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Posts Tagged ‘rum’

I recently heard a version of events involving someone that I’ve always liked: let’s just call him Pirate John and I don’t think he’d mind that tag, since that’s been his persona here, there and a few other places. A few weeks ago I was stunned to hear of his placement on a certain list known as Interpol, involving shenanigans in Roatan. If you’ve spent any time on that pirate base, you’ll come to the conclusion that piracy is still alive and well there. The politics are incestuous, the attorneys avaricious and people get away with murder. Take the case of a well-connected local named Danny a couple of years ago: he’d warned a local small-time crook nick-named ‘Bin Laden’ to stay out of his property. ‘Bin Laden’ apparently took this as a personal challenge and returned one fateful night to steal a few more coconuts. Danny promptly shot him seven times, once for every purloined coconut. While ‘Bin Laden’ lies six feet under, Danny freely drives around and he’s regarded as a pillar of the community. This concept of ‘community policing’ and modern day piracy may be what’s been going on at the West End, where “P.J” used to live and develop condo projects. Once removed from the scene by moving to Antigua, where he established roots and a couple of businesses, it seems like the time was ripe for a corporate raid or two by a few islanders who smelled blood. It’s an old story, set to a reggae beat: lawyers, false documents, fake warrants and nearly a clean sweep. Now armed with new and hopefully more honest attorneys, this week may see some light at the end of this nightmare. There supposedly is a settlement to be made, after which the legal clearances will clean up what appears to be a very dirty trick. Roatan is a law unto itself, and they don’t consider themselves part of the mainland. There’s a curious law on the books, where if a resident is over 65 years of age, they can’t be sent to jail, for anything.  Just don’t leave the island with any money left on the table. I’d like to believe in a happy ending but the twists and turns of Latin legalities are always surprising. This is just one more twisted tale of modern day piracy.

2. interview with the newly arrived Mexican belly dancer (with photos)

shakin' at Gaia this week

 
she’s gotta lotta hidden talents…more tomorrow but if I were a bar owner, I’d  be talkin’ to her..

3. Nim Pot`s x-rated ex votos

4. the insidious secret of el muros`Twisted Tuesdays 

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no, not the speedy checkout line in the men’s room for 3 inches or shorter…my route of the night when the rains started up again and the cheapo 20 q chinese wonder-brella is only good for 15 openings before it self-destructs….or if the winds are more than 5 knots and it turns inside out…trivial thought…the venerable Monopoly game has four railroads: the Short Line, the Pennsylvania and the Reading…WTF is the 4th RR?

weird economic winds blowing thru this town: with the recent closure of Deliciosa, the Colonia deli on 7th ave, between 2nd calle/3rd calle is looking stronger(they’re smiling, it that’s a clue)…Epicure’s down to one location and …jeez, having a ‘senior moment’…the deli next to Pushkart…wtf? their shelves are still shrinking, content-wise. And yet, flying in the face of fate if not good sense, yet another restaurant opens on 7th ave..near the Colonia deli and named as if they have a clue: Leyonda Antigua…Antigua Legends…’give ’em a 30 day shot at it.

another casualty, and not good in my world…Da Vinci’s down to dos Claudias and the statuesque version doesn’t seem to be on the payroll anymore. And the beet goes on, now that she’s not on celery anymore, so lettuce change semaphores..why would one ‘joint’ that offer’s all the mojitos one can drink for 60q not sell any and a nearby ‘joint’ see 36 on a Monday?…weird winds of fate blowing thru, i tell ya..’talkin’ up Brendan B’s PayPal idea for local bars/eateries..point of sale, transfer the $$, take some change and more likely buy another round: the catch, according to one bar owner is that Guatemala is on some shit/black list for PayPal re deposits here…don’t know but I use PP, per BB the Buddha Bar at the Lake does, and so on..my PP # goes to a US bank, btw..if one could work out the logistics/kinks for the depository country, this could be a bonus round for some businesses here that cater to tourists.

Thanks, Hector, for pronouncing Rita-Hey-You over and over…slow motion, watch my lips…duh..my ‘language chip aka genetic markers’ isn’t working..i’m off(but you suspected that)in the morning for Rita whatever and Take-a-Lick Abaj for several days…get down in the dirt of a Maya site, check out the nightlife of Rita*WTF…and thanks to Lori S of GuateMedicalTourism, for turning the night into an Antigua version of a TupperWare party…’whipped out little ziplok baggies of Canadian mojo weed, passed ’em around and…no, i haven’t ‘road-tested’ the contents yet, at least not so far…Matt B! comparing our experiences at the superb Hotel Nacional iin Havana and the Vista del Golfo bar where they whip up…no,  stir/crush, swirl the original mojitos..two drops of angostura bitters, lotta sugar, lotta mint..’spent many an afternoon/evening in that spot..or on the veranda, whiffing a Montecristo #1..cuppa cuban espresso, shota rum…’maybe hit the el Gato Tueto across the street, Dos Gardenias, El Aljibe for dinner…ah, Havana..christ..’been 3 years since the last….met up with a lady from Carmel named Nola Rocco…’did the show at the Tropicana…ah, Nola…we were never meant to be…too Hollywierd, wearing her ‘movie crew/ jacket’ to bars in Carmel..yeah, she’d just made a movie there but it’s Carmel, for gawd’s sake..my old pal, Myles, had the starring role…f…king ham, but we all knew that going in. We were in Injah together, btw…riding around in tuk-tuks, circa 1978…weird weed there..

‘since i’m on the road til friday or so, this will be the final final til i’m back…enjoy your week: and what was/is the 4th RR in Monopoly? dos Reilly’s doing a big crowd at 8 or so…good for Henrik…las palmas empty, same-o for Polio Campero/Taco Discontento…Chez C doing tables, DV empty…wierd traffic flow..and that tienda next to el gato negro? the only joint in town with my brand of honduran pall malls..not even bodegona..wtf? ah, relax, jake..it’s chinatown.

lastly if not leastly…leastly? i’d checked out tour agencies last week for the ‘run’…got some quotes and then thought..’why not give someone I know the business?’…3 days later and a quote double everyone else’s, i bailed and went to the pro’s…Voyageur on 6th ave sur, next to the DHL office…jeez, babe..if you’d thrown in the rental car, i’d paid for everything else..maybe..as long as ‘what happens in Rita-hell-yes stayed in Rita..

 

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over/under? over, I s’pose…by the time you read this, they’ll be closed/gonzo…another biz bites the dust in Antigua. Deliciosa on 3rd Calle actually ceased retail Thursday and by Friday, the shelves were mostly empty: if you knocked on the door, you could browse thru the remnants of what was a great local store for odds/ends, last minute supplies and so on…various reasons given by various Antiguenos but there’s no reason to fan any fires of chisme…oh and Father’s Day early morning (2:30 am)outside my new secret laboratory? firecrackers galore and some dude with a loud speaker…’thought about the flare pistol but they were gone by then..another ‘only in Antigua event’.

a rare trip to the City: Zone 1 for an excursion to the main post office(what a great f….king building!)and then to Wow-Mart…after being used to Bodegona for these last few years, going to a huge stadium size mega-store…it took me about 15 minutes to grasp the enormity and start throwing cans into the mini-basket. Tip#1 if you’re looking for rum, Ron Botran has nailed them, and there aren’t any other choices.

funny, after living/working in cities most of my life, how Antigua has narrowed my perceptions…Umbrella#1? lost already…the maid came today, her first foray to Bangalore Bobs..’came home, in the rain…’couldn’t/still can’t find the f….er(umbrella)nope, it’s not up my….looked there…per Frank of Nimpot(he and Angie at O-lot)he has his maid buy six cheapies at the start of the season and he’s covered..also, per Frank…NOT true that he makes his employees show their ‘assets’ on payday..remember the o so tasty ad’s a while back that featured naked babes, faces hidden?

Lava doing ‘veggie burgers’ now…the King’s Head Pub on outer 4th calle? closed..sign says for rent…a bit too far out(distance)…I agree with John Wilbur’s take on locational aspects: tourists will venture 2-3 blocks from their rooms. Antigua by day, much less by night, is confusing per the similarity of the architecture: ‘let’s see..was it beige or pink colored? ‘

Piano Mike on deck,on time..great work ethic, like Nelson on the curb outside of Reilly’s, really to plug in and play…nope, didn’t ‘do’ El Muro’s continuing episode of ‘all you can swill for free’…’whelmed by the City, I am..still..and yes, finally got the revised schedule for Take-a-Lick Abaj for next week…Wed/Thursday..will i be jaded? hope so…

ah, this town and gossip..chisme central..take the case of my present abode: I’d heard tales of horror, woe, crack houses on 4th avenida…all complete and utter bullshit..yeah, i know people who have a different ‘story’ every day…wtf? is that all there is in their life? Shaun of O’Lot still getting flak about firing an employee…he’d been warned by another restauranteur of that person’s proclivity for surreptitious snagging of $$..it goes with the territory: every business, especially the bar biz, has a cash skim…bartenders take it as their ‘right’…the good ones keep it to a minimum and a consistent minimum.

gotta love this country and this town…where else can you have limes and avocados all year around? where else is there an assortment of coffee and chocolate that you’ll never get tired of? case in point…ran outa Fernando’s xlnt espresso bean this morning…Wow-Mart’s choices sucked(why?) but the Whiskey Den? yep…’As Green as it gets’…espresso beans, ready to rock in the morning, or at least get me moving somewhat moreso than now…see you, perhaps, at El Caminante’s ‘show’ tomorrow night…Lucy Luscious? damn…

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as regards my mental status…for whatever reason, the casita has produced/hatched a plethora (squadrons)of mosquitos…can’t speak about the zancudos, whatever they are, but the net effect is a return to the use of those o so brain-damaging ‘mosquito coils’…you know, the Autan brand of the purple coils that you’re not supposed to touch or inhale…ergo, if i seem a little more ‘off’ than usual, if that’s possible, don’t blame it on the bossanova…a cheap high, yes…Duane once said, after i showed up one morning looking particularly wasted, that malaria was a better option..as I’m inclined to write(sic)in shorts, the buggers are having lunch as i write..correction…i write while wearing shorts…would these be ‘short stories?’ a double shot of Geritol and some Ginko Biloba mixed with Viagra..’helps me remember just what the f….k i was doing..musical chairs at Ocelot night…Ron on sax, followed later by Hector/Nelson and ? P-gea’s new lounge doing some biz…Ixnay not…everywhere else doin’ tables,even Cafe Flor…La Esquina hosting a gig for Ninos de Gautemala and a good turnout…when i mentioned that i was leaving before the Wet T-Shirt Contest, Matt B showed me his…t-shirt…gawd..the concept/visual…asked Eduardo where Lou was…’she’s working at Angie Angies…who knew? I’m obviously outa that loop..and a few others, as well..more meds, i s’pose..Robt de Oro and Ed in the park..Ed’s in town for a short break from the river project, relating how some local chickens ran wild during a storm this week, into the woods and breaking their necks..hey..just keeping abreast of things..chicken-breasts-ok, fine..Da Vinci’s street side sign down…folks moving their goods/furniture outa the attached units in back..’almost rented the house in back once..great rooms but too big for moi…nope, didn’t ‘do’ Ladies Night’ at El Muro…my favorite dress wasn’t back from the cleaners…new bartender-ess at O’lot…Lisa’s having a going away bash at El Shaman tomorrow night…Angie Angie has something, and a few others also penciled in..i forget…more ginko biloba/viagra..CRS is me..(can’t remember shit)…embassy folks in the City wondering about the ‘shutdown’…if so, they’re furloughed..and don’t collect unemployment..the US is becoming more of a Banana Republic than Honduras..and Trump’s serious about running for Prez? what’s worse is that folks are taking this seriously..H Ross Perot for VP? where’s the rum?

more ATM stories/rumors…Peter the G hit…Eric aka Broken Stone hit…rumor #1…BAM’s clients, locals…are reporting losses…Rumor#2..Denmark is  or is about to block ATM transactions from Guatemala..and I assume that only applies to Denmark based cards..Rumor #3…Visa, on their own action/volition, began issuing new cards a month or so ago,to those living in Guatemala or at least being here for a period of time…and again, a tip of the panama and a big thank you to Sr Maldonaldo Erbsen of Credomatic for stepping up…his suggestions were/are ‘workable’ and in line with many that have been suggested by Bill of the American Legion…they work for we residents but for tourists? ooh..not unless they read or hear about this and take steps/actions..Semana Santa should be a virtual reality ‘gold mine’ for the cyberfuckers from wherever they are now..please, BAC…do something proactive before then…a warning sign, unplug the ATM’s…the loss of transaction fees isn’t worth the bad press that’s already piling up: yes, the bank takes it on the chin for poor security…blame it on Pablo Escobar..no, wait..he’s dead…but stand up and say…’We’re doing something…anything is better than nothing’…as in the Muni mopes here..where are they on this issue? Brendan B had a cynical answer to that…Adolfo and the Gang wants Antigua to go down/under…a return to the calmer quieter days of the Inquisition? no, not quite…kill the bar biz and the night life..damn, that’s cynical but that’s Brendan…and thanks to JR for the very explicit ‘security issues of Guatemalan banks’…gotta go…the fumes are…more later..see you around town later

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friday morning update…a very good note back from the manager of Credomatic Guate..he’s doing what he can and I have the hunch that there’s gonna be some changes made sooner, if not quicker..this is not your usual ‘banker in  pinstripes’…i’m impressed and i’ve worked for and as a ‘suit’…’damned sure would’t want to have to come to his office with excuses..

no..it didn’t happen at church…it happened on/in the Pangea/Ocelot patio tonight, with Pangea celebrating the opening of the new lounge…yes, I’d originally poo-poo’ed it but i be wrong, rum-breath…place packed!…with one minor exception(yep, IxNay..no, Ixcot)Franklin checking in on the Whiskey Den, which is making it, despite the odds…90% of all small businesses don’t make it. Fernando the Chocolate King there with wife..went by his shop on 7th post the AL Library for a dab of chocolate…on the counter? a new variety of half white/half brown…’the Michael Jackson’ bar..gotta love his humor(i do)  ..AyRobot closed tonight..go by…

ah..comics…Donald Duck, Maggie and Jiggs(o so un PC) and Daddy Warbucks/Punjab…nothing changes,does it? R. Crumb/Suzy Creamcheese..’wish them success/luck/support…great idea..DV slowly being dismantled..went by the new location and…whew…$$$ spent but Luis Miguel finally has a ‘blank slate’ to work with, after 15 years at the existing spot…all new kitchen/baths/electric/roof deck..A Bell at the door of F2…Karla working..good to see her..Dona Leonora doing a big dinner crowd..Tartine’s? zero..El Caz moderate, Dos Reilly’s doing just fine..passed Barb/friend walking off their dinner at Vino y Queso and from where they had to walk, that’s more than just a stroll(hike) Piano Mike celebrating birthday(i didn’t ask)and playing Ocelot 2nd shift…in/out of the recording studio, doing all ‘original’ songs..who knew? five, so far..go PM..AppleTiser still trying to break/grab market share in town..had a stand at the P/O patio, which included a shot of Absolut…helps kill the taste, i s’pose..I like Pangea’s new lounge area…feels like just the right size…no empty tables for dinner,either..

the old bar at DV...gonzo

 

 ‘had a word with Ana Victoria at Citibank…the PC’s are on wireless…she’s not sure about the ATM, which is a 5B rented machine..Diebold does all their maintenance…weird rumor, semi-substantiated (waiting for further word) that Denmark is freezing all ATM transactions with Guatemala…perfect..more great news for INGUAT and no, El Supremo of Credomatic has not returned my email..Gaia having live music tonight..sounded good in the street..Cashbar empty at 8 plus..Hector sitting with diners, doing what he does o so very well..schmoozing..

the weekend’s approaching…getcher rest…from the number of events,you’re gonna need it.

my bank

 

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no…not a reference to Lance, Bruce or whoever…the BAC debacle continues to unfold…I’m wondering if the previous BAC fraud rep who was at the Feb ‘dog and pony show’ didn’t tell his Supremo that this was gonna be a easy gig..’show up, do the razzle dazzle and take the day off..why else would he have shown up on a $20K Harley, dressed for anything other than an official meeting with 40-50 pissed off gringos? re the manager of the local BAC branch, who’s name isn’t known to much or any…what the hell..let’s walk in and do the shuffle…’hi..here’s my card..is the manager in? ‘well,yes and no’…I get to meet Luis Aragon, who tells me that the manager is in the City..’for how long?’…a wave of the hands..who knows? siempre? well, we’re not sure..’ I ask for his card…he doesn’t have one…lame…no answer from El Supremo to whom i sent an email after the meeting…’gave him the ‘proof’ and a copy of the the 2nd ATM article..maybe this might jog his mind into thinking that there’s something rotten in Denmark and also Antigua..lotta bank data/notes on google about fraud/money laundering from mexico to guatemala…mexico tightened their regs..guate? a reg called PEP…Persons of External Pressure/Politics..they and their families are on a list for money laundering, unexplained deposits..over 300 a year so far(one a day)…gambling? I’m shocked!…Casablancas perpetual line from Claude Rains…its illegal in Guatemala…explain, por favor, all the casinos in the City….wash that $$..Shaun of O/lot’s birthday celebration? attended by the hard core…rum, beer, good wishes…great celebration..35? hell, my oldest daughter is that age..yep, i’m that old..older than dirt..Pangea’s expansion? i misread it, misunderstood it and i’m wrong…big time..it’s ready to rock..done 98% and looks great..manana en la noche..free food/booze..go..it works..Da Vinci continues to remove fixtures…soft opening coming..figure the public event in early May…LM excited about it all…Adan at Cafe Opera doing a version of Guantanamera..spelling? that i almost didn’t recognize…almost liked it..damn, he’s great…nelson back from nawleens…helped with a recording and played as a session musician on the tracks…the Rum Bum Bar? skipped the country owing six months of taxes and also stiffed ignacio the cuban…ooh..bad karma..Hector, not only playing music in the night is also coming up with new menu items…for me, i’m down for the rack of  lamb…Robt de Oro reporting new catastrophes on the ‘river’ but not as bad as imagined…next up, a plague of locusts or the four horsemen of the apocalypse/eucalyptus/calypso…spel chek is off..i’m off..too many shots of 12 year botran for the birthday..too many friends and great stories..karla not feeling well but dishing out the product..my warthog neighbor is not on the schedule..a few days off per garbage pick up..brain damage? kudos to Bill Shetz of the American Legion..for trying to come up with/figure out a way for safe money transactions..not only for residents but for tourists…where the hell is BAC in this? answer..they don’t give a shit..Citibank might be safe..yes,the ATM is a 5B machine but they don’t appear to be running wireless data..per their age, it’s probably land lines altho after going by twice to talk with Ana Victoria(and not making the connection) I can only assume this..Yo Yo reports that the 5B machine in Bodegona is ‘safe’..no confirmation..

if you knew sushi like i knew sushi

 

 some kinda ‘goodbye’ thing for the most tasty Lisa on Sunday..gotta go..she’s already missed..’told her we’d put up a shrine in the corner of O’lot..candles, photos..and some puja…no, not puta..puja..google it..dammit…hindoo stuff…involving ghee, flowers and…

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that’s a convention I’d go to…’ran into Bill the Harriss early by the park…off to play golf in the city and reporting that Monday night(last night)was SRO and turning biz away..why? Ignacio and the Cuban All/Stars…go figure…my hunch, along with JohnWilbur’s is that tourists don’t venture any further than 3-4 blocks away from their abode/lodging…we who have heard Iggy play here, there and everywhere are blase..bored, cha cha…but for La Pena del Sol and that part of town, he’s a draw..way cool…know that i walk from 1st calle to 9th calle and/or 3rd ave to santa lucia every day..and i agree with john w…el muro quiet, 4th calle dead except for alex bell’s xlnt fusion 2…wtf with 709 next door? great decor, lighting but never anyone in there chowing down..or up..or anything…a plaintive note from C #1…her daughter gets this message to go collect rent on saturday from the Rum Bum…shows up on Monday as instructed…he shouts, grabs her and doesn’t fork over any $$$…she goes to the police…a 15 year old girl being jerked around, literally? …C is too sweet a lady, plus a widow with kids..Hectors? quiet tonight…most of the town likewise…Yo-Yo at Ocelot..a meatball wearing a meatball headscarf..Japan’s flag wrapped around his head…long email from JH today, with further complaints re the BAC and the atm scams still going on..i’ll get around to writing part 2 of this..picked up my replacement shuttle card for the salty beaver grand opening tonight…think i’ll be there for two nights..one for r&r, the other for recovery..carla recoving from the ‘taco incident’ last night…yeah, let’s go have the ceviche from the trunk of the car in the sun..’she of the …whatever it was’…had the ceviche at Dos Mundos the first time we went there…and got exceedingly sick…her dad and i went down the dark roads of monterico to where i’d remembered a pharmacy..’left him holding the pistol while i bought meds for her..ah, those days…what a gringo idiot i was…and still am, in many ways..must be genetic…one of the gringo owners of ixcot putting up two iron sconces with candles overlooking the patio…looks like the carriage lamps on a hearse, which describes their business..they and Sangre ought to join forces,since they both seem to have the same business plan…non-profit..no biz and no idea…got money? give it to me and i’ll show you how to blow it..the cruise ship idea isn’t quite dead yet..research goes on..the AL library next to the Jardin Bavaria is almost finished…Desiree stopped by…pitched the noche del chef’s to me next week…all depends on the aftermath of the beaver episode..gotta pace myself..look, i’m older than dirt..get over it..i have…

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