Posts Tagged ‘Lost Wallet’

Chichen Itza

It is harder then it seems to drag yourself away from hammocks, ancient temples and crazy hitchhiking trips on the back of pickup trucks in South Eastern Mexico, so bear with me as I try to catch you up on my adventures.

Hammock And Wall

Having lost my wallet at the Tijuana Airport was and continues to be quite the hassle as I finally just had to head to the Merida airport and it had arrived for me that day.  What luck… But as fate would have it, none of the pin codes worked.  (The bank had no reason why) so I am now having to wait for a new code to be sent to me… Still waiting.  In the meantime my Visa works for most non-pin requiring actions and a combination of eChecks and Western Union is taking care of my cash needs.  Besides that, I think the wallet and cash problems are merely stressful and time consuming for me, but otherwise relatively uninteresting.  Needless to say it is all working out, albeit slower then I would like.

So where to start…. Merida is a small city in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula a few hours away from Cancun and about an hour from Chichen Itza.  It is quiet, safe, festive, and has lots to do.  Not a bad place to be stuck for a while.  The hostel that I am staying at is close to the Historical Center and has a pool and hammocks all over the place.

Day of the Dead Parade

With El Día de los Muertos coming up the city was in full festive gear.  Alters to deceased loved ones were erected all over the city and in the main square.  Dance, buskers, and generally lots of local involvement in making it a fun time for all.

Day of the Dead AltersI visited several Mayan Ruins and pyramidal sites which were all fascinating in their own ways.  Some, like in Izamal were part of the towns themselves, incorporated into buildings and used as structures to hang their clothing from.

Pyramid in Uxmal

In Uxmal it was quite separate from the nearest town and as me and a few other traveling companions arrived fairly late so we had to run through the site and take photos as it started to rain.  At 5pm the park closed and we went to catch the bus that was set to arrive at 5:30.  By this time the rain had turned into a downpour and we were informed that the bus usually came between 5 and 5:30… We may be too late.  At 5:45 it was beginning to get dark out, along with the rain at the side of a highway.  At about 5:55 a truck rolled up and talked with a local woman who was sitting at the bus stop with us.  She hopped in and told us that we could come too for 10 pesos — same price as the bus.  Given the scenario we decided that it was better for the four of us to take the truck ride into the nearest town and wait for another bus there.

Rainy truck ride into townAbout half an hour later, standing under a tree in a small town at an intersection where a different buses might be caught heading to Merida, the bus we were supposed to originally catch pulled up to the curb.

Four Girls from Crowd

Almost every night there is a local busker/clown show.  I have made it a point to go every night and do my best to understand what he is saying and with any luck pick up some Spanish.  He has a set of shows that he usually does, including getting volunteers/victims from the crowd and making them do silly things.  One is an intelligence contest, one pictured above where he gets some girls to essentially hold each other up, and then wait till they all fall down, and another where he selects a girl and a couple guys to compete to kiss the girl, and vice versa, and a few others.

Me and the ClownThere is a huge market nearby where all the locals go.  It’s like the Granville Island market only bigger, more hectic, fewer sanitation rules, and way more stuff.  I usually will buy my produce from here and cook it up at the hostel.

Local MarketBeyond waiting for my stuff, enjoying the local culture and nearby activities I have of course been enjoying the food for which there as been no lacking in good quality 🙂

Mayan Chocolate Brownie with Raspberry Coulis I’m sure there will be more to come, so I’ll sign off for now.

Lost in Tijuana

Author: Kyle

Welcome to Tijuana

Crossing the border into Mexico was about as easy as anybody could imagine.  I took a trolley from San Diego to the border for a mere $2.50 and walked across.  Passed some heavily armed police/military personnel and drug sniffing dogs, through a one way gate and I was through.  Charming in its simplicity.  From there I took a cab to the airport and bought my ticket which was leaving for Merida at 00:40 the next day.  So I had a day to spend in Tijuana:S  I went through the first level of security at the airport and checked my bags into storage then caught a cab into town.

Zona Norte

Zona Norte (not my photo)

What to do in Tijuana?  Zona Norte it seems…… I walked through the area and it felt quite safe with police everywhere and it was entertaining having women cat calling me trying to entice me to join them.  I can honestly say though that I have never been less turned on.  It just seemed so unnatural.  I left pretty quickly even though it was far less dodgy then I had been warned.  I found a place to have lunch and had a veggie sandwich.  Then began the hard part, what to do now that I had moved on from the cities major ‘tourist’ attraction?  I walked around the Zona Centro and check out a few shops with things I didn’t want or need, and finally caught a taxi to give me a more full tour of the city.

Centro Cultural

Centro Cultural

He took me around to the Centro Cultural and the Zona Rio where there were a bunch of statues and other interesting monuments.  He showed me a good view of the city and also a big outdoor mall…. Ok so that was an hour long ride and really didn’t feel like I gained much.  I returned to the mall and walked around and decided a good way to waste time was to watch a movie.  I saw Lluvia de Hamburguesas in 3D a movie I had already seen in English, and it is a kids movie so I thought I could at least follow along and maybe learn a bit of the language as I went.  I don’t know how much good it did, but it did bring me to dinner time.

With nothing better in mind to do, I caught another cab back to the airport and had dinner there.  Read a book and played Sudoku until finally I could check-in.  Once I was through security I could go and waste some more time.  Well as luck would have it, I met a cool guy from Boston who was studying medicine in Tijuana to save a couple hundred thousand on US tuition costs.  We talked about everything from world travel to health care reform.  It certainly helped pass the time away.

Finally as I was boarding the plane I noticed my wallet was missing! As people were boarding I started trying to get off, or at least to a stewardess.  I told them as best I could what had happened and they told me I couldn’t go looking for it, but they could send somebody to look.  No luck.  I could either get off and wait in Tijuana or go on to my next destination and they would try to get a hold of me. I decided to stay on my current course.  I fell asleep on the plane for maybe an hour then proceeded to get very faint.  I collapsed in the front galley of the plane.  I felt cold, scared, faint, constricted, weak and sick.  They pulled out the oxygen an started giving it to me, a stewardess wrapped me her jacket and a doctor on board came up and bless his heart did his best in broken English to help me and make sure I was OK.  I started to feel better and returned to a row of seats that had been cleared for me.  There a Mexican therapist came over and tried again in broken English to guide me though my anxiety.  As he was talking to me the stewardess came up and informed us that the wallet had been found and I gave them the address of the hostel I was going to stay at.  Needless to say I was feeling much better by the end of the trip and am eternally grateful for the kind hearts of the people on that flight.

I am now safe and sound in a hostel in Merida but still have no access to my regular sources of money (Visa, Debit, BC Drivers License) and am instead having Money wired to me through Western Union.  Hopefully I’ll get it all back soon!

— Wish me luck!