A puzzled look came over the travel agent's face, and he asked me if I would please repeat. "Certainly," I said. "My wife and I are looking for a place where nobody goes and we can catch a little sun and a few fish and it doesn't take forever to get there—and nobody goes there!"
"Yes," the travel agent said, "I see. Hmmmmm. That shouldn't be too hard. Hmmmmmmm. Let me see. Ah, ha! I've got it! Alabama!"
"We've been to Alabama."
"Well, then," the agent said, pulling out a map. "Let's try something dramatic. How about Oaxaca? No? San Jose? Oh, I see. Grenada? You've been there, too? Let's see.... How about British Honduras?"
"How about where?"
"British Honduras, also known as Belize. Look here at the map. It's that little spot just south of Mexico. Just east of Guatemala. On the western edge of the Caribbean."
"Tell me about it."
"I don't know anything about it. I don't think anybody knows anything about it. I don't have a single brochure on the place."
I looked at Su and Su looked at me. Eureka! We had found it.
You can get to Belize (the country's once and future name) or British Honduras (its unfashionable official name) via a tiny Salvadorian airline called Taca, which you should not call Taco unless you are looking for a chili pepper in the eyeball. Taca flies pocket-sized BAC One-Eleven jets and older propeller planes and conducts itself in a refreshingly direct and candid manner. For example, a Taca agent once telephoned me and said, "Our Thursday flight will be leaving Friday owing to the need of our plane to get a license, we hope." But once Taca gets you into the air, you are likely to have a safe and enjoyable journey, Salvadorian style, which means you will be quickly fed and watered and then left alone, an increasing rarity in air travel.