Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 22.5 — Tour Revivals, Changes, and More Beer.

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


Chapter 22.5. Tour Revivals, Changes, and More Beer.


Well…!!!

It’s happening!

I wrote a book and I decided to try and publish it through Amazon. I wrote this whole thing in early 2018 and for the past few weeks, I have been editing, re-reading, editing, and deleting the dumb lines that I put everywhere. I also hired a model to be on the cover of the book and hired a designer to uhh design it.

I haven’t paid either, I need to sell a few copies to pay them both.


Changes. Tijuana has had a lot of them. I had a ton of them. The biggest one is I lost my mom, so all those instances I mentioned her, will not come true. But this is not a sad book. It’s a Tj book. One that recalls all the crazy stuff I’ve done in this city and this city has done to me.

Not so changes. I’m still working for the magazine. Last year I worked for them more than ever. Helping in everything from sales, photography, writing, events, marketing, some social media, and distributing. This year I’m doing a bit less.

Changes and not changes. I did stop doing tours for a while. At least paid tours. Because friends still keep visiting this city and I keep doing tours. I am now painted in two murals (as a small character, but hey, still painted on walls). It’s part of my tours to get my picture taken by the painting of myself. Oh yeah. I am reviving the tours in 2020. I’m still not sure where I am going with it, but I already did two tours. More expensive. That is one of the things that will change for sure.

Changes. Tijuana has changed a lot in those two years. Like I predicted, Plaza Fiesta turned too shit. Barely any breweries survive there. Only go there if you want to party with kids. And by kids, I mean people younger than 25. Madueño is still in Plaza, but he is opening in downtown soon. By the time you read this. Madueño Brewing is in Zona Centro.

Changes. In fact… all the breweries are moving to Zona Centro. And this is where this chapter is going soon.


Re-reading all I wrote, I can say I lied three times. Not really lied, more like hid details or change them to be milder than I actually was. One was in the Hong Kong chapter. The sex on stage didn’t go like I described it. It was similar. But the act was different. Going back through it all… the beer section is still incomplete. Beer is still my favorite. Beer is still growing.

Changes. All of downtown is changing rapidly. Growing in reality. Places that were abandoned are getting refurbished and rebuilt. More on this at the end of this. First… the last two tours which are the new tours and the future tours.


Tour revival.

I’ve been getting emails throughout my not doing tours asking me for tours. I have politely declined and pointed them towards other tour guides. I wonder if their Tijuana tours ever became as adventurous as mine…

In 2020, I decided to go back to doing tours but I’m going to try to be more expensive. The first tour that hit me up was a bachelor party that hasn’t happened. So it is still to come. They seem relaxed though. There are three women coming to the bachelor party, so I doubt that crazy strip club shit will happen. I accepted this tour. It is yet to be 100% confirmed.

Changes. The whole strip club scene has changed as well. Zona Norte is as popular and as grosser as ever. I rarely go there.

I got three more emails for other tours. One was for immediately the next day on a Sunday. I rejected because I was already booked and it sounded complicated. The other was immediately for a Monday and I didn’t want to do it, but he offered more money than my original offer. So I took it. The last email was for a solo Saturday tour with what I thought was a white lady in her 40s discovering Tijuana. That email chain grew and grew until it became the lady, her sister, and way more tour than what I originally agreed too.

The first tour I accepted was very calm. It was a dude from Los Angeles who worked as a successful writer for Nickolodeon and other movies (he has a proficient IMDB). He is also an amazing photographer doing a lot of street photography. So the tour was concentrated on that. It was very short notice and I’m not sure if I did a good job. I hope he comes back and does it again.

The tour lasted less than four hours. I got paid. And before 5:00 pm it was over and I had already been drinking and my tourist was driving back to Los Angeles.

Early in 2020. Easy tour. Easy money.

If it was only always like that…


The Second tour was nothing like that.

I was wrong. They weren’t older white ladies. They were two Mexican girls from California that reminded me of the Latina girls that went to my college. Pochas. And they say “tbh” way too much. Every other sentence they had to say “tbh.”


Like before… I have to interrupt this story because I have actual work to do. I need breakfast. I need to shower. And I need to cross the border to deliver the Magazine. I am also working on a different story that was stressing me out, but the deadline got extended for a few days. That story is about veterinarians in Tijuana. My veterinarian is fantastic and highly recommended, just have to make the story interesting and with very few words. I’ll get it done.


I had to cross the border yesterday. I cross more often nowadays. The border is always changing.

Not changes. I wake up way too late and drink way too much still. Yesterday, I didn’t drink. That’s the third day of the year that I haven’t (only three weeks this year so far).

My insides hurt when I drink every now and then. I’m getting old. Tijuana Adventure is going to kill me.


I drank a lot with those two girls. The original idea was to just meet one of them on a Saturday afternoon and tour her for a while. It sounded like a date. I didn’t want it to be a date.

Confessions of a Tour guide.

I’ve slept with two of my clients.

So not only a mini-pimp. I’m also a prostitute.

One has blocked me from everything and I haven’t heard from her in forever. She was a short cute redhead. Older than me. And she was amazing.

She also had a boyfriend and two kids. One of her kids was turning 18…

She came on a tour with one of her friends. I knew she liked me. It’s not the first time it happens in my tours. But I keep my distance and try to pretend I’m not into it. A bit halfway through the tour, at Mamut Brewery, she pulled me into a bathroom that was under construction by the end side of the brewery. And she just threw herself at me. We almost did it there…

But no.

Her friend was still waiting and told her that I was her tour guide. And we did stop.

Except that she came to visit me a few weeks after that. And that was a great weekend in which I can keep the details for myself. My memory of when I saw her for the second time makes me happy though. I went to see her at her Airbnb and as soon as she saw me, she took her bathrobe off.

It was amazing. It was a great weekend. She was awesome.

And then… months later. I never heard from her again and I can’t look her up. She gave me two books. I still have them. I still haven’t read them. I have a pile of books that I never read that I tell myself I will.


The other one I also adored. She is married now. And I always wonder if that could have been me. This one was on a wine tour with a group. She got drunk really fast because she is a tiny woman and right away fell to my arms. We didn’t do anything on that tour. It was a big group and I kept my distance.

A few weeks later, she booked me for another tour. This time it was only her and a friend. And compared to the group tour, this one went while. It involved some Hong Kong and what not. And we hooked up. They paid me for the tour. I gave them their money back. She doesn’t remember that I gave her her money back.

We dated for a while after that. I really liked her. A lot. It was everything I was looking for. Bicultural. She spoke two languages. Tiny. Super smart. Beautiful. Great fashion taste. Good cook. Funny. And she loved me. Sex was great too.

But I’m a fucking idiot. Little things made me not want to date her and I let her go. It’s for the best though. She’s happily married now and I sit jealously looking at her social media wondering if that could’ve been me.


I slept with these two Latina sisters… They have names. Jessica and Jocelyn.

Not the way you think though. The tour was not supposed to go like that at all. Instead of just having a fancy dinner and taking them back to their Airbnb, we ended up having street tacos, going for a couple of drinks, then I took them to the gay bar. To Hawaii. Two pretty girls sat next to me. And they were girl girls. The trans women were on the other side of the bar. A fat old man with a big mustache, a button-up shirt halfway unbuttoned, and round glasses. He was making out with a pretty trans (though with hairy arms). At some point, she left and left the man alone. He looked sad after.

The girls asked for drag shows, that’s why I brought them there. That’s not what we got. When we entered, Paquita la del Barrio was on stage. As soon as Paquita went off stage, a ripped short dude covering only his torso and face started to strip what little he had.

The girls yelled “WOOOO” involuntarily. Jocelyn was louder than her sister. I told her about this and she said she didn’t even notice yelling that much…

And when the dicks came out. More WOOO!

I tried to chat up the pretty girls next to me. Jocelyn was telling me to take them home. As if it were that easy. I am sure they work at the other strip clubs and they were on their night off. In the meantime, Jessica was horny for absolutely every dude. She pointed at the dude she liked and I had to go grab him, offered him $5 to give Jessica a lapdance… and well… $5 is way more than you bargain for.

Sort of like in Hong Kong $5 gets you a good minute of using a dildo on a girl… $5 got a ripped dude on top of Jessica grinding on her and spreading her legs, and grinding some more.

They fucking loved the place. As they yelled “woooo!” Over and over and over. We ended the night way later than we should have. At least their Airbnb was nearby. Jessica was trying to get a dude’s number, the dude told her he was bi. He looked really gay. Everyone in that place is really gay. Jessica was convinced… And I had to remind her that they are actually gay hookers.

Maybe he wouldn’t have charged… But I’m leaning towards he would have. That’s their job…

I walked them to their Airbnb at 2 or 3 a.m. I can’t even remember. But then they told me to just stay over. The bed wasn’t big enough, but I was tired. I took the offer. Jocelyn took half the bed. Jessica took the rest while cuddling me and requesting me to move and cuddle more. I slept for 20 minutes before I woke up and thought “this was a mistake.” I didn’t feel safe leaving the area at 3ish a.m. though… so I stayed there telling my brain to just go to fucking sleep. I couldn’t.

6 a.m. hit. I went home and slept with my cats.


And then there was the second part of the tour. I saw them the next day. I took them to Teléfonica because everyone loves Teléfonica and I already mentioned it in this book a handful of times. Left them back in their new Airbnb for them to get ready in dresses and heels and whatnot.

Met them at Insurgente Brewery. BEER! I’m getting there. The kitchen just opened, it’s called “El Casimiro.” I have no idea how long they will last. But they have breaded cheeseballs of birria that are delicious. It’s the chef’s fourth or fifth project. It’s already getting very popular in the city. And it’s at Insurgente which is amazing!

After that, we went to the Tijuana Jazz Club. That’s also new that didn’t exist when I started writing all this shit. They are doing an alright job for now. Getting good musicians. It’s a good vibe. But there is a lot missing. I trust that they will keep improving on it.

On top of that, they opened Verde y Crema. It used to be a popular restaurant in La Cacho, but they moved their whole operation to downtown. I’ve only had it once and I liked it plenty. No idea if they are going to last. Tijuana is mysterious like that.

We didn’t go to that.

Instead, we went to a private party inside the newest apartment high-rise “Distrito Revolución.” That building also didn’t exist when I started writing this. It was I Wanna Beer With You’s private party. That’s an Instagram of a couple of girls that drink beer. The party was on the last floor which has amazing views. The girls met someone from the OC. They came from OC. They were excited.

And after that… More Hong Kong! I mean… Hawaii!

I told the girls I wanted to go home at around 10 pm. It was nearing midnight and I was still there as Jessica told me to stay for another beer and another beer and another beer. At some point, Jocelyn got really mad at Jessica. I blame the alcohol. But it got awkward. And I told them again and again that I had to leave. I had no choice but to leave them.

They fought. But I texted them both and they are both alright and back home. Not the ending Tijuana Adventure was supposed to have, but that’s how it ended. On future tours… Fuck do I know what’s going to happen.


Now.

More fucking beer.

Most importantly. Norte Brewing Company. The cover picture of the book is in that place. The model is Amayrani. I’ve known her for years because she used to bartend in several places. She sells prints of her nudes and posts plenty of sexy content on Instagram. Follow her as @amayraven.

I am painted on the walls of Norte. I’m the only non-staff member painted on the walls. I’m standing tall on a building next to a titty. Most appropriate. The titty is of a giant naked woman that is a house in Tijuana. It’s a popular Tijuana landmark that I have never bothered to take a tour inside. The architect is a weirdo. I had to interview him once.

Norte used to be a strip club. Just like Teléfonica, I take everyone to Norte. I usually have a stupid joke that I left something in my car and I have to take the whole tour inside this parking lot to grab something. They all look disappointed that I have to take them through a shitty parking lot and of me for being a shitty tour guide. But no! Norte is inside the parking lot and it opens to some of the best views of the city. Hence, the cover of my book was there.

Here’s an outtake:

I’ve been a patron of Norte since it’s inception. Their beers are fair standards. Nothing is going to blow your mind but nothing is going to disappoint. The same could be said about the food. Everything is just well done. I usually get whatever hoppiest beer, though one of their best beers is their porter on nitro. Almost all their beers have names related to what used to be the strip club, like: Escort, Bunny, Penthouse (former name of the strip club), Golden Shower, Spank Me, Grace (former stripper there), Threesome, and more that they keep adding.

Go there for sunset. Enjoy one or two beers. And move along to the rest of downtown beers.

Here’s more Amay drinking a beer:

All the breweries are moving to downtown.

Insurgente just moved to downtown. Boom. That’s not all you need to know but that’s all you need to know. The best brewery is in downtown. Right below Norte on the corner of Fourth and Revolución. That corner has seen many businesses come and go, but Insurgente is there to stay unless some shit goes wrong (they are currently fighting with the local government). In front of Insurgente, they plan to build the biggest building in downtown.

It wasn’t Insurgente who marked the trend that downtown was going to be next. It was Border Psycho who first moved to the almost corner of Calle Segunda and Revolución. They are the closest brewery to all the debauchery. It’s a perfect spot for lost Gringos. They have been doing a great job there with a few mistakes. They have new beers that are better than the ones a few years ago. Their menu comes and goes but it is decent. Their current bartender fucking blows. Not the dude. The dude is great. Some chick that dislikes me and always has an attitude. Border Psycho also opened in Playas with a beer collective called Playami. It has the five big players I mentioned before. They moved all their best staff over there and have been paying more attention to that than to their taproom in downtown. But they closed their taproom in Plaza Fiesta. Everything in Plaza Fiesta has closed.

Insurgente closed and now Kaminari is in their place in Plaza Fiesta. Kaminari is great but that taproom sucks. I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves to downtown as well just like Madueño did.

There are two new places that I have no idea who the fuck they are.

Mestizo on Calle Sexta. I tried all their beers. They were all infected probably with diacetyl. I will give them another chance later.

Another place opened in what used to be Mexitlan. They sucked and I don’t remember their name but the location is prime. If they can make it work they will have something fantastic. As it is now, it is not worth it. What’s Mexitlan!? Mexitlan is a legend of Tijuana. I never went. But they used to have miniature cities and it was a place of legendary concerts. Or so I’m told.

Tijuana had many legendary concerts. I didn’t even touch that subject in all this crap I’m writing.

More places are opening up. I was just in a new one yesterday called “Los Cervezartistas.” It’s a beer collective that is doing more than alright. Their SMASH Citra beer is a well-done Citra beer. The tap-room is brand new but they have a nice collection of beers in the fridge and it looks promising for the future.

I forgot about Teorema / Lúdica. They share a spot in front of Cine Tonalá. It’s the trendy hipster spot but it is very good. Lúdica also opened their own tap-room in the same place they brew, but that is really far. Teorema still brews in the same spot and they tend to go up and down, more up than down, so it’s usually very good.

Bajer opened next door to them. That’s from a dude that married a chick from Denmark. Bajer means beer in Danish. The brewery/tap-room is also brand new, growing, and they are very experimental. But the good news is that they have the money to make it work and they are not going anywhere. They have a Viking theme to their brewery and the art comes from the dude’s mom. The art is one of my favorite art galleries I have seen in the city, though who knows if it will be there when you visit. They are closed right now and I am guessing they are absorbing the bar next door that used to be for junkies and a place where you can smoke weed no problem.

Those places are closing. The legendary Zacazonapan closed in late 2019.

Oh. I guess Funes brewery is out here as well. I still haven’t had a good beer from them despite their many years.

Cerveceria Mexica is also out here. Their place is lovely, next to the Tijuana Jazz Club. But their beers need work. It’s almost there. Almost. I know they will be good and that they are not going anywhere.

Oh. And Teléfonica has its own brewery now called Lírica. It’s the brewer’s fourth-placed his work and his best so far, the others weren’t that great. I still need to try all their beers, Teléfonica has such a great selection that it is tough to grab the local one.

I am probably forgetting some breweries. Or more will open by the time this is out. República Malta is out there… that’s a collective of breweries. I don’t think it will last. Madero Tasting Room is out there. The dude that owns that place really knows beer, so I hope he lasts for a while. And there are rumors of more places. And rumors of others closing.

Tijuana is constantly fucking changing.

And this is seriously the end of this.

If you want more… you’ll have to come to a Tijuana Adventure with me. Most likely, many things will be different.


Thanks for reading. And happy adventuring!

 

 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 22 — Conclusion. 

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


Chapter 22. Conclusion. 

I just turned 32-years-old. Facebook posts from friends and people I haven’t talked to in years are posting congratulations on my wall.

I usually hate my birthday. People give too much importance to it. Which puts pressure on having a good time. But it’s just a day. Worse. It’s a Wednesday. And I have some work to do. Work that I don’t want to do. 


Last birthday, I got drunk as fuck early during the day and passed out in the early afternoon. I don’t know why birthdays depress me. 

 

This year, I’m just trying to let it be. I don’t feel as depressed as other birthdays past. 

 

I don’t understand people that like their birthdays.

 

What is to like about getting older? 

 

Count it.

 

I’ve lived for 11, 680 days.

 

Toddler years don’t really count. 

 

I’ve lived for 9855 days.


It seems like a waste.


 

What’s next? 

 

Nothing is next. The same as always. Beer and tacos. Beer and tacos. Beer and tacos.


 

I read all I wrote for the past months. I repeat myself a lot.

 

I repeat myself a lot.

 

I repeat myself a lot.


 

Many stories are missing. Many bachelor parties blend into one. I got three emails about bachelor parties this week. That’s not a common occurrence. 


I just rejected one. They wanted a tour for this Friday. Replied that I’m booked. I’m not really booked. I just didn’t like the way he emailed me. Also, he wanted a bachelor party and strip clubs, no mention of craft beers or fancy food. 

 

I feel like I am retiring from those.

 

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my tours.

 

I’m not sure what I’m doing with all this crap I’m writing.

 

I do have to work Saturday morning. So fuck doing a bachelor tour Friday night…


 

Next tour is in a week. Old couples. Much more my speed. Craft beer, street tacos, fancy eats, Tijuana views, and perhaps a dive bar. 

No more craziness. 


Ted’s Story.

 

One last crazy bachelor story. 


 

We had to carry Ted across the border. This was probably my favorite bachelor party. I was hired by the best man, who had a Chinese name. I was nervous that it was going to be a Chinese tour.

 

Nah. Of course, they were Chinese Americans. And not all of them. It was around 8 guys, half of them were white boys. 


 

Fuck. My bachelor tours blend so much, that I don’t remember if one of the white boys was a reformed yoga teacher. I’m thinking that’s from a different tour, but for the sake of this fucking story, he was a part of that group.

The yoga white boy had long greyish beard and hair, wore sandals, and other hippie bullshit. Apparently, he was recently married and he had all been doing his yoga persona for a couple of years. Before that, he was a businessman that was always clean-shaven and it was all about the money.


 

Yoga white boy was quiet for most of the tour. Barely drinking. Being a hippy. Peacefully observing the bachelor party mess.


 

It wasn’t much of a mess. It was the classics. Tacos, beers, cocktails, tequila shots for the bachelor, party, party, party.

And then! 

To the strip clubs.


We got to Hong Kong and I grab a table for the whole group. Then took a couple of the guys and the bachelor, Ted, to get him a couple of girls.

 

That’s what I usually do at bachelor parties. Grab the best man or a couple of the guys in the party, find hot girls for the bachelor, sit him down, and have the first lap dance.

 

From there on, the party always splits and they do their own debauchery.


 

With Ted… we walked to the back. He sat down where they were doing the show de espuma. Imma gunna repeat myself once more. Show de espuma is two or more naked chicks covered in shaving cream that you can finger for a dollar. It’s fucking nasty. 


It’s really fucking nasty. I went with a good friend from my hometown when he came for a short visit years ago. It was Monday, so not much was open and I always have to show people that are new to Tijuana to Hong Kong. The first girl we saw had the most beautiful pussy I’ve seen… no panties. Just pussy. I remember my friend’s face lit up like he just saw the face of god and it only cost him one dollar to see it.

 

Later that same night, I remember watching the show de espuma, but not watching the girls… just watching the audience. The wolf hungry audience. 25-30 horny men salivating at two naked young girls. Throwing money. 

 

I am sure the girls in there are in drugs. This shit is a bit extreme. $5 and you can grab a dildo and go to town with them. Guys sometimes delve in and lick the pussy that is covered in shaving cream while the girls slide around the stage for another guy to do the same. So many dirty fingers being shoved in exchanged for money, and then they lick that…

That’s the show de espuma.

 

You can understand why I want to retire from this shit.


Another story that went missing was with some Canadians. Just three guys. Not a bachelor party. Just a Tijuana Adventure that ended in Hong Kong. Many tours ended up there and not necessarily were they bachelor parties. 

One of the three Canadians was an extremely good looking dude. We were drinking beers at Plaza Fiesta, because back then, Plaza Fiesta was actually good. Two cute short Mexican girls approached him (and his friend) while I was talking to the Moroccan-Canadian dude. The girls were really cute, and the dude blew them off. And after asked me, “those were hookers, right?”

 

NO DUDE! They fucking weren’t! They were two cute girls that wanted you…

 

That night… we did end up in Hong Kong with hookers… The Moroccan-Canadian dude was so happy spending $5 to grab a dildo and go to town with the girls in the show de espuma. He thought it was two pumps and done. NOPE! You can really go to fucking town with them. 

 

The Moroccan-Canadian dude came back. My tours blend so much and I’ve done plenty that I didn’t even notice him. It was halfway through the tour that he was like, “yo, remember me? We toured together before!” And I came to the realization of who he was. He was with a different group that time… 


 

Fucking tours.


 

Well…

Ted sat in front of the show de espuma. I told his friends to give him money so I can give it to Ted so he can go to town. I yelled at the girls on the show de espuma that it was his bachelor party and show them a $20. They didn’t fucking hesitate. They knew there was more money to be thrown. One of them instantly climbed on Ted covering the poor guy on shaving cream and the other said: “let’s grab him and put him on stage.”

 

So I helped Ted go on stage and told his friends near me that this is going to get out of control.

 

They stripped Ted down to his underwear. Ted was wasted. He was loving the stage and did a little dance with the girls. Then they laid him down on his back, one climbed on his face, and the other climbed on his cock (with boxers still on). And they started grinding and performing other things… 

 

When this shit started to happen, I ran to the table (that was at the other far end of the strip club) to tell all of Ted’s friends what was going on. 

 

They all went to check it out, leaving behind sunglasses, jackets, and other shit on the table. So I stayed behind with the best man. We discuss what will happen in the next few hours for the bachelor party and while figuring shit out… We saw him.

 

Ted was fucking running around the strip club down to his underwear covered in fucking shaving cream, literally fucking running like a little kid, screaming “I AM GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW WOOOO I AM GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW!!!!” 

 

It was a hilarious view. 

 

The bachelor party kept going. Ted kept getting wasted. At some point, we thought we had lost him. And that’s when we saw him with a girl that was trying to take him up to the room though he was WASTED beyond capabilities of deciding what to do. Luckily, we found him and stopped him. The girl was pissed, but Ted gave her some money anyway. 


 

Not even midnight and it was time to go back. We had to carry Ted to the border. Poor guy couldn’t walk. 


What happened with the white yoga hippy dude? Well… that was a different tour. But the point of that hippy dude was that I ended up losing him on that tour.

 

He was supposedly the calmest most chill dude. But when we arrived in Hong Kong, he fucking disappeared. I didn’t hear from him that night. I had to split the party in two. Part of the party stayed in Hong Kong while I took the rest to the border.

 

I was told that they found him hours later. Apparently, he went up to the rooms with a couple of girls. And repeated. And repeated. 

 

Hippy dude had a thing for threesomes. 


 

And that’s barely a tip on the iceberg of what Tijuana can provide. 


 

Libertarian hedonism stuck in fake progress. 

 

So much change, so little change, the dollar still rules supreme. 

 

Anarchy. Drugs. Sex. Sleepless City. Murder. Drugs. Drugs. Sex. Sex. 

 

Craft Beer. Fancy Baja-Med cuisine. Amazing street tacos. 


 

I just got an email asking about barbershops. There are so many barbers in this city. It’s fucking wild how many barbers there. A tour client that later became a friend comes from Los Angeles to get a haircut and his beard shaven. The fucker can’t even grow a beard! 

 

But he still comes for the weekend with that excuse. Then he just enjoys the city.


 

And enjoy the city I will. It’s my birthday, which doesn’t really mean crap. I want to play tennis again. I’ve been playing tennis with my buddy. Yes. I won the first game… and the last two… We tied!

 

We had a tie-breaker on the one before last, and I think I won… But it was more of a tie.

 

And this last game, it was just a straight-up tie. One set each. Third set and the score was 6-6. Instead of playing the tiebreaker… we just left it at that. It was also getting dark that we could barely see the ball.


Then we had beers, more beers, saw a couple friend, told them it was my birthday, more drinks, a couple of joints, and then home. With el Pinche Kevin. I barely beat him on tennis, but I own him on Super Smash Bros. I fucking beat him with Jigglypuff against Cloud. He beat me right after that… but HAH! 

 

Jigglypuff!


 

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

 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 21.5 — Beer Guide.

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


Chapter 21.5. Beer Guide.

 

I wrote that last entry pretty drunk. I am still certain that the cops were the ones that took my phone. The last activity was at 2:37 a.m. spinning a Pokegym that’s near my house. They detained me around the area. I posted at 3ish a.m. that my phone was stolen by the cops.


 

And because I’ve been saving for a car… I said fuck it, I’m going to get a nice fancy phone instead. And here I am, with my new device, that’s also a camera, and… much more. 

 

A tiny $1,000 computer in my pocket that I carry everywhere and we call it a “phone.” I’m not comfortable knowing how stupid expensive this little gadget is. Which makes me want to return it… 

 

But it is an amazing gadget. And the camera is surreal. The future. A weird fucking future. A really weird fucking future.


 

Time seems to shrink. 

 

Or maybe I’m just getting busier.


I haven’t had a single drink since the incident.

 

Well… that’s a lie. I had a tequila drink. But that was during work. I was taking pictures of tacos and they served me a margarita that I thought was a virgin. It wasn’t. It had tons of tequila.

 

I was thirsty. I drank half of it. 

 

But that’s it.

 

Three nights of not drinking and I’m proud as the first fish that walked out of the water and started breathing air. 


 

I do miss beer though. But my beer consumption has been excessive that I do need to moderate it heavily. Beer is so good and so cheap in this city. So… let’s talk about that. Shall we?


 

Oh yeah. The photoshoot with the sexy chick didn’t go well at all. I was too hungover. The light wasn’t great. We had the idea of taking pictures of her blowing a bubble with gum. She made weird faces while trying that. It wasn’t good. She didn’t like any of the pictures. I am not thoroughly enchanted with them either.

 

I’m not enchanted with her anymore. Awesome body. But she’s not that sexy as I used to think she was… And she tends to annoy me real quick. I want to see her naked… but the effort doesn’t seem worth it.


And now, my college friend from Minnesota is telling me that they are flying me over there for his sister’s wedding. They want someone to…

 

FUCK. NOT TAKE PICTURES. They already hired two photographers for $300 an hour. That’s SO MUCH FUCKING money. 

 

Nope. They wanted me to play guitar at the beginning of the wedding. But I haven’t played guitar in so long. My guitar level is the lowest it has been in more than a decade. And that’s what I studied in college. So it makes sense they wanted me to play guitar there… 

But I can’t. This is happening in less than a month and I don’t have time to practice… 


 

I told them I was going to do photography way cheaper. Wedding photography is a crazy market though. They already booked the other two… and they probably have a ludicrous cancellation fee. 


 

Oh sorry.

 

Beer.


It was Mamut Brewery Co. who started it all. Cervecería Tijuana likes to say they were the first craft brewery in the city… and they are not wrong… but their beer is shit.

 

Cervecería Tijuana has been brewing since the 90s. The generic name implies generic beers. And not only generic… they are not very good. They recently revamped their taproom and it looks impressive. They also redid their whole brand with new slogans logos… that isn’t very impressive.

 

It’s again… just like their beer and their names… generic. And poorly executed.

 

Whoever did their taproom… that’s good. Beyond good. But it’s all make-up. Point being… you can skip Cervecería Tijuana.


 

Mamut started with a little flag in a small art gallery in Pasaje Rodríguez in early 2012. I would walk by the Pasaje and see the flag and ask about beer.

 

They never had beer. They would brew two kegs per month, sell for less than $1, and be out of beer in a day or two.

 

Dry Stout and Hefeweizen I believed they brewed back then. Dry Stout was the popular one but ran out so quick it was rare if they had any left.

 

They were basically the only craft beer around, except of the extensive breweries from the neighbors from up north (San Diego). 

 

BCB or Baja Craft Brew also opened at that time, a bar that resembles hipster LA that gives out an industrial feel. They don’t brew their own beer, but they started bringing crafts from all over the place. Great place, bad execution. Their menu is extensive, but you usually don’t find half the beers they list. It is also on the expensive side.

 

BCB also holds the title for the most popular bathroom in Tijuana. So many selfies in that fucking bathroom. See… it has three-sided mirrors. So the reflection is pretty cool. I must admit I’ve taken a selfie in there while pissing. I never posted it since my penis was on the frame. 


Mamut has exploded since then. 

 

The quality has been a rollercoaster, but the past year… a new brewer came to work there. A young kid that goes by the name “Ham.” All his beers have been on point. Well… let’s say 1 out of 10 is bad. And it used to be the other way around… 1 out of 10 would be good.

 

That made a lot of people stop trusting Mamut. Including myself. They expanded too big, too soon, lost control of quality, went downhill, started getting heavily criticized, downsized, got better, and now it’s expanding again.

 

Yes. Mamut has been a rollercoaster. The owner, Juan José, wanted to be the brewer. He has a passion for beer and his brewery, but he needed someone like Ham to put him on the right track. And he did. Ham ordered all new equipment, cleaned the fuck out of the old one, and now is just brewing excellent beer together with Juan.

 

And I mean it… Lately… they’ve been having some of the best beers in the city. And there is a HEAVY competition in the Baja area for the best beer.

 

Mamut is also one of the cheapest. They have a sizeable brewery and two taprooms in the heart of downtown Tijuana. 

 

Juan José also has always been a patron of the arts. A patron of the city. Mamut displays local art monthly or bi-monthly. They also have a nice space for concerts and they have been bringing important artists.

 

All in all… Mamut is great right now. It went through a long rough patch when their beers were undrinkable… but their recovery has been swift and great. Seriously, nothing is wrong with Mamut beers, from IPAs to Sours, to Stouts and Porters, to Lagers and whatever your heart desires.

 

They also have Mezcal. And at some point wine.

 

The food menu is decent. 

 

… It’s bad for a food snob like myself. But it’s edible and cheap. Very cheap. So it’s more than decent.


 

And Mamut is just touching the tip of the iceberg of the beer community here. And a lot of brewers/beer community probably hates me for mentioning Mamut as an important factor of Tijuana beer… after all… their beers were really complete shit for a long period. 

 

But Mamut was the first true craft brewery I experienced. Their tiny taproom in Pasaje Rodríguez is still one of my favorite hangouts. 


 

Now for the rest…

 

The rest are a lot…

 

A fucking lot.

 

And there’s not only Tijuana but the whole of Baja.


 

The top 5 players (not in a particular order). Insurgente and Border Psycho (Tj), Wendlandt and Agua Mala (Ensenada), and Fauna (Mexicali).

 

They are the top 5 players because they are the ones that can export to the US. They are all excellent… except Border Psycho. Their beers tend to be heavily alcoholic and you can taste it (in a bad way). But they have also been getting better and they are widely popular because of their “naughty theme.” Though they could also use a better graphic designer.

 

They could all use something better…

 

So let’s review the top 5 breweries in the region, you should be able to find these beers all over California and in many other parts of the United States.


 

Insurgente is definitely the top player. I have never had a bad beer from them. Their theme is congruent and nice. Fuck. There’s just simply nothing wrong with them. They are pristine. They are the only ones that do merch, webpage, photos, beers, everything right.

 

Except their taproom. It’s great beer and simply decorated… but it’s TINY! And in Plaza Fiesta. And Plaza Fiesta… well… that’s another story.

 

Juan Cordero, their hoppy pale ale, is my favorite Insurgente beer. Before that, Lupulosa was the best. But they also had a chain sours that were superb. The Xocoveza is a collaboration with Stone Brewery, I’m not big into chocolate beers, but the best of Tijuana with the best of San Diego together… you know it’s fucking good. They just released Hops and Chill, their double IPA. I’ve tried it, but haven’t make a note of it. Juan Cordero is still my favorite.

 

I am sure that by the time you read this… they have a bigger and better taproom and way more beers.


 

Border Psycho. Their first taproom was in Plaza Fiesta. It’s still there… but I don’t think it will last long.

 

They recently opened another taproom in downtown Tijuana. It is much better. It has a decent menu, good burgers, good sopes (soh pehs), okay price. It’s nice that the kitchen is open late. 

 

Their move to downtown Tijuana marks a trend that I see in the future of many breweries opening taprooms in downtown. By the time you read this, downtown Tijuana will have a couple dozen taprooms or more.

 

Like I said… Their beer is very alcoholic tasting (and with good reason, they are mostly high alcohol beers). Even their collaboration with Mason Ale Works, Zonkey, an Imperial Coffee Stout, has a strong alcoholic taste. Many of their beers are above 8%. 

 

They recently brewed Hoptimistic, which is a better IPA than their line beer, La Perversa a double IPA on the caramel, malty, and of course, heavy alcohol side. La Belga Sicotica, what they thought was a Belgian beer, is really a Black Saison. This beer, because it’s called “La Belga” sounds like “La Verga” which means cock. This beer was the reason they started using dildos as their taps. 

 

It started with a big purple dildo at some beer festival (as one of the owners told me), but it graduated to nice glass dildos. Definitely a fun place, but not the best beers. They are improving and trust that they will be getting better.


 

Agua Mala or “Jellyfish,” not “bad water.” Just like Insurgente, there is never anything wrong with Agua Mala. The only thing I dislike is that their IPA (Astillero) claims to have 120+ IBUs. Anything above 80 is barely noticeable. And it’s not even that bitter… So I’m not sure how they got 120+. I prefer their Mako Pale Ale or their Sirena Pilsner. Astillero is still a delicious IPA. 

 

They briefly opened a taproom in Plaza Fiesta with Mamut. That went downhill and now they don’t have one in Tijuana. The Mamut taproom in Plaza Fiesta is also gone. 

 

The theme is “the ocean” so all their beers are related to sea events. Their brewery/taproom in Ensenada is less than a mile from the ocean and it has spectacular views. I’ve only visited once and didn’t get to try the menu, but it looked upscale and expensive. And again, their beers are all on point. 


 

Wendlandt is also another one that never does anything wrong. I know. I know. I repeat myself saying stupid shit. It’s also a brewery/taproom I only visited once. And they weren’t even opened yet (it was a private thing). They are also themed by the ocean as the taproom is right in front of the ocean. 

 

My favorite by them is their Perro del Mar IPA. Awesome labels. A dog captain of the sea with an eye patch… Great stuff. Veraniega (a summery American ale) is a perfect light beer. And the Foca Parlante (chatting seal) is a great balanced oatmeal stout. And again, hilarious label with, a seal with a monocle and a pipe.


 

Fauna. Meaning. Fauna.

 

Speaking of awesome labels.

 

Mother fucking Fauna has my mother fucking favorite labels. All their labels have a magical and “animalistic” feel to it. Very nerdy.

 

I’m going to mention the IPA again as their best beer. Lycan Lupus. And the label… a werewolf in the forest destroying shit. They have a seasonal special beer call “Señor Matanza” a Russian Imperial Stout that only came in a big bottle and a hefty price of $12. I tried one version and wasn’t very impressed, but a lot of people love the fuck out of it whenever it comes out. 

 

They closed their taproom in Plaza Fiesta. It was a magical place. Many of the beer labels were painted on the walls. They had a bartender that is one of the Mexican suicide girls that always gets naked for Instagram likes. I mean… on her IG account, you can pay her to send you private videos. Or she did back then.

 

She looks great in pictures and videos… but in real life, she’s just a short girl with tattoos and big titties. Hot. But not as good as in pictures. Cool chick… though I barely have said a word to her except “I want that beer.” It makes me nervous to think I’ve already seen her naked and she has no idea who the fuck I am.

Too bad the taproom is gone. They only have a taproom in their brewery in Mexicali… and to this day… I STILL HAVEN’T VISITED MEXICALI… and I’ve been wanting too. Hopefully soon.

 

Owned by brothers Larios. Fauna is definitely one of the best breweries in the Baja region and I can’t wait for them to open another taproom in Tijuana. The brothers were painted as gnomes in the entrance of their taproom. Ahhh… it was a magical place but Plaza Fiesta got ruined… 


 

And there you have it, the top 5 players beer in Baja. This doesn’t mean that they are the best… There are so many breweries here. Those are just the ones that you can find in the US and that they are usually available at liquor stores in the area. 

 

Basically, the ones that aren’t going fucking anywhere. Many more are not going fucking anywhere either.


About the death of Plaza Fiesta… I see it in the near future. El Tigre bar marked the trend of all craft breweries moving to that Plaza since the scene was dead and the craft beer scene needed a place to get established. 

 

It’s still there hanging by a thread. The thread… Brew Pub Plaza, which used to be Paralelo 28 (I liked their old name better and now they have an alien theme which is meh), Madueño, Kaminari Secret Pub, and the tiny Insurgente.

 

Those are the ones still alive in Plaza. Border Psycho is still there… but they care more about their new taproom. Lúdica is gone. Fauna is gone. Donkey Punch (which was horrible) is also gone. Tres B (Big Bad Brew from Mexicali) is gone. Mamut is gone. Agua Mala is gone. Legion is gone. Ramuri is gone. I think small players like Vibra still hold their spot in the back.

 

So… Plaza Fiesta used to host many craft breweries… and now they are mostly gone.

 

Madueño and Kaminari make more than excellent beers and they seem stubborn to stay in Plaza… but I’m sure they’ll end up in downtown. 

 

The last one to leave is going to be Brew Pub Plaza. It’s in their name. Unless they change the name… 


 

So… why did all the brewers leave? Why did Plaza Fiesta turn to shit!?

 

Well… it turned into Plaza Fiesta. Party party party.

 

The people saw that the party mall was getting full… a lot of people started renting the empty spaces and doing their own shit bars. And by shit bars… I mean real shit bars. With shit beer, shit drinks, shit cocaine, and worse of it all… SHIT MUSIC. And at unbearable loudness levels. Each bar competes to see who can be the loudest and all the music clashes against each other creating shit dissonance and shitty drunk people.

 

Plaza Fiesta became where people go get stupid wasted with the least money possible. Mostly, people under 25. It’s still a great party… but not for me… 

 

I am barely there after dark. Last time I was there I stopped by Madueño and their Hops and Dreams is still as great as ever. I had the great luck to meet Kaminari at his secret pub and drink a bunch of his beers. Dude knows what he is doing as well. Amazing shit.


 

And an honorable mention. Cervecería Colima. Nowhere near Baja California, but they are aware that the big beers are here. You find Colima beer in many places. And their distributor is a friend of mine… so I get to try a lot of their beers.

Roca Partida collaboration with Insurgente, Ballast Point, Rise and Win Brewing Co (Japan), and Baja Brewing Co was one of the best fucking beers I’ve had in my life. And I don’t even really like porters… but this one had oyster which gave it a chocolate salty taste that was unique.

 

Too bad it was a limited beer and we will probably never see it again. It was fucking delicious.


 

An extra honorary mention. Sotano Suizo and Bosiger. They aren’t moving from la Plaza, they’ve been there since the 80s. Their beer hasn’t impressed me, and in general, I don’t like the place. But it’s a classic Tijuana standard that I doubt will be going anywhere in the following decade. 


And this concludes beer of Baja… Sort of. 

 

And this concludes all the stupid shit I write… Sort of.


I didn’t even mention Norte Brewing Co… I’m painted on the mural inside that brewery…

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 21 — Beer and Fuck La Police.

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


 

Chapter 21. Beer and Fuck La Police.

 

Well… It fucking happened.


 

Tijuana has its negative sides. And yesterday was a myriad of bad decisions that led me to feeling like I feel right now. Fucking shitty.


 

First. I skipped work. I’m not sure why I scheduled Sunday, it’s one of the worst days to cross the border. But I scheduled a photo shoot for Sunday. 

 

The line was a mess and I didn’t get confirmation about the gig. So I emailed them to try to reschedule it. 


 

I was already on my way. I decided this outside Nelson. So I went inside Nelson and had a beer…

 

Then I got a call that they were expecting me. Oh boy! Did I feel shitty…


 

And that’s the last call I ever got…


 

Because my fucking phone was stolen by the police later that night.


 

iPhone SE paid 5,300 in pesos which is around $300 USD. That was a couple years ago. Good phone. I needed an upgrade, but I wasn’t planning on it this soon. And I also didn’t want to fucking lose my fucking phone.


 

Beer. That’s what happened.


 

Beer City.


 

Caguamas at Nelson are only 40 pesos. That’s $2.35 per liter of beer. 

 

I had a couple at Nelson. Went to get a burger for 70 pesos, craft beer by Insurgente the new double IPA Hops and Chill for 70 pesos,  and then went home. Watched comedy stand-up (John Mulaney, it was alright) then decided it was time to go out for more beer.


Regular beers at Dandy del Sur are 25 pesos, or roughly $1.50 per beer. Plus my VIP card means I get a 2 x 1 on my first beer there every time. $1.50 for two beers is a fucking steal. 

 

I saw Mapachito there. A tiny girl that I briefly dated that looks like a cartoon raccoon. I sat with her for a while and then her date arrived. A Russian/American guy whose name I forgot and it doesn’t matter. He was also incredulous about how stupid cheap the beer was and talked about how in San Diego it would have been triple or more.


 

More beer at Nelson.


 

Oh shit. I might have to cut this short because a sexy girl just hit me up that she wants to do a photo shoot right now… I need to shower and shit… 


 

After the beer at Nelson, I was on my way home, but my dick decided that he wanted to be gay for the night. It saw long hair, nice ass, short skirt, and was like “follow her, follow her,” though my brain was like “yo, that’s obviously not a woman.”

 

So I followed her. Third time in that weird-ass gay bar with tons of trans women and male strippers. This was Sunday. It was way calmer. 

 

I didn’t get hit on. No one bought me a beer. I had two beers there while people watching. 

 

It was weird. I regret going. If I were gay… I would be there every night. 


 

And on my way home…

 

I got stopped by the cops. 


 

I haven’t been stopped by them in a while, probably more than a year. But it is common to get stopped by them in downtown at those hours at night. 

 

Once, while walking with my boys from Minnesota, the cops stopped us and asked us if we had drugs on us. I told them no and that I lived just on the next block. Then the cop asked again “are you sure you don’t have drugs?”

 

YES, OFFICER, I DO NOT HAVE DRUGS ON ME. 

 

What answer was he expecting? Oh shit… sorry officer, here’s the weed I had… 


 

Point is. I got stopped. I had nothing, but they wanted to search me. I was pretty drunk and just wanted to get it over with, so I let them search me.

 

They let me go right away.


 

A trans girl was nearby and she was telling me she wanted to suck my dick for cheap. I entertained the idea for a second, then I reached into my pockets for my phone to actually dismiss her and walk away…

 

FUCK MY PHONE IS FUCKING GONE.


 

Chick was like “vamos papi, te la chupo bien rico.”  

And I was like… BITCH! Didn’t you just see me get stopped by the cops! They took my phone! Help me!

 

Then I realized she didn’t give a single fuck and I also noticed her protruding mustache. Reality fucking hit me hard.

 

FUCK MY PHONE! 

 

FUCK MY FUCKING PHONE!


Beer city.


 

Danger city.


 

Fuck la police.


 

It could have been worse. I could have been arrested over nothing. I could have been robbed of more. I could even have been killed. Or even worse, gotten my dick sucked by a transgirl of the night.

 

It is a dangerous city and I was fucking around too much. Got too drunk. Skipped work. And spiraled down into oblivion.

 

Now I’m worried about work. And instead of looking for a new car… I’m looking for a new phone because the police stole mine.


No. I didn’t leave it at the gay bar. Nor was it stolen there.

 

I am always on my phone and I don’t lose shit no matter how drunk I get. I have miraculously woken up several times to find I have everything. 

 

Even though in a chapter before I mentioned how I lost my hoodie… 


 

There is a slight chance that it happened before the cops, but I’m certain it was the cops.


 

I distinctly remember playing Pokemon Go on my way home. I’m usually playing that fucking game, and there are several pokestops on my way. There’s a gym in La Catedral which is by my house, two blocks before the cop incident. I always stop by there and leave my Tyranitar or Donphan. I’m sure I tried that again.


 

Then the cops stopped me. It was a van, not a pick-up or a car, I remember I was against the van. They searched my pockets. I said I had nothing, and walked away.

 

Phone gone. It’s still offline.


 

Cops are famous for ripping off tourists. My old roommate got his rent money stolen once by the cops at plain daylight in the middle of downtown. I told him that that is ridiculous and only happens if you are stupid. 

 

Now I was a victim of it.

 

I can’t believe my fucking phone is gone.


 

I’m trying to track it. It’s offline. My phone is most likely gone. 

 

Fuck me.


 

The dangers of Tijuana beer city. Everything city.


 

And I’m going to extensively talk about beer. Beer is my favorite thing. Be it cheap ass fucking Tecate or a nice sour or IPAs.

 

I claimed Tijuana has the best tacos in the world. Here’s another ludicrous claim.

 

Tijuana has the best beer in the world.


 

Recently, two beers from the area got bronze medals on the World Cup of Beer. I don’t like neither of the beers that won and is definitely not the best beer in town, but at least they got a couple of bronze medals. More are for sure to come.


 

San Diego claims to have some of the best beer in the world. We are their neighbors and little brother to the beer craze. 

 

The hop insanity started in the early 90s because of Stone beer, it has extended through the world, and whatever trend San Diego does… Tijuana is quick to follow.

 

We are currently living in the hazy phase. NEIPAs (or New England Indian Pale Ale) started the trend. At first, I disliked it. It just looked and tasted like an IPA gone wrong…

 

But now… now I’m starting to love them. They are doing interesting things with hazy beers. Very fruity. Many give me a guava juice feel. They are delicious and I’m loving it.


 

It was a weird weekend out of my weird fucking life. Beer guide next. And say goodbye to all this text. 


 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 20 — An Actual Guide Part 2: Food + Tacos.

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


Chapter 20. An Actual Guide Part 2: Food + Tacos.

 

It’s a slow Friday, so fuck it, why not write stupid shit to feel productive for a change.


 

Billie Joe Armstrong, the singer of Green Day, was here in Tijuana yesterday with his new project The Longshot. I wanted to go to just take a picture of him. I didn’t. I’m a lazy fucker and I hate crowds of people.

 

I regret it a bit…


 

The past couple of weeks have been nothing but eating and taking pictures of tacos. And writing about tacos. It’s the third time I’m part of the special edition about tacos for the magazine I work for. The second time that I’m in charge of the cover picture.

 

My section is obviously all about Tijuana. More specifically, Tijuana taco porn. Even more specifically, I follow a guy name @Baja_Cali_Food on Instagram and he posts some of the best food porn.

 

So I went to the places that he posts to see how they are.

 

And they are pretty fucking fantastic.

 

In fact, I found one that challenges my all-time favorite of Tacos el Rey.


I’ve been writing and taking pictures of tacos for several years now. There are way too many to cover with a simple list. Some that I liked have disappeared. Some I have yet to discover.

 

This is taco city.

 

This is everything city.


Drug city. 


 

In recent news, an American Pale Ale called Juan Cordero by Insurgente just won gold medal on the San Diego International Beer Competition.

 

Fauna from Mexicali and Rámuri from Tijuana got bronze on the World Beer Cup. 


Beer city.


 

Tacos el Rey has been around since the 70s. I’ve been living next to them for more than four years. A couple dozen full moons ago, I was eating at Tacos el Rey on acid with two girls: my used to be neighbor, and some chick who was coming from Houston.

 

We went to a show at Mous Tache.

 

HEY! That’s where Billie Joe Armstrong was last night.

 

I don’t remember what show I was there for. All I remember was the bad trip when I thought the Houston girl was into me, I tried to grab her hand, and got rejected.

 

Mistake.

 

And I remember eating in Tacos el Rey and la tortillera looking at me in the eyes and saying “ya te ves bien mal Mateo, vete a dormir Mateo.”

 

I didn’t return to Tacos el Rey for months after the embarrassment. 


 

I still go there at least once a month. They are still so incredibly good.


 

I did so much acid that year… even played a show on acid. 


 

The new tacos I found are called “El Nuevo Tecolote.” They aren’t close to my apartment, so I don’t think I’ll go that often… but they are fucking delicious. The carne asada is prime rib and their adobada is more like al pastor.


 

Near my apartment, there are more than a dozen taco choices. In downtown Tijuana alone, there are over 100 taco places to eat.

 

So yeah.

 

I can’t cover them all.

 

Next to Tacos el Rey is Tacos Los Albañiles. They are pretty good, but expensive and they cater to Pochos. Mexican-Americans coming down from LA. It looks like a taco place from LA. It feels like a taco place from LA. 


 

There’s a fish and shrimp taco truck nearby called Mariscos San Francisco. I like the batter they use there, so I usually get two fish and one shrimp. That’s breakfast. It costs me less than $4.


 

There is another fish and shrimp place called Los Compadres. I don’t like their batter there… but they have the best fucking camarón enchilado ever.

 

It’s greasy, it’s lava hot, it’s packed with shrimp and cheese, it’s the correct amount of spicy and it could be spicier if you like, and most importantly… it’s fucking dirty, just like the Tijuana gods intended.

 

I’ve been going to Los Compadres for many years now. Both Los Compadres and Tacos el Rey were recommendations from Danger Dave. 

 

Most people in Tijuana think El Mazateño is the best enchilado in town… and though it’s good. It can’t compare to the power of Los Compadres.

 

And I’m sure there are many more and some better places. But these are the ones I know.

 

Tijuana is way too big, changes way too often, and it’s ever-growing.


 

We just got a caravan of hundreds of migrants from Central America trying to cross into the United States. Guess where most of them we’ll end up living?

 

Yep.

 

In Tijuana.


 

Migrant and deported city.


 

Back to tacoland. There are birria tacos by my house that are cheap and filling. They aren’t necessarily good, but they aren’t bad. They are the same as the popular tacos in Calle Cuarta. That place is always packed and everyone is yelling at the poor taquero for more shit. 

 

Seriously. It’s a tiny corner with two taqueros and two dozen people that they want tacos or caldos de birria.

 

If they only knew that the birria is the same in a couple other corners in town, it wouldn’t be such a fuckfest.

 

The one by the park (near my house) is usually empty. And they also have asada that looks tasty (but for some reason, I’ve never tried it).


 

There are more taco places in the park. Tacos varios. Tacos al vapor. Tacos de birria. Tacos de mariscos. All fucking kinds of tacos.

 

Every corner has a plethora of different tacos.


And more taco places are opening soon.


 

Then there are the tacos regarded as classic or best. Taconazo. Tacos el Franc or Tacos el Frances in Playas. Tacos los Perrones in Rosarito. Tacos El Polo. Los Salseados.

 

Classic fish tacos as well. Tito’s Tacos, those are stupid cheap and everywhere. Aforementioned el Mazateño.


 

Classic cenadurías resembling central Mexico are everywhere and stupid cheap.


 

Hipster place tacos. Telefónica has a plethora of hipster choices such as the vegan cauliflower mole, same place has the cactus and panela or the pork taco. That’s La Carmelita. The pellizcadas there are my favorite.

 

Telefónica also has the huitlacoche pulpo taco by Tacosteño. The spicy tuna tostada by Otto’s grill. They have my favorite spicy salsa. It’s tasty and it makes me cry.

 

And more vegan choices with La Taquería Veggie. They recently opened in San Diego after major success in Tijuana. 

 

Tacón Veggie is another hipster vegan choice that is fucking great if you can catch them… They run out of tacos fast. And they might either grow or disappear soon. 


 

Tacos el Gordo is another classic, but it’s not that great. They now have locations in Vegas, San Diego, and other places. It started here in Tj. It’s definitely good, but with the plethora of choices, you can find something better.


 

Tacos Coahuila or “where the prostitutes go eat.” There was an article in Vice about this. I’m in the last picture of that article.

 

Tony Tee, famously as the guy who took Anthony Bourdain around Tijuana, but also a major promoter of the city and in general a decent dude who just likes to party.

 

Well.. yeah. Him.

 

He wrote an article about that place. We went together.

 

I’ve been hanging out with him a bunch lately. We didn’t for a while after he got mad at me for writing about his independent candidate, but that’s all water under the fridge now. 


 

Writing about politics.

 

Writing about food.

 

Writing about bullshit. 

 

It all gets you in some sort of trouble.


 

Tony Tee now has his own food truck in San Diego. I might have mentioned it here already because I’m that stupid that I forgot what I wrote already. The tongue tacos his food truck serves is some of the best in the region. He is celebrating his one year anniversary tomorrow.

 

And tomorrow is also a Reddit meetup/tour with /r/Tijuana and /r/SanDiego.


 

Out of the handful of Reddit meetings I’ve done, a couple have been nice and successful and still not worth it. I didn’t organize this one, but I’m a part of it. 

 

Let’s see what happens.


 

It’s going to be a Border Psycho, one of the leading breweries in the Baja region. Their beer… it’s not that great. It’s more the marketing and name behind it. And collaborations that they’ve done with Mason Ale Works or other big breweries.

 

Ok.

 

And by saying not that great… I don’t mean it’s bad. I’m just spoiled.

 

Beer changes here so often. 

 

Border Psycho started strong, opened a taproom in Plaza Fiesta that also started great… but then the staff and uncleanliness of the place ruined it. The taps weren’t properly clean. All beer got infected… 

 

Also, their beers tend to have a heavy alcoholic taste (and they tend to be high ABV). 

 

Their latest IPA called Hoptastic (or something like that.. It’s new, leave me alone). That IPA is pretty good. They have a double IPA called La Perversa that’s on the sweet caramel side instead of hops. 

 

Many other beers are drinkable but difficult to do more than one.

 

They had one special beer called “Beso Polacho” or Polish Kiss that was a “smoked wheat” beer or a Grodziskie, a very old style of beer not brewed often today. I thought it was excellent… but I was one of the very few that thought the same way.

 

It was very complex. It tasted like smokey bacon. Very dry and pungent. And surprisingly smooth to drink. Only a 2.8% abv (or maybe 3.2%) point is that it was light. 

 

I liked it. I’m never drinking that again because they are never making it again.

 

Overall, they have been improving and going in the right direction and do not expect them to go anywhere. 


 

Beers are next. I was on tacos.

 

Border Psycho has a kitchen now… though not necessarily tacos, their sopes are pretty good and filling. Burgers also decent, but sopes are better.


 

Speaking of sopes, it’s probably the best plate at Caesar’s Restaurant, their tuetano sopes. 


 

I used to go to Tacos Las Amigas, between 5th and 6th in Madero, as a regular stop in my tours. I don’t really like their tacos anymore, but they make huge tortillas on the spot. It’s also one of the few places I’ve ever seen where the taquera is a woman and a man is the one that sweeps and cleans around the shop. In a sexist country like Mexico, it’s nice to see something different. 


 

Near Las Amigas… another great place. La Corriente – Cevicheria Nais. Popular place. When I first got there, it was cheap and they had sold 8,000+ red snapper tostadas written in a blackboard near the kitchen. Nowadays, prices have tripled and they have sold 220,000+ red snapper tostadas, and have several locations, and other spinoff restaurants.

 

That was in just a couple of fucking years.

 

La Corriente is still great. Two tacos or two tostadas is my recommendation (or one and one). Yes, the red snapper is probably the best still. Ahi tuna is second favorite. They have a new ahi tuna called Pacifico that I liked better but that they rarely have since it requires fresh scallops. Tacos, the chile with shrimp and cheese called Taco Kalifornia is one of my favorites, but also Cachondo (octopus) or Mazatlán (shrimp filled with marlin, wrapped in bacon). 

My new favorite thing there is to order the “Pulpo Pacheco” (stoner octopus), it’s four big chunky pieces of octopus grilled with olive oil with a side of tortillas, vegetables, rice, and beans. AKA four great octopus tacos.

 

Oh yeah. And their drinks are fucktastic too. I already mentioned them before…


 

Circle jerk on the food of downtown Tijuana.


 

Tupidos is a classic restaurant with the usual Mexican menu, but on the side, they have handmade Tacos Varios. 

 

Next to Tupidos is Sanborns. Fuck that place. Just go in if you need to use the bathroom. 

 

But also nearby, El Tucumano, an Argentinean empanada place.


 

Just like La Corriente, I saw El Tucumano grow from a tiny place to a huge operation. They used to be in a tiny corner near Mous Tache (oh shit! Mentioned that in this chapter and so many times already… the place Billie Joe was just at).

 

Yeah. Tiny place. Argentinian empanadas with delicious chimichurri.

 

And yes, I know Argentinians are going to be like “fuck you we don’t put chimichurri on empanadas.” I’m aware. These empanadas are probably not Argentinian, however, they are delicious and cheap. So fuck off.


 

Near all, there are Chinese restaurants. If that’s your thing… then go crazy. I can’t even imagine trying to cover a the dozen of Chinese restaurants here. There are hundreds in the city and some were caught serving dog meat a few years ago. 


 

It’s like there are more restaurants per capita than any other place I’ve been at.

 

A lot of Tijuanenses eat out for all their meals. It’s just cheaper. Especially when you earn in dollars. Food is fucking everywhere.


 

Everything is fucking everywhere all the fucking time.


 

Except for a great delicatessen. Yep. A good ole deli. There is nothing like that. There are some cheese and meat stores that try… but usually overpriced and not that great.

 

I just need a classic great deli where I can get a cheap sandwich to go. 

 

Preferably in a liquor store.

 

A deli that sales caguamas and craft beer. That is also a barbershop and tattoo parlor. 

Tijuana could use a place like that. Hipster bastardized the place to beyond Portland levels.


 

KoMe was a Korean taco place that had great tacos, but it was poorly executed. 

 

They lasted 9 months. I wished they didn’t close. That was the last place I wrote for the food section in the magazine. I couldn’t deal with the editor. He turned a positive review into a negative one. 

 

My article didn’t have anything to do with their demise, but I still feel bad.

 

Their mistake was opening to big and simple. They should have done it small, secretive, and hipster.

 

That’s what Millenials want. Places that they only hear from word of mouth as great but that no one really knows the spot.

 

And Tijuana has a lot of those places.


 

There was a birria place by my house that also lasted less than a year. It was goat birria, which is rare to find up here. Almost everyone uses beef birria.

 

I miss them. They were delicious and cheap.


 

There’s taco alley, called Las Ahumaderas. My first apartment was behind the taco alley. The smell from the five (now four) taquerías in a row would enter through my kitchen window. All the taquerías have a similar name to “El Paisano” except the fifth one that closed that was named LAS QUINCE LETRAS. “The Fifteen Letters,” when counted, is actually fifteen letters. Dumb. 

 

I would go to the same one (third from the corner) every Monday when their tacos de cabeza were 2×1. Get four tacos and a caguama from the store and barely spend any money. Being a regular, they opened the caguama for me, put it behind the bar, and serve me in a plastic cup.  

 

The dollar was cheaper back then, but everything was also cheaper.


 

And there are tacos fucking everywhere! In every single neighborhood. In every single place. All types of tacos.


 

I went to Otay for Tacos el Gallito recently. In the same street, I saw that there were another dozen taquerías.


 

I went to La Cinco y Diez, which is barely halfway through the city, for Tacos Wichos… and on the way there… well… You could eat at three different taco stands for a whole year in Tijuana and not repeat a single one. 


 

Fancy restaurants also tend to serve tacos.


 

There is a club called Esquivel that has a taquería inside near the dance floor called Mucha Muchacha. That’s pretty fucking new… let’s see how long it lasts.


 

And I barely even scratched the surface of how many tacos there are. Much less how much food you can fucking eat. 


There are secret foods as well.

 

I’ve actually only seen this one once… and that was before I even lived here. The morning mariscos.

 

Apparently, the corner of 11th and Negrete (or somewhere around there) there is a little shop that sells only caldo de mariscos (seafood broth) from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. to drunk people.

 

I was there once years ago when I was still living in LA. I wasn’t hungry for seafood soup… so I didn’t order.

 

But there was a long line to order and a wedding arrived at the scene. I was too drunk to recall details, just thinking “this is fucking insanity.”

 

I haven’t tried to get that seafood soup… but have heard it from uber drivers and others about the place. And supposedly, the main guy died, left the place to his sons and it’s not the same as before. 


 

Other secret or weird foods… a liquor store called El Oasis. They recently remodeled it… but it’s like a house that is also a store, that is also a restaurant…

 

That sells giant ass clamatos and beer with whatever ingredient you want in the big gulp glasses from 7-Eleven. Two parrots sit inside the store annoying the fuck out of the customers.


 

My clamato with beer is using cheat codes. Right downstairs from my apartments sits Israel “el Buzito” son of El Buzo (or scuba diver). 

 

He has been selling ceviche tostadas and seafood cocktails in the corner below my apartment since the 80s. It was his dad’s business, which Israel told me that grew to several restaurants, but finally ended up closing to just ending up in the same corner.

 

His dad was an alcoholic, hence the name “Buzo,” because scuba divers are always underwater, which apparently means he was always drunk.

 

Israel is the complete opposite. He is a Christian gentleman that works hard to support his family in his little food cart.

 

And this is where the magical clamato is.

 

I get a caguamón of Tecate in the corner store and get a shrimp cocktail from Buzo (sometimes with clam and octopus, sometimes just shrimp). Eat a bit of the shrimp cocktail, then fill with beer, rinse and repeat. 

Thanks, Chad. I think he originally did this and I just perfected it.

 

That’s one of the best breakfasts you can have on a hot day. Buzo told me where to pick-up the shrimp he uses… 

On Calle Sexta, there are a bunch of fish stores… like three straight blocks of just fish. He says the Chinese have the best and biggest shrimp at the best price. His shrimp cocktail usually has nice big shrimp.


 

Today. Today is fried chicken Friday at Voodoo Stu’s. Dude that comes from Atlanta, married a Tijuana girl and has southern comfort food and gumbo shack in the art alley. Not sure how much longer he will last there either. This week, he is only opening today. He opens less than 6 days a month. Not sure how he stays in business. But I love it there and his chicken is fantastic. His side veggies always make me feel like I ate healthy hearty homemade southern food, or at least I like to deceive my mind to think so.


 

Today. I’m also hoping to play some tennis and maybe get a picture I took of tacos printed. Yep. Someone asked me for a poster-sized print of pictures of tacos.

 

The taco cover comes out soon. 

 

And I have much work to do.

 

A bunch of photography work. A bunch of writing. And a tour at some point. 

 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 19. An Actual Guide Part 1: Tacos + Beer. Nevermind… Cocktails.

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


Chapter 19. An Actual Guide Part 1: Tacos + Beer. Nevermind… Cocktails.

 

I’m almost done with my text for the taco issue. I went to food porn places that some dude on Instagram name @Baja_Cali_Food posted. His food porn always made me salivate… so I went to check out the places. One of them (El Nuevo Tecolote) is one of the best tacos I’ve had. The rest were more than okay… but I still prefer my neighborhood tacos.

Up next, going to San Diego to take pictures of tacos by other writers and the cover photo. 

I have a sweet gig going. 


 

This is my third year doing the taco issue. And it will be my second taco cover…. Tacover… 

 

Dumb.

 

The first tacover was at my friend’s taco/torta truck named Corazón de Torta. I didn’t choose the location, someone in the office did. Turns out they are cousins.

 

A sneaky way to make the cover.

 

And my hand was on the cover.


 

Corazón de Torta was barely opening and it wasn’t that great… but I’ve been back recently and holy shit… I can easily say they have the best tongue taco in the region, better than most of Tijuana, and only beaten by Birrieria Guadalajara in Ensenada.

 

Guadalajara has the best tacos de lengua I have ever tried. 


But this is not about Guadalajara or San Diego. This is mostly about Tijuana and just a bit of Ensenada. I do declare sir! Tijuana has the best tacos in the mother fucking world.

 

Just hands down.

 

Best fucking tacos in the world. 

 

And I’m going to take it a step further… 

 

We even have the best fucking beer in the world.

 

An outrageous fucking claim… but that’s the reason I live here.

 

And it is all insanely cheap! Especially if you earn dollars.

 

Fuck do I love this city.


 

And most people only come to fuck prostitutes and leave.

 

Not knowing the food and beer paradise behind the dirty streets.

 

It’s fucking crazy how much food and drinking there is.


 

Tijuana’s cocktail game is not to par with other places in the world. I can only name less than a handful that prepares great cocktails and just a dozen places that can perhaps make a cocktail.

 

Let’s get that shit out of the way.

 

Nortico, the speakeasy behind Oryx Capital probably has the best cocktails… but they pricey!

 

It’s a great experience to take people to Oryx… then lead them to the bathroom… and to the secret green wall. Every once in a while I meet people that know about Oryx and still don’t know about the speakeasy. Drinks here are going to cost $10+ each. That’s fucking dollars. So yeah. Pricey but worth it.

 

Tras / Horizonte follows closely. They had a bartender from San Francisco that ended up being an alcoholic and fell in love with a girl that I dated briefly… now they live somewhere else.

 

Fucking Tijuana.

 

Anyway. Their cocktails are flashy, very inspired, and good… but lack the alcohol taste. I’ve probably drank a couple and felt nothing. Also. Pricey. Drinks are actually better priced than the food… Maybe because Tras / Horizonte used to be Kokopelli, which used to be so fucking good and cheap. And now it hurts to pay almost triple for their tacos… when a few years back were better and way cheaper…

 

By the way.

 

Everything might have changed by the time you read this. Everything might change fucking tomorrow.

 

This city changes way too fast.


 

What I try to do in my tours… is download the map of the city that my brain has… into other people’s brains.

 

But that’s impossible.

 

We’re not machines… not just yet.

 

But I do have a map similar to Metroid Prime’s Gamecube style of mapping. The 3D map. If you played the game you know the joys of navigating that map. In fact… they did everything in that game. It should be played more. I should play more Metroids…


 

Continuing with the cocktail list… let’s keep it simple. The other two were not in downtown Tijuana… and downtown is my stomping grounds.

 

Bar Nelson. Find me there on a regular basis… though less and less each day since there is no oxygen in the bar, only cigarette smoke. I’m going to die of lung cancer before any of those fucking smokers. 

 

Bar Nelson is fucking cheap. Cocktail experts… not really. It’s a divey bar and the main bartender and owner knows what they are doing. They can whip up a cocktail. Erica makes a great fucking margarita. And everyone goes for the “especiales” which used to be called “mamadas” years before. 

 

They’ve had the same especial for decades. Old people go to Nelson. Young people go to Nelson. It’s a spectacle.

 

And I’m that asshole that plays jazz in the jukebox. 

 

It happened yesterday.

 

The bartender, Liz, lost the toin coss, so she said “go play jazz.” She hates jazz. Almost everyone hates jazz. I don’t get it.

 

I enjoy it. A lot. But who knows… 

 

Yesterday though… I took it too far. Four jazz songs in a row is too much for bar attendees. I heard what I presume was a gay patron shout out “who is playing this crappy music?” I can tell he was gay because of the way he said and the way he looked. Yes. My gaydar is semi-accurate. I can also tell because the whole table seemed to be gay. His shirt was on too tight. And he had GREEN fucking hair in a stylish fashion.

 

Nelson. Boom. Roasted.


 

La Justina and Cine Tonalá both are newish have fancy cocktails and they are doing a decent job (but a bit pricey). La Justina is much better at it, but their food got stupid small and expensive. It’s more enjoyable to just get a couple of drinks and munch on their free popcorn with ash and salt. 

 

Don’t try the old fashioned at Cine Tonalá. I told the owner this and she told me they made it better. It’s still not good. I’ve had better old fashioned at dive bars in the US than this fancy cocktail place. I got to tell her again… but I’m not buying it. She’ll serve me one, once she comes back from Europe.

The rest of the cocktail menu is pretty good. They have mezcal and some gin drinks that are refreshing. Their beer menu is a fucking mess. The food is hit or miss. Some of it is delicious and well priced, some of it is way overpriced for how tiny it can be.

Try this one, the Santa Tlali (maracuya mezcal):

My ex used to love the beet and spinach salad with goat cheese. I enjoy their burger… dare to say one of the best in town. But that’s not saying much. Tacos are what’s best here… burgers… not so much.

I mean… I’ll probably take In N’ Out over almost any burger in TJ. I just tried a burger in San Diego at a place called “The Friendly.” They don’t give you options, they just serve you this dirty greasy fucking double cheeseburger that would make Randy from Trailer Park Boys proud. Dirty greasy bomb perfection for $5. I could munch on those fuckers forever and then die of diarrhea.


 

That’s pretty much it for cocktails! All dive bars carry the standards, but not every bartender knows what the fuck they are doing besides opening beers and pouring tequila shots.


 

Oh shit!

 

Almost forgot… 

 

El Tinieblo inside La Cevichería Nais… That place has a smokey old fashioned made with mezcal that is fucking killer.

 

They also have “mezcalitas” margaritas made with mezcal and they are all fucking tasty as fuck. There’s the “pulp friction” which is a chamoy based margarita (again… with mezcal, called mezcalitas). La cuchi cuchi which is like the classic mezcalita, a mango one, a spearmint one that is perfect to cleanse the palate for whatever the fuck you are gonna do next. 

 

And the food is fucking amazing. The ambiance is great too. The service is a bit too much, they take your napkin away as soon as you barely wrinkle it. Dudes. Relax. I don’t need my barely dirty napkin taken away immediately.

 

The cocktail list is extensive and it has never disappointed.

 

So yeah.

 

For the best cocktails in downtown… El Tinieblo (which is getting remodeled right now) inside La Cevicheria Nais (which is your only option right now due to the aforementioned remodeling).


 

Honorary mention. Caesar’s Restaurant. 

 

I actually don’t think I’ve ever had a cocktail here. I just know I trust that they can actually do good work. Caesar’s is a Tijuana staple. The place where caesar salad was invented. Though it has changed. It was acquired by the Plascencias in 2011 (I believe) and remodeled. It’s a bustling success. They have great live music on some nights. Their menu is extensive and most of it is delicious (avoid the salmon fingers… DO FUCKING go for the tuetano aka bone marrow or for their oysters Rockefeller). The best thing about Caesar’s… It’s not that expensive. 

 

It wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting with the publisher/editor of one of the only surviving real surf magazines out there, The Surfer’s Journal. 

 

He read my articles before and wanted to chat with me. I ended up hanging out with the guy at Caesar’s for a couple hours drinking and snacking. We had a couple beers each, a couple shots of mezcal, Rockefeller oysters, and something else… I forgot. But the check was $28 or something like that. He was happy.

 

We then went to Valle de Guadalupe the following day to Finca Altozano for his interview with Javier Plascencia, Tijuana’s most coveted chef.

 

That’s the second time I’m in his presence, but the first time I actually sit with him at a table. He is a fucking chill guy living the best life you can possibly imagine. Busy as fuck. But who wouldn’t want to be him…? The “inventor” of Baja-Med. The trendy tasty cuisine of this region. Octopus is his strength. 

 

Octopus is the strength here. And seafood in general. And tacos.

 

Fucking tacos. That’s what I was going to write about and look how fucking deviated I got.


 

Other honorary mention, the classic of classics, Dandy Del Sur.

 

I started going there lately in exchange of Nelson. The main reason is… NO SMOKING ALLOWED at Dandy’s. I can breathe.

 

It’s a classic. Almost legendary. People come from far to drink at Dandy’s. 

Dandy’s: where the legendary Anthony Bourdain set foot to have a drink with la Señora Aida whose birthday is one day before mine. They have their picture framed in the bar.

 

And I got a VIP card.

 

I didn’t do anything to deserve it but pay 250 pesos (around $14 at the time I bought it). It guarantees a 2 x 1 in any first (national) drink every day. The card pays for itself in 7-10 visits. It has other perks, but the best is the 2 x 1.

 

They suck at cocktails. They are strong and not well mixed. They also have their own “especial” but I haven’t bothered to try it. 

 

I know about their cocktails because they have specials depending on the day. 3 whiskeys for 90 pesos ($5). Straight up shitty whisky. 

 

Palomas 2 x 1. Fucking shitty as palomas.

 

Cuba libres. Shitty. 

 

I’m not sure if they can actually prepare actual drinks. I guess I’ll have to venture into cocktails there… but I rather just get a couple of beers 2 x 1 and get out.

 

That’s what I did yesterday.

 

After visiting the new Mamut taproom on Calle Sexta. What used to be Praga 2. What before was the shitty strip club that I mentioned with Hudson and Penner.

 

Right across from Dandy del Sur. Near La Cevichería Nais.

 

All this shit is nearby. And there’s still dozens of bars and restaurants that I haven’t ventured. 

 

And that’s just fucking downtown Tijuana… when I go to other regions of the city it feels like I went to another fucking city.


 

I have a sexy photo shoot in an hour and I haven’t had breakfast. This turned out to be about cocktails. Next will be about tacos. Or perhaps beer. 

 

Beer is going to be extensive… should save that shit for last.


 

About the sexy photoshoot… this is newgrounds for me. I had a friend model for me a couple times and she is sexy as hell, but it was more urban wear that looked like an American Apparel ad or something. Not really because AA likes to use exotic and really young looking chicks. This girl has a rocking body, but a tomboy feel. The point is… it was sexy, but not as sexy as the next.

 

I did a different sexy shoot with a different friend. She got semi-naked… the only problem is she isn’t that hot. It was still a fun shoot and turned out some great frames that she liked. So that she is happy means I’m happy.

 

And today… in an hour or so… yep… An hour. 

 

Another friend designs lingerie for “suicide type” looking chicks. You know… like goth lingerie. So I’m meeting two models who I have no idea who they are and taking pictures at a laundromat for a lingerie brand.

 

I’m sort of nervous… sort of excited… 

 

Let’s see how it goes. 

 

I’m not getting paid… so I should actually do some real work after (and I have two paid gigs lined up this weekend…I’m set).


 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 18 — Fuck Hollywood + Bad Tour.

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


Chapter 18. Fuck Hollywood + Bad Tour.

 

Everything fucking hurts.

And I haven’t done much work at all in the past couple of days. All I’ve done is eat tacos and take pictures of tacos. Scribble little shitty notes that will turn into decent text next. That will be the money I earn this week.

 

It could be so much more. But I’m a lazy fucker.


 

Everything hurts because I went to play tennis with my buddy Kevin yesterday. First time I do any sports in years. I have a blister on my middle finger. It grew and burst in the second set of the match.

 

Guess who won?

 

I fucking won.

 

Both times coming from behind. Both times sets were 7-5.

 

Good fucking game.


 

Speaking of my middle finger. Here’s what happen a few weeks ago. Or a month ago. Whatever.

 

Thinking about it still pisses me off. 


 

I got contacted by email for a tour like I usually do. The guy didn’t tell me much about what they were looking for but insisted on talking on the phone.

 

This was on the same email as the bachelor party email since I received both that same morning.

 

And I’m a busy guy.

 

Fuck did I pay much attention to a guy who didn’t tell me much but wanted to talk on the phone.


 

Guy called me while I was at Mason Ale Works in San Diego after photographing a rugby training for the city’s new team. I was hanging out with another writer and we were invested in our conversation about writer stuff while drinking and eating. 

 

Writer stuff.

 

Whatever the fuck.

 

I was probably talking about this stupid shit.


 

Guy spoke in Spanish, which was confusing, then he switched to English. Guy told me what he wanted. Something about a Netflix show. A guide to make them feel safe in the city. Blah blah blah.

 

I didn’t pay much attention. I get plenty of tours like that and this wasn’t urgent at all.

 

The main thing. They wanted safety.

 

As if fuckers would get killed the moment they touch TJ.


 

Weeks later, Guy emails me and CCs Gal. 

 

Gal seems terrified about Tijuana and asks about safety plenty of times. Gal was coordinating the hotel they were staying in and asked me plenty about it. 

 

This city has probably a hundred hotels. It’s obvious which are the shitty ones. 

 

They end up booking a decent one. Not the best, but in a nice area and a decent hotel.


 

To meet them it was a fucking mess.

 

They switched up the way to meet a couple of times.

 

They ended up driving across on a white van and I saw them outside of Costco.


Five people in the white van. The driver who seemed cool. Gal who seemed nervous. English dude who was calm and quiet. Douche Hollywood oldish looking dude. Greek fucker who seemed to be the man in charge.

 

The Guy that book the tour wasn’t there. 


 

I direct them to their hotel. While on the drive they discussed plans and they still kept secretive about what the fuck they were doing in Tijuana.

 

All good so far. Even though I still have no fucking clue what I was doing. I’m great at improvising and I can handle all this shit.


Finally at the hotel. They all seem stressed and indecisive.

 

They make me sign a non-disclosure agreement before they say anything to me. Yes. I went through it. It seemed alright.

 

I just googled the company… I can’t find dick about it except the offices in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, they are nearby my old office in Los Angeles when I used to work for National Photo Group.

 

I can’t find anything else about these fuckers.


 

English dude and Greek dude start telling me what they want. It was a tall order and out of nowhere, I had to figure out all for the next day.

 

They wrote me a list.

 

I needed to find a charity or something charitable and it couldn’t touch the subjects of migrants because it was too political (orphanages preferred). We needed a dangerous-looking Tijuana. Something something something. And last, but not least, we needed someone that was willing to go on camera and say that Mexico is too dangerous to drive through.

 

I told them they were wrong, that they could do the trip if they wanted too. I met a guy who fucking ran from Vancouver to Argentina pushing a stroller. He went through Mexico and received nothing but support. I’ve met dozens who drove from Tijuana to South America and nothing has happened. Yes, there are many cases gone wrong, but they had a shitty white van. The chances of something happening were very low… And they were going to drive through South America anyway (which could be worse…)

 

And at the end of the list, the name of the show, they told me to watch some that night to figure it out… AND DELIVER ALL the next morning.

 

Fuckers are crazy. 

 

And for what? Like $300-400? 

 

Fuck it. I was going to do it. I could fucking handle it. Extra money is always nice and I had already planned my days for this shit tour.


Cool.

I’m getting angry again.

Cool.

I accepted the gig and put the list of demands in my back pocket.


 

The show followed the English dude around the world because he was a traveling expert. Something like that Man vs Wild show with Bear Grylls that everyone knows it was staged and that fucker was staying in hotels.

 

Same with this English dude.

 

He was staying in the hotel and staging everything else.

 

And here’s where the non-disclosure takes place. Obviously, fuckers don’t want to disclose to their viewers about this.

 

Hopefully, I’ve been vague enough to not be in trouble. And… to be honest… the show is fucking suspicious, the company is fucking suspicious, and this is stupid fucking text I’m writing, so I doubt I’ll get in trouble.

 

If I do, and you are reading this, and you are a lawyer… hit me up!


Time to eat. I was starving. Everyone was starving. Except for the English dude, “ the reality star.” He wanted to stay in the hotel.

The driver wanted to know where to find massive burritos. Technically an American thing, massive burritos are not common in Tijuana. There are a few places though.

Driver dude was cool.

I took the passenger seat and directed him to Teléfonica. He told me he stayed in a hotel nearby not that long ago. 

Gal was all nervous the whole time. She seemed to take abuse from the producers or something. 

Hollywood douche was being a Hollywood douche. Never took off his sunglasses. I never saw his most likely squinty little shit-eyes of Hollywood douche superiority.

And Greek dude… well… he is the one I had the most issues with. 


 

While driving around, Greek dude asked me frequently where the shitty parts of town were and if it was safe to film in certain places. I told him that shit parts were just a good twenty minutes south and that yes, he can film anywhere as long as he doesn’t film cops. He had no interest in the city of Tijuana or anything else at all except seeing some shit areas for the camera (which are not that difficult to find…)

 

But first food… right?


This is what happened.

 

We got to Teléfonica. The place is packed. Many of the people in there are obviously American. Teléfonica always has tons of Americans. You can fucking hear their conversations in English. 

I’m doing the usual tour telling they have many options. I tell the driver that Satabu has big burritos for around $7, he is excited. I tell the Greek guy there’s a Greek place, he fucking shrugs the whole place off. Like he was way above it.

Gal was nervous and said she wanted a vegetarian taco. Hollywood douche said nothing and just talked to the Greek guy.

I led Gal to La Taqueria Veggie which is fucking amazing vegan food. They have a taco truck in San Diego and they are doing great.

I tell her they have insane veggie tacos there. But Gal just wants tortilla and lettuce, nothing of the fake meat or anything else. It made no fucking sense.

Instead of all choosing their own place, the Greek guy tells me to order for all in one place. That fucking didn’t make sense either. I tell him to walk around and choose. Gal is stressing me out because she can’t order a fucking taco to save her fucking life. 

They acted like fucking babies. As if the border fucked their whole fucking views. 

Except for the Driver. The Driver was cool. So my intention was to please him first since he was the easiest to deal with. I took him to Satabu and told him about the burritos and he started figuring it out himself, so I was fucking happy.

I went back to the other group who were arguing amongst themselves.

The Greek fucker pulls out his phone and says, “I see there is a Chili’s nearby, this is like American Chili’s, yes?”

 

Yep. He had a shitty Greek accent. A good looking douchebag with a Greek accent. No wonder he was so fucking entitled.

 

I tell him that indeed that is American Chili’s. He says he rather go there because he is afraid that the food in Teléfonica will give him food poisoning as he rubbed his stomach indicating he was sensitive. 


 

I lost my shit a bit…


I asked him if he was serious. He said he was. He was concerned about getting a stomach-ache. And he made it seem like I should understand. As in “look at this shithole.”

 

Fucking Teléfonica… packed with Americans and everyone eating happily. That place has never failed me. I’ve taken so many tourists and everyone loves it. Not everything is perfect, the place has its fucking flaws. But it never fails me.

 

I asked him again. This time added the “fucking serious.”

 

He said yes. 

 

That’s when I truly lost my shit.

 

Asked him if he hired a tour guide or just a prop for his stupid TV show that could say what he wanted on camera. He again said something like “you understand… right?”

 

I said fuck no. That I didn’t need this shit. For some reason, I gave him his stupid list back. The name of the show was in there and to be honest, I don’t fucking remember the name at all. I tried googling or finding the show… Can’t find shit.

 

And for reasons of the NDA I signed… I’m just going to leave it like that.


 

I yelled at the fucker, ” the tour is over, I’m not your tour guide.”

 

He then asked me if I was serious.

 

I said that if he was going to Chili’s, I was.

 

He said, “fine then.” The good old “we can manage without you.” 

 

And they can. Tijuana is not a dangerous disaster they make it seem. It is a bit… but only if you are stupid and ask for trouble. Not in fucking Teléfonica or anywhere they were staying.

 

I could see the concern look on Gal’s face. The smug look on the Hollywood douche behind his boss producer also standing tall to his decision to go to Chili’s.

 

I stormed out.

 

But was confused because I was also hungry so I didn’t know what to do.

 

So I stupidly just walked by them fuming. They looked confused as shit. I wanted food but was too fucking angry.

 

I decided to walk out the backdoor, emailed the guy that “hired me” telling him that I left his group.


 

I left my black simple hoodie that my mom gave me for Christmas in their fucking white van. I miss that black hoodie. That is what I regret the most… 


 

I was still fuming, so I decided to call the guy that hired me. 

 

I told him why I left them behind. He seriously said, “what’s wrong with Chili’s?”

 

For fuck’s sake. 

 

Don’t fucking hire a tour guide and then ask him to take you to fucking Chili’s. And not only that, they basically wanted me to shit all over Tijuana.

For a couple hundred bucks. For some shit Netflix show that was staged.

Nope.

I was still fuming.


Nelson. My refuge. Beer. Calm down.

 

I emailed him angry still, but more tranquil. I felt bad for leaving them like that. I felt bad for the Driver who was cool and just wanted a giant burrito. I felt bad for the Gal who seemed to be scared shitless. I felt bad for the reality star guy who seemed nice, we talked briefly about soccer, and he seemed like a chill guy. I didn’t give a shit about Hollywood Douche and the Greek Producer. 

 

So… in the email I included leads that they asked for. The charities that they might want to work with. And the places that they should go to.

 

But I also told him I was not their tour guide. And just because the Greek guy was the one that pissed me of the most I gave him the stupid analogy that what he was asking for would be similar to ask for a tour of the Parthenon, then tell the tour guide to talk shit about Greece and it’s failing economy, and to top it off, to take me to McDonald’s because I’m afraid of Greek food.

 

I never got a reply. I’m not sure if they cared. I’m not sure what happened to them. I’m not sure what they ended up doing.

 

I don’t know if they got another tour guide that helped them out with all their shit. I don’t know if they did it solo. I don’t know if I’ll ever end up watching the show. 


 

That was the most livid I’ve been in a long time, and writing about it again, made me livid. Fuck those Hollywood douchebags. Fuck Hollywood in general. I fucking hated (almost) everything about living there.


 

As silly as it was, I was angry for the next following days. Fucking Chili’s.

 

If you like Chili’s… I understand. There are many places in America where the best choice is Chili’s or Applebee’s. But if you are traveling to a different city and hire a tour guide… asking for Chili’s in a place with so much amazing great food… Well… simply… FUCK YOU.


That was the second tour I have ever canceled.

 

The first one was early when I was doing tours. The guy that wanted a tour was only going to pay me $25. When I met him, he was obviously strung out. The guy was already in Tijuana in a seedy hotel and wanted someone to connect him with a dealer for heavy drugs. He said this to me five minutes after meeting. I told him I wasn’t his tour guide and left him.


And… now I’m getting bombarded by emails from real work. I have a busy weekend coming up. Lingerie pictures with sexy girls tomorrow, that will be a first, let’s see how that goes. I have to cover a food bank event and dress in my tuxedo again. And finally, more rugby pictures on Sunday. 

And more more more tacos pictures.


I should wrap this up and actually talk about Tijuana instead of all the stupid shit I do.