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Chapter 22.5. Tour Revivals, Changes, and More Beer.
I wrote a book and I decided to try and publish it through Amazon. I wrote this whole thing in early 2018 and for the past few weeks, I have been editing, re-reading, editing, and deleting the dumb lines that I put everywhere. I also hired a model to be on the cover of the book and hired a designer to uhh design it.
I haven’t paid either, I need to sell a few copies to pay them both.
Changes. Tijuana has had a lot of them. I had a ton of them. The biggest one is I lost my mom, so all those instances I mentioned her, will not come true. But this is not a sad book. It’s a Tj book. One that recalls all the crazy stuff I’ve done in this city and this city has done to me.
Not so changes. I’m still working for the magazine. Last year I worked for them more than ever. Helping in everything from sales, photography, writing, events, marketing, some social media, and distributing. This year I’m doing a bit less.
Changes and not changes. I did stop doing tours for a while. At least paid tours. Because friends still keep visiting this city and I keep doing tours. I am now painted in two murals (as a small character, but hey, still painted on walls). It’s part of my tours to get my picture taken by the painting of myself. Oh yeah. I am reviving the tours in 2020. I’m still not sure where I am going with it, but I already did two tours. More expensive. That is one of the things that will change for sure.
Changes. Tijuana has changed a lot in those two years. Like I predicted, Plaza Fiesta turned too shit. Barely any breweries survive there. Only go there if you want to party with kids. And by kids, I mean people younger than 25. Madueño is still in Plaza, but he is opening in downtown soon. By the time you read this. Madueño Brewing is in Zona Centro.
Changes. In fact… all the breweries are moving to Zona Centro. And this is where this chapter is going soon.
Re-reading all I wrote, I can say I lied three times. Not really lied, more like hid details or change them to be milder than I actually was. One was in the Hong Kong chapter. The sex on stage didn’t go like I described it. It was similar. But the act was different. Going back through it all… the beer section is still incomplete. Beer is still my favorite. Beer is still growing.
Changes. All of downtown is changing rapidly. Growing in reality. Places that were abandoned are getting refurbished and rebuilt. More on this at the end of this. First… the last two tours which are the new tours and the future tours.
I’ve been getting emails throughout my not doing tours asking me for tours. I have politely declined and pointed them towards other tour guides. I wonder if their Tijuana tours ever became as adventurous as mine…
In 2020, I decided to go back to doing tours but I’m going to try to be more expensive. The first tour that hit me up was a bachelor party that hasn’t happened. So it is still to come. They seem relaxed though. There are three women coming to the bachelor party, so I doubt that crazy strip club shit will happen. I accepted this tour. It is yet to be 100% confirmed.
Changes. The whole strip club scene has changed as well. Zona Norte is as popular and as grosser as ever. I rarely go there.
I got three more emails for other tours. One was for immediately the next day on a Sunday. I rejected because I was already booked and it sounded complicated. The other was immediately for a Monday and I didn’t want to do it, but he offered more money than my original offer. So I took it. The last email was for a solo Saturday tour with what I thought was a white lady in her 40s discovering Tijuana. That email chain grew and grew until it became the lady, her sister, and way more tour than what I originally agreed too.
The first tour I accepted was very calm. It was a dude from Los Angeles who worked as a successful writer for Nickolodeon and other movies (he has a proficient IMDB). He is also an amazing photographer doing a lot of street photography. So the tour was concentrated on that. It was very short notice and I’m not sure if I did a good job. I hope he comes back and does it again.
The tour lasted less than four hours. I got paid. And before 5:00 pm it was over and I had already been drinking and my tourist was driving back to Los Angeles.
Early in 2020. Easy tour. Easy money.
If it was only always like that…
The Second tour was nothing like that.
I was wrong. They weren’t older white ladies. They were two Mexican girls from California that reminded me of the Latina girls that went to my college. Pochas. And they say “tbh” way too much. Every other sentence they had to say “tbh.”
Like before… I have to interrupt this story because I have actual work to do. I need breakfast. I need to shower. And I need to cross the border to deliver the Magazine. I am also working on a different story that was stressing me out, but the deadline got extended for a few days. That story is about veterinarians in Tijuana. My veterinarian is fantastic and highly recommended, just have to make the story interesting and with very few words. I’ll get it done.
I had to cross the border yesterday. I cross more often nowadays. The border is always changing.
Not changes. I wake up way too late and drink way too much still. Yesterday, I didn’t drink. That’s the third day of the year that I haven’t (only three weeks this year so far).
My insides hurt when I drink every now and then. I’m getting old. Tijuana Adventure is going to kill me.
I drank a lot with those two girls. The original idea was to just meet one of them on a Saturday afternoon and tour her for a while. It sounded like a date. I didn’t want it to be a date.
Confessions of a Tour guide.
I’ve slept with two of my clients.
So not only a mini-pimp. I’m also a prostitute.
One has blocked me from everything and I haven’t heard from her in forever. She was a short cute redhead. Older than me. And she was amazing.
She also had a boyfriend and two kids. One of her kids was turning 18…
She came on a tour with one of her friends. I knew she liked me. It’s not the first time it happens in my tours. But I keep my distance and try to pretend I’m not into it. A bit halfway through the tour, at Mamut Brewery, she pulled me into a bathroom that was under construction by the end side of the brewery. And she just threw herself at me. We almost did it there…
Her friend was still waiting and told her that I was her tour guide. And we did stop.
Except that she came to visit me a few weeks after that. And that was a great weekend in which I can keep the details for myself. My memory of when I saw her for the second time makes me happy though. I went to see her at her Airbnb and as soon as she saw me, she took her bathrobe off.
It was amazing. It was a great weekend. She was awesome.
And then… months later. I never heard from her again and I can’t look her up. She gave me two books. I still have them. I still haven’t read them. I have a pile of books that I never read that I tell myself I will.
The other one I also adored. She is married now. And I always wonder if that could have been me. This one was on a wine tour with a group. She got drunk really fast because she is a tiny woman and right away fell to my arms. We didn’t do anything on that tour. It was a big group and I kept my distance.
A few weeks later, she booked me for another tour. This time it was only her and a friend. And compared to the group tour, this one went while. It involved some Hong Kong and what not. And we hooked up. They paid me for the tour. I gave them their money back. She doesn’t remember that I gave her her money back.
We dated for a while after that. I really liked her. A lot. It was everything I was looking for. Bicultural. She spoke two languages. Tiny. Super smart. Beautiful. Great fashion taste. Good cook. Funny. And she loved me. Sex was great too.
But I’m a fucking idiot. Little things made me not want to date her and I let her go. It’s for the best though. She’s happily married now and I sit jealously looking at her social media wondering if that could’ve been me.
I slept with these two Latina sisters… They have names. Jessica and Jocelyn.
Not the way you think though. The tour was not supposed to go like that at all. Instead of just having a fancy dinner and taking them back to their Airbnb, we ended up having street tacos, going for a couple of drinks, then I took them to the gay bar. To Hawaii. Two pretty girls sat next to me. And they were girl girls. The trans women were on the other side of the bar. A fat old man with a big mustache, a button-up shirt halfway unbuttoned, and round glasses. He was making out with a pretty trans (though with hairy arms). At some point, she left and left the man alone. He looked sad after.
The girls asked for drag shows, that’s why I brought them there. That’s not what we got. When we entered, Paquita la del Barrio was on stage. As soon as Paquita went off stage, a ripped short dude covering only his torso and face started to strip what little he had.
The girls yelled “WOOOO” involuntarily. Jocelyn was louder than her sister. I told her about this and she said she didn’t even notice yelling that much…
And when the dicks came out. More WOOO!
I tried to chat up the pretty girls next to me. Jocelyn was telling me to take them home. As if it were that easy. I am sure they work at the other strip clubs and they were on their night off. In the meantime, Jessica was horny for absolutely every dude. She pointed at the dude she liked and I had to go grab him, offered him $5 to give Jessica a lapdance… and well… $5 is way more than you bargain for.
Sort of like in Hong Kong $5 gets you a good minute of using a dildo on a girl… $5 got a ripped dude on top of Jessica grinding on her and spreading her legs, and grinding some more.
They fucking loved the place. As they yelled “woooo!” Over and over and over. We ended the night way later than we should have. At least their Airbnb was nearby. Jessica was trying to get a dude’s number, the dude told her he was bi. He looked really gay. Everyone in that place is really gay. Jessica was convinced… And I had to remind her that they are actually gay hookers.
Maybe he wouldn’t have charged… But I’m leaning towards he would have. That’s their job…
I walked them to their Airbnb at 2 or 3 a.m. I can’t even remember. But then they told me to just stay over. The bed wasn’t big enough, but I was tired. I took the offer. Jocelyn took half the bed. Jessica took the rest while cuddling me and requesting me to move and cuddle more. I slept for 20 minutes before I woke up and thought “this was a mistake.” I didn’t feel safe leaving the area at 3ish a.m. though… so I stayed there telling my brain to just go to fucking sleep. I couldn’t.
6 a.m. hit. I went home and slept with my cats.
And then there was the second part of the tour. I saw them the next day. I took them to Teléfonica because everyone loves Teléfonica and I already mentioned it in this book a handful of times. Left them back in their new Airbnb for them to get ready in dresses and heels and whatnot.
Met them at Insurgente Brewery. BEER! I’m getting there. The kitchen just opened, it’s called “El Casimiro.” I have no idea how long they will last. But they have breaded cheeseballs of birria that are delicious. It’s the chef’s fourth or fifth project. It’s already getting very popular in the city. And it’s at Insurgente which is amazing!
After that, we went to the Tijuana Jazz Club. That’s also new that didn’t exist when I started writing all this shit. They are doing an alright job for now. Getting good musicians. It’s a good vibe. But there is a lot missing. I trust that they will keep improving on it.
On top of that, they opened Verde y Crema. It used to be a popular restaurant in La Cacho, but they moved their whole operation to downtown. I’ve only had it once and I liked it plenty. No idea if they are going to last. Tijuana is mysterious like that.
We didn’t go to that.
Instead, we went to a private party inside the newest apartment high-rise “Distrito Revolución.” That building also didn’t exist when I started writing this. It was I Wanna Beer With You’s private party. That’s an Instagram of a couple of girls that drink beer. The party was on the last floor which has amazing views. The girls met someone from the OC. They came from OC. They were excited.
And after that… More Hong Kong! I mean… Hawaii!
I told the girls I wanted to go home at around 10 pm. It was nearing midnight and I was still there as Jessica told me to stay for another beer and another beer and another beer. At some point, Jocelyn got really mad at Jessica. I blame the alcohol. But it got awkward. And I told them again and again that I had to leave. I had no choice but to leave them.
They fought. But I texted them both and they are both alright and back home. Not the ending Tijuana Adventure was supposed to have, but that’s how it ended. On future tours… Fuck do I know what’s going to happen.
More fucking beer.
Most importantly. Norte Brewing Company. The cover picture of the book is in that place. The model is Amayrani. I’ve known her for years because she used to bartend in several places. She sells prints of her nudes and posts plenty of sexy content on Instagram. Follow her as @amayraven.
I am painted on the walls of Norte. I’m the only non-staff member painted on the walls. I’m standing tall on a building next to a titty. Most appropriate. The titty is of a giant naked woman that is a house in Tijuana. It’s a popular Tijuana landmark that I have never bothered to take a tour inside. The architect is a weirdo. I had to interview him once.
Norte used to be a strip club. Just like Teléfonica, I take everyone to Norte. I usually have a stupid joke that I left something in my car and I have to take the whole tour inside this parking lot to grab something. They all look disappointed that I have to take them through a shitty parking lot and of me for being a shitty tour guide. But no! Norte is inside the parking lot and it opens to some of the best views of the city. Hence, the cover of my book was there.
Here’s an outtake:
I’ve been a patron of Norte since it’s inception. Their beers are fair standards. Nothing is going to blow your mind but nothing is going to disappoint. The same could be said about the food. Everything is just well done. I usually get whatever hoppiest beer, though one of their best beers is their porter on nitro. Almost all their beers have names related to what used to be the strip club, like: Escort, Bunny, Penthouse (former name of the strip club), Golden Shower, Spank Me, Grace (former stripper there), Threesome, and more that they keep adding.
Go there for sunset. Enjoy one or two beers. And move along to the rest of downtown beers.
Here’s more Amay drinking a beer:
All the breweries are moving to downtown.
Insurgente just moved to downtown. Boom. That’s not all you need to know but that’s all you need to know. The best brewery is in downtown. Right below Norte on the corner of Fourth and Revolución. That corner has seen many businesses come and go, but Insurgente is there to stay unless some shit goes wrong (they are currently fighting with the local government). In front of Insurgente, they plan to build the biggest building in downtown.
It wasn’t Insurgente who marked the trend that downtown was going to be next. It was Border Psycho who first moved to the almost corner of Calle Segunda and Revolución. They are the closest brewery to all the debauchery. It’s a perfect spot for lost Gringos. They have been doing a great job there with a few mistakes. They have new beers that are better than the ones a few years ago. Their menu comes and goes but it is decent. Their current bartender fucking blows. Not the dude. The dude is great. Some chick that dislikes me and always has an attitude. Border Psycho also opened in Playas with a beer collective called Playami. It has the five big players I mentioned before. They moved all their best staff over there and have been paying more attention to that than to their taproom in downtown. But they closed their taproom in Plaza Fiesta. Everything in Plaza Fiesta has closed.
Insurgente closed and now Kaminari is in their place in Plaza Fiesta. Kaminari is great but that taproom sucks. I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves to downtown as well just like Madueño did.
There are two new places that I have no idea who the fuck they are.
Mestizo on Calle Sexta. I tried all their beers. They were all infected probably with diacetyl. I will give them another chance later.
Another place opened in what used to be Mexitlan. They sucked and I don’t remember their name but the location is prime. If they can make it work they will have something fantastic. As it is now, it is not worth it. What’s Mexitlan!? Mexitlan is a legend of Tijuana. I never went. But they used to have miniature cities and it was a place of legendary concerts. Or so I’m told.
Tijuana had many legendary concerts. I didn’t even touch that subject in all this crap I’m writing.
More places are opening up. I was just in a new one yesterday called “Los Cervezartistas.” It’s a beer collective that is doing more than alright. Their SMASH Citra beer is a well-done Citra beer. The tap-room is brand new but they have a nice collection of beers in the fridge and it looks promising for the future.
I forgot about Teorema / Lúdica. They share a spot in front of Cine Tonalá. It’s the trendy hipster spot but it is very good. Lúdica also opened their own tap-room in the same place they brew, but that is really far. Teorema still brews in the same spot and they tend to go up and down, more up than down, so it’s usually very good.
Bajer opened next door to them. That’s from a dude that married a chick from Denmark. Bajer means beer in Danish. The brewery/tap-room is also brand new, growing, and they are very experimental. But the good news is that they have the money to make it work and they are not going anywhere. They have a Viking theme to their brewery and the art comes from the dude’s mom. The art is one of my favorite art galleries I have seen in the city, though who knows if it will be there when you visit. They are closed right now and I am guessing they are absorbing the bar next door that used to be for junkies and a place where you can smoke weed no problem.
Those places are closing. The legendary Zacazonapan closed in late 2019.
Oh. I guess Funes brewery is out here as well. I still haven’t had a good beer from them despite their many years.
Cerveceria Mexica is also out here. Their place is lovely, next to the Tijuana Jazz Club. But their beers need work. It’s almost there. Almost. I know they will be good and that they are not going anywhere.
Oh. And Teléfonica has its own brewery now called Lírica. It’s the brewer’s fourth-placed his work and his best so far, the others weren’t that great. I still need to try all their beers, Teléfonica has such a great selection that it is tough to grab the local one.
I am probably forgetting some breweries. Or more will open by the time this is out. República Malta is out there… that’s a collective of breweries. I don’t think it will last. Madero Tasting Room is out there. The dude that owns that place really knows beer, so I hope he lasts for a while. And there are rumors of more places. And rumors of others closing.
Tijuana is constantly fucking changing.
And this is seriously the end of this.
If you want more… you’ll have to come to a Tijuana Adventure with me. Most likely, many things will be different.
Thanks for reading. And happy adventuring!