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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

What exactly do you mean by ¨you can´t eat sailfish¨?

Met up with an old buddy I hadn´t seen in over a year - insert clever stories and hilarious japes here. It coincided with an unfortunate reprisal of Montezuma´s revenge, except that this time Montezuma was really pissed off. It took a week of anti-biotics to get my stomach back in order, in the mean time the nights of home-made cocktails and local beers were a cross of boozey indulgence and feeling like the nervous weird-looking kid on the waltzers who´s just started to go green; with regards to the climax of the latter I´ll get to in just a tick.

One of the groups of non-residing temporary pool-users (at this place you could pay a fee on the street for use of the facilities without actually getting a room - what do you have to do to get away from the bloody proles these days anyway!?) drew our attention to the fact that there was a barbecue at the hostel, so the following day we got some meat and coal and made magic happen.

Unfortunately the God of assholes decided that today was a surprise stormy-rain day, but with a bit of traditional British stiff upper-lip and, of a manner equally appropriate, an umbrella, we continued to make Jesus proud of the miracle of fire. Unfortunately I later left my 20 peso umbrella at the hostel when we left and had to spend almost 30 seconds being mildly irritated by the fact.

The following day things got even more exciting. We went fishing with a bunch of Slovakian guys and a local fireman who had converted a diving boat into a fishing boat by sticking a swivelly chair at one end and cramming in two outboard-motors on the back.

One of the Slovaks couldn´t handle the open seas, bloody landlubbers aren´t they - the Slovaks, and he spent the entire trip lying on the deck with his eyes closed. S´pose they don´t live on an Island like us sea-dwellin brits eh?

As it turned out I couldn´t handle the open seas either, but after puking my guts out (and there goes that 15 peso caramelised coffee I had for breakfast :( ) no less than twice (the second occasion was bile time, everyone´s favourite green slime direct from the liver, same-day delivery guaranteed...) I felt on top the world; and mere seconds later was reeling in our second catch of the day; a massive sailfish.

After posing with the catch briefly, the crew proceeded to throw buckets of water over my head for no apparent reason. First they said it was to help the sea-sickness, although later I realised it was because the fishes scales were highly acidic, and in fact I still have a rash where they missed washing off a line of scale slime.

We actually caught three that day, all sailfish, all big. On the back of suspicious advice from a local so-called professional fisherman that sailfish can´t be eaten and should be returned to the water after being caught, we had already given our fireman-come-captain the nod to beat out the brains of the ones we caught, chop them up, and divvy up the tasty fish-steaks!

The old-man crew member of the boat, there´s always one, licked his lips while he bagged up the fish-heads which are allegedly great for making soup (this is not a joke, I´m absolutely serious). That night we began our fish of several home-cooked sail-fish meals, and were happy to conclude that the nasty rumour that sailfish can´t be eaten is total bullshit (it tastes rather like swordfish actually).

We had so much of the damn stuff that after a few days we were bored shit of eating it and started giving it a way. The security guard at our last hostel in Puerto Escondido practically shat himself when we told him he could have everything that was in the fridge after we left for Oaxaca City. I guess there was a good five or six kilos left...

As it turns out we arrived in Oaxaca City the weekend of the famous dance festival, that was purely coincidental and somewhat unfortunate because prices had been hiked up all over town. On the bright side there was a good atmosphere and tons of Mexican tourists buzzing around doing things.

Not much to say about Oaxaca City other than it´s a good place to eat out and it´s got plenty to see with respect to the usual museums, churches, et al. We tried to see a baseball game but fucked up the times and ended up getting drunk and watching DVDs instead. After which my companion went on to start the job he´d found some months ago in the Mexican mountains, and I started my journey back east by travelling 16 hours on the bus to Palenque.

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