Port-O-Death

Chetumal Travel Blog

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Have you ever wanted to sleep inside a Port-O-Jon, a place where you're scared to open your water bottle for the omnipresent threat of rapscallion poo-pixies aching to spread their infectious dusts of poo-borne illness?

If so, enjoy a toiletside seat on any first class ADO bus running Mexico. I just endured 8 hours bathed in the stench of human feces, souped in stale, dehydrated piss, contracting Hepatitis A by proximity. Call me a first-world elitist, but the smell of human waste is one to which I refuse to become comfortable. The little lady beside me had no problem falling asleep, while I spent the last 8 hours plotting ways to stem the stench, suppressing my gag reflex.

Because I was wearing flip-flops, my old go-to when confronted with an overpowering odor, covering my nose with a dirty sock, wasn't an option. I did have an empty pastry bag, prime for huffing, flakes of sugary dough and smears of strawberry goo lining the inside, which I considered rubberbanding over my head, around my neck, for a sweet descent into oblivion. But, alas, I had no rubber bands in my carry-on. If we'd been traveling on a recycled US school bus, the "chicken buses" I'm so anticipating, I'd have quietly violated the no limbs out the window regulation to tempt decapitation. But, then, on a school bus there'd be no bathroom to defoul. And, suddenly, I find myself slightly envious of third-world simplicity.

In a particularly disturbing moment thick in the delirium of 3am, the offending odor reimagined itself as streetcart grilled elote, of which I'm a recent devotee. It's 4:30am, I'm in the Chetumal bus station until the town wakes up, and I hope the fact nobody is sitting near me doesn't indicate the malodor of shit has seeped into my skin and clothing.
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Chetumal
photo by: Vlindeke