I tried not to be too self-indulgent but prepare yourselves, my friends, for a long read…
So I returned from the wonderful country that is México. Pronounced, of course, 'MEH-hee-coh', unlike most other 'x'es in the Spanish language, which are pronounced 'ks'. Of course, don't get the Spanish 'x' confused with the Mayan 'x' which is pronounced 'sh'. I thought I'd better get all the confusion out the way first. That's about it for confusion actually, everything else was pretty straightforward, possibly too much so. To be fair, it was a family holiday so it was bound to be somewhat conservative in tone.
We were on the Yucatán Peninsula, taking in a bit of Cancún, Tulum, Chichén Itzá and Mérida over ten days. The place is utterly flat, and covered in jungle. I'd describe it glibly as an Americanised Cuba – a mixture of colonial styles and tourist development. Plus the whole Mayan thing, which I'll come on to later. It was fairly hot and 'muggy', which was a nice change.
We drank a lot of Corona Extra (other Mexican beers are available) and Margaritas (no other Mexican cocktails are available) and ate some quality food (try the green stuff they bring you with the tortilla crisps. My advice: heap as much of it as you can onto the crisp and eat in one go). We stayed near a beach for the first half of the holiday, which was very nice. I could sit back, pretend to read Crime and Punishment while ogling the nipples of the surprisingly nubile nudists. It took a while for my body clock to adjust to the new time so I felt sleepy most of the time. Hey, I was supposed to be relaxing anyway…
With me in México were my folks, and Wilson Craw the Younger: Jake. As I inferred above, the country didn't have many foibles to amuse me but, atypically for foreign travel, I was with my brother, so our Les Enfants Terribles-style in-jokey banter saved the day. Unfortunately for you, this humour does not transfer well to blog form. Anyway, we raised seven circles of Hell in México, in Tequila-fuelled rampages throughout town. We didn't leave a good impression on the locals, let me tell you. Not least with a particular group of ne'er-do-wells, whose prize-winning mongrel our adopted stray, Pepé, savagely beat good and proper in an illegal backstreet dogfight. Not only did they refuse to pay up fair and square, they rode us out of town on their numberplate-less Chevy pick-up truck.
Jake and I became separated and were lost in the middle of the Yucatán jungle. After wandering for hours, fretting about Jake and what the mosquitoes were doing to his tasty gringo skin, I stumbled upon a Mayan village. Yucatán inhabitants are mostly of Mayan origin and tend to be very short. The people I found in this village were no exception but they were so cut off from the rest of the world, it seemed that I was the first Caucasian person they'd ever seen. With my white skin, towering above them at 5'8", they thought I must be some sort of deity. The village was in a pretty bad state and they were clearly in need of some Good Fortune. In their broken Spanish, they pleaded with me to perform a miracle. In my broken Spanish, I said: 'Okay'. So I did the first thing that came to my head, which just so happened to be to walk into the newsagent, reach up to the top shelf and pick up the latest issue of Hustler*. They were so impressed by the titties on display that they asked if I could provide them with more. So I did and before long the entire village was all jazz-magged up, holed up in their palm-leaf huts, masturbating furiously. Needless to say, after performing this miracle, I became their Porn God; they put me up in the penthouse suite, furnished it with a fresh virgin every day (it took a lot of persuading to stop the savages sacrificing them in my name), and let me have all the hallucinogenic smoking leaves I required. The effect of this last gesture was diminished as the leaves in question already littered the jungle floor, but it was the thought that counts.
Hunky dory, you may be thinking at this stage. Not so. The neighbouring village were rather more conservative than the one in which I'd become a god, and took violent exception to my distribution of lewd literature. They captured me and after a pretty unfair trial, I was sentenced to death by fire. Despite the grim circumstances, they made the effort and put on quite a show by erecting a wooden platform and everything. They even allowed me to choose the date and time of my execution. Now this proved to be a rather happy coincidence as I'd read in the Yucatán Times the previous week that a solar eclipse would be happening and even though I'd thrown the paper away, I remembered the precise time at which one could witness this majestic feat of nature. Fortunately - and you'll see why - they had no matches or gas rings so could only start fire by holding a magnifying glass to the sun. What I did was to choose my execution to take place on Thursday at 2 (the time of the eclipse) then just as the head priest was getting out the magnifying glass, knowing how gullible these Mayans were, pretended to be the Sun God and 'commanded' the sun to disappear, which it duly did. Not only did I avoid horribly burning to death, I became this tribe's Sun God. Once again, I was put in the penthouse suite and furnished with daily virgins. Folks, I had it made.
I would have loved to stay but in the end dear old Blighty and Warwick University beckoned. I figured, 'Hey, if this degree business doesn’t work out, I've always got something to fall back on.' At which point I awoke to possibly the Rubbishest Christmas Ever...
*Apologies for going a bit Sofia Coppola on the Mexicans' short-arses, but it's true. Also apologies to Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu and Hergé.