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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

November 21, 2010

Mazatlan, TRAPPED in a bubble

We arrived to a very relaxed feeling; it was by far the easiest part of Mexico so far. We got settled into the hotel Tucson Tony recommended and budget wise it was pretty good. You are looking at about $160 pesos ($11 pesos to $1 dollar) for a simple but clean room with private bathroom and secure parking. The folks here at Hotel Lerma (carlos_lerma8@hotmail.com) are nice and we are about a 3 minute walk to the beach, beer, tacos or what ever you need. If we didn’t run the bikes every day and stuck to our food budget we would actually gain 4-5 bucks a day just by hanging around the beach. This was a good thing! Our intentions were to stay about 3-4 nights then head South but we had some things to accomplish first.

We set out the next morning to walk the city, as it is our M.O., find oil to do some oil changes on both bikes, find a place to dump it and generally just look around. We noticed right away how beautiful the beach is and how friendly and open the city itself feels. The typical cabs are more like golf carts than anything so you see tourists and locals alike cruising around from place to place. There are tourist police, transit police, municipal police, federal police and sometimes military around but it’s never imposing.

We were taking our time along the Malecon (boardwalk) when I saw a realtor’s office. I told Deya we should go in and get an idea of the local situation. We entered and we’re greeted in the language of our choice and with professionalism. Shortly after our entrance we had a tour of a few different opportunities and properties for the next day. We had just met Sylwia DeSoto and were about to meet her husband the following day, Kristopher. This would turn out to be a great experience for us as these folks are honest, professional and competent (see www.boardwalkresidences.com and www.investmazatlan.com). They showed us homes from a range of prices and introduced us to some fantastic people that they know. We were put to think and right now Mazatlan is a good place to invest despite the trouble that you hear, and will hear from me, there is a lot going on here to be impressed with.

Mazatlan city is fantastic but unfortunately does not have what Deya and I are looking for on this particular mission but I could see something being done in the future. So we left the office and only a few blocks down we saw a small Motorbike/Seado shop so we stopped to ask about were we could drop our oil. The owner, Temo was there, www.moto-jet.com and he said he would take the used oil and we could do the change at his haunt right there across from the beach, cool. Back on foot patrol and headed to the Walmart which was the only place where we could find oil that was okay to use in our machines. Everybody else wanted to give us the good stuff, which is actually the bad stuff because we have wet clutch and the extra ‘good stuff’ is too slippery. Anyways, we made it back to the hotel and cooked up some food.

The following day made my brain hurt, Kris is a great guy and there are potential opportunities in Mazatlan, so the things he showed us made my head work harder than it has in a while and off our particular task. The end result was an invitation to a birthday party of some folks that are selling their home. So we decided we would go and Kris and his wife Sylwia would pick us up and take us to the home. By now Deya and I are able to randomly show up to events but this one was pushing the envelop a bit, showing up to people homes we don’t know with people we’ve just met with a bunch of other people who we also didn’t know, awesome!!!

We had a great time and met, once again, a group of really wonderful people. The birthday boy was turning 78 and he and his wife (Burl and Sharon Pettibon www.pettinbonsystems.com) are absolutely fantastic, funny and intelligent people. I’m not sure if I’m blessed, lucky, charming or crapping horseshoes but when good people like this keep finding us I’m very thankful. Burl and Sharon invited us back the next morning to have Burl work on our soar backs, because of all the riding both Deya and I were suffering from various aches and pains. Burl as it turns out, knows a thing or two about you and me, and that thing or two is not only very useful for our health but also applied in such a medically ethical light that it might piss you off the next time you go to your provider back home. Burl is the real deal and Sharon is the motor behind the wheel.

As it goes, the Pettibon System is a holistic approach and considers all the ‘systems’ in the body when exercising a way to rehabilitate a person so that they can reach their maximum potential health. It’s not a magic pill, Burl simply understands all the different functions of the body and how the autonomic systems, subconscious, react to the environmental conditions placed on a person at a molecular level. Understanding this chain of systems and how they interrelate allows for analysis and programming of activities that will have your body do what it’s supposed to do, heal itself. It’s as simple as understanding that gravity forces you down, once you get that you can understand the tremendous benefits to what the Pettibon system is trying to accomplish and at this stage in the game, the help is genuine. Thanks to both of you Burl and Sharon for your attention and caring, our time with you is unforgettable.

We only intended to stay for few days; instead we stayed for over 12 days downtown. We had a beautiful dinner with Kris and Sylwia and watched the Pacquiao versus Margarito fight in a friend’s garage. It was awesome, Pacquiao destroyed Margarito, the funniest thing is sitting in Mexico with a room full of Mexicans routing for a Philippino. We had a great time. Our daily schedule began to emerge; 6am go for Bolillos (bread) and groceries for the day at the market, 9am go to Burl’s place for some stretches, 10-2pm visit companies or the municipality and look for property. It kept us pretty busy and not a lot of time to lounge around. One evening we were walking back home and a shop keep asked us in Spanish, “Habla Espanol?” to which Deya replied, “Si” to which the shop keep replied in English “Meee Toooo”. It was funny enough to make us go back for a drink and a dessert.

We also decided to take a tour, it was a pretty good deal and we would get a boat ride, lunch and free booze. What’s not to like, well free booze isn’t free but first let’s talk about the tour. When a guy on the street offers you a good deal and is willing to get down in price then drive him to the bottom, then walk away and go to the next guy doing the same thing. Tell him the last guy’s best price, if he’ll beat it then you are probably close if not then you hit the bottom and it’s probably a decent deal, make sure they have a business permit to sell tours. Back to the free booze bit, Don’t drink too much for god sake it’s only 11am and it’s hot out. We were screwed for two days!

Okay, as you can see we’re having a great time here, we’re busy, having fun, saving on our budget, meeting great people and practically ready to find jobs, so it’s time to GO! But first we had to visit Judy and some of her buddies for sunset snacks at her pad near the pool and go out of town to look at some properties that fit Deya and my fancy.

We showed up at Judy’s place and sun was setting, well I’ve seen some beautiful sunsets in my time and this was one of them. It was stunning, just stunning. Much better than any sunrise you’ll see on the East Coast, my opinion. So as we’re sitting there people start to come around; it’s like a little community, everybody stops by to say ‘HI’ and a really comfortable feeling pervades. One of the fellows who was there was a heavy hitter in the ethereal world of internet, Jon Morrow www.copyblogger.com, may just be one of the most important editors in the world right now. This guy is an expert in his industry and listening to him commenting about what he does is fascinating. He has a particular charm and passion for his work that obviously helps him to be successful and he adds a lot of value to people through his advice and writings. He has also sparked some ideas for us, though I’m not here to make money, I’m here to adventure. But if I’m doing something important in the future, the internet is certainly an important tool. Thanks Jon.

Prior to visiting with Judy we got some leads on property outside of the city so we headed out early to take a look around and ask locals. The problem, and this is everywhere, is that everybody recommends we don’t buy outside the city. The city is safe, it is fun and you can get everything, come and go as you please, fly out of the International Airport or sleep on the beach. You could live here for 20 years without leaving and probably be very happy, just don’t leave right now, it’s not safe in the hills. So when Deya and I rolled into a pretty little town of La Noria and started hunting around we say and felt some stuff we didn’t like. We did find a local who was selling a nice hectare for about $40000 pesos ( about $3400 CND) but said she could not show it to us now because it was too dangerous and really couldn’t live with herself if she did so she won’t, besides, “it’s 4 o’clock and you need to get back to town fast”. We baled on the idea, part of me says get it and leave it until the trouble goes away, the other part says just leave.

Part of our daily routine had us heading to the market every day. On this day we had a special event, we were getting the ingredients for a soup that required a single chicken thigh; not the whole leg just a thigh. Deya had me approach the butcher and asked, “Yo quiero un muslo”, to which the butcher became confused. I thought I said it wrong but I didn’t, the butcher didn’t understand how I could only be interested in one thigh. As Deya intercepted it got more dramatic with the butcher telling his amigo how poor we must be and feeling dramatically tormented by our situation. We left with our measly thigh but had a great soup. Deya was upset about the butcher’s drama but I was happy because it was about to bring several days of torturous enjoyment as we would return with our own happy news, “Señor, el negocio está bien, quiero DOS muslos hoy, por favor!” That is, “Sir, business is good, I’d like two thighs today, please”.

We registered our agenda with the Consular service of Canada, met the Consul and confirmed the death and destruction that was lying in wait. We were told that in this state alone 20 people a day are killed. Of course it’s not tourists but statistically the odds are higher. Well that bummed me out some but I’m not ready to pick up an AR15 and fight my way out of town so we’ll do it the old fashioned way and ride like mad down the toll roads into another bubble of relative safety and try not to become trapped there too.

Another highlight was meeting a young fellow who is doing some good work for a Not-for-Profit organization here in Mazatlan. He’s a lean expert and is helping the local business improve its processes. This guy reminds me of a good friend who I admire a lot and wish him and his family all the best in their goals, in my books he is golden. I would look to hook this guy up with any business needing an expert in lean manufacturing or leadership. Good job Steve, I hope to bump into you again somewhere on this big journey of life.

We’re on our last day here and I’ll miss Mazatlan, it’s been good to us and the people here make it worth staying but we have a journey, the adventure awaits and so we’ll leave this attractive bubble of ease for the tension and stress waiting for us just outside in the mountains. I know we’ll be well, it’s not our time to be other than that, it’s not the lesson we need to learn, it’s not the thing that will help us to give back.

Our final day ends with a large parade to celebrate 100 Years of the Mexican Revolution, impressive to see the turn out. I won’t go into the details but certainly Mexicans have good parades, I’m sure I’ll see more of them as we head East. Related to holidays, we decided not to camp on the beach for a couple more days so I have to apologize to the good folks out there that we said we’d visit and cook for but we need to get to Veracruz to take care of some business before the festivities commence in December. We have a lot to do and little time to get it done.

1 comment:

  1. Brian and Deya,

    What a blessing to have crossed your path. Thank you for taking the time to come down to the Looney Bean and find out more about what we are up to. I enjoyed our conversation and was refreshed to share so much common with two fantastic human beings. I hope to have the opportunity to spend time with you both again.

    All the best,

    Steve

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