Yup, I’m back. It was kind of a quick, whirlwindy-type of trip. In some ways that’s better, you don’t really have time to become completely disassociated with real life. Which is good considering that I have a seminar to go to tomorrow and I start actual work again on Monday (Oh yeah, I can just feel the sympathy flowing). Anyway, here’s just a few notes that came to mind that never quite made it into any of my other e-mails.

1) I’ve had some questions regarding the “Don’t cry for me, I’m already dead” comment in my last e-mail; no, I’m not suddenly manic-depressive or philosophically-inclined, it is just a stupid Simpson’s quote (Barney Gumbel, from his short film on alcoholism that withstood formidable competition from “Football in the Groin”) that happened to pop into my head at the time

Now, for some Mexican stuff:

2) I saw a baggage handler in Guadalajara wearing an old vintage Blue Jays cap; I told him that I used to play for them and asked if he wanted me to sign it, but he said he didn’t want to wreck it

3) In Zacatecas there was a teenage kid wearing a Philadelphia Eagles Bobby Hoying jersey; Bobby Hoying started maybe a dozen games in his career there, really sucked, and I think he retired

4) Completely opposite my expectations, all buses leave exactly on time (to my chagrin when leaving Puerto Vallarta), and I never saw one break down

5) I couldn’t work up the courage to eat at Pizza Naranja, as unique as it must be (“naranja” is Spanish for “orange”)

6) There are speed bumps EVERYWHERE, and they are huge; when buses pass through highway towns they are usually forced to slow down to around 10km/hr all the way through, and the people in the back of the bus still get flung around like rag dolls

7) Every third car in Mexico is a VW Beetle (they’ve been making them there for years, I guess), and almost nobody drives mopeds despite most towns having serious traffic congestion, narrow streets and astronomical gas prices

Universal dormitory rules require all inhabitants to fart in their sleep at least once every 15 minutes; suffering from “night terrors” is optional, but recommended

9) While unwrapping a picture I bought for Andie I noticed a strange blemish in the corner that I hadn’t remembered seeing before – it turned out to be a live scorpion (only about an inch long, but feisty). We used it as ambience on the coffee table for awhile (in a cut-off water bottle, of course) until finally setting it free in the tunnels beneath Guanajuato

10) At movies in Mexico (or at least Puerto Vallarta), you can buy cake by the slice, and they stop the movie in the middle for a ten-minute intermission; Men In Black II translates to Hombres de Negroes II

Finally, the plane ride home with the package-holidayers inspired me to write a brief song describing the experience (all right, I ripped the song off, and just changed some of the words, but that’s still pretty musical for me). Here it goes:

Braids, braids, everywhere there’s braids
Gimme something that will prove
That I’m on holidays
Mock me, rip me off, can’t you see my braaaiids…..

Thank you, thank you, you’ve been great.

Rock on.