The room full of con men

Today is the day we came to Mexico.*

We left at 3:30 AM, to make the 6 AM flight to Chicago from Madison. Three miles up the road, no one could remember if we turned the coffee maker off, so we turned around and went back to check it. It was unplugged. Back in the car, and we’re off!

All the flights, everything until we actually got to Cabo San Lucas went smooth as glass. Little Z was so well behaved on the 6+ hours of flying, strangers were telling us how great she was. Which is always nice.

Somewhere along the line, we realized that we hadn’t been the best packers. We had several small suitcases instead of one or two big ones, which meant there was too much to remember and carry- which comes into play later in the story.

I actually got Little Z one of those backpacks with the leash to the mommy, and I attached her by polyester lifeline to my satchel, so we were not far separated trudging through customs and Chicago airport. I don’t think she’s a dog; I just didn’t want to lose her! So I treated her a little bit like a dog. She doesn’’t ever mind that, being part canine in nature.

When we got to the Cabo Airport, we had our customs forms filled out, and there was a part that said you just had to go through customs and be searched if you were carrying any food. I was carrying lots of food. We eat weird stuff like sunflower butter, so I just packed a bunch of food. There was another sign somewhere warning about taking food. When the plane was landing, I saw this prison from the air and said,

“I guess that’s where they put people who smuggle cereal into Mexico!”

As it happened, though, everyone presses a button after they check your passport. If you get a green light, you go through, unchecked. If you get a red light, they search you. Luck of the draw. We got a green light. Yee haw! I smuggled food into Mexico!

We had our mass of bags and Little Z on her leash. I had received instructions from two different sources to march right through this room inside the airport where people would try and sell me stuff, and go straight outside and look for the guy with the sign saying, “Cape Travel,” because I had reserved a ride to our rented condo with Cape Travel. The guy on the phone had said, “This is very important. You must go straight outside the airport. Once you receive your luggage and go through customs, do not talk to anyone. Go outside.”

Well, we didn’t just go outside, because... because... I have no idea how to describe this. The men in this room were so gentle, so kind, so soft spoken. They lured us, they caressed our souls, they made us feel whole again. The fact that we had no sleep in 36 hours helped them a lot, too. I kept saying, “But why would the man tell me not to talk to anyone here, to go straight out the door?”

“Oh, there are two doors. You must go out this one, here. Where are you staying? Oh, yes, Jesse will be your driver... do you know you are entitled to see two whales, free? Did they not tell you this? Whales just like that one over there...” (points to a random whale sculpture hanging from the ceiling). There was a point when I decided we just had to leave, and I started to move forward, all that stuff, and bonk- down went Little Z. She fell because we were connected, and I moved and she stayed still. Well, with a crying baby, you can get out of just about any situation, and we made it out of there- using the opposite door of the one the man said to use- and found the man with the Cape Travel sign.

I don’t know how much detail I should give, by my oh my, this is a land of swindlers! Why in the world would the government of any country allow a room full of vipers to separate you from your ride to your temporary home? The vipers all had official looking name tags, even!

Skip to the van. Beautiful, beautiful drive with some Canadians and Americans. Little Z asleep. Cop cars with all their lights on driving by, every one of them. When we finally got to our condo - just as described, thank goodness- I grabbed the little one sleeping and TLBP got all the bags in such a rush he almost forgot his laptop. It was a few hours later, we realized we were missing TLBP’s suitcase of clothes! Luckily, though, he doesn’t care, because it was all clothes he bought at Goodwill, anyway. We’ve now called the cab (or, rather, the nice guy at the front desk who speaks perfect English and Spanish called) and they never found anything.

Going over all of the events of the day, we believe we probably left the bag at the airport, in the room full of vipers.

I'm sitting by a Palm Tree as I write this. Another day...

* All Mexico entries are delayed one month. By the time you're reading this, I'm back home, freezing my toosh off again. Ufta!


  1. I think the reason that the government allows this to happen, is because the government is a bunch of swindlers, themselves. Marcos basically refuses to go to Mexico for precisely that reason.

  2. Love reading this-more please.

  3. I wouldn't condemn all of Mexico because the government is swindlers. I'd go back.

    I failed to mention that what with swindlers and crying children, we must have missed the free beer line. At least half the people at the airport were walking out with a beer in hand. Amazing.

  4. So, uh, what does TLBP wear for the rest of the trip?

  5. You mean they weren't caressing their moustachios like all good con men should?