Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Is the Cancun Airport an Airport? Or a Zoo? 

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Travel | 0 comments

What traveling nightmares are made of (10/40)

I don’t know if you have ever traveled through Cancun’s airport, but if you have, you know it’s a zoo!

It is way too small for the traffic it handles; there are way too many stands with trinkets to buy before you board your plane and way too many people screaming at your face to tell you to buy them.

Besides that, you are sharing the space with people who have gone all out when it comes to the consumption of tequila, beans, and queso fundido. Also, there is the guy who decided to try the bottle of spicy salsa labeled, “You’ll Shit Your Pants!” But there is nothing funny about shitting your pants.

I have never experienced an airport like Cancún International Airport.

I was in Cancun in 2022 after not going to la Riviera Maya for ten years.

On my way back, I was going through security to go to my gate for my return flight. Here I was, taking an international flight into the United States, only to realize airport security is not the same everywhere you go.

My family and I put our things in the bins. We put them through and stood in front of the metal detector. There was no agent security agent anywhere.
After waiting a few minutes, my wife, my daughters, and I just walked through it because there was no one to tell us not to.

I thought of checking what our bags looked like on the scanner but gave up, knowing I wouldn’t be able to make anything out.

We grabbed our bags and walked to our gate.

I have not been to all airports in the world, but I can say that Cancun’s airport is the most banana of them all, or the bananaest as we, men of words, would call it.

I have also not been to an open-air market in Southeast Asia, but I believe that’s what it feels like. It feels like an open-air bazaar in Bangkok — another place I have not been.

Of course, it’s more sanitary, and the air conditioners work, and there are floors, ceilings, and walls, but everything comes straight out of a bazaar’s nightmare.

There are the people shouting and trying to bring you into their store; there are the shrieking colors, the cacophony of pitches, and the electronic music. Just thinking about it makes my shoulders cringe so high that I can feel them massaging my temples.

Most travelers look stressed in all airports, but you can really see it in Cancun. Everyone is on the precipice of having a heart attack; they have to stand in long lines, shout over the music to have private conversations, and act like everything is fine and can’t wait to come back.

It’s a traveling nightmare.

Then, add a layer when traveling with kids or babies who are still not potty trained.

I had to change my daughter’s diaper before boarding our flight. The lines are not only for coffee, food, or last-minute souvenir ideas for those family members who always want one from wherever you go.

They are also for the bathrooms.

We came into the men’s bathroom and formed in line. Amélie started singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in a bathroom full of men trying to pee.

That’s a lot of pressure; peeing next to other men and getting burned by a little girl who is singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

A man behind me took a deep breath and joined my daughter, and then a second man did, too. So there they were, an improvised a cappella trio serenading flustered travelers trying to get their business done.

We finally get our turn at a stall.

We close the door, and, of course, my daughter wants a play-by-play of all the sounds she can hear. A game she likes to play called“What’s that sound, Daddy?” And if I don’t answer, she will ask me incessantly until I respond.

“What’s that sound, Daddy?”
“Someone is talking.”

“What’s that sound, Daddy?”
“Someone is walking into a stall.”

“What’s that sound, Daddy?”
“Someone is putting the toilet seat down.”

Then, the sounds of what can only be described as a jazz jam session start to play next to our stall, but only with wind instruments like trumpets, trombones, and flutes.

But they are not wind instruments; they are farts.

“What’s that sound, Daddy?”
“Someone is struggling to digest Mexican food; based on what we are smelling, they have 24 hours to live, and an entire jet full of people are about to have a really rough trip home.”

We quickly wrapped up after being (quite literally) gassed out of the stall, headed to our gate, and waited to board our plane.

As I stepped on the jet bridge, I thought, “Goodbye, Cancun airport. We’ll see you again next year.”


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