I had been crashing with a couple of German gals in their beach side cabana for nearly a week, and the arrangement was absolutely perfect. They put me up while I waited for my package, and I offered a steady diet of fresh fish and the security of a competent male presence for two girls alone in Mexico. It was splendid. Then the trouble started. The already skeevy land lord came calling late one night blasted on alcohol and cocaine, and demanding a rise in the rent and cash money right there and then. He proceeded to complain about hating all white people, and how his friend had died a month ago from stab wounds sustained in a knife fight. As his eccentric monolog continued he grabbed a steak knife from the outdoor kitchen and began slashing at his own chest and abdomen yelling “NADA IMPORTANTA!”. I stood about two arm lengths away watching him freak out, and all I could think was “Well, at least he didn't grab MY knife. He'd have disemboweled himself by now.”. But I didn't even see any blood, in fact the knife he grabbed was only sharp enough to put some holes in his T-shirt. Unfortunately, the lack of death or dismemberment wasn't enough to calm the girls down after he finally left, and it was decided that they would be getting their money back from the land lord's mother in the morning, and the awesome pad would be abandoned. Bummer.
There I sat at the hangout on the beach. With “Becky” my enormous back pack leaning against the wall beside me as a constant reminder that I would need a new place to crash within hours, she offered me no comfort what so ever. I was only partially engaged in a conversation with my friends at the table, I wasn't trying to be rude, I just had too much to sort out. The priority being the package containing my new camera that was missing in action at the Mexican customs office. I'll spare you the boring details I slowly learned over the course of the day, and give you the gist.
FedEx in a stellar display of professionalism lost the declaration paper work needed by the Mexican Government to clear my package for delivery. It was sent all the way to Toluca where it sat at customs with apparently no effort being made to correct the foul up with FedEx, while I waited ever so patiently for ANY change on the tracking page of their website. I was destined for disappointment. The Mexican government declared it to be “abandoned” and moved it to a storage facility where it was to be “destroyed”. With the help of a good friend stateside, we managed to hound FedEx until it's whereabouts were discovered just in time. But before you get too excited thinking this was a shot of good news on a dismal day, keep in mind it was still in the hands of the Mexican government, so of course (as with ANY government) a sea of bull shit needed to be waded through. They listed 3 options:
1 I could leave it with them to be destroyed and forget the whole thing.
2 I could pay to have it returned to the US.
3 I could hand it over to a third party Mexican “broker” that would over see it's return to the US and reshipment back into Mexico, and subsequent delivery to my little slice of paradise.
I opted to take number 3. Which was not cheap, but held the most promise for a happy ending to it all. And what was FedEx willing to do to help? What responsibility were they ready to accept for such a disastrous foul up with otherwise routine paper work? Nothing. Not a damned thing. I don't have the words to convey my profound disappointment in this company. I trusted them with what is (at the moment) the most important thing in my life, and they gaffed it off like an adolescent skipping church.
Later that evening I was trying to sleep through the onslaught of ants and mosquitoes on the beach when a posse of a half dozen Policia approached me with flashlights in my eyes. They spoke quickly and angrily, and I didn't need to be fluent in Spanish to catch their drift. No sleeping on the beach. I wasn't in the mood to argue, so I complied and started rolling up my blanket. Just as I was finishing, one of them turned back and said I could spend the night there, but not the next. So I thanked him and remade my bed with a heavy sigh. I laid out on the sand sweating in the heat of the night and ignoring what felt like several mystery insects chewing on my bare feet. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Fuck you FedEx.