About crocodiles and facelifts!

No, I didn’t get a facelift, I strongly hope my current face will hold up for a couple more years, and I am against the killing of crocodiles to manufacture purses or belts….. nevertheless my Blog has undergone a facelift and at one point in my life I carried around  a baby crocodile in my purse ( not made of crocodile skin) .  

About the Blog – there will be more design changes coming up and updates in terms of the book publishing date etc. Stay tuned – it is just about to become exciting. Things are moving along nicely and I have to be prepared for the next steps.  My days are running along in the same format as described in last week’s blog post and again tomorrow, I am off to another audition!

In the meantime please read an excerpt from Chapter 19 “Tales of Mexico” of “To Drink the Wild Air” when we roamed around the Mexican jungle driving back on fire roads from the state of Chiapas to Mexico City in my pink Volkswagen.

On the ride back to Mexico City, we passed a kid by the side of the road selling an iguana. It was pretty common in the rural areas to sell exotic animals on the black market. We stopped to check it out, not that either of us was in the market for an iguana, and then we noticed it was actually a baby crocodile. The kid wanted fifty pesos (five dollars) for it. We bought it. Juan figured he could get perhaps as much as five hundred pesos (fifty dollars) for it back in the city. I understood his reasoning because that was a lot of money for him. However, we were not equipped to transport a 16-inch long crocodile, and the only suitable receptacle we had with us was my purse, which was rather some kind of a Mayan hand-woven shopping bag. My wallet and other important things had to move out and go elsewhere so the crocodile, with his snout taped to keep him from biting, could move in, and on we went. We stopped for the night and took a hotel room, where we let the little crocodile roam loose in the bathroom. Before we went out for dinner, we took the tape off his snout: It was too cruel.

The next day, a Sunday, we made it without any problems to Puebla when the car died again. Thank God, this was closer to general civilization, and we found a shop immediately. While waiting for the car we were lying in the grass right next to a little creek. Juan was playing with our exotic pet, having put it on a little leash and let it swim in the water. This must have stimulated its better nature, and suddenly there was this vicious reptile with an open mouth full of sharply pointed little teeth jumping vertically out the water, chasing Juan’s hand. Juan had damn good reflexes but was a nanosecond too slow when one of the razor-sharp teeth sliced open one of his fingers. After that, we both had a bit more respect for the little brute. Now we had to deal with a broken car, a crocodile in my purse, and Juan’s bleeding finger.

The mechanic didn’t have the part we needed in stock, and we would have to wait until Monday for the car to be fixed. We considered that we were at most a three-hour drive from Mexico City, and that Juan had to be back at work on Monday morning, so we opted to continue our journey by public bus. The crocodile was safely tucked into my purse, but both of us were far too scared to touch it again to put tape around his snout. I prayed it wouldn’t have another fit and chew its way out of the bag. My prayers were not heard. As we entered the already packed bus, I squeezed myself in between all the standing people to find a good spot to hold onto during the drive. At first, the crocodile was quiet and motionless, but then I felt a sudden movement. I ignored it, and a second later, it tried to escape with a big jump from my purse. Juan was not even close by my side so he couldn’t help, but other people noticed my commotion and a woman started to scream. She had seen the head of the croc peeking out of the bag. I tried to grab the animal’s tail and body from the outside of the bag and was lucky enough to have prevented the worst. I pulled it back down and was terrified at the thought that I had to restrain a pissed-off crocodile on a three-hour bus ride. I managed without any further hysterical outbreaks of either crocodile or fellow travelers and was relieved when I finally shoved it into the bathtub at home.

We bought some live mice to feed it, and I was actually scared of it by then. Juan eventually got rid of it before my landlady found out I had a live crocodile wandering around my bathroom.


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