Sunday, January 16, 2011

Absent-mindedness and Mishaps

We are back from our jungle and archaeological adventure in Mexico.  

We didn't get as much sun as we would have liked and there were the occasional mishaps, but we did have a good time.  We stayed at a interesting little eco-hotel (more like a b&b) in a little village tucked away in the jungle.  We visited the Maya sites of Coba and Ek Balam, but skipped Chichen Itza.  We also explored the small city of Valladolid, which is sleepy and a bit rough around the edges.  It does have a cenonte right in town, with a restaurant overlooking it.

Of the mishaps, I shall share the last one.  While in Valladolid, we bought two bottles of liquor: Xtabentun, the local drink made with anise and honey (this one had also been infused with coffee), and Kahlua.  On the day we were flying back, I mindlessly put them in my carry-on backpack and not in my suitcase.  I realized right after we checked our bags, that I couldn't get through security with them.  I ran back to see if they could retrieve the suitcase, but they said no.  The only option was to toss the bottles or check my backpack.  They gave me a little box to try to pad the bottles in the backpack and I checked it, hoping for the best.

Our trip connected through Atlanta and we had to get our bags to clear customs.  I thought if the bottles survived, I could repack them in the suitcase and take the backpack on the plane.  As I picked up the backpack, I felt some moisture.  The Kahlua bottle made it, but the Xtabentun bottle didn't.  There was a wet, sticky, and pungent puddle inside the bag.  I had to discard the broken bottle in the box - mind you this is just outside customs - and find a bathroom to dump the puddle from the backpack without looking too suspicious.  After all of this, I packed the Kahlua bottle back in the backpack, covered the backpack with some plastic bags, and packed the whole sticky odorous mess in my suitcase.  We cleared customs ok and rechecked the suitcase.  Only then did I realize that my house keys were in my backpack.  My worry was that if my bag got lost - not beyond the possibility given the way the days events had gone - we would be locked out when we got home.  I called the friend who was dog-sitting for us and asked her to leave a spare set of keys hidden somewhere outside.

In the end the suitcases made it.  I did get a note inside my suitcase from TSA that they had opened and inspected it.  They were probably wondering why it smelled like a wino.  And the Kahlua bottle did survive!

I think in the future, Sara will have to pack for me.


oso said...

Ah, I missed you. If you ever pass through Mexico City you've gotta let me know.

Xolo said...

We flew in and out of Cancun, so we didn't pass through Mexico City.

We want to visit Xalapa sometime soon and there may be research trips to Chiapas and/or Oaxaca, all which will require a stop in DF. I will definitely give you a heads up when that happens.

Elenamary said...

I love Kahlua Especial 70proof! I always bring it back with me. I even brought a bottle with me here to China. Glad your bottle made it okay.