OR, LEAVING OAXACA AND EARTHQUAKES BEHIND ME FOR THE OPEN ROAD.
To my amazement I’ve been in Oaxaca for two weeks. I never meant to stop here so long but I’ve allowed myself to just stop. A bad sign indeed, my active brain needs stimulation or depression ensues and it has.
My cousin Adam called me yesterday from London so I should have been full of joy but Tulum confusion and doubt set in. My dithering there now was dithering here. I needed to grab the bull by the horns and organise myself. I needed to shake myself down. This ennui had to be tackled before it became depression.
Realistically I should have left after my hugely successful visit to the prehistoric caves in Mitla. I had just been hanging around drinking and eating and writing after that great and emotional day. Without realising it I was now a hermit. I slightly blame my room which is rather dark and I should have swapped ages ago but realistically I’m ready to go. I am no longer functioning properly and people who travel solo or indeed are prone to a bit of depression should recognise the signs.
Top Tip: for solo travel you have to gauge when a place is no longer offering more things to do or you’ll stagnate. Now that things are so tricky, and so many places are closed, you have to move on as soon as you’re done as if you’re not busy you’ll start to notice the bloody depressing closures and masks and precautions and absolute shite everything is now. Normally I’d have been to at least four countries by now so staying in just the one is starting to feel like exile. It’s more difficult to meet people and converse in a normal way, it’s all just harder. So before you get glum you must plan for your next destination and remember the reason you’re travelling.
FROM THE JOURNAL: EARTHQUAKES.
THIS OLD BIRD RATTLED IN HER CAGE YESTERDAY.
‘Yesterday while trying to have a siesta the bed shook and I thought ‘hello likkle earthquake’. A bar I was in the other day evacuated clients and staff. I stayed put, I couldn’t even feel it. apparently they have a lot in the Oaxaca area with two tectonic plates rubbing. The buildings are all very low here so it’s no biggy
I have a history with earthquakes. I have gone through big boy earthquakes in Greece. We had a huge one that was 7.2 on the Richter scale that the government downplayed to 6.9 because anything over seven means they have to pay damage compensation. Governments are always corrupt.
I had just come out of hospital and was in my swanky penthouse (glory days of modelling and acting) and was still woozy from the anaesthetic. Suddenly I saw my dressing table mirror trembling, I’m high as a kite I thought. However when the bed started shaking really badly and I tried to get up I was thrown back down onto the bed again. I called to my then time partner now scared and then I noticed the noise.
It’s a kind of grinding roar and sound of the building complaining. Things were falling off shelves and I managed to get up and legs akimbo get through to the front door. We had a private elevator but as you should know, it’s best to use the stairs. If the power offs you’re buggered and a lift should only be used as a shelter if you can’t make it to your main door, elevator shafts are really tough.
Anyhoo boyfriend and I staggered down the eighteen flights of stair (two per storeyJ me just in knickers and a T shirt. Now what you may not know is Greece gets its fair share of bullish quakes so everything at that time was built to anti earthquake standards. These are costly so you could see where in scrupulous builders had cut corners the buildings just fell down or at least cracked all over and had to be rebuilt from scratch. I
The meeting point was the fancy pizza place on the ground floor and people were really scared. There had been no warning. It’s estimated that our flat was swaying at least a metre hence the problem walking around. The aftershocks came in fast and furious. The squares around were packed as nobly wanted to be near a fucking tall building and glyphada was new and swanky at that time and full of relatively high buildings.
We waited a while until the shocks receded and then Alex ran inside and up to grab clothes and blankets, for we would be sleeping in the car. We would be sleeping in the car for three nights. We parked the Mazda on the beach and settled very uncomfortably in its small tricky confines. I was in pain now and I had told him to buy a more fucking sensible car instead of this fucking chick magnet, this was now reflecting very badly on him and the earthquake was his fault. We slept fitfully in basically what is a two seater and stank up the car with free pizza and cigarette smoke.
Love does not blossom in this environment. The sunrise was beautiful however from our new gypsy home but we had noticed mini tsunamis through the night so even that was scary. You can go back into your homes at your own risk but you feel uneasy even though we got the go ahead in our new posh apartment straight away. I was sullen and whining in my mini superstar way, I now needed butler service but Alex was keen to get back into Pangrati where he owned a jewellery shop. I was fully aware he just wanted to gossip with his gold mates and they would all be telling tall stories to each other in a game of typical Greek one-upmanship.
I love the Greeks but they do tell porkies. It’s in their blood, Alex told a porter at a hotel that the number of our room was ended in the same number that we won a load of money at roulette the previous night. We hadn’t even been to a casino while there. Even though I knew that he fibbed constantly I stared slack jawed at him.’
Greeks and earthquakes are unpredictable and so are the Mexican tremors. Time to get out! Goodbye Oaxaca!