.... Im back.
Dont worry folks Im alive and well, I disappeared for a while there but Im back and I am going to fill you all in on the latest buzz. Lots of stories and adventures to tell but I will try to do this methodically. Maintaining this site is hardwork let me tell you.
Tequila. For those of you that didnt know its not only a drink it is also a town, matter of fact its the town where Tequila was first invented and is home to Jose Cuervo as well as Suerza Tequila. Makes sense.
Im not a fan of the drink myself having had one too many bad nights with the stuff but considering that I am in Mexico its only right to visit the place that birthed the liquid fire.
On the bus I dreamt of Tequila. I had heard tales of town where the drinking fountains spout out tequila flavored water. Liquor runs down the main street like a stream of life giving water. This is a town where all the women are good looking... or at least good looking enough . I was arriving during the prime time of the year. I set foot on the soil of Tequila during the annual tequila festival.
Unfortunately Tequila wasnt as grand as I had envisioned. It was a clean little Mexican town and the inhabitants all seemed to be fairly middle class. This was a welcome change from Guadalajara. Not that Guadalajara was bad or anything but its easy to see how hard many people have to work to make ends meet in the big city. That is something that I am coming to appreciate more and more as I see how hard it is to make a living in Mexico.
For instance there are people that enter the buses during the long journeys. They have boxes full of cheap trinkets and candy. They place them on every seat and ask for 10 pesos. Thats 1 dollar and trust me people are not jumping out of thier seats to purchase a lobster keychain and some cheap little candy especially when there are people doing this at nearly every stop. I See some of these guys and they are around my age, early-mid twenties and it makes me wonder about alot of things. Do they have kids? Do they have any education? Where do they live? HOW do they live? Of Course what would I do in that situation.....easy. I would be over the border so fast and by any means possible. Im talking Born in East L.A. style (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092690/).
People are poor in this country. Im not talking USA poor. Its a whole different level of poor that we cant even imagine. I have had so many little kids come up to me begging for money I have become accostomed to it. I can walk past filthy kids laying on the sidewalk without a pause. Its a sad situation and this is not even that bad compared to third world countries...Mexico is considered 2nd world(developing). It boggles the mind. Jesus, the world is in bad shape man... too many poor kids with no chance at anything in life but becoming grown poor people. What life chances does a kid have when they are spending thier early life sitting on a sidewalk asking for pesos? Is this kid going to become a president? A doctor? A teacher? A policeofficer? A druggie? A Criminal? A hustler? A window washer? Thats the part that disturbs me the most. These kids have almost no chance to amount to anything and its not thier fault, maybe its no ones fault. Thats life right? I didnt choose to be American but I guess I hit the geographical lottery. Right place, right time. (http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Facts.asp)
I have had respect for what dad has accomplished when he arrived in the states but my level of respect for the man has grown immensely. Thinking about what dad had to do to get where he is at... DAMN!!! Pops was busting his ass in fields picking fruits and vegetables when he first got to the states. Look at how much he has accomplished. Dad this is your early Fathers day gift. Despite all the times I have b****ed and complained about how hard you were on us growing up. I understand how hard you worked to give us a good life and give us oppurtunities that you didnt have and Im grateful and proud that you sacrificed for us. Dad you are my hero. One day I hope I can be half the dad you are, if I can be then I know my family will be taken care of.
PURCHASE THIS VIDEO (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/newamericans/). It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you a better person... seriously.
Ok... Im done ranting. Sorry. So where was I... Oh yeah. Tequila was cool. One problem that kind of stymied me having a good time was the fact that I got pink eye or something. My eye was swollen up man and it was ugly. I never made it to the Jose Cuervo factory for the tour (free shots) my eye made me into a hermit.
During the nights I did go out for the Fiesta. It was pretty cool. A little different then La Piudad Chiquita (Dads Ranch) but it was good nonethe less. Speaking of Chiquita. Thats our Chihuahuas name and I dont like it. We should name her Chee Chee. I think it has a nicer ring to it.
Before the festivities begin in a parade is staged complete with soldiers, horns and a float with the towns Patron SAint. She protects the workers and ensures a good tequila harvest I guess. THe parade makes its way down the road and eventually to the front of the Church. At this point Aztec dancers do a routine for an hour or so. Surrounding the church are stalls full of food and games. There are drinking tents with lots of tequila. There was a large stage setup for some bands. The festivities are wildly popular because the plaza was packed. I walked around for a bit, sticking mostly to the shadows avoiding the light and large groups of people. My eye was swollen nasty.
I walked past one large tent and the noise emanating from the inside caught my attention. I slowly walked to the entrance of the tent and was slightly surprised to find four cops standing near the ticket table. Interesting. I walked over and asked what was inside... Chicken fights!!! Or Rooster Fights to be more exact. I bought a ticket and went inside.
Interesting. Rooster fights are definetely different. Before entering the police searched me for weapons. OK. I walked past the cops and the first thing that stood out was the number of cowboys in the place. I cant say that I was surprised by this considering it is a chicken fight and all but boy was I out of place. I slowly made my way to my seat which was in the nosebleed section which was only five rows behind the ringside seats...ha ha. I sat down just as one fight was coming to a close. The victor was being paraded around the ring by its owner and the vanquished challenger was dead or unconsiouse on the floor of the ring feathers and blood surrounding its body. Finally its owner came into the ring cussing and spitting unceremoniosly grabbed the limp and lifeless rooster by its legs and stormed out of the place.
As the announcer got on the mike and introduced the next fighters the bookies stepped into the ring and began to make thier rounds. Asking for bets, taking odds. At first there was little activity amongst the plebians in the stands but once the two roosters were carried into the ring the place began to grow louder. The owners would carry thier respective roosters around the ring giving the audience a good look at what they were betting on. One Rooster had red feathers the other was jet black with some gray splotches. At this point I decided to name them. The red rooster was Rancor and the black rooster was Luke. Yes this does refer to Return of the Jedi. I choose these names for a reason as you will see. I only picked up what some of the people were saying. People were betting based on how well the handlers other roosters had been fighting. Others were betting based on color saying that red roosters are the toughest. I had no clue who to bet on or how to bet...language barrier. So I refrained but I was obviously going with Luke baby... the force man. Nuff said.
As the bets were being placed the owners were placing the razors on the roosters feet. They also began to spit beer on the roosters faces and backsides. To further aggravate the animals the handlers would hold the rooster by its back feathers and they would place them about five feet apart. they gave them enough room and leverage to jump at one another but they were always pulled back before contact was made. The roosters were pissed. Cant say that I blame them. If someone was spitting beer in my face and on my ass I wouldnt be none too happy.
Finally, the bookies walked out of the ring. The stands got very quite (am I spelling that right). The lights were focused on the ring. Each handler stood in their respective corner. With the ringing of the bell the Roosters were released. The action was too fast to catch. In a matter of 10 seconds one rooster was limp on the floor and the other rooster was attacking it. People were cussing, others were cheering. The roosters were separated once more. Luke had gotten the worst of the exchange and his handler was reviving it by holding its beak and blowing into it. The Rancor was unfazed and eager to go at it again. Blood and feathers were covering the ring. The buzz subsided and the cowboys slowly took thier seats and got prepared for round two to begin.
Round two started and within 5 seconds it was easy to see that the rancor was dominant. Luke was on the canvas for a second time. As he layed on the floor his head was swiveling in different directions looking for his attacker. Luke was making no moves to stand and fight or even run. Even as the Rancor was clawing him while he was down Luke was still trying to peck the rancor away with his beak. Finally it even stopped doing this. The black rooster (Luke) simply laid there while the red rooster (Rancor) continued attacking him, tearing away with the razors on its claws kicking up blood and feathers.
The roosters were again separated. I figured the fight was over. Clearly the rancor had spanked Luke, it wasnt even close. THe cowboys sitting next to me began to tear up thier betting tickets. Shockingly Luke was being revived again for the final round. Luke needed a cutman badly because the Rancor had torn him a new one... or two maybe three. At this point I just felt bad for the damn bird. I hate chickens but still, once the fight is over its over. It doesnt matter if its human or animal. Plus hes Luke Skywalker man, he is the MJ of Jedi Nights.
As the roosters were released for the third time Luke collapsed as soon as his handler removed his hands. No grand or spectacular last stand. As the Rancor approached Luke lamely tried to defend himself, pecking at the red fury coming his way. After the first pass by the red rooster Luke was dead or unconcious as he just layed in one spot unable to defend himself and just continued to get flayed by the red fury. During all this I felt like I was in Return of the Jedi and I was watching Luke battle the Rancor. I mean I felt out of place. Cowboys yelling and screaming for blood. I even saw some people that could have been extras for star wars they were so ugly. Sadly for Luke he had no Jedi mind tricks to bail him out of this one. Poor chicken... force choke would have helped so much.
I left the Chicken fights and needed some new diversions to wash out the bad feeling I was left with. As I walked along I spotted a large table full of women folk near the church. I made my way over to see what was so interesting and there it was... Loteria tournament (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loteria). I had walked over just in time to get myself into the next game. I was pumped.
When playing Loteria more important then anything is the card you choose to play with. This determines how well you play and what cards you are going to get. There is plenty of strategy to Loteria trust me I have been playing this game since I was a baby. Someday Loteria will surpass Texas hold em as the ultimate card-gambling game.
I sat down and slowly glanced around the table. Taking in my competition. Stay as straight faced as possible. Directly across from me is a 10 year old girl. Yeah your cute but believe me I got my eye on you sister. Sitting next to me is the Iron Maiden. An old woman with two cards... clever old lady. Two cards is nice but all that means is your going to be spending twice as long laying down beans.... wait.... what is this. This people dont play with beans!?!. This is bad. They use corn... clever. I can adjust. This is thier home court after all.
Ok. Everyone is looking at me. Oh. Im the only man at the table besides the little kids. Hey ladies if you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen.
As the first cards are called I realize how much trouble Im in. Back home when we play with the family we always make sure to go slow for the bilingualy challenged and the card person always shows the card to everyone. This game was fast. I have never played speed Loteria before but this was the crash course in the game that defines courage in the face of danger. The first game I got killed. I had about half my card full and some little five year old brat called LOTERIA!!! The old woman looked at my card but I quickly swiped off the corn before she could make anything out. Sorry Grandma, I grew up playing this game to survive. I know all the tricks.
The next game was tightly fought. I had thought about going double with the cards but thats not my game. I play Loteria the way I live my life. One card at a time or one day at a time... what have you. The second game was going down to wire. The old woman was hissing under her breath. My nostrils were flaring. It was me and her going down to the wire. La Botella...YES! El Muerto.... NO!!! La Luna... s***! The old lady begins chuckling. THen it happened. As cards were being pulled one of these little brats had lost sight of what had been called. As the kid is asking for help his mother breaks one the ultimate rules of Loteria. She goes over and begins taking corns off of his card. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! You cant do that!!! Thats cheating!!!! If 7 year olds want to play with the big boys they got to hang with the big boys... then as the last corn is removed the little turd yells out LOTERIA!!!
I left the playing table after that. The Iron Maiden gave me a grunt of respect I followed suit with my own grunt.