Mexico for Christmas

Alright, so. It’s Christmas night. There are a little over twenty of us, mostly Mexicans, packed into three cars. The Toyota probably has only two or three over normal capacity but there are around eleven clinging to every available surface of the jeep. I’m in the tray of the ute, hanging on for dear, glorious life, which is exactly what I’m living all the way to the fullest right now. It’s maybe a little after midnight. I’m facing forward, standing stomach against the cab, jostling shoulder to shoulder with three or four others, and we’re hurtling some stupid speed in neutral down a dirt road through the jungle to some beach in the middle of nowhere, Mexico. I’m dressed for Christmas: nice shoes, earrings, wearing a fucking dress of all things, which has ripped neatly along a seam on my way into the tray. Wind in my hair, lungs, face, chest.

Finally, we get to the beach. A few of the Mexican boys, a Canadian boy called Derrick and myself start to gather driftwood and dried up palm fronds to light a fire. The beach is kinda shitty, with a lagoon in the way of the real beach and a mess of driftwood and sticks along the edges. The girls want to go back. They stage a protest in the jeep while the rest of us get the fire ready. But there’s not really enough wood and we can’t get it big enough, and it’s actually pretty cold out here with the wind blowing off the ocean. We persist anyway and eventually the girls give up their protest and stand shivering around our pathetic little fire with us. Someone hauls the eskies out of one of the cars, filled with ice and cheap mixers, and we stand around drinking tequila and vodka out of plastic cups.

After a while, some strange light appears on the horizon over the ocean, and another on one of the hills, which may be some rich fisherman with floodlights or it may, someone says, be the military. A few people seem to thinks it’s the latter, which could be a problem considering we’re not really supposed to be there. Suddenly there’s a flurry of activity as we flee back into our three vehicles, up the private road and the fuck out of there. We stop half-way up the road to unlock one of the gates and notice that the Toyota is not following. The jeep turns back. When they arrive, they find the Toyota bogged and that the occupants have lit another fire and are standing around it, smoking and drinking and hanging out, waiting casually for rescue.

Finally, all three are up on the main road and the ute’s run out of fuel. The Toyota takes off to Melaque to get some more and the rest of us crack out the liquor and cigarettes and just start a new party, right there on the side of the road, blasting music from the speakers of the jeep. The Toyota comes back, they siphon the fuel down a hose from a juice bottle and into the tank, and off we go home again home again.

Thus ends my third day in Mexico.

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