Today we went to the North Pole. At least I think that’s what it was: it was cold, white and had ice but confusingly went by the name “Liverpool”. We took a public bus there so it appears that there is a wormhole somewhere (okay, I guess I now really outed myself as a Trekkie as this is the second reference to Star Trek already) which got us in one felt swope from the hot and humid capital of Yucatan and to the North Pole. They had lots so fancy things there as well, they weren’t exactly for free but – with considerable financial means – one could acquire them.
To make a long stroy short, we took the “Tapeste” public bus through the centro, by the Hyatt and deep into the “suburbs”. We passed the usual assortment of marquesita stands, roadside restaurants serving panuchos, salbutes and pooc chuc, and a few tiny car dealerships as well as the famous Mexican chain stores called Home Depot, Sam’s Club, and Boston Market. And then: the first Starbuck. I had hoped naively that their quest for world domination had been brought to a stop in Yucatan. But no such luck. When we finally got out we saw across the street a huge white building called “Liverpool” with a US-sized parking lot – almost completely empty. We entered and I felt immediately smug that I had brought my sweater (outside: in the mid-90 and 100% humidity; inside: I’d say somewhere in the low 60s – if that). We entered an all white palace of fine and refined spending. Many of the brands found in US department stores plus a few more obscure ones and at prices at least on Macy’s level, if not higher. No wonder the parking lot was empty (as well as the store). I think we were pretty much their only source of income today because Uli – when he packed his stuff for this vacation – was obviously under the impression that he was going on a weekend hiking trip with his buddy. So far we had to buy underwear and socks and today it was shorts. Couple nice pairs, could have gotten like 4 for the same money in the US, more at Ross. But I was grateful he as much as admitted that he has a little supply issue and agreed that the best remedy might be to buy some (pretty straight forward for any woman, however, guys ….’nough said).
With that accomplished Uli moaned something like “shopping shields 95% down” and so we walked past the splendid parfume section into the rest of the mall. A huge white, modern, squeeky-clean building with a couple of cafes, a bunch of TelCel stores (got to get your cell phones somewhere) and in the middle a sizable ice-skating rink. I am not making this up. I couldn’t if I tried. Real ice, real people on skates, floor to ceiling white, super-spacious – Northpole for sure. It all felt a tad unreal, sort of like we just walked out of reality and landed in some movie (oh, yes, they had a Cine Hollywood there too).
Embolded by my shopping success the day before I decided to give North Pole, also known as Liverpool, another chance and did the worst thing any woman over 40 can do: trying on skimpy bikinis on sale. There is nothing quite like an ill-fitting bikini in bright orange (looked kind of cute on the hanger) in the fluorescent light of an all white changing room to crush your ego: here, there, on the Northpole – anywhere. After that trauma I went to the sweets department and bought my little blue-eyed monster some gummi-snakes. He is skinny, he might as well enjoy it.
Reality had us back when we left Liverpool to catch the bus: high-90s and 100% humidity. After 10 minutes of that, even I took my sweater off.