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 14.5 — 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 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 12 — Shit Attempt at Writer. Frenchmen and Other World Travelers. Eating in Hong Kong.

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


Chapter 12. Shit Attempt at Writer. Frenchmen World Travelers. Eating in Hong Kong.

 

I have a weird phantom pain on my right leg. I hope it’s not because of my horrible diet of tacos and hamburgers. That’s not a proper diet. 


 

I have so much work this week. I didn’t do any last week and just let all the shit mount. Haven’t written dick. The one story I sent hasn’t been published and I have low hopes. It doesn’t matter. It wasn’t very good. Pictures were great, the text wasn’t.

 

That’s what I’m into now. Taking pictures. And I have a bunch of those gigs this week. It should be fun.


Instead of working, I ended up partying for four nights in a row. It’s incredible how easy this city does that to you. I didn’t even plan to do any partying at all. Wednesday, the young freckled brunette that was mentioned earlier who thought I was the love of her life texted me. She is back in Tijuana. She wasn’t even living here. 

 

She is now a blond. She’s also now 24.

 

Things happened. They shouldn’t have. 


On Thursday, another girl contacted me for pictures. Things escalated quickly when they shouldn’t have. 

 

Tititijuana.


Friday, buddies from San Diego came over and we went bar hopping and ended in a meh ska show.


Saturday, friends from Mexico City came over with tickets for the Xolos games. They were great palco tickets and included free drinks and food. Pizza and wings were shit, but they were free. There was only light beer available, but also bottles of Black Label.

 

From there, the partying continued until almost 3 a.m.

 

Titititijuana.


 

Two important things happened which turned me into a writer. Somewhat. Up to this day, I still have no idea what I’m doing.


 

Meeting Chad. He inspired me to become a writer and to try to get published for the magazine I currently work for.


Meeting Vincent, the Frenchman world traveler. 


 

Besides announcing on Craigslist, I also had a Couchsurfer account. A lot of people stayed with me through there. I don’t use it anymore, but back then I used it to practice giving tours.


 

Vincent messaged me for a couch and to help him with a project called You Make My Trip. He was basically traveling the world asking the internet what he should do in the city he was staying in. 

 

For Tijuana, the voting was between partying his ass off or investigating what the life of the migrants and deportees that lived on the river by the border was like.


 

The internet chose the deportees. I wanted the party for my own sake and to grow the tours.


 

This was the turning point in my life. Vincent stayed with me for almost a week. After a drunken tequila night, Vincent met and fell in love with my friend Shappu. 

 

Their romance ended up in disaster years later, but that’s beside the fucking point.

 

The point is that with Vincent and Shappu, we explored the Bordo area and more of Zona Norte. Really gruesome stuff. People doing heroin or meth on broad daylight. The disgusting Tijuana. 

 

The Tijuana that I got addicted for a while. Nueva Pachanga.

 

The lowest of the lowest of the fucking world. 


 

It’s like staring at the face of death and walking away.

 

So much misery. So many drugs.


 

I knew I had to write about what we experienced.

 

This was my first failed attempt at writing for a magazine.

 

Pretty much like this is my first failed attempt at writing a book.


 

Can’t wait until I throw all this shit to the garbage. Or just post it online somewhere for free and make no money.

 

There goes all my pride.


 

My article got rejected.

 

Not only was it plagued with grammatical and spelling mistakes, but it was also just purely bad. “I this. I that. This happened.”

And wow!

Bad.

Horribly written bullshit.


 

The editor rejected it and told me to rewrite it. It took me a long time to write it… so I wasn’t happy. I thought it was good.

 

It wasn’t.


 

I rewrote the article. But I just fixed grammatical and spelling mistakes and cut down a lot of the fat. 

 

It was still a horrible fucking article.

 

No details.

 

Nothing interesting.


 

It got rejected again.


 

My gamble didn’t pay off. I quit my job to spend more time doing Tijuana tours and attempting to be a freelance writer.

 

I was rejected and was left with little to no money. But not much money is needed to live in this city. 


 

The editor ignored my following emails and my attempts to rewrite the story. I had destroyed his patience and the door was closed. 


 

I did a couple of more free tours through Couchsurfing. Another Frenchman and world traveler named Alec. Also, guys from Montreal that I randomly met playing chess at what used to be the only craft brewery in Tijuana.


 

Tijuana has changed so much and will continue to do so.


And Tijuana changed me.

 

I like to say that I’m not a writer, Tijuana is just easy to write about. Tijuana transformed me for the better (maybe). Tijuana transforms people, not always for the better.


 

Random little tours kept me a bit afloat. One was with a guy named Jesse and a dude named Max who carried a banana suit wherever they went. 

 

I’ve done way too many tours and have fucked with Tijuana too much to remember how things went down. We did the basic Tijuana tour to Playas and dive bars in downtown. Again, back then the craft beer or food scene was nothing to what it is now. Options were scarce.

 

All I remember that his time we didn’t do Hong Kong, we ended up in La Malquerida.


 

La Malquerida is a much cheaper strip club that’s mostly for locals. Beers are cheap and it has more of a wild cantina feel than that of a strip club.


 

The guys got plastic looking women sitting on their laps. The one I liked was cold and not into it, so it didn’t pan out well for me.


 

For them… I had to negotiate.


 

Mini-pimp translator.

 

That’s basically how I made some of my money.


 

After buying the girls plenty of drinks, the guys were tired of having them on their laps and wanted more. 

 

I negotiated blowjobs for $20 + the private room.

 

They left immediately to the private rooms and came back a few minutes later to share the stories. One got a raw blowjob with no condom, the other was forced to use a condom. Both were very happy with the outcome. 


 

That’s all I remember.

 

And that I got paid.

 

Paid to party and to be a mini-pimp.


 

After that tour, I had a tour with what I thought was a perverted old Canadian man. After giving the basic tour around the city, I learned sadly, that his wife had passed a couple years ago, but now he was free to do as he pleased.

 

He owned property in Jamaica and had his own business in Canada. His two sons were old enough and married. He decided to travel the world and ended up Tijuana.


 

The first time I ever had food in Hong Kong was with this fellow. He ordered the breaded shrimp on rice.


 

He stayed in the Hong Kong Hotel (Las Cascadas) and book the master suite (not the penthouse). It was a super nice room that looked like a porno set that I described before. 


 

After the basic tour, we went back to Hong Kong. He picked a girl that he liked and kept buying her drinks.

 

Then he told me to choose a girl that I like.


 

I walked to a girl that I like but she gave me the cold shoulder, so I picked the one next to her.


 

As soon as we got back to the table, the girl jumped on me and said: “güerito, que bueno que me escogiste.” She said she had been checking me out and was so happy I picked her out.

 

The young girl with the older Canadian wasn’t happy, but I told her that the dude was willing to spend a lot of money.


 

The Canadian gave me $100 and told me to keep the girls with me while he goes to his room to shower. He told me to specifically not let go of the girl that he picked. 

 

It took him almost 30 minutes to come back. The hotel is a crazy maze, so he had trouble finding his room and finding his way back to Hong Kong.


 

We stayed with the two girls for a couple of hours buying drinks, food, and tequila shots.

 

Then it was negotiating time for the Canadian.


 

My girl was all over me without the necessity of paying her. She was just happy we were buying her drinks (she makes money that way). And she was happy it was with me instead of some other pervert.

The tequila man with a whistle that comes around and forces tequila shots down your throat to ask for tips after swung by our table. Instead of getting tequila directly poured into my mouth, it was poured down the navel of the chick I was with down to her pussy and into my mouth.

Yuck. But drunk and having fun. Don’t judge.

Also, tequila should’ve killed bacteria, right?

Or so I told myself.


 

His girl… 

 

She was not very happy.

 

The Canadian made his offer. $300 for a couple hours with her. Way more than the usual average pay. The girl was hesitant but she took it.


 

I am not sure what happened after. I went home. The Canadian stayed with the girl in his hotel room.


 

He paid me more than the rest. My tours started to have value. But I was just taking guys to strip clubs and translating for them.

 

Cupid translator mini-pimp.

 

Not a good thing on my resume.

 

Not a good thing to be writing about.

 

But that’s how I stayed afloat for a while.


 

 

 

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