?> this is annie | Monthly Archive | January
Archive | January, 2010

Boyfriends and birds

31 Jan

Boyfriends and birds

In Belize, I have many boyfriends. It helps to have a boyfriend when you’re traveling alone, because men like to say hello. Hey, Snow White in Belize City. Look at those red lips in Caye Caulker. My favorite: You like to read, huh? in Cayo. (At least this time, unlike last, I was not propositioned by a teenage boy. “Ay, mami,” he’d said while cruising by on his bike. “Yes,” I thought. “I’m old enough to be your mommy.”)

In almost every conversation, a man asks where my husband is. No husband? Boyfriend, then? Yes, boyfriend, I say. Depending on who’s asking, he’s either waiting for me in the States or back at the guest house. Sometimes he is a scientist, other times he’s an artist; these details shift for no reason at all. He is always possessive of me, though, and I can’t be gone too long or he worries about where I am. Of course, no such gent exists — and if he did, he would certainly not be the kind of stifling person I’d date — but my “boyfriend” helps steer the conversation away from whether a drink can be purchased for me tonight. (more…)

And you will know us by the trail of blood

27 Jan

And you will know us by the trail of blood

I think Oscar Wao left me some of his fuku, because this trip has been a bloody adventure. LITERALLY. Yesterday’s snorkeling adventure involved many marine sightings, including the big excitement of the trip: a sea turtle. (Yes, it is possible to coo underwater.) Unfortunately, at the second snorkel stop, there were sharks and stingrays. They didn’t make me nervous, but an angry moray eel did, and its snakelike appearance made me swim away a little less carefully than I had earlier in the day. Leg, meet coral. Leg, meet pain.

All of the travel-book warnings talk about how if left untreated, coral scrapes can become infected and then your leg swells up and they have to cut it off but you wind up dying anyway, all because you are scared of eels. But I decided to stop worrying and get on with life. (more…)

Annie meets another Jet

26 Jan

Annie meets another Jet

While I was waiting for my Pterodactyl Airlines flight to Caye Caulker, a tiny little old man came up to me. Or more accurately, he came up to my boobs. “Ellomeese,” he said. Close talker, shrill Lynchian purr of a voice. “Wattis your nay-ayme?”

I told him.

“Ah, Annie! Mrzrll jetbarumrrrbunch!”

Oh Jesus. “Pardon me?” I said.

“Mrzrll jetbar rumbunch! Me! Bessin Belize,” said The Man From Another Place.

It took a good minute to understand that this wee man was trying to get me to visit his airport bar. As a solo lady traveler, I felt it would be unwise to have rum punch before getting to my tropical destination. I am a lightweight and I imagined myself falling out of the puddle jumper. “I’ll have some when I’m leaving to go to the States,” I told my new friend. (more…)

Annie’s on a vacation far away

24 Jan

Annie’s on a vacation far away

…come around and talk it over. After 10 hours of traveling, I made it to Belize. One of the great things about returning to a favorite spot is that its scent is familiar. In my mind, Belize didn’t have a smell, but it does. Kind of earthy, like leaves we don’t have in the States.

Customs was odd. Nice guy asked me if I knew anybody in Belize. Yes, I said. Where? Benque Viejo. Did I bring any gifts? A book. Apparently you do not need to declare books, and from there I went to book a flight on Pterodactyl Airlines. Cash is king, delivering a 30% discount if you skip plastic. So I bought my ticket (which is actually just a Xeroxed form that the clerk scribbles on) and went through security. (more…)

Año nuevo

22 Jan

Año nuevo

Last night I caught up with Thomas, who had finally moved from the Beast — that’s the East Bay, get it? — to the city proper. We met at Blue Bottle, where the baristas didn’t even try to conceal their disdain at our non-caffeinated orders. (Some of us have delicate stomachs and never properly developed a taste for coffee, you know.) (more…)