La Isla Bonita

Maybe I’m masochistic, definitely melodramatic, but I’ve always wanted to sprint through an airport, right as the plane is about to leave, and make it — just barely. And that really happened. Our flight from Boston to Atlanta was late departing due to repairs, and we had a very small window to connect with our flight to Cozumel. I was waving my ticket in the air like a madwoman. No way was I missing the flight to paradise.

Thank god my friend Stacy is here for two weeks to help me adjust to island life. I know, how hard can it be? But right before I left Boston, I received this fortune after sushi:

The Southerner in me loves a good prediction, ominous dream, psychic, horoscope … This trip will undoubtedly, and already has, changed my life forever. But the desire? Was it ever a secret?

Settling into the condo was easy. Out of the gate, the weather was immediately stick-to-your-skin hot. The breeze is like a hair dryer. This is the weather I love. We unpacked and walked to Chedraui, one of the island’s grocery stores, for beer, limes, papaya and mango, and of course, huevos:

That night, we went out for tacos with some friends on the island. In my dire hunger, I forgot to take pictures. But they were delicious; and the hot sauces! I can honestly say one of the reasons I’ve come to Mexico is the chile.

Tuesday was overcast and hot, so we met with Antonio and went to the beach. Of course I pried his mind for Spanish words about sex. How could I not? I am learning so much about the language and the metaphors; I desperately want to participate in this clever repartee. For instance, the Spanish sandwich torta is also a word for a woman’s derrier. And chile is another word for a man’s … you know. Almost certainly, I will get myself into trouble with this.

I made friends with a burro.

Refreshing splash accomplished, we headed to Fish Cantina for food and beer. Cantinas are spots where, so long as you drink, they will keep bringing you food, for free. We had shrimp soup, conch ceviche, a dish involving pork throat, which tasted oddly like Chinese food… Stacy ordered more ceviche; I opted for pescado al ajo.

I’ve been getting a bit panicky about being here for two months. After a few more days, I think I can finally exhale. My condo is great, and there’s a pool and an adults-only tanning roof. You know what that means: no tan lines!

Up on the roof.

Early drunken casualties.

I will survive.