What I should have been doing while I was in Cancun was to prepare the slides for a talk I was to give shortly after my return to Warsaw. It was part of Ignite Warsaw, the brain child of Ralph Talmont who had also introduced TEDx to Poland. I took part in the first TEDx and enjoyed something of a success mainly because most of the other speakers had little experience of talking engagingly to an audience. I was both engaging and, as the last speaker, welcomed with relief by the exhausted audience. A whole day of speeches, especially if some are not up to much, is a long day for anyone. The audience responded magnificently to my burst of enthusiasm and the fact that I attacked a few Polish untouchables. For TED I prepared a load of slides which in the event I forgot to use. I don’t really like slides. For the shorter five minute Ignite talk each of the fifteen speakers had to have 20 slides as part of the course. And they had to be set up in the computer well before hand.
With Dolores` incessant chatter, which needs total attention, my lazy procrastination (don’t I deserve at least one period of the year when Warsaw is out of sight and mind?) and my weakness due to the suspected salmonella (well, get the blood test then but I know salmonella when I see it) I couldn’t bring myself to search the internet for suitable photographs. Emails from the organisers arrived at regular intervals. “Where are your photographs? We have to prepare the slides”.
I did not ignore these perfectly justifiable but intrusive demands, I simply made up stories of how I was travelling and the internet connections were few and far between and unreliable at best. The intrepid explorer, back-packed and armed, mosquito ravaged, ever wary of the ill-intentioned lurking crocodile in the mangroves, the murderous drug runners or the no quarter banditos, alone in a lawless country, risking life and limb for a chance to marvel at the Maya and Aztec remains. Not a lot of fun. As I lay by the pool making use of the excellent Y fi connections, I imagined the impression I was giving in Warsaw.
Mexico is a dangerous place but Cancun beach is not Mexico. As for sight-seeing, despite Dolores` determination to get me to help her to write a Mayan Orpheus musical, I remain unmoved by the culture and the monuments. I simply cannot muster much enthusiasm for a civilisation that managed without the wheel or the arch and which was in so many ways barbarous and unattractive. I just like to flop when I get to Cancun especially with the tedious and tiring travel arrangements required to get me there and back.
There is no direct flight from Warsaw to Cancun. You have to change either in London or Frankfurt. The cheapest alternative is via Frankfurt. Frankfurt airport is horrible, nor does it have better lavatories than Heathrow. Both airports are excuses for shopping malls where, out of sheer boredom, the captive traveller is compelled to wander the alleys of commerce, nose rubbed in consumerism, until exhausted. Then, beaten by the unrelenting onslaught, he indulges in a wave of self gratification, spending money on goods which he has never dreamt of wanting or needing but justifies the indulgence by the conviction that no where else will they be cheaper. What else is there to do with a seven hour stop over?
Actually, as I discovered, quite a lot. The Thai massage parlour was quite a find.