On Friday the 13th of July, I walked into Captain Van's scooter rental in West End, Roatan with the intention of renting a scooter for a week and on an impulse, asked if they had any used ones for sale. As it turns out they had two, and I said I would buy one instantly, although the price was a bit steep I felt I had to do it now. I was ready to burn the credit card, since from the time I got here, I wanted to be mobile and independent of taxis. I called G-Rod and asked if he could get in touch with the owner he knew and negotiate a deal for me. He called me about a half-hour later and said, I just paid for it, its yours. Wicked, I thought. The bikes were out on rental, I had to go back later to pick it up.
Since I have no pressures related to time or date, I had forgotten what day it was. You can say I live in "Tina's World" completely, which basically is ridding myself of as much responsibility as I can. I prefer to delegate, that position in life suits me best.
I was so psyched to get the bike, I've never owned one before and always wanted one. I think biker chicks look hot, they always look free & independent and high spirited. Excitement turned to amusement when I noticed my bike was a sexy, fiery red, number 69.
To bike attendant:

Me: "Of all your bike numbers, did I have to get #69?"
He: "She's a pistol in good shape and a great ride so don't worry about that, but, be careful it's Friday the 13th"
Me: "I hope this is not an omen"
(I drove off on the bike chuckling trying to shake the nerves).

I felt spooked! The numbers game hit me twice in that instant. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand on end and a tinge of fear crept over me - did it mean anything? Do I even know how to ride this damn thing?
The one nagging fear I have is that I will die young, even when my closest friends tell me sarcastically "only the good die young".
I thought I would die in Africa from disease (any), I thought I would in the Blue Hole of Belize while diving 130' below sea level when I was working as a dive-master, I think I will die from this bike now, I won't go night diving because I think a big bull shark will get me and I will die...you see the pattern here? Everything with me is fear based, it's a wonder I do all the things I do.
In spite of my fear, I prefer to learn my lessons still the hard way. I guess being a risk taker is why I fear the worse always but the chances I have taken have all been well worth it. Everyone told me that mortor bike riding in Roatan is very dangerous due to idiotic truck & cab drivers, combined with steep hills, drops and blind curves, slippery roads. Not to forget to mention the dim statistic of mortality from motor bikes on this island. Sadly many tourists get hurt or die here from these bike rentals, under-estimating all the factors above.
A bad day that ended a good night at Palmetto's bashment...
Go figure, I didn't have the dratted bike but a week and on Fri., July 20, a truck barreled straight towards me, ran me off the road & I wiped out in the gravel. My lovely T-Bone was in a cage strapped to the back seat and luckily didn't get injured. I wasn't so lucky. Now I'm laid up in the hammock for a week or more while my injuries heal and thankfully they are superficial, just some road rash and stiff swollen knees.

Been worried about all the activities up-coming, G's b-day in Copan next week, Utila Carnival in the next couple of days and I told Ces I was going to fill that last seat on the plane on Thurs, Romeo party boy in town and is willing to be out every night, it just isn't my week as having a good time is the closest I come to any form of exercise . Winston Churchill once said that "whenever he felt the urge for exercise, he would lie down until the feeling passes", a man after my own heart.
G-Rod says "GO SLOW" when it comes to the festivities, and I just have to. Summer time in the Caribbean is a ton of fun and things are just getting hyped up. We usually party hardy in the peak tourist months of July/August
(the calm before the storm, literally) Come Sept/Oct we're all glued to our weather channel praying the next hurricane is not heading our way. Those months are when you find us getting religious.
Slightly superstitious, I feel a strange peace
that the curse of Fri 13 is over, now I just have to wait for the curse of
# 69 ..ha.ha.
July 19th - Sing: "OH WHAT A NIGHT....yeah..yeah..yeah.."
Gary's B-Day at Palmetto Resort, Roatan
(photo to left appeared in the latest issue of Bay Island's Voice in the social section)
Fantastic party at Palmetto Bay Resort. The owner's wife, of Honduran nationality, I had met many years earlier when she was a dive master working & living on Caye Caulker. She had invited me to her husband's big blow-out birthday bash poolside, under the stars, at the resort on the beach. This reminded me of New Year's Eve bashes at Ramons every year in San Pedro, Belize.
This beach here at Palmetto is gorgeous and I guess that's why a dozen or so illegal Cubans decided to wash up onto these breathtaking shores, in a tattered boat a few months ago.
C says about her husband Gary "This is the last year he wants his birthday celebrated, so we are going all out with two live bands, one from San Pedro Sula, not to forget a delicious spread, EVERYONE from Roatan will be there" She wasn't kidding, it was great!
I asked Romeo to take me & the two cute Canadian girls that are currently my BFF's here. That way I wouldn't have to drive the bike at night and we can all fit. These 2 lovely ladies are great and are working for me here in Roatan for peanuts. I regard them as mercenaries helping me fight my Banana Republic war against hard labour.
People always make a big todoo when Third World Central Americans work for peanuts in First World Countries, but who really pays attention when the situation is reversed? Lucky for us, no-one, and there is no hoopla....and all is good...and everyone is happy....

Being backpackers, I assumed they didn't exactly have a wardrobe selection and opened my closet to play dress-up. After we rummaged and finally all got dressed, Amy commented jokingly that they are Tina's "newest protege's", I have to admit I liked the idea. Sofia (pictured at right of me), is seriously interested in owning her own hostel which I think is great. She is gracious for letting me give her the opportunity to get a feel for it. Aww...shucks... if more travelers think as independent thinkers, like her, I might never have to work again. We both get something out of it, she the experience, me the chance to do....whatever I like..!?
The party was wicked and we had a marvelous time. A lot of Roatan's "who's who" were there, so I got to climb the social scene just a step higher, met some..ahem...important people...ha..haa... and believe me, on these little islands there is definitely a social hierarchy to conquer to say you've arrived and I promise you I am not trying & simply stumbled upon it.

G-Rod: "We are apathetic - Apathy rules!"
Me: "yeah..yeah....Whatever"