Belize has a great many things. A gorgeous reef, amazing people, beautiful oceans, fantastic jungles, awesome ruins and even cave tubing! What it does not have, however, is a first-run movie theater, fast food, and a shopping mall, and a Sam's Club. With that in mind, a few friends and I piled into my car on Friday and headed to Mexico.
Friday was the Belizean national holiday of Garifuna Settlement Day. According to Wikipedia, the Garinagu (singular Garifuna) are descendents of Carib, Arawak, and West Africans. Belize has a significant number of Garinagu, centered around the area of Dangriga. There are Garinagu in Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. They are especially known for their music, particularly their drumming. The most common form is called punta and its modern form is called "punta rock." Check out this song by Supa G. (Be sure to watch the whole thing, it's hilarious).
But, rather than enrich ourselves in a unique Belizean cultural event, we went to Mexico to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. We left my house around 730. It is normally about a 3 hour drive to Chetumal and we were making good time until we hit the border. Normally, cars with diplomatic plates are waived through after showing the diplomatic passport (note: they don't stop every car and only make some go through immigration, so it is not only a diplomat thing). This time, we got stopped and had to spend a half hour there. Fortunately, the guy who stopped us jumped us to the front of the queue, which was about 2 hours long.
We missed the 11 am showing we were hoping to go to, so we bought tickets to the 220 showing. After buying our tickets, we stopped for lunch at Burger King and then went to Sam' Club. I bought cheeses and salami and some Christmas gifts and decorations.
The movie was awesome, although the subtitles were a bit distracting. It was totally worth a 7 hour round-trip drive and international border crossing to see the movie. The best part? The ticket cost me 35 pesos, a medium popcorn and drink cost me 67 pesos. At 12 pesos per dollar that amounts to $9 total.
After the movie, we hit the mall and the grocery store. I stocked up on a few more things I can't find in Belize. (I find it hilarious that all my friends in Mexico cross into the States to do their shopping and we have to go to Mexico to do ours). We hit the Corozal free zone and got some alcohol at super cheap prices on our way home. We got home about 930, 14 hours later. A very successful road trip.