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Rudy the Italian New Yorker who said Tijuana was the DR mixed with 80s Brooklyn.
I got busy again and I forgot where I was going with all the shit I was typing. I said it had been slow days in the other intro. Well, that got reversed. The editor accepted my pitch for a feature story, then I went to investigate another short story. I got really good material, so I pitched a lengthy story and he went for it.
Now I have a couple of days to finish the first story before I leave town.
And also… one paid photo gig to take care of.
And a tour…
Not really a tour. My tours have changed a lot. There’s still the occasional bachelor party, but it is very rare now.
This tour is of journalistic nature, not that of gross nature. Irish reporters are visiting this weird city and they need someone to show them around. They found me somehow. And I got to take care of that this weekend.
And there are a lot of good events this weekend. And tomorrow I’m jamming with some guys to see if we start a band.
Tijuana is a lot. And I’m getting busy. Let’s get it over with so I can go back to work.
We left Hong Kong and it was nice and bright out. What an experience. Especially for a 20-year-old who has never been in a bar or much less a titty club like that one.
I stopped feeling joy showing people that insane place. It used to be awesome to watch. How people’s eyes lit up when they see that depravity. Men and women. LGBT or anything. It’s world-famous for a reason. And getting famouser as I write this (I am aware famouser is not a word).
So you can imagine Kevin’s conflicted feelings and emotions and excitements.
Taking him to La Nueva Pachanga is like throwing a bucket of cold water on his face.
It goes from tempting depravity from hell to actual hell. A real one. No makeup on this fucker. Crude reality.
We sat on the back near the inflatable palm tree. The only fucking decoration inside La Nueva Pachanga besides the Chivas posters.
There used to be a pole there. Not sure if they changed it. But there used to be one.
Kevin didn’t understand why I took him to this shithole. I didn’t really even know either.
That place still fascinates me, but I used to be obsessed with it.
There was a drunk older woman with a summery dress dancing by the pole. She had a date on a table. A date that was passed out and she barely paid attention to him.
Kevin kept staring. I told him not too, but he couldn’t help it. I tried not too, but I obviously played it dumb like I wasn’t watching it.
Then she came over and touched Kevin and asked for a dollar.
His reaction was of “eww no, get off of me.”
Drunk woman got mad and said, “if you don’t like it then don’t watch!”
And kept dancing and making obscene gestures at us. She lifted her dress to show a very undesirable body.
We left way before sunset.
That was Kevin’s brief introduction to Zona Norte.
Reviewing memories of the time, my friend Nick from Minnesota was here when all this shit happened, since Kevin and Nick met at some point.
This is when the craft beer scene barely started occurring and my tours started to shift focus.
I never took Nick to Zona Norte. Just craft beers and dive bars. More like my tours now.
Later that same week, I had my first legit paid customer. He was not interested in craft beer.
When I started, I used to advertise on craigslist.
The ad said something along the lines of “Hey, I’ll guide you through Tijuana for $25.”
It probably included beer, tacos, and strip clubs as part of the ad.
My first client came through those ads.
A guy from New York named Rudy. Classic Italian New Yorker from the Bronx. Super heavy accent straight up from the movies. Never met a guy like that. Incredibly New Yorker.
He compared Tijuana to the Dominican Republic and to 80s New York.
“Me and my boys, you know, we would go to the DR and get all these girls for cheap, you know, the DR was great, you know.”
He sounded something like that.
Really funny dude.
“New York was like this in the 80s, you know. You would drive around, you know, and get girls to suck your dick for a $20, you know.”
For him, Tijuana was that. A mix of 80s New York and his experiences in brothels in the Dominican Republic or “the DR.” (Dee Ahr you idiot, not doctor).
He requested chicken tacos.
That took me by surprise. Chicken tacos are an odd request. Or rarely even seen. I told him Tijuana is about fish and shrimp tacos or meat. Nah. He wanted chicken tacos.
This is how bad I was giving tours. I didn’t know where to take him.
We ended up in a shitty place that served shitty tacos. He didn’t like them.
Again, I told him chicken tacos aren’t really a thing. Should have just taken him where it is good and not giving him silly choices.
We had a beer somewhere before going into the strip clubs.
He loved the shit out of Adelita’s. Again, he said everything was the same as the DR.
He said that some politician came to the DR and cleaned all up.
“They fucked up, you know. DR was great and then they cleaned it. No more hookers. We used to fly every other month, rent a house, you know, and get girls, you know. Beautiful girls for cheap. The DR was great. But no more, you know.”
“You know” was never a question. More like an interlude between thoughts.
I charged him $25 for the tour which he paid upfront. Then he paid for all the rest.
After Adelita’s, of course, Hong Kong.
Oh was he loving the fuck out of Hong Kong.
He picked up the most plastic looking girl. He said he liked that. The faker the better. He bought her a couple of drinks and told me to get a girl for myself.
He then said he was going to take her to the room and gave me some cash so I can drink while I waited for him.
He came back all happy with the same girl and kept buying her drinks.
Old school photographers roam strip clubs to try to sell you a picture of the memory of you with a hooker.
He paid for a photograph with him and his girl. Two actually. One of them posing as if they were the most awkward high school couple before prom. The other of him with his head between her tits.
$5 per picture.
We drank a bit more in Hong Kong. He said goodbye to his girl. And then left.
It was still day time. Nearing sunset.
He wanted to see more. So I took him through Zona Norte. We didn’t go to La Nueva Pachanga, but I was more confident about where to walk in the area. He wanted to see the street girls.
It was DR this. 80s New York that.
He fucking adored Tijuana.
We walked by where the transsexual hookers stand.
“I’ve seen a lot of transformers in my days, you know, and let me tell you, those transformers are some of the best transformers I’ve ever seen.”
I never heard anyone called them transformers. I know it’s derogatory to call them trannies, shemales, ladyboys, or many more… but transformers.
I think transformers is just fucking hilarious.
I’m pretty sure they find offense in that. They should find it empowering. Transforming oneself is some difficult shit.
Sorry trans community. That was Rudy talking.
As we walked back to the border, he asked why so many farmacias. I explained the giant medical and dental tourism we have at the border.
Suddenly, Tijuana was not an interesting thing for him just for the girls…
Rudy needed dental care that he had been neglecting because it was too expensive.
He said he planned to come back in a couple of months, get dental work, and go find the exact same girl in Hong Kong.
Sorry, mom. Sex sales.
Rudy crossed back to San Diego and it wasn’t even night time. I charged him $25 for the tour, but he was so happy with everything that he learned that he gave me $50 tip.
I made as much money as the prostitute he slept with. I was conflicted, but I made money. Sleazy money.
I called my mom to tell her my first tour was a success and that I made more money than I was expected. And told her that I was sorry because sex sales…
Rudy did come back. It was almost a year later. And his adventure was similar to the one above, except dental work, and he lost his keys in a taxi cab.
Not sure if that story is worth telling.
If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas