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1980 9 of 10

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17. 6:15 am dream: I'm at some learned mystical meeting like Theosophical Society and someone's making a very careful presentation of man as a congeries of various bodies and entities, and after the speaker concludes "We concur in which, when a woman afterwards COMPLIMENTS him on that, he says wasn't true. Take the cucumber lady (meaning the lady who spoke of or dealt with cucumbers; at which point I laugh and say "Ha, cucumber lady," but no one listens to me), she can always be depended on for brilliant questions and wonderful observations." And I'm busy brushing hairs and bits of debris off a diagram in my notebook. I'd waked earlier with ANOTHER dream, but I've forgotten it now. It's COLD here and hotel is NOT heated! Up at 6:45 and write cards till 7:55. To restaurant for rather good meal of steak mexicana and fruit and tea and toast for 85P+10P tip. Down to ask about laundry, BRING it down, and as I'm sewing my own pants at 9:05, Francisco comes in looking for start of my tour. Then he goes to pick up Jim and Chris at Continental, I price wool sweater at 900P or $45, and my guide returns at 9:25. Drive down 5 de Mayo looking at old churches and leaning buildings, then park and look at eagle-serpent monument, lots of Rivera murals in government building, and across to cathedral (pyramids MAY be open by Saturday, he says) to GREAT front altar, side chapels, lots of "Saved" altars from churches along Reforma-widening, and out to get shot of whole place. Into Church of Jesus of Nazareth which is TORN apart, with newly found BONES in pit, plaque for Cortez (said to be syphilitic and monkey-headed). GREAT extra! Lots of driving past schools and churches and monuments and bypasses, then through Chapultepec to see roads by DAY, large zoo and children's zoo of small animals, and before that through Lomas de Chapultepec for elegant---some MARVELOUS castles on whole blocks---houses. To Niza at 1:10, give him 40P tip (for letting us stop at bank rather than market), and to Gray Lines at 1:20, buy tour for tomorrow, catch up on this on the bus to 1:55 to be told they're waiting for people from the Doral! I announce I told them when I arrived at 1:20! He's back inside and finally out again---what DO they DO?---at 2:01 with two passengers who'd entered at 1:50 (had been waiting for MY guy at THEIR hotel). Planning to make Pink Zone into a TOTAL mall. Dianetics with a whole tiny triangle of a block! Insurgentes only n-s street, 38 kilometers. "Reforma" refers to Juarez's separation of church and state. Two million cars for 15 million people, NOW probably largest city in world; Tokyo 13 million, and Shanghai somewhat less. Streets with elegant European countries' names in the TACKIEST residential-small factory area. Guadeloupe to 3 pm, and at 3:07 to Artisanas for 1/2 hour. ARTESANIAS FINAS, INDIOS VERDES. Overpriced? Sweaters, wool (but skimpy) at 350P, lovely Merida long sleeve sheer shirts for $20. Small wall hanging about 2x4 feet at 675P, and some hangings are PART wool and PART algodon, which is cotton. Leather coats about $200! ONLY tourist busses stopping here, just above Cathedral, and GUIDE is very last---if no one bought, how much can he be paid off? We finally depart at 3:46. Fifteen million in Districto Federal ONLY, and lots of SURROUNDING neighborhoods would ADD to that. Can SEE Ixtaulatl already and "Popo" DIMLY on right. Teotihuacan: Citadel: "The place where man becomes God." 4:15 out of bus. 4:45 out of bus at Temple of the Sun (and the commentary says they DIED and became Gods). Sound and Light at 7 and out at 7:45, with a five-minute cop-stop at 8, said by the guide to be done only for a payoff, which driver said was 50P. For a tip? Into town about 9, left off at corner, and have good dinner in coffee shop (El Roble 36P) and bed at 10:30.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18. 2:40 am: Dreams (1): Joe Safko and I are working in the same motion picture projection booth in a vague, wall-enclosed, jungle community. Inside the wall, where the earth is very thin on a rock base, was a huge tree that people thought highly of. But the enclosure was overcrowded and Joe wanted to remove the tree but no one would let him. We were projecting a movie and he tried to get permission, but angry people refused. He determined, and we flew around in a helicopter over lines of people, including the leaders, taking their picture. We'd found our projector could also RECORD. The people didn't know we were flying over, and I said, "Joe, with these films of the leaders, we can do anything we want." But, wordlessly and with grim lips, he flew to the tree and somehow gathered the willowy branches together with the helicopter blades and then manfully pulled the entire tree down, one part of the trunk making a HUGE thump on the sandy ground, uncovering the sand, and I rushed over to make sure, in liberating the whole community, someone wasn't crushed under the tree, but some little girl assured me that the records were so badly kept that people only THOUGHT she might have been with a classmate, but the records were wrong and there WAS no "classmate" and she was safe TOO. So EVERYTHING worked out and I swooped along the lines of people to give Joe a huge hug. (2) CONNECTED with the first, this was like a quiz show or newspaper lottery puzzle called "Someone Dare Not Go," and you had to use the colored tables of contents or game counters called "Resources" under certain headings to "Tasks" and combine them in various subsections called "Methods" to achieve final desired "Results," something to do with traffic planning. Joe (or I) zipped through effortlessly, the "only way to do it," and everyone acclaimed him/me/us as having succeeded where "Someone Dare Not Go," and it seemed RELATED to pulling down the tree. 3:30 am---still awake---I remind myself to make two notes for the indexing book (1) In section explaining headings and subheadings of chapters, the idea that of COURSE some items to be indexed are only a BLOCK of text, so there's NONE of this "explicit" organization (be it correct or incorrect!) to "help" the indexer. But there may be "implicit" organization that you CAN use. (2) Conceptualization note: if chapter tells of "making soap" and you know term is called "saponification" (check!), it may depend on the intended AUDIENCE---if the audience is TECHNICAL and saponification is discussed in another context ELSEWHERE, this could be considered an "author's oversight" and included in a subentry under saponification. If the reader is only USING the book, ANY entry under "saponification" to a page that doesn't use the WORD will merely seem like an error in the index, unless notes in some way, e.g. "saponification, see also soap making." Jerk off at 5:20 am. 7:30 am dream fragments (1) Talk with the 12- or 13-year-old black-haired boy with the most beautiful blue eyes in the world, and then sitting on a plane in a swivel chair, looking in amusement at the straining people as the plane twists and dips and banks and turns, but then it begins turning UPSIDE DOWN and I know plane can't survive, and start doing lightwork. (2) Sort of press-statement form: I know that both Johnny Weissmuller and I died, but since he can't write, I must be the one writing about it. Up and check for pants, still not back. Breakfast of pancakes and LOUSY service. No more restaurant in hotel! Down for tour at 9, with Juan in a car with seven others to Puebla, GREAT road past volcanoes and SCARY walk back over bridge to get pictures. Lovely forests! To San Martin Tuxmelucan for birds and flowers and SHOP for half hour! SHORT-sleeved "Fanny's" 390P. Small WOOL hanging 160P! SINGLE bed-cover COLORFUL for 625P. WOOL sweaters for 480P. Half wool-half synthetic 390P. 130P for wool VESTS, 220P for short-sleeved embroidered shirts. 340P for THEIR all-cotton rainbow-hue queen-size covers. Leave at 9:10, to continental divide at 10:30, into San Martin at 11, SHOP and house there till 11:30, mucho impatience. Franciscan friars CRUCIFIED in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1600's??, and they said "We'll punish Japan." Pyramid 1200 feet each side. Five kilometers of tunneling INSIDE! 60 feet BELOW street at least. Out of Puebla at 3:30 and out of Cholula at 4:40, out of gas at 4:50. IN by Route of Quetzalcoatl, BACK by route of Ehecatl. Then Puebla for BEAUTIFUL Bello Museum AFTER "Hidden Convent" and then Alfenique, quick chalupas and soda snack, to car for Cholula, climb THREE tunnels and UP hill with LOVELY Swiss couple, and back to rest and to Rivoli for dinner, Chicken Chichen-Itza for 90P, achiote of chicken in banana leaves like Aztec HEART. Wine for 80P, brandy and Kahlua and WATER (THAT makes me SICK?) and grand Marnier soufflé that comes before I FINISH meal. It's ELEGANT but TRIES too hard, and NY-type manager doesn't help much---Werner Erhard-type. Out and wander streets and miss gay section and bed maybe 11:10, latest.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19. 3:50 am dream: Dad was nominated Captain of "Scabbard and Blade," or some militaristic organization, in June of the previous year, and at the dinner THIS year, someone like a combination of Elaine Hyams and Marjorie Dettling from California nominates ME, and I ACCEPT before realizing I'm running against my father! AND they have no one but a Zolnerzak to vote for! MUCH worthless comes up! They come as I'm making up some plan of GOOD word for the organization to say that "85 abstained," so I can see they can still joke about it, but I won. Dad is drinking heavily in a bar, but has left me a gift in the attic; I tell two "Sergeants at Arms" to take him home safely, and climbing a ladder to the roof see that the BUTTER has melted down the walls. Someone comes in to proclaim an emergency, I say I'm about to handle it, get my sock caught in a step nail, and come down saying, "Well, I have to have a pail and soapy water to scrub ANYWAY," and come down while someone with the NAME of Dick Gmerek (of AU?) but with the "gee-gosh" quality of Larry(?) Someone (of IBM's machine room) is on my staff and I remember I have to congratulate THEM on their meeting TOO. Wake at 7 and across to VIPs for Huevos Especial VIPs, which I order as "Huevos Especial" and she chirps "Huevos VIPs?" like a bird. Cheese and ham and eggs and adobo sauce, VERY filling, and out by 9 to get to hotel to complain some MORE, then up to brush teeth and get call down at 9:13, no traffic, and stop to pick up marvelous Miss Schnitzler from Zurich, and we talk of Mexico and India and she PRAISES Ajanta and Ellora and HATED Tahiti (NO native culture, everyone in corrugated tin-roofed huts) and Moorea (NO villages, only BIG EXPENSIVE hotels, beaches, small amount of snorkeling, and NO trails or roads up STEEP hills covered with scraggly BUSHES, not trees. She didn't HATE Fiji, only there two days, people seemed cheerful and men had HUGE chests. Yum. That occupies trip to Tula. Off at 9:55, 8 in minibus, 11:20 out at Tula. At Tula, great shots, decent museum, but I'm THIRSTY and feeling ILL. Shop on road sells PLASTER OF PARIS Atlantides for 150P! Awful arguing when German (Frankfurt) girls don't take guide's beer, he flings it away; my chicken soup is mediocre; he bitches about German talk, saying they're too stupid to speak Spanish, "has worked in LA and NYC for 4 years," says he'll kill me if I get sick. He's been high on beer and Tecate for 4 days for the holidays. Wants to ditch (or fuck---or both) German girls, but we insist tour continues. Santa Cecilia is like a park, lovely house and museum-piece patio and cactus, but total reconstruction of pyramid. Talk to Guatemalans of my visit there. Tenayuca a FIND, and I'm glad I'm rested enough to climb and take pictures. Guide quiets down at end, thank God, but I felt sorry for people who had to put up with my not tipping. Out of car and into hotel. Schedule for day: Into bus at 12:20 and stop for shop till 12:30. To Tepotzotlan at 1:10 and walk QUICKLY through till 2, getting Squirt before, feeling AWFUL. Restaurant La Huerta de la Corilla at 2. Out of ARGUING restaurant at 3:10. Into Santa Cecilia at 3:40, out at 4:05, into Tenayuca at 4:15 and out at 4:35. Into final traffic jam at 4:45, back by 5:45! Take shower after hollering about pants and vouchers, give Viajes Permec phone number to desk guy, reserve city tour tomorrow through Gray Lines, and check my airport transfer Sunday! Maid knocks while I'm naked, I put DO NOT DISTURB sign out at 6:15 and at 7 or 8 she knows ANYWAY and actually delivers my CLEAN pants!!! Put in a call for me at 9 pm and go to BED with a fever, doing a DYNAMITE session and seeming to clear LOTS to it up! Used Gen, Reg, Red, orange, balancing and aligning all the way up to Archangelic and Deva of Mexico City, who REALLY has NEED (she says "9 o'clock" when my watch says 9:07) of more light, even from SMOG-cover point of view. Then ideas begin hitting my percolating brain: (1) The SIGN OF THE CROSS could be a 3-D LIGHTING: hand "father-son" for up-down, "holy ghost" for left-right, and "amen folded hands OUT at end" for front-back! (2) THEN I think of pyramids being BUILT OVER every 52 years, but has anyone figured the TIME FUNCTION of SINKING of these buildings' weights into Lake Texcoco? V(cone) = 1/3 (say) pi r2h, while V(pyramid) = K(?) r2h, where 1/3 pi probably not = K! Sinking depends on V(or P) x K, and it may be with various K's of soils and rock-sinkings, their "sacred ratio derived" as the pyramid VANISHES! Would Museum of Mexico City have studies on this? (Guide somewhere said that pyramids were built on ISLANDS, which still doesn't mean they couldn't sink ANYWAY). (3) is harder to write: I thought of 3-D time-space crosses of light MOVING THROUGH time-dimension for 4th dimension, and thought it SAD that everyone always SAID 4-D was DIFFICULT! If you SAY it's easy it WILL be easy (and about here it crosses my mind that when I say "Magnetic closed, right head load, Dynamic lopsided" and she AGREES, she's not LYING to me, merely verifying what I've actually PRODUCED by Energy Follows Thought!), so why not take a TIME exposure of a skeletal cube MOVING from t1 to t2 and the PICTURE WILL SHOW 3-D, even to MEASURABILITY (taking triangle-laws into consideration, as a=b=c in DRAWING, but it is in the actual CUBE. So that a not-equal b=c not-equal d in the C-D mode; maybe better not to take PHOTO, which reduces 4-D to 2-D again, but letting people OBSERVE IN A ROOM (LIVE gurus, NOT printed pages or TV screens!) STROBE-LIT "instants" of change-of-position-of-cube! GREAT IDEA! Then I wonder, "Well, how many NUMBERS do you need to "describe" reality? I guess x, y, z (current position), xl, yl, zl (next position) for 6-variable gauge (am I using correct terms?) theory, or [many formulas]. IS this what they are? Visualize a "proving computer" that has all the "known laws of nature," which are merely transforms of and SEE what comes from a sort of "Simple Simpson" set of inputs. "LIVE!" could then be rewritten to contain the ACTUAL equations: Reality=(somehow) But what if these ACTUALLY FIT into Einstein's General Relativity and Special Relativity, Milne's Gravitation Wave theory, Gauge-invariant theory, electromagnetic theories, long-distance and short-distance nuclear systems of energies, and LINKED THEM INTO ONE. "OK, all fit" rather than coming up with a DIFFERENT set of EQUATIONS they CONTAINED (isn't that what a Unified Field Theory has to do? But not in a TRIVIAL Reality=Reality1+Reality2+...or Reality=Reality1.Reality2..... but a real set of Reality is-identical-to (K1Reality1) (K2Reality2)...where Km's are provable ratios (dimensionless numbers) that OCCUR in nature: Curvature of space, Wheeler's dimensionless congeries of G, k, lambda, mu, and Einstein's Cosmological Constant. The "proving computer" could POSTULATE values for Km's until everything FIT, and if the k's proved DEMONSTRABLY EXISTENT, THIS would be the Unified Field Theory! What a session for heat-popping brains, ending at 9:30, at which point I CHECKED that pants ARE OK, and wrote THIS and decided I'm STILL feeling too "frail" to venture out tonight. Let's sleep and see if the morrow brings health or ail. AND assimilate all this great stuff from my FIRST session in DAYS---is THAT what, at bottom, my "sickness" was about? Tomorrow's energy will tell!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20. Up at 7 and feel pretty good! Pants rip at breakfast, so I change. 8:53 am: still no vouchers! Get angry with desk clerk, he says I have to handle it. Get Mr. Rafael Sanchez on phone and HE says he'll make out vouchers---my people aren't working today! AND if vouchers don't get there today, he'll be in the office tomorrow (says the desk clerk: so he can talk to the hotel manager and let me go. Sanchez: "Are you going to be in the hotel today?" "No, I'm going on a tour." "With our company?" "No." "No?" "No." Why should I go with your company when your company charges more and gives less---that I don't tell him. Though I have NO bowel movement since 8 am yesterday, and NO Lomotil (and I could have been ill from Lomotil (never HAD it before), height (it FELT like it, but after FOUR days in MC?), lack of salt (could be, in my red sweater I sweat a lot and add NO salt to my food, though my impression is that it's pretty salted), or some OTHER bug that gave me a fever last night---or even a cold or touch of flu or virus! Then THIS morning I have diarrhea, take two Lomotil at 7 and ONE at 9, just to be sure, and now I'll see what happens TODAY! I feel I WILL be back to MC (though maybe it's the AZTEC heaviness that hit me yesterday!), and will THOROUGHLY see the Anthropology Museum, and the parks, and the Metro, and dance, and the restaurants and the other museums. Touch of US: southern-accented tourists behind me in Mom-type talk: "Isn't that the ugliest THANG!" "Look, they got Lacoste here, chemise Lacoste." "That guy really went crazy on THAT (building) design." "That sweater looks just like a blanket." "I didn't bring my wool pants, I didn't think it'd be so cold." So today's a COMPLETE bus and even a john in the back. Is the guy's name REALLY Mr. Lobo? MOSTLY foreign tourists: Guatemala, Spain, Canada, Japan. Guy outside keeps holding up sweaters when I'm just looking at a tall guy in the office, who walks out without coming to the bus, sadly. Now I see ANOTHER Gray Line ploy (beside quoting in dollars and giving FEW pesos in change or changing MANY pesos in change at the START; including meals and shops for more commissions; yesterday FORGETTING Tlaltelolco, thank goodness I SAW it; NOT coming back from Puebla two ways), saying they leave on tours 9 am and 10 am to be able to pick up people at 8:45, like me, but not leave until 10! Figured last night I did 12 pyramids in 11 days: Palenque, La Venta, Monte Alban, Mitla, Lambityeco, Dainzu, Yagul, Cholula, Teotihuacan, Tula, Santa Cecilia, and Tenayuca. Got picked up at 9:05 am. 9:30 am, it's 45 F, 7 C, COLD. HE says 18 million people in 600 square miles, not 15 million in 700 square miles! Guides Ernesto, Juan, X, Porfirio. Four orders of monks: Franciscans, Angustinians, Dominicans, Jesuits, here. 9:45 left off at Zocolo, pictures of temple work area, to OLD National Museum to 10:03, for Africa, URSS, which is closed, HISTORY of museum, old pictures of OLD museum before Anthropological Museum. Museum of the City of Mexico is GREAT: Prehistory, volcano Ixtle that covered Cuicuilco, prehistory of lake civilizations, Aztec temples on ISLANDS under ALL current Cathedral and Zocolo and environs, and MODERN view of MID-country (great) and of city---poor because houses really too SMALL, not the impact of the FABULOUS NYC exhibit in the NYC building at the World's Fair. Leave the Zocolo at 10:45 after meeting tour in Cathedral, having arrived at that stop at 9:48, and having enough time to return to the Government Building to buy the Rivera mural book that the girl from the states sitting across from me recommended. To government market at 11 and buy three necklaces for Mom, Rita, and Helen, and two eggs for Mom and me; out at 12:04. "It's supposed to be a democracy, but it's always one party: PRI." Out of bus AT Museum at 12:20, getting short of BREATH again! INSIDE museum at 12:25. ROUND was Temple of Cuicuilco and observatory under the Zocalo. OUT of museum at 1:25, not THAT bad a time, seeing many OTHER things while he droned on before a few selected items. When others shopped, I return to see a few more rooms, but don't even TOUCH upstairs and outside. Buy book for 220P. To Bazaar Sabado at 1:55. He says "Look at painting." (Girl later said he DID mention the Bazaar on the bus, but I didn't hear him.) First there's a square of paintings, mostly junk, then the shop-filled Bazaar Sabado with restaurant in center and some GREAT expensive jewelry and craftworks inside, THEN the triangular "Peasant plaza" with painted leather, like India, play money, tiny copper utensils, and most LOVELY shells and precious and semi-precious stones. GREAT deluge of Mexicana in other twenty minutes, but returns at 2:20. Stop for lunch at 2:30, Shirley's looks pretty awful, so I follow guide and SURPRISE! It's the Moana Loa! I order Chinese soup: "For 2," says the waiter. "OK." "Thirty minutes." "OK." He frowns. It's 2:40. He's back in 15 minutes: "It's 45 minutes." "OK." "Mucho trabajo." AH! In a few minutes a manager comes over: "We don't have it." "Why?" Disgusted look. So I have rolls and butter and a beer for 22P for lunch. So much for the incredible (so they DO have a 30-foot waterfall, bamboo groves, a Chinese room, much hanging straw lamps and local color restaurant on the front of Gray Lines' brochure). Fits. Table dislikes me. Tough. To bus at 3:50, could have had it if it took an HOUR! "Chinese Chafing Pot, succulent broth in which you simmer your own tasty tidbits of beef, breast of chicken, shrimp, sea conch, and Chinese vegetables," I copy as I leave. 100P, not cheap at $4.40, but not for Gray Lines lunch, even if I'm not on the meal plan! Then to Des Angeles section, now Pedregal, NOT that elegant for the most part. Not CLOSE enough to the University of Mexico mural for a good picture. Guide says 100,000 people stadium BUILT in a crater. Rivera mural on it RIGHT under the sun, picture impossible. 4:15 NOW. Pass POLISH gift to the Olympics on Friendship Boulevard: scattered metal CONES. Olympic Village now condominiums. ROUND Cuicuilco pyramid, just passing there. Azteca Soccer Stadium: 110,000! Tlaloc came from Tlaxcolo to Archeological Museum. Industrial area, still crowded, then farmland. "What's THAT?" "A fountain." Great. NO welfare in Mexico: no social security, no unemployment benefits, but there ARE schools and SOME free health services. Xochimilco stone canals built by HAND. SUNDAY is best day to see them. "Five pesos is the minimum tip in Mexico." LOTS of ball fields HERE, too, as well as in city. Not a live flower in all of Xochimilco's boats; arrived and ON boat at 4:40. Canals only 4-5 feet deep. Tourists (glares) and salesmen (desperate) would ruin it for ANYONE, even if there WERE any flowers. Off at 5:15. At entrance, HEDGES nicely formed over benches. All in all, a fairly tired, sad half-hour. Sun is almost yellow TAN through dusty dusk. Twenty-four on bus, ALL in ONE boat with normal capacity 16-18. Kids washing windows, girls selling bagged PALM rootlings. SADDEST little Xmas tree with droopy balloons, scrawny branches, and barest touches of the cheapest glitter---on a possibly dead leafless tree in a dusty mud-hut yard with lots of kids running around. Friendship Boulevard (unannounced by guide) displays metal sculptures donated by Israel (blue and yellow), Holland, Australia, Spain, Poland, Uruguay, Japan, Czechoslovakia, and US, with Mexico's entry first in the city-side parade. My room is 420/day, or 462P with tax, PRECISELY $20/day, or $100 for which I paid $168 (actually $163) or so??? Off the bus at 6 pm, the vouchers have finally ARRIVED, and I get up to wash my face and NOT change my shoes and put on jacket and go down to catch the free Espresso Reforma to Auditorio for the Amusement Park and then dinner at Del Lago, ending my five days in Mexico City with a splash and looking forward to a BIT more relaxed sightseeing in Merida tomorrow! (START OF BOOK 2) On bus at 6:30, to Auditorio by 6:45. IN park at 7:05. Entrance 3P, Montana Russe 12P, Wild Mouse 6P, and the planes are 6P (or two tickets, since each ride has tickets only, the roller coaster SEPARATE from all the rest), and there are the Octopus, Paratrooper, Pile Driver, Hammer, Little Planes, self-swinger-up (closed), 2 Ferris wheels, dodgem, tilt-a-whirl, I'm THROUGH funhouse for 6P, double Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, Roundup (the kind that goes around then on end with people standing), whirling cups, and some kiddie rides too. Two roller coasters SOMETIMES go, says doll of a rider with me in the second car for my "primero." Then I go on a SECOND time, waiting in the cold for it to fill up, and that ride is from 8:02:22 to 8:05:22 and THAT is the LAST one, office is CLOSED! (El Roble Restaurant was the one I ate in Wednesday evening.) Cepa Urbino was 110P, but the waiter recommends another kind. Las Perlas was Rivoli's wine? Schedule: out of restaurant at 9:35, to hotel 10:35, bed at 10:50, no shit! But wake at 12:45 pm to do so! Take two more Lomotil then and two more at 9:15 am---let's GET it. Amusement park fun (but cold) and I can't get over it's closing down the roller coaster at 8:05 pm! Restaurant del Lago is easily reached, but as I enter door, two car attendants start shouting something I can't understand. "Esto cerrado?" I venture. "No---", but they can't think how to give their message in English, so they wave me in. "Esto cerrado?" I ask the startled young maitre d'. "No," he fumbles, "but they're cleaning for a party, there are no tables until 10." "Oh." "And do you have a reservation?" "No." "Oh, then there are no tables at all." "Oh." We stand. "Could I SEE the restaurant?" "Would you like to go to---" He hesitates, "the bar?" "Yes." So he's glad to show me to a level ABOVE a rehearsing combo---the place is REALLY grand, but there's only one single lady in the place. I sit. "Would you like---?" he seems not to know the word for tidbits or appetizers or freebies, and sends a barman who asks what I want to drink. "Daiquiri." THEN the maitre d' comes and asks "Would you like to eat?" "Yes." I go into the WHOLE EMPTY RESTAURANT, like into the most elegant 5-floored private dining room in the world, with billowy fountains spraying across my view. GREAT cream avocado, El Uva wine mediocre for 95P, spinach extraordinary, chicken Moctezuma with "black corn cob mushrooms tasty, and place CERTAINLY surpasses Rivoli and would join lists of GREATS until I ask for Mangos Flambé with Tequila and though there WERE some marked "Two persons" and this NOT, for 75P, he says "Two persons only." I swallow and get mango mousse, nice but NOT perfection in a dish OR restaurant. Leave at 9:35. Walk back to bus stop, enjoying last of Mexico City this trip, and get in at 10:35 and bed.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21. Wake at 6 and again at 7, up at 7:15 to start packing, get call at 7:30, shower, eat 8:35-9:05, lousy scrambled eggs but good fruit again. Check out with SMALL fuss, but he subtracts 480P per day, not 462, and gets 285.40P balance! Back to room and brush teeth and zipper on bag BREAKS! It'll just have to last. Write some and fellow who met me at airport arrives at 9:20 and we go to Prado Hotel to find they're leaving tomorrow. To airport at 10, almost no traffic. Window seat first left and up to cool lounge to read found newspaper ("Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band" is here---let's hope it's in Merida!) Backs of hands very dry and pebbled-looking even WITH suntan lotion. Up to date at 10:30 am, still lots of time before flight. Number notebook pages and read "Profiles of the Future." At 10 they say flight is delayed till noon. At 11:40 they say it's delayed till 1:45. But it turns out to have been a DIFFERENT flight delayed till 1:45. WE board at noon, finally move at 12:45 and take off at 12:52, MORE nervous for INTERNAL flight than usual, DRAT! Land at 2:07 after bumpy cloudy flight and meager lunch. SWERVE on runway at landing, but OK. Chat with the Germans sitting behind me (who'd been the ones who stayed in Teotihuacan while we went to have dinner) as we exit, and I hear them talking about places to say, mentioning "Casa Bowen." I tell of Posada Toledo and information person says things are pretty full for Christmas, but Posada Toledo says it has, for ONE night only, a single for 380P and a double for 420P. Casa Bowen says they have rooms, but person has to return to say how much. So we three get on taxi for 100P (I pay 40) and drive through rather depressing town to see all streets NUMBERED, without any reference to N, S, E, or W! Guy tells us there ARE no rooms! "Un muchacho" talked on the phone! We stare, guy tried to phone Toledo but gets nothing, yet I keep hearing something BUZZ when he presses lighted button, and find he's using INTERIOR line, not EXTERIOR! Yes, they still have rooms. I get out to try for cab, out comes SF people: tell me how streets run (even numbers grow from north to south, odd numbers grow from west to east!). There are two CHEAPER than Toledo hotels around corner, guy meets me halfway saying Posada des Angeles has rooms, I announce my single, and for 275P get a DANK room in the driveway, with air conditioner. It's very loud; I unpack, read some about city, and want to get out when he knocks at 4:30: "Let's eat at 6." "I'll meet you in park." I get sketchy map of town, walk noisy streets to Calle 60 (N-S street 3 blocks east of our Calle 66), places still open, pricing blue jeans at 350-400P, into Cathedral, astonishingly BARE with service going on so I'm not inside; north to squares, movies, hotels, restaurants, Aeromexico office, and back to park to sit watching strollers, SEXY Mexican couple with wedding rings, some podgy sexy tourists, and DWARFS and mini-armed people, too, all listening to saccharine Natividad carols piped through angels on the sides of the fountain while tree inanely blinks on and off. Cooling off and LOTS of mosquitoes. They arrive at 6:10, listen, look for restaurant, and on way to Los Almendros pass "Thief of Baghdad," which I praise. Shorts at 7:05. Decide to go. I stand on line with 20P tickets, she brings me sandwiches, he comes in with theirs and two sodas. Shorts are FLASHY ads for Dodge and jeans and tires and trucks and LONG coming attractions for "Nosferatu," "Day on Fire" and 4-5 others, including "Mario Marini, Cantinflas" movie. People talking, kids crying, floor a TOTAL mess. TOB starts 7:45, AWFUL print, LOUSY sound, jerky, scratched, yet SOME magic remains. Out at 9:15, I want more food, search zocolo for no beer, too much noise, then south, then west, then back north to next to show for three "prohibido" beers and NO sweetbreads, so omelet with shrimp for 50P and they tell of their trip: seven days in Ladakh with a guide from Lei, funerals and festivals in Bali, smiling with the Pingala of a long-house "the next river up" in Sarawak, talking to Sankaracharya in a village outside Madras, getting adopted by a monk in Rishikesh, getting invited to a nontourist island off Fiji, trying to get to the Marquesas but not hitting the boat right. Now in 16th of 18 months around world; I tell them of Indian mission in Borneo, our shared places in Sri Lanka, my trip through India, and they stress the higher consciousness aspects. We leave as place closes at 11:30 and talk home till 11:45, agreeing to meet in Zocalo at 6 tomorrow. They have errands, are going to Cozumel and work WEST through Yucatan, Villahermosa, and Oaxaca. They loved Sankaracharya: tongue hung out as they told him about Berlin, he was so open; he said India wasn't ripe for holiness; the purpose of his life was to be an example to others, and he HATED all the adulation his followers thrust on him. I read few things before damp bed at 12:10 pm.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 22. Wake at 7 and listen to loud noises and feel cool damp of place, surely unlike MC, and up at 7:45 to debate giving them the Intro, and finally at 8 ask for their room number, be told 15, no sounds inside, debate, look over rear balcony, then door opens, I knock, it's not THEM. Back to check BOOK for Mullers in 20 (Hans-Jorg and Christal), get them OUT of bed, though they said it was so loud in back they couldn't sleep. I should have revved up more, they made LITTLE comment about intro, took it in. I left at 8:25. Papers VERY damp being put away. Up NOISY streets to NOISY "gay" Restaurant Express for FULL tables and Huevos Motulenos which turn out to be source of Huevos VIPs: cheese and onions on chipped ham on sauce on tortillas on fried eggs on tortilla on beans. Grapefruit juice has no tang. Lots of bread and butter and two cups of tea for 55+P, but place was SO noisy with busses and vispas and local people and beggars that I DON'T want to go back. Eat 9:30-10:30, to Aeromexico to 11 to GET Merida-Acapulco-NYC 7 am - 9:30 pm on January 8. SHE can't give $20 back, but I should TRY in NYC. NO Aeromexico flight to NYC EXCEPT via MC. Ask Tourismo for bank, down to find LONG line, read, listen to Australian-German quartet who'd met in Yellowstone and Yosemite and gotten camera taken in Mission Bay Campground in San Diego for which they got instant insurance payment, and out at 11:50. Over to market for deodorant, NOT 36-slide film for 297P, Cristal soda for 4P, and NO long-sleeved shirts in discount places. Try local place for lunch but flies and lettuce on EVERYTHING convince me to leave after a 5P orange, getting to Casa (moved OUT on my way north) at 1:15 and being told my room is 20 minutes. Finish this at 2! ALSO went to PO for 30 $2.50 US stamps and 10 $5.50 Europe stamps, mailing 8 cards. Read more, get room 9 at END of hall at 2:30, put everything away, wash socks and shorts and shirt and hang out to dry as I saw bearded guy do, then ask if I can join couple that told me (1) Tour Merida/Labna/Sayil/Kabah/Uxmal by bus, (2) Delores Alba for Chichen Itza Delores Alba, (3) This is a great place. Out at 5 to Alba, no room until 12/28. OK. LOVELY-eyed guy! 200P deposit. Buy jeans for 495P and dash down to bus station, figuring to be late to Mullers, and guy says "I bought two to Uxmal, you want one?" "YUP!" LAST SEAT, TOO! Out at 5:50, dash to hotel to change to longies (wore SHORTS all day, OK) on both arms and legs, get to Zocalo at 6:10, no music, no cuties, Mullers along at 6:15, all hungry, someone told them 67 for Alfredo's, not 57, so we go there, have GOOD 220P Yucatecan of GOOD broiled snapper, mediocre lime-chicken soup, good beer, interesting gift shop, and CAT held by next table. Talk of Shankaracharya and NEW body Babaji and jabber to 9:30 in restaurant, then down to Santa Lucia park to talk to 11:30 of Actualism and Amy and Russell, and she calls ME a teacher for HIM. Invite them back to copy down Cozumel hotels, hug "Sister" goodbye, bed at 12:10!

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23. Jolt up at 7:15, dash out to good ham and cheese and cafe con leche for 25 including tip next door, and to bus station at 7:55. 8:01: onto last seat at 8:02, which was bought at 1:30 pm yesterday! First hill encountered an hour out. LOVELY morning glories, thatched roofs, tumbledown villages, scrubby roadsides, though little traffic. Vultures in trees. All distant hills resemble pyramids. Six people standing on bus from Muna. 9:25 into Kabah, saw only half the site, 10P ticket, 9:50 out, and I decide to see them all AGAIN. Labna 10:05, ANOTHER biggie, out of grounds 10:35, 10P, bus leaves 10:04. 10:15 into Xlapak, NO ticket! Centering find as (?) stones inside. Lovely carvings. Buy his LAST roll of 135-36 color transparencies, good till 1982, for 100P---he's GOT to have made a mistake, but I'm not complaining! Out at 10:55, loading film, into Sayil at 11:05. At Sayil 20 slides are 160P! Hot, tired, and Sayil is LARGE! Out at 11:38. Into Uxmal exactly at 12 noon. GREAT place, bus fills up with standees at 1:35, really exhausting trip---I'll do it again. Pass HOTZUC, OXCUM, AND ITZINCAB! Kabah STARTLES with frieze, and not even across ROAD. Buy 100P book. See MOST of Labna but not FRINGES. Xlapak OK, but Sayil has NEAT trails I want to follow! Uxmal CAN be done in 3 hours, but almost Tikal-beautiful! Not DESERT or SCRUB-COUNTRY at all! LUSH! Two sodas for 8P each, refreshing, and talk to Mexican from Sacramento on the way back, eyeing LOVELY gray eyes of BLOND Mexican with NICE body. In at 2:30, buy ticket for tomorrow, #31. Out along to try museum, not TRANSFERRED yet. To Centenario Park through SLUMS, good felines, shitting hippo papa and cute cage-under baby, daddy with HARD-ON for a bit! Monkeys with schlongs or hemorrhoids, since mammas so scrawny BABIES have them TOO. Out at 5:30. Tourismo CLOSED, along 59th to Pok-chuc, where I have the following conversation: "Montejo, este negro?" "Es como negro." "OK, Montejo negro." It's pale. Restaurant Cantameyec for Pok-chuc. When the lights go out over a 10-block-square section of town for about 10 minutes, just as I'm finishing up, THREE people ask if I need HELP as I draw out my notebook to write down notes. Lights go out at 6:15 and it's pitch dark inside. Walk back through ELEGANT 57th Street, check movies, in at 6:45 for 6:50 "Los Ninos de Brazil" and it's ON already, so I get my 20P back and the others are no good, so at 7 I sit in PARK and watch NOT-cruisy Expresso and GANGS in park, ONE guy fabulous in bib-jeans and GOOD chest, another bigger and fleshier, but nice, and then CUTE kid from "Eugene, the Olympic tryouts? Oregon" sits and talks about being horny for his girl, liking pyramids, here at Caribe with mother. We part at 10:15, I back to chattering Germans on MY floor and TV below, so SHOWER warmly and write this comfortably naked till 11:10, hair dry enough to bed with, I guess. First shower since SATURDAY.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24. Wake at 6:45, shit, breakfast at 7:20, and bus is DOUBLE-booked! Sit next to Ken from Edmonton, his wife across the aisle. Into Kabah at 9:32, out at 9:58. Into Sayil 10:05. LEFT track to SMALL ruins, NO path as shown on map. "Temple 2" turns out to be "new-mound" position, leading back to parking lot past OTHER "Tops of rooms exposed" that are probably "newly opened mounds." Film is now 170P, not 160P for 20, and soda is ALMOST 10P before I HOLLER and it goes back down to 8! "Es tres pesos por boteille, 11 pesos con boteille." Out of Sayil at 10:37. Into Labna 10:45. I'd SEEN most but for BACKS of arch and FRONT of Palace from distance. Lots of shirtless numbers. Out at 11:15 after LOTS of horn blowing. Into Xlapak 11:20, wander woods for MORE piles of stone, out at 11:29. HOTTER than yesterday! Into Uxmal at 12 exact again. Lots of ERRORS and IMAGINATION on map. BEAUTIFUL clouds and sky and LOVELY shirtless ones from Germany on Cemetery temple. More standees on at 1:32. Into Merida at 2:45 and stand in line for first class to Chichen Itza on 28th. Uxmal cleaned up: walk along "San Simeon Road" and met two English from Muna who say there IS no arch, map is wrong, and THEY never found temples. In for 15P and go to left and FIND clearing of cockheads, SEE something to left with no path going to it, and circle around behind South Pyramid to find nothing BEHIND Centipedes. To EDGE of Arches for WEST group and meet a PRECIPICE of impossibility. Down old path to crossroads at ball court and there's a GOOD path to CEMETERY, but only a grassy, hot, stone-stumbling (unless these stones I'm STEPPING on are the "stelae" and the little pockets off to the side that I searched STILL hide treasures you HAVE to pay the GUIDES to show you) maze of paths interconnecting. Get almost back to Nunnery Quadrangle and turn BACK same way and climb temple to take pictures and change film, find that the Germans found nothing more, and climb pyramid again before returning for two 8P drinks and bus at 1:30. Ken sleeps and standees don't even have the energy to glare at the sleepers. Merida DOES start at Calle 100, but lowest seems to be Calle 89 on E-W. So MANY English-speaking tourists and so LITTLE English help. Guy in front of me dingles a little bell in his right pocket nervously. A sign? Ticket #16 by 3:15, shower and out in shorts at 3:45. Into FABULOUS museum at 4:15: places MARKED include Loltun, Dzibilchaltun, Izamal, Chutes (?), Coba, Tulum, and Tzibanche near Chetumal provided exhibits. EXTREME cranial deformations! Five periods of Venus equal 8 solar years: 584x5=365x8=2920 days. Solar year = 5x73 days; Venus year = 8x73 days, and 13x73 daysx20=18980 days = 52 years. This is the grand cycle of new fire. RELIGIOUS calendar of 260 days (20 names x 13 numbers) CIVIL calendar of 365 days (18 months of 20 days + 5 extra days). THESE two form a cycle of 52 years. Took picture, THEN found it was the museum! Grand pieces and six GREAT books for 150P. Out at 5:45, leg-weary, and search for lunch place and find elegant Hotel Montejo Palace for a mini-Palace pizza for 40P and Negro at 25P and when he charges 45P (and insists on it until I insist on the MENU) for the pizza, I leave 1P tip for grand total of 73P for LUNCH from 5:45-6:20. Curve UP Paeso Montejo at 27 (10 blocks!) and curve ELEGANT street to 21 and 60, GRAND! Neatly theatrically lighted. Two sisters chatting with a valet in a PALACE on that corner! South of 33, Avenida Cupules, Calle 60 LOWERS in class. A few TRUE palaces around Calle 35-37, then JUNK. Back at 7:45, EXHAUSTED and COOL and SWEATY. Read "Palenque," "Uxmal," and "Teotihuacan" until 9:50, then decide to eat. But it's too LATE: either Almendros has moved or it's CLOSED. Hotel Caribe won't serve me at 10:25, and finally I end at Comida Yucateca on Zocolo, trying Cochinita Pibil: onions and fatty sauce and pork, TASTY but fat, and NO dark beer so I have two manzanitas, and 84 (but it was 70!) and 16 equals 100 and I leave him 8.8P tip. AGAIN back to hotel, saying "Buenos Noches" to boy wheeling bicycle home, and place is STILL up and about at 11:20. Sounds like explosions are building, so I read until 11:55, then dress and go OUT again. How silly of me to have thought the Mexicans would do it SYSTEMATICALLY. Ken and his wife and friend WENT to Almendros and thought the food so-so and the portions small---and were looking for me to join them. Other couple tell about GOOD fire-filled paper balloons shooting up "on the first day of Christmas" 12 days ago. Watch distant fireworks (drowned by still-busy cars) and HEAR nearer ones till 12:15, then get to bed 12:20.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 25. Wake at 9:15, jerk off, leave for Mayapan at 10:15. Breakfast of Huevos con Longanita turns out to be sausage, and cafe con leche; both are 60P, so I leave no tip. Couple from bus station say festival is at midnight TONIGHT. To bus station at 11:07 and get the 11:08 to Mayapan Ruinas, standing and squatting in front till 12:08, and wander in for 3P, cute kids and a turkey with 15 chicks, and take snap of root-embellished arch and tell an interloper with loud radio (as on bus) "Esta HORRIBLE" and he STOPS! Into Cenote-cave, eerie with fading flashlight and BATS squaking past, about 4-5 inches in wingspan in glimpses. Later about SIX bats with 6" wingspans fly about, rhythmically, tempting me to try photo, but I don't. DO get STUNG, by a WASP, the girl suggests. Two girls on Castillo, take picture, they come down. "Will it rain?" "No." It DOES, at 1:08-1:18! LOVELY rest atop pyramid after: quiet, birds calling, trees dripping, cocks crowing, wind moist and gentle, clouds moving VERY slowly, sun's rays striking dramatically here and there, only ROAD to south, hill a bit to the right (a hill like THIS I'm on?), and with binoculars lots of WINDMILLS and POWER poles. But why WOULDN'T Indians want a MIRADOR over the tops of the trees, if only to see the clouds and stars? AND the sounds of Merida-bound buses (hourly) at 1:35, AND a few minutes before 2. GIRL says there MUST be a bus to Uxmal Sound and Light, and SHE is the only one to whom I wish "Feliz Natividad." Coming down I find it is, really, JUST above tree level: six feet BELOW top, parts of horizon are obscured by TALLEST trees! Tikal, however, DID overbuild! Three-foot snake escaped along front of temple ABOUT as fast as I could TROT! Map of Mayapan on p. 27. Great peaceful feeling being there alone. Follow trails to "Juan's farm," where I find an inverted bowl with a neat script "Juan" on it, and fantasize being thrown back in time with the KNOWLEDGE of how to get BACK. Find a cenote with disused well apparatus, dry, and dry corn stalks but LARGE gourds---wild or cultivated? Back along trail I find that I'd MISSED a narrow but deep cenote that rather tempts me to attempts to descend, but it's too steep. Back, continuing to sketch and take pictures, the chest-sting not troubling me, but the slog through the forest after the rain left my boots SOPPING. Figure to catch the 3:35 bus, and get out at 3:10 and have to wait for the 4 pm. Ask for a strawberry, medium cold, and Mama offers me a bowl of chicken soup! Have a few tacos and when I have salt she asks "When do you use salt?" and I tell about sweating and being over-thirsty. Have a second soda, brother calls me "Robert," to my surprise, until she reminds me that I signed the book. She brings out dictionary and tells me about the walls and the "millions" (I hope she meant "thousands") of ruins in "ramparts of Mayapan." Time flows nicely till 3:50, out to road, and she tells how a younger sister said she'd marry ANOTHER tourist from the USA. We wait for bus on DESERTED street. It comes at 4:05, she gets off at next town, saying midnight feast TONIGHT is at HOME, only in public on New Years. I'm in back seat, everyone snoozing, not much happening outside but a flock of vultures rising off raw purplish meat by the roadside, and I get in to find this is NOT the station for Dzibilchaltun. Stop at the one at 62nd and THAT'S it, at 7 am. Back to hotel and EAT at 62x65, huevos salcicitos is VIENNA sausage, and manzana for 7 pm lunch, and take off wet boots and at 7:15 start on ten postcards, finishing at 8:15. Showered first, to let hair dry, and read some and get out at 8:45 to Faison y Venado for one of the MOST EMBARRASSING shows EVER. MC minces worse than a caricature of Art Ostrin doing "Cabaret," the male dancers are VERY aware of their bodies and the lead one is FAT. They're Mayas, doing simple stub-toe, cross-foot, hop dancing, except when they do Ruth St. Denis up-turned hands and do a Dervish spin. There's some foul-up on music, the audience is supposed to be at X and I'm at Y, so when they KILL her I have to avoid a priestess to see the knife plunge into the armpit. Almost NO applause, almost no AUDIENCE: Six drunk males, four embarrassed tourists, two I don't know what, and two OTHER tourist couples and another single and a husband (maybe of the new girl who was plump, bored, and unrehearsed, always peeking around to see what everyone else was doing) and two kids who blew whistles, banged on a toy piano, and crawled under my table and climbed over gates. AWFUL. Then they did "social" dance in huipilis and heeled sandals for BOTH sexes and leering looks at awful Spanish jokes. More music foul-up, simple cross-foot dancing (oh, FORGOT the finger-and-toe circles with FIRE by the stove-pipe-hatted fire fatty), then they teach the AUDIENCE. I had to refuse TWICE. Ordered Sidra Pina, thinking to get pineapple cider, but get a soft drink served over ICE. Drink it, and it's poor. Venado enterraneo is buried as long as I was, sourish slivers with French bread as tasteless as Wonder Bread and carrot slices on lettuce. 110+12+12+60 cover charge = 192+20 tip and I leave at 10:20 (show started at 9:20) GASPING at awfulness. Sore-footed back to hotel with LOTS of families settling down to family dinner on roadside houses. Bed 11:10.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26. Wake at 6:15 and decide it's a sign I should go to Dzibilchaltun. Dress and out at 6:30 and to bus station expecting restaurant, but only across the street to a clean place for a ham and cheese on SQUARE thin-sliced bread and a glass of pulpy watery orange juice for 32P. Over to station at 6:50 to find it's 7:15. Debate more juice but decide "No" after seeing the sloppy shop. Sit and stare at passengers and find Dzibilchaltun bus is labeled Klabelach, or some such. Get window seat, leave at 7:20, fill up with people on way out, past ENORMOUS Coremex plant, and dropped off at gate at 8. Pay first 5P of the day noting museum and sodas and restrooms for couple from hotel, and past chapel to LOVELY cenote, quickly invaded by bathing couples, and follow ONE path thinking it's south and NEXT one turns out OK. 9:50: I find myself OFTEN urinating (or coming) at END of trails. Leaving outriders of ME? Rocks upon rocks upon ROCKS around Dzibilchaltun! Just a MOMENT of "God, I'm lost---got to keep calm, path back is here SOMEWHERE" is QUITE enough in those forests. NOT the pampas or desert I'd THOUGHT they'd be! INCREDIBLE parallel between gobble-gobble of turkeys in heat and the INCESSANT rattle of MEXICANS! Kids singing and clapping in Temple of Seven Dolls (what if I'd had a chance to watch an AUTHENTIC Maya festival?), and kids shout down "Amigo, amigo" as I vanish into the woods---and then they leave---behind---QUIET! Keep notes in GOOD guidebook, stele reproduction in PIECES below stairway, and explore Seven Dolls, ones between, the far standing temple for a 7" lizard, and lots of shouting people back at cenote. Guy looks at me: "Estados Unidos?" "Yep" "Brooklyn?" I stare. "Why?" "Jehovah's Witnesses!" More pictures, quick look at poor museum (except for National Geographic pix of finds in the 55 meter and then ONWARD cenote) and good stele, then out to JUST get ride: Great trip back: JUST leaving gate and couple from Louisiana pull up and pick me up. They're looking for Periferico for Chichen. I get off when they seem to find it, walk a bit and decide it's too FAR from Calle 5/35 and stick out my thumb for SECOND car to take me to Paseo Montejo bank and ONE ahead in line for $250 for 5800P! Walk to Bonny Burger for Super Bonny for 30P and Malteada Fresa for 14P, after 32P breakfast at 6:45, now 12:45, PERFECT! Now to tackle Uxmal Sound and Light! HAS to be tonight IN CASE I get stuck, since I have to be back Saturday night to leave Sunday! Content from lunch, pay deposit at Hotel Merida for 8 pm dinner and show tomorrow (MUST be better for 250P!), and back to hotel to take off boots and REST for about an hour, then dress and get BACK to bus station at 2:45 for NO line to second class Uxmal, 27P without question (not like yesterday when they refused tourist couple, insisting they pay for first-class ticket), but seat 37 FULL, and I go to back and sit on STEP between SQUALLING three kids on right with mama and over-solicitous grandma on other side and a line of 8-9 kids in back and an AWFUL greaser who's trying to impress the wife of a dreadful sandy-haired English-speaking gruff German by sticking his finger into a hole in the upholstery. Bus fills fuller, but my seat saves me. Push forward when I see the sign for Mision Uxmal, into Uxmal III at 4:30 and get to ticket office to think he says it closes at 6 but it closes at 5, but I get my chance to see Temple 1 under Temple of Magicians AND the phallic images on two sides of the Nunnery Quadrangle. Sunset pictures until 5:15, then walk to Hacienda Uxmal to find that singles START at 990+10%! Walk out and try Villas Archeologicas and they're full at 500P for singles. Look down road and Mision is TOO far. Back on steps to write to 6:45, and Spanish version is just SWAMPED with people 4-5 deep ALL along side of Quadrangle. HUNDREDS! At least 5 busses from town. Great colors, music, drama: Chac, Chac, Chac, rain, crickets, war, moaning. Over at 7:45, dash down first for dinner at Villas, rather mediocre: Juliana soup a beef-carrot broth, cutlet tiny but tasty with "pure mousseline" a scoop of mashed potatoes and "cor de Majo de ajo" (garlic) CELERY to me. Pay 222P and out without tea (Copa de la Villa is a cookie atop good chocolate sauce over ice cream over fruit OVER a coffee syrup!) at 8:40, and almost NO ONE at line but trio from Flushing who are unfortunately staying at the Hacienda tonight. In and talk to two trailer owners, then enjoy show a SECOND time, taking even MORE pictures. Out quick at 9:40 and hopefully hitchhike but bus and minibus and cars ALL pass by, lousy nearby Mexican spitting, and finally at 10:20 I capitulate and get 750P (+75P tax) room at Posada Uxmal, get in to shower and turn on fan while writing this to drown out chatter of giggly American girl and husband (?) and AWFUL German GABBLING away, and AWFUL rushes from street CONSTANTLY---my window must be RIGHT there! Bed at 11:10, pleased with deluxe hotel for a change (I HAVE to be) and DISGUSTED with PEOPLE for not picking me up!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27. Wake at 6:45 to cars blasting past RIGHT outside and pipes humming: piss, decide to get dressed, and out at 6:50 am. Why not? Lovely humps of trees and hills with morning mist in valleys and long pointy shadows from low sun. Climb Temple of Magician and look at TOP again, then take pictures, and over to Germans and look at Chac-mool and few tourists. Out at 7:30, paying my 15P (for my FOURTH payment) he didn't have change for at 7 am, though he insisted I spread out my money. Back to Hacienda and pay 825P bill and have LOVELY breakfast of BEST and LARGEST fruit (whole banana, half-slice thick pineapple, three quarter-melons) and tasty eggs ranchero next to family of five from Pennsylvania. Pay 114P for all, out at 8:30 to wait for "8:30-9 am" bus. Chat with couple from last night, guy from Juarez who I'll meet in Hotel Caribe at 7:30 to look at possibility of car in Chetumal, and couple born in Bihar, India, and HE doesn't know names of temples west of Sravanabelgola (later I note them as being Belur and Halebid). Hitchhike fruitlessly---those stopping near SAY so, others pass by, full or snobby. FEW cars, actually. Vultures cruising before quarter-moon, great picture if I had a close-up lens. Lots of people waiting for bus and I debate momentarily REJOINING the Uxmal TOUR bus when it stops, on schedule, at 9:15. But NOW it's 9:55 and 8:30 bus STILL hasn't shown up! Finally, at 10:20, a guy picks up ME, the guy who'd been waiting BEFORE me, and a hotel clerk who had been waiting ACROSS the road---thank goodness the other two waiting families LEFT about 10 am. Speechless trip into Muna, and I find bus stop and wait for a sunburn. In two minutes a TAXI stops, asks the other two standees something, they wave at me, cab drives up. "Merida?" "Si." "Quantos pesos?" "20." "!!" and I get IN. I guess it's a returning tourist cab. They try to ask me something about women and I say yes. All silent. Trip WHIZZES into city from 10:30-11:15, he knows nothing of Casa Montejo. Lets me off at bus station so I find that Izamal bus is at 50 between 65 and 67. To hotel and pay for January 7 and leave her a bag of STUFF for me, and out at 12:30 to find it's not AT 50 but up the block a bit. Bus at 1 pm for 19P. At 12:45 have a cheese sweet roll and Crush for 8+4=12+2 tip. Back with seat 2 and find guy sitting there from seat 4, of course occupied. OK, I take seat I want, #20. Bus fills with OTHER people sitting at random, and by 1:05 there are standees. BUSY market streets. Loud radio gets on and mercifully turns it down SOMEWHAT. Apple sellers push through standees piping their calls. Radio turns up. Kids squall. Boy gets on with a triplex birdcage enclosing a single frightened occupant. Bus fills solid by 1:08. Leave at 1:09, in at 2:18, good ride by WINDOW (guy wanted to claim HIS seat, or trade with guy in front, and I just refused, laughing). Bus returns at 4:45. Into Convent in LOVELY light and clouds and across to statue of "Fray Diego de Landa/Contradictoria provincial de Hierro. Fanatico Destructor e incausable constructor. Luz y sombra. Perseguio a los Mayas como inguisidor. Como obispo lui defendio de los encomenderos. Hizo el auto de fe de Mani y las "relacion de las casas de Yucatan." Historiador primordial. Es figura eminente en las segunda mitad del Sigle XVI. 1971. Carlos Loret de Mola Mediz." P. 43 map of Izamal. SIZE of pyramid BASE is outstanding, like that "Raised field" in Polonnaruwa that WAS a pyramid. Are ALL Mexican church bells TERRIBLY clanky? WINDMILLS everywhere on horizon. Sound truck shouting about something like a circus. Lots of non-3P entrances on sides. Lovely QUIET (lots of things closed for Saturday siesta between 2 and 4?). Change from 4:45 to 4 pm bus, get seat 8, GREAT. AND back in Merida by 5:30! Funny to find my "Grupas des Monja" at CHICHEN-ITZA, NOT here; makes it easier to SEE. Tizimin fair December 30-January 11. XIBOOB/HOMBRES; XCHUPALAL/MUJERES. Great silence EXCEPT for radio in busses. Big BELL rings when bus is ready! Leave at 4:03, fabulous! One gas station: No fumas / No smoking / Madzudz. Forgot to mention the HUNDREDS of kids in line for Spanish "Can't Stop the Music" wandering last night. Mayan walls continue for MILES alongside roads. LOVELY clouds, almost quiet ride but for radio at end, in at 5:13. Casa Montejo still closed. Walter isn't in Suite 3. Shower and there's no spring water for washing teeth! Meditate at 6:30 and figure I'd better jot down Princess Sak-ni-te from Sound and Light, AND just remember Belur and Halebid in India. How simple! The DIFFERENCE between Mexico and NYC is KIDS. Hardly ANY in NYC, and seen, heard, and felt ALL over HERE! At 7:10 Walker's wife is frying him spaghetti in tomato sauce and they offer me a butter and cheese sandwich which I refuse. Out at 7:35 and get to Caribe Hotel to find no Gerard. Ask at desk and there's a note he's moved to Hotel Paris. Phone, he's not in. To Hotel Merida dining room for ceviche (shrimp, as usual), soup, mediocre halibut filet and pudding. Hotel MAY have been elegant, but loud busses two feet from open windows VERY ugly. Pay rest of bill with mediocre wine for 99P and at 9:30 the show starts, more LAVISH than Venado, but almost as tacky, using lots of flickering and black lights to add "interest." Then to Hotel Paris and get address to meet Gerard at his friends' in Chetumal between 2 and 5 on Tuesday the 30th. Tired back to hotel and drop into bed about 11:15.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28. 7:15 am: Dream EARLIER of almost jerking off but only pissing and then with a handsome Mexican whose chest I feel and it's VERY broad and hairy, and I tell him to hold off but a small drop of come appears at the tip of his cock as it darkens and hardens and throbs, and I throw myself onto it as he shoots again and again, both of us in great pleasure. Then piss at 6:10 and double over blanket and dream of wandering streets in Mexican-NY town looking for someplace for scuba equipment and pass a kid ALL decked out that I question, and he's at some local market and he AND clerk say that there's no place up here anymore at 48th Street, but I have to go downtown to the 34th Street area for supplies---and I remember thinking my GYM is here someplace. Wouldn't it be funny if it had OPENED on the 28th! Write dream and pack and get to loncheria across from bus station to AWFUL German crowd who KEEP asking for more and different as if THEY were the ONLY six customers out of about 30. I finally get served ham and cheese on PITA bread this time and glad I had LOTS of time. To station WITH 50 piece and no bus at 8:30. Flocking tourists fluttering tickets to Chicken-Itza finally mollified at 8:40 when bus LABELED that rolls in. I'm in about third (no flutterer I---and a RADIO sits two seats ahead of me!). Feel a bit down, is it "Let it be" or "To hell with it all?" Muchacho comes up: "Ingles?" "Si." "Espanol?" "?" "Both?" "English!" "I'm always a guide to Chicken, I have seat 1. You want to sit next to girl?" "No." Guy behind speaks in hoarse whisper. Platform quiet now; all flutterers found their seats. Bus leaves 8:50, seat empty next to me, bus full but for 2-3 seats. Guide moves next to me! In at 10:30. Delores Alba is 4 km away! Start hiking, cab takes me and bag for 30P. Out at 10:50 (room not ready) and get TWO rides, there at 11:05. 10P on Sunday and CROWDED. To OLD part. Look around, sit on Nunnery about 1-2 pm, LOVELY, then to OLD Chichen, arrive 2:20 after HITTING head on blunt twig-sawed-off (and most of scab only fell off TWO weeks after, last taking THREE weeks to clear up completely!). Two Americans atop old Castillo tell me to go to "Main group," so after wandering what turned out to be "Principal group in southwest" I pay 3P for great Date groups and Falos out of wall and other little ones, and go down to see 4 lintels and back to MISS ONE lintel and back to 3 with pleasant woman "on a hike" and explore caved-in cenotes and find other places "lost again" and wander road to 300 paces and back to main road BEYOND Mayaland and walk to fork and get RIDE last bit of way. Room 14 ready at 5:15 and I lay for a minute, then turn table over (blue felt "raccoon cap" walks past on Mexican!) for rack for drying washed socks (no soap) and let white stuff soak while I shower in slow but hot water in chilly room, and stretch out three shorts on shower pole (no curtain) and shirt on towel rack. ALL CLEAN! Then out to sit at lit pool and watch bats splash for insects, getting chilly, no special sunset at 6 pm, few bugs in air, lots of stars. Sit and stare. Guy gasps in sex behind, other guy knocks. "Who is it?" "Tim, with the newspaper." "Later, Tim." Other couple complains about no water in English. At 7 a couple tries closed dining room. Girls come out at 7:05, lights on, people gather, I stare at map, all sit cozily at their tables, I sit alone, Good fruit, great hot chicken soup, good pork chops with multiple garnishes, two beers, and at final tea cute Peter asks me to join him and Jan, talking to Frank (he says) / Helmut (SHE says), and we talk of travel and US and Mexico and rates and places. Pleasant till 9:30, then to bed.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 29. Wake at 6:30, must have been tired! To breakfast at 7 with Peter and Jan and they're out at 7:40 for 7:30 bus that comes at 8:05. Breakfast IS good for 60P, lots of fruit, then scrambled eggs and tea and rolls and butter and honey, dark and heavy and sweet. They say he DROVE them to ruins. I hitch and he AGAIN takes me to fork and I walk to Villas Archeologica and see buzzards by sign. Dead dog. I watch until 9:30, but meat isn't ripe enough. Walk to main place in time for open Warriors room. GREAT tunnel showing earlier Warrior-site temple, and GREAT colors and freshness of outline and columns. Exploration tunnels dug from TOP DOWN. Jaguars; BLUE shield circles, yellow figures, white fringed wraparound loincloths, green background, dark-green birds on right. Dun-colored huts and straw-yellow rooftops. Market (12:15 pm) is tranquil with its roofless Greco-colonnade. Leave that without seeing the BUILDING to get to Jaguars for 10-11 opening, taking pictures and talking to great-legged Englishman studying economics in Philadelphia, comparing fresco and drawing in HIS book that it turned out I had in MY book, too. Follow man with keys to Castillo at 11 to be one of first up, staying till 11:30 admiring Chacmool and throne until it got too hot and humid with PEOPLE. Down and BACK to Jaguars, to Market and Vapor bath and Southeast Colonnade, to Castillo at 12:30 for pictures and good shirtless chests, and down to Sacred Cenote, murky and crowded, then smaller pieces, ball court with GREAT carvings, and to old side to #18, wander for back cenote and find myself in Hacienda grounds!! (Notes in back of book.) That one "doesn't exist" and other is "across from Mayaland." At 2:50 meet Spanish ("th" sound) husband and Mexican wife (who has trouble touring KNOWING the language!) and look for cab to Balancanche. Too late for 3. They go to Caracol and say "meet at 3:35." I try hitching, dog's eyes and gums gone, but birds distant. Back at 3:30 and chat with Quebec husband with Mexican wife, taxi A says "Balancanche impossible." Taxi B says "back in 5 minutes." 3:40, NO one. 3:45 two appear. 3:35 Taxi A is back wanting to take me, but I say I have taxi B. 3:50 taxi B appears. To Grotto at 3:57, wait until 4:05, down fairly mediocre cave to central grotto at 4:20 when lights go out! People talk in English, Spanish, Russian. Earthquake? Monsters? "Day One of Mexican Cave hostages?" 4:30 lights back on. Continue to nice pond, then double back in INCREASING heat (they SAY they FOUND things in caves AS displayed---somehow I don't believe it), out to cool 5 pm air SOAKING wet. To Hotel for 66P, sit at pool with beer, and Jenny and Merv drive in and chat till dinner, which I eat with Felice and Gus, with whom I buy bottle of 100P white and drink most of it by 9:30. Nice talk and bed before 10, after sitting at pool a bit (lights go off at 9:45) with Jenny and Merv.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30. Wake at 6:10 and pack and ask for bill and eat with Gus talking about Freud's essays on the Uncanny, the encounter with REPRESSED prior experience. Bus passes at 7:40! Pay 733P bill, tip girl 30P, one cup of tea, and out to GET bus at 8:05. Stand and squat for lousy 15P ride to EDGE of Valladolid at 8:30, and walk to bus station (SEE bus turning in and coming out), and bus to Carillo Puerto at 11:15. Sit and write in station till 9, decide to explore. Continue east on 39 and find square, across square to San Bernardino, VERY plain inside, but BIG, and AT square there's arrow for Cenote Zaci. Follow signs down 39th, left, and pay 15P for entrance to BIG place, BLUE water and BLACK fish, and side passages to dead ends, and use men's room to take off sweater, hot at 10, and out to buy film for 159P and plastic BIG bag for 50P and soda for 5P and watch market, then to station to finish THIS by 11:15, still no sign of bus! Check, yes, it IS marked Carillo Puerto. Lots of busses to Merida and Tizimin (for festival), and one in LOT marked Valladolid-C. Puerto. Lots of people and radios and packages, thank God it's COOL despite loud crowd. I write till 11:25, saying no to blind beggars, shoe shines, books, and staring kids. Yitrf og esiyinh. Nsh holfd RBRTYYHINH---really? Tired of waiting. Bag holds EVERYTHING, but it's heavy. Hope it holds out for 10 days. At 11:30 bus pulls in marked Valladolid-C.Pta. Best kept SECRET. I'm RIGHT at door, two German women frantic for Chichen Itza. In first, left inside window for east shade and bus loads VERY quickly. Why only 5:30, 11:15, 5:30? Lots of women and children but I'm FIRST! Window gives air, comic PHOTO book-reading 25-year-old man sits next to me as nice baffle, and kids SCREAM as others squeeze on. Two blind guys file through and bus radio comes on jazz as kid pounds out rhythm on my seat back. And this has to SWITCH at Quintana Roo BORDER? Leaves at 11:35! Blind men whistle to be let out first. 48P, neat villages, road GOOD. Lots of villages, some roadside burning, some government projects, mostly forest, slightly hillier in the south. Driver had GOOD taste in music, including Evita's "Don't Cry for Me" and "2001" and something that COULD have been written for sweeping violins by Mike Oldfield. (Note about plane from Corazel to San Pedro town in Belize for $25, and San Pedro to Belize City for $12.50---by Chetumal-walking boat-guy). Into Carillo Puerto at 1:30 and beside the Chetumal bus, "Stopping for 5 minutes" is the Philly Briton! We chat, he looks for an orange, I write this at 1:50, looks GOOD for Chetumal by 5. HIS bus pulls out, wait on OTHER bus, insist on STANDING, and it's really a PAIN, sitting on chair-arm two boys offer me---rather, they "permiso?" me when I ask them. In to Chetumal at 4:30, and I can't find the CARD! Ask for Independencia and it's three blocks down from Heroes. Lug bag to 148 and plead for Gonzalvo Morin. No. Not in phone book. Try 129. No, try next door. No. Desperate I pull bag apart for THIRD time and it falls out of map: 128A. Ten kids and Gerard's off to Tikal! Damn! Gonzolo drives me to his friend's hotel, Motel Juan Carlos. Only double for 300P. Cheap, says Gonzalo; Gerard paid 400P for single. OK. Drop off bag and into Obregon: no tourist office. Back to Heroes to LOVELY bay, ask, STILL told that tourist office is out Obregan. Pass good-looking Dora Maria restaurant, walk and walk till 6:45, out of TOWN. Get booklets and maps, and chat with guy who lived with wife and son on Hathol, or something, in Honduras for two years. Back to dinner in Dora Maria at 7 pm: refried beans, spaghetti with tomato sauce, enchiladas, bacon, ham, cheese, rice, lime, onions, tomato, cabbage, tamales, all with potatoes ON the special steak. Stopped in Hotel Maria Delores to get a room for tomorrow for 159P, compared with Hotel Juan Carlos 300P for double. GREAT food, back tired, shower and water goes off AFTER I'm all soaped up. Wait and finally get out and holler: "Esta agua?" "OK," she says, and turns it back on. Rinse and dry and get to bed at 9:30 after coming. Earplugs GREAT blessing.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31. Up at 7, pack, leave key, switch bag to hallway of Maria Delores and try to breakfast in Restaurant Campeche, until they had NO ham and NO tea con leche, so I went to Restaurant Grijalva and had HORCHATA, quite sweet like coconut milk with sugar added. Their omelet con jamon was GREAT: mayonnaise in it, sweet catsup over it, good potatoes, and lettuce and tomatoes (which I ate) for 32P! To bus station at 9:30 and Xpujil bus is at 11:30. Ugh. Debate Belize, but 72P for 6-hour bus ride on awful roads sounds unbearable, like ride down to Flores from Tikal. Decide to FLY there some OTHER time. Out to price cabs for Kohunlich: first was 700P; then 1000P; then 1300P, who came down to 800P; THEN 600P and I say FINE. KOHUNLICH IS 8.8 km from highway, and NOT jungle, but cleared hot ROAD, so I would NOT have liked to walk it at ALL. Don't pay 5P. Climb small ruin, make map on p. 57, and it's HIGH above the rest of the area on a cliff, and see tourists around "straw-roof" hut, high up. Across drainage ditches and aguadas to base and find the MASKS underneath the straw: 3 on right and 2 on left. Take pictures of LOVELY forms and colors, though they're in the SHADE, and sign book where guy's supposed to STAMP my ticket. Wander around back for machinery sheds and what appear to be DANCE platforms of original stone. "Bleachers" turns out to be half of ball court, and there's a central plaza with dug-out ruins surrounding unevenly. Lots of rock piles off to right of road, though off to the left it drops off a cliff into pretty dense jungle. Blocks FIT well, though slightly wavery in line, probably reconstructed hastily? Some places they're still working. Huge area, could be important if they find MORE stuff, but there aren't many photogenic sites beyond the masks and one other place someone was setting up to work. There appears to be no map or material available. One hour good.

XPUJIL: Really on a hill about 2 kilometers OUT of town, so THIS wouldn't have been good by bus EITHER. Driver wants 600 more now, and 67 km exact to Kohunlich DOES turn out 62 more and a bit more to Xpujil, but it isn't as big as Kohunlich, as guy said. But it DOES stand out on hill, almost Angkor Wat-like in sheerness and proportion. Stop just off road, driver goes for gas, I have no change for 3P ticket. 100P bill smallest. Race to front for GREAT extant carvings high up on façade, and take far-group picture and climb around them. Up and over, one closest to road has a door on the INSIDE that leads downstairs to tight fit out roadside. FEW other people here, about 12 LEFT Kohunlich as I arrived, one minibus there when I left. Some small stacks of stones to east, but apparently nothing anywhere else in this area. Fifteen minutes OK. THIS guide talks of Becan and Chicana, however, 7 and 8 km farther. Well visible from road and SPECTACULAR for its unusual HEIGHT.

BECAN: Around turn on north side of road, another 3P. These HILLS partially denuded of trees give it a "Lost City" look. Double-titted rubble faces more standard "central temple" with "subterranean tunnels from the front of the top to lower levels in the back." LOTS of rubble in back and beyond, MAY BE caves there, but fifteen minutes gives no TIME. Voices from the rear from other explorers: romantic site. ANOTHER visible UNTOUCHED ruin from the road. Trees off rocks. ANOTHER pyramid fenced in back yard of Campeche rancho. CHICANA down 3-4 km bumpy road SOUTH of highway. Driver disgusted. OK Betanzos tour bus full of weary snippy German women saying they booked in Germany and got 18 ruins. I got 'em beat cold! There's a MAP to this place in the front of the sign-in book. Mask in next building, something else off in woods; sad not to have a copy of map. Around to center plaza and LOVELY face with huge eyes and complete fangs and open-door mouth. Driver poses for me somewhat grimly, but he lopes up steps of next building as I wander around back. Kid starts directing driver and we take fast walk through maze-like paths in woods, NEEDING guide. Then the temple: I GASP at freshness of carving. Are Mexican archeologists CREATING THESE rather than FINDING them? How could DETAILS remain so FRESH and new on a building so HIGH that it couldn't have been COVERED to protect it, and would BARE stone have retained the detail for 500 years? ANYWAY, I focused and tell driver to take picture of me in middle. He takes, he ORDERS me up side to HIGHER position. I clamber, he takes, I start down and he stops me again. I shrug and pose. I hope I remembered to set the light right enough. HE leads back, kid runs, and says something about "Otra," but driver is curt and pay kid change: 3-4 pesos, and we get into car. GREAT day but for 1600P demand at end and he's SO happy with 1500P that I should have stuck with my FIRST idea of 1400! Left city at 10:05, Kohunlich at 11:10, out at 12:20; Xpujil at 1:30; blowout fix 4:15-4:20, and into city at 4:50. Rained a bit, too. This was my first day in AGES with a passport (for getting an auto rental---kept asking, they all referred me to the hotels, the hotels referred me to ONE rental place, and it was EMPTY, wandering through and talking to workman who said there's no auto available EVER) and I NEEDED it in the cab to Kohunlich, passing over the Quintana Roo border into Campeche. Went to SEE La Cascada Restaurant and found Mimsey Farmer's "SOS Concorde" for 50P in BACK, not in FRONT advertisement. Walk down to Baalbeck Restaurant and try tecate: tecate+lime+salt=MINERAL water! Beer is strong and lime CANCELS it. Who needs it? Their chilequilas NOT zappy-tasty and crunchy like before. Jocoque Labin, he insists, is only milk. Woman with look: "I'm pregnant so I have NOTHING else on earth to do." CERVESA is 16P but TECATE turns out to be 20P. Hm. Back to hotel and "SOS Concorde" or "Concorde Affair" is awful, but shark in Concorde in water is a good scare and Mimsy is just AWFUL---NEVER believe a THING she does! Out at 10:10 and everyplace is CLOSED, So I HAVE no good meal; have Horchata for 8P in hotel restaurant and get to CHILLY bed at 10:30, hearing more and more firecrackers until midnight, but HARDLY on schedule. Worst night in long time: cold and uncomfortable with too few blankets.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 1981. Wake at 4 am, then 6 am, then up at 7, pack, shower, and get out at 8 and wander EMPTY streets to Continental for their breakfast buffet---GREAT! Bread, sweet rolls, salt rolls, Danish, apple turnovers.
Juice of apple, orange, grapefruit, tomato, papaya.
Fruit of pineapple, cantaloupe, papaya
Eggs scrambled, with ham, with sausage, mexicana
Soggy taco-tomato dish, hot dogs, ham, refried beans
Main-course chicken, something like onions, cold tuna with tomato
Cheeses, quiches, fruit pie, Nescafe, tea, milk, coffee, cocoa
Present at Hotel Continental Caribe's buffet breakfast for 135P: me, "an American family," a Mexican truck driver type, a German "family" of three unrelated tourist couples, one couple identical in green velour pullovers and shorts; and a Mexican "family" of grandmother, daughter (wife), husband, someone's brother, and three kids about 13, male; 11, male; and 8, female. I thought they might be SORELY surprised, being somewhat plainly dressed and Grandma being dowdy, at the bill, but Mama pulls out a pink (never SAW one before) 5000P note, or $220! Cashier has no change but dowdy Grandma does, easily counting out 5 brown 1000P notes and thumbs through 5-6 more before putting her wad away, and then carefully considering another bill and deftly handling her 20P notes and peso pieces, like PENNIES to a $50 bill!! Solitary gray Helen-type eats at window two tables away from me and tourist-type joins truck driver. No killing HERE on food prices. However, maybe there IS. In at 8:10 and even with WRITING it's only 9:25, a $6 breakfast is MEMORABLE but not to be made a HABIT of. Change $20 more, $10 at Caja from a private individual and $10 back at restaurant, and wander to beautiful bay section, taking pictures. Back to hotel at 10:15, brushing teeth and packing and getting to station to fret at 10:55. All buses to Tulum marked either 11:10 to 13:00, NONE at 11:30. Ask information what the bus is marked. Cancun! Try to go to platform and guy says "One minute. Once media." I decide I'd better jot down YESTERDAY'S ruins, and I do. To platform at 11:25, Puerto Juarez bus loads 11:30, leaves 11:40, NO one in seats 1-4! GREAT open-window ride, killed a DOG (or suicide, since he raised his tired head to noticed the bus bearing down on him but made NO effort to get out of the way, and a sickening double-thump; of fender and tire on tender-boned body at 55 mph), and LOUD music. Hot day. Stop twenty minutes in Carillo Puerto at 1:25 and get soda and snap flowers and leave at 1:57! To Tulum at 3, walk to "Village," hitch to Hotel Paraiso, full, next is Tulum Hotel, 8 km from ruins. Hitch back to crossroads and get LAST room for 300P at Hotel Cruzero. Walk back to ruins and enter at 3:50, 10P, closes at 5! Bus from COBA crossroads at 11:30 am. UNKNOWN back! LOVE Tulum! Stay till 5:15, then to jammed Mexico Restaurant for pork and rice for 70P, rice and egg for 25P, and Noche Buena for 25P, total 110P (note addition) and she cashes $50 traveler's check, saying NO bank in Coba! (May have liked the place because of all the sexy bare-chested boys in the ruins when I arrived.) Out in COMPLETE darkness at 6:20 and get back to room to read Tulum/Coba book (for 55P) and try to get interested in ANYTHING else but fail---NO water, and get to bed at 8:25, hoping to make up for last night.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 2. DO, waking at 5:40, at LEAST 9 hours! Dress and out to BEAUTIFUL "old moon in arms of new" at 6 am, BRIGHT Venus, and many other stars. Walk to ruins to find they open at 8; climb wall and get to north tower to write at 6:15. RED-rimmed clouds at 6:22 am, other people on far Paraiso Beach. Great shadowed sunrise at 6:30, and I trek toward north, through gate "Prohibido El Paso" and there's a GUY who passed, shitting I think, and I continue along SHARP jagged limestone rocks and find (after getting wet in dew-soaked overhead plants) ONE of the tiny north temples, but hear WHISTLE behind me, "CAN'T be for me, and at 7 here comes guard and another guy (the shitter?). "Vamos." "Perque?" VAMOS!" "No entiendo." "Entiendo SI." "Perque?" "Fuerza?" I go. Out gate at 7:10, four Germans had to sleep in CHAIRS in Vicky's since I got the last room. Others sleeping out too, on tables under roof in OPEN air. Vicky had NO oil in car, has to go to Carillo Puerto, but enough for eggs and bacon for breakfast. Germans never heard of Coba but become interested while reading my book. I try to think of deal to KEEP my room but let THEM use it IF I find a place in Coba, but they don't seem interested. Vicky says Coba has "jungle and one hotel." No tortillas, but eggs, rice, beans, and "refrescos." They tell me of cats howling all night; I broke two apart at 6 am on the road; dog barking out back here---just over the swamp that appalled Germans---and barked outside MY place, too. They got in at 9 pm last night! Awful! The refrescos turn out to be tea. 45P a bit much, no tip. In at 8:10 and wander periphery. Without attractive PEOPLE it becomes tame and known. Looking forward to Coba? Stopped taxi that said 600P for going and two hours there and then return from Coba. Germans have cash-flow problems and only two would want to go anyway. Sit on dance platform and find it DOES feel decadent: not sharp, not vital, not FINE---even details LEFT on Diving Gods are more like DRAWINGS than CONSTRUCTIONS. Diving Civilization! LOUD MOUTHED Spanish mama shouts! To Cruzero at 10:15, pay 300P for tonight, shower in COLD water, leave at 11:03 and get to Coba crossroad at 11:20, four others there. Bus comes at 11:35 for 20P and JUNGLE till 12:10, driver takes me to VA road at 12:15 and I check in to room 708---GREAT, and leave at 12:45, ignoring people playing in the pool and reading at poolside. Coba Group to 1:50. From Los Pinturas (2:30), "Church" is just a hill of trees! 2:45 set out for Maconxoc Group. Pass two FEATURELESS (ARQ-numbered) stelae on ground. HARD climb up "Stele F pyramid" and Nohuch Mul is RIGHT behind tree atop ANOTHER pyramid between here and there! At 3:35 DOWN from climb---worst of all are MOSQUITOES that attack when rocks start to slide underfoot (5x), briars have to be held back (always), and I'm hanging on with both hands, with knees, and TEETH! 4 pm to 1200-meter walk to what should be Lake Xkanha, with big bullfrog (?) pig (?) Mayan monster (?) grunting contentedly but VERY loudly. SQUIRRELS, birds, grouse, ants, two HUGE "tail-eye" tumbling butterflies. 4:30 find small 80-yard trail to Maconxoc Lake, 440 yards from fork to Maconxoc Group and Lake Xkanha. From "Church" Macanxoc at twilight is placid and LOVELY. He shouts me down at 5:10 and he's gone and gate's LOCKED. Climb over and wend way home past stalking heron and flying birds and few fleecy purple clouds. Lovers on dock and in hammock, so I sit on a canoe and watch colors change until midges get too much. IN at 6 and wander halls: some display cases not lit, but dancing dogs are a GAS. Into room at 6:30 and wash face and change to sweater and out to bar for half and half for 38.5P. Dullsville! Archeological readers and families. Library dead and NO idea when they'd show slides. Back to room at 7:15 and write this. Finish writing at 7:40, up to date AGAIN, write 10 cards to 8 pm, dinner of vegetable soup, good but no 40P, fillet of fish, reasonable for 90P but rice tasteless, and FRUIT good for 60P: watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, banana and APPLE. Plus two beers for 30P each for 66+209=275 meal and 20P tip, 300P for meal! As much as for ROOM at Cruzera! Chilly and longing for bed. Wash teeth, put blanket on bed, and write this by 9:20; sleep quickly.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 3. Wake at 3:30, again at 5:50. Up and out by 6:03, SLIGHT wisps of fog rising on lake, and climb "Church," rehearsing my "amante con el Sol" for guard, by 6:20, sunrise only slight rosy rim of clouds. Moon even thinner than yesterday; shards of fog draw sunward. Some distant hysterical chicken laughs like a hyena. Fog, below me now, drawn into a sunward, over-obscuring PEAK---paths now would be darker and damper. 6:26 and even PINKNESS is gone, only vapors, birds, and the omnipresent Villa Archeologica generator chug. Sunrise delayed until 6:40, and film could "take" 6:45 am with 500-shutter and over-exposed film opening. Fog REALLY covers ALL, and STAYS. Can SEE the birds on sunward-side of trees below me: the gray robin-shaped bird with exchanged "TWEEL, gulla tweak tweak TWEEL." The gray-chartreuse bird's "Churk," the chickadee's imitation of "twick twick twill." And some red-shouldered yellow-backed bird startles as it flies. NO chance of being seen from GROUND in such fog---good I climbed EARLY. NO mosquitoes or midges in frozen predawn, and EVERY LEAF twinkles with wet. A chicken repeats a cry as if being fucked. A composition in dewy spider webs catches my eye. Fog denser and higher than ever at 7:20, bringing me a CHILL of predawn back! Mosquitoes and midges now resuscitated. Glockenspectre! Out at 7:35. Breakfast coldly outside at 7:45, me at smallest available table: for 5. Family of three and two men are all. "American breakfast" for 80P is a rip-off, as is orange juice for 30P! So I order ham and cheese omelet for 40 and a fruit for 30 and toast (for 10P?) and no coffee. Ruins NOT visible in early fog---people NOT out at 6 would think gate impassable. Toast, as usual, arrives WAY before omelet. Nerve for 20P for two pieces of toast! I cross off 99 and make it 77P. Waiter superciliously says I won't be charged for breakfast at ALL---and I'm not. His business! Out at 8:30 and to Nohoch Mul at 9. at 9:20 at top---hard to tell TREES from PYRAMIDS on vague horizon that I scan with binoculars. Platform trees look HIGHER than THIS. Las Pinturas QUITE indiscernible, "Church" only craggy top. At least lots of pieces of LAKES visible in otherwise featureless horizon. Lots of COLORS of green and yellows, gray-white dead branches, specks of red and orange, and group of MY rocks and Church rocks and blue of sky and silvers of lakes---and yellow Kodacolor boxes, red Marlboro boxes, glints of cellophane. At 10 am I see huge ROOM remnants on SIDE of Great Platform. LOTS to them! INCREDIBLE EXPANSE OF ROCK! Work my way to a side for a glimpse of a horizon and a bit later actually SEE Nohoch Mul. Find a CORNER rampart and it's 10:15; I start to worry about getting BACK, and LO there's a path down. To trail, to hotel quickly and tiredly and hotly, and take a LOVELY shower and write five more cards and it's 11:30, time to pay my bill, WITHOUT breakfast, it seems, and get to gate at 12. Need 17 cards, cost 3P, 3 kinds, so 20 is 60P and 3 for me leaves 17! Start writing, waiting for bus. Caravan tourists come in and buy 24 bottles of Pepsi. Write 17 cards. 12:15, 12:30, 12:45. Where's bus? No hoy. No hoy!? It comes some days, not others. How many days of the week? Three, four five. Wed., Thu., Fri.? Three times or four times or five times" Anh! Ask people PLEASE take me to Tulum. SURE. Drive in clouded road. VIPs pass in police-guided headlight-lit caravans. They talk of beautiful place they're in, between Xel-Ha and Akumal. "If you were in one or the other, I'd take a look." "We could drop you at Xel-Ha." They get gas, I push stuff into bag, get to them in gas station. They leave me at Xel-Ha GATE. 10P. Long walk. I'm ABOUT to ask if I can stow bag in the ticket office when I seem to hear English from taxi. "English?" "Swedish." "Well, can I join you?" "Sure. We're just going in for ten minutes to take pictures." "Incredible, that's just what I want to do, would you bring me BACK to ROAD?" "Sure." In to LOVELY natural lagoon, GREAT clear water, GOOD fish, and SEXY nudes walking around looking. Take pictures. Out to cab. "Do you HAPPEN to be going north?" "To Playa del Carmen." "Incredible---may---?" "Of course you can!" LOVELY chat with her in back seat: they trade in skins and furs, travel lots: love Moorea, not Bora-Bora, not Tahiti, like Russia and Europe, WANT to go to Yellowstone and Yosemite and Canyons and SF. I tell my 5A's still to be seen. To Playa, he talking with driver about local politics. "May I treat you to a beer?" "That would be nice." We drink three beers in LOVELY patio of Hotel Reglos (or whatever) and they decide they want to eat and, since it's his 53rd birthday, they want to TREAT me. I protest just a bit, they think I'm a student, he remarks about gray hair, she guesses I may be as old as 35, he suggests I MAY be 40---from my travel experience, of course. Fish filet and more beer, she wine, he rum and Coke, and we chatter away until 4:10, having bought 55P crossing tickets, and we go to sexily laden ship (buxom woman with indolent kid tonguing her fat nipple, married guy obviously gay staring at slender hipless body of tanned blue-eyed Spaniard who stripped down to green briefs of swimsuit and jumped overboard and swam to shore and back before boat left, and pale city-shod tourist with straight nose and eyes who read going across, and big-chested Jean-Jacques face lazing downstairs). Rainbow and rain squall before we left, clouds swirling as we pass, rain to south, clouded sunset and rocking ship on my neat sea legs, instantly acquired, make a stormy crossing from 4:30 to 6 on the Princess Saknite. Meson San Miguel wants 800P, which they recommended as not being too expensive compared to the luxury hotels to the south and north of the town of San Miguel, so I look at full Lopez, Colonial, Manguey, Maria Carmen, Elizabeth, and a few others before going around the seaside corner to 430P Bahia. In and look at stuff and read a bit and out at 7:45 to Pepe's Grill for 350P, paying both with card to save cash at 22P rate for checks, and Tampiqueno NOT as good as Dora Maria's for 80P, this at 250P! Golden Fizz makes me muzzy and contemplative: would I FEAR an Eden of palm trees, beautiful men, lazy days and sexual nights? Only fear no one would have sex with me without MONEY! Walk a tiny bit, back at 9 to jerk off with detached bathroom mirror with Jojoba; JUST put things back when lights flicker on and off and I get to bed at 9:55, comfortable, raining.