RECON – A Guide To Mexico

A Guide To Mexico
by Pascal Stansfield

When traveling to foriegn countries, it’s always smart to plan ahead and do some research. For this issue’s Recon, we enlisted Pascal Stansfield to write this detailed list of the basic dos and don’ts of traveling in Mexico.

[IMAGE 1]Rule One:
When traveling to Mexico, bring extra money. For example: you and your buddies have just gotten the best waves of your life at “B.M.’s”-stand-up barrels with enough room to fit the entire Los Angeles Lakers’ bench. Pretty f-kin’ big, huh? There’s something about surfing perfect offshore waves that makes you wanna just destroy something. So your mischievous friend Bobby gets an idea: Let’s go blow shit up. Next thing you know, each of you is fully equipped with ten M1,000s, fifteen rolls of black cats, 30 Roman candles, plus ten more M1,000s for good measure. Sounds fun, huh? Wrong. It’s trouble waitin’ to happen. On our way to check B.M.’s, Bobby decides it’d be a good idea to throw some “dynamite” out the window at passing motorists. Soon the entire car is unleashing its artillery upon unsuspecting Mexicans. Well, while the rest of the car is having fun, Bobby steps it up a notch and assaults a federal vehicle, not realizing that he just f-ked with the wrong hombre. Bobby repeats his act, this time landing the ammo directly inside the policia’s ride. Sirens immediately begin to wail. The fun is now over.

If this had happened in the States, you’d already be dead. But in Mexico, this is where your extra cash comes into play. The cop walks angrily to the driver-side window and rattles off some Spanish to the posse, who don’t get it. The man gestures, rubbing his hands together. Then it clicks. The group forks over some cash, and low and behold, he proceeds to get back into his car and drive off.

After severely serving Bobby, the group is astonished at how easily a little cash can defuse an angry man of the law. We can all learn a lesson from Bobby. In Mexico, “If you’re gonna play, you’re gonna pay.”

Key Spanish phrases used by cops:
1. Pull over: Hagese a un lado.
2. Show me your registration: Muestreme su registro.
3. Have you been drinking? Ha estado tomando alcohol?
4. The ambulance is on its way. La ambulancia estÝ en camino.
5. You have the right to remain silent. Usted tiene el derecho de no decir nada.

Rule Two:
Play the game. Mexico’s full of really cool trinkets and stuff. Pretty much anywhere you go, some man, woman, or kid will try to sell you something at twenty times its value. (Treat the vendors as you would a girl: The meaner you are, the more they’ll want you.) Never take the first offer, nor the second, or the third for that matter. If you want a killer Spuds McKenzie statue and the man says, “30 dollars,” just say the guy down the road’s selling them for five. If the man says, “No, this is good quality Spuds McKenzie, very popular, no five dollars,” walk away. The dude will eventually follow you and match your price. If he doesn’t, someone else will. Always remember: they’re playing you, so play them.

Key Spanish phrases used by surfers:

1. How old is your daughter? CuÝnto a§os tiene su hija?
2. How much is your daughter? CuÝnto cuesta su hija?
3. I’m sorry. Please don’t hit me. Lo siento. Por favor, no me pege.
4. Here, please take this money. Aqu°, tenga este dinero, por favor.
5. No, I don’t like men. No, no me gustan los hombres.
6. No, I don’t want one. No, no lo quiero.
7. No, that is not a girl. No, no esta una muchacha.
8. Where is the bathroom? My corn hurts. ®DondÇ son los servicios? Me duele el callo.
_9. How are the waves? ®Como son las olas?
10. They suck, you say? ®Son muy malos, verdad?
11. My surfboard is broken. Mi tabla del mar es roto.
12. Let’s go to a cafÇ to look for hot chicks. Vamos a una cafÇ para buscar unas mamitas.

Besides throwing fireworks at cars, Mexiico has a lot to offer. The more tourist-oriented towns have many forms of amusement, such as my personal favorite-scooters. Mexico’s one of the few countries I’ve been to that takes the time to remove the speed governors on the scooters so they’ll open up all the way-none of this 25-kilometer bullshit like in France. With a handful of guys, you’d be surprised how much shit you can stir up playing pollo loco on a dirt road. Scooter tag is fun, or step it up to Scooter Battalion 2001. Another favorite is jet skis. Bring some rope with you and go find some surf to tow into or off of. You can really fly with a jet ski. Hourly or daily rentals ensure lots of fun. But again, be warned. Although tomfoolery is downright hilarious, it’s all too easy to overlook the fact that you’re in another country, no matter how close to home it may seem. The locals can be friendly, helpful, devious, and dastardly at the same time, so be aware. If possible, travel with at least one person who’s somewhat educated in the Spanish field, because if you don’t, you just might get bamboozled.

For the more relaxed type, Mexico has plenty of secluded beaches full of chicks, plus you can work on your bronze. So when you get home, chicks will be like, “What? Bobby’s lookin’ Richter!” or “Damn, Bobby looks hella tight.”

Key Spanish phrases used by girls on the beach:

1. Keep your hands on the sand where I can see them. Mantega las manos en al arena donde puede verlas.
2. Then turn around and walk backward. Despues dese vuelta y camine hacia altas.
3. What do you have in your hair? ®QuÇ tiene en el pelo?
4. These children are too young to watch dirty movies. Estos ni§os son demasiado jovenes para ver peliculas equis.

Rule Three:
Buy insurance for your car before driving to Mexico. You never know when you might need it. One foggy, misty morning in April, my friends and I were hoping to surf K-38s, but it was so foggy we couldn’t even see the ocean. Although we couldn’t see it, we heard the surf, so we knew it was gonna be sick.We were so anxious to see the surf we pulled over on the side of the road and jumped out to check it. But even on the beach it was still too foggy to see. As we walked back to the car, we heard a loud screeching like fingernails running slowly down a freshly cleaned chalkboard. Then smash!Our mouths dropped as the 2000 Chevy Tahoe catapulted into the air by a great semi driven by a drunken native. The SUV rolled once, then magically popped back onto its wheels. The car now looks like Edward James Olmos’ face. But she still rolls.Key Spanish phrases used by drunken natives:

1. If it’s difficult to dry your surfboard, put it in the freezer, and then hang it up. Si le es dif°cil limpiar su tabla del mar, pongalo en el friser y despues despegelo.

2. If you get ink stains on your surfboard, wipe it off with alcohol. Si tiene marcas de tinta en su tabla del mar, limpielo con un poco de alcohol.

3. Don’t hang up knitted wetsuits, it pulls them out of shape. Fold them and store them in a drawer. No colgar ropa tejida ya que se ve sin forma. D¢blarla y guÝrdarla en un cajon.

Although the driver of the semi was plastered, it was still our fault due to the fact that the man had insurance and we did not. After being told off by the local authorities, we were forced to pay a 300-dollar fine and swallow our pride. We did, however, get an all-time session in at K-38s. So bring money, play the game, and buy insurance.