All in a Days Work

Well, after a cup of coffee and some fresh pan, I put on my one pair of long pants, shoes & socks, a shirt, and walked the single path through the jungle to the other end of La Alejandria. It’s a piece of land known to those as El Paraiso. I was walking to work. I opened my mouth one too many times about my abilities in the field that somebody finally told me to put my money where my mouth was. Who said anything about money?

With a catch, as so many of my promises seem to be these days, I promised to work for seventy five cents per hour. The catch was that I could only promise one hour a day. If they got more than an hour out of me, I told them they were the winners. I thought seventy five cents per hour was a pretty decent wage considering I was ready to work for free.

Once I found the boys, and trust me it wasn’t easy, I immediately knew it was going to be my kind of work. Sketchy ladder work that takes a desperate kind of balance and balls that can only come from experience. Because remember, there are only two ways to set up a ladder. Truth is, they didn’t really want me to work so much as they wanted to show me their work. Aw, how cute.

The views of the lagoon from the workplace were off all charts. We used man made ladders made from both aluminum and wood. Both seemed as sturdy as any Werner I’ve ever used. While on the site, I tried to show the boys a thing or two, but again, they weren’t really interested in my thing or two.  Toy Gringo!

Lupita suddenly appeared in Boy’s Town to tell me that Juan had called the restaurant looking for me and said he’d try back in fifteen minutes. Well that was my calling card to tell the boys Luego.

On our way back down along the path through the jungle, I asked Lupita if Juan mentioned anything about the nature of the phone call. She couldn’t understand what I was trying to ask. I tried to say never mind, but couldn’t make that understandable either.

At the restaurant I had myself a Coke. In a glass w/ ice. The real shit. Juan called and I took the call. He said he had $1200US and 2100MXN cash in his pocket. He suggested I get my ass over to Vivo Resorts immediately to collect it. He told me to bring “The Dawg”. I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about.

I don’t quite understand what you are talking about, I said.
Just get here ASAP, and you’re buying me lunch, he said.
Is this for that guy you told me about Rex? I asked.
No, Rex is separate.  This guy is named Brian, he answered.
Do I know this guy Brian? I asked.
You ask too many questions, he answered.
Whoa, I said.
Whoa is right, he said.

I walked back thru the jungle and up the path to where the boys were sitting in the shade counting screws. I told them that I was giving up my job for seventy five cents per hour so that could go collect $1,350 in about two hours. They started asking me 99 questions. I looked at my watch that I wasn’t wearing and said I had to go to the place with the person and check the thing.

It was just after 10am. There was cloud cover. There’s been lots of cloud cover this winter down here which I love. I told them that I would be back at 4pm to log another few hours.

I loaded my van with the goods. One paddle board, one paddle, one fin. I drove my van about two miles Southeast on Hwy 200. I turned off on a dirt road, and followed the power poles another two miles or so Northwest. I was headed to the one and only Vivo Resorts. A six star spread. I was going to see Juan the Lifeguard, have some lunch, fill my bathing suit pocket with cash. That sorta stuff.

I arrived at 11:30. I walked straight out to the beach where I was immediately handed cold hard. I gestured a 500 peso spot plus the lunch for brokering the deal. He accepted the 500 pesos and the lunch. We walked up to the Infinity Pool and Bar Area. He ordered the fish and chips. I got the chicken burrito.

Juan mentioned that there is a new chef, and the kitchen has been somewhat slowww. With that bit, I decided to go for a twenty minute run on the beach. Ten minutes each way. No people, no trash, no houses, no nothing. Deep in the Southern Mexican tropics. Stiff ocean breeze. Paradise.

I jumped in the ocean and then showered off up by the pool. Perfect timing! We sat out by the pool under a giant umbrella. I had an ice cold Corona out of the bottle with my lunch. He had a Coke in a glass w/ ice. With tip, the bill was a 220 pesos. WAY more money than I am used to doling out for food.  220 pesos?  Who has that kind of money to fork out $15 for lunch for only two people.  Not me!  I guess I do.

After lunch, I bodysurfed a bit out front.  I drove back to the lagoon around 1:30pm. I snuck in a little siesta in my cabana. I woke up around 2:30pm and went into the restaurant. I showed Lupita and Juanita how I make coffee at home. They pretended they were blown away. I got jacked up on bean.

I went back to see the boys at around 3pm. I made sure they knew I was back an hour earlier than I had promised. Despite there being sharp metal, rusty rebar, nails, broken tile and concrete, and other hazardous Gringo traps everywhere, I still decided to show back up to work in a bathing suit and flip flops. For me, it was too hot to dress any other way.

I told them I could give them a couple hard hours. I said I had an appointment with The Manialtepec Lagoon at 5pm. They told me that I talk too much. So without saying another word, and right at 5pm, I disappeared like a man on vacation. On my way back to my cabana I stopped in the restaurant and told Lupita I wanted Caldo de Camaron ready around 6:30pm.

I went for an hour paddle. Tropical Sunset, Birds, Iguanas, Crocodiles. You name it, I felt it.

I came back and took a cold outdoor shower. I went back into the restaurant with a clean bathing suit. Juanita had prepared my soup with fresh vegetables and about ten jumbo shrimps. As the soup cooled, I pulled each shrimp out and cleaned them on a separate plate. I put all the shrimp back in, washed my hands, added the chopped onion, avocado, and chiles, and went to town.

After dinner, I didn’t brush or floss, and read about five paragraphs words before passing out. It was 8pm.

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