautiful snorkeling adventure of course keeping your eyes open for any sharks that were not sleeping in the caves. We had an hour at the beach which was probably wise due to the intense heat and blazing sun. Lunch was delicious in buffet format with chicken, ribs, guacamole, tostados and lots of fresh fruit. We cruised into town and wandered around with lots of shops in a quaint town that has been around for awhile. Small and narrow streets. So different than the Hotel Zone in Cancun.

Then on the cruise back to Cancun the young Americans hit the tequila real hard loving the tequila drinking contest which consisted of drinking a tequila from a baby bottle. What a banal and idiotic event or can we indulge the frivolity of gringo youth? By the time we were back in Cancun a couple of gringos had passed out most likely experienced in so doing by the many frat parties they had attended. Then taking a page from the Time Share hustle a tip jar was passed around and each “donation” received applause from the staff. Milk those gringos! Feed on gringo guilt.

A couple of days later we returned with a boat that looked as if it was ready to capsize. You know like those disasters you hear about in the Philippines or India. I noticed this was no gringo express but full of locals. Received stares by surprised locals seeing a rich gringo amongst the commoners. Like being stared at by gypsies in Romania like I was a spaceman. While I am not worried as I am a good swimmer but if this rickety tub sinks I am sure the sharks will wake up and make me their dinner.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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