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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

La Caja: Part One

The next day was sweltering hot and we had one simple objective.  Send a package.

Step one: Find a box.
We ask the hotel owner where we can find a box to send some things.  Choppy, hmmm, uhhh conversation result in some directions, and luckily the phrase book pans out: Box caja (f) ka-kha.  

With the hotel owners instructions we arrive at the city square.  Nothing is an obvious candidate for a post office or shipping type store.   My best bet is the telegram store at this point.  We bounce store to store in and around the square asking directions to the post office or instructions on how to send something. We gather that the post office is close and you cannot buy a box at the post office, which is a theme in Mexico.  When we ask most people where we can buy a caja they look at us like we have a third eye in the middle of our head or we are swearing at them and point us up the road.  Eventually a man stacking shelves just hands us a box.

Step two: Label and seal the box.
We have no idea how to say "tape" in Spanish.  This is a phrase book fail.  All the same using the caja as a prop and universal sound effects we are able to clown our way to a store that sells packing tape.  

They also sale paper in units of five, so we buy five pieces of paper.  Luckily we have a pen and everything necessary to prepare a package after a couple of language butchering hours.

Step three: Prepare the package.
We are melting in the afternoon sun so we make our way to the breezy and shaded city square to assemble the package.  We sit down and catch our breath and enjoy the light breeze and its amazing cooling affects.  The box is bigger than we needed so we are figuring out what other things we can add and eventually are satisfied with the contents.  To the tape, or is this saran wrap.  This tape barely sticks to itself.  Well at least we have a whole roll.

The last time I remember wrapping so much tape around anything is when I was 12 or 13.  I spent that night at my friends house and did the sort of typical thing of walking around and blowing things up with fireworks.  After dinner the night devolved from a movie to spraying AquaNet hairspray on our jeans and lighting them on fire.  Of course we were wearing them.  As the AquaNet burned off it got warm and we patted it out with our hands.  The entertainment value was high, but eventually lost its luster and we moved onto better ideas.  

We wanted a big firecracker.  The little ones are good for passing the hours away but it always seems like the last bang should be the best.  We tried the Black Cats firecrackers.  We used M-80's purchased in other States, but we wanted more.  We are going to build our own firecracker.

Kenny found a round plastic ear plug holder case, a roll of Duct Tape and we still had loads of firecrackers.  We got work to unwrapping firecrackers and collecting the gunpowder into the plastic case.  The night was carrying on and it was getting late and our gunpowder supply was not growing quickly.  Kenny has the next great idea:  We should use bullets.  

Kenny disappears for a few minutes and comes back with bullets and a couple pairs of pliers.  We pried the lead off the top of the bullets and dumped the fire power into the case.  I think they were 30.6 bullets, because I don't remember it taking too long to get the gunpowder we sought.  

Now we have a case full of gunpowder.  Next, we wrap it with DuctTape.  We wrapped and wrapped taking turns encasing the plastic ear plugs case.  I don't remember how much of the roll we used but by the time we were done we had a softball of DuctTape and gunpowder.  We drilled a hole through half the DuctTape and plastic with the appropriate sized drill bit ensuring a nice snug fit for the wick re-used from a dismantled M-80. We were ready for short sleep.

Did I mention that this all seemed perfectly logical at that age, with no drugs or alcohol. Just good clean fun I guess you could say.

Anyway, back to el caja.  We wrap the box in packing tape like it is a round plastic ear plug case full of gunpowder.  I don't know how much of the roll we are using, but we have something larger than a football on our hands, and we are ready to send the box.

Step Four: Send El Caja.
We are walking around bumping from store to store and eventually get pointed to the Telegram business. We ask if they send mail, we get an affirmative, we ask if they can send el caja.  I think the lady is half laughing at me as she points toward Merida, like it is around the corner, and tell us we have to send by package from there.

We are thwarted for the day.  We will have to pick this story up in Merida, which is tomorrow's journey.  I do a little research and see there is a post office in the Merida airport which is perfect as we are going there tomorrow to drop off Sparkita.

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