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August, 2009:

Who doesn’t like a good milestone like 100 blog posts?

Well kids, today marks the inauspicious milestone of the 100th blog post here at www.midwesternerinmexico.com. I am celebrating it with a wild Saturday night alone on my couch here in Mexico City, recovering from 3 final exams in one weekend & drinking a bottle of Chianti while watching possibly the dumbest movie known to man, “A Sound of Thunder”, also known as El Sonido del Trueno here on Cablevisión. For those not familiar with this timeless classic, it recounts the story of a business that sends people back in time to kill dinosaurs for sport. But then they screw up evolution by accidentally bringing a butterfly back to the present, so crazed plants and monkey-dinosaurs start taking over the world. (Ah how cliche, the old “butterfly flaps its wings” argument…) Anyway, I digress.

After exhausting my brain space on stimulating MBA topics like Competing through Strategy, Profit Planning, and Fundamentals of Managerial Finance, I am not fit to bring anything particularly exciting to my regular blog readers… But since “existence of end-user interest” never prevented any other blogger from generating new content, I will follow suit.

Two quick topics:

  1. REQUESTS: Are there any requests out there for Mexico-related topics that y’all would like to see in a subsequent blog post? As I’ve mentioned before, I am already delinquent on about 20 posts, but obviously reader requests rise to the top of the heap. 😉  (Reference recent über-popular Mexico City Airport post requested by reader Tori!) If anything leaps to mind, please give me a holler. For anyone who’s emailed me recently to no response, I promise to get more responsive… I will be back in the Midwest for 10 days as of this Monday, so I will have no excuse. :) Requests, feedback, comments, criticisms, please send them my way!
  2. BLOG BENEFITS THAT I DIDN’T REALIZE: As I’ve told several of you, I originally started this blog to serve as a venue for updates to my family & friends to demonstrate that I’d not been gunned down by drug lords. Besides accomplishing that goal (knock on wood), I have been pleasantly surprised by the following benefits (in no particular order…)–
  • New Blog Friends in Mexico City: Given the innerweb’s reputation for facilitating weirdo-on-weirdo conections, the possibility of discovering fun, normal friends in DF via a blog didn’t even really cross my mind. Luckily the innerweb’s reach has expanded as of late, and I would like to highlight a few of my recent acquaintances that I’ve had the fortune to meet in person:
  • Commenters! Who knew the excitement that could be generated by total strangers taking the time to write 2 sentences indicating they’ve enjoyed the random blather that you’ve shared with the world? Every time I joyfully read a comment or email, I remind myself to stop silently stalking other blogs & start posting comments. :)
  • Viewing Stats of What People Searched for on Google that Caused them to end up at my Blog: this is a constant source of amusement for me. After getting over my initial fascination that people were actually ending up at my blog via Google, I then began spending more time thinking “how disappointed/confused/annoyed did the person feel who ended up at my blog after searching for…”
    • reverse mullet
    • are there more pigs than people in iowa?
    • panda hunting
    • high cut leotard
    • americans in overseas prisons
    • bubble butt micro shorts
    • chihuahua kicked across room and video
    • do mexican prisons have toilets?
    • i had bacon last night, could i have pig flu?
    • is it bad to eat hot dogs while swine flu?
    • naked mexican women with sombreros
    • owl mannequins
    • what am I going to do with my life quiz
    • where can i get a mario kart drivers license?

While I realize that this post will likely simply lure in more searchers-in-vain, but at least they will find a post explicitly stating as much. 😉

Anyway, a much-deserved thanks to all of you who have followed this site & offered support over the last year+! I am excited to be entering our 2nd year here in Mexico City, and hope to see more of you down here to take advantage of all that DF has to offer!!

Saludos,
www.midwesternerinmexico.com

Who doesn’t have a line of credit at their local steakhouse?

In a sign that Mexico has learned well from its northern neighbor about how credit is great for encouraging people to spend money they don’t have, I recently observed the below sign at a steak/pasta restaurant here in DF that is popular with the work crowd.

This tabletop ad encourages the reader to "Savor it at MeLéE, now 3 and 6 months without interest," and clarifies that this offer applies with AmEx, for any number of people and with no minimum total required.

This tabletop ad encourages the reader to "Savor it at MeLéE, now 3 and 6 months without interest," and clarifies that this offer applies with AmEx, for any number of people and with no minimum total required. Their website elaborates on this promotion with "Este momento es lo más importante"-- this moment is the most important.

Shoppers in the US have faced plenty of reprimands over the years from financial gurus regarding the wisdom of purchasing, say, a 63-inch plasma TV on your credit card when you’re working for minimum wage at PetSmart and you’re underwater on your mortgage. However, I suppose there’s always the argument that a big-screen TV is a gift that keeps on giving, with years of potential mind-numbing reality show programming to share in its future?

I feel confident in saying that an 800-gram rib eye steak, while damn tasty, may not offer similar long-term rewards that you will fondly recall when paying off your $560 peso AmEx bill in 6 months. Or more realistically, when paying off your $1000 peso bill several months later. (If you’re eating lunch at places you can’t afford today, odds are low that 6 months later, your financial woes will have been magically sorted out.)

I had infinite questions about this lunch-on-credit strategy. MeLéE, despite its excessive use of capital letters, seems to be a popular spot for business lunches or the occasional affluent elderly get-together, ala “heaven’s waiting room”. If you’re at lunch with your coworkers, would it not be awkward to negotiate a payment plan with the waiter for your linguini alfredo? Or do you just get 3 months automatically if you use your AmEx? Or is there a box to check on the credit card slip stating “There’s no way I’m paying my balance off this month; please give me 6 months leeway”?  If they regularly have an older crowd in there, where does a $162 peso claim for a “Hamburguesa Gourmet Super Gigante” get prioritized during an estate settlement?

While the food and service at MeLéE was excellent, I for one can’t afford to go there on a regular basis, and have not yet decided whether to apply for an American Express card just for this purpose. I will be keeping an eye out to see if this trend catches on elsewhere here in Mexico City, though. Three months of no interest on a super-sized McNuggets meal with fries and a Coke could offer me *almost* enough time to digest whatever that spongy material is masquerading as chicken.

Never try to give a Chilean advice about spicy food…

…when you speak Spanish like a 5-year-old.

One of my good friends from my MBA program is originally from Chile, and recently moved from Mexico City to Kentucky due to a change with her husband’s job. (Now THAT would be a “cultural differences” blog I would LOVE to read!!) Since we no longer get to spend hours in class together every other weekend, we chat regularly online via MSN Messenger. It’s usually a mix of Spanish & English, depending on a) how rapidly I am trying to convey a point, b) how much pity Carolina takes on me, and c) how good I am about remembering that I need to be practicing Spanish whenever I can.

While instant messaging in another language certainly isn’t as challenging as a spoken conversation, it definitely trips me up more than writing emails. On the downside, you lose some of the visual cues & the ability for the other person to sense when you aren’t following. On the good side, you have a little more time to comprehend & react, as well as look things up on my favorite site ever, www.wordreference.com. That said, when you’re trying to keep a chat flowing without long, awkward pauses, you don’t really have time to pull up your Spanish/English dictionary for every word you’re not sure about.

Anyway, yesterday I shot an IM off to Carolina around noonish. She told me she was heading off to meet her husband for lunch, and was amused to tell me that they were heading to a Mexican restaurant in Kentucky (clearly hub of authentic Mexican food). :)

To interject another point here– I guess I always assumed that all of Latin America was alike in its fondness for spicy food. After meeting folks from various countries in South America this past year, I now realize that is not the case. Lots of South Americans not only are not big fans of spicy salsas & the like, but really tend not to use any hot spices in their foods at all. Carolina falls into this category, and hence always found it a challenge here in Mexico City, where it often feels like 99% of food is enchilado (seasoned with chili). Even candy here comes rolled through chili– she regaled me with stories from Halloween about trying to wash all the chili powder off half the candy her son received during his trick-or-treating efforts. (What happened to a good old Kit-Kat, people?)

Cutting back to yesterday- Carolina had already said goodbye in our chat window, so I knew if I had any parting comments I had to make them quick (i.e. no time for checking www.wordreference.com, folks). Attempting to whip off a witty one liner, I typed “Avoid the hot spices!” in Spanish…or so I thought. As I began typing I thought to myself, “Hmm not really sure how to say spiciness as a noun, only as an adjective, but I’ll give it my best effort and I’m sure she’ll get the idea”.  So I went with “Evita el pico!!!

And so it was that I told my friend to “Avoid the penis!” at her lunch with her husband. Apparently “el pico” is slang for penis in Chilean. Damn.

To quote from our messenger window, her reaction was something along the lines of:
que???
jajajajjaja
pico means “Pene” in Chilean
jajajajjaja
jajajjajaja

I was pleased to note that I did conjugate the imperative “tu” form of evitar correctly, but apparently congratulating me for that point escaped her notice. 😉 For future reference, picante is the word I wanted to use. I attempted to recover with “Pues, probablemente debes evitar eso durante la comida tambien…”  (Well you should probably avoid that during the lunch too…)  She informed me that she would try, but her husband probably wouldn’t be happy. :)

In summary, let me offer my recommendation of instant messaging with native speakers as a supplementary tool for anyone learning Spanish. It definitely helps improve your reaction time, introduces you to some slang you probably wouldn’t learn in class, and gives you a much better venue to erroneously tell people to “avoid the penis” than at, say, a business lunch.

Internet is probably more important than basic utilities anyway

As spotted in Parque Lincoln in the Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City:
This sign translates as "Miguel Hidalgo (the district where Polanco is located) offers you free internet here." We've totally got our priorities straight, people.

This sign translates as "Miguel Hidalgo (the district where Polanco is located) offers you free internet here." We've totally got our priorities straight, people.

This is part of DF’s new marketing campaign:

Mexico City:
We can’t promise you potable, running water, but we can promise that you’ll be able to download a video of a hot chick drinking a glass of water online.”

A Mariachi-filled Night Out in Plaza Garibaldi

You may have heard of Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City, best known as the local hub of mariachi action. I posted back in March about our visit there after the Cantina Crawl, but I thought I’d follow up with a bit more detail on how to spend a night out in Garibaldi (for those suspicious of/curious about the area).

Plaza Garibaldi: lotta dudes hanging out in a lotta tight pants...

Plaza Garibaldi: lotta dudes hanging out in a lotta tight pants...

We had heard rumors after arriving in DF that the Garibaldi area was a bit dangerous & best avoided at night. Based on our multiple experiences, we’ve had no issues nor felt remotely unsafe while hanging out in the Plaza. I do agree wandering off the beaten path onto sidestreets is best avoided. However, walking there on Lazaro Cardenas (coming from the cantinas around Calle Simon Bolivar) seemed fine (plenty of lighting/traffic around), and we’ve had no issues with getting a taxi from the sitio stand directly in front the plaza at the end of the night. John & I have taken both my brother & my parents there on separate occasions, so I would say it is an amusing, autentico Mexico experience for friends/siblings/parents alike. :)

Some of the gentlemen you may have the chance to meet at Plaza Garibaldi

Some of the gentlemen you may have the chance to meet at Plaza Garibaldi

We certainly have not explored all of the restaurants/bars/clubs around the Plaza, but what follows is a suggested Plaza Garibaldi itinerary based on what we have sussed out to date. Note: we have only visited on Friday or Saturday nights; you may want to stick with those nights for maximum bustle of activity.

Timeline A: best for visiting parents or folks who will be ready for bed by 11-12PM

7:30PM: Arrive at Plaza Garibaldi via taxi or metro (Metro Garibaldi station on line 8 or line B). There is an underground parking lot, but a) rumor has it that it’s fairly spendy and b) driving will limit your ability to drink tequila. Perhaps do a quick wander around the perimeter to suss out the available options for the evening. Head over to Mercado San Camilito for dinner. If you are facing Plaza Garibaldi from the street where the taxi dropped you off, walk towards the far left side of the plaza. You will eventually an encounter a passageway between the buildings, and the Mercado lines the left side of that walkway.

This was the stall we chose for our tasty dinner of birria, tacos, agua de jamaica, and amazing salsas.

This was the stall we chose for our tasty dinner of birria, tacos, agua de jamaica, and amazing salsas.

Upon finding the Mercado entrance, you will enter a very long hallway (or gauntlet, if you will) lined on both sides by fine dining options galore. At this hour, the vendors will likely be caught somewhat offguard by your arrival, so you may not receive “the full treatment” as you walk down the line. Being barked at by every waiter/waitress, handed menus, touched on the arm, and pleaded with to sit down & eat is not uncommon, especially later in the evening.

The colorfully-decorated ceiling at Guadalajara de Noche

The colorfully-decorated ceiling at Guadalajara de Noche

9:00PM: Walk over to Guadalajara de Noche, located at the far back of the plaza (when looking from the taxi-drop-off street) for their 9:00PM show (or espectaculo, as it is more glamorously known here). If you have a larger group/want good seats, ideally you called or emailed them earlier in the day or the day before to reserve a table. (This can be done here.) Since you are going there to watch a show, it’s worth having a table where you don’t have to crane your neck around someone to see the action.

You even get the chance to pose with a saddle, as my dad did admirably.

You even get the chance to pose with a saddle, as my dad did admirably.

This spot gives you a taste of Mexican music/entertainment at a very reasonable price with plenty of tequila options also at reasonable prices. If I am recalling correctly, the cover charge for the 9:00 show is $30 pesos (<$3 USD). If you have a quorum of tequila fans, I recommend buying a bottle of tequila which comes with 6 refrescos (I recommend Squirt to enable palomas). I think we paid around $600 pesos ($46 USD) for a decent bottle to share among 3 of us, which was, uh, plenty of tequila to go around. :) Guadalajara de Noche also serves food, but we have yet to test it out.

The entertainment consists first of a random cover band playing songs until the official show begins. Then a solid mariachi band steps out on stage, with trumpets & an assortment of guitars. (They take requests, but it is kind of a rip at around $90-100 pesos/song, I believe).  Dancers make appearances ~3 times (2 women, 2 men), clad in a variety of gorgeous traditional outfits doing a variety of traditional dances (or so we assumed). A female singer & male singer, both with impressive vocal chords, make separate appearances to accompany the mariachi band. And last but not least, a cattle-roper dude comes out with his lasso (not sure what the proper term is here… lazador,  perhaps en español??) and makes that rope dance like a varmint. The only thing you are missing at the 9:00 show that happens at the 11:00 show is the fake cockfight between two heavily-petted roosters. That is not an event to be taken lightly, but I suppose you can live without seeing it.

The mariachis make an appearance to get the crowd revved up.

The mariachis make an appearance to get the crowd revved up.

 

The dancers had these amazing, brightly-colored dresses...

The dancers had these amazing, brightly-colored dresses...

 

...but also managed a few costume changes during the performance.

...but also managed a few costume changes during the performance.

 

I too would like to be able to dance around a quickly moving rope.

I too would like to be able to dance around a quickly moving rope.

Reference aforementioned bottle of tequila & Squirts.

Reference aforementioned bottle of tequila & Squirts.

I am a fan of this place to bring visitors because a) it’s a little kitschy but not over the top, b) the music is pretty good, c) it combines the best of Garibaldi (mariachi music) with comfort (sitting indoors in chairs), d) the tequila seems reasonably priced, e) the actual show is only about an hour, making it quick & painless and f) there are generally no other loud gringo visitors, only tourists from Latin America. Between the 9PM & 11PM shows, the cover band plays popular Latin dance songs, and everyone gets up and dances on the stage. This is why having the Latin American tourists is key– they are all amazing dancers that I could watch for hours. Note: if you arrive at 9, it’s a little dead, but the audience fills in steadily as the show goes on & it’s usually full on the main floor by the 11:00 show.

10:30PM: After watching the impressive dance skills of the audience members for a while, settle your bill & wander outside back into the heart of Plaza Garibaldi. The crowd should be picking up a bit now, but this place doesn’t really hit its stride until midnight & beyond (and then goes until 5-6AM!!). Go hang out in the central bit where all the mariachis are putting out the vibe, and eavesdrop on a few songs or try to negotiate one yourself. The going-rate for a mariachi song varies widely, and seems to be driven primarily by # of band members and # of songs you buy, with a small variance for ‘quality of band’. Tip: If you are bringing guests here, look smart by doing some research in advance so you know the names of a few mariachi songs other than Cielito Lindo. I am a fan of Mariachi Loco and El Rey, to name two.

11:15PM: Head to the taxi stand and attempt to negotiate a decent rate for your trip home. For going to Polanco, we have come to be happy with anything <$100 pesos. Your visitors should be in bed by mighnight!

Timeline B: best for visiting friends, 20/30-somethings, or when you do not have plans to be functioning before 10AM the next day.

Brother Tim is well-entertained after 1/3 a bottle of tequila.

Brother Tim is well-entertained after 1/3 a bottle of tequila.

10:30PM: Arrive at Plaza Garibaldi & head directly to Guadalajara de Noche to catch some of the dancing prior to the 11:00 espectaculo. (If you’ve not eaten dinner, arrive 45-60 min earlier & hit the aforementioned stalls in the Mercado.) Order bottle of tequila ASAP. 

The more glasses you are holding in Plaza Garibaldi, the better of a night you are having. Left to right: random guy we were buying drinks from, random guy John befriended who bought John tequila shots, John

The more glasses you are holding in Plaza Garibaldi, the better of a night you are having. Left to right: random guy we were buying drinks from, random guy John befriended who bought John tequila shots, John

12:00PM: After the show wraps up, head outside to the now more-bustling plaza. You will be immediately solicited by a random dude to buy a beer/michelada/tequila shot. Plaza Garibaldi is one of the few places of which I am aware where you can drink outside while wandering around. Take advantage of this, ideally after you first find a good spot to stand & people watch. Order a huge michelada (you may want just a cerveza if you are not a fan of the added spicy sauce, or as for a michelada con limon y nada mas- just lime juice). Pause to consider your stomach strength before subsequently deciding to mix in some tequila shots.

Next, attempt to identify a competent mariachi band to perform for your group. Note: this will be challenging because all the good ones will have already been hired to go play at private parties for the evening, will already be playing for large groups of Mexicans in the plaza, or will be charging more than your tight-fisted gringo tendencies want to pay. You will be left to choose between 3 possibly-homeless men without any trumpets who are wearing trenchcoats, or 5 men whose outfits don’t match and are slightly intoxicated. Regardless of who you choose, it will make for a good story/pictures.

Despite Bertie's hopeful appearance, these guys sounded like dying cats.

Despite Bertie's hopeful appearance, these guys sounded like dying cats.

Alternatively, just eavesdrop on other mariachi performances and instead spend your pesos on the Balloon Dart Toss, the best game ever. This is located on the far right side of the plaza (when facing in from the street), near the building overhangs. Last month I finally broke my winning streak of “3 for 3 balloons popped”, thereby capping my number of horrible ceramic figurines at 2. Prices begin at $20 pesos for a chance to win the crappy ones, and increase to $40/50 pesos for the “good” ones, I think. Note: be prepared to win while using darts as sharp as a pillow.

Just look at all those amazing prizes I didn't win!! This certainly merits a return trip...

Just look at all those amazing prizes I didn't win!! This certainly merits a return trip...

Drink additional micheladas/cervezas until you realize that you have not properly assessed the available bathroom options prior to ingesting this much liquid. Momentarily panic. Then recall the bathrooms available inside & just outsidethe Mercado San Camilito, or sneak into Salon Tenampa to use theirs. (John claims there are bathrooms in the parking garage as well, but I vote for staying above ground level.) When people in your group start to complain about their feet hurting, consider going to Salon Tenampa for a drink & a sit. There is also a pulqueria in the plaza, but it closes at midnight. Over in the direction of the Mercado entrance, look for a grandma sitting on the ground with several baskets around her. These are filled with tamales; ask for a tamale verde. Alternatively, order some esquites from the corn guy in the same vicinity & try to figure out what happened to the rest of this chicken:

Esquites are an excellent street food choice of cooked corn covered with lime juice, mayo, powered chiles (perhaps Tajin seasoning) and cheese. Mmm. Shown here is some corn before the final, deliciousness-inducing steps, as well as the odd chicken foot.

Esquites are an excellent street food choice of cooked corn covered with lime juice, mayo, powered chiles (perhaps Tajin seasoning) and cheese. Mmm. Shown here is some corn before the final, deliciousness-inducing steps, as well as the odd chicken foot.

2:00AM: Consider going to one of the Latin dance clubs along the plaza or across the street. We visited one that is just on your right when facing the plaza from the street, where they tried to stick us with a fairly high cover charge. Be prepared to pay fairly high cover charge or convince some silver-tongued devil in your group to try to negotiate a hot discount. Once inside, you will witness more amazing Latin dancing that people from the Midwest are not programmed to be able to do. Try to dance to a few songs with your husband until you realize you might maim someone with your flopping around & you get frustrated because the ceiling is too low for him to actually spin you without whapping your arms on the roof. (Note: last directive may be unique to me)

3:30-4:00AM: Depart the dance clubs & make a final assessment of any additional purchases needed. Have you given sufficient consideration to a cowboy hat?

John & Ben drink their micheladas while assessing cowboy hat options.

John & Ben drink their micheladas while debating cowboy hat options.

Send your group’s most fluent/sober member to negotiate the taxi, and pile in to head home. Congratulations, you’ve just spend a nite in the land of mariachis.

Lucha Libre: La Experiencia

The grand entrance to...THE EXPERIENCE!!!  yeeeee-haaawwwwww

The grand entrance to...THE EXPERIENCE!!! yeeeee-haaawwwwww

In the US, if you told me that there was a WWE convention going on next weekend, you can pretty much bet your ass that I wouldn’t be there. For whatever reason, though, professional wrestling in Mexico City = entertainment gold. Hence, I was all over Lucha Libre: La Experiencia, the lucha expo that came to town the other weekend. 

Mexico City never seems to lack for interesting expos. This year has seen The Chocolate Experience at the World Trade Center in January, as well as a Travel Expo in July filled with people in a ticket-buying frenzy for trips across Mexico and beyond, and the International Tattoo Convention is next weekend. But the lucha-fest has to rank as the most entertaining one thus far.

Our friend & lucha die-hard Alan, seen here with Silver King, perhaps better know to many as Ramses from the movie Nacho Libre

Our friend & lucha die-hard Alan, seen here with Silver King, perhaps better know to many as Ramses from the movie Nacho Libre

This was a 3-day lucha extravaganza at the Centro Banamex convention center, located conveniently near our apartment. As a disclaimer, I will note that we have 2 friends who spent almost the entirety of the 3 days at the expo, so my amusement level may be slightly biased by these strong external forces. Despite my husband’s claims of being “lucha-d out”, I convinced him that since I’d spent half my weekend in class, I TOTALLY deserved to go see shirtless men in external underwear prancing around on Sunday afternoon. It worked.

The main event lucha ring, set up inside the expo center & lined with adoring fans.

The main event lucha ring, set up inside the expo center & lined with adoring fans.

The expo had a big lucha ring set up with stadium seating on four sides in one corner of the event hall, supplemented by loads of booths featuring both vendors & luchadores, and then 2 smaller rings– one where kids were flopping all over the place and another where young men were trying to learn the tricks of the trade. Needless to say, I think a few photos will do this much more justice.

MTZ is *the* premier maker of mascaras (lucha masks) here in Mexico City. www.mtzwear.com

MTZ is *the* premier maker of mascaras (lucha masks) here in Mexico City. www.mtzwear.com

MTZ Store online

I don't think I fully considered how popular this might make me back home when I decided not to buy this hoodie. I may have to reassess

I don't think I fully considered how popular this might make me back home when I decided not to buy this hoodie. I may have to reassess

How have I not known until now that there is a luchador called Matimatico?? My math-teacher parents will be so excited... (photo courtesy Alan)

How have I not known until now that there is a luchador called Matematico?? My math-teacher parents will be so excited... (photo courtesy Alan)

Additional details on Matemático available here, and also the most mysterious blog I have ever found written by someone seemingly masquerading as a luchador-for-good in Richmond, VA.

John tried to get in on some hot Corona-on-Corona action...  You have to love any expo that sells beer & advertises it heavily to attendee of all ages...

John tried to get in on some hot Corona-on-Corona action... You have to love any expo that sells beer & advertises it heavily to attendee of all ages...

Speaking of Corona, this man was most certainly NOT a professional luchador... but he was ripped & I didn't have to pay to take a photo with him. (Most of the pro luchadors were charging $20-30 pesos per photo.)

Speaking of Corona, this man was most certainly NOT a professional luchador... but he was ripped & I didn't have to pay to take a photo with him. (Most of the pro luchadors were charging $20-30 pesos per photo.)

To be fair, John also got a pic with the scantily clad Corona chickie...

To be fair, John also got a pic with the scantily clad Corona chickie...

I am unclear how intimidating you can really be when your costume includes angel wings sewn to your back... These seem to almost beg to be ripped off.

I am unclear how intimidating you can really be when your costume includes angel wings sewn to your back... These seem to almost beg to be ripped off.

In the above photo, note the creepy looking guy in the scurvy outfit inthe upper right corner. I need Alan’s help on his name, but let’s go with La Rata (the rat) for the moment. In case you can’t see his, uh, mascots, let’s get a good close up:

That's right, folks. He has an actual rat hanging out on top of his head. (At least to his credit, I am pretty sure that is a wig...though I'm not sure what would be easiest to wash rat wee out of...)

That's right, folks. He has an actual rat hanging out on top of his head. (At least to his credit, I am pretty sure that is a wig...though I'm not sure what would be easiest to wash rat wee out of...)

Alan got a sweet photo with Blue Demon as well, one of the more popular luchadores down here.

Alan got a sweet photo with Blue Demon as well, one of the more popular luchadores down here.

Blue Demon seems intent on flooding the market with every piece of crap known to man that could possibly have a Blue Demon image on it... A business-savvy luchador, to say the least.

Blue Demon seems intent on flooding the market with every piece of crap known to man that could possibly have a Blue Demon image on it... A business-savvy luchador, to say the least.

The cutest little girl ever was getting her face painted in one of the league booths. Here she looks on intently as the color decisions are being made to turn her into a budding little luchadorette.

The cutest little girl ever was getting her face painted in one of the league booths. Here she looks on intently as the color decisions are being made to turn her into a budding little luchadorette.

Here's the final product. We attempted to get a decent photo without looking like the creepy strangers taking photos of a young child... but how could you resist a photo of this glittery, pink masterpiece!

Here's the final product. We attempted to get a decent photo without looking like the creepy strangers taking photos of a young child... but how could you resist a photo of this glittery, pink masterpiece!

 Side note: what young girl DOESN’T have a t-shirt with an image of Death on it?

I found this photo slightly hilarious. This little boy is either incredibly intent on becoming a painted luchador (maybe dad wouldn't spring for a mask?) or is simply bored out of his mind.

I found this photo slightly hilarious. This little boy is either incredibly intent on becoming a painted luchador (maybe dad wouldn't spring for a mask?) or is simply bored out of his mind.

Apparently these bimbos are the promotional models for a BUS company here in Mexico. That's right, Autobuses AU knows how to bring in the dudes. I feel like there should be a disclaimer after there performance of "Warning: the odds of a girl like this sitting next to you on one of our buses are slim to none."

Apparently these bimbos are the promotional models for a BUS company here in Mexico. That's right, Autobuses AU knows how to bring in the dudes. I feel like there should be a disclaimer after this performance announcing, "Warning: the odds of a girl like this sitting next to you on one of our buses are slim to none."

However, odds of THIS dude sitting next to you on an Autobus AU bus are super high. This, my friends, is the aptly named "Super Porky". Photo credit to Alan

However, odds of THIS dude sitting next to you on an Autobus AU bus are super high. This, my friends, is the aptly named "Super Porky". Photo credit to Alan

This one's a little blurry, but I just enjoy the montage of a midget + dude both wearing black/neon pink bodysuits with insect wings, a shirtless Super Porky, La Parka in a crazy skeletor-costume, and possibly a homeless man in jeans & a black t-shirt.

This one's a little blurry, but I just enjoy the montage of a midget + dude both wearing black/neon pink bodysuits with insect wings, a shirtless Super Porky, La Parka in a crazy skeletor-costume, and possibly a homeless man in jeans & a black t-shirt.

I scored a pic with some of the AULL's (Alianza Universal de Lucha Libre) up-and-coming stars... I ducked down so as not to impinge on anyone's manhood.

I scored a pic with some of the AULL's (Alianza Universal de Lucha Libre) up-and-coming stars... I ducked down so as not to impinge on anyone's manhood.

There was also the opportunity to test your mettle while standing on an unstable foam pillar & batting each other with foam sticks...

There was also the opportunity to test your mettle while standing on an unstable foam pillar & batting each other with foam sticks...

This is a textbook example of why kids grow up terrified of clowns.

This is a textbook example of why kids grow up terrified of clowns.

And finally, here's our other superfan Mark, posing with a stellar collection of masks including my fav in the lower right, Super Panda.

And finally, here's our other superfan Mark, posing with a stellar collection of masks including my fav in the lower right, Super Panda.

In closing, I have to give a shout-out to my friend Kim for giving me the one-of-a-kind (in Mexico at least) Luchadores vs. Ninjas shirt that I wore to the event. I had multiple inquiries of where I scored such a unique gem. :) If you are around for La Experiencia 2010, mark your calendar, break out your best lucha-wear, and starting saving up pesos for those photo opps now!

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