Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Memories: April 6th, 2012

April 6th, 2012, the last Friday of Semana Santa and only three days away to go back to school which I’m really looking forward to just so we can finish with this horrendously bad semester. Time to roll out and I decided to go to El Divan de Alicia and see what’s up over there as there seems to be an event of a group called Tijuana Roller Derby Girls, which as the name implies is a group of chicks that enjoys roller skating the hell out of wherever they can skate freely and make a deadly business out of it. Found Keke, one of the guys serving El Divan de Alicia as a waiter, while getting off the cab and spoke with him about some events that transpired a couple of months back that could or may affect the performance of the bar. Once at El Divan I found Gil, this Rastafarian like Death Metal lover, no love for reggae here just the dreadlocks, and a heavy substance abuser when he feels like it, sweeping and we talked a little about this and that, politics, philosophy, war, current events and a book I lend him a couple of months ago, maybe a year actually, called Doctor Farabeuf o la Cronica de un Instante which is a pretty bizarre, no heads or tails, non-logical, non-lineal story about a small event that seems more and more disturbing as you turn into a new page. While chatting one of the Tijuana Roller Derby Girls got there, I think the one in charge of everything, and started doing setup while other girls dropped by and all I can say is that there was some really delicious fine looking women going in and out of that door. Went for some cash at an HSBC ATM located in 5th street, just in front of the old porn movie theater, next to the taxi site I use to go home, and got some money at the ATM inside the Calimax, a big player down here just like Wal-Mart but obviously with far more places open than them. While walking back I had some really patriotic thoughts about a lot of things in regards to this country and the hope I have that in 30 years this will be a 1st World Power where my children could eventually live “decently”, not that they wouldn’t be able to live decently though. Once back at the bar I looked at the outside for a split second and went in, not before patting the logo outside the bar, this beautifully metal carved logo of El Divan de Alicia that has a terrifying story. From what I understand the logo was done by a man named Alex, a smith that knew El Perro from when El Divan de Alicia was at La Plaza, said Plaza being in front of Plaza Rio, next to a river that has since then dried up but back then, for example in 1993, it flooded and caused the President in turn, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, to declare Tijuana a Disaster Zone and send in the military to assist us, which is one of the major points of the city, who I met once and I personally thought he was an absolutely cool guy, who found his death under some really confusing circumstances back in 2010, a few days before Christmas actually, and I will not talk about them since there are different stories from different sources and the only way of confirming this is with a newspaper but I would leave to you, reader, that task as I like to respect the dead in their final place and I believe I have heard enough to know what the real answer is but I will not reveal anything from this incident except the fact that we have that Sombrero de Charro behind the bar with pictures of him, that were never framed…
Went inside, saw Moya, gave him a cigarette and went to smoke outside to get up to date with the events at the bar and the surroundings. Apparently they were not aware that Transmetal is not playing at El Foro and laughed when I told them they would be playing at the TJ Art & Rock Café, although they did retract a little bit when I told them they were expanding it to at least double their size. Then the DJ, who I keep forgetting his name, said he played at El Foro, apparently he opened for 2 Minutos, and he had a blast doing it with such a huge place and expensive equipment at hand he was like a junkie having his cocktail served to him with extra power. Of interest we confirmed that with the new Metal Zone thing that is going to happen on Saturdays there should be more people coming in, especially with that Iron Maiden tribute that sounds exactly like Maiden does which is great since you only end up paying some 40 to 50 pesos, 3 to 4 American dollars.
Once that was said and done I went back upstairs to the bar, had a couple of Caguamas, a Caguama generally being a one liter bottle or one third of a gallon for those of you who don’t use the metric system, of Corona, I would have had a Vicky or Victoria but those are 40 pesos, an equivalent to almost 3.50 in American currency, which was a bit out of my league at the moment and I wanted to enjoy some extra beer if possible. Found Xavier, a friend who is also in the Humanities Faculty, in the Communications branch, back at the University, who was taking pictures of the event while enjoying some Pacificos. We started talking about visiting La Cupula, eventually I hope I can do that next week, and of taking the Vampire: The Masquerade deal to them to see if we can use their café, Café Batcraft, as our playing ground. Funny thing is that Xavier was already aware of VTM, as it’s usually abbreviated, since he had read something called The Book of Nod which contains most of the mythology and story behind the game. Went outside for another cigarette, found Mr. Nacho, an almost clone of Herman Goering which makes sense since he descends from pure breed Aryans, his Grandpa actually serving as a Colonel in the Nazi Army down in France but escaping to Mexico once he saw things were going down the drain, and then Germain, Mr. Vampire himself who, from what I recall and understand, used to have several rings on his back so he could hang himself from the ceiling using them and relax, apparently it is a very relaxing thing for a lot of people as I have looked around and everyone concurs on that fact so maybe I’ll have to ask Doc about this and see what is the exact reason behind it, probably some chemical release. Saw Moya and Andy later on, then Pantera came in, the rest of the girls from the Tijuana Roller Derby Girls, with whom I discussed a possible sponsoring from some important people but that will be left pending until I can get an answer back from the correct people which may take quite some time, more people, Vodka Jell-O Shots, more beer, bad combination, rockabilly music, yeehawing all the way, more people, chit chat, the works. A miracle that I made it back home, after tricking a cab driver to get me there for free but not because I didn’t want to pay but rather because I had no money left at all but I don’t feel bad at all, even though I do understand the fact that they have, listen to this, to pay to actually work the cab, it works like this. To work a Taxi down here in Tijuana you need to have the unit, the car itself, and the license plates, which are quite expensive, but you can actually rent the plates as it is totally legal as long as the correct paperwork is done and in the end the plates are yours and nothing less. So, the person driving the unit has to pay a daily or weekly fee, which is up to el Patron to decide, they have to pay their own gas and in some circumstances, not all of them, they have to fix the unit in any possible way or face the wrath of their boss. Not a pretty thing to drive a taxi down here in this city.
Saturday, wake up, have breakfast, take a quick bath, check some things, go to Bolas’ house to play some Texas Hold ‘Em with the old gang, Bola, Ozzy, Doc, Shoppa, Mora, Edgar, Ricardo and me, got there a bit late but almost everyone was there except for Edgar who had things to do before coming in. We started a discussion on what to eat, we settled for Chinese and even though I had some adobada tacos I thought that some extra food wouldn’t hurt me that much, I was starving and the vodka had left me in limbo, so we went for some Chinese at Las Palmas, just a couple of blocks away from there and almost in front of El Harinero el Rosal. We started eating and watched as Mora enjoyed some God of War 3, geez the graphics are incredible and even though it’s a button masher I could not stop and awe at the titanic battles between Kratos and the Olympian Gods.
We start our war on the field, 70 pesos each, first place takes 400, second 140, the initial bet is 2 pesos and it doubles every 30 minutes, minimum bet is whatever the current bet is at the moment, the laptop is available for songs and everyone takes a turn unless that person is not in game anymore. The game starts OK and escalates slowly to the point where I’m kicking everyone out until it’s only me, Mora and Doc, the bet is 64 pesos, 10 minutes left on the clock to go for 128, it is here where fate is decided and a winner takes all, either Mora or Me as Doc is left with only 20 pesos, I call him for an all in, he goes for it, cards on the table, I got a 2 and a Jack, he’s got a 10 and a Queen, cards on the table show a 2 and other cards that aren’t helping, Mora goes out of the battle as he doesn’t want to risk it, next card, nothing for either one of us, final card, nothing more, there is silence, I’ve won, again, for the longest time ever in the history of this table. It is drinking time to celebrate. It’s 7 something when we end up the game and the Xolos, our primera division team for soccer, are still playing on the Stadium, so we hit the road fifteen minutes before the game is over but lose Mora on the track as he has to do other things and Ozzy is not coming since he had to finish fixing a PC.
We get to downtown, down at 3rd Street and a block above Revolucion, and go looking for a bathroom since apparently everyone is now feeling the post-effects of the Chinese food, we go to an Oxxo first, I buy a pack of Delicados 14, which is a Mexican brand of fine tobacco, so says the box, with only 14 cigarettes at the modest price of 20 pesos, then move over to the Sanborns, a chain of Restaurant, Pharmacy, Candy, Toys, everything that started in Mexico City with Sanborns Azulejos where the infamous Francisco “Pancho” Villa and Emiliano Zapata, heroes of the Revolution, took a picture some 100 years ago and that place is still standing, even though it was renewed it continues to be that magnificent and awe-inspiring building, on 8th Street. After everything is said and done on that end we walk towards El Divan but find that just outside El Tillys they are doing an enquiry on sexual relationships and giving away a box of condoms, with more than one hundred condoms inside, lubricant, etc. which Edgar took the time to fill. Our first stop then was El Divan de Alicia where we buy a cubeta, which is a metal bucket with ten beers, Victorias and Pacificos, five and five, as per our request, as we had agreed that whoever won the game would buy one to celebrate and I am a man of my word. We finish one, we get another one, greet a lot of people coming in and out, makes me think that all the people that I have in facebook, those 800 something, I actually know and see, the majority of them rather, at least once a month. I see Moya, Andy, one of the many Christians I know, the one that used to be the bouncer actually, Chano, El Perro, Gil, Pinky, Keke, the DJ, Xochitl, Gaby, Emmy, Mayra, la Flaka or Madre, our Metal Mother, this guy, that guy, we go out and visit El Zebras Mexican Pub, and yes there is a little Zebra in the logo because of the Zebras all over Revolucion, which is a bar, pub, thing where you can get beers from different parts of the world; I greet Mr. Baldy Metalhead, a Professor at the Faculty, then I find Bruno, Xavier again, Everardos’ Cousin, whom I can’t remember by his name only recall him because he is Ever cousin, who said that if I needed a job he could get me one at El Porkys or at Rosarito but I don’t really want to go to Rosarito, then outside I had found the Contrafuego crew going to El Divan and smoking outside El Zebras I found a dude with whom I’m making the Mexican version of Epic Meal Time.
We leave because there are no tables, apparently people think you can’t drink while standing up, and start looking around for another bar, which I fucking hate because I don’t feel like moving to another bar if I’m comfortable at one bar; Niño managed to catch up with us back at El Divan, he was with Ricardo down at Mexico City for a student exchange that lasted six months, which was pretty much was triggered us to move onwards. Since we couldn’t find anything I told them I needed to go to the TJ Art & Rock Café to pick up the tickets; greeted Ale, her brother and Jose Luis, Panchito was outside cleaning or doing something, he is the right hand of Jose Luis who is the owner of the bar, and got confirmation from Jose Luis that the tickets still hadn’t arrived and he returned me my money. Off we went again to El Zebras.
We decided to sit down, order a couple of rounds, 15 pesos glasses of dark beer, I got an Arrogant Bastard which was 65 pesos, quite expensive actually, but when I asked for a Fin du Mond I decided not to complain anymore about prices here; Guinness was down for 40 pesos and Newcastle for 30, really decent prices. While chatting we noticed that the futbolito table was empty and decided to give it a try and we had a blast with it even though we weren’t playing fair it was fun; I was sweating heavily and noticed I wasn’t tipsy anymore, not that I ever was, so I decided to finish my beer and went to the bar with Shoppa for another beer, this time something home made from around here, and went for a Cucapah Chupacabras, yes the bottle had a Chupacabras like entity that was a mixture of the mythical creature and El Santo, the wrestler, and Shoppa had a Cucapah Honey, which was also a great flavor and with a price of 40 pesos it was alright, more than alright now that I think about it.
Once we finished all of this we went outside and decided to go to El Porkys, which previously was La Sexta House of Music in which they played a mixture of different types of electronic music but never quite got to the point where it could apparently return some revenue so they ended up changing owners and image. This place, which by the way has a huge pig head outside with some 80’s shades, used to originally be at La Plaza and apparently they were going to soon celebrate 13 years since its inception. The combination of music was decent enough for me to enjoy it and with a balcony where you could smoke and drink and clean bathrooms with working toilers I was more than glad to accept whatever else they tried to bring at me, even Indio, so we were going round and round, looking at this, looking at that, wiggling with that party rock, the girls with the bunny ears, which were not as good as Ricardo made them look but again that’s alcohol speaking… well except for one of them which I wished she became the progenitor of my children, several times. Shoppa had to leave early because he had homework to do, I have homework to do too and I finished it in about half an hour today, Sunday.
Somewhere around 2 we left, time to hit the sack, but first we went for some New York styled pizza from a placed called Al Volo, I think that’s the name but honestly I’m not sure, which is just half a block away on the other side of the road. Destiny did call in, as per usual, and we had an encounter with a man that wanted money or food, he sang to us the same old story about being deported and not having anything on his pockets, we didn’t have any money, not for him and what I had wasn’t even mine since I have to return it to the people who paid for the tickets; then he gets aggressive at us and starts yelling and cursing, his friends pull him back and ask us to forgive him, he’s been drinking, you don’t go asking for money when you’re drunk, not looking like that, people aren’t going to trust you, they don’t trust you already, and Doc wasn’t happy at the fact that the guy was drinking because, and I quote him “The most I see down at el General are old men, 40’s, 50’s, who have been drinking themselves to death, they are alone, they live alone, they drink heavily, most come in advanced stages of cirrhosis, they all die or we let them go, there’s nothing we can do, we even had a guy come in, yellow like a mother fucker, who had been drinking twenty liters of alcohol every, single, day, since he was twelve, he is currently twenty eight, he shouldn’t be alive and I know that he is going to eventually die”
Is it some sort of divine wrath, some sort of unholy punishment, I wonder?
Not that I believe in the conception of God as they put it in the Western Hemisphere, I’d rather believe that I myself am part of God and that it is action and reaction that provokes all the changes around us but… I do wonder from time to time about this… makes me feel not a prisoner of my own liberty.
We finish up then move to our next destination with is the main site for the red taxis, the blood cells of this city that work 24/7; we part ways with Niño who is going to his place and then with Doc, we can’t find Bola who told me he was going down to 3rd Street with a friend of his but we could never get a hold of him but fortunately for us since Ozzy was back at his house we could get him to open for us. We get to 4th Street and a block above Revolucion and find our taxi, we get in, start talking about that condom box Edgar got for free, apparently he had left most of the condoms at el Zebras bathroom; clever boy. Then all of a sudden, Snoop Dogg, smoke weed every day. Damn.
Sleeping on a couch for three or four hours isn’t fun at all, especially when you don’t fit and have to put both feet on a chair just so they won’t hang around in random angles. We went to eat tacos de birria close to the place I used to work in, the factory, just in front of Siglo XXI, and had some four tacos together with a little consome, a consome just being the soup in which the meat rests that will usually be served with red sauce, cilantro and onions. Ricardo gave me a ride back home and the adventure ended there, at that point, with a refreshing bath, a coffee and me doing some homework.
These days are interesting and I wish to save the memory of my friends, places, this city, groups, bands, everything, in this text together with my feelings… like Doc… after listening to what happened to him I feel really bad for him, like isn’t fair, sometimes we get little tests to see if our actions were right, maybe it’s out of our control but it’s not like you need that additional mental strain to prove a point least you want to end up on a mad house.

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