Seeing Is Believing

Each waking morning, after pushing the button on the coffee maker, I seem to gravitate towards the tinted window in my apt. that overlooks the street below.  I hear roosters and I hear school kids.  I hear dogs and I hear buses.  I hear surf and I hear tortilla salesmen.  Once I go to the tinted window, I can then put a couple of eyeballs onto the sound-scape.  

This particular morning, after pushing the button on my coffee maker, and after hearing all the usual sounds, I naturally gravitated towards the tinted window, yet the only thing that my two eyeballs could picture was the pretty yellow bird that lay dead on my street.  I remember asking myself why God would want me to bare witness to this lifeless beauty.


Two hours later, I decided to head out to The Mercado.  While I was waiting below for some public transportation, a lady with a pamphlet came my way.  She was Mexican.  Maybe 35 years old.  Her pretty blonde co-worker kept her distance.  Out of respect for her being of Mexican blood, and because they opted not to four-leg me, I decided to play fair.

As many of you may or may not know, my history with these people has become very well documented.  This is the time of year when a bunch of blonde haired, blue eyed, surfer missionary men and woman walk around Puerto and try to talk Jesus shop.  Last year they hit me up at the wrong time of the month, and the shit hit the fan.  This time would be different.

Our 6 minute Conversation

How’s your Spanish going?  ¿Hablas Ingles?

Yeah I speak English.

Well my name is Juanita, and that is my friend Christie over there.

Hey.  How’s it going?

Another day in paradise…

Where are you from?

I live here, and have lived here in Puerto for 20 years.  I am originally from Acapulco.  Christie is from Brisbane.

Nice.  So what’s up?

Well, we are just walking around the community, speaking with as many people as we can about Resurrection.  Do you know what Resurrection means?

Not really.

She handed me her little pamphlet.  On the top it read, Can the dead really live again?  On the bottom read, Would you say Yes, No, or Maybe.  In between this loaded question there was a picture of a man and woman.(presumably husband and wife)  The woman had her right arm around the waste of the man, and her right ear rested on his left shoulder.  The picture was of their backside.  Why their backside?  Well I will tell you.  So that in the foreground of the pamphlet, the reader could also see how the (presumably)sad parents were looking at pictures that hung on their family room wall of their (presumably)dead daughter during (presumably)happier times.  Another perfect example of a religion using fear based tactics right out da’ gate.  I twitched and bit my lip.

What do you want from me Señora?

Do you believe in life after death?


Well the bible does.

I’ll be damned.  

Would you be curious to know what the bible says about life after death?

Lay it on me.

Fact #1:

God is the Creator of life.  The Bible calls Jehovah God “the source of life”.  The One who gave life to all living creatures is certainly capable of restoring life to someone who has died.

Fact #2:

God has resurrected humans in the past.  The Bible reports eight instances of humans–young, old, male, and female–who were brought back to life on earth.  Some had been dead for a short while, but one had been in a tomb for four days!

Fact #3:

God is eager to do it again.  Jehovah HATES death; he views it as an enemy.  He has a yearning to conquer that enemy, to undo death by means of the resurrection.  He longs to bring back those who are in his memory and to see them live on earth again.

What do you think after hearing those facts?

I’m curious if God can bring back animals.

You mean like a horse or a cow?

He can start with a couple of dogs if it’s easier.

I’m not sure what the bible says about that.

Look Lady, how can I best say this?  OK, You see that dead bird in the street?


Can you, or your blonde friend over there make that bird fly again, or is that bird out for the count?  Because if you can make it fly again, I will go to Central on the next bus, buy a pair of long pants, get a clean shave, buy a pair of shoes, maybe a leather briefcase, and I will walk these dirt streets in the hot sun with more God Damn conviction than Jehovah himself.

[she chuckled]  I can’t bring that bird back to life.

I didn’t think you could.  And nor can your boy Jesus.  That bird is dead.  And all the birds that are still flying around, like that one, and that one; they aren’t the least bit sad that one of their own is lying dead in the street.  In fact, one or more of them may even come back later and steal some feathers if a tire tread doesn’t get to it first.

But birds aren’t what we’re…

Wrong again Juanita.  That bird was just as important as you and me.  It was just as smart as you and me.  It had a heart that beat life just like yours and mine do.  It deserves everything and anything that you and me deserve.  That dead bird right there spoke a universal language more in tune with the soul of our world than you and me could ever even dream up.  So if that dead bird isn’t included in the resurrection lottery, then I’m going to have to pass tambien. 

OK, well you have a good day.

Que le vaya bien..  


Dawn patrol on my doorstep.  It let out a diminished meow.  1000 thoughts rushed into my head.  I lifted it by the scruff and it shut its eyes.  8 weeks and male I supposed.  I had a kitten on my hands.

I crushed up two stale tortilla chips and added sunflower seeds.  It chowed like I imagined.  It then spit-shined itself up real diligently.  Confident I thought.  I will call you Junior, pronounced ‘HoonYour’.

Moral to Story:  When an unrealized pet makes it transparent that it has chosen you, turning a cheek is ill advised.  Statistically speaking, these animals have significantly more to offer you, than you might it.


Black & Blue

I had this dream or nightmare or whatever you want to call it.  It was early in the morning.  I was walking with a small cup of coffee in my left hand, and my surfboard under my right arm.  I was headed for a surf.  The plan was to do some light stretching on the shore, and enjoy a cup of joe.  I walked upon a riff between a big wave Gringo Guy from Texas, and a notorious, bad news, Gringo Guy that has been around these parts for the better part of the last 20 years.  The Gringo Surfer Guy is real cool and calm.  The Gringo Asshole Good For Nothing Drug Guy probably has more dirty tricks up his sleeve than you could even imagine.  I just put my head down and walked past it.  I thought it might get ugly.  And if it got ugly today, it would get uglier tomorrow.  And if for whatever reason it didn’t get uglier tomorrow, there would be a day, down this short road of life, where it would get Mother Fucking Ugly.  Eye for an eye kind of ugly. Like I said, I didn’t want to even be remotely associated with any of it.

Here’s where I totally blew it though.  Moments later, while stretching etc., I see Cheeto walking towards me.  Well not towards me, but in my direction.  This guy is a bad ass.  Normally I wouldn’t look at him either.  You almost can’t.  This guy has a tropical glare to his eye that will work you into submission.  But since this was a dream or a nightmare, I decided to engage Cheeto.  “Hey what’s up Cheeto?  Hey look man, I’m a writer.  I am in the process of doing a book of sorts about the surf culture here in Puerto Escondido.  You’re obviously a big part of that.  I know you’ve seen some shit go down out here.  I was hoping maybe we could sit down and talk.  Maybe I could take a few pictures.  Stuff  like that.”  I do have recall of being popped in the face with a right elbow.  My cat like reflexes prevented my already crooked nose from catching the blow. He still caught me good on the lower part of my forehead.  He then walked away with my surfboard, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.

Zip it Zippy

I have a hard time minding my own business here.  I say here, because I most definitely mind my own business in my country of birth, yet the manner by which I refer to minding my own business in the US, is NOT minding your business here.  


You see a GIANT man made ladder.  A ladder made by the 20 laborers on a particular construction site.  You are blown away by it.  You have to see it up close.  A pack of three laborers are close by.  You tell them how awesome it is.  They are out of Coke and take it the wrong way.  You wish your Spanish Brother George were here. 

You see an adorable pit bull puppy, and have to see it.  You begin explaining to this owner that you are a dog whisperer, even though you are not.  Not at all actually.  So you are lying to a stranger about their dog.  They don’t understand you and pull their dog away thinking you are going to steal it.  They tell their big brothers.  

You begin wondering why the most popular yoga studio isn’t so popular any longer.  You find out why.  You see the owner of that yoga studio.  You ask her how business is going.  She has an intuitive feeling that you already know the answer.  She is right.  You sense that you are in trouble.  You ask how bout them Cowboys?

You tell Tino that you are feeling sick.  He thinks that Mexicans make you sick.  You sense that you are talking on thin ice.  You try to explain that it’s just different here.  Different bugs.  Different air.  Different flora and fauna.  Different food.  Now he and his wife think you don’t like the food they have been making you every morning.

You see someone here that could be considered a friend.  You notice his dog isn’t in the backyard.  You ask where’s his dog is.  Right there!  Can’t do that here.  It gets you in trouble.  It’s goes beyond not minding your own business.  It encroaches on meddling in someones business.  Meddling is really, really bad.  Shame on me.


A Pink Panther Strikes

I finally made out.  I’ve been getting ding donged and taken advantage of night and day around here.  For years.  Just yesterday it appeared there was a 30% discount on Special K cereal.  Love Special K.  I get up to the register, and it was full price.  I say, “No descuenta?”  She rattles off three hardliners of tomfoolery where I probably needed to buy two and the third one would have been 30% off.   Or maybe that my next visit I would receive my discount.  Who knows.  In the States, I would have said that I didn’t want it, even if it meant that the checker had to, “God Forbid” cancel out a transaction on the computer.  Wouldn’t even phase me.  I might even wink and ask the checker if she could give me the discount anyway.  “Cmon Lady, you know it’s Corporate Pricing Trickery!”

In my heavily Minoric position,(i guess Minoric should mean a human being of a certain color that is not the same color as just about everybody else) you just take your lumps.  This is a good one too:  I went to buy one fork, one knife, and one spoon.  In the States I would just rip them off from my favorite(or not so favorite) restaurant.  And I’d be doing them a favor.  Ask me why another time.  Needless, I don’t steal here.  OK so fork, knife, spoon.  I spot a 10peso bin.  I pull a fork, a cutting knife,(both matching and w/ wood handles) but can’t find a spoon.  On the shelf above, there is a set, and packaged as so.  Bingo!  Had to be 30p so I thought.  35 at the most.  Of course there was no listed price.  I get to the register, and they ring up as 51p.  50 fucking 1.  Like I said…Lumps.

But Alas!  Long overdue.  It went down like this:  Today I stopped into my favorite fruit stand.  I bought two bananas, two apples, and six oranges.  The nine year old, on what appeared to be her first hour on the job, in what was clearly too small of a plastic bag, put the bananas on the bottom and everything else on top.  Bananas ripen quickly here.  They don’t any help help by getting smushed by fellow fruits.  I saw the bananas going in first and just had to laugh.  Again.  Then the mother tells me that it’s like 27 pesos.($2.25)  I just knew that was way too high.  But what’s a white guy to do except pay The Indian.  And that’s what I did.  I gave her 50 pesos.  She gave me back 73 pesos in change.  I looked left.  I looked right.  I exited straight the fuck out.  Heavens to Mergatroid.


a nICE story about when to soft pedal

This is what was up on this particular day.  Nothing premeditated about it, which would seem obvious.  It’s just how it all went.  I had heard about a place that sells blocks of ice, and apparently I wanted one.  A half block actually.  Media Barra de Hielo.  But all one word.  And said very fast.  That’s what I needed, and I decided to find it via bicycle.  Thinking ahead, I grabbed a backpack, and both plastic-zippered thingies that protected the two new pillows that I had purchased years back.  These thingies, when not being used to transport a half block of ice, slip perfectly over my Peavy speakers, when not in use.  Basically US landfill.  So I folded up both of those, put them in my backpack, and soft pedaled off on my piece of shit bicycle in search of a half block of ice.

It was midday, with some cloud cover.  I knew about where to go, and took the back way to avoid too much time spent on the highway.  This meant a lot of soft pedaling up steep cobbled roads and the like.  I had to stop into a ModeloRama for a sixty cent ice cold Corona, but more importantly, to hang out inside the ModeloRama and soak in the AC.  You have to drink the beer there anyway so that you can return the bottle.  Might as well spend that time inside a cold room.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Anyway, I did ultimately find the place I was looking for.  Pretty cool spot.  Pun.  I rode up to a couple of hombres who looked pretty cool.  Pun.  I was soaking wet.  Ice was everywhere.  I had flashbacks of my days w/ Champion Nutrition.  Couldn’t tell you why though.

“Media Barra Por Fa”, I said.  “Where you gonna put it Jackass?”  Well I told them I was first gonna put it in this thingie, and then that thingie, and then in my backpack.  They both laughed, and If I had any idea what they told me, I would have known that they were saying that I needed a Quartito and to go pay the lady over there, and come back with your receipt and we will have the quarter block ready.  So that’s what I did.  And surprisingly, that’s what they did too.  Being the hero that apparently I already was in their eyes, I said a couple outlandish things and soft pedaled off with a quarter block of ice on my back.  First time for me.  Despite being that additional 20 kilos to muscle around on a piece of shit bicycle, I must say the freezing cold felt nice on my back.

I stopped by my favorite dude that sells coconut water out of his red van.  That’s where I learned what the word heavy was in spanish.  Because that is how the ice felt on my back.  Pinche Pesado!  For the first time EVER, my guy asked if I wanted Dulce or Simple.  Well Dulce is the way to go around here if you ask me.  It’s loaded in sugar, and ICE cold.  But I told him Simple just to go opposites.  That would be straight coconut water.  Still super cold.  He makes it in advance and it’s sold out of those giant plastic chingaderas.  But anyway…since I’ve become addicted to his Dulce, the simple wasn’t cutting it for me.  So he told me to slam half of it, and then he will fill it again with half Dulce.  I soft pedaled off, one handed, drinking coconut water with ice on my back.

The End


Doot Deee Dooo

White Man of Leisure can be is a fragile state of affairs in Puerto Escondido.  You’d have to walk a couple miles in my flip flops to feel what I feel.  White Man of Leisure sure better mind his P’s and Q’s if he knows what’s best for him.  You see, Every Mexican around here is working in the hot sun.  And not like one might work in The States…you know checking their cell phone every five minutes and texting all day long.  No, these people are actually working.  And for not a lot of money.  And I know it.  And they hope I don’t know it.  But I know it.  And lately, it’s all been extra right in front of me.  So when one White Man of Leisure strolls by a 55 year old laborer carrying buckets of sand up the hotel stairs where WMoL is living, and Whitey has to do that everyday in every way, then one White Man better figure out how best to do it.

The Hard Sell

Word somehow got out that I was in the market for an Igloo.  You know, a cooler.  In my case a fridge.  A dime a dozen where you live, but a coveted money maker here in the tropical frontier.  Expensive buggers so I have found.  I’ve come to admire them in a whole new light actually.  I can’t imagine how many perfectly good Igloos, you know, coolers, are going unused and unwanted in the USA.  You would never, and I mean ever, spot a cooler going unused here in Puerto Escondido.  No way Jose.

He drove up beside me in his 1982 Ford F250.  The windshield was so cracked that you could barely see through it.  This beater wouldn’t last 15 miles in The States before being given a fixit ticket or impounded.  He said he needed a favor.  I had a full, hot coffee in my hand.  His dog and daughter were both in the front seat.  He told me to get in anyway.  He said he was low on funds and was looking to “sublet his Cooler”  The cobbled road that led us to this cooler was bumpy.  I protected my coffee.

There it was.  I was told that this Igloo has seen 20+ years in Puerto.  Used for weeks upon months at the most secret surf spots, under the most gnarly conditions imaginable.  He then went into a story about a two week trip back in the 90’s to Barra de  la Cruz.  Blocks of Ice.  1000’s of beers.  Hot Dogs.  Burgers.  The whole 9.  I was like “Yeah Yeah, how much?”  I got the ‘You’d be doing me a big favor’ spiel one last time, and then he said 800p.  It was a fair price, so I paid it.  Included delivery.


Pit Bull Inn

There was a light tap on my heavy duty wooden door. I knew who it was. My fingers were woven, hoping to God that she would say the right thing. I was purposely hiding away, buying some time, doing the proper thing. Earlier in the morning lineup, I had been given the blessing to blow a fuse if I needed to. It was brought to my attention that I was already way up in the plus column by not having blown one the night before when all indicator lights said it was time to Get Nuts.

I remembered her from two years prior. Her voice actually. It’s Marge Simpson gone extra bad. You just want to jam a sock in there.  I couldn’t stand her chirp two years ago, and nothing had changed in the pitch to make me feel any differently this go around. Her voice just rings and rings and rings, and it doesn’t matter what she says, because the ringing just kills the content. And the echo of the ring within the confines of the cement hotel is almost too much to even handle.

I opened the door. For the final time, I told her I was very sorry about last night, and that it was just a perfect sort of storm. I followed that up by saying that I am glad nothing happened, and that I will really keep a closer eye on the little guy. She chimed in with a passive aggressive follow-up threat to her threat from the night before. She wanted to make sure that I had made other arrangements for the Mako Shark. “We can’t stay here unless He goes,” she cackled.

As she was pointing at The Little Big Man, I was pointing at The Rod Iron Gate. And take your sissy fried husband & Gerber baby with you. Now Git.


Nothin’ Up My Sleeve or And The Password Is??

I had myself a situation.  My 180 day visa had expired, and I was popped riding a borrowed scooter going the wrong way on a one way.  I wasn’t carrying a license or my passport.  Unfortunately the only bill in my bathing suit was a 500 Peso Large.  Can’t be parting with that juicy nug.

Did he have a gun?  No I said.  Did he have car nearby?  No.  And you were on a scooter?  Yes I said.  Did you make eye contact with him?  I did.  BIG MISTAKE.  So he’s on foot, and you stopped?  Yep.  How much did he get?  Not a peso I said.  Nicely done..OK here’s what you do.

So I grew a mustache.  A big ol thick Honkin’ one.  Like Goose Gossage.  Then I went and bought me one of them big ol brimmed whicker hats with the drawstring.  I stopped walking barefoot.  I changed out my sunglasses.  I wore a shirt wherever I went.  A bonified OG.  Slalom.