Hey Caye Caulker… we need to talk
It’s not often that 2 words can describe a place. Caye Caulker, you are beautiful, fun, picturesque, hot, tropical, exciting, interesting, rah rah rah…. but none of these are the 2 words that perfectly describe you. I need not mention any adjectives and still I can describe you perfectly.
Only in Belize can you wake up from a mid afternoon nap in one of the plentiful hammocks, take a few lazy steps to the bar, take a beer back to your hammock, light a joint and be told by the locals, in all seriousness, to “go slow!”
Or be staggering down the street hungover, shuffling about 1meter per minute with your eyes half shut and be told by the locals to “slow down, man!”
“Mate, if I go any slower I think my heart’s gonna stop”
Or, my personal favourite, whilst being offered cocaine, and this actually happened, be told to “go slow”. Um, buddy, you’re not filling me with supreme confidence in your product if you’re telling me that I am already too hyperactive in my current, sober state.
Firstly, what exactly are you trying to sell me? Valium or cocaine?
And secondly, “Noooooooooooooooooooo!”
Slow enough for ya, pal?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to paint you as a drug pushing alcoholic island where nobody gets anything done. I’m just using extreme examples to emphasize the alien concept of “go slow”.
In my world of big cities and 9-5 work, deadlines and speeding tickets, weekends that slip by in the blink of an eye and other things that I simply don’t have time to think of, I find it hard to make time for sleeping and eating, let alone the luxury of going slower. So, in reality what I’m saying to you Caye Caulker, is that even though it seems alien to me, I enjoy being encouraged to stop and smell the roses by your cheerful people.
But maybe I took the whole “go slow” thing a little too far.
There are so many cool things to do here! Kite boarding, scuba diving the Blue Whole, 3 day sailing trips, fishing tours, and swimming with sharks, turtles and dolphins.
I didn’t do any of these things.
There’s always the less exciting/cop out option of snorkeling, which is both cheap and effortless.
I didn’t do that either.
I know, I know, this sounds familiar to you because I did the same thing last time I was here, but at least I had an excuse last time. Remember? As soon as I arrived last time, my mate and I checked in to a crummy hotel because the hostel that we wanted was booked out. When I got back from dinner and went to get my camera the padlock on the door fell off in my hand. “Awesome quality here” I thought. Opened the door to a bombsite and thought “man, we’re messy. I don’t even remember unpacking”. Looked in the drawer where we had put all of our valuables and none of them were there.
tick… tick… tick…
“Damn! We’ve been robbed!”
I still can’t believe it took me that long to figure it out. I must not be the most perceptive person. We lost 2 mobile phones, an ipod (with 18 months worth of travel photos backed up on it), 2 cameras, a bunch of cash and a few other bits and pieces. Luckily we still had our bank cards and passports.
Anyway, we spent the rest of our time moving to a different hostel, making a police report, going to the near by island of San Pedro to make our ‘official’ report and then hassling the local cops to do something about it (to no avail). We also added a few other items to the list of what we’d lost because we both had insurance and figured that we deserved a little bit extra for the inconvenience of the whole ordeal.
On our last day on your shores, as we sat around the hostel having a few beers, a couple of kids, no older than 10 years of age, came in and started having a chat to us. One of them was playing with a phone.
“Hey buddy, can I take a look at your phone?”
As he handed it to me without hesitation I doubted whether or not this generic Nokia was really mine. I looked through it and as I couldn’t find anything that could readily identify it as my own, I handed it back. Then he asked me if a wanted to hear something cool.
He then proceeds to play a (super embarrassing) recording of me beatboxing into the mic on my phone!
We dragged that kid and his mate to the nearby police station by their ears and demanded our stuff back. Within half an hour we had everything back. Well, everything except for the nonexistent items that we’d made up. I actually felt bad watching these kids getting yelled at by the police.
“Where is the watch you stole?! Where is the video camera?! Where is the laptop computer?!”
But I guess they learned their lesson.
So did my mate. They wiped the memory off his ipod and he lost 18 months worth of travel photos. That’s pretty rough. It is super important to back up your photos.
Or do as I do and just forget to take any. You can’t lose photo’s that you don’t have!
Sure, I could stay here for ever, Caye Caulker, but I just wouldn’t get anything done. And plus, it’s kinda expensive. I paid 20 Belizean Dollars for a sandwich. It was a great sandwich but not $10USD-great.
In short, Caye Caulker… I’m leaving. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure I leave very slowly. And of course I’ll be back. One day I may even go scuba diving or sailing or… yeah, probably not. I might take few more photos next time though, because you really are beautiful.
By the time you get around to reading this I reckon I’ll be gone.