As soon as I found out that I’d be studying in the states for a year, there was one thing on my mind… Spring Break. As the blood of my father runs through my veins, there’s a party animal inside me that has felt stifled as of late and I was ready to let my body loose. Cue the dramatics…
Cancun is the American equivalent to Ibiza, if you’ve got money to spend you’re going to have the time of your life. Unfortunately, no one told my poor student bank account that! But hey, we’re students, we manage to make the most out of anything!
Its funny how we’ve done so many trips over these past few months that you would have thought we’d have it all together by now, unfortunately not. Arriving at 4pm on the Friday, we were all dying for a margarita and a little time in the sun before it set. But our luck soon followed suit… It was pissing it down, and we had to stand around for an hour, in the midst of a tropical storm, to get a taxi. My expectations of Mexico being America’s answer to Spain was completely wrong, no one spoke English, yes I know I shouldn’t be so ignorant to think that everyone in the world will BUT in a local economy which vies from lethargic American’s trying to fuck and drink their cares away, I expected more locals to be able to speak their language. So basically 6 girls inability to formulate a sentence in Spanish ended up with us being dropped off 2 miles away from our Air BnB.
The evening was remedied by some local food. We was located near a street of
restaurants which locals frequent, it had everything from genuine Mexican, to deserts, Italian, and steak. Barely anyone spoke English and our first meal, ironically at “Mr lasagna” came to around £27 for 6 people. It really hit home how different lives were here, – and this was an up and coming area where a new school was being developed. We came down this street a lot over our week in Cancun, it lead to a close bus stop which would take into the hotel zone and the beach at only $12 (mxn) which was 47p.
It was lovely to be out of the hotel zone and in the local community. As cliche as it sounds to be one of those people, but it felt like we really did see the real Mexico; past the tourism industry, and the rapists, drug-dealers and enemies which the current US president has detailed (please notice the little dig at his ignoramuses). Despite the language barrier, the Mexican people are a welcoming group. Not only do they have a European sense of taste when it comes to food, I mean that in the freshness and anti-Americanness away from the high population of trans fats per plate, but they have a genuineness and happiness which you feel and embrace.
Our graciouss host Omar, who, by the way, definitely had some sultry Hispanic daddy vibes going on, came and got us with his dad to take us to the apartment. It was literally everything we could want for our 7 days, and a huge bed where around 5 of us somehow kept taking naps all together, was a real bonding experience.
We had to go big for our first day, so despite being $100 down, we made our way over to the Grande Oasis where some DJ who I had never heard of had everyone hyped up. In the Essex tradition, it somehow took me and my Lucy approximately 5 minutes to find a group of boys from Dagenham way and be taken in to VIP with them. Bringing all of the girls with us, we chatted shit, reminisced about home and honestly felt the most relaxed I had in a long while. There’s something about talking to people from home which just normalises the entirety of the situation that you’re in. It makes you feel safe, and unlike how we was treated by the rest of the men in Cancun, they treated us how were used to. They actually wanted to talk to us about ourselves, not just trying to get in to our bikini bottoms.
With almost all of South Carolina’s exchange student population having emigrated to Cancun for Spring Break, Monday was a big night. With one of the Glaswegians birthdays being on the Monday, we set to take 27 international students into Coco Bongo, forward over a bit of haggling due to the increased prices over spring break, we was soon in. Outside there’s a huge sign, which compares Coco Bongo’s to being better than Vegas or anywhere else in the world for that matter, and I can definitely see the comparison.
The whole club is a show. Not for one moment are your senses allowed to breathe or realign themselves. There’s one option, (if you’re not already) get drunk and stay drunk. It’s not that you need the alcohol but it’s that to enjoy this place, you might need some looser morals than what your sober self may be capable of. After an acrobatic Spiderman Vs. the Green Goblin show, which somehow transformed in to an impersonators remake of Michael Jackson’s final “This Is It” tour, we were straight in and upon a bar. It is covered over for show times, and made into a full platform only for girls. The whole vibe is sex. Even the security guards are making sure that it’s only girls on show, that the best ones are in focus and that you perform. You can even make it up onto a higher platform where the DJ booth is, surrounded by three steps and a walkway, girls in two’s or threes are allowed to dance over the throng of people, whilst blown air throws their skirt up to give the crowd a glimpse. The security is even arranging the girls, making sure each one is shown, whilst a camera man gets a bit too close and personal (my arse was a little too in focus at times) but like the performer I am, I loved the attention.
I can’t remember much from the night but these were the results.
Hungover and trying not to waste the days sun, we headed to the beach the next day. A secluded area away from the hotels, open to the public, but unused on a Tuesday, we found a relaxing spot where the water felt like a bath. The natural tree’s which clustered on the beach, gave the feeling of serenity as I finally felt like I was in the Caribbean. That moment when the smell of the salty air touches your nostrils, and you inhale it with excitement knowing that nothing else has to matter in this moment. You’re away from the UK, or the US, wherever work and stress is. You can finally be at one with yourself, and relax from the harzardous few days which you’ve had.
Climbing back on to the pavement as the sun started to go in behind clouds, we all began to realize our stomachs were crying out for nourishment, we went to one of the areas best seafood restaurants. Branching out on to the lagoon, with warnings to watch out for local alligators, was “Mr. Big Fish”, though cheesily named, the food was delicious. It had that rustic, fresh feel which you can find all over the Caribbean.
And the margaritas were a welcome touch…
Me and Lucy shared a platter of shrimp, dipped in coconut or freshly fried, and as the sun set whilst we were sitting there, it started to really feel like we were going to miss Mexico.
Mandala Beach Club is a must, particularly if youre staying in and Air BnB or apartment like we did. They have their Monday Beach Parties each week throughout the season and the place is packed to the brim. We missed the Monday however due to the tepermaental weather and decided to go on the Wednesday. Drama had occurred this holiday which I hadn’t wanted to dwell on. Whilst in VIP at the Grand Oasis, Laura’s bag with both of our IDs in, her purse, most of her money and her phone had been stolen. She was having to borrow money from all of us and was ready to go home after the first day. I came up with the idea that we’d treat ourselves and her in return.
It was $70 per ticket, and we all agreed to split Laura’s as a remedy to all the drama she was having to deal with. It was completely worth the money, where regular entry was $40. We got around $8,000 pesos to spend on food and alcohol, which ended up securing us more than enough food that we could actualy eat and desert, and 3 bottles of Absolut.
After as much shrimp as 7 girls could possibly eat, and most of the vodka gone… We were fucked. I do partly blame the Four Loko’s rep’s who were plying the drinks down our throats and getting all of the hot girls to pose with “unopened” cans. Lucy being dragged off, to lay on a seprate sunbed surrounded by cans was a highlight of my trip and an image I’ll have etched in my memory forever. The fact she can just about remember it, makes it too. I was later dragged away to sit on the end of the pool, feet in, with three other girls. It gave me all oft the confidence I was needing after walking around in the tiniest thong bikini all day. I plan on one day being up there with Kim K and mastering the Belfie. And I cant wait for the pictures to come out.
Our final night was a reunion of all of the international students still standing in Cancun. With my eye for a decent restaurant I think I probably shocked some of the students (and their bank accounts) by choosing Navios restaurant. It was sat on the edge of the water, with cabanas branching out on stilts. Paying over the top for a piece of lobster was usual boujeness for myself and whilst sat in our own private cabana and huge table of 20 we reminisced about what we would miss. It was the perfect goodbye to Cancun.