Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Banged Up Abroad During My Honeymoon

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Travel | 0 comments

A Mexican Bus Driver Almost Ran Me Over In Tulum

All relationships have a similar dynamic. There is a person with a strict and strong moral compass. Everything is black and white for them. The other person is barely out of prison.

People will align with one camp, “Yeah, if it weren’t for me, he or she would be in jail.” The other camp says, “Yeah… I’d still find a way to make jail fun.”

If you are in the latter camp, I’m right there with you. I know I’d find a way to make the picking of the soap, if not fun, at least intriguing.

For example, I have never driven a scooter in my life. I’m not particularly interested in them. I would never drive one here in the States because, as a driver, I don’t trust anyone else on the road.

But that’s exactly what I wanted to do when my wife and I visited Tulum, Mexico, for our honeymoon.

My wife wasn’t convinced, but I finally got her on board with a weak, “How hard can it be? You accelerate by rolling on the throttle with your right hand, and you brake by clutching with your left hand.”

We didn’t plan to rent a scooter when we were planning our honeymoon. Everything we wanted to see was close to our hotel. But our concierge told us about the abandoned Lighthouse in Punta Allen. He told us Punta Allen is a small Mayan fishing village in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and that it was one of the most beautiful views you could ever see.

How could we miss that?

He also suggested we rent a scooter since it was a short drive from our hotel to the lighthouse.

When we started towards Punta Allen, I expected an off-road drive, but in my mind, it was going to be a sandy road surrounded by a luscious tropical jungle like those you see on Instagram feeds.

Instead, it was a very rough and uneven patch full of pre-colonial rocks. It was surrounded by jungle, alright. But it wasn’t cute like an influencer’s reel; we were immediately attacked by mosquitos the size of chihuahuas.

Driving that road was like running a marathon on a pogo stick in the middle of a Fear Factor challenge.

At some point, my wife told me she had had it. She wouldn’t be eaten alive by mosquitos as part of our honeymoon.

We headed back.

I later found out a small detail the concierge forgot to mention. To get to Punta Allen, I needed to drive roughly 30 miles. I’m glad I stopped after less than one.

I convinced my wife that since we had the scooter for a full day, returning it then would have felt like unfinished business. I told her we should go into town and eat at the local fish market. Again, she reluctantly agreed.

To get to the town, we needed to jump on the freeway. I now had almost thirty minutes of extensive scooter driving experience. I was positive I could drive as fast as all the cars, buses, and 18-wheelers around me, doing more than 100 MPH.

It was terrifying to drive this tiny scooter next to these giant vehicles speeding past us. I didn’t admit it to my wife because even though we had just gotten married, I still needed to look more confident than I felt to woo her and whatnot.

Somehow in my head, this precarious situation felt safer than losing my virginity to a pogo stick on the road to Punta Allen.

We got to the fish market at the edge of town. It was a shack kitty-cornered to the freeway, with traffic zooming by as you would only have in a village of fishermen with a death wish.

When the server came up, I ordered the ceviche. I paid two dollars for four pounds of fish.

When the ceviche came out, it took my wife one second to decide that it seemed fishy.

I, on the other hand, was excited. More for me!

And let me tell you, it was delicious. The freshest fish I’ve ever gotten. It was a mountain of fish so big I barely made a dent in it.

Between being so full and the heat, I felt sleepy on the drive back. I wasn’t paying as much attention as I was before. You could say I was flounder-ing. Get it? No? Yeah? Okay.

I made it to a four-way stop, and all traffic lights were red. I had enough time before the traffic across the street from me turned left. So I wanted to turn right before they came my way.

When I looked up, I saw the cars rushing toward me faster than I expected. I hit the brake, so I would let them go by.

Only I didn’t hit the brakes and instead rolled on the accelerator. I accelerated so hard that I cut in front of the oncoming traffic. Every time I tried to brake, I accelerated instead until I hit the freeway divider.

In Mexico, dividers are a strip of grass six feet wide, surrounded by a small concrete curb. That was good for me because when I hit it, I flew over the scooter, and I had enough runaway to roll and stop.

I stopped rolling in front of a bus.

I imagine someone in the bus calling out to the rest of the passengers, “Hey, look at this pinche gringo rolling and doing gringo things.” Until I stopped rolling, and he saw my skin was brown like his, “No, wait. Ay, chingada, este huey is one of us. This dumbass is raza!”

When I finally stopped rolling, I started looking for my wife. Two days ago, she had said that she would be with me for better or for worse, and this was definitely not my best.

I looked for her, and I couldn’t find her. I panicked. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.

When I finally found her, I looked at her, and she was…

She was…

Oh, this is hard to say…

She was just standing there judging me!!!

She was towering over me, shaking her head with her arms crossed over her chest — so angry!

I could see from the look on her face she was doing complicated math, “We got married two days ago, we will be back in the US in six days, can I still get an annulment?”

As it turns out, my wife never really fully boarded the scooter so she could hop off in case of an emergency such as this.

This is how the accident played out: I brake (but I don’t), I hit the divider, I fly, I drop, I roll, I stop, I regret all of my life’s decisions, I fear for my new wife’s life. When my wife saw I had forgotten how to brake, she gingerly extended her legs, and just like that, she got off the back of the scooter and pretended like we weren’t even together.

I picked up the bike, dusted my bruises, and convinced my wife to get on the bike by promising that once we made it to the hotel, there would be no more driving around.

When we made it to the hotel, I saw the fiberglass body of the bike was dented, and it had popped out from where it was supposed to be.

I was extremely nervous.

I had exchanged a dangerous ride around a remote beach town in Mexico for my passport, and I didn’t get the insurance because I’m Superman’s distant and Latino cousin, “La Superhueva” — or Superdummy.

I didn’t have any money to pay to fix this. I was going to be on the next episode of ‘Locked Up Abroad.’

I convinced the cooks at the hotel into helping me fix the bike.

The next day, I returned the moped. When the clerk returned my passport, I turned around without saying goodbye, walked out of the office, and powerwalked to the corner of the block. When I finally made it to the corner, I started running back to our hotel.

Don’t feel bad for the dent-and-run; it’s not like Montezuma left any unfinished business. The Aztec god exacted his revenge, Montezuma’s Revenge, by punishing me for my misbehavior.

Or maybe, like my new wife warned me, I should’ve not trusted the fish by the side of the road.

I guess we will never know.


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