Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 16 — Reality Show Appearance as Fake Mad Dog Mateo.

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Chapter 16. Reality Show Appearance as Fake Mad Dog Mateo.

 

So… 

 

I was in a reality show over the weekend.

 

My tour were British guys following a commercial pilot. I signed a non-disclosure agreement, so I don’t think I am allowed to talk much about this but fuck it.

 


 

They were five guys total, don’t remember anyone’s name except Noah, one of the camera guys, and Christian, the star of the show. There was another camera guy, a sound guy with a boom mic, and the director. The pilot and the director were the main show. A clap would initiate the takes.

 

Some crazy shit I’ve never been part of. Until now.


 

I talked a lot. I told some of the stories I already wrote here. The South African guys’ story that was the previous chapter and the story about the pilots which was earlier at some point in this stupid shit.


 

I said shit I might regret. Similar to the shit I’m writing here. 

 

No ragrets.

 

Fuck it.


 

It was a fake tour for a reality show. Fake Tijuana Adventure. Fake Mad Dog Mateo. 

 

Fake reality show. Nothing new here.

 

The tour was basic, I didn’t even plan it much. I didn’t think of it. I just improvised like always. 

 

It started with my basic explanation about the city and why Tijuana exists. We walked to Norte Brewery Co for the sunset views of the city. Here I told the story of the pilots on camera to a reality tv show pilot. I ignored the cameras and just acted natural.

 

I’m going to hate it once it’s out. 

 

And people in Tijuana are going to give me so much shit about it.


 

After Norte, we moved to street tacos. Las Amigas that they never disappoint and it’s an interesting taco stand. I found out that the star of the show was a vegetarian here. Good job telling me about that before rolling cameras… 

 

All the guys got one taco, but we wanted more food.


 

We had a second dinner at Cine Tonalá. 

 

They didn’t want to drink or party for real. More like do it for the cameras and move on.

 

The meal or drinks didn’t get recorded. It was like a break from work. 


 

After done with the second dinner, they started recording again. Us exiting the Cine and talking casually about the meal.


 

From there they had one request. Strip clubs where they could record.

 

And of course, there is only one shitty strip club that would allow us to do such a thing without a warning. El Zorro. Yes. The same one with the South Africans just from the previous chapter.


 

I convinced the bouncers and waiters to let us film. We told the girls that they weren’t going to be on camera… and none of them were attractive… 

 

We ordered a bucket of beers but didn’t drink any. 

 

I ran to the bathroom quickly, and when I came out, girls were all over the guys. A fight ensued between the producer and the pilot. The pilot went to get a private lap dance. The producer stormed out with the cameras following behind.


 

It’s a reality show.

 

That was planned.


 

After they “reunited” I walked them through Zona Norte and told them they couldn’t film here or to be careful. The camera guys started filming as the “paraditas” or the street prostitutes ran for cover while hiding their faces.

 

“Están grabando!” I would hear them say to each other and scramble to hide. Never seen that before.


 

A cop started following us. I told them to ignore it and we kept walking.

 

But then he blasted his siren and stopped us. I said I would handle and expected the worst. It was the complete opposite. He told us that if we needed anything to let him know or give him a call. He was super excited to see the cameras and told us to record whatever we wanted. It seemed like he wanted to be on the show. So the crew kept filming. They were live bandas being fucking loud and they filmed that. 

 

It might be some of the best recordings of Zona Norte and it was only 9 pm. And now I know, if you enter Zona Norte with a bunch of gear, the cops are fine with it, the prostitutes are the ones that hide and hate it. 


 

And then it was over. Walked back to the border.


 

I offered them more places to visit and drink. Nope. They were done. The job was done. Short fake Tijuana Adventure. I got paid. Signed the contract. And took them to the border.


 

I wonder what will happen next with them. I wonder how the show turns out. They don’t really even know where it’s going to appear. Or maybe they did and they just didn’t want to tell them. Netflix maybe? YouTube? Maybe only in Europe? 

 

Oh shit. I just googled it and it has an IMDB. 

 

“A documentary filmmaker follows his best friend, a Windowed airline pilot, around the world as he looks for a new love, via the TINDER Passport dating app.”

 

We did talk about Tinder and Bumble. So the premise they told me is real. No Tinder girls were met. 


 

HOLY SHIT! 

 

After more research… I’ve been duped.

 

The “pilot” was, in fact, the producer that I was in contact with.


 

I’ve been googling these guys… They told me the producer stayed back in LA setting up the next appointment. Nope. The producer was the main star the whole time. And obviously, his name wasn’t Christian.

 

Holy fuck.

 

Nice one.

 

Nice fucking one.


 

I should have googled these fuckers a bit more before I actually took them on a tour. They have two movies, one out with a bad rating and the other still in production. And now their new show. 


 

Oh fuck.

 

What’s going to happen to my appearance….

 

I might get heavily edited or cut. This show might not even be aired. But… oh well.

 

Shit is done. I made some money. Tour is over. 


 

I have more tours coming up. A lot of people have been hiring me to film around Tijuana. Might as well change what my tours are about and help filmmakers and journalists. They seem to have enough money to pay me.


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Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 15 — Mad Dog Mateo And Crazy South Africans

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Chapter 15. Mad Dog Mateo And Crazy South Africans

 

I have a tour the day after tomorrow. A British film crew is coming over to shoot a documentary that follows a commercial pilot. Five guys total, the pilot, the director, two cameras, and the sound guy. It should be interesting.


 

I have some work tomorrow. Shooting a new rugby team in San Diego. It’s supposed to rain. It should be interesting.


 

Interesting. That’s what my life aspires to be. I should travel more instead of just receiving travelers here. Spend 6 months in a different city for the rest of my life. Writing 1,000 words or more a day in my experience in that place. 

 

Professional traveler. The dream job.

 

I’m stuck in Tijuana for now.

 

I can’t afford to travel now. Can’t afford much. Saving up to get a car. I haven’t owned a car since I moved to Tijuana. Now I need one.


 

Interesting.

 

A lot of interesting tours have happened.

 

One of the stories that I tell a lot is one that I barely recall.


 

Bachelor parties sort of mixed into one gigantic story. 

 

Then there are other special events that are not bachelor parties.


 

That one boring tour I had with a beautiful Australian couple. They were vegan and they arrived in Tijuana before noon. That tour was forgettable. The couple was gorgeous (both models), but no personality. That tour was one of the tamest most boring tours.


 

I had different Aussies as well. Three friends that were friends of the wife of a great friend of mine. Yep. Friends of friends of friends.

 

The three of them were on the chubbier side. One was ginger with long hair and beard, the other had salt and pepper hair and was a comedian who Playboy retweeted often, and the other was a chubby bald DJ.

 

All of them were hilarious.

 

I stayed with them for a couple days. The first night in Hong Kong, the comedian and the DJ started fighting. Ginger ignored them and suddenly he had a beautiful girl on his lap. The girl told him he loved gingers. The guy didn’t believe her but did buy her a couple of drinks that night. Nothing happened.


 

Next night, a similar story. Went out for food, tacos, drinks, and more. And ended up again in Hong Kong. Comedian and DJ started arguing again, and suddenly the Ginger disappeared with the same girl he chatted the previous night. 

 

We didn’t even notice.

 

Apparently, the girl recognized him from afar and they disappeared together.


 

That feels like it was many years ago. The guys loved Kokopelli tacos. They wanted to open a franchise in Melbourne because they swore it would be a total hit.

 

They promised to come back.

 

They haven’t.


 

I haven’t seen my friend or his wife in a couple years. I’ve been planning to visit them. It’s only LA. But I am stuck in Tijuana.


 

Nah.

 

The story I tell a lot it’s the one with the South Africans.

 

South Africans have broken the record of alcohol and food consumed in two days.


 

I forgot how they contacted me, but I remember when we met.


 

They booked Hotel Ticuan for the night. I met them in the lobby. Two best friends in their mid-40s. Both plenty rich, one fucker had a house and business in Malta. Both had their own businesses in South Africa. Both married with children. 

 

And every year, they take two weeks and party the fuck out in Vegas. They just spend thousands of dollars partying. Just the two of them. Their two weeks of fuck everything, we are just going to do whatever the fuck we want.


 

That year, they found me and Tijuana.

 

They loved that I knew who Die Antwoord. And that I obviously knew District 9. I fucking love that movie.

 

I lived in LA when they install them fake benches announcing District 9. They didn’t look like movie posters. Just said that aliens aren’t allowed to sit on the bus benches, humans only. They were awesome. 


 

We got beers in the lobby’s bar. Three each to be exact. In less than 20 minutes. Before 4 pm.

 

We got the check. $9 dollars in total.

 

They thought it was $9 per beer.

 

Nope. I informed them that beers are a dollar each in Ticuan. The hotel is owned by the same owners that have multiple bars and hotels. Beers are less than a dollar at most of their establishments.

 

South Africans started laughing. They couldn’t believe such a nice hotel would be selling beers for a fucking dollar.

 

They dropped a $20 and we left the hotel.


 

Tour was typical. Food. Craft beers. Drinks. And then strip clubs.


 

Before going to the best strip clubs, they requested a shitty one. Just as a warm-up.


And I knew exactly where.


 

El Zorro Bar. “Well… cum… to Tijuana! Exxxotic girls!!!”

 

That’s what the cheap sign on the front of that shit bar reads. It’s next to one of my all-time favorite bars here. Nelson Bar. You’ll find me there constantly. Or maybe not by the time you read this. Probably not. 

 

Who the fuck is reading this?

 

Maybe once I’m dead.


 

We went to Nelson before going to El Zorro.

 

And here is something I found out about myself. Don Julio tequila makes me black the fuck out.


 

That’s why I say I don’t really remember what happened… Just little flashes… of debauchery.


 

We took two shots of Don Julio each. Again, guys were rich, so they were just throwing money with no regard. They were used to Vegas. Tijuana was nothing.


 

I woke up the next morning to find my wallet, my phone, and a crisp $100 bill on my desk. The very same desk I’m typing this crap right now. I barely had a memory of what happened the previous night.


 

I seriously checked my butthole.

 

Why would I have an extra $100? 

 

Nope. Butthole was safe.


 

Checked my Uber history. Saw that I got an Uber before FUCKING midnight from Hotel Ticuan to my house. 

 

I didn’t even fucking lasted till midnight.


 

I called the guys asking them if they were alright and confessing I had no idea what happened the previous night…


 

I was so fucking hungover and confused.

 

They told me not to worry, that I was a great host.


 

I told them I was going to cure my hangover at Telefonica Gastro Park, the trendy food truck location that opened in Tijuana in 2015 and has grown since. Featured in the New York Times and shit. 

 

That place.

 

Before it was huge. But still pretty popular.

 

Especially for a Saturday at around noon.


They met me there.


 

And yes. I’m listening to Die Antwoord while I’m writing this crap.


 

 

Mad Dog Mateo!

 

That’s the nickname they gave me.

 

Mad fucking Dog Mateo.

 

Pachangas Matt and Mad Dog Mateo.


 

Those days are behind me… I think.


 

Saturday morning. Well… morning for hungover people. Brunch time.

 

South Africans order food from a lot of food trucks. And then we hit the bar. Too early for craft beer. So we got caguamones.

 

And…

 

Shots of fucking mezcal.


 

We stayed there eating and drinking for three hours. Wasted before 3 pm. 

 

Those guys could fucking drink.


 

We were being obnoxious and they were telling me all that we did the previous night… at a family-friendly place.


 

All three at some point had two girls on top of us. I can’t even imagine how much money we spent. 

 

It was way before 3 pm and I saw them spend around $200 on drinks and food….

 

The waitress would bring us shots of mezcal, they would pound it, and ask for the next round before the waitress was even done serving them. We finished a bottle and a half from that bar that day. 

 

Drunk and obnoxious telling stories of prostitutes, strippers, and debauchery surrounded by families. At least it was all in some weird English that I’m hoping not that many people could understand. But we were still fucking loud and drunk very fucking early. 


 

By 5pm, one of the guys requested cocaine. So here I go to call my guy. Obviously, he took hours to get to me. But there. $50 worth of cocaine. That’s shit tons of cocaine.


 

Oh fuck. I haven’t even explained how I met my coke dealer.

 

It was at a poker game with my weed dealer. 

 

I was winning. He provided coke. He got irritated when I was clearing the table. The bets weren’t much money. So I let him win a couple times. Then he became my contact for cocaine. And he has the best cocaine I ever had.

 

Disclaimer… haven’t seen this dude in years.


 

The Korean tacos were still around back then. We had some of that shit. 

 

And then… they wanted to go back to El Zorro.


 

We virtually repeated the previous night.

 

I told them that Don Julio was probably the reason I blacked out.


 

So we had Don Julio shots again. 


 

I became friends with the manager of that shit strip club that night. He told me that he has never seen that much money spent in his shitty club. And that they keep bringing me girls or drinks and I kept just saying no with my hand. One older woman stayed on my lap for the most time. 

 

The South Africans were doing drugs, whores, and drinking like crazy.

 

Keep in mind this shitty strip club only has five or six girls working at the time. The place is a shithole. The private rooms are little improvised cubicles. The wall where the shitty tiny stage is located has broken mirrors in a horrible fashion. Like they tried to do something creative but executed horribly. 

 

It’s a shit strip club. But it’s also anarchy.

 

The beers are cheap for a place with naked women.

 

The women are cheap. And you can see the battle-scars. And one of them is obviously a transsexual.


 

But that’s what they loved.

 

They loved how nitty-gritty it fucking was.


 

They also loved Hong Kong and Adelitas. But they said it didn’t feel real. And they were too big. Too many girls.


 

At shitty El Zorro, it was as if they owned the place. And for the hours that we were there, we basically did own the place. That place can’t be worth much. 


 

Those two nights those fuckers probably spend over a thousand dollars each.

 

Definitely more.

 

And I got paid $300 for two nights of partying with crazy South Africans.


 

I blacked out both nights.

 

Now when I walked by El Zorro, the manager likes to tease me with what happened that night.


 

I am pretty sure I recognize the older prostitute that I had in my lap most of the time. I am pretty sure she doesn’t recognize or remember me. I still see her from time to time on my way to Nelson.


Can you imagine the stories that a 40-year-old prostitute can tell? 

 

I don’t really want to know.


 

I live too close to all the debauchery.


 

And I’m obviously desensitized to all that shit. 


 

Like most of the people that come on a tour with me, they promised to come back. They said they had forgotten about Vegas after experiencing Tijuana.

 

I haven’t heard back from them since those two crazy wild nights.

 

I wouldn’t mind going full Mad Dog Mateo again. As long as I’m getting paid for it…


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

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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.

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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 10.5 — Rudy the Italian New Yorker who said Tijuana was the DR mixed with 80s Brooklyn.

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


Chapter 10.5

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.


And…

And…

 

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

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 10 — New Apartment, New Not-crazy Roommate, Co-worker Experiences Zona Norte.

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


Chapter 10. New Apartment, New Not-crazy Roommate, Co-worker Experiences Zona Norte.

 

I haven’t been working lately. It has been slow these past few days. I don’t like it because I’m not making any money.


 

I started taking pictures of pretty girls posing. I’m back in the photography game. I’m good at it. But I’m not sure if I love it. I just want to do it to make money. And I figured taking pictures of pretty girls is where there is money.

 

That. And pictures of food.

 

And photojournalism.

 

I can do all types of pictures. I’m making some money out of photojournalism. I have a gig to take care of this week. But I need more money.

 

And I just started taking pictures of girls modeling. I’m not sure where I’m going with it. I’m never sure where I’m going in life.


 

I don’t think no one ever does.


 

I haven’t been writing. But I finally pitched something to my editor and I will be working on it next week. Leaving Tijuana for a while. I need to get away.


 

Just like I got away from living with Mrs. Palída Hortaliza.

 

Holy shit that was terrifying.


 

So now I was living in the same ghetto building in downtown Tijuana. I never described it well. 

 

It’s a red building. It’s almost prison-like but not that horrible. The narrow corridor is dark and the stairs are of simple cement with black handrails. There were 12 units in there. The apartment that I moved out of was on the third and last story. It had nice light and a small balcony with nice views. Neighbors on each side that were okay and some in the bottom that I never really saw.

 

The apartment I moved in was in the middle level of the building. Surrounded by every apartment and right in front of the main stairs.

 

I heard every single movement in the complex.

 

The grumpy mechanic neighbors. The weird neighbor that owned a BMW and claimed to be a videographer but still shot film. Families that kept to themselves but looked scared. The guy that most definitely sold drugs. You know. Downtown Tijuana.


 

Boxy small two-bedroom apartment in the middle of the complex. The balcony for that apartment hit a wall of the building next door. The saddest balcony in history. That was the view from my room as well.

 

The light was shit. And I had a dusty extra room for rent. 

 

Almost no furniture at all. Just my computer and my kitchen shit. Still, no internet and my new room didn’t reach the Wifi from the old corner.


 

It was shitty. But I was happy. 

 

Working every day at an office for $800 a month and paying $280 for a two-bedroom wasn’t that bad.


 

It didn’t take me long to find a roommate to split rent with. He barely lived in Tijuana so I barely saw him.

 

We are still good friends to this day. So for the purposes of this text let’s call him Ricardo. Yeah. Why not.


 

Ricardo showed me the joys of Zona Norte outside Hong Kong.


 

Up to this point, I have only been talking great about the sexual palaces in Zona Norte. Well… now it’s time to talk about the shitholes.


 

Introducing La Nueva Pachanga.

 

Just a few steps away from Hong Kong is this lovely place.


 

Ricardo took me walking through Zona Norte, but the opposite way I’m used to entering. This time, we walked from west to east on Calle Primera. Before this, I haven’t even walked on Calle Primera besides by the Hong Kong area.

 

The area is gnarly. I rarely walk through that area now. Despite living a block from it. And a few blocks from Calle Primera, near La Internacional… Yeah. Don’t walk there. It’s too gruesome.

 

Shit. I live right there and I don’t dare cross certain streets. Too many drugs in this town.


 

And that’s where Ricardo was taking me.

 


 

Behind heavy blue curtains with a heavy stench of smoke, you’ll find a more pleasant stench… of piss and ammonia. Rats crawled by the floor and by the cracks on the ceiling. Beers are cheaper than in the store. And Ricardo walked in as if nothing. As if it wasn’t a weird place. As if it wasn’t the shittiest bar in existence.


 

The joys of La Nueva Pachanga.

 


 

This is where sad hookers end the night. The old ones that couldn’t make any money sit at the bar and let old men buy them drinks. That’s all they need.


 

It’s a wormhole into another dimension. A few yards away people are living lavishly surrounded by beautiful naked women throwing money in the air like they just don’t care.

 

And in La Nueva Pachanga people count pennies to get a drink. 

 

Shoe shiners come in and offer to clean your shoes if you buy them a beer or a taco. 

 

Junkies come in for a fix that is easily available in one of the shady corners of the bar.

 

Drunk old hookers with scars or barely passable men dressed in drag dance on the dirty pole hoping someone will give them a dollar. Usually, no one does. 

 

There’s a gambling machine similar to pachinko but with a soccer theme that is supposedly illegal. But who cares. The short employee dances while he mops the floor over and over. Tipping him a coin would result in him promptly going to the soccer pachinko machine to try his luck. 

 

Somehow, the jukebox is outstanding, it has an eclectic collection which includes numerous great bands. And the speakers sound good for how loud they usually have them and how shit the bar is.

 

Posters on the wall seem to be there since decades ago. Chivas, the soccer team, stomping on their rivals, America. Pictures of the team from seasons ago when they were actually good. Misspelled handwritten signs inform you of the prices.

 

2 Pasifico Caguama 50 pesos


 

Ricardo bought me a 10 pesos shot of tequila.

 

Tequila el muerto, 10 pesos

 

You read that right.

 

That’s around 60 cents for a shot.

 

Obviously, it was fucking disgusting.

 

But there we went again. Took a couple more 10 pesos shots and got some beers.


 

Beers, again, are cheaper than the store. They don’t taste right but for around $3 for two giant 1.27 liter beers it’s a steal. Jukebox is cheap. The soccer pachinko machine is fun. The people that enter are insanely colorful. 

 

It’s the end of life.


 

I became addicted to it.

 

To that disgusting yet interesting wormhole and walking around the gruesome Calle Primera. 

 

I rarely walk through there anymore.


 

I became addicted to the stupid soccer pachinko machine. 5 pesos for seconds of entertainment and every once in awhile win some money. I’ve lost around $30 playing that stupid shit but got much entertainment out of it. Worth it. I would still go back just for that fucker.

 

And the pool table is not that bad. It’s crooked and used as fuck. But 25 cents games. Beat that. 


 

It’s been a long time since I went to La Nueva Pachanga.

 

It’s been a long time since I went to Hong Kong. 


 

I had a co-worker who was moving from Los Angeles to Tijuana to join the gang of writers in the office.

 


 

El Pinche Kevin. A Mexican-American kid that wanted to pursue a career in writing sports. The kid now is an editor for some other shit.


 

But I remember to perfection when I introduced to el Pinche Kevin the double whammy.


 

Fucker was only 20-years-old when he moved to Tijuana. He had never been in a bar in his whole fucking life.

 

Can you imagine that?!


 

Of course, he had drunk before. This kid went to high school in California and partied.

 

But not bars.

 

And not like this.


 

Take 1.

 

Hong Kong. Or I think for starters it was Adelita’s.


It was Adelita’s.

 

He had never been to a bar, much less one with naked women everywhere.


 

I lied. I don’t remember the night as perfectly as I wish. Memory is a bitch. And I’ve been Zona Norteando way too much that memories mix.


 

It had to be Adelita’s. It’s usually better to start there than to go to Hong Kong.

 

I remember he bought a girl a drink and was disappointed by it.


That got him ready for Hong Kong. Yadda yadda yadda.

 

Strippers and fun.

 

Dollars poorly or very well spent. It depends on how you look at it. It depends on how much money you make.

 

I wasn’t making much.

 

Neither was him.

 

So we didn’t stay there long.

 

I just showed him the joys of Zona Norte at around 2 pm. 

 


 

Of course, no trip was complete without Nueva Pachanga now.


 

That’s the TJ experience. Well… the real Zona Norte experience.

 

Shithole to fancy sex palace in seconds.

 

You have to see both.

 

Otherwise, you are doing it wrong.

 

And behind heavy curtains in Zona Norte, you don’t know what you are going to find.


 

It’s like a game show where you get to choose a door and see what happens.

 

Some might be shitholes with sad old dancers, drunks, and drugs.

 

Others might be completely empty with maybe one hot girl.

 

Playboy for some reason always has a group of Asians.

 

Zona Norte.

 

Just enter it. At any fucking given time. It’s almost 11:00 a.m. right now and I could venture behind heavy curtains indoors of Zona Norte and who the fuck knows what I’m going to find.

 

Hong Kong is a guarantee that it will be the same for now. Same with Adelita’s.

 

But the rest.

 

Who the fuck knows. Some shit for sure. I was curious to find out. And I did a lot.

 

But for now.

 

Let’s go back to the double whammy.


 

Leaving Hong Kong is difficult. Or it used to be. There are too many naked women that it’s hypnotizing and it pulls you back.

 

So it’s best to snap the fuck out of it.

 

And how better to snap the fuck out of than entering a different reality.


That’s what I ohh shit… Come back to it later, I just got called for some work.


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