Why is that guy going though his pants pockets like a maniac doing the Macarena?

Posted on Updated on

That's me in my patented Heroic Man on Bicycle" stance, which people have begun to notice all over Ambergris Caye. Actually, this photo has nothing to do with the post. Just a shot Rose took in front of Crazy Canuck's bar shortly after I walked right through the middle of an intense horseshoe tournament. I am really thinking: "How many other ways can i embarrass myself?"
That’s me in my patented Heroic Man on Bicycle” stance, which people have begun to notice all over Ambergris Caye. Actually, this photo has nothing to do with the post. Just a shot Rose took in front of Crazy Canuck’s bar shortly after I walked right through the middle of an intense horseshoe tournament. I am really thinking: “How many other ways can I embarrass myself?” So far, I have found three: the horseshoes, today’s post and one more I’ll fill you in on soon.

It was supposed to be a quick ride into Castillo’s Hardware (Motto: “Do it Best.”) on Pescador Drive for an adjustable wrench and to return the awful flat spanner 4-in1 bike wrench that I’d purchased the day before.

Lesson one: Any tool designed to do more than one job does no job well.

And yes, while I’m here, how about a pair of those $3 reading glasses because, you know, on a tropical island you can never have too many pairs of glasses.

Mission accomplished:  a nice $27 BZD dropped forge steel, full chrome polish, satisfaction guaranteed 8-inch adjustable wrench.  Made in China specifically for Do it Best Corp. (Hey, I thought it was just a slogan.) I know it is a good wrench because “Do it.” is imprinted twice on the tool.

The wrench is to be used to adjust the rear wheels on our bikes, thus tightening the chains which have stretched considerably after three months. We bought the bikes at Castillo’s from the store’s bicycle queen, Carla. I go to her for all my bike questions.

It was Carla who suggested getting a can of WD-40 Specialist — Protective White Lithium Grease ($22.50 BZD).  Great call – a heavy duty lube in a can that doesn’t drip off the chain as you spray it on.  It is a rust inhibitor, too and I can’t tell you enough how vital a feature that is, living 100 yards off the sea.

I like Castillo’s because they smile at you, mostly, and will find just what you need in seconds while you could have been searching  for days. And they are gracious with returns.  Like most of the numerous hardware stores in town, Castillo’s has a group of desks populated by serious looking men staring intently into computer screens. I feel like I’m entering  Gringott’s Wizard Bank rather than a hardware store.

Must ask what they do all day. Someday. After I’m viewed less as a gringo visitor and more as a local.

It may not seem like it, yet, but the point of this story is: I do really dumb things.

Like when I walked out of the store, strode over to my bicycle locked securely to a tree beside the road, reached into my pocket for my keys and pulled out …

… the wrong set of keys.

This also happened yesterday: How did this gorgeous green lizard climb up to our third-floor balcony? Every time I tried to take a picture he edged farther over the side, barely hanging on with his clawed feet. I stepped back inside and he eventually strode off down the balcony, to where I have no idea.
This also happened yesterday: How did this gorgeous green lizard climb up to our third-floor balcony? Every time I tried to take a picture he edged farther over the side, barely hanging on with his clawed feet. I stepped back inside and he eventually strode off down the balcony, to where I have no idea.

In a controlled panic I searched through all the pockets of my new cargo shorts, never before realizing just how many pockets you get on a pair of cargo shorts.

Then I searched through them again.

And again. This time pulling out my bandanna, my wallet and anything else that would obscure the Right Set Of Keys.

And one more time. Just in case I’d missed a pocket. I also stared really hard at the set of keys, trying to will them into being the right ones. I think that works on “X Men” or something.  It didn’t work in San Pedro Town.

By then, a few things dawned on me:

  1. I can’t keep repeating the same activity over and over hoping for a different outcome, like FOX News reporting on Benghazi and Obamacare.
  2. I’d better stopping running my hands through my pockets before I get run in as some kind of pervert on the street.
  3. The keys are probably at home, in my other shorts. The pair with only two pockets.

I’d left Rose up the street at the little shop that makes fresh tortillas and I knew she was going to stop at another shop for some limes. By now she was probably at home already, preparing the fish tacos and beans for dinner.

So I walked home, up Laguna Drive, through the lively Boca del Rio neighborhood. That was a first.  Walking. And very pleasant. It is my favorite neighborhood. Someone is always spiffing up a house, building a new one, opening a shop, singing on a porch, eating food from a Styrofoam box,  or fixing something in one of the numerous bike and car repair shops. It has a different kind of vibe at different times of the day.

This was late afternoon. Workers from up north were returning on their bikes. Kids were walking home from school in their uniforms. The girl from Annie’s was just leaving on her carrier bicycle, loaded down with bins of cookies, rolls, coconut cakes and other treats to sell up and down the streets.

Some of the food shops  on the street don’t even open until mid or late-afternoon, after the broiling sun has passed to the west. Most were open for business now.  A sign that Castillo’s would be closing soon. And lock or no lock, I didn’t want to leave the bike hitched to that tree.

Even I would be tempted to set it free.

A short walk over the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge and yet another discovery: Paradise Theater (Cinema Paradisio, if you will), situated just north of the bridge, has a giant billboard on which they list the latest movies.

“Yes, it has always been there,” said Rose later.

It’s true: Old age sucks.

Cutting to the chase: Yes, the keys were in my other shorts pocket.

I decided to run back to Costillo’s, cutting over to the hard sand beach path which has less traffic, no curbs to trip over and fewer taxi vans with impatient drivers to run me down. Rose decided to bicycle down with me and perhaps administer lifesaving first aid when I collapsed on the beach.

I haven’t been running for a month because of a bizarre pain in the middle toe of my left foot. I know. I know. I sound like a professional baseball player. But, seriously, this hurts way more than a hangnail. In fact, I’ve never felt such pain in my life. (Not true: Cornflaking my left wrist when I tripped and cartwheeled while jogging is my all-time No. 1.)

So I jogged. And walked. And curled my toes in and jogged some more. And walked. And jogged and walked a little more. And sweated buckets. And basically looked like a tourist fueled by too many rum punches and an over-inflated self-image.

But I made it to Castillo’s and even though it was closed, two employees were sitting on the front steps. Perhaps waiting for a ride, perhaps waiting for the sweaty  gringo to return for his bike.

I was so happy to see the bike.

Rose was so happy to see I was still standing.

“Come on,” she said, “we pass Wayo’s on the way home. I’ll buy you a drink.”

The girl knows me. She just knows me.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Why is that guy going though his pants pockets like a maniac doing the Macarena?

    sanpedroscoop said:
    May 7, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Men on computers, handsy pervert, administer first aid. You are funny to me. Good post! Castillo’s is definitely a wonderous place.

    Like

    Julia Sugimoto Smith said:
    May 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Great story Bob! I have to ask, do you miss having a car? Would you even need a car there? How is the medical care there? Just curious. Hugs, Julia

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      May 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Julia!
      Very good questions. While Ambergris Caye is 24 miles long, there is very little room for motor vehicles. There are only three main roads running north-south through the town. What little roadway there is is crammed with taxi vans, utility/delivery vehicles and the odd car belonging to the rich and/or well-connected. Most people get around on bicycles or golf carts, although the “carts” grow bigger and more muscular all the time. Many people simply walk to where ever they need to go. It is that compact.

      We love cycling. The “island bikes” are perfect for the sandy beaches and rutted roads — big chunky tires and heavy frames. Mind you, I rarely show up anywhere not looking like I just went through a rainstorm! I go through a lot of t-shirts and always carry a towel. But feeling healthier and healthier every day? You bet.

      Medical care is not something we’ve looked at closely yet. People say basic health care is fine. Complicated needs require trips back to the states or Mexico where well-trained Cuban doctors await expats in well-equipped medical facilities, just over the border. There are small pharmacies on every block and they assure you that any medicine you need can be acquired.

      An ex-pat we met the other day had high praise for one local doctor he has visited at least four times. Each time she’s declined to charge him. When he asked why, she laughed and said “Don’t worry. I’ll get down the road.”

      Got to love that.

      Like

    4sarge said:
    May 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Agreed, Old Age does Suck

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s