Sunday drive in October

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Strawberry Lanes these days.

BACK IN TEXAS it was a delight to drive the state’s mid-section in Springtime and see the seas of wildflowers, the bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and so on.

We get something similar here, but not in Springtime, in October. In Springtime here, everything is dry as the proverbial bone.

So we took a drive on Sunday, heading to the tiny town of Tupátaro. First, we ate in a restaurant there which served some excellent Sopa Tarasca, a regional specialty, and some dreadful pollo en mole. We won’t return to that restaurant.

On departing the restaurant, we walked a block farther to visit the church again, something we hadn’t done in a couple of years. It’s one of the most spectacular churches in the state. It’s not large, but it’s old, the 1700s, and what makes it special is the wooden ceiling that is painstakingly painted. The link above will give you a view.

Taking photos is prohibited inside the church because, you know, the flash will do harm, a common belief in these parts which is pure nonsense.

But here are two photos I snapped outside.

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First, in one direction.
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And then in the other direction. A minibus is passing.

Later, nearer home, we stopped at an ice cream joint and lapped up lemon ice, which is a good way to end a day driving in the pink-flowered countryside.

And walking in ancient churches.

 

A night in Santo Domingo

sunrise

I’VE BEEN IN lots of brothels: Port-au-Prince, Haiti. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, Mexico. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Barcelona, Spain.*

But I’ve never purchased the principal product, just the secondary, alcohol. I came close once,  however. A booze-fueled, Caribbean night in Santo Domingo.

I related this story years ago on a former website, but it’s vanished. If you remember, be aware that some details may differ. It’s been a long time.

Some things are fun to repeat, and I’m a fun fellow.

It started one morning at the airport bar in New Orleans. My traveling companion was an old French friend from years earlier. We’d met in the Air Force in California.

(Trivia: Sitting two stools down from me at the airport bar was Kris Kristofferson, but I pretended not to notice him. I was cool like that.)

We continued drinking on the plane, and by the time we landed in Santo Domingo we were well-oiled. We rented a car and drove to a downtown hotel. As night fell, we hired a taxi driver to take us to the brothel zone, which he did.

(More trivia: Dominican hookers were the most beautiful I ever saw, far outstripping the international competition from my experience. Just so you know.)

We continued drinking. My French friend partook of the wares but I, as always, took a pass. Sex that way has never interested me. Going to brothels was a sociological experience and a very fascinating one. But the night wore on, and I drank more.

And, Lordy, they were lovely.

Around 3 a.m., the two of us walked out the front door to hunt another taxi. At my shoulder I noticed a cute working girl who’d tailed us. She wanted to come along. I said yes, so we three took a cab to a restaurant and ate.

After eating, we caught another cab to the hotel. Somewhere along the line, I had decided to abandon my hands-off approach. We entered the hotel lobby, the three of us, but the hotel’s security man stopped us. Not the girl, he said.

My friend headed up to the room, and my companion and I walked back outside. Habitual drinkers, which I was at the time, can reach a state in which they’re quite ambulatory, steady even, but completely plowed at the same time. I was there.

We got into the rental car, and she gave me directions to “a place I know.” It turned out to be an old, two-story, wooden hotel on the beach highway. It’s about 4 a.m.

Things get foggy now. I recall entering the hotel. The girl was walking just ahead of me up a broad stairway. Behind me was a man, a hotel employee, I suppose. I suddenly got wary of the situation, suspecting I was going to be robbed or worse.

I changed my mind.

As we entered the room, I told the girl I had left something in the car and that I’d be right back. I turned on my heel, headed out the door, bounced down the stairs and leaped into the car. But she was right behind me. She didn’t want me to leave her there.

Okay, I said. Jump in. But she had left her shoes in the room upstairs. Go get them, I said. But you’ll leave, she replied, accurately. This exchange continued for a few rounds till I started to drive off. She ran around and jumped into the car without her shoes.

We pulled out onto the moonlit highway while she yelled, My shoes! My shoes! I braked and pulled over, opened my door, walked around to the other side, opened her door and attempted to pull her out. She grabbed the steering wheel. I could not extract her painlessly, so I gave up, returned to the other side and continued down the highway.

Twenty or so minutes later, we entered a downtown plaza. There was a parked police car, and two cops stood on the sidewalk. The girl stuck her head out the window and began yelling which, of course, caught the officers’ attention.

Deciding not to make a run for it, I just pulled over.

The girl got out and spoke to the police. We ended up driving back to the hotel. The girl and I led the way, and the police car followed. When we arrived at the hotel, she walked upstairs to retrieve her shoes while I and the smiling cops waited.

She returned wearing her shoes and told me to give the police some money, which I did, not wanting trouble and thinking myself lucky so far. The officers drove off, and I did too, with my companion. I offered to take her home, an idea she liked.

Ever the gentleman. It was the least I could do.

She lived in a low-rent area, of course. As we pulled up to her humble home, she asked, still hoping for some cash, if I’d like to come in. I said no, and asked how old she was. After so many years, I forget what she told me, but it was 16 or so.

As I headed alone back to the hotel, the sun was rising.

And I remain to this day a whorehouse virgin.

* * * *

* This was unintentional. My second wife and I entered, sat at the bar and ordered drinks before it became clear where we were. We did finish the drinks.

(A Christmas Eve brothel in San Juan. Plus another romance on the road, also a true story.)

“Conservatives” riot in Mexico City

vandalism2
Black-clad “conservatives” conserve windows with rocks.

SOME WEEKS AGO, after a report of police brutality in Mexico City, a huge protest of feminists — their name, not mine, la marcha feminista — ended with extensive graffiti and vandalism against the historic monument known as the Angel de la Independencia on the city’s lovely, principal thoroughfare El Paseo de la Reforma.

The leftist government, both federal and municipal, made no effort to stop it. The restoration of the monument, the nation’s most famous, will be staggeringly costly, and some experts doubt that it can be returned to its original condition at all.

Leftist thugs noticed the total lack of government push-back.

Thursday, on the fifth anniversary of another event, vandals, 5,000-strong, again took to the streets to destroy, attacking downtown Mexico City offices, government facilities, private businesses and, of course, public monuments. Again, no repercussions for them.

The cops were busy elsewhere. Maybe coffee and doughnuts.

Our leftist demagogue president who harbors a Messiah delusion held his daily press conference yesterday at 7 a.m. He called the vandalism “excesses,” and rejected the suggestion that anarchists were involved.

Notice the Antifa-like attire in the photo.

The president said the protest had nothing to do with the political left, that it was, in fact, conservatives! The president habitually blames conservatives for all problems. When he’s not blaming conservatives, he’s denying problems exist at all.

It gets worse. The president said:

“Anarchism is productive, purposeful, a movement that is very profound in ideals.”

But he said it in Spanish, of course, because he is monolingual.

The repair estimate for Thursday’s damage has been put at a minimum of 100 million pesos (U.S. $5 million). You know, damage the rampaging “conservatives” caused.

Leftist lunacy in the United States looks contagious. Sad.

The telephone solicitors

ONE OF THE many positives of moving to Mexico, at least years ago, was that I was no longer bombarded by junk calls around dinner time.

old-phone-3Alas, like so many aspects of living here, both good and bad, we’ve become more like the nation up north.

Starting only in the last year, junk calls started coming in a lot, and almost all were from banks. It’s either my own bank, BBVA, or my previous bank, HSBC. Calls from BBVA are usually to offer me a credit card or sell me insurance. I need neither.

But the real nuisance was HSBC, a bank I simply abandoned about three years ago. It’s a nightmare bank, so I did not bother officially closing my account. I merely zeroed it out and walked around the corner to Bancomer BBVA, which now goes by BBVA only. It’s a Spanish bank, as in Spain. As far as banks go here, it’s the best, I think.

Junk calls are not restricted to the dinner hour. It’s an all-day-long thing. Most were coming from HSBC. I don’t know what they wanted because I simply hung up on realizing it was that damnable nightmare bank yet again.

I have solved the problem, however. I installed a call blocker on my cell phone. At first, I simply had it block further calls from numbers that annoyed me even once. But it seems that banks have an endless variety of numbers, probably to dodge this sort of blocking.

I’d block one bank number, and then they’d just call me from another.

So I’ve set my call blocker to block all calls, every single solitary one that is not on my list of contacts. I now live in peace. However, my contacts include my entire Google list, so anything important appears to be getting through.

Being a hermit, I don’t get many calls anyway.

I wonder if the dinner-time sales calls still happen above the Rio Bravo. But the junk calls happened at dinner time, of course, because that’s when people were home, and before they were watching I Love Lucy at 8 p.m.

But cell phones mean people are “home” all the time. I imagine the dinner calls have ended above the border. Or have they? I have no clue. And do they come mostly from banks or from all over the place like before?