Woke up giggling to myself. I’ve been told before that I sometimes laugh in my sleep, but I woke up during the act. And kept on giggling. I’d been dreaming that there was a Montreal Expos themed flea market in an unspecified Belizean beach village, vaguely like the place I’m staying in right now. (For the non-baseball fans: the Expos were a Major League Baseball team that existed from 1969 until 2004. They were the first MLB team outside of the United States. They were joined by fellow Canucks, the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977 who, since the Expos’ relocation to Washington D.C. to become the Washington Nationals, are now the only non-U.S. team.) Among the stuff for sale was a Daft Punk-style helmet, but with LED and neon Expos logos. It was awesome. So I bought it. And woke up.
The amount of typos I make when typing into the Notes app on my iPod is phenomenal. I did, however, enjoy the “Daft Pink” typo I just wrote (and corrected). I want a Daft Pink Magic Marker.
After breakfast, I asked about the kayaks that were resting against a wooden rail near the hotel. Free for hotel guests to use. Bueno. Time for another adventure. I set out aiming southeast, for a small island that is, apparently, about a mile away. Started paddling. Not too windy or choppy. Got further and further out until I was about halfway. Waters starting to get a bit more uppy downy, but it didn’t seem too far to the island, so pointless to turn back: soon enough I’d be behind the island, which I imagined, would act as some sort of barrier, where the waters would be calmer. Then I felt a knock on the bottom of the kayak. Huh, that was weird. Kept on paddling, re-aligning my course. Another knock. And another. I looked over the edge of the boat and there was a dark shape right there. It seemed to be moving, and it circled back around. Another knock. This time I became a tad concerned. The shape looked, well, kinda like a shark. It was too big to be a dolphin. Another knock. I decided my trip to the island should probably be postponed and started to turn the kayak around. Another knock, this time nearly losing my balance. “Right, you cunt,” I yelled. “I’ve had enough of you.” I set aside my pipe and glass of sherry, and dived into the sea, above the shark. I grabbed hold of his fin, and rodeo-ed him for a while. It’s tough to make yourself heard underwater, but I tried my best to impress on him that I wasn’t some stupid novice, that I’d sailed the seven seas, and a couple more besides. He snarled at me, so I launched a left hook right into his eyeball. The bugger quickly learned the error of his ways. I’m not fluent in shark, but I get by. He offered an apology which I graciously accepted. We had a brief chat. Decent chap, as it goes. Goes by the name of Sharky. We shook hands and he toodled off, and I got back in the kayak, and headed back to shore where I told tales of my adventures on the high seas, to the admiring glances of gentlemen, and lust-filled gazes of ladies. With a wink, I flipped a gold doubloon to a nearby peasant child, who excitedly shouted, “Wow! Thanks, Mr. Robinson! If you ain’t the World’s bestest boatsman, I don’t know who is!” I then retired to my room with a pair of rather comely Mayan twin sisters.
(Actually, it just got a bit too choppy out there for my liking, and my fags had gotten wet in my pocket, so I called it a day, drank a Belikin beer at the bar, and looked at Twitter for a bit.)
In the afternoon, we went to a place in Placencia (the village at the southern end of the peninsula of the same name), called Purple Space Monkey. Yes, indeed. You can insert my roll of the eyes at the name here. Three words chosen, one assumes, to portray some form of once-cool studenty wackiness. It wasn’t, as the name would suggest, though, a “head shop” or “cyber cafe” (a phrase that really does make me chuckle whenever I see it. And did you know that in cyber cafes, you can dial up your AOL account on the information superhighway?) It was, in fact, a place that did average coffee and had a book exchange thingy. A lot of Placencia’s visitors seem to like John Grisham and Danielle Steel. But I guess a lot of humans in general like John Grisham and Danielle Steel. We were served by a slip of a lad from Winnipeg with an almost comedic Canadian accent. They had a massive fucking iguana in the tree next to the verandah, though, which was pretty good.
The village itself seems nice enough considering most of it is tourist-related. On the way into the village, a car cut across the street right in front of us, and without provocation, leant over the passenger seat to yell, “I live here!” through the open window; like being an arsehole driver was a local privilege. Obviously, he was ignoring the fact that tourism more than likely paid for his car in a direct or indirect way.
We had some very nice ice cream from an ice cream place. Peanut butter ice cream. Except they called it gelato for some reason. Must be the Belizean word for ice cream, I guess. The peanut butter ice cream was delicious. Fucking yum. I like typing the words “ice cream.” Ice cream.
Across the street was a soccer field, but it wasn’t just a soccer field, oh no; in one corner was a baseball backstop (translation: a high-ish chain link fence to stop people watching or passers-by from being brained by balls that are hit backwards). And there were some children playing softball, too. I watched for a few minutes. Made me pine a little bit for a new season of baseball to watch, and to try and find some people to play softball with in Mexico City.
After such a harrowing and exhausting day: a late afternoon beer at the hotel bar. Sat next to Dean and Janie, tourists from Virginia. They seemed nice enough. He was a smoker, and mentioned that cigarettes were expensive now in Virginia: $36 for a carton. $3.60 a pack. I guess in tobacco country, that may well be expensive, especially compared to the $10 a pack I paid last time I was in New York in 2009. Very pleasant couple, but then politics came up, and the way Janie turned her nose up talking about “our current president,” you’d think the current president of the United States was Pol Pot. Still, at least she still referred to him as “our  president,” something I’m sure a lot of teabaggers wouldn’t do.
In the evening we popped over to Jaguar Lanes, a bowling alley across the street from the hotel. Little did we know that the combination of cosmic bowling and it being a Saturday night in this tiny village of Maya Beach would mean all the lanes were booked for the night. When we enquired, they told us that we couldn’t bowl tonight, “it’s cosmic bowling.” The woman said it like you’d expect someone to say, “the Rolling Stones and the Beatles are playing a gig here tonight, and we’re serving free beer, and the lapdancers are offering simultaneous all-you-can-eat Buffalo wings and blowjobs.” A whole heap of (mostly-American) Placenia residents filled the four lanes. Retirees, mainly. A couple of hippies, and a light smattering of younger people. Lots of leathery skin, pot bellies, khaki shorts, and white socks. There was even a couple who had matching home-made t-shirts. White with COSMIC written on the back with stars and planets drawn on in fluorescent paint. We stayed for some food. The hot dog was pretty good. I read somewhere that Gore Vidal once said that the best sentence to end a blog post with is “the hot dog was pretty good.” So, I’ll say it again: the hot dog was pretty good.