Watermelon champion and confiscated onions

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At the Lobster Fest in Corozol I signed up for the watermelon eating contest. I didn’t know who else was registered but I can eat some serious watermelon and figured I had a pretty good chance of winning. They were going to grease your hands, grease the melon and throw it into the sea. You had to swim out and retrieve  it, then they would cut it and the first contestant to finish eating won. They didn’t have much lobster but they sure had watermelon. (And a burping contest that was hysterical after finally rounding up three people.)

Sadly, I was the only competitor to sign up for the watermelon challenge (other than two children) and they  needed two more adults. So, by default, I have gone down in history as the watermelon eating champion at “Corozol’s First Ever Lobster Fest” and was awarded the prize of lunch for two at a nearby café. I was happy with the lunch but sad not to eat the watermelon.

A few days later we stopped by the open air café around suppertime hoping that we could still redeem my certificate. There were balloons everywhere, a clown, a disc jockey; people were celebrating. A roundish jolly man, clearly the owner, greeted us and let us know that the restaurant was closed for his 1 year old daughter’s birthday party but he would be happy to host us the next day. We told him that, regretfully, we would be gone by then.

Without hesitation he cleared a table, set beers in front of us and a plate of rice, beans, coleslaw and the most deliciously spiced BBQ chicken I can remember and welcomed us to the party.  We had a birds-eye view of the chef who was even more entertaining than the clown with his cooking procedures. I don’t know how many health regulations he was breaking but it was more than a couple.

Early the next morning, while we waited with all of our gear to board the once-a-day water taxi back to San Pedro , police showed up on the dock. Sidearms suggested that it wasn’t a friendly visit. They checked the boat’s stowed cargo intently before pulling out a large bag of onions and a large bag of tomatoes. After examining them very carefully, they took the bags and left without another word. Apparently it was contraband Mexican produce (where vegetables are more plentiful and cheaper than in Belize).  Cool to watch our first search and seizure.

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