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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

A gringo’s diary of spring break

My Spring Break trip to Mexico was one hell of a time, and there’s no one I would rather have gone with than my close friends Mike and Dave.

We spoke some decent Spanish, and some horrible Spanish. We were approached by drug dealers and prostitutes. We learned that Chesterfield cigarettes provide little more than a headache. We learned that people in Mexico drive crazily but rarely crash, probably due to excessive use of their horns.

We crashed a rental car, copped some cheap Cuban cigars, rode ATVs and ran into two of Dave’s seemingly infinite ex-girlfriends. We visited a number of strip clubs, we danced with a lot of random girls. We drove a lot, and drank a lot, and tried not to let the two overlap. And most of all, we had a lot of fun.

Selected entries from my spring break diary:

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March 25, approximately 11 p.m.:

Driving in a rented Hyundai Elantra down the 101 South, we crash while driving the car much harder than it should ever be driven. Great recovery by Dave, we easily could have died.

Later that night, we ditch one of my best high school friends to go to a “party” in San Diego. The party turns out to be a bunch of empty beer cans and half of a bottle of tequila.

March 26, during the morning: We try not to break Trip Rule number one (no fast food) but end up dining with the National City Social Club at McDonald’s for breakfast. The group consists of a bunch of old people and a down-on-his-luck electrician who tries to get a reaction from us by making racist comments towards other customers.

We stop into the Wells Fargo in National City, Calif. A 50-plus black woman informs us she’s dealing with side effects from menopause. Dave begins to fan her with a clipboard, which he subsequently breaks. He comments “don’t make ’em like they used to.”

March 26, afternoon:

Recapping some recent events: A fruitless search for a cheap motel room in Rosarito, Mexico leads us to the purchase of a $10 parking spot. We walk out in sandals and shorts, and, after some tacos, sneak into the back of Papas & Beer. $35 dollar cover charge? No thanks.

Later, I’ll split with the boys and find myself dancing at Rock N’ Roll Taco. I dance with three girls I met in our parking lot while brushing my teeth. The first is the one that invited me-not a very exciting dancer. The next is energetic but she doesn’t move her feet. The third is aggressive but unimaginative. I return to the car after two fish tacos, a bottle of water, and a dollar for one of the street mothers who resides on the sidewalk.

On Sunday morning, I awake from my driver’s seat bed to an obnoxious guy asking a girl waiting for someone at her car, “hey scallywag, need a ride?” I can’t get back to sleep. Mike assists me by placing his leg on my head from his backseat bed. He continues to snore like a bullfrog in mating season.

That night, we end up at Tacos & Beer (not to be confused with Papas & Beer) in Ensenada, a dive on the corner where we are the only three white people. We dance Spanish-style with some girls there. More fun to dance with than the white girls, though they don’t grind here. Freak-dancing seems to be unique to Americans, I don’t think it’s something our puritan forefathers came up with.

Wednesday March 30, 1:45 p.m.:

We’re back in California, despite the Mexican government’s best efforts to keep us from finding the border. The two nights in San Felipe were quite fun, though hard to recollect. On the first night, we decide that the 200 peso cover charge at the Beachcomber is too steep and that jumping from roof to roof and onto the top level of the club is a better idea. We almost get in before a waiter spots us and we are forced to sprint, roof to roof, back to our hotel.

After spending the next day riding ATVs and lounging by the pool, we head to Chumpo’s for tostadas and pizza. Earlier in the day, in an effort to find bowls for cereal, I had used my high school-level Spanish to ask Chumpo if he had balls. His response-an awkward “what are you talking about” followed by “well yes, I do.”

Our second night in San Felipe begins with two-for-one margaritas and ends with us sleeping, side by side, in sleeping bags on the beach. We awake the next morning, have Churros for breakfast, and begin the journey north. This trip has met its end.

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