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Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

so…riots at Walmarts in the YouEss of A?…terrific, just what I’d not want to see. It was a blue sky Friday here, recovering from the aftermath of second helpings of excellent food at the Jet Set in grimy Escuintla. It’s been extensively remodeled since my last visit and is worth a visit on the rockin’ weekends…December 14th is the next bash. And yes, a little bit of excitement yesterday: the new brake job on Larry’s SUV failed on the way down…oops…a call to the mechanic and he drove down to the parking lot at the Jet Set…the cause? another ‘only in Guatemala’ excuse..the full story goes up tomorrow on the Examiner.com site….the Facebook page of http://www.facebook/OurManinAntigua will have the article.

Birthdays! the ever gorgeous and statuesque Maite M, one helluva Panza Verde (native) today…and one doesn’t ask their ages or  I don’t…who cares? I wonder often…well, not that often, about astrology…Miss M shares a birthday with a lady friend in SF and I once, not long ago, was simultaneously entangled with two ladies of the witchy variety, sharing the same birthday, age and all. One born here, the other in the ex-Soviet Republic known as Georgia. I’m glad now that one ditched me and the other stayed in Costa Rica. She wanted me to bring her here (as if)but her lack of papers (passport) saved my day.

my pal, Bull? finally made it to the hospital in the City (and out of San Felipe) and is scheduled for the hip surgery on Monday, about a month later from the accident…’manana’ in Guatemala also applies to hospitals, btw…Black Friday, in the US, where one is s’posed to go out and buy shit? not me…Cyber Monday, coming around? not me..Christmas cards, a few and maybe more flowers to my 94 yr old mum, recovering in the convalescent hospital and chafing to get out and go home again…folks! listen up…no ‘slip and fall’ events, no matter how old you are. If you don’t have the mazoola ($$) in Guatemala, you’re basically hosed and not too quickly…have a great weekend, as best you can and don’t fall down in the calles. 

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the rain…drizzle drizzle…kept me in(and probably just as well, you say)..however the Bacardi Anejo and espresso kinda make up for it.

 

Walter Fischer and his partners, who picked up Juan Carlos’ defunct Antigua Bus Tour, have repainted the bus(his says they’re adding another 3) and…so on and so on..the bus is being seen driven around town, which is a start.

And you thought that times are hard? my favorite newspaper vendor is selling off her personal jewelry…lotta silver, some gold

 

So? the 2nd or 3rd Festival de Maiz (Corn Fest) that I’ve been to…I ran into an ex-INGUAT official who didn’t know anything about it…I asked an Antigua-born guide about it..zip, nada..for people who are in the tourism business, one would assume, etc.

news from our wandering troubador, Nelson Lunding..he’s way up on the northern california coast, in places that few of us have ever been to, much less heard of..#1..point Arena? #2 Gualala?..I know ’em both..big deal, right? WTF in either case..too far south to pick up any of the Emerald Triangle aka dope biz from Humboldt..who knows?

the ‘Perfessor aka Mike Donley, checking in from the Pacific northwest…says he’s ‘sold’ his boat’…o please, God…the two happiest days for a boat owner are the day they buy it and the day they sell it..s’posed to be back in A-Town around the end of October and a good thing…at least two ‘professional women’ have confused the two of us…as being the one and same…since my hands are clean, my conscience clear, it’s gotta be him..

final thoughts on a rainy Friday night and a conversation with a pub owner re: nightlife..the Three Aces in Hyderabad, Athens/Mykonos, the Bulldog/Amsterdam, El Gato Tueto/Havana, Lips/San Salvador, Hotel Del Rey/San Jose, Club Exotic/Reykejvik, The Library, ‘Vegas, (fuggedabout Crazyhorse II), Patpong Street, Bangkok, Copa de Oro, Juarez and for local color, Club Exceso in Xela..Antigua well never catch up or come back to what it might once have been: get over it. The Beige Patrol runs it. 

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the town at mid-day very quiet…what few shops were open you had to wonder why…very last minute presents?….very strange, unless it was better than staying home. Even the street artists were late setting up and the streets? covered with more firework remnants than ever: the only better remains i’ve seen were in Amsterdam, on New Year’s Day…an inch of slush and the streets were pink with paper..yeah, the Dutch…go figure…Maggie M at the counter of el Portal…she’s such an elegant lady.

so…Mexico…spending 52 million dollars on tourist promotion for 2012…plugging all their ‘end of the world’ spots…and how much is INGUAT spending? let’s see, after salaries and perks…52q?  the exception may come next year with a new head guy and Walther F, the local el jefe…if their email announcements of things, happenings and events are any clue, they’re tryin’..what kind of tourist slogan could they come up with? Come to Antigua for the end of the world, after you use the ATM’s at BAC?  gotta give the PNC a tip of the panama, at least for today…they’re patrolling the hellouta the streets…’visibility’..

ever wonder if the street guys who sell the flutes would do better if they learned the theme song from a Fistful of Dollars? or if the guy who’s schlepping the brown Maya figurines would do better if he spray painted them gold? I did all of mine that way and they look great..and no, I didn’t stay up for the midnight orgy of fireworks…earlier there was a parade on 4th norte…that was enough..I’m getting jaded, it looks like.

Sarah G’s back from Hell A…Caffe Bourbon open for the breakfast semi-crowd and even Lili La Prensa took the day off…I  kinda am, still twitching with the graphics for the book cover and blurbs for the back…you think writings’ easy? get it down and then get it edited and then do the publishing route plus graphics? and then marketing? helllooo…watch the pennies roll in, one at a time..hey, I’m retired…what else would I be doing? no, not the Del Rey…Christmas sucks there…oops, wrong adjective…

its beginniing to look a lot like Christmas

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If things get any slower/quieter in town there’s gonna be tumbleweeds blowin’ thru the streets..wait…Guate doesn’t have tumbleweeds, do they? damfew eateries doin’ biz and most of those had TV’s that served as entertainment…except for Caffe Bourbon with PM&M playing/singin’…a class act for a class joint..Las Palmas with a group, Chez Chris doing a couple of tables, dos Reilly’s quiet…upper 5th? aside from the Mime with his flaming torches act, it was an all Fridas night…closed doors for Cashbar, Studio 35, Sangre…Hector’s doing some tables..the Sunday Night Pub Quiz at Ocelot more lightly attended than usual…por que? Queso y Vino doing the SUV/security guard crowd tonight…gotta get me one of those L.L.Bean fishing vests..better than a Beretta, i’m thinkin’..image is everything.

‘received an interesting ‘comment’ of this site this morning regarding the Roatan Affair…now I’m perplexed but that’s hardly new…passed it on to a player/principle for comments..thank you Bill S and Korey D for your insights on the ‘have gun & not travel’ questions…i’m coming around to my first prezidential election here…is it really on for next Sunday? ‘been told that the army and cops are somewhat restrained/kept on a short leash and also that liquor sales aren’t happening that day, but what the hell do i know?

and a major tip of the panama to Robto de Oro for ‘taking care of business’…and he’s s’posed to be back in a month or so..ah…the Antigua ‘expose’….

   http://plazapublica.com.gt/content/algo-esta-pasando-en-antigua

run it thru your Google translator or whatever else works…it raises some wierd questions…and it was great shooting…oops, wrong verb, the breeze with Fred Haywood and JEH by the park this morning..two of my favorite ‘characters’ in this town…they read, they think…i.e, the lights are on and someone’s home’..get him to Santa Fe, Cath…’wondering how the publishing biz in town is…suspect there’s some sizeable ‘accounts receivable’ stacking up…and hat’s off to  Que Pasa for their new launch in Cuzco/Peru…Machu Pichu is a perennial tourist destination and Cuzco is the entrance…’should be fine but it’s a helluva drive from here…nah, per KP they’ve got good people there..it’s a bold move but it makes sense: Gautemala/tourism is off and shows no sign of recovery in the foreseeable future. What press/news that comes outa here isn’t exactly heart-warming, favorable or even neutral and with a week to go before the elections, who knows what kinda hi-jinks, dirty tricks or random acts of violence will be played out? Being Mexico’s butt-boy/next door neighbor with a porous border doesn’t augur well for any serious attempt at curtailing the dope biz…too much money, too few morals..just a new set of snouts in the trough, sucking up the slops…cynical? skeptical? the events of a few weeks ago here in one of the ‘safest’ cities of Guatemalo and the lack of action by anyone, other than speeches, promises and cover your ass etc…don’t get me wrong: I like it here…its a fairy tale with cobblestones.

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I knew that when upper 4th avenida(my barrio)was flooded that…A. Water, like crap, flows downhill…B. I didn’t take an umbrella(again)when I left…but I’m learning to cadge and borrow umbrellas from likely establishments…’didn’t have to jump over too many streams or get too soaked.

an abbreviated meeting of the ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ at Ocelot with a great anecdote…’stopped in country at 8am, more than slightly hammered..the PNC  cop asks for ID…the driver hands him a wrinkled, washed, expired and barely readable mexican pilots license in someone elses name…the cop? no problem..have a nice day..only in Guatemala..

passed by la condesa expresa earlier and who was there? Carlos Thomas, of Dyslexia Books(next to Cafe No Se) we run into each other in various countries, the last being San Cristobal de las Casas(mexico)he’s back in town for five days, after a grueling period of something involving a city council job in Nashville…Too Tall, one of El Muros’ more tasty bartenders…dressed and looking great…she mentioned the recent ‘event’s…rumor that one of Lava’s bartenders who was cut last week had described the experience as being ‘like a gang initiation’…nope..double nope..had  a word with the lady later…no and not…just a cut/slash event..rumors are swirling, some wierd. some confirming..I, as mentioned earlier..I’ m outa it’…too wierd, too etc..’receive the US Embassy warning today, a week later…great..but the British Embassy posted a warning two days ago…are we on a time zone difference? The Brits are all over the news and updates…why not the US?

you tell me..

 yeah..thought i might go by El Caminante for a re-peat of last night…after watching a colon cleansing movie at the Whisky Den I decided that my ass was better off no going…

shredded

obviously this is/was an early night…the rains, the rains..a good book and a great pot of chili…check out Organica, the store on 5th calle…assortment of beans, including but not limited to pinto and chili beans…I’m feeling the urge to leave town…happy birthday, Carla of O’lot…over and out..tomorrow is another day…have fun and remember..’be safe out there.’  A reader reported seeing a maroon pick up truck in town yesterday…no, Thurday..licence # 234 CVD…and with a white stripe..

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the latest news seems to be that the violence of Thursday night started about 8:30 pm around La Merced, with a gay couple attacked and who went to a different hospital…a moto involved and a dark maroon truck with a white stripe..four hours later more attacks here and there..the publicity doesn’t seem to have been widespread…gringos in Antigua, aside from the FB crowd, haven’t heard of it…my Guate friends lo mismo..Prensa Libre hasn’t mentioned it. So…was this random or calculated? spontaneous or planned? what did the attackers look like? Zetas,  Mara’s, military/police types? from the apparent savagery there was some relish in stabbing, slashing and not just ‘stand and deliver’..was there a ‘message?’…last year there were the multiple beheadings in the City…and that was a message..four gringos, a gay couple and a Guatemalteco who lost an ear and a lot of blood…it’s too weird.

 Adolfo our Alcalde is signed up with Otto: it’ll be interesting to see/hear from Da Mayor…will he call for more police, troops and public safety measures? six outrageous events in one night, in his town…go figure? is this over? or is this just the beginning of a reign of terror in the night? if the events had occured on 5ta norte, say from the park north to Studio 35, would there have been a different response? maybe the presence of armed guards at the gate/ropes made a difference in choice of targets..just wondering out loud and I keep finding other trails of blood here and there (around the corner on 5th calle from dos Reilly’s). From the apparent suppression of news, it would appear that this is being swept under the hospital bed..maybe the safest place in town is Cashbar…up on the Terrace…outside of Bagdad or Kabul, I’m not used to this stuff…Saigon, in its day, wasn’t this bloody.

As regards the presence of a moto plus the two in the truck, there’s a few other questions.  One doesn’t ordinarily ride around at night intoxicated(except for a few gringos we all know)#2…the implication of planning, targeting and attacking not just once, but six times all within ‘downtown’ and the targets themselves. There’s more questions than answers and they’re all very disturbing.

semi-logical deductions aka Sherlock (once you’ve eliminated….)

the targets of Thursday night were gays, gringos, a woman and a guatemalteco….all easy to spot and find. Antigua, as opposed to the City, provided a ‘target-rich environment.’  also, no street cameras and a lesser police presence. The profile of the attacks was unusually violent(everyone went to the hospital). Robbery is usually over and done with once they have your wallet, cell phone or watch. The serious nature of the damages done isn’t a typical robbery ‘signature.’…i.e, faces slashed, tendons cut, legs cut, an ear removed and copious amounts of blood letting. The amount of time expended(from 8:30 pm til after midnight) and staying in the vicinity is also highly unusual. Where were the police during this ”reign of terror?”…why no ‘enhanced police presence’ either Friday night or Saturday night? Anywhere else, including Gautemala City, this would be classified as a ‘crime wave’…and responses made…here? nope, nada, zip and zilch…the individuals or perps..let’s call ’em perps…were looking to do damage but for what reason? 

 this is my personal sense about the multiple events, is that is smacks of a gang ritual…a blood ritual aka Mexican stuff..two guys in a recognizable truck and a third on a moto? imagine the clothing of the perps…remember OJ? I’d suspect that the truck was stolen, as was the moto…think about blood evidence in/on the vehicle..imagine the uproar if this happened in the City: the Patriot Party would be in the streets the next morning…where are they? this wasn’t ‘political stuff’ like offing mayoral candidates up/down the country..we’re up to 30 or so now? this was, I hope, a one-time event…but..probably not, since they got away with it, earned their wings and some bragging rights…Antigua, the new theme park for slashers…i hope tonights rain washed off the sidewalks, here and there..the town has a stain…dark red and its everywhere.

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this Brigadoon/semi/DisneyLand we call home: five people ram-dumbly attacked in town last night…2 outside El Muro, one outside dos Reilly’s, one on 6th calle somewhere and the last? a guatemalteco who lost a lotta blood and an ear…one of Ocelot’s bartenders stabbed…no, not Camilla or Carla…that would’ve been cause of a public lynching.

blood in the street

four of the five were auslanders…one a Canadian, the other an Aussie…perfecto…first the ATM problem, which hasn’t stopped(BAC/antigua and the ATM at the Hotel Antigua this week)….looks like I’m personally gonna take proactive measures tonight…no, that bulge doesn’t mean that I’m happy to see you..where are the cops? where’s Adolfo? where’s this ‘mano duro’ stuff?

gotta wonder about the mind-set of the two assailants…drugs? more than likely…alcohol?…that’s a given…sounds like a bad PCP binge to me…not a lot of acid around and yeah..blow? yep…some kinda gang initiation ritual? has Antigua become the new Acapulco/Juarez?

one thing I am doing tonight….El Caminante’s Burlesque Show…featuring Lucy the Luscious, who’s become one of local FaceHole’s most popular ”friends’..jeez…whata week and it’s only Fried Day…’got the news/scoop from Robto De Oro re Edwin Chavez/and the missing diamond scales he ‘borrowed’ a year ago…they somehow ended up ‘on the river’ in Frank’s possession…the bad German version of Jack Palance…Ed, as usual, doing his verbal acrobatics…’should been an attorney, because you know when he’s lying…his lips move..thanks…a week of WTF? yep, you’d think I’d have known this…gotta stop channeling Polly Anna..no news(same story, different day) of the less than great Antigua Shooting Range…one wonders, one does..

and..there might just be good news re the Salty Beaver…shur as hell hope so..this hasn’t been a week of any kind of good newz…o please, let Lucy show up tonight..i could use some serious T&A..diversion, entertainment…I’ll keep you abreast of events…later..

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