Monday, October 31, 2005

Nogales has lost a son

The citizens of Nogales wept openly in the streets as Lar and Len threaded their way toward the international border. Grown men sobbed and threw themselves at the wealthy gringos' feet, imploring them to stay and spend money. "Senors, help me make my first sale of the day," shouted Pepe. "
"We cannot, my man, we cannot," said Leo, with an imperious wave of his hand. "We have already divested ourselves of mucho dinero while in your country." And Leo's statement was not without truth. For he and Lar had negotiated fine deals for Cuban cigars, a liter of vanilla, a wool blanket and a poncho. Add to this a sumptuous lunch from from the fabulous El Greco restaurante in a booth overlooking the Avenida Obregon.
"Un momento," said Lar, pausing before a sidewalk vendor's makeshift cart. The senorita brushed a wisp of coal black hair out of her eyes as she went into the tired sales pitch she'd already made a hundred times since noon. "I'm not interested in the flotsam you sell the tourists," he said, squinting his steely eyes against the azure sky. "I want the contraband."
"Si, si, I get," she said, not realizing Lar had been to Nogales before.
In less than two minutes, a bargain had been made and the money changed hands. Lar put the pair of duty-free Ray-Bans on and walked off. Len growled at the vendors, "If any of you try to follow us, I'm gonna skin this smokewagon and make your heads into canoes."

Photo by Chester Arthur Burnett

If you guys had not shown me the picture of your table at El Greco, where you can push the button to summon the wait staff, then I would have dismissed your narrative as fiction.

Truth IS stranger than fiction.

I remember these waiters from 26 March 2005 when I first forayed into magical Mexico with my Two Amigos.
And we shall return, as the Greco is now our haven in the commerce-driven streets of Nogales.
Aye. This last bastion of hospitality in a sin-ridden citadel is a most pleasant retreat.
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