Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   post-apocalyptic Chedraui
Sunday, February 19 2017

location: Cabin C, Mayatulum Resort, coastal Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

There had been some confusion around what exactly we were getting with our Mayatulum cabin. Initially Gretchen had thought that it didn't come with breakfast, but by this morning we'd learned that it did, and that our cabin was less expensive than it might've otherwise been because we had somehow been included in someone's "group rate" (in other words, we might've been the beneficiary of a coder's errant business logic). We made it down to the dining hall (a huge version of the concrete-and-thatch peak-roofed huts serving as cabins) about 15 minutes before breakfast was to end. There was a big buffet featuring a variety of fruit, some bread, and various non-vegan breakfast items (including a huge disgusting bin of yellow eggy slime). This being a yoga resort, there was no meat of any sort. Fortunately for Gretchen and me, there was, however, a big thing of soupy black bean purée. This didn't work particularly well on bread, but when Gretchen made some noises to the staff, they delivered some soft corn tortillas and a half of an avocado, pre-sliced. (It was a little odd that, if they were trying — as I think they were — to be respectful of the local traditions that they would be offering black beans and American-style bread but no tortillas.) Of course Gretchen doesn't eat avocado, so that was all me.
As for the other people at the resort, they were nearly all white Americans, and the vast majority were women who looked to be on some sort of Eat, Pray, Love quest. Some were our age or a little older, but most were younger. I'd say the average person was a white American woman in her mid-30s. There were also a number of men, and these tended to be wiry 60-somethings. As I noted to my colleagues back in America via Slack, one could be a fairly schlubby guy and do well for himself here. And by well, I mean he could obtain for himself a lot of ass.
I put on some sunscreen and joined Gretchen for awhile on the beach, though I had little interest in the ocean. Eventually I returned to the cabin, which (for my money) was the most pleasant place to experience the beach. One could see it through the window and hear its constant roar while seated comfortably in a non-sandy environment shaded from the sun.

Gretchen thought we should bike back into the city of Tulum to replace our bikes with ones that were less crappy. Either on the way there or on the way back, we figured we could stop at Charly's Tacos, an all-vegan taco stand, along the way. Charly's wasn't far away, but by the time we got there, I was ready for that to happen. So parked our bikes and took a seat. As with Restaurare, Charly's is entirely outdoors and right there in the jungle, amid various trees. The actual kitchen is in a large trailer, suggesting it could theoretically come and go, though it has been in the same place (parked on property belonging to Papaya Playa (one of the resorts Gretchen was fond of crashing a year ago). The one thing that had changed in the year since Gretchen last ate here was that now Charly's offered table service. I ordered the Taco Love Trio with Rajas poblanas, Porkless Cracklings, and Soyrizo & Cheese. It was great, though the Soyrizo was a bit sour for my tastes. The bathroom in these places is always a long walk away, usually provided by the adjacent resort. While I was at Charly's bathroom, Gretchen showed up and led the way to the beach, which wasn't far away. We were down there for a few minutes before Gretchen realized she hadn't even paid for our meal.
By this point we were thinking we could probably live with our bikes, crappy as they were. It turned out that Gretchen was happier with my bike and I was happier with hers; simply swapping the two would keep us from having to drag our asses all the way back to that dusty bike rental place. Still, I wanted to go to a grocery store if only to buy some sort of booze supply for the week. I'm not the kind of person who can be happy in a beachside cabin that lacks a liquor cabinet. So we rode our bikes back to the edge of Tulum City and took a right into the local Chedraui supermarket.
From the outside, a Chedraui looks both post-apocalyptic and Soviet-era simultaneously. This is due to the stained, dingy concrete in both the building and in the sun-shade structures forming a static procession down the center of the extremely large parking lot. As we arrived, someone was just leaving on a four-wheel ATV, making the place seem positively Mad-Maxian. Inside, the Chedraui was a lot like a Walmart, featuring lots of grocery items as well as cheap consumer goods. My main interest was carbohydrates, nuts, and alcohol. I got a big bag of tostadas, a bag of a kind of lightly-salted cornchip nearly impossible to find in the United States, a bag of bulk peanuts, a 750 mL bottle of Beneva Mezcal, and one each of some sort of local Mexican pale ale and India pale ale. While we were there, we also got a roll of masking tape in case I needed to make further adjustments to my $2 flip flops (which had been fairly comfortable since my first modification).

Back at the cabin, there was more beach time and down time, and then inevitably we walked to Restaurare for a late dinner. Actually, Gretchen was still full enough from lunch, so she just got the banana cake. But I ordered the pibil tacos (so good!) and some sort of lime drink containing a shot of mezcal. In this part of the world, the locals only talk about mezcal, not tequila, since (in Mexico at least) tequila refers to a very specific kind of mezcal from a distant part of Mexico.

Gretchen at Charly's Tacos this afternoon.

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