Decompression

Back from a week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and into the last week of relative freedom before Medical School Year 2: Electric Boogaloo. PV was fun but insanely hot and humid. As I wrote earlier, we flew right into a storm that scrapped our first attempted landing. On Wednesday we went diving and saw some big rays swimming above us like weird alien skyships, which was a transformative experience. Unfortunately, we were were then stuck on a beach called Chocota for several hours as the weather worsened again and a storm began to build. The tiny dive boat had been chartered to deliver around 20 slightly obese gay frat guys there for an afternoon of drinking beer and skinny dipping. When, eventually, we managed to leave, the ocean had become a sea of whitecaps and we were drenched getting back, which took over two hours of sailing through chop. Then, just as we were around 20 minutes out, the storm rolled down out of the rain forest. Literally rolled. A solid wall of rain and cloud poured over the mountains and came down out of a river valley and surged across the ocean towards us, widening after its compression. I’ve never seen anything like it in its precise, geometric perfection of obscuring advance, except for a description in an old Stephen King novella called The Mist. When it finally hit us, everything began to get even wetter very quickly.

It just made the trip back even less agreeable. Despite attempts to sing selections from the Sound of Music and other cultural exemplars, this particular gaggle of gay men were very poor and their attempts at queening it up fell decidedly flat. None of them knew any words past the first couple of verses, and their wit was below the standards of bitchiness I came to expect from some of the more arch practitioners in, say, San Francisco’s Castro. They need to practice more and Lisa was also very disappointed with their efforts.

The rest of the week passed uneventfully and I managed to return without contracting any dysenteric illness. I put this down to drinking an active yoghurt every day. PV is reasonably nice,with areas of authenticity and decrepitude, over-touristed beachfront, and an over-Americanised cruise ship region with Starbucks, KFC, Chilli’s, and basically a big mall to help people think tey haven’t travelled away from home at all. I did read one of the planning documents for the region which says that by 2020 they expect to have “filled in” all the available residential and commercial space along the surrounding Bay of Banderas. So this area of Mexico will basically be one huge strip mall.

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