A few weeks ago my buddy Mayer (names have been changed to protect their identity) calls me up and asks if I would like to go on an all expense paid trip to Mexico. What’s the catch is my immediate yiddisher cup response. Timeshare conference’s start running through my head, and the thoughts of sitting in a hotel conference room counting the dots on the ceiling panels rushes through my head. You know you want it the guys in black ties are saying forcing brochures of the local area into my face and reading off numbers that sound amazing to anyone making 120 grand a year. I’m in I immediately respond and he says there is no catch. His company was one of the top sellers for a certain computer manufacturer and they wanted to reward the company by sending one of their employees and a guest, usually the wife or lover or friend with benefits of the person attending the so called conference. My buddy is the only single dude in the company and since it was shabbos Chanukah everyone wanted to be home with the kiddies, for oil spills and gelt.
Many of you know that my kind of vacation involves a car packed with bikes camping gear and a months worth of food, followed by a months worth of driving and wandering. The idea of sitting on the beach, drinking cocktails and partying at night with the type of people who are in Girls Gone Wild videos makes my blood churn, it is antithetical to my nature and although people always say “don’t you ever want to just chill” my response is generally. Yes, but only after having driven 3,000 miles to ride my bike to the top of a mountain. I have had the opportunity to tag along with friends vacations to Cancun and Miami and have always refused, but this here was different this appealed to my inner Jew, my pintele yid cried, BUT THIS TIME ITS FREE.
So I packed some shorts and t-shirts and hopped on a plane to Cabo San Lucas Mexico via a stop over in Chicago, where I had the pleasure to use a self cleaning toilet seat for the first time. I have seen them many times, but I actually had to use it this time. The plastic was a bit rough, but pushing a button and plopping down beats the whole “placing sheets of toilet paper” chore that many of us public restroom users know too well.
Halfway through the flight from Chicago to Mexico, as if by magic I noticed that everyone was in shorts and t-shirts and the plane had taken on a jolly feel. I have never been on a vacation flight as I would call it. I have mostly traveled between NY and Rochester and Detroit, not exactly places people go unless they have business or need drugs, or want to participate in a riot concerning police brutality. This was different, mostly middle aged single men and couples in their 30s, already talking about golf, beaches and getting drunk. As I later discovered most people fly 2500 miles to resort destinations to do something they can do on Brighton Beach, get piss ass drunk, get laid and sit on the beach.
We arrived and there were dry desert plant inhabited mountains surrounding the airport on all sides. The air was hot and humid, probably around 85 degrees. Everyone was in a festive mood, and when we hopped in the van that was to take us to the Me at the Hotel one of the girls was already downing beers in the van. I stared out the window at the scenery while the women in charge of seeing that we got pampered droned on about the area attractions and all the famous people that own houses and come to visit. I heard amidst the broken English that John Travolta spent dozens on black silk sheets or something. The two blonde girls in the back seemed intrigued and awfully ditzy.
The area was nice, mountains all around and desert brush and plants. A quick survey of the cars brought me to the conclusion that this wasn’t “real” Mexico. The Mexico that the Republicans and their immigration campaigns would have you think about. This was Mexico where everyone drove a $50,000 car and had a boat. Wal Mart and Home Depot were everywhere, and the hotels were very fancy.
We pulled up to the hotel and immediately I was impressed. My buddy and I just kept saying that we would never get to stay in a place like that, and this just continued when we entered out rooms and overlooked the Tropical Pool, green water and mountains filling the view. The company sponsoring the event had given us each our own Suite, which had two beds and a balcony and was rather large and very inviting. I secretly wished my girlfriend was with me, and would keep on doing so- just because this was a place made so men can bring their ladies. It was a shonde to waste such beauty without having your woman with you.
Out came the shorts and sandals and we immediately, although we were tired from the all nighter we pulled the night before we wandered around the city for the remainder of the day. The flight left at 6 from NYC and was in Mexico by 12pm their time. Due to the fact they were located at the end of the mountain time zone, and 900 miles south of San Diego, it didn’t get dark until 6 or so.
The town is only in place due to tourists who come to drink and be lazy, along with extensive scuba diving, water sports, golf and a huge off road community, the town is mostly shops selling the same stuff for the same prices. Everyone is drinking in the streets and the only true deals are the drinks. For instance 2 beers and 2 shots for 6 bucks. I bought a couple things for my girlfriend and that’s about it. I don’t drink too much and there sure as hell was no kosher food.
The area clubs and restaurants reminded me of South Beach with a less pretentious feel. Everyone is just chilling and leissuring, mostly older folks, in fact our hotel was always having some sort of old people in the pool exercise class set to 80s pop music. Except instead of Richard Simmons it was a young and buff glistening Mexican dude.
Thursday night we had to go to the opening cocktail and dinner party. As most of you know I love food, and although I am cheap and tend to loathe paying for it, free food takes me to a happy place. Fancy free food that is unlike any I will have again and is not in the slightest bit kosher is painful experience. Like that of a first broken heart you tend to dwell on the abstract, even though you cannot do anything about it. I sat there amongst white pants clad folk eating fruit cup while they related all their stories about friends who kept kosher. It was like that the whole weekend, the crew trying to make us feel good by telling us their stories about Jews, has anyone every had to deal with this. I am sure many of you had been to conferences and while watching your peers eat their Lobster you tried to tear open the bullet proof packaging on your airplane meal compliments of meal mart. Well we didn’t even get the shitty airplane meal and the meals we were sitting at would have cost us hundreds of dollars if eaten in at a regular time.
So I drank, I rarely do so, but when everything’s free and everything looks so good and everything’s fresh. I loaded up on White Russians (Mexican Khalua is kosher btw) and Sunsets and beer. I got tipsy twice, that is huge for me, because I rarely have more then one beer and in fact it only takes about 3 drinks to do the trick.
On Friday we were taken on a sailing catamaran to the local tourist attractions, we went to the rocks area on the peninsula jutting out into the small bay that is the port of Cabo San Lucas. The On the boat was very cool and like all things in Cabo, their was an open bar and everyone besides me who recalling my bout with seasickness in Alaska was a bit scared of throwing up. I just chilled and it was beautiful. The water was greenish blue and we watched the sea lions and pelicans wandering about. I love pelicans and herons, my two favorite birds.
Then the boat took us along the cost to go snorkeling, which I have never done before. All the sudden everyone was up on deck trying to balance their cameras and beers looking out into the Pacific at some whales that had just surfaced. I did get some pictures and they were cool, 3 whales surface at once.
We then anchored at a white sand beach cove and set about snorkeling, which was awesome. Just watching the fish was worth it, I got to see some marlins and messed with schools of little blue fish, very cool experience, though I do not like the taste of salt water much.
The whole time the boat was sailing around they were playing party music, you know Bob Marley and Disco basically and I began to appreciate what everyone means by relaxing, though unfortunately we were there for shabbos, I would rather have rented a car and wandered about, that’s me always the wandering Jew. It was nice sitting out on the ocean beer in hand, breeze running through my hair and blue skies all around, in the middle of December, oh and did I mention it was free.
I refrained from going out (in terms of bars and clubs, I never do anyways) at all over the whole thing, due to the fact Friday night was obvious and the other nights I drank enough and just wanted to read, chill and sleep. I did lots of sleeping because the beds were so good, and shabbos was forced chill, as we were probably the only orthodox Jews for 1000 miles. We brought food and Friday night dinner consisted of a smuggled Salami and some ghetto ass frozen meal mart meals which all taste like cholent. I had the rib steak, with kugel and farfel which was the oiliest and worst tasting cholent I had ever had, I could taste Boro Park in its depths. Then I proceeded to read the infamous book Forsekins Lament in its entirety, and I will have my thoughts on that at some later point.
At about 2:00pm on shabbos afternoon I had enough I needed to get out, but there was nowhere to go but to bed, to read or to swim. I had already done all three and was bored. I literally started to go a little nuts and pined for my bike and car, my escape to the unknown, I have issues with being stuck and stagnant and always like to be free and on the move. I have to see what’s around the bend, and I was bored. I also missed a special lady back home and was pining I admit.
Saturday night was another cocktail party and I got drunk again, this time on two drinks, easy eh. It was interesting to be around regular middle aged non-Jews who all had kids our age and were all pretty successful, and all they talked about was who was in the blackmail pictures taken the night before and IT stuff, I was bored and could even be seen as recluse. Its funny I am so talkative sometimes and if I have nothing to say (very rare so relish it) I tend to shut up and just chill in my own thoughts.
Ok so I had fun, though I don’t know if I would do something like this again, unless it were free of course. Though I sincerely think it would have been better if I was in an older place with more tourist attractions. Cancun has ruins and jungles, Cabo has beaches and alcohol. Oh but I would try never to go on shabbos, electric doors, eruvim and food is just such a headache.
I put up many more pictures on the “frum satire” facebook profile.