Mexico "Way"

My stupid blurbs about anything and everything.....in addition to the ups and downs of living in Cancun, Mexico.

Monday, October 23, 2006

It finally stopped....now what?

Keeping with the theme of Hurricane Wilma, I thought it would be fitting to not blog for the 3 days that the hurricane lasted.

By the afternoon of October 21st, 2005, I'd say that the majority of the people in Cancun were locked away in whatever shelter they could find. It was a ghost town as people waited for who knows what.

CFE (the electric company) decided to turn the electricity off before things got bad. Live electric wires flying all over the place wasn't going to do anyone any good.

Though it was not dark yet, it was obvious that Wilma was certainly powerful. It was powerful enough to take one leaf and rip it up into all sorts of tiny pieces that stuck to whatever they could hold onto. I remember seeing them on my car and others.

I was with my bf at the time and we were pretty bored and doing anything and everything to stay entertained. We watched the wind and the trees in front wondering if they'd hold up. I remember watching the sign on Lopez Portillo (a street) which I wrote about when I left a comment in JJ's blog.

It was wind, rain and whatever else was flying in the air going sideways up the street. In note form, here are some things I remember over the next 3 days:

  • BF left after dark. He felt like he needed to go home and check on things. I was worried and the phone system wasn't working for anyone within Cancun (at least not for me). He didn't come back until about 4 am in the morning. The storm was too strong for him to come back but he couldn't remain at his place cuz the neighbours gate had blown open and was bashing up against the cement wall to his bedroom. He was banging on the door for me to let him in, but I couldn't even hear it because it was so noisy.
  • When we were looking out the window (before he left) we caught the neighbours tree falling down and crashing onto my car. It cracked the window, dented the roof and hood and took of my sideview mirrors. The BF moved my car to a safer area....altho we should have done that sooner. I purposely parked the car closer to the building thinking it would be safer. Turns out if I had just parked normally I wouldn't have had to spend the money I did to get it fixed.
  • The noise was so loud it really was like a freight train coming through my apartment. The noise was something I just wanted to stop. I kept covering my ears and curling up on my bed hoping it would just stop soon.
  • My friend Lynda who lives between Cancun and her hometown had messaged me. For some reason I was able to get her messages from the states. I believe Kelly had passed my number on to her and she was feeding me information with regard to the storm. I was grateful because I felt disconnected, not knowing what was out there. I remember her telling me it was right above us and to hang tight because it was still going to be a long while yet....that it really wasn't moving. I remember telling her my apartment was ok and so was I but that my ears were hurting from the pressure. My battery was low and I remember telling her that I was going to turn my phone off to conserve energy. It was a sort of feeling of defeat really.
  • I heard some windows break. I had no idea if they were mine or someone elses. I ran throughout the apartment and checked all windows. They were fine. Might have been downstairs. It was really loud.
  • Before deciding that I was best off in my bedroom with the door shut, I remember standing at the giant windows in my front room, stretching my arms across them and trying to hold them in. They were bouncing in and out and I was afraid they would just bust. Don't ask me why I would be so stupid, but I figured I had a chance against mother nature.
  • I also remember shutting all the doors in my apartment. I figured it was safer without an extra draft running through it.
  • I had the candles lit all night long and they flickered even inside from the harsh wind outside.
  • The cats stayed close to me on the bed. They didn't sleep. But they sat and waiting calmer than I sure did.
  • THE BIRD! I forgot! While it was still daylight, there was this lone bird on a branch outside my bedroom window. He was hiding under a few leaves and throughout the storm I remember checking on him to make sure he was still there. I don't know how that bird did it. But I do remember checking the next day and the leaves were gone, along with the branch...and there certainly was no bird left either. :(
  • Cement leaks. All my walls were all wet, along with the ceilings. While my windows held up, they most likely held up because they don't completely seal. So as a result I had a little bit of water on the floors. I did have to move all furniture away from the walls and windows. When I realized where the windows were letting in water and air, I dried them up the next day and taped them around the edges. Boyyyyyy was the second half of wilma a lot quieter after doing that!
  • It was probably best to eat some of the parishables for breakfast. But the BF wanted the damn ravioli's. I figured I'd let him but he wanted to eat all of the cans which royally pissed me off. He obviously doesn't understand how to deal with situations like this! (Ya think?)
  • The next day, while we were mulling about the apartment I heard Kelly scream my name. She informed me that we were in the eye of the storm and that we have to go through this one more time. My heart sank and I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo. Please no!!! When she agreed she told me that the payphone on the corner was working, that she just called home and that if I have to call anyone to do it now. So I go to the phone and I wait in line. Everyone looked like hell and we were all asking the others how they fared. When it was my turn I followed the same instructions as Kelly. But for some reason, they wouldn't let me make a collect call to Canada this time. I tried to explain to the operator that we were in the middle of a hurricane and to make some acceptions to the rule, considering someone had just done it for my friend. She was a total bitch and refused to assist me in any way. Wanted me to call some number that didn't work. Apparently I screamed something like "We're in the middle of a hurricane you bitch! Thanks for helping!" and hung up. Ignorance is bliss I guess?????
  • My landlord came by to check on things. It bothered him that I had the windows open....hello it was hot and stuffy!!!! I promised I'd close him but I told him that everything was ok. In order to enter and exit my apartment, you had to go through the back and around the other side. That tree that had fallen was in the way. It was no easy task, you had climb under and over other trees that had fallen.
  • I remember it being so calm in the eye. It was the weirdest thing. What was even weirder was how it was about to hit us from the other side. Everyone passed on whatever information that they had to the other and it didn't matter that you didn't know that person on the street. All of a sudden they were like a long lost relative.
  • In all honesty what happened for the second part of hurricane Wilma was a blur. I know it wasn't as powerful but it was still pretty bad.
  • The day the hurricane was over, I had some pretty crappy personal news. That made everything worse at which point I kind of became an emotional basket case. Without my good friends, I don't know what I would have done. So thanks to you all. You know who you are. I even bribed Joyce to stay with me a few nights for good food, a working toilet and a shower. :)
  • When it was over people slowly crept out of their holes to survey the damage. At first it was just inspection, and immediately it was clean up.
  • I grabbed my camera and decided to take whatever pictures I could within the area. I will post them in the next blog along with the Wilma clip I found.
  • On my walk, I saw some people with some odd contraption of a phone on the street corner. I have a pic. I was able to dial home for free to let them know I was alright. They were more than willing to help a sistah out!

During the next 10 days, when I did not have power, when curfew was at 7pm and bonfires were the best ways to keep the lights lit and as safe as possible at night, when friendships grew and human contact was of the utmost of importance, when people did things for eachother selflessly, when the bats were confused and flying into walls during the daytime, when Cancun looked like winter because there were no leaves left on the trees, when a tucan outside kelly's window showed us that there was hope, there was color, when Hong Kong had a restaurant area set up in the midst of destruction to provide something other than canned crap, when an old time friend who just happened to be in Cancun tracked me down to make sure I was alright, when A&W Root Beer could be found at City Club (I love my dual picture with Joyce on my membership card...memories), when going to work to clean up the destroyed offices was something to look forward to, when stress was high, when things were sad, when laughs and positivity were cherished.

I eventually escaped Cancun for about 10 days. Considering my personal crap and the Wilma crap, I needed to take myself out of things and get my brain sorted out a little. I took my cats with me....as they had stuck by me all this time and I'd be damned if I would leave them behind at a time like this.

Some people don't want to talk about what happened, some people have actually forgotten. For me, I like to remember, because a lot of good came out of such a disaster. And I lot of strength was proven. To me and to other people who didn't know they had it. So for those of you who have talked about it with me, and those of you have gotten over their guilt (like I said I appreciate your side of things) thank you for being there for me and everyone else.

I'll post some pics and that clip I mentioned. Then I'll shut up about Wilma for those of you who prefer to read about my weekend brawls and words of the day.

Peace out.

Love from,

Rocky a.ka. Sugar Ray Lizzard

5 Comments:

  • At 7:13 PM, October 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Liz,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with Wilma ... it must be so awful just thinking about it.

    love ya!
    janie

     
  • At 8:22 PM, October 23, 2006, Blogger JJ said…

    What an awesome awesome post! I laughed, I cried, I remembered the toucan and the bats! It's great reading the different perspectives, the thigns that stick out even today. For those that would rather not remember, I guess that is okay for them, but I am like you and prefer to remember all the good that comes from such a horrid event.

    Bravo!

     
  • At 10:16 AM, October 24, 2006, Blogger Mexico Way said…

    Is thigns a word? Lets not forget our Chedraui visit and the animal crackers with peanut butter and apples. Chedraui was really amazing. Though all blown apart, they opened and people calmly and organized did their shopping. They used garbage bins as carts and slowly walked on the wet floor. We bought a bunch of odd items....I think we bought those stupid crackers that day. I ate a lot of them. They were a staple. Janie, it isn't awful to think about. For me it's kind of healing. Because I'm not destroyed now, and neither is Cancun. And I know that I can count on friends for anything, no matter what. That's important. I like hearing other people's stories too. Something to put under your belt as an experience to tell your grandkids.

     
  • At 12:34 PM, October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Liz,

    I'm a little disappointed...you didn't mention that I was in contact with you on your cell everyday during the hurricane till your battery ran out.

    MOM

     
  • At 5:13 PM, October 24, 2006, Blogger Mexico Way said…

    Do not be disappointed. I simply completely and totally forgot. It took me several hours for me to remember but you are correct. Because I could not contact anyone here, and could not leave my apartment, I was calling you for information. Unfortunately, CNN was more focused on the storm hitting the US in the future, versus it beating the shit out of Mexico in the present. Anyhow....

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home