Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 14.5 — Rumble Fest, Acid, and Meth. 

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Chapter 14.5. Rumble Fest, Acid, and Meth. 

 

The festival ended. It was a mess. We lost a lot of money. And I barely even slept.

 

I still owed $400 to Mothers of Gut and Habits who came all the way from Los Angeles. They also had a horrible time, except when they were on stage and then partying. They had a horrible time on their way down to Tijuana. They got a flat tire, got in trouble at the border, and it was a general mess. They also got up on stage later than promised but made the most out of it.  

 

Not only that. I promised them $400+ expenses. I only paid them $400, it was all I had. As in, seriously, all I fucking had. $64 were left in the bank. And I had no real income.

 

We thought that we were going to make money with Rumble Fest.

 

Fuck were we wrong.

 

And all the signs that it was going to be wrong were there. And I knew it. But we were having too much fun.


 

I crossed the border to the US with the bands and gave them the cash. I didn’t sleep for over 20 hours and border crossing took us around 2 hours. I was destroyed. And cashless.


 

I went home, got food, got plenty of water, dropped acid, and floated away for what seemed days.


 

After everything that happened… everyone was on acid during the festival except me. It was my turn. I could see my body floating away as I blasted live concerts on YouTube by Battles and other noisy/mathy bands. I rested on acid. Again, as if floating/levitating in the middle of the room. 


 

Months before Rumble Fest, we were organizing mini-festivals. It involved bands that were going to be featured in the event and other minor bands that asked us to be in it but we couldn’t. We did one or two every weekend. This often involved music, alcohol, and drugs.

 

Sex. Sex was also included and random.

 

Everyone was single. And we ruled the stage, the entrance, and the party. The party never fucking ended.


 

The party started since the idea of Rumble Fest came about. We worked. But work was partying. And coming up with ideas. And talking to bands.

 

I did a lot of the work.

 

The website. The ideas. The actual fabrication of what was going to go down. Logistics. They never trusted me fully, and a lot of that went wrong. Logistics. I had some contacts in the music industry and other vendors.

 

David had the crazy idea and the contacts for music and party people. 

 

Chad had the contacts for music and artists. 

 

And for three months we coordinated to make it all happen.

 

 


 

 

J-Mar came later. He had contacts and his own ideas. His band was opening the festival. We needed his support.


 

After many preview shows, the date of Rumble Fest was near. Which was a week before my birthday.


 

The ultimate party celebrating that this shit was actually happening. At the gym, with our partners.

 

Tecates abounded. And we drank for a long time. 

 

Cocaine was also available. And though I don’t like the drug, I partook. 


 

Suddenly, we were running low on beer and out of cocaine and it was past midnight.

 

Someone said he had a contact for both. Forty minutes later when only one beer was left, the contact showed up with a 24-pack and more cocaine.

 

Party saved… momentarily.


 

That was harsh cocaine. 

 

In fact, it didn’t feel like cocaine at all.

 


 

 

We were at the gym. There were mirrors everywhere. So I remember staring myself in the mirror and realizing I just did some meth.

 

My hair was crazy, I felt insanely energized and powerful, my eyes were bloodshot red, and I had a sudden thirst for everything.


 

That feeling continued the next day. 


 

And the next day.


 

And almost to the next day.


 

We drank Tecates throughout the whole weekend. Mostly at Tropics Bar. 

 

That’s why I loathe that place. 

 

And many other reasons… 


 

That year, 2015, was the last time I went there, near Christmas time.

 

Except, I broke my promise of not going there last week. When friends from Minnesota came over and we were invited there. It wasn’t as horrible as my memory painted it.


 

It was on Sunday at Tropics Bar when I started to feel the fucking worst withdrawal feelings ever. Thank god I don’t really fucking smoke cigarettes or ever dabbled with heroin. 

 

Fuck that.


 

It was a fucking nightmare.

 

I was wearing sunglasses at night like a fucking douchenozzle. But I did it because my fucking head felt horrible. I was a zombie. I was fully awake but tired as fuck. I knew the only thing that would make me feel better would be more meth.


 

Or “cricais” (crick-ice) cocaine mixed with “ice.” That’s what it was.

 

That shit was fucking nasty.


 

To top it all off, there were four women at the bar that I have previously slept with. One crazy chick, one girl that I fell in love with and the feelings weren’t mutually, and two one-night stands.

 

And there I was with. Feeling like shit. Drunk as fuck and coming off from meth. And ex-lovers in the same bar talking to other lovers. 


 

“Tijuana es un cojedero, se cree ciudad, pero es un pueblito.”

 

Tijuana is a fuckfest, it believes its a city, but it’s just a small town. I was warned about that when I first arrived in the city. It was. It still is.


 

One week to Rumble Fest. Nothing was really ready. Problems were mounting. Everything was falling apart. And the solution were more drugs and alcohol.


 

Clean the fuck out of the area where the fest was going to happen. Fell behind in permits. The vendors were confused. The sound was a shitty contractor. The bands were a mess. And organizers… 

 

Organizers were kept together by drugs, friendship, Tecates, and a fucking belief that we could pull the best fucking concert ever out of our asses.


 

For some people it was. For a lot of others, it was a fucking disaster.

 

It had its highlights, for me, it was 100 Onces. That was it. That was the only moment I enjoyed myself for a second.

 

The rest was running around FUCKING everywhere answering fucking EVERYONE about FUCKING anything. And almost everyone was on fucking drugs. Which made things worse.

 

I had to kick out bands off-stage. Held the ankle of the drummer of the Wax Children to let them know it was their last song. They expanded that last song for many minutes and I had to grab his ankle again. Everything fucking behind schedule.

 

And bands always want special treatment. They are all rockstars in their heads.

 

I had to kick out one of the bands. I told them that I couldn’t be giving everyone fucking blowjobs. And they came in demanding instead of helping. The schedule was way behind, and they wanted the stage. Told them it wasn’t their turn, they got up on stage anyway.

 

Kicked them the fuck out.

 

Not your fucking turn.

 

Fucking bands.


 

Many were helpful, many were in drugs (yet still helpful), and most seemed to enjoy themselves.

 

Only one band were complete ratdicks, they don’t exist anymore, so it’s not even worth mentioning them. Great musicians. Shit attitude.

 

The other, San Pedro El Cortez, they were the fucking best. They didn’t care what happens as long as they could have beers. They played at 4 fucking a.m. The last band to play. And they were happy to do so. With a shit drum set and without checking sound over and over. They just went up on fucking stage and did their thing. 


 

And that’s the last time I tried organizing a major event. And I don’t think I ever will. Unless I get paid a lot and the investment is not my money. And that’s never going to happen. So yeah. 

 

No.


 

I rarely even go to shows nowadays.

 

This last week I went to two. That felt good. I should go to more. But no more drugs. Those days are behind me.

 

That’s what your twenties are for, right?

 

Hunter S. Thompson would disagree. But I don’t have his talent or his wit.  


 

One show was in San Diego. Kirby Dream Band. Nerdy shit. It was great.

 

The other was in Tijuana with my Minnesotan friends. Perdición. It was hardcore. It was fucking loud. Very fucking loud. Dangerously fucking loud.

 

Minnesotan friends couldn’t handle the loud. So we bounced after a few songs.


 

That was after days and nights partying in San Diego, one night in Tijuana, Minnesotans were hungover as fuck, we still fucking managed to party somehow.

 

No strip clubs. 

 

They did that in Southeast Asia. And didn’t feel the need to do it anymore.


 

My stories are enough.

 

I don’t need new stories.


 

And I only have a few left before I’m done embarrassing myself.

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 14 — Pachangas Matt, Drugs, Rumble Fest, Donkey Show, Bands, and Party.

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


Chapter 14. Pachangas Matt, Drugs, Rumble Fest, Donkey Show, Bands, and Party.

 

A blog post about my life 2 years ago show me that I was very sick in February, I was broke, and my life sucked. That blog post also contained pictures of Mila Kunis that I took 10 years ago.


But two years ago, I was a party animal.

 

Pachangas Matt.


 

I’m sort of a professional alcoholic now. I don’t really drink in moderation but it’s really hard to get me drunk.

 

My roommate said he never saw me drunk. My ex-girlfriend saw me real drunk probably twice, but she also said she never saw me drunk.

 

Besides that… I drink, I get tired. I go to bed.


 

I don’t know how other alcoholics can do it. I’m not capable of drinking and staying awake. At some point, I’m just done. 


 

Pachangas Matt lasted a bit until dawn.

 

Drug infused Danger Dave lasted for days. Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

 

And in Tijuana, cocaine is usually not the purest…

 

Chad was fueled by caguamas back then. He could last until noon or later just drinking caguamas and talking to everyone. His Spanish improved after three or more caguamas. 

 

Spanglish ruled supreme. 

 


 

I often had to drag Chad back to the apartment or leave him behind because I was fucking going to bed. 

 

The sun rising felt like an indication that it was bedtime.


 

Some bars never close in Tijuana.

 

I haven’t been in any past midnight in a while.

 

It used to be an every night thing.


 

$100 a week is all you need to live off caguamas and street tacos. 

 

Making US dollars and living in Mexico can be very cheap.

 

Rent was $340 a month (split into two).  Expenses were minimal. That’s a couple days of work. Or just one. It depends.


 

There’s a lot of time to be spent drinking caguamas. It was a full year of doing it. I still do it now.


 

The average caguama in a dive bar goes for $2-4, they are $2 in the store, so bars virtually sell caguamas for the same price. 

 

I don’t want to do the math, but that’s a lot of caguamas a week for just $100. 

 

Tacos are just $1.

 

You get it.

 

Your money is worth a lot more.

 

That’s why thousands of people do it. Cross the border, work for a couple of days a week, live in Tijuana like a king.

 

Two workdays, five rest days. Caguamas and tacos.


 

After many caguamas as the three amigos, we came up with the idea of Fist Fest.

 

Nope.

 

That was wrong.

 

Fist Fest turns out to be a festival of men fisting each other.

 

That wasn’t it.

 

Yep. Just googled it. Still is that shit.

 

“Fist Fest® is most likely the longest running men’s fisting weekend in the world. Established in 1997,Fist Fest® came under our stewardship in 2011. We are thrilled to be able to continue and grow this event. We currently produce four annual weekends.”


Rumble Fest.

 

Let the rumble fest shit begin.


 

Rumble Fest was the attempt of an impossible idea. The perfect and cheapest music festival uniting Baja California and California under one abandoned factory. 28 bands. Live art. Cheap beer. Lots of drugs.

 

$2 entrance.

 

And people fucking didn’t even pay.


 

We lost a lot of money that night.


 

A lot of money for our standards. I lost close to $1,000. 

 

There was more money lost.


 

Hah. I just realized I’m wearing the rumble fest t-shirt.

 

I spent $300+ on t-shirts that didn’t sell.

 

By the end of the festival, I was begging people to buy one so I can recoup some money.


 

It was the most stupidest fucking thing I have ever attempted. 


 

That shit snowballed out of control quickly.


 

We had the idea in early March and started printing the first posters when we found the location of an abandoned factory owned by a gym that Danger Dave frequented. The gym became partners. That’s why the name of the festival had to have something aggressive. Like fist.

 

Except not that.

 

Tijuana Rumble Fest.

 

Shit tons of bands.

 

More than half drop from the first poster. Second poster. More bands from LA. More Hype. New graphic designer who I never paid. Sorry, Zuko. 


 

100 Fucking ONCES.

 

That was one of the things I cared about the most. That band fucking ruled. Too bad they are not together anymore.


And my band.

 

Donkichow.

 

Or Donkey Show.


 

Pretending to be a rockstar playing shitty math rock for bands from LA that are barely known.


 

100 Onces got big for a bit. Not big big. Just big in the math-rock circles. 


 

Music. I miss it.


 

Before Rumble Fest.

 

Three months of previous shows. Getting drunk as fuck. Cocaine seemed to be everywhere.

 

Fucking cocaine.

 

Never liked that drug until the year of the Rumble Fest. 

 

There was also a lot of acid…

 

And a lot of ecstasy.

 

And there might have been some meth.

 

I haven’t done any drugs for more than 2 years ago.


 

You only YOLO once.


 

 

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 11 — Music and New Friends.

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


Chapter 11. Music and New Friends.

It is crazy how much can change in a short period of time. Last week was incredibly slow and today I find myself scrambling to see what I should take care of next. So many stories I pitched that I need to write. So many emails for other gigs. A completely different feel than last week. 

 

And it’s not only that change. This city changes constantly. And that changed my tours. And it also changed me.


I rarely do bachelor parties. Or like how my last tour called them “stag parties.” Much less just take a single individual to the strip clubs. 


My last tour wasn’t even a real tour. It was more like real work. Irish reporters found me through the internet and they hired me for two days to help them with their work on the border. We covered a lot of Tijuana ground. I helped them with some interviews. And I helped them navigate this city. 

 

We got pretty amazing shots.

They got some really great interviews. It’s not the report I would like about Tijuana since they are focusing on migrant issues and the border. Not a travel piece about Tijuana. But once it was all done, we got to hang out more and had a couple of beers.


I never thought my tours would turn into that. I never thought I would be back into photography. I never thought I was going to be writing this much or that I would actually make money doing this.


I still can make more money. I have to work so much more.

 

But the goal of the beginning of this year was to finish this silly book. 


So now I have three photo gigs to take care-off, the tour is over, two long stories, and perhaps a couple of short stories. 

I’m hungry.

And I need to get to work.


 

So… I had my own apartment. A roommate that was barely home. And when he was, we partied a lot.

 

Routine settled in. 

 

Every morning wake-up, shower, go to the office, pick breakfast on the way.

 

Come back late in the afternoon, drink a beer, do more work, go to bed.


 

Rinse and repeat for a few months.


I almost fell in love with a girl who was friends with my roommate. She told me she thought I was gay because I lived with him.

 

I had no idea my roommate was gay.

 

Is gay.

 

He has never told me.

 

I never asked him. We never talked about it. I love that guy. We hang out often. I just don’t think he wants to talk about it.


 

That girl was in love with her ex. It ended as quickly as it began.


And then I met him.

 

Him.

 

My sensei-master at writing.

 

The one that might be editing this text.


It’s getting near the end of the tales since I’m catching up with current times of what happened to what is happening.


 

I met the Chad master at a show in Mous Tache. That’s what I did for the weekends. I went to shows in the city.


 

Chad looked like a young Santa Claus. German looking blond with blue eyes, a protruding belly, with a caguama in one hand, cigarette dangling in his mouth, and his goofy fucking smile.


He doesn’t remember the first night I met him. He remembers a different night a few weeks later.


 

That first night, he told me he was a writer. He told me how much money he made per article. He failed to tell me this was for cover stories or for his own columns, not every writer made that much.

 

Also, he had been writing for the Reader for years.


 

That’s when I started losing interesting in writing about soccer. I was tired of the job and routine. 


 

As far as Tijuana Adventures go, there wasn’t much tourism and I wasn’t getting many customers.


 

I was going to shows and meeting bands and musicians. I would tour them around and help them with anything I could.

That’s when I thought about doing tours for traveling bands. 

Stupid me didn’t realize that bands never have any fucking money.

So those obviously never went anywhere except partying with musicians.


 

That’s the night Chad remembers. When Mothers of Gut came to town with HABITS. 

 

I don’t think either of those bands exists anymore. But they were great.


 

HABITS was a crazy synthesizer band mostly done by Dustin. The singer would climb speakers while singing distorted shit whilst the drummer made noise next to a keyboard and more synth shit.

 

Something like that.


 

The genius behind Mothers of Gut was Aaron. His band was just fucking crazy. The drummer had the body of Super Saiyan Zach Hill mix with the veiny full of heroin arms of Iggy Pop. He fucking beat on them drums like a motherfucker. The guitarist had long hair and looked similar to the singer of HABITS. The bass player was missing his front teeth.


Two songs into the show of Mothers of Gut, the bass player fucking tripped off stage and broke the head of the bass.


Show over. There weren’t many people at the show anyway.


 

The large group ventured into Zona Norte. I don’t remember much of that night except finding out that the drummer did not have an ID of any form or shoes. 

 

He had crossed the border and forgot to grab his passport or any ID. Not forgot… He didn’t have any.


 

There’s also a picture of the toothless bass player with a prostitute in Hong Kong. 


 

I believe they all crashed in Chad’s apartment that night. 


 

A small friendship developed that night. That friendship would change my life.


Later on, I would show a stranger that I met a coffee shop the CD that Mothers of Gut gave me. He fucking loved it.

 

And another small friendship developed with Danger Dave.


Chad, Danger Dave, and Pachangas Matt. The year of the Rumble Fest.

That’s coming up next.

But not before explaining a bunch of other mess that was going on.


 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 5 — Moving to Tijuana: First Apartment and First TJ Girlfriend.

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


Chapter 5. Moving to Tijuana: First Apartment and First TJ Girlfriend.

 

My editor has me working on a story about the morgue of Tijuana. I would have never imagined I would be doing that years after arriving here. Obsessed with the city and constantly writing about it. And making some money doing it. No. I hated it. That’s how it all started.

 


After quitting my job in Los Angeles as a paparazzo. Yes… That’s another book that was never a book, but more of a blog that evolved into a daily word vomit. I wrote shit exactly like this. But a lot of it. That’s my page. Matingas.com. Follow the link to the word vomit. 460+ posts about my life and 100+ about encounters with celebrities.


Ok.

 

Back.

 

I quit my job as a paparazzo. I was tired of it and I got demoted from staff at LAX to freelance on the streets (more money possibilities, but harder work). I didn’t want to work doing that anymore, but I didn’t know anything better. I started when I was 21. It was my first job and I was making way too much money for being so young and not really understanding money.

 

I quit when I was 25 after going on a long-ass road trip through the US. When I got back to Los Angeles I realized I didn’t want to live there anymore. I didn’t want to continue as a paparazzo.

 

So I moved out. Except I had no idea where I should move out too.


I ended up in northern San Diego in a shithole called Rancho Peñasquitos. My brother was getting married in Tijuana, so why not be close to the family in San Diego. 

 

I was going to grow marijuana legally, sell to dispensaries, go back to music school, be a guitarist. What I always wanted to do. 

 

It didn’t go as planned.

 

I lasted less than 6-months in the house with horrible roommates.


To escape the roommates, I would often go to Tijuana.

 

Downtown Tijuana was as close as downtown San Diego. 

 

It was an easy choice.


 

And thus my party days in Tijuana started to become more frequent.

 

 


 

And my first apartment.

 

 


 

 

Two out of the four roommates in San Diego decided that they were going to move out. One of the roommates was the guy on the lease. They told us we can stay behind and get other roommates and talk to the landlord.

 

The house was a disaster. The water bill wasn’t paid and was large. I signed a contract with AT&T because fucking roommates forced me to do so. They never paid me. And they decided to move out.

 

I was left behind with another roommate. The roommate that I thought I wasn’t going to get along ended up being the coolest of them all.

 

 


 

 

They abandoned the house. We interviewed other potential roommates but decided to abandon the house as well. We cleaned the fuck out of the house and took everything that was abandoned to the dump.

 

I interrupted my marijuana growth tent in the middle of a cycle and sold all the lights and plants for cheap.

 

I packed my car.

 

Moved to Tijuana.


 

It took two trips to fill my 2006 grey Mazda 6, named Eddie, with all my shit and moved to Tijuana.

 

Surfboard, mattress, longboard, three guitars, 42” inch TV, 27” iMac, shitty IKEA desk, all my clothes, the paparazzi magazines, and lots of other bullshit that I carry when I move.


My first apartment was in la Colonia Cacho. My brother hooked me up with a friend of his that his mother owned the building. 

 

The apartment was a one-bedroom for $350.

 

I was paying $560 for one room in San Diego.

 

This was way better.

 

And I still had some savings.

 

No job.

 

I never wanted a job.


 

I had a few interviews in San Diego. They would give me the job and tell me to show up at a certain hour at someplace.

 

I wouldn’t show up.

 

This happened three times.

 

They were shitty jobs that I didn’t want to do.

 

It’s hard to do a shitty job when I used to run around taking pictures of celebrities and making money.

 

It’s hard to do a shitty job when I’ve been getting paid to write. 

 

And I write this without knowing if I’m going to get paid.

 

Let’s hope I am.

 

Right?


 

And so I spent my first few months in Tijuana locked in my apartment, waiting for the internet to arrive, playing guitar. Scared of the city. Scared of where I was. Lonely.

Very lonely.

 

I didn’t know anyone except my co-brother-in-law. And he was a punk rock student living not that close and with absolutely no money.

 

That’s how people live in Tijuana.

 

On the edge.

 

With no money.

 

Just enough for the next beer and hopefully the next taco.


That’s why I ended up doing.

 

I sold my car to pay for rent.

 

I sold my car to pay stupid shit I should have canceled. An expensive Verizon Wireless smartphone that didn’t even have a signal in Mexico. A Droid 2. The early generations of smartphones. I was still paying my student loans. And other shit that I should have not been paying while not producing any money… 


 

My expenses were over $1,000 a month without generating any money and eating and drinking outside often. That’s all the money you need in TJ. $1,000 a month.

 

And I sold my car for $6,600.


Those were my first 6 months in Tijuana.

 

Nothing but spending the money I made from the car.

 

Coffee shops during the day. Going to punk shows or going to Chips Bar at night. Mostly depressed. Not knowing what I was going to do next. No job. No hopes. Just wanted to drink endlessly.


 

And then I met her.

 

 


 

 

At a punk show.

 

Chita… 


 

Punk shows kept me alive in Tijuana. The music scene was very unique. And because of my co-brother-in-law, I was friends with many of the bands with the likes of DFMK and San Pedro el Cortez. That’s not saying much. They are only famous here.

 

And it was a DMKF show when I met her.

 


 

My days were spent at Café Diógenes. Two recent philosophy grads had a bookstore/coffee shop that was a complete disaster. I worked there for free because they could not afford employees and they couldn’t afford to work in the shop.

 

I worked there for coffee and to have a place to hang out.

 

I didn’t know anyone.

 

I didn’t meet her there. But we did meet there. She was in college and enjoyed the philosophical grungy feel of the cafe. Everyone did. And no one paid for coffee. 

 

Yep. That coffee shop didn’t last long.


 

But it was at the punk show when she landed on my arms. And stared into my eyes.

 

I’ve never been very good with women. They usually come to me than me to them. 

 

She landed on my arms.


 

Nothing came off that night. My drummer friend told me that she liked me after. And we added each other on Facebook.


 

I don’t remember our first kiss. It had to be at another punk show where we got too drunk and things happen.

 

I don’t remember much of the relationship except it was turbulent and everyone hated us together. We did nothing but fight. Get drunk. Have wild sex. And fight some more.


We were problematic together.

 

I was without direction and turning into an alcoholic.

 

She was a depressed mess. 


Once she came to the front of my apartment completely wasted, with her skirt torn and black makeup running down her cheeks. I let her in. She walked into the bedroom and passed the fuck out without saying much.

 

I told her she couldn’t do that anymore. Not with me. Not like this. 

 

It happened several more times.


 

The worst was when she got a bottle of liquid Clonazepam (Rivotril). She brought it to my apartment excitedly and I kept an open mind. We took some together. Had some drinks. Did stupid shit. Really stupid shit.

 

I remember her skating in the apartment naked. I remember almost burning the kitchen. I remember we drank more than we should have. And I remember she went crazy and said she wanted to kill herself.

 

She wanted to drink the whole bottle of Clonazepam. 

 

I took it from her and hid in my closet. 

 

We fought some more. 

 

Then had violent sex. 

 

And I fell asleep.


I woke up in the middle of the night still drowsy to go take a piss. I found her next to the toilet with a bloody lip and bloodstains on the edge of the toilet and on the floor.

 

I freaked out and carried her to bed. She was alive. She was breathing. But unconscious. 

 

I found the bottle of Clonazepam empty in the same place I left it in the closet. I did a shit job at hiding it.

 

She tried to kill herself in my apartment.


 

I spent all night until the crack of dawn reading online on what to do. Dialed for an ambulance several times, but hung up before they could answer.

 

How am I going to explain that there’s an unconscious woman on my bed with a bloody lip on my bed?!

 


 

I messaged my doctor friend to call me. It was an emergency. 

 

He called me 10 minutes after I sent him the message.


I explained the situation and he calmed me down. Everything was going to be fine. She was going to be okay.

 


 

Miss you Che. You helped me a lot that day. Miss you every fucking day. (My doctor friend is now gone). 

 

 


 

 

That should have been the end of it… And I still saw her after that…

 


 

Our final encounter was a dumb one. We were still dating despite it all. Everyone hated us together. The relationship was beyond toxic. Everything turned into a fight.

 

The final fight was over a game of chess in which she won. I told her I thought I was going to win because I had the advantage (I had captured more pieces than she had). It was a genius checkmate and I praised her for that. But she wouldn’t budge in why I thought I had the advantage. I tried to reason with basic math. But she wouldn’t reason with me.

 

Or so it felt like that.

 

It escalated so quickly so dumb.

 

I kicked her out of my apartment after the stupid fight.

 

We never talked again.


I’ve seen her multiple times since. I still see her in the street every once in a while.

 

We ignore each other.

 

We have never talked again. I’m sorry for all that happened. I never wanted it to end like it did. It was bad for both of us. 

 

But it’s for the best to pretend that we don’t exist.


 

And I can’t stop pretending that my job doesn’t exist. I told my editor I’ll have the next story ready by the end of the week. I already nailed an interview and translated it. I just need to do the legwork.

I don’t want too.

I want to keep writing stupid shit that happened in my past.

And much more happened in the past.

But I need to go back to the morgue and analyze the details. Write the story. Get to work.


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

North of the Border – Back to Tacos and Beer – Tuétano Taquería and Latchkey Brewing

It is rare to cross north of the border for tacos. Much more to cross just to San Ysidro for tacos…

But south of San Diego has been having a slow revival. Breweries and restaurants opening up where there was nothing but chain crap and abandoned businesses.

I crossed the border for work. No pictures of burgers this time. It was pictures of other stories. My job is not always as great as just take pictures of burgers and get to eat them.

Nah.

I had to drive far.

It was still fun. Had to take pictures at a concert. But that’s another story and another job.


Before I did the drive, I stopped by Tuétano Taquería, the new taco place in San Ysidro.

It’s a far walk from the border, but I was craving this place since I first heard of it at the beginning of the year…

I met Priscilla, the owner, earlier in the year in a private dinner at Toshi Toshi with a group of foodies. I’ve been following her on Instagram before but I have no idea how it started. Oh wow. She has 21k followers. Follow her HERE @VainillaMXNA

Priscilla is an accomplished chef with the dream of opening a taquería in San Ysidro. After years and years of planning and working to make it happen, she finally opened the doors to Tuétano Taquería a couple weeks ago.


TUETANO is BONE MARROW for those who that didn’t know.


And some of you don’t even know what bone marrow is…

If you never had it… think of it as steak flavored butter. It’s the goopy inside part of the bone which is all fat and nutritious. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy it.


The first taco I ordered was the one I saw trending online… birria taco with bone marrow on top.

You grab the bone marrow.

And poke the delicious goop meat.

Through the hole.

BAM!

Delicious.

But the taste of the birria overpowered it that I felt like I rather have just marrow…


Great greasy taco. Small. Better than some birria in Tijuana. Great tortilla. Wish it was double.

$2.50 for the taco $2.50 goes for the extra bone marrow.


The menu is a mix and match whatever you want.

There’s birria, arrachera, quesadillas, cochinita, rajas, and several others. You can top it all with a bone marrow.

The place is a small location in San Ysidro and as of now, it feels sort of empty. It needs to be lived in a bit more. The kitchen is tuck away in the corner and you see all Mexican señoras working the comal and making tortillas and the rest.

Next thing I got.

And… that’s a no for me.

Much better.

If you don’t get it. You don’t know me.


Delicious arrachera. Delicious spicy salsa. Ok cheese.

One more.

Dirty cochinita!

Let’s add some limon to that.

Again, small and delicious.

I thought I was ready to eat 7 more. But I oddly fell satisfied. Both the cochinita and the birria are greasy disasters. Add to that more fat with the bone marrow. And you have deceiving tiny tacos.

Cochinita could use more of that acidic cochinita kick. My neighbor’s mom used to make cochinita and memories might betray me, but that was some really great cochinita. And the flavor lingers in your mouth forever.

This one did. But softly. I tasted the taco later while I was working at the concert.

All in all, some of the best simple tacos you’ll find north of the border at a more than decent price. It hurts when you are used to Tijuana prices, but for San Diego it should be considered cheap.


My suggestion for myself for next time. Get two tortillas ($1) and two bone marrows (for $5) and ask for a cup of frijoles puercos that SHOULD BE IN THE MENU.

Priscilla told me how she makes the beans with marrow and they sound so fatty and delicious…

So that’s my idea.

Make two beans and marrow tacos. Sprinkle some salt. Go to town.

Arrachera, pibil, or birria also great choices.

And I’m sure the vegetarian choices are great as well.


I’M SO HUNGRY NOW!


Another not so exciting photography gig took me to Mission Hills a few days later. I took the trolley.

Near the Washington Trolley Station is the old Mission Brewery, San Diego’s oldest brewery.

Except it is not.

After doing the gig, I walked back to the trolley and decided to check it out.


The old brewery changed to other brands a few times and since April (I think) of this year, it has become Latchkey Brewery.

The main brewer is old Ballast Point brewer, which is fucking PROMISING AS FUCK!

Oh.

And Latchkey delivers.

Oh boy! Do they deliver!

First.

All pints are $6

Just that. $6.

And a flight of four?

$6

I got me a pint of their “It’s My Jam” Berliner Weisse with raspberries and black currants. Fucking fresh red pinkish sour with a 6%

Refreshing and deceiving.

They had around 8 IPA or IPA similar tasting beers (NEIPA APA ETCIPA). I had a flight of four.

I didn’t take notes because I’m lazy. So I’ll tell you what I remember.

They all had a unique taste. I think it was the hops used that I never had before. Cashmere and Ella. Especially Cashmere. It has a funky unique taste to it. They were all tasty but not like other IPAs. Couldn’t quite figure out why.


I got a crowler of the Berliner Weisse and went to catch the trolley.

Except I missed it so I decided to kill 10 more minutes at the brewery.

Ordered two more samples of I forgot which ones and same uniqueness to it. Chugged them and went back to the trolley happy with my crowler.


I opened the crowler three days later. I might have been a day too late. It wasn’t as fresh and lively as poured directly from the tap.

Still delicious. But it gave it a more soda-like quality.


And now I head out to a Tijuana Saturday.

The city is changing A FUCKING LOT that it is TOO MUCH TO FUCKING KEEP UP!

Norte is celebrating their third anniversary. They are opening a kitchen and two new beers.

I’m going to go try that right now before the city gets all wild.

Also.

Because I’m hungry right now.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Burgers Part 3: The Not So Really Burgers – Ramen Burger and the Loco Moco – Common Theory and Trade Winds Tavern

A week passed and I was still pretty disgusted with burgers…


I kept it easy and slow. Avoided burgers at all costs. Then crossed the border to get two in a row.

And because I am a dumbass without a car, I had to take public transit. Hit two places that were near to each other. All the way to Kearny Mesa.


First stop, Common Theory.

The burger here… A ramen burger.

Not only a ramen burger.

One with kimchi, scallion cream cheese, gravy, and a sunny side up egg.

This is what that monstrosity looks like.

Close up.

And cutting into the egg!

That is the owner poking the egg with the fork.

He hovered near me for some of the shoot, which many times I actually dislike, but Cris turned out to be an awesome dude. That is his name. Cris Liang.

Yes. He is Chinese. And we got talking about Tijuana… and wait a minute. This dude spoke perfect Spanish. He was actually born in Rosarito!

So I guess he is Chinese/Mexican/American serving a burger influenced by South Korea and South USA?

Anyway.

The burger.

The burger is not really a burger. And it is one monstrous thing. Despite that a week went by… burgers were still a bit eek to me.

This one you obviously can’t pick up. It’s a knife and fork endeavor. The meat patty was delicious, the kimchi could have been more kimchish (stronger), gravy combo with scallions was great, and an egg is always welcome. Ramen as hamburger buns… meh. Not really. I wasn’t loving it.

Clever idea, but I don’t think I can call this thing a burger (even though I just did 20 times). The same thing could have been accomplished if it didn’t have a burger form. It’s very creative and awesome to look at. Doubt that hamburger buns would work, so I guess no option but ramen. It’s pretty out there. It’s pretty damn good.

The place had a GIANT menu and I saw other food going by. Some chubby dude next to me was going at some fried chicken that smelled delicious. The beer/bar menu is also gigantic. A couple on a date were drinking wine to the left of me (though this place didn’t seem like a wine place). If I ever go back, I don’t think I would get the burger since there were many other options.

If… I ever go back. It’s really out of the way for me.

The bar is ALSO great. The place, in general, had a great vibe. Though it’s in a strip mall, it doesn’t feel like it. Definitely some of the best in the area. Because… well… that area doesn’t have much.

Oh.

And that ramen burger would be a hit in Tijuana. This city loves its gimmicks. The whole place would be very welcome here.


I didn’t finish the burger. I ate most of it. That’s very unlike me. But again, my appetite was still low. Which totally sucked, because I had another burger to photograph.


I walked to my next destination. Trying to walk off the burger and get hungry again.

I didn’t.


The other place was Trade Winds Tavern. Again, in a strip mall. Kearny Mesa is an odd place.

The writer got the Loco Moco. It looked like this.

I’ve never heard of a Loco Moco. Apparently, it’s a Hawaiian thing. I’m not very fond of Hawaiian food. This looks delicious… but at the time, with absolutely no appetite, it wasn’t looking great.

Also, it isn’t a burger.

Yes. There is a burger patty in there… but come on!

Then spam, gravy, bacon, and an egg (on a bed of fried rice). Sounds like a delicious hefty breakfast to me. Not late dinner with a beer.

Also.

IT ISN’T A BURGER!

I was confused, especially because my assignment was to take pictures of burgers.

I took a bunch of pictures of the Loco Moco.

Then went back to the bar and asked if they had it in burger form. They didn’t. I asked if they could make it and the chef said yes. He came up with an awesome burger. Looked even better than the real Loco Moco plate. I suggest they add it to their menu.


BUT AGAIN!

I wasn’t hungry…

Chad came to the rescue and though he said he wasn’t hungry, as soon as I was done taking pictures, he wolfed it all down as if he was starving.

And honestly, I would have too… If it was normal me. Look at how good this burger looks. I made it look good, but I trust that it was also very good.

That looks like a damn proper burger.

Fries with parmesan also looked great.

I tried to add some scenery. The editors like scenery.

The burger glistening under the sun.

I asked for some help from the bartender to do the holding the burger shot. The egg dripped immediately.

Drip.

That was one of my favorite pictures.

I also developed a mini-crush on the bartender. She was adorable.

Then Chad crushed the burger.

Sorry if a bit gross of a picture.


After that, we probably went to Bitter Brothers. That’s a great brewery. But writing about it will be for another time.


It’s Saturday and I just had two mini Tijuana Adventures in a row. Chad came down on Thursday and I was out until 2 a.m.

Then my friend Joey came down late last night.

I was up until 2 a.m.

Both times, though I retire from tour guiding, I still do it. But it’s with friends. It’s different. I enjoy it like that. I actually enjoyed it with strangers as well. I’m just lazy and needed a break.


My favorite burger that rescued my appetite and gave me the confidence that I will eat burgers again comes tomorrow.

I really loved that burger…

Burgers part 4 and maybe final part tomorrow!