- Switch gears
- Don't tell me how to drive!
- YOU'RE FLOODING THE FUCKING ENGINE! SWITCH GEARS NOW !!!
The reunion with Alicja was touching. We shared a shy smile and long tight hug. I put the Sombrero on her head and the second on her friend Paulina. She was also living in the Canaries, also a doctor, also Polish. We drove back to Tulum in the night, where the girls had booked a hostel in the worst part of town.
Gringolandia are miniature US colonies in exotic touristic countries. There, everyone speaks English, prices are jacked up and people pay with US dollars. Exploitation is socially accepted, creating a palpable barrier between tourists and locals. The local taxis helped me park in front of the hostel, where they waited for their drunk prospects outside the bars.
The hostel had only dorms, same-sex dorms with 24 beds each. The bed was the ultimate reward for the bravest drunks who managed their way back from the clubs. They shouted, they snored, and I cursed. $18 for a sleepless night among loud sunburnt pigs. Welcome to Gringolandia.
The girls had only 10 days in Mexico. I wasn’t going to let logistics and poor planning get in the way of our intimacy. The next morning, I woke up early and found a private room with no drunk tourists nearby. The three of us moved there. Now I just had to find time alone with Alicja.
The day was sunny and hot. We visited an open cenote in the middle of the mangrove. Food and sleep had revived Alicja’s sassiness. Her blue bikini matched her eyes, she was hotter than ever. Joke by joke, the chemistry returned and my desire grew. I wanted her. I wanted her bad.
We went for dinner when Alicja asked the waitress to arrange a table for four. I raised an eyebrow.
- “Oh by the way, my ex will be joining us”
- Your EX !?
- Yeah, he’s also in Tulum. He’ll be hanging out with us for a few days.
- Don’t you think that’s something worth mentioning before?
- It’s not what you think. It was 7 years ago and I’m way past it. You’ll see.
- Still… You should have told me.
- Well, now you know.
She was right. The guy had less sexual energy than a taco. We returned to our room after dinner. Paulina went to bed and Alicja asked if I wanted to go for a ‘drink’. I needed a shower first. When I I came out she was already in bed. I crawled under the sheet, fresh and horny, full of hope... “No! Paulina is right there and I’m sleepy. Goodnight”.
The four of us visited another Cenote the next day. Grumpy and tired, I asked Alicja to drive. The car jolted, often. We nodded in unison every time she shifted gears. I asked her to be smoother with the gear change... She snapped, sharp and mean. My ego was screaming, ready to slice back. I pushed it aside and opened a book. An uncomfortable silence filled the car. The Cenote was pretty.
On the way back, Alicja was driving too fast on the wrong gear. The little Chevrolet engine was screaming, about to burst. I told her to switch gear when she snapped again. This time I couldn't help myself and yelled back at her. She switched gear. The engine stopped screaming, and she stopped answering.
At night, we carried the same funeral vibe to diner. The girls were talking in Polish, so I tried to make the best of the situation, and befriend her ex. He was an IT engineer who knew a lot about computers, how they operate, how they connected. There was something in his tone, a mystical power. The kind of tone that could bore a computer. We finished our plates and called it a night, Alicja and I still not talking.
Before bed, I pulled her aside in the narrow balcony. I wanted to clear the air, have a proper conversation like mature adults do. I wanted to bury the hatchet and move on, to enjoy the rest of my time with her. I apologized.
The talk did not go as I expected. I was upset because she had her own agenda, and I wasn’t part of it. I pointed it out but she did not agree, let alone apologize. The conversation heated and the blaming started. Then, in the most theatrical tone, she said: “Listen, I’m a selfish bitch and that is how I roll. If you’re not happy, that's too bad cause I'm not gonna change!"
The irony was strong. I laid a blanket on the floor and slept there, alone with my ego.