You Know You Live in the Jungle When ... (July 2011)

by Michelle Bradshaw

I'm driving home from Playa del Carmen with tunes playing and some light air con on. It's a hot and humid night and I have just finished handing out my business cards to every realtor available at the open house for "The Palms on 8th," a new development built by Cantex Enterprises Ltd. They are offering a guaranteed rental income of 7%, so the party is a full house with eager realtors scouring around for great deals for their clients. I am there offering financing for their foreign clients and meeting up with many new faces.

The evening wraps up around 10 p.m. and, at this time of night, it is clear sailing out of Playa as I head towards the loyal police stop at the south end of the city. As I drive between the burning pots of fire that line the highway at the police set-up, I can only imagine how boring their job must be, just standing on the highway all day and night waving people through. Two cops at the end of the line wave me through and I pick up speed again to finish the 30 minutes home.

Most of the 4-lane highway is lit up by huge street lights till you pass the community of PaaMul (a palapa/RVpark on the beach) and beyond is darkness. I see a few people standing on the side of the road waiting to catch a ride from one of the fast-passing colectivos (Mexican minivan commuters) to take them home from their long day's work at one of the many resorts that line the coast.

I am still on the lit part of the highway when ... What was that that just darted from the inside top driver's corner of the windshield? With eyes on the road ... itís a damn scorpion! Where did he go? Eyes on the road ... there he is, and I am trying to keep an eye on him ... eyes on the road ... eyes on the scorpion ... eyes on the road ... back to the scorpion ... back to the road ... need to slow down and pull over ... eyes on the scorpion ... eyes on the road. Whew, pulled over, jumped out, with flip flop in hand I am searching the windshield and dash for the scorpion ... got to smack him ... can't seem to find him. Where did he go? Searched for five minutes as speeding cars zipped on by. Where did he go? Where did he go? Deep breath, put on the big panties, and back into the truck to get home. Now my spidey senses are on high alert and if a mosquito or anything happens to touch me, I might have a heart attack. Eyes on the road but I am still searching the windshield and dash for signs of movement. Is he on the seats? the dash? the steering column or wheel? Where did he go? Eyes on the road. Where did he go?! Eyes on the road.

I drive the rest of the way home constantly adjusting my eyes to the closeness of the windshield and dash to the distance of the moving road. Needless to say, I am wide awake by the time I arrive home. The scorpion is about 1.5 inches long and one of the very light brown ones, and I make it all the way home without seeing him again. Of course, when I enter the house, my first story of the night is of the scorpion and Bijan goes outside with a flashlight to give the truck a thorough investigation; he doesn't find the scorpion.

So, you know you live in the jungle when a scorpion runs across your windshield!

Maya Michelle

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