So we arrive in Cozumel Mexico and the FIRST two places we see from the cruise ship are Starbucks and Hooters. I mean, seriously. I understand globalization, but if you travel 933 miles from Atlanta to Cozumel to get a frapp from Starbucks, you're either wealthy with a good plan, or stuck in an open box. Me being neither, I hop off the ship and head in the opposite direction as all the other tourist, save my to travel buddies. After about 14 minutes of walking, we find ourselves deep in the city of Cozumel, walking past the houses of complete strangers enjoying the view. We saunter pass an open establishment and see a pool table in there, along with a few Mexican gentlemen smoking and having beers. Of course, I test out my Spanish and ask them if we can join. They oblige. We enter and have a game as we do our best to decipher between the local dialect and the mumbled jargon that is pouring out of the inebriated mouths of the hosts. As we leave there, we visited several tequilla establishments that offered us so much free alcohol we could have filled up a bottle of our own. I mean, even clothing shops were luring us in with free shots of tequilla! As we approached our time to leave the port, we stopped by a familiar place to use the wifi. They forced us to buy something in order to use the internet there, so me being resourceful, I cleaned the counter. There I would find one napkin, a coffee spill, and a receipt: pertaining one password for wifi. Good ol' STARBUCKS! I, as well as my comrade, watch a handful of locals break-dance on the wet cement for change doing things they'd get paid for in the states; however, to other locals it's nothing special. I attempt to contact a great friend of mine before realizing that she was in a meeting and could not take my call. I text my family and soon rise to catch the leaving ship. We are a few of the last passengers to board... First day in Mexico, check!
From the moment I stepped on the boat, I was skeptical. I have been here before yet everything looks different. The recycled air is ironic given our method of transportation, I am on a vessel. I dare not speak the name of the first "like-vessel" that comes to mind so I decrease my awareness and increase my desire for relaxation. I am here for one purpose with many routes; to enhance my culinary spectrum. As I bend my knees to ride the waves, my stewardess offers me chocolate to ease my motion bubbles. I hit the top deck with two familiar guests in search of something edible. To our surprise we stumbled upon a buffet. As we surreptitiously slid a few pieces of fruit in to our waist pockets, we unmistakeably fixed several full plates of food. Today's lunch would be quantity over quality. The caramel cheesecake was delightful. I had a burger with grilled onions and never ending lemonade. Apparently, that was just the beginning. Over the next two days on the ship, I had the chance to taste things I never thought I would have on a cruise. Escargot for the first time; drowned in drawn butter and fresh herbs. The snail had a very distinct taste and texture. Chewy and rich, I could not have expected anything different. I also had frog legs, that "would" be just as interesting, however, that was not the first time I tried them. The first few days on this cruise were delightful... Mexico here we come. For some reason I envision more drinking, than eating... But then, we arrive in Mexico.
Chef Belton shares his intimate thoughts and world experiences with his followers. These are the inspiration behind his culinary delights.