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FIND YOUR BEACH (a novel approach)

15 MORE MINUTES PLEASE? OUR FOOD JUST ARRIVED!

FIND YOUR BEACH (A novel approach)

Originally Published the Week of May 12, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

This past week the last vestiges of covid-masking were removed here in Southern Baja.  Mask wearing in public places is now optional.

         Realistically, private businesses could still require masks to enter and employers can still require their employees to mask-up.  However, for the most part, we’re seeing the last remnants of “cobre boca” (face coverings) at least for now.

         During the pandemic, things were highly restrictive.  Much moreso than in the U.S. Especially during that first year in 2020, beaches were closed among many other things. 

         Once things started opening, beaches were open…closed…open… and closed depending on the whims of government to co-incide with the ebb and flow of covid infections.

         Understandably, whenever beaches were opened, the government advised folks headed there about social spacing.  Basically, asking folks to maintain their 3-6 foot distance from one group or family to the other. 

         Well, that went over like wings on a pig.

         After being cooped up for months, locals flooded to the beaches in droves.  Inspectors, police, health officials ran around trying to get people to space out.  That was like trying to empty a bucket of water with a sieve.  Wasn’t happening.

         A rule with no ability to enforce it is toothless.

         So, beaches got closed again.

         As covid ebbed, they tried something else. 

         Respective beaches were allowed an occupancy quota.  For example, one beach allows only 350 people.  That down the way beach gets 425.  The other beach is allowed 500.  And so on.

Tecolote Beach 10-21

         Once they hit a number, no one else was allowed in.  Even AFTER people left, no one was allowed in.

         Another exercise in futility.

         Authorities were out there actually trying to count heads on the sand.

         Let’s see…24, 25, 26…oh, your kids just ran into the water?  How many kids you got?  29, 30…

         Not an easy task.

         Back to the drawing board. 

         The next attempt placed security at the entrance to the beaches. They checked each car.  They counted the heads in each car. 

         Again, once the quote was reached, too bad for the rest of you.  Go home or go find another beach. 

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         That system actually got some traction.  Except not so much for the hundreds of folks that had been waiting in their cars in the Baja heat for a couple of hours with a carload of kids trying to get into the beach. 

         Then, being told, they were too late.  A lot of ticked off people.

         Sorry kids.  Sorry mom.

         Thousands of people want to escape to the beaches.  However, allowing only a limited number did work out so well.

         So, the latest venture attempts to remedy that. 

         And it’s being implemented in many places.  So far.

         It makes the beaches more accessible to more people.  Problem solved.

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         There’s just one catch.  Well, two actually.

         One is cost.  The other is time.

         Here’s how it works. They’re thinking about implementing this at many of the Baja beaches.

         You arrive at the entrance to the beach.  You are sold a bracelet to enter the beach.  Cost is less than 2 bucks.  That’s manageable.

         However…

         The bracelet allows you to stay in the beach for THREE HOURS.  That’s it.

Shifts are 8-11 a.m.  Then 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Finally 1-4 p.m.

         I’ll let you wrap your brain around that one.

         Apparently, at the end of each “shift”, they sound an alarm.  You gotta chug that last beer; fold up the umbrella and beach towels; grab the kids and scoot!

         If you want to stay longer, you need to purchase extra bracelets when you arrive at the beach. 

         I guess this will indeed allow more people access to the beach.  In theory.

         However, I’ve never been able to spend only 3 hours at the beach.  I don’t know many folks that have that ability.

         There’s one other glitch.  At some beaches, no charge to locals.  If you’re not local, you pay for the bracelet.  But that begs the question.  Are locals able to stay as long as they want?  And do they just grab a bunch of bracelets when they enter?

         Tourists need to pay AND scoot after 3 hours?

         Stand by.  I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of this new plan.

 

That’s my story

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004. Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico http://www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront. If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi. It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

 


Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

www.tailhunter-international.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address: Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA 91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report: http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g


“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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OUTSIDE YOUR EPI-CURIOUS COMFORT ZONE

A DIFFERENT SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

OUTSIDE YOUR EPI-CURIOUS COMFORT ZONE

Originally Published the Week of April 14, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

A few columns ago, I mentioned that a great place to get a bit of “real Mexico” is to visit the local church.  Get a bit of history. Culture.  Community.  Maybe even some healthy spiritualism thrown in.

But, I forgot maybe the best place to get a real slice of Mexican life.

Maybe it’s even more basic and more fundamental than going to church. 

I mean, admittedly, not everyone goes to church.  Plus, at church, we’re always seeing folks pretty much at their best.  Dressed up.  Respectful.  Attentive. 

For most of us, going to church is not an everyday activity. 

But, there is one place that pretty much everyone goes to eventually.  That includes, families, couples, kids…everyone!

Get away from the tourist zone and go visit a local grocery store.

I’m not talking about one of the numerous chain convenience stores on every corner that sell every manner of two things…beer and junk food.

I’m not talking about the new Walmart or Costco or Sam’s Club that seem to be popping up everywhere there’s a hefty gringo population or tourist destination.

I’m talking about a regular grocery store.

You’ll find one in pretty much any neighborhood. 

It could be an eye opener.

Sure, you’ll find a lot of products similar to the U.S., with growing demand for many of the same brands.  But, you’ll notice the prices are cheaper than the U.S.

For one, very often the quality isn’t quite the same as the U.S. even though the packaging might look the same.  You do get what you pay for.

You’ll find lots of canned goods.  Tons of salsas.  Many you’ve never heard of but worth a try!

mexican-supermarket-salsa

In produce, you’ll find some unusual thing like nopales (cactus paddles…the broad succulent leaves of the cactus plant).   You’ll see all kinds of chiles if you like to make your own salsa and you’ll notice that veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers, etc. are vibrant colors. 

That’s because they’re allowed to ripen in the warm Mexican sun not coated with wax to make them shiny.  And they taste so much better too1

Definitely you’ll see a lot of junk food. It’s a paradise of munchie food!

If it’s sugar or salt or something fried that you’re looking for, there is no shortage of soda, candies (some very interesting and unusual types you might want to give a taste) plus bags of bags of a zillion types of chips or other fried things.   

There are aisle and aisles of sugar and salt.   It’s unfortunately why diabetes is so rampant in Mexico.

In the meat section, there are  cuts you won’t recognize, other than to knowing it’s beef or pork.  However, Mexico cuts many of their meats differently than in the U.S.   Mexico has different names for their cuts. 

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Also, the cuts tend to be much much thinner (affordable) than in the U.S.  Unless, it’s a market frequented by gringos, you’ll never find a thick steak or a fat porkchop.  No ribeye, New York , T-bone or pork tenderloins!

You will find lots of different chorizo (pork sausages) and cold cuts in the deli section. 

You  will rarely have actual sliced ham for some reason.  Like the kind you put in sandwiches . It will be “ham flavored” but made from turkey (“jamon de pavo.”) and that includes packaged hot dogs.  You will however, find bacon, but in my experience, it’s incredibly salty unless you purchase an American brand.

The dairy section has lots of yoghurt, but tends to be highly sugared creamy syrup and you’ll have to look hard to find real butter.  Mostly it will be some type of margarine. 

You will, however, find loads of different and delicious Mexican cheeses.  It’s one of the true treasures if you get a chance to sample all the different cheeses including manchengo, queso Corazon, queso fresco and dozens more.

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Another great thing you ‘ll find in the larger grocery stores is a bakery.  Fresh cakes, breads, pastries are laid out and customers pick up a big flat pan and tongs and go up and down the shelves picking our their selections.  There will also be a section with fresh warm tortillas as well.

Getty-Bread-Case-588f4dca5f9b5874ee0b4108

However, the magic for me, is in the hot deli section!

The larger markets have hot dishes behind glass where you can buy incredible food to take home.  Carne asada…chicken mole…chicharrones in salsa verde…pork ribs…street corn slathered in lime and cotija cheese just to name a few of my favorites.

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Bring some of that home along with a cold Mexican Coke , some fresh warm tortillas and you’re good to go!

Give it a try next time.  They may not necessarily be the healthiest or what you’re used to, but it’s all pretty delicious  and you’re only ducking in for a sample! It can’t be any worse than ordering a pizza near your hotel or walking over to Burger King

Instead of the fancy tourist restaurant step away next time.  Ask your taxi driver where he does his grocery shopping and it’ll open up a whole new culinary world for you!

That’s my story!

Jonathan


Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004. Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico http://www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront. If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi. It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!


Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

Website:

www.tailhunter-international.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address: Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA 91942

Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report: http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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HI-FIVE and WELL DONE!

Some High-Fives are gratuitous and don’t mean much. There are other High-Fives that mean everything!

HIGH FIVE and WELL DONE!

Originally Published the Week of April 4, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

          Last week, my wife, Jill and I were in Denver. 

         We’ve been on the road 3 months doing the fishing and hunting expositions across the western U.S. promoting our fishing operation in La Paz as well as tourism in general to Baja. 

         Each week a different city.  A different show. 

         In our booth four or five days for 8-12 hours-at-a-time.  Meeting and greeting.  Shaking hands and socializing. 

         We’ve been doing it every January to March for almost 30 years.  It’s fun.  But, it can also be wearing. 

         Long hours driving. Different hotel rooms.  Too much fast food.  Packing and unpacking all the booth and gear.   Convention centers with thousands of people packed inside.

         So, we’re at our last show in Denver.  As often happens, rather than look for parking in a major downtown metro, it’s often easier to take Uber from our hotel to the respective convention center.

         Dial up Uber.  He’s on his way.  Meet out front on the sidewalk.

         It’s early.  We’re half-asleep, but we gotta get to the expo.  It’s show time.

         Our uber driver today is Haani. He has a white Toyota Camry. 

         He pulls up.  Good-looking pleasant young man.  Swarthy.  Cleanly dressed. He helps us with all our briefcases, backpacks and other things we need to drag to the show each day.

         We climb in. Bonus points, the car is spotless and he’s got some light jazz playing.  Nice music for the morning.

         We make the usual conversation. 

         Jill asks, “Are you having a busy day?”

         He says cheerfully, “I’ve been working all morning and usually work the whole day.  But, today, I have to take a break in the middle of the day.”

         “For lunch?” asks Jill.

         “No.  Not today!  Not for lunch. Today I have a special service to attend!” replies Haani.

         “A special service?”

         He smiles and turns around towards us in the backseat and says proudly, “Today I will become a naturalized American citizen!”

         A pause as Jill and I wrap our collective brains around that for a moment.

         “Oh my God!  That’s awesome!”

         “Congratulations!”

         “This is the best news of the day!”

         Jill and I are both yammering out loud at the same time from the backseat as we lean over towards him.

         We are spontaneously shaking his hand; playfully punching him in the shoulder and giving him high-fives from the backseat.  I’m shaking him by his neck.  It’s like he just shot the winning basket…scored the 4th quarter touchdown…touched all the bases in the World Series. 

         For indeed he has!

         He is laughing and trying to keep the car on the road!

         He is beaming and his proud smile fills the rearview mirror as he watches Jill and I bounce around his backseat pumping our fists in the air!

         Haani is from Afghanistan.  He has been working hard on getting his citizenship for six long years.  He says it is the hardest and best thing he has ever done.

         He and his wife work two jobs.  Two young kids in school.

         He tell us what a great country America is.  He could not be prouder.  Or more grateful.

         Neither could we.  He dropped us off and we all laughed and we wished him well with one last handshake and high-five.   It made our day.

         Welcome to America, Haani. 

         We’re gonna lift up a cold one to you and your spirit to luck and a better life!

family-celebrates-nationalization-with-american-flags

 

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

        

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YOU CAN’T GOOGLE or TRIP ADVISOR THIS

YOU CAN’T GOOGLE OR TRIP ADVISOR THIS

Originally Published the Week of Mar. 26, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

         Living in Baja, visitors often ask me some suggestions of where they can “see the real Mexico.”  They’re not interested in finding out where to go zip-lining or the cheapest place to buy a hammock or sarape.

         They want the genuine article.  The real deal.  Something not “touristy.”

         I tell them to head to church.  Preferably on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon.

         After a momentary quizzical look, I explain that they’ll see a part of Mexico…a part of the community…a lot of history and a lot of culture if they make a visit to the local church.

         Every city or large town has a Catholic church. 

         Since the earliest days of the conquistadores and missionaries, you can pretty much find a Catholic Church somewhere in the area.  To this day, Mexico remains largely a Catholic country and the church is still the center of life…even if not everyone goes to church all the time. 

         Nevertheless, the church is still central to so much that goes on in a Mexican community.  Obviously, it’s a spiritual and religious center.

         Architecturally, it’s usually in the center of town or in a town square, park or pavilion area.

         Socially, it often remains the place where life’s milestones still take place.  Start to finish…baptism…confirmations…quincineras (sweet 16 presentations)…weddings…more baptisms…and funerals.

         So, I tell folks to head to the local church. 

         Outside, there are often street vendors in the larger cities.  It can be a hub of activity.

         Our own cathedral in La Paz is in the town square and adjacent to the town park.  There are often musicians playing.  Families picnicking.  Impromptu karaoke and bingo games.  Old men playing chess or checkers.

         Stand outside. 

         If it’s an old church, take in the architecture.  Admire the craftsmanship.  Many of these churches weren’t made with modern cranes, bulldozers and electric tools. 

         Old-fashioned human labor with hand tools.  Sweat equity for credits in heaven.  Pride in details that were meant to last for decades or centuries.

         Handmade brick and quarried stone transported maybe from many miles away with carts, wagons and mules.  In some cases, the very wooden beams inside the structure as well as the window glass was transported from Spain, not to mention statues and religious artifacts and furniture.

         The bells may have come from some faraway forge as well.  Most likely yes.

         If there’s an old cemetery nearby, well worth it to trace the history of the former priests, padres and parishioners.  It was a hard life. 

         You’ll often see short life spans.  Children and babies who died early.  Many deaths close in date could indicate a communal epidemic like measles, smallpox, dysentery or a simple flu.

         Step inside.  Remove your hat.  There might be a Mass or other event taking place.  Even if not, remember it’s still a house of worship.  Be respectful. 

         If nothing is happening, wander and gaze.  Statues, the alter, the stained glass, the wooden pews, paintings and artwork may date back decades or centuries.  They may have travelled thousands of miles to find their forever homes in this church.

         The craftsmen are long gone, but their work remains.  It’s better than any museum. 

         Imagine today, we go to Home Depot.  Get our materials.  Build a bookshelf for your home.   Never in a million years would we expect it to last for decades.  Not like these old artisans. 

         I’ve been in old Mexican churches where the walls and ceilings are still covered with the dark soot of a century or more of burning votive candles. 

         A close examination of the area around the alter shows inset graves of the old padres who once serviced their community.  The tiles show their names.

         It’s a testament to their dedication and commitment that many of them travelled from Spain or other places in Mexico to find their final resting place in the arid hard-scrabble frontier of Baja.

         If there are services taking place, many times, there can be multiple events transpiring since often, there’s only one priest or padre.  In some instances, the priest is a travel-priest doing services from town-to-town to tend to his parishioners.

         But, if you’re visiting, that’s where you’ll see the culture.

         I once came for Mass.  It was followed by a baptism.  Followed by a wedding.  Followed by a first communion of 8 and 9 year-old-kids in their little white shirts and puffy dresses.

         The whole gamut.  Proud families.  Happy couples.  Nervous youngsters.  Big days in life.  Big days in the community.  The circle of life.  The cycle of life.

         All in one place.  Just follow the sound of the bells!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

 

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

 

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

 

_____________

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

 

Website:

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

 

 

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
 
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

 

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

 

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

 

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

 

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GREEN LIGHT GO – SPRING BREAK UNLEASHED

TEARING IT UP FOR SPRING BREAK

GREEN LIGHT GO – SPRING BREAK UNLEASHED

Originally Published the Week of March 7, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

         Whether you’re planning to fly, drive or walk to Baja or any place in Mexico in April, come ahead.  For the first time in 2 years, Mexico is basically open and really wants you to come visit. (aka “needs you to visit!”)

       Since the pandemic hit in 2020, Mexico implemented a “traffic light” scale to measure the covid restrictions and protocols.  Red being the worst.  Green was the best.

Covid stoplight

       In between those extremes were a series of various shades of oranges and yellows.  Over the pandemic, the scale has bounced back and forth between those variations.

       Just like in the U.S.  it’s been “masks on.” 

      Now they are “off.” 

      Now they are back on. 

       Same with all the attenuated protocols like social distancing, closures and activities.  Back-and-forth.  Up-and-down.  Enough to make your head spin.

       Unless you’ve quarantined in a windowless room the last two years, you know the drill.

       However, like many locations in the world, covid and it’s seemingly unnumerable waves, permeations and mutations is declining.  Infections, hospitalizations and fatalities thankfully are also down. 

       According to officials, something like 80-85% of the eligible population has been vaccinated.

       So, it’s a virtual green light to go visit Mexico this Easter or spring break.  It’s the first time in two years.

       Of course, like everywhere else, there’s some trepidation about the anticipated onslaught.  With so many people suddenly running around with impunity health officials and politicians have some underwear bunching up.

       But, for better or worse, things are open!

       Some vestiges of covid might linger.  Some private businesses might still require masks.  It’s their prerogative.  But, otherwise, party like it’s 2019!

       But, Mexico has been trying to get ready.

       Statistics have shown that Mexico has been the #1 travel destination in the world.  Not just Americans, but anyone else who can jump on a plane has looked to Mexico.

       It was easy to get in. 

       Easy to get out (mostly).

       Chances of quarantine were minimal.

       It’s a great value for a vacation.

       The only thing you need to do is get a negative covid test before returning to the U.S.  Fingers are crossed that even this may drop to the wayside. We can only hope.

       So, if you’re thinking of heading south in April, especially the weeks preceding or following Easter on April 17th, look for it to be crowded.

       It won’t just be Americans and international travelers.  Especially around beach cities, and Baja in particular, the Easter weeks are the busiest times for Mexican nationals to travel as well.

       Many take the time off work to take vacations.  Many go to visit family. 

       So, expect crowds at restaurants, bars, beaches and other gathering places.  That includes airports especially. Prime arrival and departure times are expected to be packed. 

 

       In addition to everyone flying into Mexico, many Mexicans use the holidays to visit family and friends in the U.S.  In fact, it’s the busiest time of the year to try to fly. 

       Busier than Christmas.  Busier than Thanksgiving.

       Therefore, give yourself extra time coming and going. 

       With the demand for travel, airline tickets will often be more expensive than any other time of the year and also more difficult to purchase as popular flights fill up.

       That goes for rental cars also. 

       The rental agencies are over-run.  The last two times we tried to rent vehicles in Cabo, we waited as long as two hours to get vehicles that had been reserved months in advance.  

       Put an extra case of “patience” in your luggage. Mexico is also going through the throes of not being able to find enough employees. 

       So service at hotels, restaurants and other spots might also be slower than expected.  Keep smiling and just cut folks some slack.  They’re doing their best. 

Plan well. Mexico is waiting!

 

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

Read Full Post »

MY TWO CENT OBSERVATION FROM THE ROAD

No Words…

         I’m writing this at night from our hotel room in Boise, Idaho.  We’re doing a banzai drive from Salt Lake City to get to Portland, Oregon.  As fast as the speed limit will let us.

         It seems strange to say that we’re not looking forward to being in Portland. 

         Let me back up.

         For almost 30 years, I spend the better part of 3 months on the road exhibiting at all the huge hunting and fishing expositions across the western U.S.  Every week another 4 or 5 day show. 

         My wife, Jill, and I haul our booth, a million brochures and flyers spreading the good word about fishing and vacationing in Baja.  Specifically with our own Tailhunter Sportfishing in La Paz.

         Thousands-upon-thousands of attendees wander and socialize with outfitters like ourselves in the fishing, hunting, camping, boating, RV and other outdoor pursuits.  Us exhibitors sell our wares. 

         Each week finds us in different cities like Denver, Phoenix, Bozeman, Seattle, San Diego, Long Beach, Las Vegas even Anchorage, Alaska!  Criss-crossing the U.S. up-down-back-and-forth in snow, rain, ice, and sunshine.

         We’ve been on the road now almost 6 weeks and have finished shows in Reno, Sacramento, Puyallup (south of Seattle) and this past weekend in Salt Lake City.   As previously mentioned, we’re back on the Pacific Coast in Portland this week.

         A few weeks back in my column, I had commented about driving through so many cities and states and observing the differing covid-mask protocols or lack thereof.  I also wrote about my observations of how everyone was hurting for employees.  And how customer services were directly suffering from it.

         We really didn’t know what to expect of the shows this year.  In short, a crapshoot. 

No one knew what the attendance would be like.  No one knew how many vendors/ outfitters wouldn’t show-up as a result of covid; the fear of covid; or the local mandates and protocols.

         As it turned out, attendance suffered at 3 of the 4 shows. All on the west coast. 

         Exhibitors were absent as well.  Again, this was at all at the west coast shows in California, Washington and, to some degree, the Reno Show. 

        Masking/ testing/ vax card protocols were in place to greater or lesser degrees.  Nothing was standardized

         I guess that was to be expected.  All these shows had been cancelled last year and it’s going to take awhile for them (and the public) to get back up to speed.

         And now, we’re headed to Portland. 

         We love our Pacific Coast.  My wife Jill and I both grew up on the West Coast.  But, after our experiences the past month in California,  Oregon and Washington, we’re dreading Portland, one of our favorite western cities.

         I’ll tell ya why.

         There’s been a drastic change.  A polar shift.  A techtonic social upheaval.

         In Sacramento, we stay at a well-know hotel chain.  Almost 20 years.  Not the 4 Seasons or the Ritz Carlton, but hardly the Econo-Riverside Motel either.

         Upon arrival. What a change!

        People living in their cars in the parking lot.  Broken cars everywhere.  People living in boxes on busy public street.  Multiple people living in rooms meant for 2.  Trash everywhere. Tent camps everywhere.  Open sewage/ excrement on sidewalks, planters…opens spaces.

         Vagrant folks lining the streets.  Stores trashed, littered and empty shelves.  Such common things like soap, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, masking tape…all in locked cases!

         I asked one store clerk what happened to all the shopping carts and shopping baskets.  He said, “They all got stolen.”

         The second night, our new Chevy Suburban rig got broken into.  Not just busted windows.  They tore the whole rear liftgate rendering our rig undriveable.  Looks like a crowbar was used. Because nothing could be found inside, the bad guys took it out on the vehicle.

         Fortunately, we had emptied the vehicle and nothing was taken.  But, the vehicle was disabled.  

Because of supply chain issues, parts not available!

         Over the next few days, others also got burglarized.  Police don’t come out because burglary is so common.  And they are under-staffed like everyone else. You file a report online.  That’s it.

 I had to take Uber to the Expo.  My driver said, in his neighborhood they leave their trunks and liftgates unlocked so the thieves don’t break in. 

         Except one day his neighbor found a guy sleeping in his trunk!

         While at the show, several outfitters got their rigs completely stolen.   One of our clients came to our booth and said several days earlier, he had been carjacked at gun-point by a guy who was escaping from a murder!

         We headed north to Washington.  Passing through Oregon (more on that later).

         While in Washington State, more of the same. Tent cities scattered everywhere.  Again, several of our outfitter friends had their trucks and trailers stolen.  This time in broad daylight from “guarded” parking lots.

         Friends who are law enforcement officers told us many vehicles are being stolen for the catalytic converters.  And, many officers are quitting or taking early retirement leaving the remaining tired officers working overtime.

         Oh, and new legislation prevents officers from giving chase.  About all they can do is yell “Stop!”  Also, if someone steals something less than $750 dollars and says “it’s a necessity”, no prosecution ensues.

         We were advised by Washington friends not to go into downtown Seattle, again, one of our favorite cities to visit.  

         And now everyone-and-their-brother is warning us against Portland now.  And saying it’s even worse.  Even before the pandemic, the area and hotels around the Portland Expo Center were rife with homeless and property crime was rampant.

         Vehicles at the Expo and surrounding areas, were regularly targeted.  Our own van was broken into several years ago.  Police told us that the thieves love vehicles belonging to the outfitters because they are often loaded with camping gear, fishing gear, electronics, outdoor clothing and yes…firearms. 

         So, now they tell us it’s even going to be worse.  And definitely do NOT go into Portland metro.

         Tell you what.  Several of us outfitters were standing around.  We were somberly discussing the crime these days while on the show tours now.  All of them hunting and fishing guides. 

       I quietly admitted that my wife and I both have our concealed-carry permits and that I always carry a firearm now.  There was a little pause among the group.

       I thought I was going get some blowback for carrying. Big burley mountain guys and salty fishing captains staring at me.

       As it turned out, all of them were carrying.  In fact, talking to most of the other vendors in their booths, everyone either had firearms in their booths, on their person, or in their cars.

       My wife wouldn’t let us drive this year without a (legal) shotgun hidden in the car.  

       As one Alaska guide told me, “I carry a big pistol to guard against grizzly bears attacks in the bush.  But, I’m even more afraid to walk around the cities.  So, of course, I carry. Bears are predictable. Idiot people are not.”

       It’s gotten pretty sad.  Portland, here we come. 

       Hope for the best.  Prepare for the worst.  The new normal.

Update:  Just finished the Portland Show.  We did NOT go downtown.  The area around the Expo Center was tragic.  Many of the outfitters and vendors said they would not come back.  Someone tried to break into our vehicle 3 times, but the alarm scared them off although we were messaged that someone had tried to open the doors…twice when we just ran into a gas station just to buy some soda for the road. It happened that fast!  Several vehicles in the parking lot at the Expo Center were burglarized as well. 

That’s my story

Jonathan

______________

 

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

 

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

 

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

 

_____________

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

 

Website:

 

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

 

 

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942
 
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

 

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

 

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

 

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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IN YOUR FACE CABRON ADOLF

I’ve always loved history. Given a choice, history might be my favorite subject to read or study.

And I really like trivia.

I was researching some info on Mexico’s imports/ exports and came across some really interesting facts about Mexico and World War 2.

WHA???  Mexico in World War 2?  The BIG ONE?

Well, actually that was my reaction.  Complete surprise. 

I mean, when you think of the major combatants of that global conflict, you think of the U.S., England, Italy, Canada, Germany, Japan, Russia.  All the main players, right?

And, of course, pretty much the rest of the world from the Philippines to Finland and Algiers to Australia.

Mexico doesn’t exactly come to mind.

And, you probably wouldn’t believe that Mexico was an ally to the United States.  That’s not a partnership that generally pops to the forefront of historical discussion.

But, yes, Mexico absolutely stuck one in the eye of the Axis powers.

Even before the U.S. was thrust into the war with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, countries had a strong foreboding of impending conflict.

Fortuitously, Mexico and the U.S. settled the usual border tensions with reciprocal trade agreements whereby Mexico continued to supply raw materials to the United States. Conversely, the U.S. helped stabilize the peso and Mexican economy by-way-of-long term loans as well as military aid for the Mexican military.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1942, Mexico terminated all relations with the Axis powers.  It was one of the first countries to show support for the U.S.   It also closed all of it’s ports to Germany thereby securing the Gulf of Mexico for the U.S.

The Mexican people were initially very reluctant and adamant about joining in the armed conflict.

However, that changed several months later in May of 1942.  German U-boats torpedoed two Mexican tankers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hitler was unrepentant about the attacks.

And Mexico took the gloves off.

Mexico declared war on the Axis.  It also urged other Latin American countries to follow suit.

Mexico instituted nation military service as well as civil defense.  However, it’s main contribution to the war was the continued steady supply of raw materials to the U.S. war effort.

As much as 40% of the raw material for the American war machine came from Mexico.

Moreso, although most other Latin American countries sided with the allies, only Mexico and Brazil sent armed combatants to the front.  

At the invitation of the U.S. Mexico put together a special combat team of airmen.  The Mexican President Manuel Comacho gathered up more than 300 volunteers including more than 30 hand-picked experienced pilots and the rest veteran groundcrew.

After receiving extensive combat training in Texas and Idaho, the “Aztec Eagles” were dubbed the “201st Fighter Squadron” and attached to the American 58th Fighter Group.

Flying P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Aircraft, the “Pancho Pistolas” were deployed to the Philippines and flogged more than 1900 hours of flight time and 795 combat sorties.  Their bombing runs and attacks were instrumental in helping push the Japanese off the islands of Formosa and Luzon in some of the toughest fighting in the Pacific.

Eight of the pilots were killed.  One was shot down. One crashed.  Three others ran out’ve fuel over the ocean and lost at sea.  Three others died in training.

Their ground crews were also involved in ground combat on  several occasions. 

According to Wikipedia, “The 201st Mexican Squadron was given credit for putting out of action about 30,000 Japanese troops [4] and the destruction of enemy held-buildings, vehicles, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, machine guns emplacements and ammunition depots.”

After the war, they returned to Mexico to a hero’s welcome.  A number of the pilots ended up becoming generals in the Mexican Air Force in later years.  

The Aztec Eagle’s squadron remains active today.  It is the only military unit from Mexico to engage in combat outside it’s borders.

In addition to the pilots, Mexico contributed in other ways. 

Although it was adamant about sending ground trips, Mexico did allow the United States to recruit Mexicans to the American Army. Between 1942 and and 1943 almost 7,000 Mexicans volunteered to fight for the the U.S.  In fact, the embassy was so overrun they had to close.

Nevertheless, somewhere estimates of 15,000 to 400,000 Mexican-born troops enlisted.  Statistics are not clear.  However, almost 2,000 would become casualties.

Many were decorated and four who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during combat in the European and Pacific Theaters of war.

Viva Mexico, Cabrones!

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004. Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico http://www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront. If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi. It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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HOLD MY DRINK FOR A MOMENT…

I PROMISE NEVER WILL I EVER…

HOLD MY DRINK FOR A MOMENT…

Originally Published the Week of Feb. 1, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

          They say no good story starts with the phrase,”We stopped in for one glass of white wine.”

          However, lots of stories, both good and bad, start with, “Let’s just have one margarita!”

          As the owners of a beachfront restaurant/bar in La Paz for almost 15 years and hosting fishing clients for almost 30, we’ve witnessed a lot of alcohol-related stories.  Most have been good.

          Just fun.  Folks having a good time on a well-deserved and long-anticipated vacation where the sand is warm, the waters are blue and the drinks are icy cold.

          Other stories?  Well…maybe not so good. 

         Usually, alcohol pain is “self-inflicted.”  As much as one can joke that you’re just a “victim,” no one forces you to down another shot or order another umbrella drink.

          And I can’t tell you how often, I’ve heard, ”Hold my drink for me for a minute.”  Promptly followed by some questionable lapse of judgement.

          I’ve always suspected that some drinks get you “more drinker” than others.  Or are more conducive to the dreaded hangover.

          Likewise, there are so many myths regarding avoidance and cure of the hangover.  Of course, you can simply abstain from drinking.   

         Not much fun in that. 

          First things first.  Obviously, the more you drink and the frequency at which you consume the drinks will have an effect. Likewise, the more alcohol in the drink will have an effect.

          However, all things being equal, drinks with bubbles will get you there quicker.  Therefore, drinks like champagne or drinks where you add a carbonated beverage like soda will hit your bloodstream faster.

          Consider this as well about the alcohol content of the liquor itself.  Tequila runs about 40-50% alcohol.  Vodka and rum can go 60-95% while gin and whiskey run between 30 and 50%

          By comparison a beer while top at 4-6% and wine about double that.

          So, how do you help keep a lid on getting totally blitzed?

          You’ve got nothing to prove.  Sip instead of chug. Sip instead of doing shots. 

          Water and food are your friends. Eating before drinking helps slow down alcohol absorption in your system. 

         Drinking water before, in-between, and after drinks helps to keep you hydrated and helps your body better absorb alcohol.  Additionally, it helps you slow down your drinking.

         Well…assuming you forgot all about that and you passed the point of no return.  The party is over and you’re feeling 10 feet tall and bullet proof. 

          Or not.  You know you’re headed down the rabbit hole.

Two rules.

          Don’t drive, knucklehead.

          Second, there is nothing…absolutely nothing you can do to lower your blood alcohol level.  What’s in there is in there. 

          You drank it…own it.   And hope there’s not breathalyzer in your immediate future.

          A cold shower might suddenly jerk you into feeling alert, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less intoxicated or impaired.  

          Same with coffee.  It might make you look and feel alert enough to fool someone, but your blood alcohol will still be the same.

          Either one is only temporary anyway.  You may still end up praying at the porcelain alter anyway and barking like the proverbial seal aka “throwing up.”

          Water and lots of it is the best thing you can do for yourself.  And lots of sleep.  Or, assuming you’re ambulatory and not walking like Gumby, exercise is also good. 

          But, in reality, few of us think of exercising after a good party.

          Now, assuming you make it through the night.  And here it comes…the hammer of the gods…your hangover.

          A few myths. 

         Those sugary drinks you had at the cantina did not make the hangover worse.  They only made the drinks taste better so you drank more of them faster.

          Having another alcoholic beverage (“hair of the dog”) makes no sense either when you wake up.  It might make you feel better for a bit but it will only temporarily return you to your happy place.  The hangover is still coming.

          Many us us grew up grabbing an aspirin or ibuprofen before hitting the rack for the night or first thing the morning-after.  It makes sense. 

          Grab a pain reliever from the medicine cabinet. 

          However, doctors say that ultimately, pain relievers can add more acidic irritation to your stomach and guts that you already punished with alcohol. 

          So, what do you do?

          Again, water and food are your best friends on the backside of your evening bender.

Water helps re-hydrate. 

         If you’ve been vomiting in addition to being dehydrated, it really helps to replace lost electrolytes with Gatorade (lots of sugar) or the milder Pedialyte which is often given to babies.

          At our bar in La Paz, we keep a good stock of both but also have found packets or tablets of straight electrolytes dissolved in a bottle of water work wonders without the added sugar.

          Frankly, they’re great anytime someone is feeling dehydrated.

          As far as food, skip the greasy lumberjack special or the taco special combination in the morning.  Be kind to your stomach.

          Good carbs such as toast or crackers will make you feel a lot better. Weak chicken broth with some rice or bananas also help the situation.

          Then get back to sleep.

And promise yourself “Never ever again will I…”

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________ 

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

Website: 

www.tailhunter-international.com

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

Phones: 

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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DESERT GHOSTS

Someone had a dream at one time…or at least a good idea!

DESERT GHOSTS

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 12, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

           I’ve always had this weird (not creepy) thing about looking at (and into) people’s houses. 

         At the time I’m writing this, we’re driving across country to the fishing and hunting shows in various cities around the western U.S.  We’ve exhibited at these shows from January to April for almost 30 years to talk to folks about fishing with our company in La Paz.

         We have our booth packed up and are on our way to the Wild Sheep Foundation Show in Reno, NV.  Over the past 3 days, we’ve driven across Texas, New Mexico and Nevada.

         My wife Jill is driving and I’m tapping out on my laptop.

         And looking at people’s houses. 

        I like to guess what they do.  I’m intrigued by their story.

Why they happened to plant themselves in this particular area near that particular town.

         Or in the middle of nowhere.

         I look at what’s in the yard.  Kid’s toys?  A rusty swing? A bunch of old cars?  An RV?  Five later model cars and a mini-van?  Or 5 cars on concrete blocks?

         Is the yard done?  Is there even a yard or just tumbleweeds and a cotton field in the back. 

         There’s a washing machine on the front porch of a single-wide modular.  Or is there a swimming pool out back?

         You can tell a lot.

         Driving up and down Baja, I have that same fascination.

         But, it’s not the occupied homes that I focus on. 

         It’s the empty houses.

        Empty buildings have a story as well.  And sometimes they talk.

        These are the abandoned homes and  buildings standing ( or leaning) in the middle of the Baja landscape.  You find them built on the side of a hillside.  Or they are tucked onto the bank of an arroyo or still standing observant by the side of the highway.

Baja - Mision San Fernando Velicata - Ruin - Shack

         Dilapidated.  Wind, sun-baked and weather torn.  Collapsing roofs and leaning walls.  Warped and sandblasted wood.  Maybe some leftover traces of color or paint.

         The Baja is not kind to old buildings left unattended.

         Fascinating head-scratchers.  I wonder about those stories.

         Why here?  It’s the only house for miles.  What were they thinking?

        No obvious source of water.  No towns or communities nearby to drive to…or if the house is that old… nothing nearby to walk to…or ride a cart or burro to.

Is this as far as the got?  Is this where the donkey cart finally busted an axle?

         Maybe the few small tree trunks stuck in the ground at crazy angles are evidence of an old corral.

         Stone, bricks and adobe are handy. 

         How did the even get the wood to build?  It’s not like Baja has a lot of treeworthy lumber around.  Did the haul it here?  From where?   

          Baja isn’t exactly known for its forests.

         Occasionally, you find a small cluster of buildings.  Or what’s left of them.

         Perhaps an extended family.  Again, why here? And what happened to them.

         Maybe as often happens, parents settle.  Raise kids in the hardscrabble environment.  Kids move on as they grow up.  Parents pass. 

         Or the parents pass and the dream of living in the middle of nowhere is not the dream of their progeny.  They move on.

         Buildings are abandoned.

         I’ve never trespassed, but if it looks like it doesn’t matter, I like to stop.  Normally, it’s not like anyone cares.  There’s no one around for miles and I doubt the tumbleweeds or jackrabbits care.

         But, poking around old buildings…they sometimes talk to you if you look.

         A blackened brick outdoor firepit.  A sign that there was probably no electricity when these folks lived there.  They cooked outside.

         No signs of plumbing of any kind.

         Rough carpentry.  Uneven door and window frames.  No signs that glass ever filled those windows.  

         Old uneven hammered rusty nails protrude from splintering dried wood.  These didn’t come from Home Depot.  They look like tiny sharpened spikes…handmade.  Probably pretty precious back in the days.

         In fact, there are signs that furniture and parts of the buildings may have been bound together with what remains of rope or old leather strips.

         I find an old bent spoon in what would have been a dirt floor.

         I have found an old coin or almost rubbed smooth and largely unidentifiable.

         There are dark patches along walls where perhaps candles or old fuel lanterns once burned. 

 I found lots bleached fish bones around the back of one building.  They ate fish?  We were 10 miles from any body of water.

         I once found two old crosses and a weathered upright stone marker side-by-side. They were in the shade of an old scrub tree back behind what may have been an old shed or barn.

 Nearby the remains of a cracked clay vase that long ago may have held desert flowers.  A family cemetery?

         Whoever lived in these places are long gone and forgotten.  But, there was a story here at one time.

         I think in some sense, moving through these old living spaces makes them somewhat more real.  A reminder that real people and families once lived here.  Had dreams here. 

         And moved on.  While the desert moves back to reclaim everything.

images

That’s my story!

Jonathan

______________

 
Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

 

Read Full Post »

END GAME

END GAME

Originally Published the Week of Jan. 3, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Back in the day when I lived close to the somewhat remote East Cape area of Baja, I loved getting invited to someone’s house for dinner.  It was a special treat.

         First and foremost, it sure beat the one-pan meals I would usually cook for myself.  The food at these gatherings would be simple, but they were always the best-of-the-best spread they had to offer and tremendously delicious.

         I remember barbecued meat or fried fresh fish.  Often it was something they had caught or one of their own animals.

         I was a grateful beneficiary to the sharing of the largesse.

Of course handmade tortillas, beans and rice and maybe grilled vegetables or fresh cheese!  Dang.  I secretly always hoped there would be that fresh farm cheese.

         Plates and cups never matched. Lots of well-used plastic. The cups seemed to be those indestructible plastic/ acrylic things we all had in our cupboards back in the day.  Free with a fill-up of gas (or a steak knife) or were bought from the neighbor’s kid raising money for school.

         Somehow, those same cups magically migrated to Mexico!

 Silverware was burnished and scratched.  No big thing.  Lots of paper napkins.  No matter. 

These folks might not have much, but everything was always spic-and-span  and pridefully clean in the home.

         It was not only a treat, but an honor to be invited to the family home.

         Often, there might be another family or two… or extended family member at the table as well.  A few cousins.  A tio or tia (uncle or auntie).  Maybe some neighbors.

         Again, sharing the wealth.

         It was typically a pot-luck kind of affair from what I could tell.

         Cousin Jose and his family might bring some fresh ceviche.  The neighbors ferried over a Tupperware of salsa fresca. 

         It seemed the uncles would ALWAYS bring beer.  Always welcome and they seemed to drink the majority of it!

         After dinner there was always talk.

         Just fun and interesting conversation and b.s. directly dependent upon the level of beer consumption taking place.

         My Spanish at that point wasn’t full-speed, but it was enough to participate and I often became the center of the chit-chat.  It was usually something of an enjoyable question-and-answer session.

         Parents…well, the moms asked about food and markets and clothes.  Dads would talk about fishing or travel. 

Politics were big.  So were sports.  The New York “Yonkeys” and the Los Angeles “Doyers.” Andale!

         Recently, I was thinking about some of the great conversations with the kids. 

The younger girls would ask about celebrities, fashion and movie stars. 

         Did I really see movie stars all the time and every day?

         What is Hollywood like and tell them about a shopping mall.

         The boys naturally wanted to know about American cars.  American music.  Of course…American girls.

         Remember, these were the days before the internet was rampant and everyone had a cell phone. Often folks didn’t even have TV’s back then out there.

         I was sort of the welcomed travelling bard.  Folks were anxious to hear what was going on “out there.”  Tell us some news.  Tell us a story.

         With the kids…

         Often, we’d get into the typical, “What do you want to do when you get older?”

         At the time, it was just fun conversation, but looking back, the responses were really eye-opening.

         American kids talk …doctors…lawyers…executives…business owners…teachers…travel…own a ranch…own a sportscar…be a firefighter…engineer…computers…be a rockstar…attend a great university…be a pilot…marry a rich doctor…lawyer…blah blah blah!

         For these, mostly rural Mexican kids, the bar wasn’t quite so high.

         Most wouldn’t get past the mandatory 6th grade.  So, like all kids, many were eager to “get outta school” to go to work.

         Not so much to be independent like American kids…move out…have a car…get an apartment.

         These Mexican kids were eager to work so they could help the family.

         The aspirations weren’t so lofty.

         “I will help my father catch fish for the market.”

         “I will go to work at the farm picking vegetables.”

         “I would like to move to the city.  Maybe work at a restaurant or a hotel.  Maybe clean rooms or wash dishes.  I can stay with relatives.”

         “I have a boyfriend and we will get married and have kids.  He has a good job driving a truck for the market.”

         The ambitions were much more tempered.  Perhaps much more pragmatic in the big picture.  

 

         The big difference is that these are somewhat the kind of jobs American kids might do “on their way” to do something else.  Like while they are in school.

         Or a summer job.

         Or for some pocket money.

         For these Mexican kids, they are not jobs before they move onto something else. These are their CAREERS.

         This is what they will most likely do for the rest of their working lives.

         Forty or fifty years from now, it’s very likely, many will still be washing dishes or cleaning someone’s hotel room.  Some will still be trying to catch enough fish to sell to the market and feed the family.

         That fruit or vegetable farm still needs laborers.

         That girl wanting to be married has raised another generation herself.

         These “occupations” are the end game.  There is no “glass ceiling” because there is no glass. That solid ceiling they see is the height of ambition and opportunity.

         I’m trying to imagine some of the summer or school jobs I took in younger days.  Could I have worked in a warehouse the rest of my life?  Or driven a taxi? Or sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door? 

         Nothing wrong with good honest labor. 

         For Americans, we have the ability to envision better things.  We can hope that around the corner our ship will come in.  We have that ability to dream.  It may never happen, but we can strive and hope.

         Our end game has continuum.

         For these youngsters, their aspirations are limited to immediate and restricted finite opportunities.  The end game is for life.

         Do not pass GO.  Stay in the same square.  Repeat.

 

That’s my story

Jonathan

______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter.com.

They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront.  If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: jonathan@tailhunter.com

Or drop by the restaurant to say hi.  It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!

_____________




Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International


Website:

Mexico Office: Tailhunter International, 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico


U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter International, 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942


Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:  http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Video Channel:

“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”

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