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
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Like my brownhouse:
   a sea change at Tulum Beach
Wednesday, February 22 2017

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

Today was our last full one in Tulum (and also Mexico), so certain things had to be done. For example, Gretchen had arranged for us to ride a shuttle tomorrow directly from Mayatulum to the Cancún airport. But if we were doing that, we'd have to be returning our bicycles today. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First there was the odd stillness of the morning. The sea had roared like a freeway for the first four days we'd been here. But now it was much quieter, with the sound of individual waves falling politely onto the sand. Evidently there had been a big change in whatever weather systems drive the sea. Now, instead of strong winds blowing inland off the water, the sea was pulling winds in from the land. In previous days, the Tulum beach had been a popular spot for kite surfers, but without the winds, all the kites and their surfers were gone. Last night's sea change had also pushed a great deal more seaweed suddenly onto the beach, though there was also significantly less of it in the water nearby. This morning during breakfast, the Mayatulum staff could be seen down on the beach with pitchforks, ineffectually making seaweed piles. It looked to be a sisyphean task; did they really intend to use those wheelbarrows they'd brought? But later they rolled out a tiny front-end loader to carry the seaweed to a huge pile of the stuff forming a small hill between Mayatulum and the next resort south.
We put on sunscreen and, after a little morning work with my computer, I took Gretchen to those rocks with the chitons on them. We then took a dip in the nearby resort with a small swimming pool and then sunned ourselves on their luxurious outdoor furniture. There were a couple sand-colored Golden Retrievers living there, one much older than the other. With not that much encouragement, the younger one climbed up on the furniture I was sitting on, allowing me to fondle his paw and scratch his head. We were missing our dogs. Think of the fun they'd have in this paradise!
As always, we returned to Charly's Tacos for lunch. Today they had a couple beers (including an IPA) on the drink menu. Such a random appearance and disappearance of alcohol from a restaurant's menu is a deeply weird thing, and I wasn't prepared for it. Instead I was prepared for there not being any alcohol; I'd brought my flask of mezcal again. Unfortunately, the only beverage it made any sense to add it to was one based on hibiscus, which was a little weird.
As we were dining, a strong wind gusting toward the beach managed to topple the huge crossbeam held aloft between two posts, which fell to the ground twenty or so feet away with a loud thump. Had anyone been there at the time, they would've been killed instantly. That crossbeam had supported the circular Charly's Tacos sign, which was now snapped in half. When the beam and the sign fell, it also managed to snap a length of wire powering the entire operation (including the Charly's Tacos WiFi). Charly himself managed to cobble together a solution involving a fairly large amount of tape, at which point a fan, the WiFi, and the music all came on at once. I should mention that at Charly's Tacos, the music played is of that genre we'd first encountered during the ride from the airport. It consists of American pop hits from the 1980s remixed over strong dance beats. It doesn't sound remotely Mexican or even Latin, but it's mostly what one hears people playing.
From Charly's, we biked all the way back to Tulum City, again fighting wind the whole way (this time blowing out to sea). There, we returned our bikes at the dusty bike rental place and then walked back out to Route 15. The plan was to catch a colectivo, one of the vans that affordably take people to wherever they need to go. Just as we arrived at Route 15, we came to a colectivo pull-off as a colectivo van was arriving. It was full of people (most of them dressed for work in the resorts), but there was room enough for us if we stood in the middle. In the land of the Mayans, I'm something of a giant (something I was reminded of when walking beneath signs on the streets of Tulum), and standing in the center of that van was absurd. I had to bend my neck and lay my head sideways against the van's ceiling. It was impossible to see where we were going this way, and somewhere further south on Route 15 it took awhile to get through temporary police blockade (such things, I've learned, are common in Latin America). But the ride was much shorter than it would've been on a bike. Gretchen said it had cost only about $3 for the both of us.

The sea was now almost as tranquil as a swimming pool, and there was a brought shallow patch devoid of seaweed just south of the natural jetty of rocks on Mayatulum's central axis. Gretchen and I waded out there among the other Mayatulum guests (all of them women), who could still be heard talking about their Eat, Pray, Love lives. One of the women was topless, because why the hell not? Meanwhile that tiny frontend loader was still making trips between the beach and the mountain of rotting seaweed.

Despite what Gretchen might've wished, I spent much of the afternoon continuing with my work on the Generic Report. It was now working fairly well, and I was just down to eliminating a few bugs. At this point it was only possible to create one WHERE condition in the GUI, though I had a complicated plan (involving recursive Javascript) that would hopefully allow a user to add multiple conditions to the WHERE clause.

For the fifth and last time this evening, we dined at our dinner place, Restaurare. Initially we were the only customers, and this made sense given how aggressive the mosquitoes were being in the light seaward breezes, though of course most tourist diners don't make their decisions based on their expectations of mosquito behavior. Gretchen and I both ordered the salbutes, and for a drink, I went with a Mexican red wine that wasn't bad.

I stayed up late again tonight further refining my code and taking occasional sips of a cocktail made of orange juice and mezcal, both of which were at room temperature and kind of acrid.

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