While I screamed and hollered and swore at my computer with the new hard drive that would not load emails from the external drive back-up, T went merrily off to the Merida Zoo. He has been into long walks lately, so he walked. It was a long walk on a hot day.
At the zoo, he was pleasantly surprised to see that the animals were well taken care of and had plenty of room to move around. Only the wild cats – tigers, lions, and panthers were pacing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and did not look so content.
He was impressed with the white tiger, something he had never seen before, and they had his favourites: chimpanzees and monkeys. He could watch their human-like behaviours for hours.
He saw standoffish zebra…
An aggressive leopard…
A spitting camel…
An angry croc…
A playful baby hippo who tried to talk to him…
Or he was asking for something to eat…
Or he was saying, “Look how big and scary I am!”…
He saw a boa constrictor, many hoofed animals and plenty of exotic birds.
The zoo was geared towards children with a lot of 50’s era rides and treats.
He even took the little train around the zoo once. He had waited till the train was almost empty of children, and boarded, only to find himself behind half a dozen annoyingly giggling teen-age girls.
It was just as he was about halfway through the zoo that his leather sandal broke leaving him slip-slide walking on one foot. A little later it broke completely leaving him walking barefoot on one foot.
He headed back home. Now, if you only knew how rough and broken the sidewalks are in Merida, Mexico, you would gasp at anyone walking barefoot. It’s difficult to walk with shoes on!
He walked all the way back to the Chedraui (a large grocery chain with clothing and shoes), some 20 blocks, with people snickering and laughing and doing double-takes as he carried one shoe. Not long after that, the other sandal broke.
Now he was truly walking barefoot. Since he is a very white gringo, he stands out on his own – little children always stare at him normally in Mexico, but add to that barefoot and tippy-toeing around nails and glass and broken concrete and big holes on the sidewalk, he was quite a sight.
At the Chedraui, he was frustrated because they did not carry sandals with straps. He finally bought a pair of cheap slide-on plastic sandals, which he found difficult to keep on his feet.
As he sat down to put the new flip-flops on, “Rddrrrriiiipppppp!” His cargo shorts ripped from crotch to inside leg. Eyes blazing, swearing under his breath, he took small steps to the cash register, his legs close together, where he normally would have taken long fast strides. Certain all eyes were on him, pointing, jeering; he paid quickly, and circled outside to the closest quiet side street for the 10-block walk home.
Finally at home, he glued his sandal straps back on, and drove over them with the car tire to provide enough pressure to seal the glue. I thought this was a bit over the top, but if it works, it works. This was not the first time his sandals broke, and each time we scoured the shoe shops unable to find men’s sandals with straps. The men in Mexico generally wear closed-toe shoes, rarely wear flip-flops, and never sandals.
Settling down with a glass of wine after supper, the final insult came when he started coughing and spitting – there was a mosquito in his wine and he almost swallowed it!
As I burst out laughing and giggled about his ‘Day at the Zoo’, he said,
“A mosquito in your wine… “
“Is better than a bee in your beer!”
Originally posted 2015-02-19 08:40:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter