You are what you is.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shenanigans in Maya Territory

It was a guesthouse and restaurant in Maya Centre, a place I'd been to before. The place was cheap, OK if a bit on the buggy side. We pulled in just before dusk, and there was laundry spread out on the beds in the room the owner showed us. We took it anyway, and went into the restaurant, a large palapa affair where two kids were playing video games and watching movies on their computers and a couple of tourists were eating an evening meal.

The owner's wife, a Maya Woman, claimed to be a psychic healer of some sort. I'd written about her services in the last guide, not from any personal experience, just as a note that it was a service she offered.  A friend I was traveling with decided to avail herself of an aura cleansing, and scheduled one for the morning. We logged into the WIFI, which was almost too slow to even check email.

The Maya woman was also the the chef, and was gregarious enough. She took our orders. The meals were a bit strange, overly salty but not bad. I was puzzled with the presence of an M&M on my salad, but chalked it up to local customs. Along with each of our meals came a side order of fruit and plantain chips we hadn't ordered.

When the bill came, it was too expensive by perhaps a third. We'd been charged for the side orders we hadn't ordered, and further charged five Belize for use of the WIFI. The Maya woman explained that while the meals we'd ordered came with side orders, the side orders cost extra. She didn't sound particularly convinced herself. As for the internet, she said that her internet bills were high, forcing her to charge a premium. Her children continued to play games on the other side of the restaurant. We explained that we'd only checked our email, and she knocked the price down to three Belize.

It was a small sum, but enough to sour the relationship. My friend who'd arranged the psychic healing decided to cancel the session.  The woman seemed slightly miffed at the loss of income. She smiled and said that she'd be going into Belize City the next morning to bring one of her children into surgery, and as there would be nobody there to let us out, would  we be good enough to check out by seven AM? I told her that this was not going to happen, that we'd planned to be on the road by nine, but to ask for paying guests to check out at seven AM was unreasonable. She asked us if we'd lock the gate behind us. I assured her that we would.

The room was acceptable, but again, somewhat buggy. We slept reasonably, and woke up close to eight. My friend who'd canceled the psychic healing went out first and saw the woman's husband puttering about the grounds. The woman was in the palapa kitchen, making coffee.

My friend inquired about her Belize City hospital plans. The woman said that her husband - who she'd just seen moments before - had woken up hours earlier to drive her son to the doctor.  It seemed perplexing, of course. The woman seemed nervous, clearly caught in a lie.

We all checked our email again - the internet was working fine, and we surmised that the children had been streaming games and movies online, slowing the pipe the night before.

As we drove out of Maya Centre, I contemplated what I should write about the place.

"Food OK, rooms buggy, beware shenanigans."

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