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Archive for the ‘green’ Category

YOU’RE NOT HERE TO FISH?

Definitely this is NOT a taco.

YOU’RE NOT HERE TO FISH?

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

Over the years, I’ve watched the complexion of the tourism industry and tourism in general evolve.  It has been an interesting observation.

Being in the tourist industry ourselves, we have a courtside seat to all the comings and goings.

Years ago, it was the fishermen.  No two ways about it. 

Fishing built the tourism industry.  It’s what initially opened up Baja and much of the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

It was the exotic frontier teeming with fish and popularized by those early adventurers and writers who elaborated about deserted hidden beaches; sunshine; waters teaming with boiling fish and a wonderful people.

At first, it wasn’t easy to get to.  But that only increased the allure.

But, as time went on, the tourism gates edged ajar enabling more visitors to make their way down the coast.  The gates have never closed.

It has never stopped being a wonderland to so many. 

At first, mostly the guys came down.  The journey could be long.  The visit often did not accommodate many conveniences like air-conditioning, ice, electricity, gasoline and soft beds or even running water. 

But, again with time, all of these came to pass along with swimming pools, spas, shopping centers, and all the modern accoutrements.

Not co-incidentally, tourism surged again.  Not surprisingly, the mix of families, wives, kids and others increased.  International tourism also burgeoned.

Today, Mexico is one of the hottest vacation destinations in the world.  Not just for Americans but for world-tourism as well.

But, no matter who was arriving off that cruise ship, plane or bus, there was always the underlying attraction of the ocean. 

Whether for fishing; diving; watersports like boating; beaches; real estate; photography…for the most part, the water was a common denominator for a vast majority.

Everyone was attracted by that big blue ocean out there in some way, shape or form. 

Whether to catch the fish of a lifetime; lie on a beach; to go on a booze cruise; to build a house; to watch whales; to get married or honeymoon; to retire;  to surf; build a house…the ocean was always the seductive siren.

 I mean, no advertises empty desert.  Right?  It’s always “ocean view.”

But lately, I’ve noticed a big difference.

People are arriving who have really no interest in the ocean or the proximity of the water.

They’re here for the food.

A “Foodie” invasion.

Not just folks who like to eat.  These are people who are hardcore into what’s on their plates.  They study.  They research.  They take notes and photos.

They post up photos of their meals on all the social media platforms.  “This is what I’m eating tonite!”

They’re not just here to eat a taco from a food cart or have nachos at happy hour.

I’ve often written about the food scene down here in Mexico.  It’s often about stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things.

But these are whole different class of visitors.

I’ve found myself taking vacation reservations for folks who don’t ask what’s the best time to catch a marlin. 

They don’t really care if that hotel has a spa.  They don’t ask about the water temperature for scuba diving.

But, they do want my opinion about which restaurant has the best chicken mole dish. 

Or they want to know if I had tried the bearnaise sauce they’re making at some new chi-chi restaurant on the waterfront.  Is the restaurant really using an organic goat cream reduction?

Yup!  As if I knew!

gourmet-vs-gourmand-usage-6072-09ae1d24289a50ea6ce3c9e8005a7796@1x

I’ve been asked my opinion about sautee’d bluefin eyeballs or the French pastries some hot-shot chef is getting raves about at a new bakery.

These folks have researched online menus and have check-lists of eateries they intend to visit or certain dishes they specifically plan to try.  

You’ve heard of a “pub crawl.” 

I’ve had folks do things like “only taste test ceviche” at a number of restaurants.  And take notes!  Or only tacos made from triggerfish or baby octopus.

Or they are on a “food tour” to taste the difference in fish preparations between various regions such as eastern Mexico vs. Southern Mexico vs. Baja. 

There’s a big difference in preparations.  Spices and herbs.  Presentations. 

In the same way barbecued ribs might be different in Alabama compared to Minnesota in the U.S.  Or chowder on Boston’s waterfront versus San Francisco’s Fisherman’s wharf.

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Stuff like that.

Food popularity is big business.  Just check out the Food Channels on TV sometime.  There are dozens of cooking shows 24-7 and the hosts are international food rock stars.

Yes, many of our visitors are changing and seeking culinary pursuits these days.

Some are actually chefs themselves.  A few have been cookbook authors.  Some are just gourmet adventurers. 

Some just like to eat and get that same cosmic rush over a bowl of pasta as the folks who come to battle a big fish; or ride a wave; or touch a migrating whale.

To each their own.

With the growth of so many higher-level restaurants in Mexico and Baja, being a “foodie” is a sport.  It’s a hobby.  It’s an obsession. 

Buen provecho! 

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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HOMETOWN DISADVANTAGE

Just doing their jobs!

HOMETOWN DISADVANTAGE

Originally Published the Week of Oct. 30, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

If you’re a sports fan, you know about the term “homefield advantage.” It’s a fairly common term.

It means the home team has an edge.  It means, they know the field of play or know the court better.  They know the crowd and vise versa. 

They know how the ball bounces and calls by referees and penalties seem to favor the locals.  The local team gets the better locker room, etc.

It’s like that in other sports as well.

In fishing, I’d rather fish with a guy who has lived all his life on a certain stretch of river or ocean than a guy who tells me he’s fished all over the world.  There is nothing like local knowledge.

When I was a trial attorney, we hated to do a trial in another city or especially a “hometown” city or small town where everyone knew each other.

We called that “getting homered.”   We knew the odds would already be stacked against us.  

A perfect example was a case my first had against the Disney company in Orlando, Florida.  

Impossible to get a completely impartial jury or judge when everyone in the city either worked for Disney; had family or friends who worked for Disney; or had stock or other business relations with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

It’s just the way it is and you play the cards you’re dealt.

It worked the same way if they came to our town.

That subject came to mind this past week on two separate occasions at our restaurant.  On both occasions, the tourists I was chatting with were complaining about Mexican laws.

One had been pulled over for speeding.

Another had been pulled over for going through a stop sign.

One said, he knew he was going faster than the posted speed limit, but he was “keeping up with the flow of traffic and there were still people speeding faster than me!”

The other admitted he only drove through the stop sign because he saw others driving through the stop sign.

Fortunately, neither of them got tickets which is pretty unusual as police officers tend to ticket tourists most times.  However, it’s still unnerving  anytime a cop stops you.  

It’s natural for anxiety levels to jump when flashing light bars come up behind you with that loud WAH-WAH siren blowing up in your ears. 

Even moreso in Mexico, I imagine.

Neither spoke Spanish, but could garner from the respective police officer that they had gotten stopped for their specific traffic infractions.  The officers did speak a little English and were professional and polite.

Both admitted that when the police officers approached, their brains went into overload wondering about jail, shakedowns, fines; etc.  All the terrible traffic cop stories they had heard.

Gratefully, the officers told them what they had done wrong and basically they received a stern lecture about being safe and a warning to be careful.   One even said, “Enjoy your vacation.”

Breathing collective sighs of relief, they drove on…ever more cautious, but understandably looking over their shoulders through their rear-view mirrors.

I did explain to them that laws are not applied equally.  Yes, there are home-town advantages and tourists (visiting team) should be aware of those inequities.

For one, tourists in rental cars stand out.  No two-ways about it.  You probably have a shiny late model car with no dings or bondo covering old accident damage.

Rental cars are clean. All the tires match.  The rental car has “car rental stickers” on the bumpers or rear hatch…a dead giveaway.

Plus there are the simple nuances of driving down here.

First and foremost follow the posted laws and use common sense about speed.  Use your turn signals.  Observe passing and turn rules, etc.  Basic stuff you learned in driver safety instruction.

But, beyond that, in Mexico just assume everyone else has the right-of-way.  Not kidding. 

It’s the safest thing to do.  No matter who gets to the stop sign or corner first or who is making the left turn assume they will take the shot. 

It’s not rude.  It’s just the way it is. Drive defensively.

By the way, stop signs are “just a suggestion.”  It’s a common joke.  Never assume someone is going to actually stop at a stop sign.

Or a traffic light.  Or, when it turns green, people zoom off the mark.  Let them go!

Usually, whichever vehicle has the most “momentum” has the right of way.  Let them go ahead and don’t get mad.  It’s just the way it is.

All vehicles are supposed to drive on the right lane.  The left lane of a two-lane highway is technically ONLY for passing.  Everyone else stays to the right.

So, pass someone then get back on the right side.  You CAN get a ticket for driving in the left lane without passing.

Open containers…ah yes.  It’s Mexico so it must be OK, right?  Beer drinking is what everyone does. 

No.  No. No.

It’s what lots of locals do.  Openly driving with a beer can in hand or six packs between the legs is common.  Or tossing a can out the window and all the passengers clearly are also enjoying cold ones.  No big deal.

I see it daily as folks drive by our restaurant on the waterfront.  I wave.  They wave back with a big smile.

It does NOT apply to you.  Definitely a big no-no.  Guaranteed to get you pulled over. 

Seatbelts?  What seatbelts?  Missing taillights?  No problem.

Not allowing someone on a crosswalk the right-of-way?  You should have stopped.  Even if everyone else almost runs them over.

Hometown rules.  Just the way it is.

Be careful.  Use common sense and safety first. 

Oh, and if there’s an accident.  No matter what.  It’s always going to be YOUR fault.  So, don ‘t get in an accident.  Best way to buzz-kill your vacation.

In all fairness, the police are not specifically out to target tourists.  In 30 years down here, almost all my interactions with law enforcement have been professional and often cordial if not downright friendly. 

I have gotten the occasional ticket, but I deserved it (went the wrong way on a one-way street and another time drove through a stop sign).  Like law enforcement everywhere, they have a job to do and it’s not an easy one.  

They drive by our restaurant or when we pass on the street, we wave.  They wave.  Often get a smile.  I just never try to give them a reason not to smile back! 

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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EAVESDROPPING ON A ‘BRO’ SESSION

EAVESDROPPING ON A “BRO” SESSION

Originally Published the Week of Oct 18, 2022

Sometimes you can’t help but eavesdrop on a conversation.  I know it’s rude and we shouldn’t do it.   However, there are times when you can’t help but be drawn in.

Besides, if the folks are talking loud enough for everyone to hear…gosh…the conversation is out there!

So, I was sitting at one of the tables outside our restaurant here in La Paz.  Besides me was a group of 7 or 8 guys having a cold one after work before going home.

Just like guys everywhere stopping off to decompress a bit.  Dudes.  Bros. 

All local guys.  I knew some of them.  Others not.  But, all nice guys.  Working guys.  Mexican blue collar.

One worked in a hotel as a bellman.  One was a hotel assistant manager. 

From what I could tell, two of them were waiters from different restaurants. One was a shuttle driver.  I think one was a taxi driver and one was a charter captain.

And they were talking about tips and tipping. 

Always an interesting subject since we’re in the hospitality business ourselves with our fishing fleets, restaurant, shuttle company and association with many La Paz hotels.

They were telling stories about tips…mostly bad tips and laughing about it.

Now, I’m not agreeing or disagreeing, but just relating some of the conversation.  Not trying to create controversy about it. 

They were talking about the best and worst tippers.

All agreed that overall, gringos were the best tippers.  Overall.  Some better than others, but overall way above average.

From what I could tell, Californians and people from New York were the best.

Japanese from California were very good.  Chinese often wanted a discount, but in the end tipped well. 

The guy who seemed to work at the reception desk of some hotel said, that when he knows they are Chinese, he offers them a high rate, then discounts it to the rate he was going to give them anyway.

“They just want to know they were getting a deal and they are happy.  My boss is happy.  It’s win-win.”

He also said some folks from “eastern U.S.” were also like that.  They wanted to know they got a “deal.”

They guy who was a charter skipper said it was funny that some of the people who spend all day telling him about their big business or what they own are the worst tippers.

“I hear about all their big houses or all the places they travel to or their fancy cars. All nice and good.  Very interesting.

But at the end of the day we have lots of fish.  I do a good job.  I get a 5-dollar tip!”

“Once I had a guy who was related to the Farrari Family in Italy. Big money.  Fancy fishing clothes.  Nice fishing gear.  His wife was dressed like a fashion model to go fishing.”

“End of the day, he reaches into his pocket and gives me his pocket change.  Coins!  It added up to 40 pesos (2 dollars!).”

Of course, this lead to who are the worst tippers.

They all agreed that Canadians and Europeans are not big tippers.  But, the worst tippers were Mexicans from the United States and local Mexicans.

They actually all raised their glasses to that one .

“Many of the Mexicans from the states like to impress that they speak Spanish and many of them sure have a lot of money.  But they are cheap tippers mostly.  They leave very little or they give you a handful of coins or just a few dollars.”

The fishing captain said they sometime give him a bonito or two and think that’s “my tip” even though it’s junk fish.

The hotel guy said the ladies who clean the hotel rooms say that after several days, they’ll get two dollars left on the dresser.

The taxi and shuttle drivers said they almost never get tipped at all.  Definitely, locals never tip.

All of them agreed that the locals were the very worst.

The waiter said that many of his fellow waiters tried to avoid waiting on the locals. Everyone wants to wait on the gringo tables.

“Of course, we try to always give good service to everyone, but it’s difficult when you know that your service isn’t appreciated.”

He said, “Locals will run up 100 dollars for a meal for a family.  And then they will leave 1 dollar in coins as the tip.” 

“It’s just the way locals are.” said another. “If you have not worked in the service industry, you don’t understand how we all depend on tips.”

“Again, often the wealthiest Mexicans who have the money to eat at restaurants or stay in good hotels are the worst tippers.”

Several of them agreed that they could almost tell where people were from by the way they tipped.  

Overall, most of them said that the bad tips evened-out with the good tips at the end of the day.  But, just disappointing how some people can be such poor tippers or not appreciate their hard work.

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 »

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.”

Read Full Post »

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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DON’T TOUCH ME THERE!

A DEFINITE NO!

DON’T TOUCH ME THERE!

Originally Published the Week of Aug. 16, 2022 in Western Outdoor Publications

Jimmy and his dad came down here to La Paz to fish with our fishing fleet.  They had forgotten to bring sunscreen.

As one of them told me, “We’re two Casper-white guys from Washington and we never see the sun where we live!”

So, I sent them down a few blocks to the local grocery store that night.  They went out fishing the next day.

When they came back, I saw two of the reddest men I have ever seen.  Both Jimmy and his dad had also (unwisely) taken their shirts off while they fished. 

About the only part that wasn’t crimson were the “raccoon eyes” from their sunglasses.  And obviously under their shorts and I didn’t need to check that out!

They weren’t in pain yet, but I knew it was coming.  They were grinning after a good day of fishing and I don’t think they realized how burned they had gotten.

I asked them to show me the bottle of sunscreen they had purchased.

When I read it, I realized it was some kind of Mexican tan accelerator.  Much like baby oil!  OMG.

I told them they had purchased the wrong thing. 

They told me they couldn’t read Spanish and didn’t know how to ask for it at the store.  So, they bought the bottle because it had a “sun” on it and looked like it was the right stuff.

I just shook my head. 

I was worried that at some point, I might have to send these guys to the local urgent care.  Or, I’d be getting a call from their hotel room in the middle of the night asking for some aloe gel pain relief.

As it turned out, they were fortunately the type of guys that “fry” with very little pain.  But they were fishing for an entire week and even before they left, they were peeling like crazy.

They were fortunate.  I’ve seen some bad sunburns in my 30 years down here running our fishing operation.

Even using sunscreen, I see some ugly burns on ears, tops of thighs, the tops of feet (those spaces in between flip-flops and sandals) as well as the regular places.

So, I figured I’d do some research on sunscreen and there were some interesting facts.

Listen, there’s no disputing that too much sun and those dastardly UV rays can dry and damage your skin.  Sometimes very painfully.  Plus the long-term effects of cancer can’t be ignored.

Facts are facts, but I found there’s a lot of myths about sunscreen as well.

For instance, 30 SPF blocks 97% of the UV rays.  Going higher than that is just marketing.  It’s not only more expensive, but you’re only blocking another 1 or 2 percent at most.

Go for a label that says “broad spectrum” that covers a range of say, “15-50 SPF” for the best protection.

Another one has to do with skin color.  Early on, being dark-skinned myself,  I thought I didn’t need sunscreen. 

It’s a common misconception about dark or olive-skinned folk.  Yes, you do need sunscreen and can still suffer skin damage.

And yes, you can burn just as easily on a cloudy day or windy day.  And yes, you can get burned in the wintertime. Even when it’s cold.

By the way, there’s no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen and manufacturers are now prohibited from using that label.  It can be “water-resistant” but only between 40-80 minutes.

Either way, you should probably re-apply every 2 hours or after you go in and out of the water or are doing a high-sweat activity.

I also never knew that sunscreen expires.  Between my wife and I, we have about 20 bottles of various sunscreens that people have left behind.

The FDA requires that sunscreen retain it’s advertised strength for 3 years.  Many suncreens will have an expiration date on the label . Some do not so you’ll just have to try to remember when you bought it.

Sunscreen also loses it’s effectiveness if the bottle has been exposed to heat or sunshine. That makes sense. 

By the way, hitting the tanning salon before you go on vacation, gives you a head-start on your tan.   It does very little as far as protecting you from skin damage.  So, you still need sunscreen.

I do see a lot of our anglers using sunscreen sprays.

There’s some trepidation among the experts and from me personally .

Sure, it’s convenient.  However…

There’s no way to know if you’re covering yourself evenly when you spray.  Most folks don’t use enough sunscreen to begin with.

It is recommended that you use a teaspoonful just to do your face and neck.  Spray barely covers that!

The medical community also says that inhaling the chemicals from sunscreen can be harmful.  If you’re spraying in a breeze…well, you know…you’ve seen the spray flying all over the place.

Your clothes…your buddy…the boat seat…your fishing gear all get a little dose of spray. 

It’s one of my little peeves to see sunscreen getting on fishing gear.  I think fish can smell oils and chemicals. 

In fact, we know it’s true.  We buy “scents” to go fishing to put on our lures and bait like shrimp, anchovy and squid aromas.

So, I make a point to always wash my hands no matter what I touch.  Sunscreen…my burrito…a cigarette (I don’t smoke, but lots of fishermen do) it doesn’t matter.  I wash my hands before I touch my baits, lures or reels.

That being said, I still make sure the rest of me is covered with sunscreen, hat, long sleeve shirts and sunglasses.   You’d be wise to do the same.

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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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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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

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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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