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Posts Tagged ‘El Salvador’

’twas the night before….oops, wrong holiday…gotta get a new calendar, assuming that after the 21st of December, we’re all still here…there’s a ton of hype about the ‘end of the world’ coming…even worst than the Harmonica Convergence a few years back..I’ve been invited to go see/observe/whiff some copal up country about then…might be better than the flying saucer conventions on the West Coast that my folks used to take me to..

Marcel, late of El Cazadore Italiano, taking life easy…swapped the blue Chevelle for a gray Camaro…Ignacio, our somewhat truncated Cuban musician? looking spiffy again and says he’s playing at PV, La Sala and Cafe No Se…doing better than a lot of other musicians, eh? PM? off to take a dip in the Sea of Love…another triumph of hope over experience…i wish him well..

Klaus of the Jardin Bavaria, back from Spain/Germany…stories varied…John the Rexer, back in town, ‘taking meetings’ in the sun…Ilegal Mezcal is everywhere these days(except in my cupboard) and yes, we’re losing another SYT….i admit to having had an ‘avuncular interest’ but it’s time for her to blow town and go on to bigger/better things/places…there are times when i forget that this is a transient town…some that I’d wish would stay, don’t and some that I’d wish would leave…don’t..

somewhere, in the last week, I noticed a new sign  up for a hotel/restaurant and a ‘spor bar’….did they mean ‘spore’ or what? spore, i can believe, as in mushrooms, keep ’em in the dark and feed ’em horseshit..perfect…and the Prensa Libre referred to our mayor by another name…does this mean that Adolfo has had it?  well, yes…and yes, there’s a certain place, where if you go upstairs and ask nicely for an ashtray, they’re available…no names, eh?

got one of those insipid e-cards today, from a lady friend who used to reside in ‘Vegas…now hiding out in the Dom Rep….the message was…what are you thankful for this year? good question…I’m thankful for not being on my ass in a 3rd rate hospital in the City, not still in the clutches of the IRS and so on…my life is good and I don’t take that lightly…off to the Jet Set tomorrow! whoop whoop, as Yo-Yo is fond of saying…and where the hell is Buck Wheat? still in El Salvador with Evelyn?  the country isn’t that big, eh? have a great day tomorrow…this is truly an ‘american holiday’…eat till you burst, burp and ask for seconds..or thin may be in, but fat is where it’s at..

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‘just kidding..actually it’s a beautiful day in A-Town and we’re all lucky to live here, even Darth Vader. At about 10:30 on upper 7th I’m waiting for the library to open and across the street? some guy in a complete Darth Vader costume…cape, boots and helmet, striding towards town..for what/where, who knows?  it was kinda surreal like watching John in the metallic blue helmet being pulled along by his dobermans (he has 8, he says)..

so, scandalous babble? more? i saw a tourist lady this morning with designer shopping bags(she’d bought stuff from some store that gave them away)and i was struck by it…usually in a tourist town, people buy stuff and walk around with their gift bags. The last time i saw this was in Aug/Sept, when the $alvadorenos where in town(as they were this weekend)…the only thing I see is people eating ice cream and drinking coffee. I’m beginning to wonder if Antigua is close to ‘flat-lining’…as of a year ago, there was music every night of the week, somewhere…today? where? I know that nostalgia isn’t what it used to be but as of ’08 when i landed, this was an exciting place, with a vibrant nightlife…today? walk around at night and count tables, count the heads on the Finca Azotea/Filadelfia shuttles, talk with the tour guides…or the street vendors…the lights are out in many a bar/restaurant and those that are open are sweating the evening’s cash flow.

Know that for over 30 years I’ve done offshore consulting, feasibility studies and trend analysis, either as an appraiser or a writer for subscription-based newsletters and the last 6-7 years exclusively in Central America..I personally love Antigua and Guatemala but selling an article on either? uphill…if not impossible..why? bad press,  image and so on..this year? down the tubes, $$ wise for Antigua..INGUAT doesn’t have a clue or a budget and the…no THE  year that they could’ve done something(2012!)…what? tis sad…to me, at least but..the upside is that we don’t have to deal with the crowds, like Semana Santa…I’ve watched a business owner on 5th for the last 4 years…first he sold his horses, then his Mercedes and then the Land Rover…a good location, product and ambience…why? the economy…local, up north and in Europe…and it ain’t over…the States are hosed, for a long long time..Europe isn’t looking so good and so on…tighten your belts, local merchants…maybe Christmas will see some kinda improvement…if you have clients from the City with $$, schmooze ’em…otherwise you’re just selling beer while they’re watching the game and personally I don’t see the numbers (PC’s aka pouring costs)adding up in your favor. 

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usually in a .22 or .32 caliber…not here…gotta have a 9mm or an AK-47….a murder this morning at 4am or such in San Felipe…and those pesky Mayan ladies banned from the park for selling their goods? even though they’ve been paying 300q a month for the privilege?   get this town cleaned up!….’heard that the Arms Museum is going into the Palacio…also heard an earful or two about Da Mayor’s track record/baggage/history….7 farmacias, a finger in the tuc-tuc biz and exactly how much is 27 million quetzals in $USD? my calculator gagged on the numbers..I’d been thinking(sic) that it was around $300-$400k but Taz/Plumb Bob said it was in the ‘millions of dollars.’..

likewise assumed that…’assume equals ass-u-me’…perfect’ that Jason was back per his green Triumph Bonneville parked in fromt of O’lot…wrong, scotch-breath…Taz riding/using it..the ever delightful Miss E providing biting social comments…observations..

an observer/reader of this raggedy ass excuse complained/observed that it’s lame/puerile/dumb and not much…right! of course!..never was, never will be and not intended to shine any light or provide anything more than a dim light into the corners of what used to be my mind and my daily experiences in town…like walking into Elle and Mo in the park earlier…they leave tomorrow and back to Canada/Toronto…it was a great week for them and now…married? the real adventure begins! jeez..’gives me the chills thinking about starting a new relationship, much less a legal deal like marriage..but hey, they’re young and in love: me, I’m just jaundiced/cynical. And one of our local bar owners asked why I’m never around about midnight, to see a different part of Antigua’s nightlife..

dude..think about it: Antigua’s night life is lame, slow and the highpoint is either dancing on the bar or getting your ass thrown out, into the street. At 68, I’ve done twice this shit, from Bangkok to Amsterdam, San Salvador to Costa Rica..where the drugs are better, the clubs are better and the women more beautiful…don’t get me wrong: this is my home and I like it, just the way it is…lame, slow and charming…two of which words describe me(A and B)..tomorrow? the Box Dudes provided reasonable facsimiles! progress, Guatemalan style..a map of Antigua is in the next print version and I’ll stick it in the next Amazon version..whoopee, right?..

it’ll be semi-amusing to see who shows up for the Pub Quiz at Ocelot tomorrow night..

 

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yeah, it surprised me too: in the back room of the Sunshine Grill(upper north 6th avenida), where two of the B Team Gallo Girls were tonight, clutching roses and looking somewhat apprehensive(the dart board was getting action)…yeah, The B team: a little too porky here and there…’tried their ribs last night and….the meat fell off the bone, wedge cut fries and a greek salad that tasted/looked like a real one…had they used cucumbers instead of onions, it would’ve been ‘opah!’ time…cue Zorba..

The Cashbah Revolution is going full-tilt…Steve Wintershaw doing the wall murals and La Canoa taking over the top level for a restaurant…no idea what’s going on with the lower level/disco…is disco dead? at last?

The El Save-a-Dorenos are in town, with fancy SUV’s, fancy women and spending $$$..was told that they return, like the swallows to Capistrano/monarch butterflies to Pacif Grove (obscure California references) every first week of August….Sobremesa doing fine, the ice cream shop has two new faces serving up stuff and what’s new? wattle seed ice cream…some kinda Aussie thing, I was told…the Spanish Schools are back, the hostels have action and there’s a lot of white folks, young and old, in town..and about time…maybe August will wipe out the long faces left over from June and July..

#4 Calle 5th between the Bagel Barn and the health food store..vacant again…stick a ‘spa’ in there. What is a ‘Mayan Massage’ as advertised here and there? I remember what a Thai massage was…two Thai girls, an air mattress and a lotta liquid soap..

Price Wars! the travel agencies are getting antsy…the best deals I’ve seen are from Chisubin, on 6th calle oriente, #6, across from Hermano Hair Shirt Pedro Hospital..seriously..when my check clears from the Sperm Bank, I’m going somewhere…’shouldn’t be hard: people tell me where to go every day..

ah…ch’ch’changes…Nicky the Z is outa the job as Head Pro at La ReUnion as of yesterday…not exactly a kosher move by two of the partners, not notifying their other ‘partners’ but he’s taking it in stride(visualize this)and making plans with his sister…the sister! I might have made inappropriate remarks regarding her decolletage in Ocelot but she was distracting me, dammit..and very nicely, thank you…women: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em…well, unless you’re a washed up/out sexagenerian with bad memories of the good mammaries…yeah, the moral tone of this, assuming there was any to start with, is gone…downhill, over the edge and gonzo…enjoy the end of the weak and I won’t mention that Judy and Linnett were talking about playing ‘Cornhole’..only in Antigua.

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thank you, Nicky Z, for making the day perfect…La ReUnion! choppers flying in/out, the place crawling with people and more players on the golf course than i’ve ever seen…John Kim, old pal from Havana days, now living in sweet San Salvador…brought the in the latest shipment of superb cigars and a type of Montecristo I’ve never smoked…superb day..E Larry Shaw joined us and if you’re playing golf with him, ask for strokes…for a guy who hasn’t played in “two years or so’ he’s incredible…the back nine? jesus…thanks to copious amounts of adult sports beverages and some decent meds, i may be able to walk in the morning…

Ocelot’s Happy Crew/Crowd…eyes on a couple of gringas in the patio, exchanging…no, not vows…lotta tongues…not our usual scene in this o so placid/politically correct city…Claudia #1, the incandescent one…hanging at Ixcot…yeah, with Manny the  Travel Agent, he of the weird sweaters and strange expressions…

thanks, Jon M for telling me that the sea shipment will be ‘two weeks late”…it’s ALREADY Late…whew..this shipping/printing/distribution stuff is making me lose my hair…what’s left of it…and what’s left is turning gray…double whammy…thanks, mother nature aka stress..Frener Printers has promised..yeah, right..to have last monday’s version out tomorrow…so? hey..it’s Chinatown…thanks to John K,I didn’t think about this stuff all day…that golf course is killer…the caddies were superb and the hamburgers? the best…the staff even brought me aspirin when we finished the first nine…topnotch service..the best golf course i’ve ever seen/played..Nicky Z…you very very lucky bastard to be working there..

Sangre? ‘been closed for almost a week now..door padlocked….asked one of the previous ‘principals’ but he had no clues to share…but then again, he never talks about anything, except the proper way to barbecue (and not ‘grilling’) thank you, again..one and all, for the very kind words about my writing..i’m humbled and blessed..and my back is F$#@ killing me…hasta manana..

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i guess that if I had a decent calendar I could tell whether the moon is full or not…it looks that way but then again I need glasses….El Muro? having a closed door ‘special interest group’  thing on Sundays…nope, can’t talk about it…ask Max but he probably won’t say anything either…whatever, it’s working.

John Korte, paripatetic wanderer, back from the wilds of El Salvador and Ecuador…left his great tricked-out SUV there, to return and continue the trek to Argentina…yeah, he loved Suchitoto…it’s like Antigua was, he said, 75 years ago…I agree.and thanks to Scott Stanton for suggesting that town to me, last year..

I’m ‘getting’ the printers schedule/promises…he’s close and I just need to factor in a four hour time lapse between the promised time of delivery and the actual finished product…hey, it’s Guatemala, dude..i’m lucky that he’s that good and no, I’m not complaining..I need more copies and he’s producing…fine..i’m outa stock..fine..

https://www.createspace.com/3755222

the 2nd Edition of Our Man is up/out…better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, and chock fulla more details bout this burg we call home…order now in time for ….St Patricks Day…? you missed Groundhog Day, btw..’went into the darker regions/depths of the Mercado with Bull this morning, in search of barbecues…yep…found ’em..two different places…he likes the hibachi size and i’m gonna pick up the recycled car wheel on a stand model…just as soon as any $$ flows, which will be Wednesday..the book? yeah, it’s selling here, there and so on…and yes, i ran into ‘her’…she of the infectious smile/laugh today, twice..the same ol magic reared its ugly head..am i that dumb or that much of a masochist?time will tell and the correct answer is “C’…both

 

The Venetian Masked Ball is near…the 17th, next Friday…go buy a ticket or two…yeah, i know it’s 300q but that keeps the riffraff out…show up and see who’s who/what..i think that ‘what’ is the larger question.as in ‘what the hell are  you supposed to be?’ Gabi is on top of this, big time..superbly organized…whew..more chisme about the blow-up on Fifth Avenue…folks taking sides…it’s not what it appears to be, in my humble opinion…time wounds all heels, as they say. I’ve read the documents and heard both sides…’nuff said..

the finca, where i’m residing? every month they bring in a ‘pest control’person and spray the shit outa the place, so if i seem a little more ‘off’ than usual(hard to believe), blame it on the pesticide…or..drum roll, did you hear about the recent suicide? an overdose of basil…pestocide…again…Ay Robot!…what a great resource for A-Town…i bailed outa the comic book world in the 60’s…Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Suzy Creamcheese et al…R. Crumb… Dan’s gotta treasure trove of wierd shit/memorabilia..pulp fiction? yep..

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phrase compliments of H.Ross Perot…and where the hell is he? this phrase is in reference to the new Prez Otto, who came out yesterday advocating decriminalizing…drum roll…drugs..since the YouEss of A is the world’s biggest Hoover of blow and meth, consumer of weed and other pharmacological wonders, you gotta wonder…imagine if stuff were legal and taxed? $$$erious dent in the deficit….add penalties like there are for DUI’s but not for possession…the speed freaks die sooner or later…imagine the ad campaigns! Coke: the Real Thing!..Classic Coke…stepped on ten times..is the Big O on board with Mexico(12000 dead in 2011)and Colombia? or is this just a cynical ploy to be coerced into fighting the War on Drugs with those DEA idiots and looking for toys/$$ to sign up? either way, a very bold statement…

the sunsets here are so very short…a flash of orange tinged clouds at 6, gonzo by 6:20…but, better than none at all…Santorini, Hawaii and Arizona…even Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica…the park, the park…the space next to Fusion on 4th calle is getting rehabbed…lotta roof damage and they’re hoping to be open before Easter/Semen Santa…perhaps a bit of a ‘cultural center’ in back..the newly opened Chocolate Museum across the street is getting traffic(foot)…

this Sunday: Finca Azeotea…Azotea…whatever…champagne brunch, 300q per, seth monfort on piano, for a brit ngo children’s foundation…three course lunch/brunch and no, i don’t know what time it starts cuz the embassy didn’t specify it…

http://www.amazon.com/Our-Man-Antigua-First-1/product-reviews/1468122940/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

for those who spaced/missed this, there were two…yep, 2!, five star reviews of Our Man in Antigua on Amazon.com…as mentioned, i learned to write for my audience a long time ago and this is perfect for eight grade level, two syllable words and the short attention span theatre..and yes, that could well describe me…as usual, the 5 o’clock Lush Hour at Ocelot attracts the evening crowd of assordid animals…’missed it tonight but last night? packed, up and downstairs…the ever delightful Ms E reminding me that I’ve promised to take her shooting…well, i had but the Antigua Shooting Range never quite made it, other than the back page of La Cuadra…’still gotta 100 rounds and a clean, well-lighted..no, well oiled little Beretta that needs to let the hammer fall a few times.. a long time ago, the elusive, seldom seem JR offered a trip to some ‘range’…he’s gotta be around, because the Pirate Radio Guy found him and now has an antenna for broadcasting locally…a whip antenna? sorry, san francisco humor…red light, green light, et cetera..

The new version  of the Venetian Masked Ball coming next month…Ms  A the Delightful and Mona Rose doing it…wonder if PV is missing Ms A? they should…they’ll never find anyone better…the usual crowd of gringos in the park returns from Nicaragua tomorrow…some kinda american legion whoop-te-doo in Granada involving commanders, salamanders and colanders….I passed this year: the 12 hour bus ride from San Salvador to that hell-hole Managua isn’t even tolerable with serious meds/rum/headphones…the on-board videos are crap and the….well, that’s just my opinion…i’d rather go to San Salvador, eat well, slurp some 7 year Flor de Cana and check out the new dancers at Lips (field research)…happy fin de semana…we made it thru another week, more or less. 

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