Chicken Soup for the Gringa

December 9, 2009
Acatlán – Oaxaca, Mexico
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I awoke to an ant infestation. Ants *everywhere*. And I had no food in my room. Yet I had ants in my helmet, jacket, Trax bag liner (that I use as my luggage carrying it in and out of the hotels every night). Little tiny ants, not fire ants, but little tiny ones that were red and scarcely larger than a poppy seed. I’d thrown my gear down on the other bed (which I often do when I move into a hotel room), and for some reason the ants really really liked that bed, and my stuff in particular. What particularly horrified me was the fact that my helmet was c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g with them.

I was so upset, I walked down to the front desk in my underwear, carrying my helmet, and told the poor woman at the front desk. I was nice, but firm, and asked he what she was going to do about it. She shrugged. I stayed there, just stood there, at the front desk picking ants out of my helmet. I didn’t know what else to do. I was absolutely horrified that I’d have to put that thing on soon.

The front desk lady offered to let me change rooms (I was leaving–what good would THAT do me?), and finally she offered to fumigate my stuff. I did not want them fumigating my stuff–I really just wanted the ants to disappear. I diid not want to poison myself in teh process of de-anting my gear.

I Hmf’ed back up to my room…it really wasn’t HER fault, and really, if I thought about it, I was really lucky that the ants decided to inhabit the other bed instead of the one I was sleeping in.

I shook everything out as best as I could, hung everything up on the railings OUTSIDE my room, and sat at an outdoor table catching up n my journal while trying to calm down. I choked down some Maria (digestive) crackers which seemed to be the only things my stomach would tolerate these days.

I hadn’t eaten dinner the night before, just some crackers and a yogurt, and my tummy was upset. Come to think of it, my tummy was a little upset all day yesterday, and my last meal was breakfast yesterday. So I kept journaling, trying not to think of the ants, and going back and forth to the bathroom.

Voni (Glaves from Texas) had put me in touch with her BMW friend Rubén, and I was supposed to call Ruben that morning at 10:00, so I was also waiting to leave until then.

Stomach finally emptied, gear de-anted as best I could, I packed up the bike and went looking for a telephone call center. I called Rubén, who speaks excellent Engllish, and we agreed to meet on the road near some town that started with an “N”. he asked me how the trip wa going, adn not mentioning the ants, told him I wasn’t feeling so well, and had a growing list of mechanical issues on the bike. At the end of the conversation he told me about his family, and asked me if I was prepared to be pampered.

I hung up and cried.

Oof, I’d been on the road for nearly 6 weeks, two weeks in Mexico where everything was wonderful, yet always slightly uncomfortable. It seemed I was learning everything the hard way, everything was just slightly not-quite-understood, just slightly difficult, I’d been infested by bedbugs (Angangueo), now was infested with ants, I’d been feeling not-so-great for 5-6 days now, I was always a little chilled, my bike was acting up, and I just cried.

Yeah, some tough chick I am. And I cried more.


Luckily, I got distracted by a Mad-Max-alike leaving town.

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They even had Aussie plates!

When I passed them it turned out to be a middle aged couple–we mutually waved and I sped forward.

It was easy to get out of town this time around, and the road was a nice one.

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I got distracted by the great scenery, and I was happy to be meeting up with a friendly someone, who happened to speak quite good English.

I entered the state of Oaxaca

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and the road surface changed dramatically.

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And the countryside spectacular

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Had some fun passing this fella (doble-remolque= almost 75 feet of get-on-the-gas-and-hope-for-the-best)

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More mountain roads and, and, what’s this?

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They’re everywhere!

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I love them!

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I rode for a couple of hours, and then my gnawing ache in my belly had me pulling off the road. I hooked a left into Tamazulapan, and once again managed to somehow end up riding into the middle of the market.

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Paddled the bike backwards, rode around the block, moved a coupla cones on the town green, and parked (then replaced teh cones in FRONT of my moto :-).

I walked to the large market.

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I really wanted something like soome chicken soup, but I was in the land of burritos, gorditas and fruit.

So I got a jugo

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walked around a bit

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And bought this disgusting thing to eat

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At the time it seemed like a good idea, plus it was PINK, so I had to try it, but it was nassssssty and my stomach revolted.

I gave the pink thing to a passing pooch and walked to the church

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Templo de Santa Maria de la Natividad


I was really late to meet Rubén.

But somehow, just after I started riding again, I passed a BMW and we waved at each other. It was Rubén.


I almost cried again.


Rubén had ridden 150 miles north of Oaxaca to meet up with me…

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And it was a beautiful ride. Fast, too–he’s a good rider and knows these roads well.

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This is the “N” town where we were suppose to meet.

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He kept losing me on the flats with his powerful R1200RT.

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But I was also busy taking pictures

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And avoiding donkeys

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I was starting to feel poopy and tired again, and lucky for me Rubén lives north of town, so we turned off before Oaxaca..

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and we chatted until his wife, Aurora, came home from work.

And guess what we had for la comida? (Lunch, served around 2-3 pm)

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Chicken Soup


I almost cried again.

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