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Chapter 18. Fuck Hollywood + Bad Tour.
Everything fucking hurts.
And I haven’t done much work at all in the past couple of days. All I’ve done is eat tacos and take pictures of tacos. Scribble little shitty notes that will turn into decent text next. That will be the money I earn this week.
It could be so much more. But I’m a lazy fucker.
Everything hurts because I went to play tennis with my buddy Kevin yesterday. First time I do any sports in years. I have a blister on my middle finger. It grew and burst in the second set of the match.
Guess who won?
I fucking won.
Both times coming from behind. Both times sets were 7-5.
Good fucking game.
Speaking of my middle finger. Here’s what happen a few weeks ago. Or a month ago. Whatever.
Thinking about it still pisses me off.
I got contacted by email for a tour like I usually do. The guy didn’t tell me much about what they were looking for but insisted on talking on the phone.
This was on the same email as the bachelor party email since I received both that same morning.
And I’m a busy guy.
Fuck did I pay much attention to a guy who didn’t tell me much but wanted to talk on the phone.
Guy called me while I was at Mason Ale Works in San Diego after photographing a rugby training for the city’s new team. I was hanging out with another writer and we were invested in our conversation about writer stuff while drinking and eating.
Whatever the fuck.
I was probably talking about this stupid shit.
Guy spoke in Spanish, which was confusing, then he switched to English. Guy told me what he wanted. Something about a Netflix show. A guide to make them feel safe in the city. Blah blah blah.
I didn’t pay much attention. I get plenty of tours like that and this wasn’t urgent at all.
The main thing. They wanted safety.
As if fuckers would get killed the moment they touch TJ.
Weeks later, Guy emails me and CCs Gal.
Gal seems terrified about Tijuana and asks about safety plenty of times. Gal was coordinating the hotel they were staying in and asked me plenty about it.
This city has probably a hundred hotels. It’s obvious which are the shitty ones.
They end up booking a decent one. Not the best, but in a nice area and a decent hotel.
To meet them it was a fucking mess.
They switched up the way to meet a couple of times.
They ended up driving across on a white van and I saw them outside of Costco.
Five people in the white van. The driver who seemed cool. Gal who seemed nervous. English dude who was calm and quiet. Douche Hollywood oldish looking dude. Greek fucker who seemed to be the man in charge.
The Guy that book the tour wasn’t there.
I direct them to their hotel. While on the drive they discussed plans and they still kept secretive about what the fuck they were doing in Tijuana.
All good so far. Even though I still have no fucking clue what I was doing. I’m great at improvising and I can handle all this shit.
Finally at the hotel. They all seem stressed and indecisive.
They make me sign a non-disclosure agreement before they say anything to me. Yes. I went through it. It seemed alright.
I just googled the company… I can’t find dick about it except the offices in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, they are nearby my old office in Los Angeles when I used to work for National Photo Group.
I can’t find anything else about these fuckers.
English dude and Greek dude start telling me what they want. It was a tall order and out of nowhere, I had to figure out all for the next day.
They wrote me a list.
I needed to find a charity or something charitable and it couldn’t touch the subjects of migrants because it was too political (orphanages preferred). We needed a dangerous-looking Tijuana. Something something something. And last, but not least, we needed someone that was willing to go on camera and say that Mexico is too dangerous to drive through.
I told them they were wrong, that they could do the trip if they wanted too. I met a guy who fucking ran from Vancouver to Argentina pushing a stroller. He went through Mexico and received nothing but support. I’ve met dozens who drove from Tijuana to South America and nothing has happened. Yes, there are many cases gone wrong, but they had a shitty white van. The chances of something happening were very low… And they were going to drive through South America anyway (which could be worse…)
And at the end of the list, the name of the show, they told me to watch some that night to figure it out… AND DELIVER ALL the next morning.
Fuckers are crazy.
And for what? Like $300-400?
Fuck it. I was going to do it. I could fucking handle it. Extra money is always nice and I had already planned my days for this shit tour.
I’m getting angry again.
I accepted the gig and put the list of demands in my back pocket.
The show followed the English dude around the world because he was a traveling expert. Something like that Man vs Wild show with Bear Grylls that everyone knows it was staged and that fucker was staying in hotels.
Same with this English dude.
He was staying in the hotel and staging everything else.
And here’s where the non-disclosure takes place. Obviously, fuckers don’t want to disclose to their viewers about this.
Hopefully, I’ve been vague enough to not be in trouble. And… to be honest… the show is fucking suspicious, the company is fucking suspicious, and this is stupid fucking text I’m writing, so I doubt I’ll get in trouble.
If I do, and you are reading this, and you are a lawyer… hit me up!
Time to eat. I was starving. Everyone was starving. Except for the English dude, “ the reality star.” He wanted to stay in the hotel.
The driver wanted to know where to find massive burritos. Technically an American thing, massive burritos are not common in Tijuana. There are a few places though.
Driver dude was cool.
I took the passenger seat and directed him to Teléfonica. He told me he stayed in a hotel nearby not that long ago.
Gal was all nervous the whole time. She seemed to take abuse from the producers or something.
Hollywood douche was being a Hollywood douche. Never took off his sunglasses. I never saw his most likely squinty little shit-eyes of Hollywood douche superiority.
And Greek dude… well… he is the one I had the most issues with.
While driving around, Greek dude asked me frequently where the shitty parts of town were and if it was safe to film in certain places. I told him that shit parts were just a good twenty minutes south and that yes, he can film anywhere as long as he doesn’t film cops. He had no interest in the city of Tijuana or anything else at all except seeing some shit areas for the camera (which are not that difficult to find…)
But first food… right?
This is what happened.
We got to Teléfonica. The place is packed. Many of the people in there are obviously American. Teléfonica always has tons of Americans. You can fucking hear their conversations in English.
I’m doing the usual tour telling they have many options. I tell the driver that Satabu has big burritos for around $7, he is excited. I tell the Greek guy there’s a Greek place, he fucking shrugs the whole place off. Like he was way above it.
Gal was nervous and said she wanted a vegetarian taco. Hollywood douche said nothing and just talked to the Greek guy.
I led Gal to La Taqueria Veggie which is fucking amazing vegan food. They have a taco truck in San Diego and they are doing great.
I tell her they have insane veggie tacos there. But Gal just wants tortilla and lettuce, nothing of the fake meat or anything else. It made no fucking sense.
Instead of all choosing their own place, the Greek guy tells me to order for all in one place. That fucking didn’t make sense either. I tell him to walk around and choose. Gal is stressing me out because she can’t order a fucking taco to save her fucking life.
They acted like fucking babies. As if the border fucked their whole fucking views.
Except for the Driver. The Driver was cool. So my intention was to please him first since he was the easiest to deal with. I took him to Satabu and told him about the burritos and he started figuring it out himself, so I was fucking happy.
I went back to the other group who were arguing amongst themselves.
The Greek fucker pulls out his phone and says, “I see there is a Chili’s nearby, this is like American Chili’s, yes?”
Yep. He had a shitty Greek accent. A good looking douchebag with a Greek accent. No wonder he was so fucking entitled.
I tell him that indeed that is American Chili’s. He says he rather go there because he is afraid that the food in Teléfonica will give him food poisoning as he rubbed his stomach indicating he was sensitive.
I lost my shit a bit…
I asked him if he was serious. He said he was. He was concerned about getting a stomach-ache. And he made it seem like I should understand. As in “look at this shithole.”
Fucking Teléfonica… packed with Americans and everyone eating happily. That place has never failed me. I’ve taken so many tourists and everyone loves it. Not everything is perfect, the place has its fucking flaws. But it never fails me.
I asked him again. This time added the “fucking serious.”
He said yes.
That’s when I truly lost my shit.
Asked him if he hired a tour guide or just a prop for his stupid TV show that could say what he wanted on camera. He again said something like “you understand… right?”
I said fuck no. That I didn’t need this shit. For some reason, I gave him his stupid list back. The name of the show was in there and to be honest, I don’t fucking remember the name at all. I tried googling or finding the show… Can’t find shit.
And for reasons of the NDA I signed… I’m just going to leave it like that.
I yelled at the fucker, ” the tour is over, I’m not your tour guide.”
He then asked me if I was serious.
I said that if he was going to Chili’s, I was.
He said, “fine then.” The good old “we can manage without you.”
And they can. Tijuana is not a dangerous disaster they make it seem. It is a bit… but only if you are stupid and ask for trouble. Not in fucking Teléfonica or anywhere they were staying.
I could see the concern look on Gal’s face. The smug look on the Hollywood douche behind his boss producer also standing tall to his decision to go to Chili’s.
I stormed out.
But was confused because I was also hungry so I didn’t know what to do.
So I stupidly just walked by them fuming. They looked confused as shit. I wanted food but was too fucking angry.
I decided to walk out the backdoor, emailed the guy that “hired me” telling him that I left his group.
I left my black simple hoodie that my mom gave me for Christmas in their fucking white van. I miss that black hoodie. That is what I regret the most…
I was still fuming, so I decided to call the guy that hired me.
I told him why I left them behind. He seriously said, “what’s wrong with Chili’s?”
For fuck’s sake.
Don’t fucking hire a tour guide and then ask him to take you to fucking Chili’s. And not only that, they basically wanted me to shit all over Tijuana.
For a couple hundred bucks. For some shit Netflix show that was staged.
I was still fuming.
Nelson. My refuge. Beer. Calm down.
I emailed him angry still, but more tranquil. I felt bad for leaving them like that. I felt bad for the Driver who was cool and just wanted a giant burrito. I felt bad for the Gal who seemed to be scared shitless. I felt bad for the reality star guy who seemed nice, we talked briefly about soccer, and he seemed like a chill guy. I didn’t give a shit about Hollywood Douche and the Greek Producer.
So… in the email I included leads that they asked for. The charities that they might want to work with. And the places that they should go to.
But I also told him I was not their tour guide. And just because the Greek guy was the one that pissed me of the most I gave him the stupid analogy that what he was asking for would be similar to ask for a tour of the Parthenon, then tell the tour guide to talk shit about Greece and it’s failing economy, and to top it off, to take me to McDonald’s because I’m afraid of Greek food.
I never got a reply. I’m not sure if they cared. I’m not sure what happened to them. I’m not sure what they ended up doing.
I don’t know if they got another tour guide that helped them out with all their shit. I don’t know if they did it solo. I don’t know if I’ll ever end up watching the show.
That was the most livid I’ve been in a long time, and writing about it again, made me livid. Fuck those Hollywood douchebags. Fuck Hollywood in general. I fucking hated (almost) everything about living there.
As silly as it was, I was angry for the next following days. Fucking Chili’s.
If you like Chili’s… I understand. There are many places in America where the best choice is Chili’s or Applebee’s. But if you are traveling to a different city and hire a tour guide… asking for Chili’s in a place with so much amazing great food… Well… simply… FUCK YOU.
That was the second tour I have ever canceled.
The first one was early when I was doing tours. The guy that wanted a tour was only going to pay me $25. When I met him, he was obviously strung out. The guy was already in Tijuana in a seedy hotel and wanted someone to connect him with a dealer for heavy drugs. He said this to me five minutes after meeting. I told him I wasn’t his tour guide and left him.
And… now I’m getting bombarded by emails from real work. I have a busy weekend coming up. Lingerie pictures with sexy girls tomorrow, that will be a first, let’s see how that goes. I have to cover a food bank event and dress in my tuxedo again. And finally, more rugby pictures on Sunday.
And more more more tacos pictures.
I should wrap this up and actually talk about Tijuana instead of all the stupid shit I do.