I wish I hadn’t drank all of those margaritas on the beach the night before…. I wish I hadn’t downed so many Dos Equis on the bus ride but OMG it took like ninety hours to get there and a margarita hangover leaves a person very thirsty.
December 21st of 2012. I don’t recall that date being mentioned in 1995 when we toured the ancient grounds of Chichen Itza. I suppose it was irrelevant with Y2K looming in the not so distant future. Maybe the guide did make mention and I missed it because I was
passed out resting half way up the pyramid. That of course would not have happened if he’d sent the Sherpa I requested.
I don’t think the tour guide liked me despite my best efforts to build a rapport.
“Parlez-vous français?” I had asked. “Oui- petit.” He responded. That exhausted my french so I gave him a slap on the back and said, “Well jolly good for you old chap.” He snarled and started his rehearsed dialogue for the small crowd.
Everyone listened in awe as he pointed at the cracked engravings and bits of broken symbols, skirting over the fissures and holes filled with smooth stones. I am not a hieroglyphics expert but I could see large gaps of information were missing from the story. Laying my linguistic talents aside and in my most authentic voice I gently interrupted, “Sir? Pardon me? With so much of the picture missing how can you be sure of that interpretation?” but like a well-trained telemarketer he pressed forward with the history lesson he’d been taught.
“Escuzzie moi señor? Ooday ooyay hablas ingles?” I asked. Initially he ignored me but after repeating the inquiry eight times I got his undivided attention and readied my next question as he turned to face me. “Are there any little Mayan peoples left? Perhaps you have an oral history -”
“NO!” he snapped before slowly raising the corner of his mouth to reveal sharp decaying teeth. I have to admit it was a bit creepy staring down the rusty tines of this human tiller so I spat, “Fine! I’ll just look at the rocks and make up my own story.”
After silent hours of
wandering aimlessly research (silent unless you count the noise of the Quetzal) the only conclusion I came away with was this: We are not an advanced generation; not in 1995 and not now. We assume way too much and despite all of our technical gadgets, we are idiots.
So December 21st is only days away and I sit staring at 17 year old photographs wondering, Where is my fanny pack and that intelligent archeological tourist hat that hubby was wearing? Where on earth did I get those outrageous shorts and what will I get the children for Christmas? All the while one line from a song I can’t remember loops in my frontal lobe. ‘It’s the end of the world as we know & it and I feel fine.’ I think that’s REM. They may have been ahead of their time and we may be out of it. Any naysayers, doomsdayer’s or opinions on the subject? Personally – if I can pinch my own flesh I’m not falling for it.