All travel is broadening, which means it's just great to get out of the Yucata'n in one piece and get home.
This peninsula, which makes that big bump out into the sea from Mexico, is different from the rest of the country. It turns out that a few years ago the Yucata'n thought of seceding and becoming part of the United States. Nobody in the United States ever heard of this, perhaps, but that was their idea which, thank God, never got off the ground.
There are Mayan ruins. Pyramids. They are marvelous. A guide told me an American woman got to the top of a pyramid and refused to come down. Dizzy. The only reason she isn't still up there is that he went off to buy a bottle of brandy, poured it down her and in two hours got her back.
There is a great hotel near one of these ruins. They have splendid ceiling fans over the beds. You don't need air conditioning. You do need ear plugs, or at least I did. The people in the next room moved furniture until 3 a.m. and from time to time hollered. Rehearsing for a revolution, possibly.
Customs differ. We seem strange to foreigners.
They seem strange to me. Just as human, just as good and all that, but God are they strange. They have a different approach to airline reservations. They said it would take 21 days after the ticket date to get out.
These interesting customs can be got around. You forget flying 600 miles to New Orleans and up to Washington. You spend a day racing about, finding the one decent travel agent in town, pay a supplement and fly to Mexico City and Chicago standby. It only takes a million extra hours.
There are valuable things to be learned in a foreign nation. I learned in the Yucata'n that a Coca-Cola is worth what anybody has the gall to charge for it.
I also learned their watermelons are superior to ours. I learned that it makes no critical difference if the electricity goes off for two or five hours around supper time. I learned the best food down there is sea turtle, but nobody should encourage the killing of sea turtles. They said they raised them on a farm. It is better to eat other stuff, on the theory that no vacation lasts forever and you can take it, by God.
I went to a bank to cash traveler's checks. They were very nice. They said they had run out of money and try them tomorrow.
They have glorious huge butterflies. They do not have any poison ivy. I saw a guy kick a dog. I saw a guy check his pig into the luggage compartment of a cross-country bus.
The kids are endlessly cute. The sun, sky, and fields of agaves are glorious to see. There is a truly notable cathedral which, since people stole all the gold out of it in the last century, is clean and nonrevolting.
I never got sick in a month, though once I desperately ate hunks of fruit out of jars at a roadside stand. My wife got deathly ill from eating a salad in Mexico City in a French restaurant with waiters in dinner jackets. Just goes to show you. But then you can get sick in a fancy restaurant in New York, can't you. It depends what night you go.
Saw a photographer from Washington in Chicago. He was on standby, too. He had not had to go to Mexico City, however. Some of us are born to suffer more than others.
There is so much wrong with the United States it would fill a dozen books. God, it was flat paradise to get home.