On the night of my flight, I enjoy one final dinner in the modern world at Quynh and Uffe's home. After a delicious steak and wine dinner was done we finish it with some delicious chocolate truffles.
I arrive at SFO. I was feeling proud I packed very light for my two month trip; one carry on bag and one shoulder bag. The fantasies of my future adventures playing in my head were abruptly interrupted by the TSA security alarm. A guard immediately walked up and asked me to step aside. The chocolate truffle wrapper in my pocket had triggered the alert. The stern man escorted me to a back room. He had a very serious look. He snapped on the rubber gloves and gave me the full North to South. Just like my other "first time", it was over in two minutes and I cried a little at the end.
I am excited for this trip. In searching for the best (cheapest) destination in Central America, I found a super cheap ticket to Cancun, Mexico for $141 bucks. That's not even enough money to put gas into the plane. Some years back I traveled to Guatemala for a work project so I had some clue of what was to come. The 3 years of Spanish classes in high school will come in handy when I need to whip out some broken Spanish. I didn't bother to immunize myself because there were too many countries to get shots for. No malaria pills either. Not even a bottle of Robitussin. I did pack shades, sandles, and sunscreen. I was ready.
I know what the American life is like: all work and no travel. So when I am in between jobs I immediately get on a plane and don't look back. My previous job ended right before the holidays. I planned to travel all through the Christmas season and then some. I rented my SF apt out. Everything fell into place, now it's time for some fun.
After the plane landed, the shuttle took me to town but first it heads through the Hotel Zone, aka the strip, aka little America. It was a long series of private all inclusive hotels along the water all joined by a commercial downtown. In the downtown there was Niketown, Forever 21, McDonalds and so on. American couples lined the streets walking in flip flops doing their casual shopping. The sight of this place made me feel like I was still in America. My great travel adventure had not begun. In my mind I was pretending this was a transit point and that my adventure would begin later.
After thirty minutes on the shuttle we finally reached the city of Cancun and that was the first time I saw regular Mexicans who live in Mexico. I was happy to be in a hostel away from the Hotel Zone and right in the heart of the residential downtown. Finally I was able to breath.
I wasn't interested in doing anything in Cancun except the Underwater Museum. I was going to skip everything else since I knew it was going to be overpriced tourist traps. But there was one place I had to go, the notorious Coco Bongo.
Out of curiosity and peer pressure, I decided to see what one of the world's greatest party clubs was like. The price was $80. That included free drinks (which tasted very watered down). It was more of a non stop theater show as opposed to a club.
The hostel residents and I took a bus into the Hotel Strip where we queued up for this place like it was a Disneyland ride. Upon entering we followed a massive crowd to a big banquet like room were we all stood on the dance floor in the center. In the balcony above us, the performers put on a show. The hyped up music filled the room as the performers danced, lip synced, performed acrobatic feats, some even suspended themselves from ropes and swung around the room. The dancers flexed their muscles, shook their tits, and gyrated their asses to be beat. The music seemed to change songs every 30 seconds and the performers changed costumes every other minute. The themes went from Moulon Rouge to Spider Man. Strobe lights flashed as confetti dropped down from the ceiling almost every other song.
For me it was too much. It was loud and over stimulating. The other party goers were having a blast. This is the legendary Cancun party scene after all and I arrived to the party 20 years too late. I was kind of disgusted. I am here for the culture and people of this region. I wasn't impressed with the Vegas dance and light show. I left the club early on my own.