Saturday, May 2, 2009

Masks and Mayhem – where is it?

From TravelGirl --

We landed in Cancun this afternoon, and based on all previous media accounts, one would have thought we were jumping into a pit of fire with rabid monkeys and flesh-eating zombies. Au contraire, I’m afraid. Oh wait, that’s French. Here I am in Mexico for probably the 15th or 16th time, and I can only say, “Uno Cerveza, Gracias, Si, No, Uno mas,” and that’s about it. Time for Spanish lessons, eh?

Anyway, upon boarding the Cancun-bound Alaska Airlines jet at LAX, we had expected to be armed with masks and hand sanitizers. Alaska had previously removed all pillows and blankets and reportedly was distributing the masks and sanitizer to all passengers flying into Mexico. This just simply wasn’t true. Either they ran out, or they came to their senses and realized there is a flu virus going around, not the plague. Did you know that 1400 American women die EACH DAY during childbirth? Yeah, I never knew I’d have a better chance of losing my life to childbirth than I would to the H1N1 virus. Oh wait. I’m not pregnant.

Ok, so getting back to the topic at hand here – no masks and no hand sanitizers were distributed. We flew first class thanks to an MVP upgrade, and arrived to Cancun painlessly and effortlessly. You’d never know there was an epidemic (or near pandemic) going on. Cancun greeted us with 86 degrees, sunny skies and bright and cheery nationals waiting to help us part with our money via timeshare tours, car rentals, shuttle rides, you name it. Guess what? NOT ONE of them was wearing a mask. No where did we see canisters of hand sanitizers. Most of the immigration and customs officials were indeed wearing masks, but not even the airline employees in Mexico were wearing them. There was no sign of a rampant disease that was out to kill us!

We signed up for a tour of the Grand Mayan. It is the best way for us to gain entrance to Xcaret for only $40 as opposed to $240 for both of us. Yes, we will be giving 90 minutes of our lives to the timeshare salesperson that will receive a mere, “Thanks for your time” from us, but it’s all part of the game here. Plus, we are on a teensy little budget.

Arrival to The Royal Haciendas via shuttle was again quick and painless. We checked in, unpacked, checked the inventory of our pre-purchased groceries that were nicely tucked away in the fridge and cupboards, then wandered along the beach for a sunset walk, before heading to dinner at La Palapa, the onsite restaurant. There is no mayhem here. Heck, we jumped into what we thought was going to make for great video footage, but it’s just not here. We DID, however, bring our own supply of masks, anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitizer galore, and a prescription for Tamiflu (just in case). We ARE using the soap and sanitizer just to be safe, but the masks appear to be overkill. At the point I gain the urge to lick a doorknob, well, then…I suppose I’ll fight that urge by wearing a mask.

Tomorrow we’ll likely venture into town or at least spend the day relaxing in the sand, and will give a more ambient report of the sunshine, sand, and beautiful Caribbean Sea.

Masks and Mayhem? Not in Cancun or Playa del Carmen…at least not today.

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