While in Tulum we stayed two nights at what appeared at first glance to be a very charming campground, but what instead turned out to be a very charming campground completely overrun with by hippies, who by all appearances had experienced their larval & pupal stages right there on the premises. "This is our relaxation studio," our host said, showing us a screened-in area, "where you can do yoga, play a hand drum, read a book, or dance, and no one will judge you, I promise.” I said, "Oh, trust me—if I dance there will be much judgment. When I dance random strangers approach and ask me to please stop dancing."
She continued, taking us through a wooded area, where she was startled by a bat that continuously flew straight at our faces, breaking off at the last moment. "I've never quite seen a bat do that before," she laughed. I told her I loved bats, and wanted to follow this one to see what was up. She was interested to know why, and I told her about the bats of Babylon—when we were in Iraq we were continuously preyed upon by biting insects, and there was no real relief, except for the psychological comfort I'd find watching scores of bats in the twilight, silently hunting mosquitoes in mid-air. I'd go outside at night just to watch them. It was like some kind of miniature silent-film version of a WWII dogfight, and almost as dramatic. When I finished telling her that story she looked at me, her face inches from my own, and said intensely and without expression, "That was a good story. Thank you for sharing it with me." Which is fine, it's fine. But you had to be there. It was the way she said it, and then she didn't look away. She just stared at me, unblinking, and I thought, "Good grief, tone the intensity down a few tokes."
The next day I was feeling a bit tired so I tried to take a nap in the tent. I was on the verge of REM when I was startled by the sound of hand drums being played by someone approximately as skilled at drumming as I am at dancing. “Oh no,” I thought. “I’ll just power through it,” I also thought. Then I began hearing what sounded like wild dogs being stepped on by a giant foot. The chanting had begun. "Welp, that's that," I thought. I went and joined David on the cold and windy beach.
Later on David and I laughed ourselves sick about these encounters with our host, or with other members of her hive. We were still recovering from our fits of laughter, and now it was time to go talk to her in order to finalize arrangements for leaving the next morning, but then David wisely said, "Maybe we should wait until tomorrow to talk to her."