Plenty of things strike me as funny. In general, I find life to be pretty entertaining. Seriously, I think there is something to laugh at nearly every day. On a recent trip to Mexico one of my traveling companions, Jeff Donaldson, and I got into an unrestrained fit of laughter. When I read his blog this morning telling about the incident, I was reminded of more incidents during the trip.
Jeff (bike mechanic for the team), Diana Palmer (team physio) and I typically have several opportunities to be in at least one entertaining transportation situation on any given trip. Some people might be angry or frustrated by these situations, but luckily, we all find humor in them.
The first transportation adventure began at the Huatulco Airport, with a green-light, red-light appetizer. Those of you that have traveled to Mexico know that when you arrive and are clearing airport security, there is a button to push at the final clearance point. If a green light is displayed, you get to walk straight through. If a red light is displayed, your bags get thoroughly and carefully inspected.
Seems that in our past travels together, I get the green light and Jeff gets the red light. This trip was no exception. I peered through the mesh barrier outside of the inspection area, giving Jeff words of comfort and encouragement while the inspector went through all of his personal bags and all of his traveling bike shop bags. This was the beginning of our situational laughing for the trip.
Successfully clearing bag inspection, we got into the van with two other passengers. By this time it was about 7:00 pm CST. Jeff and Diana had been up and traveling since some ridiculous time like 2:00 am PST. The driver, certainly sensing our fatigue and eagerness to get to the hotel, drove fast – very fast – on the dark, narrow road. Any time we got behind another vehicle, he would pop to the left to see if he could pass.
I’m certain he felt perfectly under control. We, on the other hand, felt a complete lack of control and kept looking at each other with glances of “I wish I was wearing a seat belt, shoulder harness and a crash helmet.” It wouldn’t be the last time we’d feel like this on the trip.
A couple of days before the race, the three of us got a taxi to get to the race venue. The taxi driver apparently thought we needed to get there in a hurry, because he was driving like it was a medical emergency. With her excellent Spanish skills, Diana politely asked him to slow down. He did. A lot.
We all looked at each other, trying not to laugh out loud, as the taxi crept along at a snail’s pace. I guess you get what you ask for.
The day we were to travel home, a van was scheduled to pick up five passengers at the hotel and take us to the airport, departing at 9:00am. After waiting near 10 minutes past the departure time for the two other passengers to show up, the van driver decided to leave and take us to the airport.
The trip to the airport is some 25-30 minutes. After we had been on the road for 10 minutes, the van driver got a call and he began slowing down and pulling to the side of the road. When he completed the call, it looked like he was going to turn the van around. He explained that the call was from the hotel asking him to return for the other, late, passengers.
We looked at our watches and told him he could not turn around. The late people could take a taxi from the hotel or we were prepared to exit the van and hail a taxi. He took this to mean we were in a hurry to get to the airport.
He told us he could have us at the airport in 16 minutes and hit the gas. In my opinion, there are good reasons that vans should not be driven at speeds reserved for sports cars. Clear evidence supporting my opinion was the van tires screeching around corners and the feeling as though it was tipping onto two wheels.
Diana, Jeff and I looked at each other and someone said, “I guess we asked for this.” I know you get what you ask for, but did we ask for this?
Luckily, it wasn’t long after the screeching corner incident that we got behind some slower traffic and the van driver was unable to pass. We all looked at each other and smiled. Thankfully, all of us made it safely to the airport and home as well.
Now that I’m at the end of the blog, I remembered another incident where we were in a van driving along sidewalks followed by careening along a backroads route because the main roads were closed for the age group race. Details will be saved for another blog.
Enjoy your weekend. Be careful what you ask for, you might get it. Then laugh and enjoy the moment.