January 1st, 2006

me: wrong side of the mirror

Day 6: Welcome to 2006

I wake at dawn and sneak outside. Perhaps "sneak" is an exaggeration, as all of the wooden doors in the house are warped and the locks rusty. My departure doesn't wake anyone else up, anyway. I want to take photos on our private strip of beach.

(Click the coconut to see the gallery.)

The stink of the jungle draining into the sea after the night's downpour is nearly overpowering. Bitey bugs fill the fetid air. I steel myself to their predations. As the sun rises behind one of the neighboring Hyatts (there are three within a quarter-mile radius), the wind picks up. The bugs beat a hasty retreat from the heat and the light. The tiny sand crabs scurry for their burrows. I take pictures until my battery runs out and my stomach rumbles angrily at me.

I creep back to bed until thirst and habitual tea craving drive me into the kitchen. imyril rises shortly afterwards and we go to the pool to swim. We dry off dozing in the sun. When we return to the house, Marco is up and suggests going to the beach. We stay there until lunchtime. We spend a drowsy afternoon drinking beer and eating Doritos and salsa while it pours outside. imyril's boyfriend bought an enormous, juicy ripe watermelon yesterday, which we chop into chunks and eat out of a pot, taking turns troughing. We watch kung fu on television (Fist of Legend – Jet Li, Operation Condor 2 – Jackie Chan and Iron Monkey – Donnie Yen).

It's a blissful day of nothing, follwed by asopao (stew) made with bacalao (salted cod) and boiled yuca with garlic. We attempt to drink an Australian shiraz, but even with refrigeration it tastes peppery and light, like a pinot noir. The combination of heat and humidity is very bad for wine preservation. This is a rum and beer climate. We take the hint.