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Archive for the ‘Dehydration’ Category

SHUT MY MOUTH

SHUT MY MOUTH

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

They say if you own a restaurant, it’s inevitable that your employees will steal from you.  It’s a very accurate truism.

Having worked or managed 14 restaurants plus a catering business, there’s just no way to watch every single employee every single minute.

We’ve owned our own Tailhunter Restaurant here in La Paz now for 13 years on the waterfront.  Employee theft is rampant.  It’s blatant.  It’s uncontrollable.

We’ve had workers who have been with us for years.  Servers, dishwashers, manager, and cooks that we consider family. We trust them.

We provide benefits, vacations, bonuses, health care, personal loans for school and home.  Many have never had these perks working for other employers.

 If you have a problem, come to Jonathan and Jilly.  Close the office door and we’ll figure something out!

Regretfully, some of our best people have been our saddest and biggest disappointments.  And our worst thieves.

Everything from stealing tips to even stealing knives and forks.

We’ve caught managers on our security cameras walking out with cases of ribs or boxes of shrimp.  We have caughtthem smiling into the camera. 

Two of our employees climbed the roof to our upper floors.  They stole cases of liquor.  That was too easy.

Two hours later they came back.  They stole several flat screen TV’s.  Just carried them over the rooftops and down a ladder.

One employee broke into our office and stole the entire safe with the payroll!  It was bolted to the floor!  He was caught smiling into the security camera as well.

On a smaller scale, waiters will jimmy the orders and not give the cashier the full amount.  They pocket the difference.

Packs of tortillas disappear or don’t match inventory. A case of beer disappears.  What the heck happened to the fish fillets that were delivered yesterday?  I know we didn’t sell them.

We recently caught one of our best employees.  He’s a young man I’ll call Omar.  

Omar came to us and we could see he had some potential.  Never worked in a restaurant, but willing to learn.  He started in the kitchen.  Then became a server.

When we were short-handed one night, he stepped in to help our bartender during an evening rush.  The kid liked it and he had talent.

Over the next few months, he developed into one of the best bartenders we had.  Everyone loved his concoctions.  He was great with the other employees.  Omar was a real gem.  A rare find. A favorite.

Then, we caught him red-handed on the security cam.  He was in the upstairs kitchen helping himself to a pot of rice.  Had a nice bowl of it.

Geeze…not him too!

We’ve tried all kinds of ways over the years to curb the theft.  Short of firing someone, most don’t work.  Stealing continues to a larger or lesser degree.

But darnit…employees are really hard to find these days.  Good employees are even harder to find.  Good employees that we really like are an even rarer commodity.  

So we brought the kid into the office.  Omar knew he was in trouble when we shut the door.  Or worse.

I’ve always thought of him as “kid.”  Anyone under 40 years-old working for us these days is a kid.

We wanted to hear his side of the story and why he was stealing rice.  It looked like it wasn’t his first time the way he was easily spooning-up the rice in the video footage. 

Why are you stealing food?

“I was really hungry…”

That hung in the air for a moment.  The way he said it.

It wasn’t like, you or me getting “hungry” and having the “munchies.” 

He started to tear-up.  Eyes were watering .

I always thought he was in his mid-to-late 20’s.  He was only 20 years old.  For the first time, I was seeing him as a real kid.

He really WAS hungry.  He had not eaten.

Turns out this was his first real job with us.  First time he had been trusted with a position and responsibility.

Talking…listening to this kid really for the first time…

He told us he had been abandoned at an orphanage with his sister when he was 8 years old.  Parents just left them.

He bounced around in and out. 

Never got any real schooling.

Never really had a stable home situation.  Lived with his sister for awhile. They would get kicked out or they had to move.  She had her own issues of drugs.

He was never sure where he would be sleeping the next week.  The next month.  The next day. 

But, he always made it to work.

And all his life, there had never been enough food.  Not in the orphanage.  Not living with others.  Not living on his own.

Never enough food.  At night, no food security.  Not knowing where the next meal is coming from.

He was honestly hungry. 

And for the first time, we’re seeing this kid differently. 

These days with the shortage of employees we tend to grab anyone who can walk, talk, breathe and show up.   We often don’t have time to really get to know many of them.

We can’t. I know we should and we do our best.

We are jamming full-speed.  Many of them don’t last anyway these days. 

They quit.  They disappear.  Bring in the next one.

Omar had been a welcome surprise. 

And now here was a kid who was simply hungry.  For a simple bowl of rice. 

We had been ready to possibly fire him.  We were raring to give him a stern lecture or rake him over the coals.  Make an example of him to the other employees.

Over a simple bowl of rice.

The fire was not there. How could we get angry?  He needed a hug and a meal.  Not our vitriol.

Just shut my mouth!

We so take things for granted.  We Americans hear about people who don’t have enough food all the time. 

But they are always “somewhere else.”  They are not the people you are in contact with day-to-day. 

All of us have full refrigerators and pantries.  At 3 p.m., we are “starving” for a bag of chips.  Or “starving” for a candy bar.  We are “famished” to have dinner.

Just shut my mouth.  

We’re going to make some changes.  No one doesn’t eat on our watch.

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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RUN or RIDE IT OUT?

RUN OR RIDE IT OUT?

Originally Published the Week of Sept. 2, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

It’s early morning here in La Paz and still dark outside even though it’s about 7:30 in the morning. Normally, the sun is well on it’s way to sunrise.

But, it’s dark outside because we’re waiting for Hurricane Kay to hit us.  Rain has already started falling although the winds haven’t arrived yet.

Other than streetlights reflecting off shiny wet roadways, the morning is punctuated by incredibly bright flashes of lightning.  It’s pretty ominous and we’re bracing.

It’s not like we haven’t been through these before.  In almost 30 years down here, I think this would be Hurricane 10 or 11.  Maybe more. 

Some years we get them.  Then we can go years without one. Some years, we get more than one.

It’s part of living here in the tropics.  Living the dream, right?

The biggest drawback for us are all our fishermen that are here. 

Originally, Kay was supposed to only be a “tropical storm”.  It has grown up. It has grown big.  Kay is now bordering on being a category 2 or category 3 hurricane.

We saw that there was going to be a storm.  Sometimes they arrive without much warning, but this one was building.  I sent out notices to all our folks flying down that it was coming. 

Check your flight.  Let me know if you want to cancel.  There’s a good chance you might lose a day or two or all your fishing trips to cancelation.

To their credits, I suppose, no one canceled.

“I’d rather be in Baja drinking a beer in the rain than stuck in my office or stuck on the freeway back home” was the general consensus.

But, this morning, I had to inform about 40 fishermen ready to go with gear-in-hand, that we were going to cancel. Overnight, the governor had closed the port.  No boat traffic in or out.

The beaches were already getting hit.  The little storm was turning into a big chugger. 

Buzz kill.  For all of them.  Us.  My captains.  My drivers.  My support staff.  This is what we do and we hate NOT doing it.

But, it is what it is and no one can control the weather.

So, now, the issues become a little more critical.

Will the airports close?

Will we be able to fly out?

What about flooding?

What happens if we lose electicity?

The hurricane has NOT hit us yet.  It’s several hundred miles away, but it’s always drizzling rain.  You can feel the vibe. 

However, I know there’s a mass of people at the Cabo Airport trying to grab any flight they can to get outta town.

I know the roads in some places are already flooded.  Internet and phone access is already getting spotty.

(I’m hoping to finish this column and have enough wifi bars to send it to my editor on time.)

So, here’s my thoughts.

Having been through many storms including historic Odile in 2014,  I’ll be honest. Most storms are just a big inconvenience to most tourists. 

Odile was a massive an catastrophic exception.

Unless you do something truly dumb-bass like crossing a flooded arroyo; jumping into the surf; headed out in a fishing boat in big seas, you’re gonna be fine.

No one gets hurt. 

You might miss your plane.  Or your booze cruise gets cancelled and you miss a day of fishing or something.

Wifi or phone signal goes out so you can’t facetime all your friends back home about what a terrible time you’re having or you can’t watch the latest episode of the “Bachelor”.

You’re ultimately going to be OK.

Believe me, the boss will understand if you’re back to work a day or two late.

It won’t be the vacation you envisioned and you might have the most terrible of times with everything ruined.  But, you’re gonna be OK.

If you are in a situation down here and there’s a storm approaching, you do have a choice of staying or getting outta Dodge.

Remember, if you decide to bail out, the last minute tickets and reservation changes are usually difficult and very expensive.

If you’re just going to run to the airport, remember that a lot of other people have the same idea.  As mentioned, we have Hurricane Kay on it’s way and at this moment, there are 3 hour lines at the Cabo Airport of folks trying to find seats.

If you stay, what will it be like?

What are the chances you’ll lose electricity?  To me, that’s a big one.

Most resort hotels have generators.  So, you’re not going to be losing lights or other services.   If it’s not a big storm, chances of losing power are not very big anyway.

But in smaller remote areas…at small hotels that are older or boutique hotels…if you lose electricity, it can be a totally different matter.

It’s one thing to have your fishing trip canceled and stuck in your room watching Mother Nature.  It’s way different if you have no power.

Forget TV.  Smallest of your problems.

No electrical  means no air-conditioning with 80% humidity.  Ever sat in a sauna?

Many hotels have electrical pumps to pump water into rooms from cisterns.  If you have no pumps, that could also mean no showers or bathrooms either.   No phone charging on top of that. 

That could be really miserable.  We all know people that losing the ability to use their cellphones is even more important than the ability to take a shower or use the bathroom.

Or, you need that phone to check airlines!

Maybe one day we’ll be able to predict these things, and as a vacationer, there’s no real way to prepare once you’re already down here.

But, it’s something to think about.

I gotta wrap this up.  Power is getting wonky and I’m starting to lose our wi-fi signal…again.  Here we go…

It’s like the click…click…click as you ride the rollercoaster and that first hill as you slowly go up before the big drop.

Click…click…click.

You know you’re gonna be fine at the end, but in between you better hold on!

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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NO ME OLVIDES (Don’t Forget Me)

DESCANSO!

NO ME OLVIDES (DON’T FORGET ME)

Originally Published the Week of Aug. 25, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

If you’ve ever driven down the Baja Peninsula or have or had the opportunity for that matter on any Mexican country highway, there is perhaps nothing more poignant then what you see on the side of the road.

Yes, if you’re not driving, stop checking your Facebook messages for a moment.  Or stop taking selfies mugging for friends back home with the beer in your hand.

Plenty of time for that.

Look up.  Look out. 

Yes, you’re gonna see a lot of scrub brush.  Cactus.  Mountains or cliffs maybe in the distance.  Crossing another dry arroyo. The Pacific or Sea of Cortez shimmering off the horizon.

No, look a little closer to the road. 

Down there closer to the pavement zooming by or on the highway shoulder. 

It’s a bit sobering.  It might even make you put your beer down for a moment and give you pause.

And reflection.

After many years down here, nothing characterizes a Baja road more than the numerous crosses and shrines built next to the road. 

Not the occasional burro.  Not the occasional loncheria taco stand. Not the faded billboard for Tecate Beer.  Not the dry desolation that looks like no one has ever been there.

Because, you see the markers and crosses and obviously, someone has indeed been there.  

And then wasn’t.  But someone is trying to remember.

They come in many shapes and sizes. 

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Some sit forlorn and forgotten. 

Crude rusting metal.  Blasted over the years by sun, wind and the other elements. 

Crumbling wooden markers that are deteriorating and eroded by the arid Baja days and freezing nights.

Others are as elaborate or well-kept as if someone visits them regularly.

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Mini concrete block sanctuaries adorned with candles and dusty plastic flowers.  Perhaps a glass-framed painting of the Virgin Mary within.

Or a saint. A little raught-iron fence around it.

Or whitewashed rocks.

Others are built from the local stone of the area into little cairns or grottos.  Perhaps a wooden name hammered on the front.

Some might have some special crucifix made by some skilled craftsman.  Way back. 

You might see a number of markers in a row.  A family?

I have often been asked about them down here.

They are not grave markers although that is often the common sentiment among visitors.   That can sometimes be confusing.  The local name for them is “descansos.”  (Resting place)

But, they do mark a spot where tragedy happened. 

simple cross

The story has it that originally, the practice of marking goes back to the days of the missionaries and conquistadors.  It was a tough trail back then as they criss-crossed the continent for church, crown and gold.

They marked you where you fell.  Then end of your personal trail in life.

So, originally, they truly were grave markers. 

You were covered up and the explorers kept moving. The early pioneers, trappers, soldiers and settlers did the same in the U.S.

But modernly, the spots in Mexico don’t mark the spot of interment.  Rather, they spiritually mark the spot where the “soul left the body.”

So, most often it’s a roadside accident.

And there are a lot of markers along the roads. 

Mexican highways can be notorious for accidents.  Poor construction such as lack of barriers or maintenance; inadequate grading; poor lighting; poor markings and signage have all contributed.

Animals such as goats, cows, burros and horses regularly cross highways.  It is not uncommon for animals to sleep at night on the warm asphalt or gravel especially on colder desert nights.

Add to that the human factor.  Actually it’s A LOT of human factor.

Simple bad driving.  High speed. Alcohol.  Bad judgement or a bad vehicle. 

Living in Mexico, it’s a daily occurrence to see local folk who treat the road like their personal Hot Wheels track and most folks have never had a formal driving lesson.  You pass the test, you get your card.  

Heck, many folks I know do not even really have  licenses.

Rules of the road are “self-regulated” and there are no infractions unless you get caught.

But as you travel, you see these memorials.  The bottom of a curve.  In the mountains.  Rocky areas.  Tricky turns. 

All evident of a violent and untimely place where souls left their bodies.

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Other times, there is no indication of what might have occurred on some long stretch of road.  Perhaps someone just feel asleep.  Perhaps an animal or another car.

Often the memorials are adorned with a mangled car door.  Maybe the hubcaps or side view mirrors and debris from the vehicle.

To go along with the occasional wreath or flowers or glass candles.  Or whatever creative construction has been erected by the survivors.

It’s a fascinating and reflective opportunity if you get the chance to stop to examine some of these memorials to lives suddenly ended. 

Descansando en Paz…resting in peace.

Drive carefully yourself!

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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DUMB-BASS QUESTIONS

A HARD NO!

DUMB- BASS QUESTIONS

Originally Published the Week of Aug. 10, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Over the last 3 decades or so down here, I’ve been asked some crazy head-scratching questions.  I call them dumb questions from smart people.

Hey, I’m just as guilty of opening my mouth before I can put the brakes on and something idiotic comes out.  I do it more often than not.

But, when you run through hundreds of fishing clients and friends each year, you realize that often we are a clearing house for information.

Understandably.  It’s a foreign country.  People speak Spanish.  It can be difficult to navigate.

We live here.  We have answer.  No problem.

So, daily, we get the usual questions about the weather, restaurants, siteseeing, shopping and where to purchase things.  All very typical on a vacation trip.

Then, there are the other kinds of questions that leave us wanting to give a smart-alec response.  But, we hold our tongues and realize that the questions are very sincere and require a somewhat sincere response as well. 

“Will I get wet if I go snorkeling?”

“What happens if a shark bites me?”

“When do the salmon run upriver?”

“How come everyone speaks Spanish in Mexico?”

“What’s the best day of the week to catch a blue marlin?”

“If I’m fishing out on the ocean and have to go ‘Number Two’ and can’t hold it, what happens?”

“How come in Mexico the sun sets in the East?”

We always tell folks there’s no such thing as a bad question. But, I have to admit there’s “dumb-bass” questions like these.

I do my best to provide a deservedly sincere answer.  I grin and try to remind myself that these are honest questions.

There is one subject however, that I get irked about when asked.

I recently got pulled aside by a fishing client who wanted to speak to me alone in my office.  Sure.  No problem.  C’mon in.

I thought he wanted to complain about his hotel shower or tell me he only wanted vegetarian meals for lunch on the boat.

Instead he says, “Dude.  Jonathan.  Where can I score some pot or coke? I can’t find anyone or don’t know where to go. Help me out.”

(pause)

(hard stare and a longer pause)

Are you kidding me? 

Yea, this deserves an honest answer.  Frankly, I’m a bit put out that someone would think I know where to score illicit drugs…in MEXICO!  And yes, this is more than just a dumb-bass question.

It’s a truly stupid question and the kind that will get you in a lot of trouble.

It’s not the first time someone has asked me something like this, and honestly, it never ceases to amaze me when I hear it.  I look at the knucklehead who asked me. 

Maybe I’m just naïve about all this. 

First of all, I tell them NO!  A HARD NO!

It’s not my line or my wheelhouse and I tell them if you go around asking, or you’re solicited, you could very well be talking to a narc who is looking for an idiot tourist to make a bust.   

Or you hang out with the wrong people and you get in even more trouble.

I tell the person if they would enjoy being in a dirty Mexican jail with a bunch of other Mexican guys with a coffee can toilet and zero rights.

Here in Mexico, I remind them that it’s not like the U.S. 

You are “guilty until you prove your innocence.”  Unlike the U.S., in Mexico you are automatically guilty.  And if you’re a tourist…especially an American tourist…you’re triple-dog-dare guilty.

Think long and hard about automatically being guilty!

So, someone could tell a police officer you wanted to buy drugs or a police officer could say you bought or used drugs.  And, it would up to you to PROVE you didn’t do it.

Try that without being able to speak Spanish. 

At worst, your life is might change radically in a bad way.  At best, your vacation is ruined and you’re probably in for a bad few days.

I tell ‘em don’t be an idiot.  Or a victim. 

If you really need a buzz, drink tequila like everyone else. 

If they are already carrying stuff get rid of it.  And yes, I’ve had people actually travel INTO MEXICO with illicit drugs and chemicals.

I get away from them as soon as I can.  Maximum space.  Social distancing to the umpteenth power.

Don’t do it.  Don’t ask me how to do it.

Yes, there are stupid questions.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing
www.tailhunter.com

 

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

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter Sportfishing

8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

 

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

 
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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Things I Didn’t Know About Mexican Etiquette

OOPS!

THINGS I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT MEXICAN ETIQUETTE

Originally Published the Week of July 24, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

The longer I live here in Mexico, the more I realize that there are so many “nuances” to social etiquette that can only be garnered through experience.   Sometimes, embarrassingly so!

It’s not enough to know a language, although that’s a great place to start.  Lord knows after 30 years, I’m hardly fluent.  By most standards, I’m hardly even passable. 

But, I get by. 

I try to learn a new phrase or word every day.  But, even then it’s not just what you say, but how you say it and the context in which something is used.

Like in any country.

There are some things that I learned long ago that are just bad form.  I hear Americans unwittingly say and do things that make me cringe.

For instance, hearing someone ask a local, “Do you speak Mexican?”  Ouch. 

That’s right up there with walking around and committing one huge faux paux of telling folks, “I’m American.”  As if that gives you extra cred.

Or even worse, telling a local, “Well compared to how it is in Mexico, in the United States this is how WE do it…”.

Go ahead and be an arrogant bastard.

Here’s a few other things I’ve learned about social etiquette over time.  Admittedly, I’ve goofed on many of these until I got “schooled.

Where to start…Here are some nuances that I bet you didn’t know. 

It’s rude to stand with your hands in your pockets.  Standing with your hands on your hip signifies you’re angry.  Really?

This is a very macho country on so many levels and it’s part of the very fabric and DNA.  For instance, only men should propose toast at a table. Especially rude for a foreign woman to propose one.

Try to figure out this one…

As a foreigner, you are expected to be on time.  But, if you show up “on time” at a social event like dinner at a restaurant, you’ll be the only one there…maybe for a long time!

It’s quite alright for locals to customarily arrive 30 to 60 minutes or more late.  We see this in our own restaurant constantly.

They’ll reserve a table for 8 at 6 p.m.  Great.  But, by the time everyone shows up, it’s 7:30!

In business, it can really be frustrating.

“On time” for a meeting means your Mexican counterpart might show up unapologetically half-an-hour or more late.  Expect it.

On top of that, it’s considered rude to just “get down to business.

Business in Mexico is largely based on relationships.  Resumes and pedigrees are fine, but locals deal with counterparts they like and trust.

Business…real business, is not done on the phone, text or e-mail.  Even the smallest thing is best done personally.  In many cases, it will ONLY be done person-to-person.

So, expect small talk first.  And it’s expected that you will ask and be asked about family, friends, etc.

By the way, get everything in writing.  A “promise”  culturally means nothing.  It’s part of small talk.  Unless committed to writing, it’s not serious.

If business or entertainment is done over a meal at an establishment, the invitee is expected to pick up the tab.  No friendly arguing at the end.  Not a bad idea to slip your credit card to the waiter at the beginning.

Even if your Mexican associate drinks several cocktails, and you’re sipping your Diet Coke, the tabs is on you.

Conversely, if you are being invited and you are offered a beer, cocktail…even coffee, it’s rude for you to turn it down. 

Or food. 

Accept and take a little or you’ll be seen as being “too good” to accept.

Along those lines, drinking in excess raises eyebrows.  Especially, if it’s done by a woman.

And it’s culturally acceptable if the person you invite to a meal, meeting or social event keeps canceling.  Sometimes at the last minute.  Or not show up at all.

Maddening!

But, you’re expected to keep inviting them or they will assume you were never serious in the first place!

Interestingly, if you do invite folks, usually, they will say “yes” because it’s culturally acceptable and proper.  And even if they say “yes” they might never intend to really show up.

As an American, that sure feels rude!  But, perfectly OK down here.

Here’s one I just learned…always keep your hands above the table. Pass dishes to the left. 

Don’t start eating until the host says “buen provecho.” And never ever cut your salad at the table.  Fold it!

One thing to keep in the forefront is that many Mexicans are very status conscious.  Despite what you may see and hear or seems obvious, Mexico has social classes.

There’s an upstairs and a downstairs.  Socially, there’s not much cross-over.  Sadly actually. 

Upper class stays upper class.  Middle and lower class stay in their lanes as well.

Status is very important.

Therefore, how you dress.  What you drive.  What hotel you are staying in.  Your make-up.  Your jewelry.  Your shoes. 

Impressions are important. Yes, you ARE being watched and subtle judgements are being made about you.

I never realized that until recently. Never dawned on me. 

I’ve been here 3 decades.  My wife and I run several businesses. 

However…I wear shorts every day.  And usually a Hawaiian shirt or printed t-shirt.

And I don’t even have a pair of shoes! 

Because of our work, I’m in flip-flops 24/7.  I wear an old dive watch with a rubber/ plastic wristband . We drive a beat up 1992 Honda Civic!

Sometimes, I even take the time to shave!

This is how I show up.  I am what I am.  Now I wonder how I’ve been perceived all of these years. 

Or not!

None of this is wrong, by any means.  It’s just a different and wonderful culture that you need to adapt to.  As in any country.  It’s how things are done.

However…

I’m definitely going to start showing up late.  And saying “yes” when I don’t intend to actually show up!  When in Rome…or Mexico…do what the locals do!

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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Read Full Post »

WARM BEER and NAVY SHOWERS

WARM BEER and NAVY SHOWERS

Originally Published the Week of July 18, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Understandably, we got a lot of folks from chilly and wet places like Alaska, Montana, Washington, etc. coming to Baja to fish.

Over the years, when I’m trying to entice folks to sign up with us to fish here in Baja with our fishing fleet in La Paz, I laughingly tease by saying,

“The only snow and ice you’ll see down here will be inside the rim of your margarita glass or in your cooler chilling down your beer!”

Well, I may just have to put the brakes on that for a bit.  Hopefully, it’s not an omen of the future, but I have to admit I’m nervous.

This past week, reports started coming in from various spots in Baja as well as the central Mexican mainland that there’s a water shortage and water restrictions.

Yes, it’s pretty common to hear in the U.S. about drought conditions that have been on-going for way-too-man-years.  The Colorado River and Lake Mead are drying up and at historic lows.  Lakes in California are turning to mudholes.

But, you don’t hear about it much in Mexico.  Or, at least you don’t think about it a whole lot.

But, beyond the golf courses and the sculpted swimming pools and the new construction condos and hotels…hey!  It’s a huge desert out there.

Yup.  A big old desert full of cactus and scrub and arid land devoid of water.

All this tourist construction is a fantasy that we’ve artificially managed to use beating back the fact that there are a zillion square miles of parched desert outside the nearby gates.

And the desert is just a dripping-faucet-turn-away from roaring back in a big way.

This past week, areas of Mexico started reporting not just a shortage of water, but actually running out’ve water.  Right. Nothing coming out’ve the pipes.

We started getting inklings of what was happening about a month ago.  We have a small convenience store here in La Paz attached to our restaurant.   We stock the usual, beers, water, sodas and other beverages for retail purchases .

Several popular beverages made on the mainland could no longer be obtained. Apparently, those areas had no water to produce the beverages!  

Because of water restrictions, the factory could not produce any of it’s bottled waters.

This past week, more bad news.

Emergency water had to be trucked into various areas of Mexico as reservoirs, wells and underground aquafers literally tapped out.

Here in La Paz where we live and several other areas of Baja, various neighborhoods were without water for several days.

Water is distributed a little differently down here. 

If you’ve ever been down to Baja, you’ll often notice big plastic cisterns on top of rooftops.  At our restaurant, we have three 1100 liters plastic cisterns on our roof.  

These cisterns look like giant black or tan-colored tubes.

Water only comes from the city, 3 or 4 times a week. 

The city turns on the water.  It’s come in from a little pipe smaller than the diameter of your typical garden hose.  Little more than a running drop.

Consequently, everyone has cisterns to collect as much water as possible for usage until the next time the city turns on the water.  That might be 2 or 3 days.

Well, this past week, the city didn’t have any water to turn on. 

Businesses like hotels and restaurants, need water for normal things like hotel showers, cooking and restrooms.  That’s a lot of water use.

Swimming pools could not be filled. Ice houses that produce bags of purified ice for fishing, retail stores, bars and others did not have any water to make ice.

There was a huge” run” on ice deliveries as businesses started to hoard ice not knowing when there would be ice available again. It reminded me of the toilet paper hoarding two years ago in the U.S. 

At our restaurant, we jammed several freezers full of ice bags.

When you have a tourist economy, having ice to chill beer and make margaritas is kinda important.  Maybe moreso in Mexico where cold beer and icy cocktails are part and parcel to the whole marketing scheme.

Tourists like to brush their teeth and take showers too.  A good thing to have.

“Navy showers” where you rinse…turn off the water…soap up…then rinse off aren’t exactly folks’ idea of a vacation shower.

There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on if you read the local newspapers. 

Current politicians and bureaucrats are blaming former politicians and bureaucrats for not seeing the warning signs.  Accusing each other of not improving the ancient water-producing infrastructure like pipes and wells that are now breaking down or weren’t adequate to begin with.

It’s kinda hard to “wash your hands” of the issue when nothing is literally coming out’ve the tap. 

Stay tuned!

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 »

STOCK PRICES ON Q-TIPS DROP

STOCK PRICES ON Q-TIPS DROP

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

I’m joking, but would not be surprised.

No more covid tests to return to the U.S.  No more of those intrusive “nose probes” with the Q-tips to the back of your brain.

As of midnight Sunday June 12, one of the last vestiges and barriers to travel finally fell.  It’s long overdue, but it’s about time.

For last two years, travelers heading back on international flights to the U.S. have been required to obtain a negative covid test in order to enter the country.

Initially, it required one to go find a testing facility. And this had to be done within 72 hours of the flight back into the U.S. 

As onerous and burdensome as that may have been, the U.S. raised the barrier even higher last November.  Although covid rates had been dropping along with all the protocols, the CDC feared the ominous head of the Omicron virus.

 

So, they removed the 72-hour testing requirement and made it even more difficult.  Folks had to get a test within 24 hours of their international flights back to the U.S.

 

Insofar as tourist destinations in Mexico were already reeling from Covid in 2020 when everything was shut down, it was just starting to get back on it’s feet when the testing was initially implemented.

 

It sent the tourism section of Mexico into a mad scramble to set up testing facilities or find ways to get tests for guests.  It further  had to  assure prospective visitors that it would be easy to obtain.

 

Test facilities were set up at major airports.  Labs popped up everywhere including mobile labs willing to visit hotels to accommodate the demands.

 

Mexico desperately needed to keep the tourists coming back.  It was just getting back a head of steam when the initial testing requirements were implemented.

 

I remember many people suddenly curtailing their vacations and hastily exiting the country when testing started.  

 

And what if you tested positive?   New protocols had to be implemented as well.

 

Ultimately, what a fiasco.  Even moreso when the requirements were increased from 72 to 24 hours before the flight.

 

Of the zillions of folks that came through Cabo Airport alone, barely a handful tested positive and, according to statistics, most were false positives.

 

There was a lot of money to be made by sticking that q-tip up people’s noses.  The tests ranged from 20 dollars to over 100 dollars in costs.

 

Once you took the test, you either had to get a printed copy of the results. Or, one had to get their results on their cellphone.

 

These results had to be taken to the airport.  Every time I went to the airport, my personal observation was that the airlines or health inspectors just gave it a cursory look and directed you to the boarding gate.  No big deal.

 

Believe me, Mexico didn’t want you hanging around with covid either false positive or not.  In fact, you were able to obtain a new test within 24 hours. 

 

As soon as you were negative…off you go!  Adios and please come back again soon.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but it’s YOUR country doing this not Mexico.

 

Also, there were ways around the requirements.

 

I know of some labs that would “guarantee” whatever result you wanted. 

 

Definitely need to get home and work?  No problem, we’ll guarantee a negative test result.

 

Want to stay a few days with a good excuse?  No problem, we’ll guarantee a positive result.

 

Also, this only applied to international flights.

 

Many travelers to Baja, for example, cross the border and fly from Tijuana to their Mexican destinations.  Those are DOMESTIC flights. 

 

Therefore, on the return, they fly BACK to Tijuana and walk, drive back across the border.  No testing required.  No international flight was involved.

 

I had also heard stories of folks who tested positive (with no symptoms) deciding they were NOT going to return to their hotel rooms.  They had to get home.

 

Simple solution.  They flew to Tijuana and easily crossed the border and found a U.S flight home.

 

So…bottom line.  Just like masks.

 

No more testing required.  For now.

 

The CDC says it reserves the right to monitor things and see is some new and crazier viral strain returns.  We’ll see.

 

For now, no tests to come down here.  No testing to leave!

 

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 »

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

MEXICAN BEEF SURPRISES MANY

A couple of years ago, I had some fishing clients come down to fish with us here in La Paz with our fleet.  It was their first trip.

Now, let me post a little background. 

It wasn’t just their first trip to Mexico.  This was their first trip out of the U.S.

After meeting them, I can only imagine the trepidation they experienced deciding to try Mexico.

You and I have travelled all over.  No biggie.  Many folks have not.  I often forget that!

It was obvious from the first evening they arrived off the plane and we greeted them.  They were smiley and friendly, but you could tell there was a level of anxiety and nervousness.

Maybe in the way they would smile, but their eyes darted around.  Or the way they were checking things out.  And the questions they asked.

It was almost like they couldn’t believe they were here.  Or that it was a modern as it was.  Or that we had all the amenities like electricity and had discovered the use of the wheel.  And fire.

Not sure where they had gotten their info or what they must have been reading or envisioned, but I think they half expected open desert and donkey carts when they got here. 

After getting them to their hotel, the first thing they wanted was for me to direct them to a local supermarket.  Understandably, they wanted to do some shopping for their stay with us.  

Not unusual. So, I had one of our drivers take them over to the little neighborhood grocery store a few blocks away.

I figured, that like many of our visitors, they wanted to pick up ice, munchies, beers, etc. for their room and for on the boat while fishing.

I was surprised with what they brought back. 

In addition to the bags of chips and junk food, they came back with bread, cold cuts, condiments, lettuce, tomatoes, peanut butter and jelly.   Lots of it.  And cases of water.

Here’s where I heard the kicker…

They were apparently planning to eat in their hotel room each day. 

Despite the fact that we provided breakfast and lunches on their fishing days…Despite all the restaurants they had passed by on the way to the airport…Despite a perfectly good restaurant in the the hotel…

They planned to eat in their room each day.

From the horror stories they had apparently been reading, they didn’t trust the food or water in Mexico. 

They were gonna wash their faces and brush their teeth with bottled water. Even in their modern hotel, they weren’t taking chances on faucet water. 

(Were they also planning to shower in bottled water? I never asked.  But it begged the question!)

On the way from the airport, they didn’t see the nice restaurants.  They saw ramshackle (in their minds) taco stands on the side of the road with scruffy plastic tables and chairs. 

They saw food vendors on street corners selling hot dogs, tacos, corn and other things from carts and make-shift bicycles.

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And, they saw the cattle roaming the side of the highway.  The cows were emaciated and skeletal.

Thank you and muchas gracias, but they were having none of that.  They were gonna fish and eat sandwiches in their room and go home without any intestinal troubles!

After a sigh and trying to hide my rolling of the eyes, I had to do some explaining.

I told them I could understand buying lots of water.  You want to stay hydrated.  But the hotel water was fine to wash and brush with. 

It was even safe to drink.  However, like most city waters, it just didn’t taste real great.  So, all of us drink bottled water just like up in the U.S.

As far as food and meat, local food was great.  It’s part of the fun of travelling.

If they had doubts, just eat where they saw other people eating.  Or, if they were really nervous, eat where they saw other gringos eating.   That’s the best test of any eatery including street vendors and side-of-the-road stands.

The rule works all over the world.

I explained to them that vegetables and meat, gets inspected like everywhere else.  And I had to tell them, the cattle they see next to the highway is NOT the meat that gets into tacos and dinner plates.

The cattle is free-range cattle that land owners must have on vacant property.  Those animals pretty much forage around and that’s why they look so bedraggled and poor.

Mexican meat, especially beef is often some of the best meat around.  I’ve had some that rivals the beef we get in Texas where we have our U.S. home.  In fact, Mexico is the 7th largest meat producer in the world and the U.S. imports a surprising amount of Mexican beef.  

Often it’s grass-fed cattle from the Mexican state of Sonora which is famous for their beef in the same way salmon from Alaska or the Pacific Northwest or lobster from Maine has an international reputation.

Despite my explanations.  They remained skeptical.

Indeed, they did make sandwiches, but by the end of the week, they came out’ve their culinary shells a bit. At least were eating at the hotel restaurant, although I did see them fishing the ice cubes out’ve their drinks.

(Obviously, the ice cubes “might” be made with unfiltered water. Melted ice was OK, however.)

And presumably, they were brushing their teeth and taking showers!

Can’t convince them all!

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 »

GROUND ZERO MEXICAN STREET CORN

HE’s DA MAN! Senor Elote…the Street Corn Guy!

GROUND ZERO MEXICAN STREET CORN

Originally Published the Week of April 15, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Food trends come and go.  The newest tastiest thing that seems to pervade every menu in some way, shape or form.  The come.  They go.  Some stick around.  Some don’t.

         Fried mozzarella cheese sticks

         Sushi and Hawaiian Poke

         Deep-fried ice cream

         Garlic truffle fries

         Dim sum

         Ramen

         Spam

         Fried Calamari

         Everyone has them in places you wouldn’t normally expect it.  French restaurants putting their own spin on raw fish.  Asian eateries with fried cheese sticks in spicy ponzu sauce and even Spam dishes.  Mexican cantinas with nacho fries.

         Many of these things aren’t “new” per se.  They were just “discovered” by the culinary world and blew up everywhere.

         For instance, I remember eating cold raw fish and marinated fish as a kid in Hawaii.  With cold rice too! 

It wasn’t “gourmet” back then.   It was cold because we didn’t have propane for cooking.  Couldn’t cook!

Just the way it was.  We used lots of soy sauce to flavor everything!

         Years ago, our restaurant in La Paz was the first and only place that served Hawaiian-style poke…fresh chunks of fish marinated and served cold with soy, ginger, sugar, sesame and minced onions. 

         Now, I’ve lost count of the restaurants that serve some variation of it in our city.  Oh well.  I guess imitation is the best form of flattery.

         And, now, the hot new things seems to be “Mexican Street Corn.”  I saw it everywhere the last 3 months travelling in the U.S.  From Texas to Washington State and Wyoming to California.  Menus in diners in roadside truck stops as well as  menus in fine eateries in big cities. 

         I can’t say I blame ‘em.  Not everyone might like fried cheese, or raw fish or garlic on anything. But, it’s a rare person that doesn’t like sweet hot corn.

         In La Paz, where we live, it’s a go-to snack late at night.  A big order can be a whole meal.  And it’s cheap.  If I were still a college kid, instead of all that ramen I ate, I could very well get by with a big cup hot of Mexican street corn.

         Most of the guys in our local neighborhood ride “bike carts” to sell their “Elote.” (corn).  The Elotero’s bike cart is usually a jimmied-together reverse tricycle with one big wheel in the back and two forward supporting a platform and often an awning.

         These eloteros usually come out as it gets dark and set up on a street corner somewhere.  Lines can form quickly. 

         For the more popular carts, it’s not unusual for lines to remain well into the night.  Just like as kids we would hit Jack-in-the-Box or Denny’s after a night partying, a big cup of steaming sweet corn is perfect before heading home.

         Step up and tell the elotero if you want a big cup or small cup. 

         He’ll grab a Styrofoam cup and ladle in some hot kernels from the big pot or basin on his bike.  He fills it about ½ up.

         Then, some thick white Mexican crema.  Mexico’s version of sour cream.

         Then a squirt of Valentina salsa similar to tangy Tobasco.

         Then more corn on top of that.

         Top it with more cream.  Another squirt of Valentina. 

Then a sprinkle of chili powder.  Then a spoonful of salty cotija cheese.  Very much like sprinkling parmesan on your pasta.

Esquites-1

Layer after layer of yumminess.

         He hands you a spoon and a napkin and off you go with your Mexican street corn goodness!  The newer places will also have a squirt of lime juice as well before you head off.

         Many times, you just stand on the street corner with everyone else or sit on the curb.  Or lean on a light pole and start spooning up the tasty concoction.   

         A big cup is maybe 2 bucks at the most.  Often cheaper.  That spare change in your pocket is enough to buy a filling meal of this good stuff.  It’s a deal.  Back in my early days, when all I had WAS pocket change, a cup-o-corn carried me through as my dinner!

         Next time you’re in Baja and wandering back to your hotel room and see the guy on the bike cart with a big vat and an “ELOTE DELICIOSO” sign lettered across it, step up for the original street treat.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

____________________

Jonathan has been writing the Baja Column for Western Outdoor News since 2004.  He lives in La Paz with his best fishing buddy and wife, Jilly, where they run their Tailhunter Sportfishing Fleet for almost 30 years as well as their Tailhunter Sea Level Restaurant on the La Paz waterfront Malecon.  If you’re in town, stop and say hi!)

____________________

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter Sportfishing
www.tailhunter.com

 

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

U.S. Mailing Address:  Tailhunter Sportfishing

8030 La Mesa Blvd. #178, La Mesa CA  91942

 

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

 
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 »

BREATHING EASIER…FOR NOW

OH YEAH!!!!

BREATHING EASIER…FOR NOW

Originally Published the Week of April 25, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

         My wife and I fly a lot for work.  In the past 2 years since Covid, I’ve probably been on close to 20 flights.

         If you have flown at all during this time, you know that travel has been less than enjoyable.  Like everything else.  Rules and protocols. 

         Least of which was wearing a mask in the airport and on flights.

         I just loved being sternly reminded to pull up my mask because I absent-mindedly forgot. Some airline and airport people were unashamedly rude.  Or suddenly power-tripping!

         I get it.  But, don’t ream me.  I’ll happily pull it up or pull it outta my bag.  Chill. 

But, I guess they got a job to do too. Especially those early months when no one really knew what was going on (do we really know now?)

         Or trying to explain something at the check-in counter when you have a mask and the agent has a mask and they are sometimes also behind a plexi-glass screen. 

         Or you’re trying to tell the flight attendant that you’ll have another Coke, please.  

         Or getting stink-eye from someone at the airport or during the flight because you’ve pulled your mask off or sideways for a discreet moment to breathe or eat something.

         Frankly, I’m sure I’m hardly the first person who “pretended” to always  be sipping on water or a drink during the flight so I could keep my mask down.  My wife, Jill, became a ninja about that.

Heck a good number of other passengers had their masks below their noses! 

         But, I’m not going to debate the efficacy of mask-wearing here.  Bigger brains than mine have opined on that subject ad nauseam and can’t figure it out.

         However, this past week, I was on a flight the first morning the mask mandate was removed. 

         A federal court struck down the mandate for airports and airlines and stated that the CDC had over-reached it’s authority. 

         I was flying on May 19th and had just read about the decision the night before.  No idea when it was going to be implemented and, according to my readings, not all airlines had jumped on board.

         So, there I was the early morning of the 19th ready to pull out my mask when the P.A system for American Airlines announced “that masks were now “optional.” 

         I kid you not, there was some handclapping and fist pumping and a lot of smiles!

laguardia-jetblue-rt-ps-220419_1650386514639_hpMain_16x9_992

         I talked to the ticket agent at the counter who was literally giddy along with the other American Airlines employees.  I told her it was nice to see everyone’s faces and smiles again!

         She said they had just received their directive that morning. 

Originally, they had been told that the airlines was going to extend the mask mandate until the middle of May.   The CDC wanted the extra time to come to some decisions about some new Omicron variant.  

         But, she was happy as heck!  Everyone was.

         On the plane, there were announcements from both the flight crew as well as the captain about the repeal of the mandate.

          Again, rounds of applause and high-fiving and hoots! 

         The announcements cautioned that masks were “optional” and asked that everyone be respectful of everyone’s choices.  Everyone had their masks off, however, some older folks kept them on understandably.

         I was next to a 92 year-old-lady travelling for her birthday who was a gem.

 She was smiling the whole time, even under her mask.  She said she was happy to see everyone happy and that it seemed crazy to wear masks all the time.  However, she wanted to keep hers on because…”Well, I’m kinda old!” she laughed.

         Anyway, no one had to pretend they were eating or drinking the whole flight and it was nice to see smiling flight attendants again and interact like normal folk.

         I will tell you that when we landed in Cabo a Mexican airport agent came on and said the mask mandate at Cabo Airport was still in effect.  (Big groan).  However, the opinion is that it won’t be long-lasting and things will probably change. 

         Once out of the airport, everyone pulled their masks off again.

         There’s a few caveats.

         Private places may still require you to wear a mask.  Here in La Paz where we live, you will still see masks by employees in stores, public places and restaurants and hotels.  It’s up to the private owners. 

I only had to pull up my mask one time in the last week.   That was to go into a supermarket.

         Also, despite the repeal of the mask mandate, individual countries may still require masking up.  Depends where you’re flying.

NINTCHDBPICT000654649600

         Note also that there’s a bear on the horizon.

         The U.S. Justice Department may file an appeal against the Federal Court that made the ruling about the masks.   As I read it, the Justice Department might assert that the Federal Court ruling is erroneous because the court lacked authority or jurisdiction over the mandate.

         The Justice Department is waiting to hear from the CDC which is dealing with a possible new Omicron variant that is supposed to hit us.

         However, I think for now the horse is outta the barn.  Cat’s outta the bag.  The happy faces are back.

         Gonna enjoy breathing easier as much as I can for as long as I can.

That’s my story!

Jonathan

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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!

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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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