Friday, February 15, 2013

Travels with CrapMonkey

Consider this your warning!

Every journey begins with a single step.

My recent journey to Baja, California began with two coffee stouts at the airport Schaffley's, a grande latte (mine) and an in-depth discussion of intestinal revolution. We were three middle aged women traveling to a country notorious for its digestion hating microbes. However, Montezuma was an intestinal amateur. We raised bowel problems to a professional level.

After much discussion travel toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, bottled versus filtered water, hazmat protocol for airplane toilets and finally...'adult padding', I came to the realization that we were, in fact, traveling with the original CrapMonkey.*

We devised a checklist prior to leaving our host's home:
Toilet paper? Check.
Baby wipes? Check.
Daily...constitutional? Um...check?

Our hostess had done her homework and gave us a bathroom status at each place we stopped. These varied from 'super clean' to 'bring your own toilet paper and don't touch anything or you can't reenter the house until you go through the decontam shower.'

We were warned. Don't drink the water. Don't eat the ice. Don't eat anything you can't peel or cook. Don't throw your toilet paper into the commode.
Wait. What?

It would appear that while Montezuma thought it hilarious to curse travelers to his lovely country with intestinal distress, he failed to equip his countrymen with a sewer system to handle flushing inorganic matter. Dude! Charmin – Enjoy the Go – Fail!

Yet, the trip moved forward with little incident. I even threw caution to the wind and poured my bottled water over ice one afternoon while taste testing sashimi tuna fresh off the boat. My hostess reassured me that they had lived in country for several years now and had never been sick. With this vote of confidence I moved forward with my vacation motto – 'No chain food and try something new each day' – and tried the ceviche tostados. It was only after I ate a grilled Serrano pepper that she mentioned the need to take anti-microbial medication every six months.

FULL DISCLOSURE, PEOPLE!! full disclosure...

I lived in fear for thirty-six hours. But, except for a tense moment standing in a long immigration line being taunted by a bathroom beyond our entry level, the trip was without toileting incident. 

Taunting! Taunting me with the fresh picked, non-shipped colors and freshness. Curse you Montezuma!

Stay tuned! The next installment here at the CoastofIllinois – How to do Customs or Let's Kick it Up a Notch!

*CrapMonkey is the trademark of my sister who coined this term after years of living in a house where cursing was barely tolerated. It is suitable for use as a noun or a verb. And occasionally as a Proper Name.

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