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Posts Tagged ‘living in Mexico’

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.”

 

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“STAY OR GO? “

Looking ominous!

Looking ominous!

STAY OR GO? 

Originally Published the Week of June 9, 2015 in Western Outdoor News

You’ve been looking forward to this Baja fishing vacation for ages. You’re all set. Baja is calling you. You can taste that frosty margarita and you’ve packed and re-packed your fishing gear a zillion times.

Checklist. Passport? Got it. Toothbrush? Check. Hat and camera? Roger. Extra socks. Are you kidding? Extra underwear? Hmmmm…nah…you’ll just rinse your shorts in the sink.   Unnecessary clothes add weight that could be used for packing fish on the way home!

Even moreso, you’ve promised your boss, co-workers and your mother-in-law you’d bring them all some fish. However, the minute you walk out that door, you’re turning off your cell phone and e-mails.

You’re already humming Jimmy Buffet tunes.

And then, you hear the news. What? Oh no. A storm? A hurricane? Rain on MY vacation? No! No! No! Please oh please no!

It starts with a little blurb on CNN or the little rolling banner at the bottom of the TV screen. But, it’s a slow news day and now your evening news picks it up too. A dozen words of dread. You would swear they did it just to jab you.

“In other news, for you vacationers, there could be a big storm brewing a thousand miles south of Cabo San Lucas. And now back to Joe on the scene with his story about talking monkeys…”

And pretty soon, everyone on your Facebook page is telling you about it because, of course, they all know you’re headed to Baja! They start sending you graphic images of the weather map showing the tell-tale whirling cloud clusters. As if you didn’t know.

Your e-mail box is getting pinged as well. Well-meaning or envious friends are writing.

“Hey, duuuude, I think you’re screwed. Did you know that there’s this big storm…” Man, that’s not cool.”

Whoa…underwear is really bunching up. This can’t be happening. You’re trying to get some answers and the folks who booked you may or may not be responding.   Your buddies are getting into panic mode as well. Rumors are flying.

“Man, I heard from a friend of a friend who was reading online that…”

“The word around town is that…”

This is snowballing. Badly. How do you calm your beating heart and reduce the pucker factor?

Well, keep trying to get in touch with your charter or hotel or booking agent, or whoever booked you. This is where it helps to have someone who actually lives where you are going.   An agent who lives in Seattle might not be much help.

Remember that they have a vested interest in you coming down. No one likes handing back refunds. So, take their opinion with a grain of salt and accept it for what it is. The good ones will give you an honest assessment of the pros and cons so YOU can make an informed decision.

Get online and look up the weather forecast yourself! It seems like the most logical thing, but many folks don’t take that first step. There are websites a-plenty including the National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and many others.

Even for those of us who live here, believe me. We don’t have mystic powers.  We look at those services as well. That’s how we get our weather information. So go straight to the source.   If you ask us, we’re often going to give you the same information you can see for yourself.

That doesn’t mean you should discount what your outfitter, captain or charter guy says.   Sometimes, there’s a lot of value to having someone simply stick their head out the window and tell you if they see storm clouds or bright sunshine!

Your nightly news might have grabbed the story, but a storm 1000 miles away can do many things before it hits landfall.   It could easily peter out. It could veer off. It could turn into a drizzle.

Don’t get worked up for no reason or without all the facts. Or for something that isn’t even a certainty.

Call your airlines. If they are flying in, chances are, it’s OK. But it’s just one more bit of fact to weigh-in.

Here in La Paz, we had something like 18 storm warnings last year in an El Nino season. Only a handful ever dropped rain on us although one of them was a doozy and became the historic hurricane named “Odile.”

As I write this, there’s a storm warning. “Blanca”is heading our way. Everyone is jumpy. The weather forecast changes by the hour. Angst runs high. The memory of what Odile did to us is still fresh.

It’s the 2nd such storm in about that many weeks. The last one, “Andrea” got everyone worked up too.

When it “hit” us…there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Not a drop of rain.  In 4 days, it went “poof!” Adios.   Andrea did rain on someone’s parade way out in the Pacific, but not on Baja.  We fished as usual.

With lower Baja so close to the equator, storms can just be part of life. It’s tropical. Storms blow through. With this current El Nino weather pattern, more storms than normal will be around.

Storms come up sometimes with zero notice and unleash for 15 minutes then disappear. It can be raining in one area, but 100 yards away no rain falls at all.

The weather forcast can show “rain”, but it rains in the mountains 20 miles away which are technically part of the city. In the city folks ar eating ice-cream cones with not a cloud in the sky.

That’s when simply asking someone to look out the window can be worth it’s weight in pesos.

Get all the facts. Make a good decision before you cancel your plans and have to tell your boss you’re not bringing him any fish.

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

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-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

______________

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

 

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942

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

Phones:

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:

http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate

“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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young fisherman

DREAMS SO CLOSE

Originally Published the Week of May 26, 2015 in Western Outdoor News

Everyone has story. One of the joys of living here in Baja is finding out how other folks ended up here cast upon these frontier shores. I get asked all the time.

As interesting as some folks might think my own exodus is, I think other people have a far more compelling tale.

We’ve all heard the stories of undocumented folks who braved the fences, the coyotes, the elements, law enforcement and more to come to the U.S.   I don’t want to get into the ugly politics of all that. It’s a big issue no doubt.

Jaime is a young man, I often see down at the fishing docks. We often chat. He picks up odd jobs cleaning boats and doing light maintenance around the docks. At night, he works part-time as a bartender.

“I make about $20/day when there’s work. Sometimes, there’s no work.”

Jaime grew up in Loreto. Dad took off. Mom passed away early. He had a younger brother and they moved in with a kindly tia…auntie…who had her own hard-scrabble life, but took them in.

As a kid he loved working on the fishing boats and pangas and often got invited to be an ayudante (deckhand) as he got older. He got pretty good. The extra money from the gringos helped a lot.

An older gringo with a small cruiser took a shine to the smart youngster and his fishing talents. With each passing season, Jaime fished more and more with the gringo.

From ayudante, he found himself running the boat and charters for the gringo. The bond became quite paternal. It was hard not to like this skinny good-natured-hard-working kid with the big smile.

Just after his 18th birthday, the gringo bought him a ticket to visit him in Las Vegas. Jaime had never really gone to far beyond the rusticity of Loreto so you can imagine the impression Las Vegas had on the young man.

The Gringo had a flourishing air-conditioning business there in the desert of high-rises and neon. A widower for many years, he had a big house and a big heart.

He asked Jaime to stay. Over the next few years, he taught Jaime to repair air-conditioners. He enrolled him in night courses to get his high school GED. The bright Jaime was a quick-study. He also proudly got his citizenship.

“I was so happy. It was like a dream come true to come from living in an old block and wood house in Loreto to having a job and education and being part of the a great country.” He looked wistfully away. “I was making sixty-dollars-an-hour and it was like being a king.”

He always had an interest in marine biology and planned to enroll at the UNLV.

He applied for loans and grants, but while waiting to enroll he was so motivated, “I would go to the university and just sit in on math and science classes and take a desk in the back so I could listen. It was so interesting and exciting. I couldn’t wait.”

Then, he got a collect call from his brother who was still back in Loreto.

After all those years, dad had shown up again. Kid brother was living with dad. Kid brother had gotten into some trouble and had called from jail. Dad had a heart attack and died.

Please come home to help. You’re needed.

Dutifully, Jaime packed up for a short trip back to Loreto.

In the ensuing weeks, he spent all his money taking care of his father’s funeral and affairs. He lent money to other family and friends. Everyone had a hand out. His brother’s legal woes drained the rest.

Eventually, he ended up here in La Paz at one of the larger hotels. Trying to earn enough money to go “home” to the U.S. while working as a maintenance worker wasn’t going to be easy.

And then, he got a phone call from Las Vegas.

The gringo had suddenly passed away from a stroke.   There was no place to go home to now.

Jaime worked two years struggling and trying to make ends meet on Mexican minimum wage which was about $8 a day.

“I think of how lucky I had been to live in the United States and how much I missed my friend and the work. It seemed my dreams had come true.”

And then the hotel went on strike. And the doors closed. The hotel held all his funds and benefits in their accounts. And he was out of work.

It has been 7 years now. The hotel has never re-opened. He still holds hope that someone will buy the hotel and his funds will be released. Interest has been accruing and he says, “It’s enough to go back to the United States.”

But, it doesn’t look promising.

So, he bounces from odd jobs to odd jobs. His work ethic hasn’t changed and he’s creative and industrious…and hopeful.

“To me, I had it all. I’m stuck here but I still have the American dream of being better. I still want to go to school and be a marine biologist. With God’s help…

His voice trails off. He sighs.

“I have to go clean some boats,” he says. And walks off.

The news is packed with stories of those who arrive illegally and stay. Some try to do it the right way. And still the dream eludes. So close…

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

_______________

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-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

______________

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

 

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942

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

Phones:

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:

http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate

“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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On any given day in the Sea of Cortez, anything can happen!

On any given day in the Sea of Cortez, anything can happen!

PREPARE FOR THE WORST?

Originally Published the Week of May 14, 2015 in Western Outdoor News

I’m often asked about what kind of gear to bring or for suggestions about gear for coming to fish here in Baja.   Depending on the time of year, location, or species sought, that response can get pretty lengthy.

Given what airlines charge for travelling with your gear and just all the hassle of hauling it around, there’s a thin line between bringing too much stuff and not enough. Of course, we want to bring ALL our toys to play with, right?

There’s that old saying about “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” When that’s applied to Baja fishing that doesn’t have to be so cryptically sinister or mean anything bad.

To me, that means if you’re going to put a bait or lure in Baja waters, you never know what’s going to happen. Be prepared for the “worst” …to get your backside kicked and handed to you at any time or any place!

I’m reminded of a time when I was out on the panga perhaps almost 20-years-ago. I was personally guiding an amigo who wanted to go out and fish light tackle.

Being from Washington, the guy brought a lengthy salmon rod…small…thin…whippy and about 8’ long. It was rigged with 20-pound test.

With my captain on the tiller, we motored out’ve the small bay. We had just passed over the drop-off where the turquoise waters gradually turned to the deep cobalt of the Sea of Cortez. We were still within a few hundred yards of the shore.

Anything can happen.

A few tossed handfuls of sardines and we got swarmed by a school of small dorado. My guy pinned on a bait. Fish on! Instant bendo.

On the light rod, it was a kick. I kept the fish around with chum. He caught and released 1…2…3 fish and had the biggest grin. This was exactly what he came for. “This is better than salmon fishing for sure!” he grunted between lifting and cranking.

Fish number four took a deep dive under the panga and my guy leaned hard into the thin rod as it strained in a near-parabolic arc.   The drag sang.

And then it stopped. And the strain on the rod diminished although the line remained taught. Strangely the line was coming up. At a weird angle.

Suddenly, my captains started yelling, “Marlina grande! Marlina grande.”

There off the starboard side a big marlin came up through the blue. Like a big greyish-blue submarine surfacing through the depths, the marlin was laconically swimming aside us.

And it had a small dorado in crosswise in it’s mouth! And my guy’s hook was in the in the mouth of the dorado! And the drag started to squeal again…Oh-oh…

“What do I do?” he yelled.

I instructed him to keep a high stick and told the captain to start the motor! It’s not like this kind of thing happens to me all the time.

And there we were, now attached to a dorado… that was attached to a marlin seemingly happily making it’s way. It was like a big aquatic dog that has a big bone in it’s mouth. Not a care in the world.

My guy couldn’t set the hook. The hook was in the dorado. All he would do was hang on!   And that’s what we did as the big marlin leisurely bulled through the small waves oblivious to us.

No one was gonna believe this.   What could we do? Watch and grin. It wasn’t exactly under our control at this point.

After about 50 yards, the big fish started submerging on a gentle decline. In no particular hurry it was headed deeper.

The rod and reel took on the full weight of the fish.

“I can still feel the dorado shaking his head!” said my fisherman incredulously.

Wow. I figured this wasn’t going to last long. Something was going to give. I mean, 20-pound-test-line and a salmon rod is like hunting elephants with a b.b. gun.

Down went the big fish. Out spun the line. The rod strained, arched and doubled and looked like it was going to break as we stopped the panga. The entire front end of the rod was now in the water.   I had no doubts who would win this tug-of-war!

Then…SPROING! The rod suddenly went slack. Oh no! The inevitable happened. Story-book fish gone!

All three of us momentarily exhaled in a communal shrug. Limp rod. Limp line. Happy but limp spirits to go with it.

And then the rod suddenly arched again and the line zinged tight…And we were on again!

And, in the time it took to type this sentence…a wahoo goes ballistic out’ve the water snagged on the hook and line!

WHOA!!! And before the words could barely leave our mouths. SNAP! The line cut.

And the waters went silent. And the rod went straight…again. And we looked at each other…again. And broke out laughing.

No one would ever believe this.   A sardine bait became a dorado…became a marlin…became a wahoo. Became an incredible story.

You just never know what’s gonna happen when you fish Baja waters. Prepare for the “worst!” But really. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened that day.

That’s my story!

Jonathan signature

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-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

______________

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

 

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com

U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA  91942

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

Phones:

from USA : 626-638-3383

from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report:

http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate

“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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“A Pedestrian Moment of Clarity”

Originally Published the Week of Nov. 23, 2012 in Western Outdoor Publications

It had been a bad day.  I was grumpy.  Not much of the day had gone right.  You know how it goes when you’re out-of-synch with the world.  A disturbance in the force.

It started poorly with no hot water in the shower.

My cell phone battery died.

I had erased something accidentally on my computer.

Friends canceled a lunch at the last minute and I had forgotten to do something my wife asked me to take care of.

The airlines had lost a client’s fishing gear and suitcase. Someone else had lost their passport.

I was now late for meeting and it was my fault.  And just realized I had forgotten my notes.

On top of it,  I just spilled half-a-cup of coffee on the floor  when I swerved to avoid some crater-sized potholes.  The  iterminable stop signs that tortured me block-after-block in the hot sun that blazed through my windshield sure wasn’t doing much for my disposition either.

I was pretty much spitting, snarling and growling at everything in Spanish and in English.  Ever have one of those days when it feel like the cosmos are going to have some fun at your expense?

And it wasn’t even noon yet.

I was in a hurry.  Cars ahead weren’t moving fast enough for me.  Go! Go! Go! I’m late.  Andale!

Someone ahead was trying to cross the busy street mid-block.   Cars were zipping by the lone pedestrian.  No one was gonna let him get across the street.

Serves him right.  Use a crosswalk, amigo!

He sure wasn’t moving very fast.  If he didn’t move faster, someone was surely gonna hit him.

C’mon…get going.  I didn’t want to stop.  I was going to pretend not to see him. No eye contact!  Like  the way you don’t look hitch-hikers in the eye when you don’t want to stop.

But, he came out from my right just fast enough that I had to stand on the breaks.  Grrrrr… Small screech.  Sigh.  Dangit.  I was about to let loose some choice Spanish phrases.  “Cabron!”  “Idiota!”

But I looked up at the same time he stopped right in front of my hood. And in the middle of my snarl he turned towards my car.    We made eye contact.

He looked directly at me and smiled. He mouthed a grateful  “Gracias” with a gentlemanly bow of his head.

He was old.  Or looked old. Grey stubble framed his dark and weathered cheeks and chin.   In Mexico, it can be hard to tell.  A hard life ages people pre-maturely down here.

He couldn’t move fast because he was hobbled.  Badly. I hadn’t seen before that he had a makeshift crutch under one arm. The kind that looked like it had been bound together with dirty duct tape.

His denim jeans were stained and wrinkled. I wasn’t sure if his shirt was cream-colored or simply as dirty as his his pants.

His eyes were tired, but clear.  And in a simple word they spoke to me.  Volumes.

I had to smile and wave back. How could I not?   And I was just about to…well, it’s hard to rip a guy a new one who smiles and bows to you and politely says, “Gracias.”

I waited and watched him struggle to the other side. Cars backed up behind me.  Let ‘em wait.

It was an effort to get up the opposite curb.   Sensing I was still there, he turned and waved an “I’m OK” wave.  Another smile. I waved back.

Some impatient driver behind me honked his horn to get going.

Every now and then, life throws a little high beam into the darker recesses of your spirit. Mine came in the form of a few nano-seconds of human contact on a bustling Mexican street.

This old caballero with the bum leg was  grateful for an unintended act of kindness.  It was un-deserved.  Benevolence nothing. Thanks for nothing.  I was gonna blow by the poor guy as he struggled to cross the street.

I’m so good at turning “inconveniences” into emergencies A cold shower.  A dead cell phone.  Too many potholes and stopsigns.

Seriously?  C’mon, man, I mentally kicked  myself.  Life  really doesn’t have that many “emergencies.” At least, not my life anyway.

In Mexico, I’m just  blessed to have a car.   A cell phone that just needs a charge.   A shower of any kind.  And a computer that can re-create whatever it lost; meetings that need attending; and clients who look to me for assistance. I have friends and family.  I had a cup of coffee to spill.

And it wasn’t even noon yet!

I should be more thankful.  I should be more grateful.  Even for “inconveniences”. Life’s actually pretty good.  Slow down.  Take a breath.  Every now and then, life makes you stop whether you intended to or not!

Happy Thanksgiving from Mexico. “Feliz Dia de Gracias!”

That’s our story…

Jonathan and Jill

__________________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

______________________

Jonathan Roldan’s

Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO


 
Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate


“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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It didn’t look that deep! Huge sinkholes often appear suddenly as chunks of road just drop away when it rains!

“Dry arroyos” suddenly become hazardous waterways of mud when it starts to pour.

There’s normally a bridge there! Check out how green the surrounding hills have become after a few weeks of rain in the thirsty desert!

It doesn’t take much for flooding in many Baja towns and cities. This was just after a few hours in downtorwn La Paz. The “heavy rain” had not even started falling yet! Folks shopping in the windows are stranded for awhile.

Happy cows! Getting fat on real GRASS growing along the sides of roads. Grass is an unusual sight in Baja! Note that the cows are properly observing the “cow crossing” sign.

“POST- CHUBASCO BLUES…and GREENS”

Originally Published the Week of October 24, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

I watched them clean up the street in front of our restaurant..again.  I’m losing count.

The army of street sweepers are out.  I don’t mean the big machines with the twirly-brushes like in the U.S.  I mean, the “army of sweepers.”  Literally.  The city pays hundreds of workers to walk out en masse and sweep the street with a hand brooms.  Labor is cheap and they really do a good job.

There sure is a lot of dust…clouds of it.  Kicked up by the sweepers and then by the cars that go up and down the road.

When it rains…which is rare…all the gunk that has accumulated in the streets and the drains gets sluiced out.  Maybe the better word is “flushed” out, if you get my drift, and can imagine some of the accumulation in drains that don’t see rain for years!

Well, all that stuff turns to mud.  After the storms, that mud dries up and turns to…dust!  That dust all gets kicked up into the air.

We do our best not to breathe dust or to stay out’ve the dustier zones.  People get all kinds of nasty allergies to the stuff in the dust.

Whatever is not being wisked away by the sweepers, they bring out bulldozers and backhoes and just scoop it up onto the beach or the nastier stuff into trucks.  Again, a dusty business.

The road repair boys are also in full swing.  There’s little and big rock and mud slides.  Bridges get damaged or even swept away, especially across dry arroyos that turn into raging rivers during the storms.

During rainstorms, huge potholes open up in the road.  Some of them are large enough to be classified as sinkholes.  Chunks of road just drop away.

Some of the roads that looked great a few days ago before the storms now look like the cratered surface of the moon.  They require the deft driving hand of a NASCAR driver to navigate through them swerving left and right trying to avoid them.

It’s an exercise in failure. Your teeth and kidneys get jolted and you cringe along with your car’s groaning suspension with each whack and thump as you hit another deep pothole.   Some are the size of a basketball.  Others large enough to drop a tire sideways into it.  If  you’re a tourist in a taxi that has no suspension…you just have to laugh as your head gets bounced on the inside roof of the taxi!

Others are like gaping maws waiting to swallow vehicles.  Standing water can be deceiving. Some cars going through standing water don’t realize that under that muddy water is a big sinkhole or two or a trench lying in wait.

Un-suspecting vehicles go  plowing through the water and CLANG!  It’s like watching a clown car blow up.  It rips through a front axle or, in some cases, the whole front end just disappears into the watery hole…trunk butt up in the air!

Rain is so rare down here that the Mexican infrastructure just wasn’t built for handling too much! After it’s over, we repair things as best as we can and life goes on. We may not see rain again for a long time so we don’t worry about it again until then!  Es la vida!

I think I’ve lost count of all the rainstorms we’ve had this year.  But, I was just informed that Baja has had more rain in the last month than in the last 5 years combined.  I know here in La Paz, we had one 16-hour period several weeks ago where 12 inches of rain fell on us and flooded the town.

I was once told that despite the arid nature of the state of Southern Baja, we actually get more rain in a “normal year” than say…Los Angeles.  We get about 17 inches of precipitation a year.  The only problem is that it can all fall in one day!

Hurricanes aside…dangerous and deadly…mostly what we get are thundershowers.  We call them “toritos” (little bulls) that can rise up in the afternoons and unleash the fury of the heavens for an hour or even minutes.

Huge dark storm clouds with thunder and lightning rear up from otherwise balmy afternoons and send boats scrambling for shore and folks ducking under palapas and headed indoors as the rain often comes down in warm sheets of water.

If you’re indoors or out of the rain, it’s a great show.  The thunder and lightning can be spectacular and watching the desert turn into rivers or the streets into Venetian waterways are incredible.

Then, as quickly as it starts.  It stops.  And the sun comes.  And the waters recede quickly and the heat literally steams up the standing water.  Life in the tropics.  It stops just like that.

It’s just that this year, it stops then it starts again the next day.

On the upside…

The brown countryside has been transformed into an incredible carpet of green.  Emerald green!  Grass is growing.  Flower are blooming.  Normally barren trees are covered with foliage.  In fact, the desert has been turned into a jungle.   I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so verdant.

If you’re out fishing and look back towards the land, you could easily be convinced that you’re in Hawaii or Central America.  The forrest is THAT thick!

Oh..and the fish are still biting! It’s a nice time to be down here.

I just wish they’d get done sweeping away the dust.

That’s our story

Jonathan and Jilly Roldan

__________________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO


 
Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate


“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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Mexic is a wonderful country, but many differences in Mexico suggest you just go with the flow and slow down a bit.

EASY TO TAKE FOR GRANTED

Originally Published the Week of June 2, 2012 in Western Outdoor News Publications

Over the many years of watching gringos come and go down here in Baja, both tourists and ex-pats alike,  I think the biggest issue I see is how much is taken for granted. We assume so much.  And often are so surprised. 

 

I faced it myself when I first moved down here.  I continue to run into things that make me scratch my head or cock an eyebrow.  Coming from the U.S. or other countries, we just assume certain things are “a given.”

 

Like water. . .

 

You turn on the tap and water comes out.  Usually, as much as you want.  Here in Mexico, that’s not always so.  If you ever see the big plastic black tanks on top of people’s homes and businesses, those are water storage units.  Water only comes several times a week.  At a trickle.  Only at certain times of the day. 

 

If you run out, you run out until they turn on the main source again.  Sometimes they don’t have enough water to send.  Sometimes, the water doesn’t get turned on.  You have to deal with it.  Sometimes you have to hire a truck to bring you water, like our restaurant, if there’s no water, it’s hard to run a restaurant.

 

At hotels you just use as much water as you want, but most tourists don’t realize that the water is actually coming many times for a storage tank at the  hotel that has to be filled by a truck almost daily.

 

Like mail. . .

 

How often do you see a Mexican mail box?  Yes, there’s a post office, but most folks don’t know where it is.  You never see anyone delivering mail.  When you have a bill, often the company hires a guy on a bike to drive around and toss the mail at your house or business.

 

If it lands under the car or in a bush, too bad.  You’re still responsible for paying the bill.  Also, most folks will line up for hours at the cable, phone or electric company to pay their bills. They don’t send them in the mail.  (But then again..most folks don’t have checking accounts either!)

 

If you do send by mail, it can take days or weeks for arrival!

 

Like phones. . .

 

Simple.  You get a phone.  You pay the bill.  You should have phone service, right?   NOT.  Many parts of Baja and Mexico are still pretty remote.  Phone service is spotty or non-existent. Even in major metro areas, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get a signal. 

 

Correspondingly, we are used to pretty much being able to resolve anything with a phone call.  If you pick up the phone to call for help, a service, information, or any of the myriad things, it doesn’t mean anything.  It just means your phone works.  It doesn’t mean you are any closer to resolving your issue. Prepare to be put on hold…forever! Or the department you want is not available. Or no longer exists. Or the line simply goes dead!

 

Like Service. . .

 

We often make jokes about the cable guy or the washing machine guy taking all day to make a home visit back in the U.S.  10 a.m. could mean 3 p.m.

 

That would be “express” service in Mexico. They’ll get there when they get there. It’s just the way it is.  Best thing is to get used to it!

 

There’s a general rule that if you’re told “manana”  (tomorrow) three times, it’s best to find someone else.

 

Also, don’t assume they’ll have the part either…(see the next section).  Usually it means, checking out the problem and then coming back…”manana!”

 

 

Like Repairs. . .

 

North of the border, something is busted…your car…a light switch…the air-conditioner…a TV…something in the garden…the sink or toilet…

 

You call someone or run to Home Depot or Walmart.  Another wrong assumption.  In the Mexican version of Murphy’s law, the more you need the thing (like a stopped up toilet or your car) the greater the likelihood, no one will have your part or it has to be ordered from someplace else.  Which is further complicated because remember…no mail service!

 

Like Traffic. . .

 

We make fun of drivers in Mexico.  But, you do NOT need to take a driving test to get a license in Mexico.  You need to take a blood test!  Yes, that’s right.  You take a blood test and you then take the results to the Mexican DMV.  Vampires or people with strange driving diseases are not allowed to get a license.  Whether you know the rules of the road are irrelevant.  If your blood is red and you can touch the peddles and brakes, you’re good to go.

 

And speaking of good-to-go…don’t assume anyone stops at stop signs…signals when they turn…stays in their lanes…has headlights or break lights…knows how to read…or can see above the dashboard!  Things that we normally assume are a given when we drive elsewhere!

 

That being said, there seems to be fewer traffic accidents because people drive defensively and everyone drives the same! 

 

 

Like Food…

 

How often I get asked, “Where do we go for real Mexican food? We want to eat where the locals eat!”  The assumption is that they want the authentic version of a Mexican chain restaurant like we see in the state.  Enchiladas…Tacos…Margaritas…chips and salsa.  Surely, there must be one on every street corner!

 

Actually, places that have that kind of fare are “Americanized” Mexican restaurants.  And, usually if you find a restaurant like that, you’ll usually find tourists and gringos there also thinking they’re eating “real Mexican food.”

 

Go where you see the locals eat and you’ll find seafood places…beef places…tacos stands…hot dog carts (yes hot dog carts unlike any you have ever experienced!)…You won’t be disappointed!

 

Just remember…the overall rule in Mexico…if you want it fast, it probably won’t happen.  Lower your expectations.  It’s really part of the lifestyle.  So, just go with the flow!

 

 

 

 _______________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!           

 ____________________

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Roldan’s Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO


 

Website: www.tailhunter-international.com U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745 Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico Phones: from USA : 626-638-3383 from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

.

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate

“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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To avoid a cultural faux pas FAIL, it’s important to remember which country you’re in! I forgot. HONEST!

MOTHER’S DAY FAIL!

Originally Published in Western Outdoor News the Week of May 16, 2012

I love sharing a bit of Mexican culture in these columns.

As I’m writing this, I realize I really screwed up.  Have you ever forgotten an important day of the year?  Like your anniversary?  A birthday?

Well, I forgot that today (May 10th)  is Mother’s Day!  Oops.  Fail. Scramble to make phone calls…e-greeting cards…and other face-saving measures!

You see, in my brain, Mother’s day is always the 2nd Sunday of May.  That’s May 13th in the U.S.

But here in Mexico, it’s May 10th.  Every year.  Same date.  It doesn’t matter if it’s on a Sunday, a Tuesday, a Thursday or the full moon.  May 10th is Mother’s Day and you’d better not forget it.

In Mexico, where culturally mom is the focus of pretty much everything, she is pretty much a saint.  Where the concept of the centralized family and where generations often continue to live under the same roof or everyone lives within tortilla-tossing proximity to each other, moms, grandmoms, aunties, etc. are held in high esteem.  And never so highly as on Mother’s Day.

(That’s why you NEVER EVER EVER call out a man’s mom.  Those are fighting words and one of the highest insults.  Don’t mess with a man’s mom in Mexico.)

Whereas Fathers Day barely draws a breeze, much of the country takes on a semi-holiday atmosphere.  It’s pretty much a state holiday.

Mom’s don’t go to work or take long leisurely and sometimes elegant lunches much like the Sunday brunches seen in the U.S.  Sons and family members stop working as well to enjoy the day with moms.  Offices shut down. Stores close early.  Kids sometimes play hookie and don’t go to school.  (On Mom’s day, mom is not lifting a finger…that includes driving the kids to school!).  Conversely, to keep the kids from taking the day off, many  schools hold Mother’s Day pageants and recitals and invite moms to attend.

The whole country is on the same page,  so it’s really not that big of a social impact.  It’s like the day before Christmas or that last day of school before summer vacation. No one’s head is there.  No one expects much efficiency anyway!  Not much gets done.

Some families, especially the sons, go through some elaborate expressions of adoration. Huge bouquets of flower. Rooms of flowers!  Sons will hire mariachi groups to sing outside mom’s window or all the sons will get together in the evening and serenade mom themselves accompanied by a boom box.

There will be incredible home parties either catered or home-cooked.  Often, all the guys do the cooking so the moms can have the day off.  In some homes where the mom does ALL the cooking every single meal and every single day, this might be the ONLY day of the year that the men cook or even approach the stove…sometimes to varying results!

Restaurants will have elegant brunches, lunches and dinners set out with Mothers’ Day specials and families will show up dressed in their jackets and ties, dresses and corsages as if headed for a grand social event…which is what Dia De Las Madres is in Mexico.

Historically, Dia de Las Madres was not always as we know it.  In 1922, it was brought over from the U.S, but met with significant opposition from the conservative government who attempted to use the holiday to promote the unrealistic concept of women as no more than child bearers!

Over the next decade, the powers in Mexico debated the day as either being too “patriotic” or being “too religious” with all the connotations those labels involved.   It got pretty heated and the Mexican political parties as well as the Church argued the current morals and values of the day such as empowering women, family values, country unity and basically whether women should be let out of the home!  It wasn’t just a Hallmark thing!

It wasn’t until the 40’s…to be exact in 1940, Soledad Orozco Garcia, wife of President Manuel Avilla Camacho, declared 10th May a holiday, thus making it a state-sponsored celebration  of mother’s day …and why I need to find some place that sells some quick Mothers’ Day Cards here in La Paz!  Or a boombox with a microphone!   I really messed up…

***********************

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

***************************

That’s our story

Jonathan and Jilly

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO


 
Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate


“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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The cathedral in La Paz. In the days before cranes and hydraulic lifts and electric screw drivers, someone had to be around to lift the massive stones and drag the enormous beams into place.

A LONG AND DUSTY LINE

Originally Published the Week of May 4, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

Having lived down here for quite sometime now, it always gives me pause to see how much of the country is reliant on manual labor.  There’s nothing wrong with it.

I come from a long line of manual laborers who came over to Hawaii to work the pineapple and sugarcane fields or to Central Caliornia to pick tomatoes.  Dad used to take me out to the fields to show me what it was like and tell me, “Stay in school so you don’t have to make your living hunched over in the sun.”  As I grew up, I learned to even despise pulling weeds in the yard, let alone chopping sugar cane stock or packing tomato crates.

Here, in Mexico, unskilled labor is inexpensive and folks need the work. And there’s a lot of folks here.

For instance, after a rain storm, the “broom army” materializes.  Using nothing more high-tech than garden-variety-kitchen brooms provided by the government, scores of folks  hand sweeping the streets.  No machines.  Basic sweat-of-brow technology.

Along the highways, you may have seen them.  Long lonely stretches of desert road.  Sometimes there’s a line of them. Sometimes there’s one solitary guy that makes me wonder “Did you apply for this job?”  “Are you being punished for this?”  Are you low-man on the seniority list?”

But there he is. With a shovel.  Dirty pants.  Usually a soiled t-shirt sometimes pulled up and tucked under the chest so that their tummys are exposed. A kerchief wrapped around his faces to ward off the dust.  Tennis shoes or old torn up work-boots that look like Hernando Cortez himself brought them over from Spain.  A baseball hat of some type worn “Foreign Legion” style with a t-shirt tucked and hanging down the back.

No gloves.  No supervisor.  No support truck with an orange Igloo of water. No “roach-coach” catering truck nearby.  No handy porta-potty close either.  No warning cones or vests.  Cars come dangerously close since Mexican roads have little or no shoulders.  Cows might watch from the scrub.  Probably wondering the same thing…”What the heck are you doing out here?”

But there they are, one shovel of dirt at a time.  It’s hard to tell what the project is.  Move dirt from here to there?   Shovel the dust off the highway?  Each car or breeze that passes only blows the dust right back.  Can’t you just phone it in and say you did the job?  Collect some pesos and go home?  Who would know the difference?

Often you see “gangs” of these worker standing like sardines in a stakebed truck.  Shoulder-to-shoulder.  No sitting.  Obviously, not union.

Day-after-day…same guys or just one guy. Same stretch of road.  Heat numbing.  Mind numbing.

Sometimes, I do see them nap under whatever shade a cactus or other scrub can give them.  Nothing special.  Lie down. Tilt hat over eyes.  Siesta.  Who keeps track of time?

What got me writing about this subject is a recent visit to the old mission here in La Paz.  Visiting the historic sites that dot the California, Baja and Mexican landscape is one of my favorite things.

Whether it’s Mission San Gabriel or San Diego or Santa Barbara or the Baja missions in Loreto or San Ignacio or, as I said here in La Paz, I never tire of walking into them and spending a few moments.  Or touching the old adobe or walking the paths and tiles.

There’s something about touching a bit of history.  It’s not a re-creation like going to Universal Studios or Disneyland.  This is the same water trough where the Spanish soldiers watered their horses.  Here’s the breezeway between the rectory and the church where some padre’s sandaled feet used to walk 300 years ago. And here’s the cemetery that holds so many stories.

If you get a chance to visit or ever have.  Be quite for a moment and sit still and the history will honestly talk to you!

But, the last time I was in, I was doing just that and it occurred to me.  There’s A LOT of wood in here.  Huge thick wooden beams criss-cross and support the massive ceilings.  Massive wooden doors.  Solid hard wood benches and the ornate altar and crucifix and so many other items.

Y’know, Mexico doesn’t exactly have a lot of trees.

And the huge bells and ornaments.  The  masterpiece stained glass windows and tile work.

They didn’t just hop down to Home Depot to get these in the 1600 and 1700’s.

I’m sure the Jesuit padres and the Spanish conquistadores did hard work, but I don’t envision, Sargeant Garcia and Friar Antonio making bricks or dragging huge chunks of lumber over the mountains.  They didn’t dig those irrigation aquaducts for the fields or paint the mission ceilings either.

Nope…they were built by some every-day Joe and Mary.  Born with a native name that was probably taken from them at their Christian baptismal and given  names like Jose and Maria.

And these are the folks who did the work. Who busted their backs often in the name of the spirit of Christianity and the promise of eternal salvation.  Only IF they learned to wear a pair of pants and help build the church.  Toil the fields. Build a wagon road.   Sweep up after the soldiers and padres.

They built quite an empire.  Same folks are still working. Still toiling in that hot Baja sun. Willing to work.  Needing to work.  I look at the guys on the side of the road as we speed by and wonder if they come from that long dusty line of laboral history. One shovel at a time.

_____________

Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

______________

That’s our story

Jonathan

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

Now follow us on FACEBOOK TOO

 
Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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

Tailhunter YouTube Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate


“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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Opening one screen leads to another and another. In the quest for information on the "information super highway" one is often subjected to frequent sig-alert traffic jams!

“T.M.I”  (Too Much Information!)

Originally Published the Week of April 18, 2012 in Western Outdoor News

 

In the current lingo of the internet and texting, most teenagers can tell you what “TMI” means. “ Too much information.”  More than I need. 

 

When I got married a few years ago to Jilly, I wanted to surprise her for our honeymoon (no wise cracks, guys!).  So I told her I was sagely going to handle the honeymoon arrangements especially after all the work she had done for the massive wedding.  She rolled her eyes a bit and laughed.  She had her hands full anyway and she gamely expressed confidence in my  stellar organizational abilities.  In all fairness, I could’ve set up a camping trip or a Motel 6 and she’s still would have gone along cheerfully.

 

What she didn’t know was that I was secretly going to extend our honeymoon for extra days.  Some things she didn’t expect. Some things NOT in the budget…  Some ritzy hotel!  Spa!  Restaurants!  Only doing this once so might as well shoot for the moon.  The credit card was empty at the time. (ha!)

 

So, I hit the internet.  Now, this was only 3 years ago.  The last time I booked a really big deal was back in the day when I reached into dad’s car and grabbed the Auto Club Catalog.  Remember those?  Dog-eared and coffee stained.  It was the” bible” when you went on a family trip.

 

But because this was so special, I needed to know everything about everything.  Bad move!

 

Before long, I had two laptops opened plus my desktop computer.  I had multiple screens opened on each one…Trip Advisor….Yelp…Facebook…My Space…Yahoo…Google…

 

I had review after review. Link upon link.  Photo libraries.  Experts reviews.  Some agreed. Many conflicted.  Who had the best hotel?  Ocean view? Spa?  Restaurants nearby?  Brunch?  Room service? 

 

Wait, that one looks good, but two other reviews said the place had bad service.  But another 10 reviews say it’s great.  This other hotel has ocean-views, but their restaurant has bad reviews and they say it’s noisy.  This other one looks good, but it’s not walking distance to anything and they charge an extra 40 bucks to park which could have fooled me. 

 

OK…this resort has a spa discount package but only on weekdays.  That won’t work.  This one has great rates…darnit…only during off-season.  This one looks great!  Call them now…”What?  You’re already sold out???”  (gnashing of teeth).  Delete delete delete!

 

And the restaurants…OK…that one has 500 good reviews but 60 bad ones.  This one has live music and great seafood, but it says don’t go on weekend because it has too many tourists in them.  This other one is famous and has been there for years, but the last few reviews are terrible! 

 

I was doing this all in the middle of the night too so that I could hide this from Jill.  Before long, I was going crazy!   Eyes were going buggy looking at so many websites and reviews and photos.  INFORMATION OVERLOAD!  TILT! TILT!

 

But, you know…it’s your honeymoon.  You want everything “just right.”  As it turned out, after 4 fretful nights, I finally just pulled the trigger and made my best-informed-decisions and all turned out well.  My lovely bride was all smiles and I saved the fledgling marriage! She didn’t cut-and-run.  Whew…

 

It used to be so easy for Baja as well. 

 

In fact, the least amount of planning seemed to be the typical modus operendi.  You called the guys.  You got the station wagon or van.  In went some clothes.  In went the surfboards and fishing rods.  A cooler.  A copious amount of junk food procured from the first 7-11 on the road…Doritos…check…Jerky…check…Oreos…check…oops…run back in and get beer and Cokes.  A box of cassettes or 8 tracks. 

 

You had destination in mind.  You headed sort of in THAT direction.  Again…the Auto Club Map and book in the glove box.  Maybe a copy of Gene Kira’s the “Baja Catch” on the dashboard and some faxed copies of the surf report.

 

You’d figure out the rest “on the fly.”  Maybe you’d camp.  Maybe all sleep in the car.  Maybe all of you piled into some little Mexican beach motel. 

 

It was THAT easy. You knew it would work itself out.  The important thing was that you were GOING!  Not where you were going so much as the thrill of knowing you were on a road trip together to the BAJA!  You all piled out’ve work on Friday and picked all the buddies up along the way.

 

Nowadays, the information super-highway has, in many ways complicated things as much as made it easier.

 

There is so much out there, that it’s impossible to filter!  Our own website must be 40 pages large, but that’s because it has to be large to compete with everyone else out there. It’s a necessary evil.

 

And it’s hard to de-code everything.  It’s easy to hide that a certain hotel is 30 miles away from town or that another is actually built next to a cement plant.  The photos always look GREAT on the internet. 

 

Likewise, what does the word “rustic” mean when used to describe a hotel?  That could mean charming Mexican artisan décor or it could mean the air-conditioning system is powered by two gerbils running in a wheel. Or “close to the beach?”  How close is” close?”  Walking distance.  For who? 

 

After all that, sometimes it’s just easier to ask someone who has been there.  Assuming you truest their opinion.  But often…  Word-of –mouth sometimes trumps technology.

 

But, I miss the old days.  Pass the Doritos and pop some Rolling Stones in the 8-track…

We’ll get there when we get there.

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Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004.  Along with his wife, Jill, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico  www.tailhunter-international.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 riplipboy@tailhunter-international.com  or drop by the restaurant to say hi!

_______________________

That’s our story

Jonathan and Jilly

Jonathan Roldan’s
Tailhunter International

 

TAILHUNTER FISHING FLEET #1 Rated on Trip Advisor

TAILHUNTER RESTAURANT BAR #1 Rated in La Paz on Trip Advisor

 

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Website: www.tailhunter-international.com
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico
Phones:
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863

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http://fishreport.jonathanroldan.com/

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“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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