This article is from the August - September 1998 The Mexico File
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In The Tropics
Sometimes you have to be reminded that the tropics presents different traveling rules than elsewhere. Here was my wakeup call, to say the least, in Isla Mujeres.
I was in my hotel room. It was three in the morning and I needed to maneuver to the john in the unfamiliar darkness. Somehow I had failed to eat dinner that night because of a late lunch and early happy hour that went on and on. I had eaten half a container of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) before retiring and had left them uncovered on the bedside table. Before crawling back into bed, I shoved my hand into the jar of pepitas and crammed a handful in my mouth, all in an effort to appease a growing hunger. "WHAT THE..." I was mumbling as I felt something scurrying across my face, onto my shoulder and down my arm. I swiped at the intruder, turned on the light and there he was lying on his back, kicking his many legs...a two-inch intruding cockroach.
Fortunately, he was to die under my shoe rather than in my mouth.
The lesson here is obvious, but one that is often forgotten. There are bugs in the tropics, lots of them.
Check your bedsheets, clothes and shoes before proceeding any further...and please, put the lid on the pepitas!