This is the only country I’ve ever been in where men will drop babies and old women and test tubes of volatile, nuclear substances to run and help me put my grocery bags in the back of the car.
And they’re not even store employees or anything.
Just helpful dudes who think I look weak or needy or blonde.
I’ll take it.
It makes me feel kind of like Grace Kelly or something.
In other news, I may resemble a dainty starlet of the 1950s (at least south of border. Give me that.), but I stink like a caveman.
Did you know charcoal does not necessarily come in pre-formed, palm-sized briquettes? But that it can actually be half of a tree trunk and fourteen tiny scraps creating the substantial weight in that large, dirty bag? And when that sh*t gets under your nails, it’s like the anti-French manicure.
It’s the Brittany Grease Monkey.
The Parisian Welder.
The Provencal Blacksmith.
The I’ve Been Working on the French Railroad All The Live-Long Day
But there’s no time to dwell on that dainty, girly, To Catch a Thief crap now. Somehow you have to get a fire going and get the tree trunk itself going and eventually – say fourteen hours later – you’re ready to grill your chicken.
I know, it’s a lot of work.
And a lot of time.
I did not know that either.
All of this was what we Grace Kelly-types like to call “quel surprise”.
But now that I smell all camp fire-y and manly and “Me. Fire. Cook. Meat.” I’m also a bit proud of my new knowledge. Like anything hard-won, it feels like a victory. And smells like one too.
Or is that Napalm?
Or is that redundant?
In other news, I have been unwell.
Not so unwell as to render a visit to a Mexican clinic or a life flight out of here, but unwell enough to disturb my precious and deeply beloved sleep.
And that ain’t right.
As I’m pretty sure you all know by now, I have a minor condition called Interstitial Cystitis.
Admittedly, being a pain condition, in some cases it is anything but ‘minor’, but luckily my version is relatively minor.
Until it flares up, and then I’m always like, “How the hell did I not remember how horrible this was!?!? Get me a morphine drip and get it NOW!!!”
My IC has a few known foes: spicy peppers, excess red wine, and stress.
Checking off the latter two, the issue a couple nights ago was brought on by some excessively hot pico de gallo made with serranos heaped upon some already spicy pulpo tacos.
Damn, they were good though.
Not quite good enough to account for my suffering, but still good.
And in the spirit of full disclosure and entertainment at any cost, step right up and gawk at the true and very pathetic story of how desperate I was the other night (FAIR WARNING: This is not for the squeamish or vomit story sensitive): Upon waking up in the wee hours and realizing my bladder was on goddamned FIRE, I mixed up and drank a huge glass of baking soda and water in order to alkalize the situation. You’ve heard of baking soda on a grease fire? For better or worse, it’s the same thing with my super sensitive ulcer-esque urine tank.
For those of you that are visual and/or literal: It was at least 16 oz of water and a three honking tablespoons of baking soda.
And murder going down.
Out of sheer horror, I chased that with a plain – swimming pool sized – glass of water.
Then I went and laid down.
And pulled the blankets up around me.
And thought happy, alkaline thoughts.
And felt overwhelmingly like barfing.
So after a while, the barfiness gained strength and I got up and sat in the tub (thank god for the tub!!!)
There, I threw up projectile baking soda water vomit four different times into said bath (Big time Exorcist projectile vomit, yet pretty clean vomit, as things go).
And worst of all, I had to fight to keep the remainder of the hideous, nauseating beverage down because I knew I needed it to deal with problem #1, the original problem that in turn led to the new nausea problem, my angry bladder.
Eventually I went back to bed.
And I’m better today.
And taking it easy on the serranos.
And no red wine in sight.
Sorry about the gross story.
But you asked.
You didn’t ask?
Oh apologies. It must be all this hanging out by myself in the Mexican desert making me imagine conversations with you that aren’t actually happening.
On the upside, I will be in a middle seat on USAirways Flight 330 to Phoenix in less than 48 hours. I will miss the sun and the cacti and the tranquillity, but I seriously cannot wait to go home and hug my dog and watch some cable TV.