Monday, February 10, 2014

Knowledge Is Power

Have I ever told you the story of Baja, Mexico and the shower?

We went on a family vacation one winter to Baja, Mexico.
We drove - a big tan suburban.
Not too far into our journey we went over a bump and the back window shattered.

If you were driving on the highway between California and Baja, Mexico, we were the big tan suburban with a shower curtain duct taped to our back window.

I can think of three photos from our trip.
A shame really, because that trip was one of our most memorable vacations.

We stayed in a different place every night of our journey - and I wouldn't call any one of those places 'luxury' ... in fact, they were far from luxury.

They were all small, hole in the wall motels somewhere in the middle of Baja, Mexico, and usually we were all crammed into one room.
In one of the rooms I slept in a rocking chair - and every time I moved, the chair would bump into a plug that held on loosely in its outlet, causing a light to turn on and off, on and off, all night long.
I think that same room had water that smelled like rotten eggs.  None of us wanted to shower that night because of how bad the smell was.

One night we all tumbled into a hotel room cold, wind blown, and salty after spending a cloudy afternoon on the beach.
We were all anxious to shower.
My brother, the first to shower, came out with a shell shocked look on his face.
"The water is ice cold," he told us through chattering teeth.
One by one, all of my siblings and I endured the ice cold water - squealing and yelping as we felt the need.

My mom had resigned herself to waiting until the next hotel room to shower.

When my dad came out of the bathroom he was accompanied by steam.

"Val, the water is plenty hot.  You can shower," he told her.

We were outraged - appalled - in tears at the injustice.
Okay, we probably weren't in tears.

My dad had an advantage - he understood Mexico and the language.
While all of my siblings and I thought that 'C' meant cold...and that the other knob was just broken...
Dad knew that C stood for 'caliente.'


We've all learned Spanish since then - mostly out of a need for self preservation on the chance that we ever sojourn to the Baja region of Mexico again.

1 comment:

Beth Zimmerman said...

Knowing the native tongue is a definite plus in such situations! =)