Saturday, January 26, 2013

There's hand holders and then there's hand holders..

I guess its my lot in life to be haunted by gill nets. I really do try to remember that everbody's got to live but this morning I was feeling the qwan at sun up when this guy laid his net out front. Yikes, it was so close that Ern lost a 6 dollar Kroc and experience has taught me this...don't fish behind a gill net, won't work. So we just watched him haul in some toro's and a couple nice Robalo. Ern went home and me and MP were off on a hand holder.
I actually think I invented that term 'hand holder' which is a... well you guys all know or should know. Its part of my mantra 'happy wife, happy life' but ya know, I think maybe I need them more than MP does. So we get a ride with our friends down to north beach to watch the fisherman come in. We've done it lots and you've seen it lots but there's always something new, life is like that. So, any of you that have known me for 40 years ought to know why I took this pic,  remind you of anything ? Ahhhh, maybe the  foundation of what became 'Jeff King's Budget Charters'.
Our plan is to go have breakfast at the mercado and I just love to walk Zaragosa Street, its an important retail area. But today we decide to short cut through a funky little neighborhood I spot, up a steep sidewalk with no roads. The couple of blocks had a cool common area where a street would be in any other part of the city. The houses were mostly well kept and as we wandered people said good morning. Then it closed up into a small walkway and we were back in the city...a town within a city, how cool. You'll get the flavor of it all by the 3 pics in a row.
We make a little side trip to the Saturday organic market at Zaragosa square. Its only 9 am when I took these pics buts its already warm and promises to get to the mid 80's today, unusually warm to match the unusual storm we had a week ago. MP's got something stuck in her shoe, a semi flat tire. Problem solved.
And of course here in Mazatlan we have music everywhere, all the time. Sometimes more than one source at time if you know what I mean. I like to play it, I like to hear it,I like to watch it and these guys were great, a little jazzy morning riff to stimulate the shopping public.
I spotted something I had never seen before. Beautiful flowers that aren't all delicate and light like the usual Fred Meyer bouquets. These guys were meaty, more like a vine and of course MP new exactly what they were (which impressed me)...Bird of Paradise.
We get to the market and we're only 4,000 steps into the day. We've eaten here many a time, its only the 1st time that makes you wonder, trust me, its great. All the restaurants are on the second floor, we always eat outside, ours is the one on the left hand corner of the building in this pic. As you can see the downstairs shops and stalls are just opening up. Its 10 am and Mazatlan is almost awake.
For me the attraction is authenticity and of course a good deal comes with that in Mexico. Here's a pic of the breakfast menu. In most of the Gold Zone places you can get breakfast for 50 to 70 peso's, MP and I both have Huevos Rancheros.
I learned something...again. Lately  we got to knowing that if you want to avoid getting an Orange Crush soda when you order 'naranga' you need to add the word 'jugo' or 'fresca'. When I ordered my milk I should have said 'leche freo' or even 'fresca' because what I got was a steaming hot cup of milk with instant coffee and sugar that you see everywhere. In the dias, Mazatlan runs on instant coffee, in the noches it runs on Pacifico . The coffee and milk was actually really good. But, between it and the semi spicy ranchero sauce, old Jethro was smoking pretty good by the end of the meal, my first sweat of the day. Excellent.
After breakfast a young couple was happy to take our pics and we reciprocated by taking theirs. MP's haircut still looks good doesn't it?
She's been on the hunt for just the right pair of flip flops. Around here you can get the 'tourist' kind that are usually rubber and say 'Abercrombie Fitch' on them or you can canvass the block after blocks of shoe stores. MP likes her shoes so even though she's got many, I find it kinda cute. I guess for her the shoes are like fishing rods to me, you can't have to many. So this trip we found the right ones at the Hermanos store. Its kinda weird. All the shoes are displayed in the windows, none are inside. So you tell the gal the number or numbers of the ones that interest you and she brings out the right side flip flop. She's courteous, professional and pretty darn easy on the eyes.
Then its down to the shrimp ladies. All the different vendors have basically the same product, just different prices. We've found the key to  it is to buy from the one who has the most ice, very important. So after walking and talking and I even sample a little raw shrimp for freshness we settle on a stall and buy a kilo of headed mediums for peel and eat then 1/2 kilo of super large with head on for the barbie. 200 pesos for it all, about 17 bucks.
Another few blocks away is an entire block of flower shops. You can smell it as you walk up and its a beehive of activity. I  watched the movie ' The Godfather' many a time so I know exactly what this thing is. If you were to leave the planet here in ol Mazatlan you could have a pretty darn cool farewell.
After looking at all the different shops we settle on one. Its not hard to spot a gringo so as often happens here the folks send the kid out who's been paying attention in school and we're waited on by the coolest guy with excellent language skills. I get his card, we'll come back when this bunch here is done cheering up the house at LaMarina.
We're only a few blocks now from the malecon and the bus back but I manage to find a street we've never been on before. Now I know what I'm doing on the next overcast day. Forget the casino, we're going to hustle some pool just like the old days. My friend Curt Syness would love this place, open air, plenty of tables and you can hear the surf crashing...
So now its 11 am and we're sitting next to Mazatlan's new water park waiting for the bus. We've had breakfast, we've walked our 10,000 steps, we've got more shoes and shrimp, I got to play Louie Louie on a guys guitar at the market and well....I'm just about as happy as this kid running through the sprinkler. We're the same, just a little older, same but different.


  1. This is a great post, Uncle! And that boat DOES look like the original Minnow.... glad to know you and MP are having fun and still enjoying quality time together!!

  2. My wife and I also had about the same breakfast in the same restaurant 3 or 4 years ago. The Leche and Nescafe were actually pretty good.