A tiny Mexican woman hands me a pair of paper knickers the size of a tea bag and tells me to pop them on and 'jump' on to the massage table.
There seems to be a recurring theme of holidays and humiliating massage experiences for me.
'Um, I don't think these will fit me. I'm carrying a little extra weight...'
'Ah, yes, Navidad – Christmas, si?'
'Yes, exactly. Approximately 42 years worth.'
'Is okay. Put them on. Stretchy.'
They are not stretchy enough. I contort myself in to part of them and hobble towards the table. I try to pull the sheet modestly over myself and roll on to my stomach. She whips it off.
'No, no. Sitting up please on edge.'
I surrender to the horror and haul myself up all the time thinking of that episode of Jerry Springer when they telecast a hugely obese man (basically a blanket of skin with eyes) in to the studio from his trailer - “Help me Jerry, I don't wanna die.” They cut him out of that trailer. My problems are comparatively small. I just need to stop drinking 14 cocktails a day and get back to my running regime and all will be well. As I'm thinking this the tiny Mexican woman rubs my entire body with exfoliating stuff and points at a shower.
'With the pants?'
All of this takes place with one lit candle and an acoustic arrangement of 'I will always love you' serenading us.
After this everything gets a lot better. She's small but she is fierce and the one hour deep tissue massage is painful and relaxing at the same time. Throughout the whole thing I have a towel over my eyes. She whispers 'terminado' and I hear her leave. A few moments later another woman comes in and starts trying to scrape the despair from my face. I assume its another woman, I still can't see a thing, so unless the first one has popped out for a costume change and is now posing next to me in a wetsuit taking selfies with me beached next to her with a fin stuck on my head...I try not to dwell.
The facial is really good. I know this because I am woken several times by my own snoring.
I pay cash, put my sun glasses on and leave with my head bowed.
We've been in Mexico for three days and once I'd managed to unfold the furious French from his economy sized chair after an 11 hour flight we both started having a lot of fun. He's a giant in the UK so over here, where the average hight is about 5 foot 2 he looks like a building.
It's hard to get your head around an all inclusive resort. I keep wanting to say 'I can have this too? For free??' I was worried it would be like some awful package thing with mandatory games and English breakfasts. But as The French pointed out, 'It's a five star resort, shut up.' As someone with absolutely no self control, accompanied by someone with very little self control, the notion of free alcohol 24/7 was a curious one. I found I have been able to avoid a hangover by drinking fairly steadily from breakfast onwards. There are four optics in the bedroom, Champagne and Bloody Mary's with breakfast, cocktails are delivered to your sun lounger, there's a bar in the pool and every time you think 'Steady on there, probably time for a coffee' a nice smiling person appears at your elbow and refills your glass. Horrific.
Some jolly young Canadian girls introduced us to 'Scooby Snacks' last night. A 50ml shot of vodka, melon liquor and something else I can't put my finger on. They are radiation green and it isn't until your sixth that you start to feel a burning in your chest. And as the young Canadians pointed out 'They don't even taste like alcohol! It's awesome.' I spotted them a couple of hours later cavorting maniacally around two waiters who stood there grinning and trying not to recoil as they gyrated and screeched in some tribal mating ritual. I saw them again at breakfast this morning. The French told them they were evil and they grinned.
'Y'all have a good day! Try the Banana Bamba today, it doesn't even taste like alc-'
'Fuck right off!'
There are very few kids here which is nice as we are the sort of awful people who don't enjoy the sound of children's laughter. But there's this one little person. Very small. Almost staggering around on wobbly legs age. What is that age? Anyway, she's beautiful. Mesmerising. She has eyes like black marbles and thick shiny black hair that curls around her cheeks and wherever the music is playing she is struggling towards it on tiny drunken legs like a little dark angel. I don't know if its the last gasp of an unused womb or just that she is the most precious little thing but every time I see her I just stop and stare. Her dad is now on nervous nodding terms with me.
The French has found the hat. The hat that completes him as a person. It's one of those 'man from Del Monte' hats. Makes him look some colonial fellow in an Agatha Christie. The staff call him Papi and he's really just missing the cigar to complete the look. Luckily there is a vast armoury of cuban cigars on offer so its really only a matter of time. I beat him at pool yesterday. He's still raging about it.
It's luxurious here, lots of marble and palms and a golden beach that we've only visited at night when it was empty and we could float on our backs and look at all the stars in the sky. The whole place is in the Art Deco style and amongst the frondy plants there are Tamara de Lempicka copies and walls full of Klimt. It's all very nice and very seductive and apart from the staff and the tacos you'd never know what country you were in. We quite like knowing what country we're in so this afternoon we're breaking out of the compound and visiting Bucerias, a town nearby with a flea market and a highly recommended seafood restaurant on the beach and on Tuesday we're taking a speedboat to a little island for the 'Rhythm of the night' party. The tiny beach lit by 3000 candles and there's fire juggling and music and a meal. I'm really excited about that. Despite the fact that I will unquestionably get eaten alive by mosquitoes. I managed to go two days without getting bitten and the moment I bought the “OFF!” repellant and sprayed it on they found me.
Our rep is from The Wirrall and her name is Julia Roberts. I shit you not. I've started calling her Erin Brokovich which she finds hilarious in a professional can't punch me in the face sort of way.
Everything is lovely and wonderful. Except the coffee. The coffee is fucking awful.