Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 22 — Conclusion. 

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Chapter 22. Conclusion. 

I just turned 32-years-old. Facebook posts from friends and people I haven’t talked to in years are posting congratulations on my wall.

I usually hate my birthday. People give too much importance to it. Which puts pressure on having a good time. But it’s just a day. Worse. It’s a Wednesday. And I have some work to do. Work that I don’t want to do. 


Last birthday, I got drunk as fuck early during the day and passed out in the early afternoon. I don’t know why birthdays depress me. 

 

This year, I’m just trying to let it be. I don’t feel as depressed as other birthdays past. 

 

I don’t understand people that like their birthdays.

 

What is to like about getting older? 

 

Count it.

 

I’ve lived for 11, 680 days.

 

Toddler years don’t really count. 

 

I’ve lived for 9855 days.


It seems like a waste.


 

What’s next? 

 

Nothing is next. The same as always. Beer and tacos. Beer and tacos. Beer and tacos.


 

I read all I wrote for the past months. I repeat myself a lot.

 

I repeat myself a lot.

 

I repeat myself a lot.


 

Many stories are missing. Many bachelor parties blend into one. I got three emails about bachelor parties this week. That’s not a common occurrence. 


I just rejected one. They wanted a tour for this Friday. Replied that I’m booked. I’m not really booked. I just didn’t like the way he emailed me. Also, he wanted a bachelor party and strip clubs, no mention of craft beers or fancy food. 

 

I feel like I am retiring from those.

 

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my tours.

 

I’m not sure what I’m doing with all this crap I’m writing.

 

I do have to work Saturday morning. So fuck doing a bachelor tour Friday night…


 

Next tour is in a week. Old couples. Much more my speed. Craft beer, street tacos, fancy eats, Tijuana views, and perhaps a dive bar. 

No more craziness. 


Ted’s Story.

 

One last crazy bachelor story. 


 

We had to carry Ted across the border. This was probably my favorite bachelor party. I was hired by the best man, who had a Chinese name. I was nervous that it was going to be a Chinese tour.

 

Nah. Of course, they were Chinese Americans. And not all of them. It was around 8 guys, half of them were white boys. 


 

Fuck. My bachelor tours blend so much, that I don’t remember if one of the white boys was a reformed yoga teacher. I’m thinking that’s from a different tour, but for the sake of this fucking story, he was a part of that group.

The yoga white boy had long greyish beard and hair, wore sandals, and other hippie bullshit. Apparently, he was recently married and he had all been doing his yoga persona for a couple of years. Before that, he was a businessman that was always clean-shaven and it was all about the money.


 

Yoga white boy was quiet for most of the tour. Barely drinking. Being a hippy. Peacefully observing the bachelor party mess.


 

It wasn’t much of a mess. It was the classics. Tacos, beers, cocktails, tequila shots for the bachelor, party, party, party.

And then! 

To the strip clubs.


We got to Hong Kong and I grab a table for the whole group. Then took a couple of the guys and the bachelor, Ted, to get him a couple of girls.

 

That’s what I usually do at bachelor parties. Grab the best man or a couple of the guys in the party, find hot girls for the bachelor, sit him down, and have the first lap dance.

 

From there on, the party always splits and they do their own debauchery.


 

With Ted… we walked to the back. He sat down where they were doing the show de espuma. Imma gunna repeat myself once more. Show de espuma is two or more naked chicks covered in shaving cream that you can finger for a dollar. It’s fucking nasty. 


It’s really fucking nasty. I went with a good friend from my hometown when he came for a short visit years ago. It was Monday, so not much was open and I always have to show people that are new to Tijuana to Hong Kong. The first girl we saw had the most beautiful pussy I’ve seen… no panties. Just pussy. I remember my friend’s face lit up like he just saw the face of god and it only cost him one dollar to see it.

 

Later that same night, I remember watching the show de espuma, but not watching the girls… just watching the audience. The wolf hungry audience. 25-30 horny men salivating at two naked young girls. Throwing money. 

 

I am sure the girls in there are in drugs. This shit is a bit extreme. $5 and you can grab a dildo and go to town with them. Guys sometimes delve in and lick the pussy that is covered in shaving cream while the girls slide around the stage for another guy to do the same. So many dirty fingers being shoved in exchanged for money, and then they lick that…

That’s the show de espuma.

 

You can understand why I want to retire from this shit.


Another story that went missing was with some Canadians. Just three guys. Not a bachelor party. Just a Tijuana Adventure that ended in Hong Kong. Many tours ended up there and not necessarily were they bachelor parties. 

One of the three Canadians was an extremely good looking dude. We were drinking beers at Plaza Fiesta, because back then, Plaza Fiesta was actually good. Two cute short Mexican girls approached him (and his friend) while I was talking to the Moroccan-Canadian dude. The girls were really cute, and the dude blew them off. And after asked me, “those were hookers, right?”

 

NO DUDE! They fucking weren’t! They were two cute girls that wanted you…

 

That night… we did end up in Hong Kong with hookers… The Moroccan-Canadian dude was so happy spending $5 to grab a dildo and go to town with the girls in the show de espuma. He thought it was two pumps and done. NOPE! You can really go to fucking town with them. 

 

The Moroccan-Canadian dude came back. My tours blend so much and I’ve done plenty that I didn’t even notice him. It was halfway through the tour that he was like, “yo, remember me? We toured together before!” And I came to the realization of who he was. He was with a different group that time… 


 

Fucking tours.


 

Well…

Ted sat in front of the show de espuma. I told his friends to give him money so I can give it to Ted so he can go to town. I yelled at the girls on the show de espuma that it was his bachelor party and show them a $20. They didn’t fucking hesitate. They knew there was more money to be thrown. One of them instantly climbed on Ted covering the poor guy on shaving cream and the other said: “let’s grab him and put him on stage.”

 

So I helped Ted go on stage and told his friends near me that this is going to get out of control.

 

They stripped Ted down to his underwear. Ted was wasted. He was loving the stage and did a little dance with the girls. Then they laid him down on his back, one climbed on his face, and the other climbed on his cock (with boxers still on). And they started grinding and performing other things… 

 

When this shit started to happen, I ran to the table (that was at the other far end of the strip club) to tell all of Ted’s friends what was going on. 

 

They all went to check it out, leaving behind sunglasses, jackets, and other shit on the table. So I stayed behind with the best man. We discuss what will happen in the next few hours for the bachelor party and while figuring shit out… We saw him.

 

Ted was fucking running around the strip club down to his underwear covered in fucking shaving cream, literally fucking running like a little kid, screaming “I AM GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW WOOOO I AM GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW!!!!” 

 

It was a hilarious view. 

 

The bachelor party kept going. Ted kept getting wasted. At some point, we thought we had lost him. And that’s when we saw him with a girl that was trying to take him up to the room though he was WASTED beyond capabilities of deciding what to do. Luckily, we found him and stopped him. The girl was pissed, but Ted gave her some money anyway. 


 

Not even midnight and it was time to go back. We had to carry Ted to the border. Poor guy couldn’t walk. 


What happened with the white yoga hippy dude? Well… that was a different tour. But the point of that hippy dude was that I ended up losing him on that tour.

 

He was supposedly the calmest most chill dude. But when we arrived in Hong Kong, he fucking disappeared. I didn’t hear from him that night. I had to split the party in two. Part of the party stayed in Hong Kong while I took the rest to the border.

 

I was told that they found him hours later. Apparently, he went up to the rooms with a couple of girls. And repeated. And repeated. 

 

Hippy dude had a thing for threesomes. 


 

And that’s barely a tip on the iceberg of what Tijuana can provide. 


 

Libertarian hedonism stuck in fake progress. 

 

So much change, so little change, the dollar still rules supreme. 

 

Anarchy. Drugs. Sex. Sleepless City. Murder. Drugs. Drugs. Sex. Sex. 

 

Craft Beer. Fancy Baja-Med cuisine. Amazing street tacos. 


 

I just got an email asking about barbershops. There are so many barbers in this city. It’s fucking wild how many barbers there. A tour client that later became a friend comes from Los Angeles to get a haircut and his beard shaven. The fucker can’t even grow a beard! 

 

But he still comes for the weekend with that excuse. Then he just enjoys the city.


 

And enjoy the city I will. It’s my birthday, which doesn’t really mean crap. I want to play tennis again. I’ve been playing tennis with my buddy. Yes. I won the first game… and the last two… We tied!

 

We had a tie-breaker on the one before last, and I think I won… But it was more of a tie.

 

And this last game, it was just a straight-up tie. One set each. Third set and the score was 6-6. Instead of playing the tiebreaker… we just left it at that. It was also getting dark that we could barely see the ball.


Then we had beers, more beers, saw a couple friend, told them it was my birthday, more drinks, a couple of joints, and then home. With el Pinche Kevin. I barely beat him on tennis, but I own him on Super Smash Bros. I fucking beat him with Jigglypuff against Cloud. He beat me right after that… but HAH! 

 

Jigglypuff!


 

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Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 21.5 — Beer Guide.

If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas


Chapter 21.5. Beer Guide.

 

I wrote that last entry pretty drunk. I am still certain that the cops were the ones that took my phone. The last activity was at 2:37 a.m. spinning a Pokegym that’s near my house. They detained me around the area. I posted at 3ish a.m. that my phone was stolen by the cops.


 

And because I’ve been saving for a car… I said fuck it, I’m going to get a nice fancy phone instead. And here I am, with my new device, that’s also a camera, and… much more. 

 

A tiny $1,000 computer in my pocket that I carry everywhere and we call it a “phone.” I’m not comfortable knowing how stupid expensive this little gadget is. Which makes me want to return it… 

 

But it is an amazing gadget. And the camera is surreal. The future. A weird fucking future. A really weird fucking future.


 

Time seems to shrink. 

 

Or maybe I’m just getting busier.


I haven’t had a single drink since the incident.

 

Well… that’s a lie. I had a tequila drink. But that was during work. I was taking pictures of tacos and they served me a margarita that I thought was a virgin. It wasn’t. It had tons of tequila.

 

I was thirsty. I drank half of it. 

 

But that’s it.

 

Three nights of not drinking and I’m proud as the first fish that walked out of the water and started breathing air. 


 

I do miss beer though. But my beer consumption has been excessive that I do need to moderate it heavily. Beer is so good and so cheap in this city. So… let’s talk about that. Shall we?


 

Oh yeah. The photoshoot with the sexy chick didn’t go well at all. I was too hungover. The light wasn’t great. We had the idea of taking pictures of her blowing a bubble with gum. She made weird faces while trying that. It wasn’t good. She didn’t like any of the pictures. I am not thoroughly enchanted with them either.

 

I’m not enchanted with her anymore. Awesome body. But she’s not that sexy as I used to think she was… And she tends to annoy me real quick. I want to see her naked… but the effort doesn’t seem worth it.


And now, my college friend from Minnesota is telling me that they are flying me over there for his sister’s wedding. They want someone to…

 

FUCK. NOT TAKE PICTURES. They already hired two photographers for $300 an hour. That’s SO MUCH FUCKING money. 

 

Nope. They wanted me to play guitar at the beginning of the wedding. But I haven’t played guitar in so long. My guitar level is the lowest it has been in more than a decade. And that’s what I studied in college. So it makes sense they wanted me to play guitar there… 

But I can’t. This is happening in less than a month and I don’t have time to practice… 


 

I told them I was going to do photography way cheaper. Wedding photography is a crazy market though. They already booked the other two… and they probably have a ludicrous cancellation fee. 


 

Oh sorry.

 

Beer.


It was Mamut Brewery Co. who started it all. Cervecería Tijuana likes to say they were the first craft brewery in the city… and they are not wrong… but their beer is shit.

 

Cervecería Tijuana has been brewing since the 90s. The generic name implies generic beers. And not only generic… they are not very good. They recently revamped their taproom and it looks impressive. They also redid their whole brand with new slogans logos… that isn’t very impressive.

 

It’s again… just like their beer and their names… generic. And poorly executed.

 

Whoever did their taproom… that’s good. Beyond good. But it’s all make-up. Point being… you can skip Cervecería Tijuana.


 

Mamut started with a little flag in a small art gallery in Pasaje Rodríguez in early 2012. I would walk by the Pasaje and see the flag and ask about beer.

 

They never had beer. They would brew two kegs per month, sell for less than $1, and be out of beer in a day or two.

 

Dry Stout and Hefeweizen I believed they brewed back then. Dry Stout was the popular one but ran out so quick it was rare if they had any left.

 

They were basically the only craft beer around, except of the extensive breweries from the neighbors from up north (San Diego). 

 

BCB or Baja Craft Brew also opened at that time, a bar that resembles hipster LA that gives out an industrial feel. They don’t brew their own beer, but they started bringing crafts from all over the place. Great place, bad execution. Their menu is extensive, but you usually don’t find half the beers they list. It is also on the expensive side.

 

BCB also holds the title for the most popular bathroom in Tijuana. So many selfies in that fucking bathroom. See… it has three-sided mirrors. So the reflection is pretty cool. I must admit I’ve taken a selfie in there while pissing. I never posted it since my penis was on the frame. 


Mamut has exploded since then. 

 

The quality has been a rollercoaster, but the past year… a new brewer came to work there. A young kid that goes by the name “Ham.” All his beers have been on point. Well… let’s say 1 out of 10 is bad. And it used to be the other way around… 1 out of 10 would be good.

 

That made a lot of people stop trusting Mamut. Including myself. They expanded too big, too soon, lost control of quality, went downhill, started getting heavily criticized, downsized, got better, and now it’s expanding again.

 

Yes. Mamut has been a rollercoaster. The owner, Juan José, wanted to be the brewer. He has a passion for beer and his brewery, but he needed someone like Ham to put him on the right track. And he did. Ham ordered all new equipment, cleaned the fuck out of the old one, and now is just brewing excellent beer together with Juan.

 

And I mean it… Lately… they’ve been having some of the best beers in the city. And there is a HEAVY competition in the Baja area for the best beer.

 

Mamut is also one of the cheapest. They have a sizeable brewery and two taprooms in the heart of downtown Tijuana. 

 

Juan José also has always been a patron of the arts. A patron of the city. Mamut displays local art monthly or bi-monthly. They also have a nice space for concerts and they have been bringing important artists.

 

All in all… Mamut is great right now. It went through a long rough patch when their beers were undrinkable… but their recovery has been swift and great. Seriously, nothing is wrong with Mamut beers, from IPAs to Sours, to Stouts and Porters, to Lagers and whatever your heart desires.

 

They also have Mezcal. And at some point wine.

 

The food menu is decent. 

 

… It’s bad for a food snob like myself. But it’s edible and cheap. Very cheap. So it’s more than decent.


 

And Mamut is just touching the tip of the iceberg of the beer community here. And a lot of brewers/beer community probably hates me for mentioning Mamut as an important factor of Tijuana beer… after all… their beers were really complete shit for a long period. 

 

But Mamut was the first true craft brewery I experienced. Their tiny taproom in Pasaje Rodríguez is still one of my favorite hangouts. 


 

Now for the rest…

 

The rest are a lot…

 

A fucking lot.

 

And there’s not only Tijuana but the whole of Baja.


 

The top 5 players (not in a particular order). Insurgente and Border Psycho (Tj), Wendlandt and Agua Mala (Ensenada), and Fauna (Mexicali).

 

They are the top 5 players because they are the ones that can export to the US. They are all excellent… except Border Psycho. Their beers tend to be heavily alcoholic and you can taste it (in a bad way). But they have also been getting better and they are widely popular because of their “naughty theme.” Though they could also use a better graphic designer.

 

They could all use something better…

 

So let’s review the top 5 breweries in the region, you should be able to find these beers all over California and in many other parts of the United States.


 

Insurgente is definitely the top player. I have never had a bad beer from them. Their theme is congruent and nice. Fuck. There’s just simply nothing wrong with them. They are pristine. They are the only ones that do merch, webpage, photos, beers, everything right.

 

Except their taproom. It’s great beer and simply decorated… but it’s TINY! And in Plaza Fiesta. And Plaza Fiesta… well… that’s another story.

 

Juan Cordero, their hoppy pale ale, is my favorite Insurgente beer. Before that, Lupulosa was the best. But they also had a chain sours that were superb. The Xocoveza is a collaboration with Stone Brewery, I’m not big into chocolate beers, but the best of Tijuana with the best of San Diego together… you know it’s fucking good. They just released Hops and Chill, their double IPA. I’ve tried it, but haven’t make a note of it. Juan Cordero is still my favorite.

 

I am sure that by the time you read this… they have a bigger and better taproom and way more beers.


 

Border Psycho. Their first taproom was in Plaza Fiesta. It’s still there… but I don’t think it will last long.

 

They recently opened another taproom in downtown Tijuana. It is much better. It has a decent menu, good burgers, good sopes (soh pehs), okay price. It’s nice that the kitchen is open late. 

 

Their move to downtown Tijuana marks a trend that I see in the future of many breweries opening taprooms in downtown. By the time you read this, downtown Tijuana will have a couple dozen taprooms or more.

 

Like I said… Their beer is very alcoholic tasting (and with good reason, they are mostly high alcohol beers). Even their collaboration with Mason Ale Works, Zonkey, an Imperial Coffee Stout, has a strong alcoholic taste. Many of their beers are above 8%. 

 

They recently brewed Hoptimistic, which is a better IPA than their line beer, La Perversa a double IPA on the caramel, malty, and of course, heavy alcohol side. La Belga Sicotica, what they thought was a Belgian beer, is really a Black Saison. This beer, because it’s called “La Belga” sounds like “La Verga” which means cock. This beer was the reason they started using dildos as their taps. 

 

It started with a big purple dildo at some beer festival (as one of the owners told me), but it graduated to nice glass dildos. Definitely a fun place, but not the best beers. They are improving and trust that they will be getting better.


 

Agua Mala or “Jellyfish,” not “bad water.” Just like Insurgente, there is never anything wrong with Agua Mala. The only thing I dislike is that their IPA (Astillero) claims to have 120+ IBUs. Anything above 80 is barely noticeable. And it’s not even that bitter… So I’m not sure how they got 120+. I prefer their Mako Pale Ale or their Sirena Pilsner. Astillero is still a delicious IPA. 

 

They briefly opened a taproom in Plaza Fiesta with Mamut. That went downhill and now they don’t have one in Tijuana. The Mamut taproom in Plaza Fiesta is also gone. 

 

The theme is “the ocean” so all their beers are related to sea events. Their brewery/taproom in Ensenada is less than a mile from the ocean and it has spectacular views. I’ve only visited once and didn’t get to try the menu, but it looked upscale and expensive. And again, their beers are all on point. 


 

Wendlandt is also another one that never does anything wrong. I know. I know. I repeat myself saying stupid shit. It’s also a brewery/taproom I only visited once. And they weren’t even opened yet (it was a private thing). They are also themed by the ocean as the taproom is right in front of the ocean. 

 

My favorite by them is their Perro del Mar IPA. Awesome labels. A dog captain of the sea with an eye patch… Great stuff. Veraniega (a summery American ale) is a perfect light beer. And the Foca Parlante (chatting seal) is a great balanced oatmeal stout. And again, hilarious label with, a seal with a monocle and a pipe.


 

Fauna. Meaning. Fauna.

 

Speaking of awesome labels.

 

Mother fucking Fauna has my mother fucking favorite labels. All their labels have a magical and “animalistic” feel to it. Very nerdy.

 

I’m going to mention the IPA again as their best beer. Lycan Lupus. And the label… a werewolf in the forest destroying shit. They have a seasonal special beer call “Señor Matanza” a Russian Imperial Stout that only came in a big bottle and a hefty price of $12. I tried one version and wasn’t very impressed, but a lot of people love the fuck out of it whenever it comes out. 

 

They closed their taproom in Plaza Fiesta. It was a magical place. Many of the beer labels were painted on the walls. They had a bartender that is one of the Mexican suicide girls that always gets naked for Instagram likes. I mean… on her IG account, you can pay her to send you private videos. Or she did back then.

 

She looks great in pictures and videos… but in real life, she’s just a short girl with tattoos and big titties. Hot. But not as good as in pictures. Cool chick… though I barely have said a word to her except “I want that beer.” It makes me nervous to think I’ve already seen her naked and she has no idea who the fuck I am.

Too bad the taproom is gone. They only have a taproom in their brewery in Mexicali… and to this day… I STILL HAVEN’T VISITED MEXICALI… and I’ve been wanting too. Hopefully soon.

 

Owned by brothers Larios. Fauna is definitely one of the best breweries in the Baja region and I can’t wait for them to open another taproom in Tijuana. The brothers were painted as gnomes in the entrance of their taproom. Ahhh… it was a magical place but Plaza Fiesta got ruined… 


 

And there you have it, the top 5 players beer in Baja. This doesn’t mean that they are the best… There are so many breweries here. Those are just the ones that you can find in the US and that they are usually available at liquor stores in the area. 

 

Basically, the ones that aren’t going fucking anywhere. Many more are not going fucking anywhere either.


About the death of Plaza Fiesta… I see it in the near future. El Tigre bar marked the trend of all craft breweries moving to that Plaza since the scene was dead and the craft beer scene needed a place to get established. 

 

It’s still there hanging by a thread. The thread… Brew Pub Plaza, which used to be Paralelo 28 (I liked their old name better and now they have an alien theme which is meh), Madueño, Kaminari Secret Pub, and the tiny Insurgente.

 

Those are the ones still alive in Plaza. Border Psycho is still there… but they care more about their new taproom. Lúdica is gone. Fauna is gone. Donkey Punch (which was horrible) is also gone. Tres B (Big Bad Brew from Mexicali) is gone. Mamut is gone. Agua Mala is gone. Legion is gone. Ramuri is gone. I think small players like Vibra still hold their spot in the back.

 

So… Plaza Fiesta used to host many craft breweries… and now they are mostly gone.

 

Madueño and Kaminari make more than excellent beers and they seem stubborn to stay in Plaza… but I’m sure they’ll end up in downtown. 

 

The last one to leave is going to be Brew Pub Plaza. It’s in their name. Unless they change the name… 


 

So… why did all the brewers leave? Why did Plaza Fiesta turn to shit!?

 

Well… it turned into Plaza Fiesta. Party party party.

 

The people saw that the party mall was getting full… a lot of people started renting the empty spaces and doing their own shit bars. And by shit bars… I mean real shit bars. With shit beer, shit drinks, shit cocaine, and worse of it all… SHIT MUSIC. And at unbearable loudness levels. Each bar competes to see who can be the loudest and all the music clashes against each other creating shit dissonance and shitty drunk people.

 

Plaza Fiesta became where people go get stupid wasted with the least money possible. Mostly, people under 25. It’s still a great party… but not for me… 

 

I am barely there after dark. Last time I was there I stopped by Madueño and their Hops and Dreams is still as great as ever. I had the great luck to meet Kaminari at his secret pub and drink a bunch of his beers. Dude knows what he is doing as well. Amazing shit.


 

And an honorable mention. Cervecería Colima. Nowhere near Baja California, but they are aware that the big beers are here. You find Colima beer in many places. And their distributor is a friend of mine… so I get to try a lot of their beers.

Roca Partida collaboration with Insurgente, Ballast Point, Rise and Win Brewing Co (Japan), and Baja Brewing Co was one of the best fucking beers I’ve had in my life. And I don’t even really like porters… but this one had oyster which gave it a chocolate salty taste that was unique.

 

Too bad it was a limited beer and we will probably never see it again. It was fucking delicious.


 

An extra honorary mention. Sotano Suizo and Bosiger. They aren’t moving from la Plaza, they’ve been there since the 80s. Their beer hasn’t impressed me, and in general, I don’t like the place. But it’s a classic Tijuana standard that I doubt will be going anywhere in the following decade. 


And this concludes beer of Baja… Sort of. 

 

And this concludes all the stupid shit I write… Sort of.


I didn’t even mention Norte Brewing Co… I’m painted on the mural inside that brewery…

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 21 — Beer and Fuck La Police.

If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas


 

Chapter 21. Beer and Fuck La Police.

 

Well… It fucking happened.


 

Tijuana has its negative sides. And yesterday was a myriad of bad decisions that led me to feeling like I feel right now. Fucking shitty.


 

First. I skipped work. I’m not sure why I scheduled Sunday, it’s one of the worst days to cross the border. But I scheduled a photo shoot for Sunday. 

 

The line was a mess and I didn’t get confirmation about the gig. So I emailed them to try to reschedule it. 


 

I was already on my way. I decided this outside Nelson. So I went inside Nelson and had a beer…

 

Then I got a call that they were expecting me. Oh boy! Did I feel shitty…


 

And that’s the last call I ever got…


 

Because my fucking phone was stolen by the police later that night.


 

iPhone SE paid 5,300 in pesos which is around $300 USD. That was a couple years ago. Good phone. I needed an upgrade, but I wasn’t planning on it this soon. And I also didn’t want to fucking lose my fucking phone.


 

Beer. That’s what happened.


 

Beer City.


 

Caguamas at Nelson are only 40 pesos. That’s $2.35 per liter of beer. 

 

I had a couple at Nelson. Went to get a burger for 70 pesos, craft beer by Insurgente the new double IPA Hops and Chill for 70 pesos,  and then went home. Watched comedy stand-up (John Mulaney, it was alright) then decided it was time to go out for more beer.


Regular beers at Dandy del Sur are 25 pesos, or roughly $1.50 per beer. Plus my VIP card means I get a 2 x 1 on my first beer there every time. $1.50 for two beers is a fucking steal. 

 

I saw Mapachito there. A tiny girl that I briefly dated that looks like a cartoon raccoon. I sat with her for a while and then her date arrived. A Russian/American guy whose name I forgot and it doesn’t matter. He was also incredulous about how stupid cheap the beer was and talked about how in San Diego it would have been triple or more.


 

More beer at Nelson.


 

Oh shit. I might have to cut this short because a sexy girl just hit me up that she wants to do a photo shoot right now… I need to shower and shit… 


 

After the beer at Nelson, I was on my way home, but my dick decided that he wanted to be gay for the night. It saw long hair, nice ass, short skirt, and was like “follow her, follow her,” though my brain was like “yo, that’s obviously not a woman.”

 

So I followed her. Third time in that weird-ass gay bar with tons of trans women and male strippers. This was Sunday. It was way calmer. 

 

I didn’t get hit on. No one bought me a beer. I had two beers there while people watching. 

 

It was weird. I regret going. If I were gay… I would be there every night. 


 

And on my way home…

 

I got stopped by the cops. 


 

I haven’t been stopped by them in a while, probably more than a year. But it is common to get stopped by them in downtown at those hours at night. 

 

Once, while walking with my boys from Minnesota, the cops stopped us and asked us if we had drugs on us. I told them no and that I lived just on the next block. Then the cop asked again “are you sure you don’t have drugs?”

 

YES, OFFICER, I DO NOT HAVE DRUGS ON ME. 

 

What answer was he expecting? Oh shit… sorry officer, here’s the weed I had… 


 

Point is. I got stopped. I had nothing, but they wanted to search me. I was pretty drunk and just wanted to get it over with, so I let them search me.

 

They let me go right away.


 

A trans girl was nearby and she was telling me she wanted to suck my dick for cheap. I entertained the idea for a second, then I reached into my pockets for my phone to actually dismiss her and walk away…

 

FUCK MY PHONE IS FUCKING GONE.


 

Chick was like “vamos papi, te la chupo bien rico.”  

And I was like… BITCH! Didn’t you just see me get stopped by the cops! They took my phone! Help me!

 

Then I realized she didn’t give a single fuck and I also noticed her protruding mustache. Reality fucking hit me hard.

 

FUCK MY PHONE! 

 

FUCK MY FUCKING PHONE!


Beer city.


 

Danger city.


 

Fuck la police.


 

It could have been worse. I could have been arrested over nothing. I could have been robbed of more. I could even have been killed. Or even worse, gotten my dick sucked by a transgirl of the night.

 

It is a dangerous city and I was fucking around too much. Got too drunk. Skipped work. And spiraled down into oblivion.

 

Now I’m worried about work. And instead of looking for a new car… I’m looking for a new phone because the police stole mine.


No. I didn’t leave it at the gay bar. Nor was it stolen there.

 

I am always on my phone and I don’t lose shit no matter how drunk I get. I have miraculously woken up several times to find I have everything. 

 

Even though in a chapter before I mentioned how I lost my hoodie… 


 

There is a slight chance that it happened before the cops, but I’m certain it was the cops.


 

I distinctly remember playing Pokemon Go on my way home. I’m usually playing that fucking game, and there are several pokestops on my way. There’s a gym in La Catedral which is by my house, two blocks before the cop incident. I always stop by there and leave my Tyranitar or Donphan. I’m sure I tried that again.


 

Then the cops stopped me. It was a van, not a pick-up or a car, I remember I was against the van. They searched my pockets. I said I had nothing, and walked away.

 

Phone gone. It’s still offline.


 

Cops are famous for ripping off tourists. My old roommate got his rent money stolen once by the cops at plain daylight in the middle of downtown. I told him that that is ridiculous and only happens if you are stupid. 

 

Now I was a victim of it.

 

I can’t believe my fucking phone is gone.


 

I’m trying to track it. It’s offline. My phone is most likely gone. 

 

Fuck me.


 

The dangers of Tijuana beer city. Everything city.


 

And I’m going to extensively talk about beer. Beer is my favorite thing. Be it cheap ass fucking Tecate or a nice sour or IPAs.

 

I claimed Tijuana has the best tacos in the world. Here’s another ludicrous claim.

 

Tijuana has the best beer in the world.


 

Recently, two beers from the area got bronze medals on the World Cup of Beer. I don’t like neither of the beers that won and is definitely not the best beer in town, but at least they got a couple of bronze medals. More are for sure to come.


 

San Diego claims to have some of the best beer in the world. We are their neighbors and little brother to the beer craze. 

 

The hop insanity started in the early 90s because of Stone beer, it has extended through the world, and whatever trend San Diego does… Tijuana is quick to follow.

 

We are currently living in the hazy phase. NEIPAs (or New England Indian Pale Ale) started the trend. At first, I disliked it. It just looked and tasted like an IPA gone wrong…

 

But now… now I’m starting to love them. They are doing interesting things with hazy beers. Very fruity. Many give me a guava juice feel. They are delicious and I’m loving it.


 

It was a weird weekend out of my weird fucking life. Beer guide next. And say goodbye to all this text. 


 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 19. An Actual Guide Part 1: Tacos + Beer. Nevermind… Cocktails.

If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas


Chapter 19. An Actual Guide Part 1: Tacos + Beer. Nevermind… Cocktails.

 

I’m almost done with my text for the taco issue. I went to food porn places that some dude on Instagram name @Baja_Cali_Food posted. His food porn always made me salivate… so I went to check out the places. One of them (El Nuevo Tecolote) is one of the best tacos I’ve had. The rest were more than okay… but I still prefer my neighborhood tacos.

Up next, going to San Diego to take pictures of tacos by other writers and the cover photo. 

I have a sweet gig going. 


 

This is my third year doing the taco issue. And it will be my second taco cover…. Tacover… 

 

Dumb.

 

The first tacover was at my friend’s taco/torta truck named Corazón de Torta. I didn’t choose the location, someone in the office did. Turns out they are cousins.

 

A sneaky way to make the cover.

 

And my hand was on the cover.


 

Corazón de Torta was barely opening and it wasn’t that great… but I’ve been back recently and holy shit… I can easily say they have the best tongue taco in the region, better than most of Tijuana, and only beaten by Birrieria Guadalajara in Ensenada.

 

Guadalajara has the best tacos de lengua I have ever tried. 


But this is not about Guadalajara or San Diego. This is mostly about Tijuana and just a bit of Ensenada. I do declare sir! Tijuana has the best tacos in the mother fucking world.

 

Just hands down.

 

Best fucking tacos in the world. 

 

And I’m going to take it a step further… 

 

We even have the best fucking beer in the world.

 

An outrageous fucking claim… but that’s the reason I live here.

 

And it is all insanely cheap! Especially if you earn dollars.

 

Fuck do I love this city.


 

And most people only come to fuck prostitutes and leave.

 

Not knowing the food and beer paradise behind the dirty streets.

 

It’s fucking crazy how much food and drinking there is.


 

Tijuana’s cocktail game is not to par with other places in the world. I can only name less than a handful that prepares great cocktails and just a dozen places that can perhaps make a cocktail.

 

Let’s get that shit out of the way.

 

Nortico, the speakeasy behind Oryx Capital probably has the best cocktails… but they pricey!

 

It’s a great experience to take people to Oryx… then lead them to the bathroom… and to the secret green wall. Every once in a while I meet people that know about Oryx and still don’t know about the speakeasy. Drinks here are going to cost $10+ each. That’s fucking dollars. So yeah. Pricey but worth it.

 

Tras / Horizonte follows closely. They had a bartender from San Francisco that ended up being an alcoholic and fell in love with a girl that I dated briefly… now they live somewhere else.

 

Fucking Tijuana.

 

Anyway. Their cocktails are flashy, very inspired, and good… but lack the alcohol taste. I’ve probably drank a couple and felt nothing. Also. Pricey. Drinks are actually better priced than the food… Maybe because Tras / Horizonte used to be Kokopelli, which used to be so fucking good and cheap. And now it hurts to pay almost triple for their tacos… when a few years back were better and way cheaper…

 

By the way.

 

Everything might have changed by the time you read this. Everything might change fucking tomorrow.

 

This city changes way too fast.


 

What I try to do in my tours… is download the map of the city that my brain has… into other people’s brains.

 

But that’s impossible.

 

We’re not machines… not just yet.

 

But I do have a map similar to Metroid Prime’s Gamecube style of mapping. The 3D map. If you played the game you know the joys of navigating that map. In fact… they did everything in that game. It should be played more. I should play more Metroids…


 

Continuing with the cocktail list… let’s keep it simple. The other two were not in downtown Tijuana… and downtown is my stomping grounds.

 

Bar Nelson. Find me there on a regular basis… though less and less each day since there is no oxygen in the bar, only cigarette smoke. I’m going to die of lung cancer before any of those fucking smokers. 

 

Bar Nelson is fucking cheap. Cocktail experts… not really. It’s a divey bar and the main bartender and owner knows what they are doing. They can whip up a cocktail. Erica makes a great fucking margarita. And everyone goes for the “especiales” which used to be called “mamadas” years before. 

 

They’ve had the same especial for decades. Old people go to Nelson. Young people go to Nelson. It’s a spectacle.

 

And I’m that asshole that plays jazz in the jukebox. 

 

It happened yesterday.

 

The bartender, Liz, lost the toin coss, so she said “go play jazz.” She hates jazz. Almost everyone hates jazz. I don’t get it.

 

I enjoy it. A lot. But who knows… 

 

Yesterday though… I took it too far. Four jazz songs in a row is too much for bar attendees. I heard what I presume was a gay patron shout out “who is playing this crappy music?” I can tell he was gay because of the way he said and the way he looked. Yes. My gaydar is semi-accurate. I can also tell because the whole table seemed to be gay. His shirt was on too tight. And he had GREEN fucking hair in a stylish fashion.

 

Nelson. Boom. Roasted.


 

La Justina and Cine Tonalá both are newish have fancy cocktails and they are doing a decent job (but a bit pricey). La Justina is much better at it, but their food got stupid small and expensive. It’s more enjoyable to just get a couple of drinks and munch on their free popcorn with ash and salt. 

 

Don’t try the old fashioned at Cine Tonalá. I told the owner this and she told me they made it better. It’s still not good. I’ve had better old fashioned at dive bars in the US than this fancy cocktail place. I got to tell her again… but I’m not buying it. She’ll serve me one, once she comes back from Europe.

The rest of the cocktail menu is pretty good. They have mezcal and some gin drinks that are refreshing. Their beer menu is a fucking mess. The food is hit or miss. Some of it is delicious and well priced, some of it is way overpriced for how tiny it can be.

Try this one, the Santa Tlali (maracuya mezcal):

My ex used to love the beet and spinach salad with goat cheese. I enjoy their burger… dare to say one of the best in town. But that’s not saying much. Tacos are what’s best here… burgers… not so much.

I mean… I’ll probably take In N’ Out over almost any burger in TJ. I just tried a burger in San Diego at a place called “The Friendly.” They don’t give you options, they just serve you this dirty greasy fucking double cheeseburger that would make Randy from Trailer Park Boys proud. Dirty greasy bomb perfection for $5. I could munch on those fuckers forever and then die of diarrhea.


 

That’s pretty much it for cocktails! All dive bars carry the standards, but not every bartender knows what the fuck they are doing besides opening beers and pouring tequila shots.


 

Oh shit!

 

Almost forgot… 

 

El Tinieblo inside La Cevichería Nais… That place has a smokey old fashioned made with mezcal that is fucking killer.

 

They also have “mezcalitas” margaritas made with mezcal and they are all fucking tasty as fuck. There’s the “pulp friction” which is a chamoy based margarita (again… with mezcal, called mezcalitas). La cuchi cuchi which is like the classic mezcalita, a mango one, a spearmint one that is perfect to cleanse the palate for whatever the fuck you are gonna do next. 

 

And the food is fucking amazing. The ambiance is great too. The service is a bit too much, they take your napkin away as soon as you barely wrinkle it. Dudes. Relax. I don’t need my barely dirty napkin taken away immediately.

 

The cocktail list is extensive and it has never disappointed.

 

So yeah.

 

For the best cocktails in downtown… El Tinieblo (which is getting remodeled right now) inside La Cevicheria Nais (which is your only option right now due to the aforementioned remodeling).


 

Honorary mention. Caesar’s Restaurant. 

 

I actually don’t think I’ve ever had a cocktail here. I just know I trust that they can actually do good work. Caesar’s is a Tijuana staple. The place where caesar salad was invented. Though it has changed. It was acquired by the Plascencias in 2011 (I believe) and remodeled. It’s a bustling success. They have great live music on some nights. Their menu is extensive and most of it is delicious (avoid the salmon fingers… DO FUCKING go for the tuetano aka bone marrow or for their oysters Rockefeller). The best thing about Caesar’s… It’s not that expensive. 

 

It wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting with the publisher/editor of one of the only surviving real surf magazines out there, The Surfer’s Journal. 

 

He read my articles before and wanted to chat with me. I ended up hanging out with the guy at Caesar’s for a couple hours drinking and snacking. We had a couple beers each, a couple shots of mezcal, Rockefeller oysters, and something else… I forgot. But the check was $28 or something like that. He was happy.

 

We then went to Valle de Guadalupe the following day to Finca Altozano for his interview with Javier Plascencia, Tijuana’s most coveted chef.

 

That’s the second time I’m in his presence, but the first time I actually sit with him at a table. He is a fucking chill guy living the best life you can possibly imagine. Busy as fuck. But who wouldn’t want to be him…? The “inventor” of Baja-Med. The trendy tasty cuisine of this region. Octopus is his strength. 

 

Octopus is the strength here. And seafood in general. And tacos.

 

Fucking tacos. That’s what I was going to write about and look how fucking deviated I got.


 

Other honorary mention, the classic of classics, Dandy Del Sur.

 

I started going there lately in exchange of Nelson. The main reason is… NO SMOKING ALLOWED at Dandy’s. I can breathe.

 

It’s a classic. Almost legendary. People come from far to drink at Dandy’s. 

Dandy’s: where the legendary Anthony Bourdain set foot to have a drink with la Señora Aida whose birthday is one day before mine. They have their picture framed in the bar.

 

And I got a VIP card.

 

I didn’t do anything to deserve it but pay 250 pesos (around $14 at the time I bought it). It guarantees a 2 x 1 in any first (national) drink every day. The card pays for itself in 7-10 visits. It has other perks, but the best is the 2 x 1.

 

They suck at cocktails. They are strong and not well mixed. They also have their own “especial” but I haven’t bothered to try it. 

 

I know about their cocktails because they have specials depending on the day. 3 whiskeys for 90 pesos ($5). Straight up shitty whisky. 

 

Palomas 2 x 1. Fucking shitty as palomas.

 

Cuba libres. Shitty. 

 

I’m not sure if they can actually prepare actual drinks. I guess I’ll have to venture into cocktails there… but I rather just get a couple of beers 2 x 1 and get out.

 

That’s what I did yesterday.

 

After visiting the new Mamut taproom on Calle Sexta. What used to be Praga 2. What before was the shitty strip club that I mentioned with Hudson and Penner.

 

Right across from Dandy del Sur. Near La Cevichería Nais.

 

All this shit is nearby. And there’s still dozens of bars and restaurants that I haven’t ventured. 

 

And that’s just fucking downtown Tijuana… when I go to other regions of the city it feels like I went to another fucking city.


 

I have a sexy photo shoot in an hour and I haven’t had breakfast. This turned out to be about cocktails. Next will be about tacos. Or perhaps beer. 

 

Beer is going to be extensive… should save that shit for last.


 

About the sexy photoshoot… this is newgrounds for me. I had a friend model for me a couple times and she is sexy as hell, but it was more urban wear that looked like an American Apparel ad or something. Not really because AA likes to use exotic and really young looking chicks. This girl has a rocking body, but a tomboy feel. The point is… it was sexy, but not as sexy as the next.

 

I did a different sexy shoot with a different friend. She got semi-naked… the only problem is she isn’t that hot. It was still a fun shoot and turned out some great frames that she liked. So that she is happy means I’m happy.

 

And today… in an hour or so… yep… An hour. 

 

Another friend designs lingerie for “suicide type” looking chicks. You know… like goth lingerie. So I’m meeting two models who I have no idea who they are and taking pictures at a laundromat for a lingerie brand.

 

I’m sort of nervous… sort of excited… 

 

Let’s see how it goes. 

 

I’m not getting paid… so I should actually do some real work after (and I have two paid gigs lined up this weekend…I’m set).


 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 17 — Ensenada Adventure.

If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas


Chapter 17. Ensenada Adventure.

 

I have a tour in a couple hours. It’s 16 people in total. Given their names, I’m pretty sure they are Hindu. Most are coming from New York.

 

I have no desire to do the tour.

 

I’m sure it will go awesome. But I’m tired. 


 

The tour previous to this one… Another one that came to film a reality show went horribly wrong. Just thinking about it makes me livid.

 

I’ll talk about that shit later. 


 

This was a good week. April has gone awesome and it just started. I made money left and right. A friend got married, I did the pictures. He paid me more than what I had asked for.

 

I took way too many pictures. And a huge edit. I can still be better.


 

Got a bunch of other photo work done. I’ve been regularly busy.


 

The wedding was in Ensenada.

 

And here’s the thing about Ensenada.

 

It’s a fucking awesome place to visit.


 

In a way, it’s a glimpse of what Tijuana used to be. It’s heavily visited by tourist Americans who are too afraid of Tijuana so they choose Ensenada. 

 

In this last visit, I saw that they sold bracelets that read “Fuck Trump.” And also a racist yet somewhat hilarious bracelet that read “I ❤ Nigga Pussy.” 

 

There were a lot of black Americans walking the streets of Ensenada. I wonder what they would think of those bracelets. Or if the Mexicans selling them ever got in trouble. I’m pretty sure they get a kick out of it.


 

You know those woven bracelets that they sell in the touristy beaches of Mexico, right? They don’t really sell those in Tijuana. Seeing that shit is like going back to the 90s. At some point, I wore those bracelets. A lot of them.

 

That point was high school.

 

So yeah. The late 90s.


 

Every damn time I go to fucking Ensenada crazy wild shit happens. This was no exception.

 

And oh…

 

Of wild stories to tell.

 

My fucking life reads like fiction.


 

The first time that Ensenada engulfed me was in 2014, four years ago exactly.

 

I was broke as fuck at the time. I could barely afford rent. I lived day by day wondering when my next paycheck will come.

 

I still live like that… But it’s been getting better…


 

My neighbor knocked on my door. He wanted to go to the Ensenada Beer Fest, Mexico’s biggest and best craft beer festival. I told him I had 300 pesos in my wallet and barely any money in the bank. He said that it will be fine. He wanted company.

 

About where I was staying. He said not to worry, he had a house.

 

About getting into the beer fest, he said not to worry, he knows some people.


 

So out of nothing, I was suddenly on my way to Ensenada with my neighbor who I barely knew. Younger than me, but not by much, he was still going to college. 

 

I haven’t seen him in forever. Cool guy. But I believe he lives in Mexicali now.


 

We arrived at his house in Ensenada. It was his parents’ house in pretty much the nicest neighborhood in the city. On top of the hill, overlooking downtown with views of the ocean and the port. I couldn’t see much from the outside but it seemed like a pretty big house.

 

Where were his parents? “Don’t worry about it, they won’t be back,” he said.


 

The house was locked.

 

He had no key.

 


 

So he called every locksmith in town to figure out a way to get in. But to do this, he had dropped me off at the Ensenada Beer Fest.


 

He left me at the mercy of some girl. I’m sorry that I don’t remember her name. She was cool. I want to guess “Rosa,” but I’m really not sure.

 

Rosa had extra tickets for the beer fest, so I joined her. And with the 300 pesos I had left, I got as much beer as I could. They were selling at 10 to 20 pesos the 4 oz samplers. Plus, they were giving a lot free tasters. It was a lot of fucking beer.


 

The only bad memory I had about that day was at the Donkey Punch Brewery stand. They offered me a beer. Like literally offered me a beer without saying I was buying. They served me two glasses… It was clearly an indication of free beer. The festival was ending and this dude was serving everyone.

 

Then he charged me.

 

Fuck that shit.

 

My final pesos gone.


 

I didn’t hear from my neighbor. I never saw him at the Beer Fest.


 

Rosa took me to a nearby bar. Red Lion. They have that shit in Tijuana (yep, the same as the first bar I went to). It’s a nice looking bar but fucking generic and boring. Beers are cheap. 


 

Rosa bought me a big beer (they serve draft beer in 1-liter bottles of Oso Negro Vodka). There were other friends of hers there. I was tired and drunk and had no idea where I was going to sleep.

 

I knew I had some money on my debit card so I was thinking of getting a hotel for the night. $30-40 hotel if possible. I knew I had at least $100 in the bank.


 

Just as I was looking at the possibility of the hotel, Rosa tells me that my neighbor called and that we should come to the house.


 

Apparently, I went in and told everyone I felt like I was in an episode of House Hunters International. The house opened up to a beautiful living room with huge windows and a huge balcony with views of fucking everything. It was truly astonishing. There were bottles of wine on the counter. The usual Tijuana celebrities were there. 

 

I drank wine and mingled. But I don’t remember much.


 

I think I passed out on the couch.

 

I did.


 

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. in a bedroom by myself. 

 

I walked into this huge bathroom to drink from the sink and cool my head down. 

 

The fucking towels were wrapped like fucking geese as if it was a fucking hotel room.


 

I walked out to the balcony and saw the huge looming house above me. I had no idea where the fuck I was. All I thought was… sleep some more… It will all get clear if you sleep some more.


 

I slept a bit more and then I got woken up by my neighbor who was tapping my forehead with a cold can of Coors Light.

 

He was drinking one already.

 

“Let’s go to my Grandma’s and have brunch,” he said.


 

Before figuring that out… we drank a bit and played Wii U as other people that crashed in the house were figuring out what to do as well. 

 

That was the first time I played Wii U…

 

On the couch, in the living room, there was a black, white, and gold cushion that read “My Other House is in Paris.”

 

“Where are your parents?” I asked.

 

“In Paris,” was the obvious reply.


 

His grandma’s house was also a beautiful villa. Not as huge as the house overlooking Ensenada, but more of a traditional Mexican house with a nice patio with fruit-bearing trees.

 

His grandma not only treated us to a traditional and amazing grandma brunch she brought out caguamas.

 

So we drank beers with the abuelita while she told some horror stories that happened recently in the family. A horrible robbery that happened. It killed the mood a bit.

 

Fucking Ensenada.

 

But they were all fine still alive and healthy. So the mood lightened up and we drank more and ate more.


 

Later that night we met with more of his Ensenada friends. We were supposed to go back to Tijuana, but we ended up in the huge house with people drinking wine and smoking weed looking at the sunset in the magnificent fucking balcony.


 

That was my first time in Ensenada. Ever since… I’ve had plenty of good times down there.

 

The latest comes next.

 

Now I have to get ready for the tour. It’s going to be a long one. I’m not totally ready. I do not want to do this.


 

I might retire soon. It’s not the first time I’ve said that. But I’m burnt out. Tours take a toll.


If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas

 

 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 13 — Sneaking Through the Backdoor and Time ravel.

If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas


Chapter 13. Sneaking Through the Backdoor and Time Travel.

Changes changes changes.

 

I like to talk about them. And recently, there have been many changes in my life. Nothing is like it used to be. It’s interesting what success looks like depending on where you look.

 

Getting published in a magazine felt like a huge success. The first cover story also felt great. And now it’s a job. I haven’t even done it for that long and I’m already tired of it.

 

Not writing cover stories. Those are hard to come by. Writing, in general, gets tiresome. But also pictures. 


 

This Saturday wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had to take pictures at a hip hop show. The light was shit. But I managed. It was fun.


Changes.


“If you put more effort into your tours, you would be so successful.” Or so they say.

 

If I put any more effort into anything I would be more successful.

 

Effort is hard to come by. 

 

I’m easily satisfied with little.

 

And yet I have so much more than many others.


 

I still don’t have a car. And I should get one.

 

Sounds basic. But I’ve been fine without a car for years. I do need one though. I borrow my brother’s car way too often.


 

That’s what I’m doing tomorrow.

 

Borrowing my sister-in-law’s car for a Tijuana Adventure.


 

Changes. Those changes.


From going to strip clubs and being a mini-pimp to whoring out the city’s problems. 

 

The world-famous Hong Kong.

 

The world-famous border wall.

 

Penis.


 

It was a bit over four years ago

 

Weird.


 

Time in Tijuana goes fast.


 

That’s when I started getting published in the magazine. I now do a bunch of things for them. It always feels like I’m pretending to know what I am doing. I have no fucking clue. But it works.

 

Cover pictures are usually mine. I’ve had a handful of covers already. I have another one in mind. I get published regularly.

 

And yet.

 

Yet.

 

I get nervous every single time. That someone is going to find out. That I have no idea what I’m doing or what I am talking about. That I’m just a lazy guy that figures out how to be the laziest and still live.


 

That’s what I have tomorrow that is making me nervous. Tijuana Adventure tours always make me nervous. No matter what I’m doing.


 

I haven’t been to the strip club in almost a year. I stopped caring about them. I bet I would nervous if I had to go. I don’t really want to go, but people pay me to take them… 


 

I don’t really want to go to the thing tomorrow either.

 

It makes me nervous.

 

I just rather stay at home and play video games.

 

But I need to make money.


Journalists from New Zealand are coming over to see the border prototypes by Trump. I’m getting hired by journalists instead of by party-goers or perverts.

 

Changes.


Two are from New Zealand. The other is a famous journalist working on a book about migration.

 

Famous as in she has a best seller and a Wikipedia page. I guess famous is not the right word. More like respected in her field.

 

And that scares me.


 

I know it’s going to be fine. And it will make a great story. I just get nervous.

 

The problems of being an introvert/extrovert.


 

It’s also really early. I have to meet them at 7:30 a.m. at the border. Then a bunch of missions. And end the day early before 2 pm. 


 

My tours usually start at dusk and end at dawn.

 

This one is the complete opposite.

 

Changes…


 

This week is a bunch of busywork. I don’t want to do any of it. Just like I haven’t been writing. Because I don’t want to do it. 


Back then, I was excited about the prospect of writing. It was tough. But getting published was the best. Not only because money! I needed the money!

 

I had no idea how to make a living by writing. Every small publication I would treasure it.

 

Fuck yeah.

 

$100 bucks or so for writing things that I experience. Observe. Write. Details. Quotes. Write.


 

I also got rejected a bunch. I didn’t really have the fundamentals. 


 

I got rejected by the main editor to the point where he was ignoring my emails. That was pointless. But I kept writing.

 

I wrote a basic article about what Tijuana was becoming.

 

So many changes already.

 

I submitted it to the travel section through the website.

 

Different editor.

 

They liked the story.


 

That was my first publication with the magazine. With the travel editor.

 

The smallest of the sections in a very small magazine.

 

And I was so happy with it. I successfully snuck in through the back door. 


After that, I wrote about a music festival in Tijuana. After all, that’s what I liked the most about the city and my obsession. 

 

Music editor.

 

Nice.

 

Two editors on my side.


 

News stories were next. That pays better than travel or music and I landed a great story that involved a border wall riot. I also had the proper contacts for it and had inside information.

 

Bam!


That’s how I started writing for the magazine.

 

My first cover would come years later. And it was about beer.

 

Meeting the marketing manager came later as well.

 

And now, I know a lot of people in the office and I do a bunch of shit.


 

It all started with a shitty travel story about Tijuana’s nightlife.

 

The story talks about all the changes in Tijuana.


 

It wasn’t as easy as I made it sound. It took a lot of time. I’m still not in a great position either. I barely make money. But living the Tijuana life helps.


 

So instead of taking people to strip clubs, I tried to switch my tours to be about music. That was a stupid idea since people that like concerts barely have any money and if they are going to venture to Tijuana already, they don’t need to pay a tour guide.


 

Changes.


 

I was barely making any money through writing. So life was of cheap beer and tequila. My sensei master of a writer, Mr. Chad, drank a lot.

 

I became a professional writer because of him.

 

And by that, I mean an alcoholic.


 

Chad wrote a lot after nights of partying and encountering a deadline or inspiration. He would write through the night while drinking, and drinking a lot.

 

I’m a sleepy drunk.

 

As soon as I hit my nice limit, I usually turn off.

 

I try to never appear drunk despite heavily drinking.


 

I rarely or ever drink in the mornings. Most of the time that I drank in the mornings was because of Chad.

 

I miss him.


 

His room sat across my room. The apartment was basically empty.


 

Now my mom lives there. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s only been a couple of days. And it’s supposedly not to be long.

 

Changes.


 

After months of living alone with my cat.


 

Changes.


 

And before that, one year of living with the same girl who I thought I was going to marry.


Changes.


 

Los caminos de la vida, no son lo que yo pensaba.

 


 

That song has a fucking exquisite bass line. 


 

Changes.


 

My friends from Minnesota are also visiting this week. From Minnesota to Tijuana.

 

It sounds strange as fuck. Minnesotans in a Tijuana Adventure. Let’s see what happens. 


 

Changes. My life in Tijuana has been nothing but constant changes. I swear I can’t predict what next year will be like. 

 

Maybe that’s what life is in every big city. I don’t know what my life could be like outside Tijuana… It’s a strange one, that’s for sure.


 

My life is much more tranquil now. I have somewhat of a busy schedule and workflow.

 

I still feel like I’m bullshitting my way through life and somehow it’s working.


 

The writing is catching up to where I am now. But before all of that… There were a lot of drugs, alcohol, and women.


 

The misogynistic writing in the era of the #MeToo in a strange world from a bizarre city continues. 


 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 4 — Diaries of a Dirty Old Man.

If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas

Chapter 4. Diaries of a Dirty Old Man.

 

This is starting to sound like the stereotypical dirty Tijuana diary. Yes. I’m going to write more about hoes.


 

Oh shit! My editor just emailed me that he accepted a story. He says, “it’s good-ish, but not great.”

 

Still got accepted. Still, I got paid. But I know exactly what he meant. That’s exactly how I felt about that story.


 

Hoes. I feel dirty calling them that. And very misogynistic. Prostitutes sound worse. Bitches sound like fun. Bitches and hoes.

 

There are a lot in Tijuana. All kinds.

 

I haven’t visited those places in almost a year. 

 


 

For this story, I was still a Zona Norte rookie. I sort of understood the complexities of it but also didn’t know much outside Adelitas Bar and Hong Kong.

 

I still lived in LA.

 

I still acted as a tour guide despite not knowing the city.

 

And it’s another adventure again with friends of friends of my brother.

 

 


 

 

I believe this happened with Andy and Spencer. They had a band back in the day called HFICLSI (pronounced haifa-colasai). I still have that album. I still enjoy that album. It’s a wreckless dirty attempt at mathy post-hardcore a la The Blood Brothers. A lot of jerky guitar riffs, heavy drumming, and crazy yelping. I’m playing it on iTunes right now. 

 

Anyway.

 

I was out with those kids in Tijuana. I hung out with them a lot in San Diego before, so again, I don’t remember how things started, I just know we ended up in Zona Norte.


 

Fuck this story for just a while. I need to make myself breakfast and think about what I’m going to reply to my editor. 

 

I woke up really hungover today and had nothing to do. I decided to write this chapter since I already have it written in my head. It’s not going like it should. Breakfast and actual work. Then back to this.


 

That was a series of unexpected emails and events when I was just trying to describe one night many nights ago in Tijuana. Last night. Last night was great. Craft beer is nice and cheap. 

 

Back then, craft beer didn’t exist in Tijuana. It feels like forever ago, it was just 8 years ago, late 2010.


I went out with Andy and Spencer, probably to a show, or something similar in Tijuana. After that, we decided to venture into Zona Norte with little money.


 

We started at Adelitas Bar which is way more calm of a strip club than Hong Kong and I sort of prefer that. 

 

We went straight to an empty table at the left of the entrance. Naked girl dancing on stage. Naked women everywhere. And one of them was basically on our table.

 

It was some sort of booth-type table and the girl’s ass was literally hovering over my right shoulder facing the other way, sitting on the booth part. I looked at the guys like “heyyyy check it out, naked ass right here.”

 

The girl saw me checking her out and immediately jumped on my lap.

 

Yep. Had to buy her a drink.

 

She said I looked like a stoner. I admitted that I was. I told her that I had some California kush better than anything she’ll find in Tijuana and we started talking about that.

 

She gestured for her friend to come over. The girl sat between both my friends but it was somewhat awkward and they weren’t feeling her style. I stayed talking to that girl who didn’t move from my lap. The guys wanted out. I told them to hold on.

 

Another beer.


 

The girls told us that it was their time to dance. They got up and went to the dressing room. Before that, the girl I was with told me that she was going to give me her Facebook name and phone number. 

 

The guys wanted out again. I told them I’ll meet them in Hong Kong. 

 

I waited alone while I saw the two girls dance in the general stage. I threw a couple dollars their way.

 

Then they went back to the dressing room.

 

And I waited. 

 

And waited.

 

To the point I was like, fuck this, she’s not going to come out and give me her Facebook. I got up to leave.

 

I saw her rushing from the back, she grabbed me by the hand and pulled me back into the club before I could exit. Then she had me walk with her. She told me the club frowns upon the girls giving their numbers away and sneakily gave me a piece of paper to open later.

 


 

I left Adelita Bar with her Facebook and phone number.

 

Her Facebook name was something along the lines of “psycho NAME chick.” 


 

I added her later that night. And this story does not end in this chapter.


 

Went to find the guys in Hong Kong. I was done for the night. I was running out of money and I was already happy with a new contact that I made. And I showed off the contact as if I had struck gold. A hooker’s phone number. How fun. She wanted to smoke and drink with me, and not in a bar. Or so I thought.

 

They were also running out of money but wanted more and more. We stayed for a couple of beers. They bought a girl a drink.

 

… not really a girl.

 

More like an older woman.

 

She was by far one of the least attractive woman in the whole club. But apparently, affordable.

 

Because the guys bought her just a couple of drinks and them horny fucks were all over the girl. Like both. Together. Just grabbing her here and there. Andy was trying to kiss her. She was not allowing him. But touching her anywhere was fine. And they kept doing it.

 

It was… gross.

 

And at the same time hilarious.

 

I tried to look away.

 

But if your vision wanders in places like this, you’ll end up locking eyes with a girl, she’ll end up in your lap again.

 

It’s impossible to look away in these places.

 

I’ve tried staring at the TV to distract myself.

 

Impossible. Eventually, titties or asses will block your view.

 

I’m pretty sure the TVs are there just for that. To look at something when you are not trying to get a girl. But they don’t work. 

 


 

The guys ran out of money. The ugly older woman got up and left. I told them it was time to call it a night. And so we did.

 

Out of money. Out of luck. Done. 

 


 

The rest of the story of the psycho chick comes later.

 


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