New Year New Bananas

Jungle Journal

New Year New Bananas

On our return from Tahoe we recognize our need to entirely embed ourselves in the bliss of jungle solitude. The desire to further socialize is zero. We wallow in delicious antisocial isolation for as long as we are able. It’s not long.  

Mausetrappe and I taking a much earned moment

The Scavengers have agreed to ride again. A year ago we took to a pimped up Polaris ATV, dressed appropriately and took part in a very silly scavenger hunt to raise a heap of money for the EntreAmigos community centre children’s library. It’s time to do it all again and defend our winning ways. It’s a well organised and rather insane few hours of racing around the town making absolute twats of ourselves but we do it again. Scavengers take the prize and secure our reputation for super hero excellence. Astonishingly we raise over $20k US dollars between us all for the kids. We hang up our capes for another year. We will be back. But until then return to our jungle hibernation.

It’s not long enough before we are forced to emerge from our indulgently selfish and perfectly satisfying prevarications as we once again begin hosting mates from afar who are landing upon us regularly.  It’s that time of year. They arrive from everywhere. Some appear from Calgary and other Canadian cities. More from Alaska and other US states. Others emerge from Europe and Australasia and there is even a Brighton Brum from Scotland.  

A friend of Jake’s is looking for a spot for his van for a few months. When we get to see the van we are seduced. Its good looking and a rather well put together thing. It would look sexy anywhere so we agree.

It is, as always, a good thing to have our space filled with new souls experiencing slices of our unreasonably unique lifestyle. Our recent exposure to life in Nevada and California has re-enforced our belief that we are no longer best suited to what allegedly polite society attempts to market as normal living. It gives us a dose of the unashamed smugs to share our own version of reality.

There continues to be a steady flood of both Mexican and International tourist folk arriving in town. The delights of San Pancho are no longer a secret. Mates who deal with hotel spaces and rentals to house them all report the chances of renting anything in town for the next few months are slim to none.  It’s good for business as the restaurants and shops are packed but the temptation to cash in is all too much. The costs of just about everything are rising at alarming rates. San Pancho is now notably expensive compared to nearly everywhere else. It’s literally the price we have to pay.

We take motivation from the enthusiasm of visitors as we introduce them to all the good spots and for the lucky ones we inflict upon them our lively, creative and quite bonkers community. There is a rich mix of all kinds of idiot here and we rub along just fine. It’s fascinating the variety of folk all with wildly different stories who have ended up together in this place.

Rich mix of idiots

Thankfully we are blessed with a good number of good people. There is a very low amount of entitled or unbearably irritating folk. Surprisingly few. Pretty much everywhere I have spent any time has produced a flush of such nutters that you just need to avoid. Should they appear here, thankfully, as if by magic, they don’t tend to stay around. It’s not the environment for them here. We are grateful for that.

In preparation for further guests and potential get togethers we have work to do. The large parota tables that have been ignored for a number of years are showing signs of neglect. It takes a few days of mucky sanding and pints of varnish but they revive enough to look pretty good again. Not sure how many times we can get away with such resurrections.

The outdoor shower has also been ravaged by humidity and termites. Sweaty termites have eaten all the bits that keep the wood resembling a shower. It is now but a teetering assembly of chewed wood. After doing some brutal but necessary triage on the remains of the existing beams and panels it is clear that the new shower will be a more compact version. I save what I can and add a few new bits. The new shower emerges from the heap of partly digested palm bark .  It is then decided to absolutely soak the whole thing in our precious “Boracare” tincture which claims to keep hungry sweaty termites away. It took a great deal of effort to smuggle the stuff down here. Importing unknown potentially lethal termite repellant is apparently frowned upon. We shall soon see if it was worth it.

So we slip back into a whirl of hosting and attending/avoiding the plethora of events and get togethers that lead us to Christmas itself. Again Christmas Day sneaks up on us.

It certainly sneaked up on Jayne. I wake up with her missing, replaced with extraordinary sounds of distress coming from our, thankfully, outside bathroom. For the whole of the morning a quite extraordinary amount of the very worst fluidy stuff from inside Jayne is expelled out at alarming rates. It was quite awful but somehow spectacular. In a few hours about a hundred of our friends will be arriving in considerably more festive mood than us.  It’s going to be an interesting day. Jayne is now empty and weak. Her delicate wrung out body is bed bound. Anything we try to put in her decides to immediately escape.  Emergency Chinese herb medicine is applied. I leave her to rest and prepare for the inbound hordes.

Despite Jayne’s absence another splendid Christmas was had. All the folk and an insane amount of food laden plates arrive. Everyone successfully imbibes, inhales and indulges in all the things. Our now infamous White Elephant event not only entertained the excitable throng but this year uncovered some real festive gems. Amongst many great prizes there was a much desired slide guitar, highly popular utility knives and an unbelievably epic Approved by Beave stamp I acquired. Due to surprised excitement I may have used it far too often.  No one was safe from my approval.

Very late in the day what is left of Jayne is recovered enough to make a welcome but short appearance. Thankfully, after a good night sleep, she recovers further and we can rule out Dengue Fever and all the other more serious possibilities. For Jayne it was a very memorable Christmas Day best forgotten.

On Boxing day a number of folk chose to recover at the café/bar/restaurant that Jake works at in town. He was mighty confused that his customers all appeared to have a picture of his Dad stamped on them.

There continues to be endless back to back excuses to gather until New Year Eve also sneaked up on us. Those that had been absent for Christmas all reappeared full of just arrived back enthusiasm. Town is packed. Our friends were DJ-ing all around town and Freak Baby played on the beach at midnight. It was exhausting but we made it through.

New Year arrives but there are no real signs of life slowing down any. San Pancho has felt like one long after party for weeks. The continuous stream of dinners, DJs, dragshows, events, gatherings, and regular silliness continues. Endless opportunities for meeting, eating, drinking and more bloody dancing.  Very occasionally we snatch some time to ourselves. Duvet days with faces stubbornly stuck in some brain sapping device ignoring the world except for occasional trips to the loo or the fridge.  If we achieve this for an entire day we are bathed in self-congratulatory satisfaction. Love a good duvet day.

It is time once more for us all to gather on the beach and publicly engage in absolutely unashamed silly nonsense to celebrate Emma Brown surviving another year. This is now the fourth annual Emmalympics. It gets dafter every year. By some twist of injustice, even before we get started, I am accused of cheating and as punishment am forced to participate in every event entirely blindfolded. Bit harsh. It all begins with egg themed races followed by mobile balloon abuse and quite inappropriate spoon thrusting. A banana and buttocks event (which is genuinely hard to watch) is followed by the some fairly dangerous welly chucking and ultimately we complete the competition with the inevitable tug of war fiasco. It’s a splendid afternoon which is embellished further by a spectacular jumping and splashing show from a large number of curious humpbacks leaping out the sea to get a better look at our athletic prowess. Who can blame them?

Despite a load of effort to reattach wheels and replace batteries, bearings, bushings and springs our Polari   (Ranger & Razor) have both taken a break from working and being useful. Parts are smuggled to replace the more obviously broken ones. Local mechanics won’t touch them so we wait for someone more useful to appear.

The universe provides. Geoff arrives. Geoff can fix anything. Geoff is here. The poor bugger arrives from Peruvian adventures and within hours is up to his guts in tools busily repairing Polari trauma. We now have three working vehicles and our FJ  has a new side light cluster, working air conditioning and the horn restored. Horns are essential equipment in Mexico. Geoff is great.

February we hope will provide the opportunity for many more duvet days but with our dance card already filling up for the next few weeks and months it’s looking less likely. There are worse problems to have. What doesn’t kill you makes you older right?  

  • Jeannie Dettori

    Well, looks like Christmas and the New Year was a full on event. Wishing you all the best for the Chinese new year of The Dragon!

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