Aug 27, 2007

Catemaco Gun Control

Offically you cannot buy a gun in Catemaco.

For that matter, you cannot buy a gun in the entire state of Veracruz,or in 29 other Mexican states or in Mexico City. The only gun shop in Mexico is in Naucalpan, outside Mexico City in the state of Mexico and is run by the Mexican army. There you have a variety of choices as long as the caliber is less than a 38 special, or a 10 gauge shotgun.

Unofficially, over the last few years I have been offered an AK47 assault rifle popularly known as “Cuerno de Chivo” (Goat’s horn), a couple of 9mm’s, a MAC10, and a sawed off shotgun. Prices are in the arm and a leg range, although I hear the border towns have daily specials.

Incidentally if you travel with an unregistered weapon you better carry a large amount of cash with you. Otherwise you WILL go to jail and stay there.

Mexico is the sixth most violent country in the world!
And there you thought the home of Rambo was heading the list. WRONG! The US is way down at number 24.

Isn´t gun control wonderful in Mexico?

Pick out your favorite shooting iron here: then go and pick it up here

and then you can join fellow Mexican gun-nuts here.

Aug 26, 2007

Catemaco Trees & Bushes

Catemaco Forensics

Aside from roadkill, laguna floaters, occasional dumped bodies and aftermaths of machete duels, there have only been 8 known murders in the past year in Catemaco. As of today, the valiant police agencies of Catemaco continue doing what they are good at, which is basically riding around in the back of pickup trucks and scratching their balls.

On a recent short ride (100 miles) we had the fortune to be stopped by 4 other Veracruz enforcement agencies which were bereft of pickup trucks but otherwise performed the same functions.

So the local rumors that a next town coroner is now being investigated for diagnosing 2 recently departeds with heart disease, while being afflicted by one or two bullets through those organs, comes as no surprise.

After all, this is supposed to be the witchcraft capital of the world.

Curiously, now the dozens of motor riding brujo (witch) shills usually accosting tourists at the entrances of Catemaco, have gone into retirement. Possibly they did so to avoid heart disease, and probably because their masters all seem to have decided to take vacations.

There is a wicked thought in the back of my head. Could brain disease be diagnosed in some of those hundreds of shills pestering tourists along the Malecon with offers of boat rides and other enjoyments

Aug 25, 2007

Catemaco Bagels

We just returned from a quick bagel trip to Veracruz city, known as Veracruz Puerto to all you Mexicophiles.
A quick bagel trip is more complicated than it seems.
It requires scanning endless aisles of a supermarket for things we were not able to buy in the local Catemaco, Veracruz and Tuxtlas “hood”.
And among the canned foods we found such treasures as wasabi paste, more or less instant blue berry pudding, white spaghetti sauces and chunky canned tuna, among other jewels.
The bakery had just finished baking assorted small but not sweet breads, still on the cooling rack visible behind the counter.
After fighting with the counter agents, my apparent drool alerted a manager to permit me to enter into the hallowed halls of Walmart bakedom and remove a dozen hot breads to slide into my cooler for my 3 hour trip back to Catemaco to reside in my freezer to evoke future drools.
Those 3 hours were pure misery. To satisfy our curiosity we had stopped at the relatively new COSTCO store, for which we had no 35 dollar membership. And I saw things I had forgotten existed, like Ben & Jerry’s, pastrami, baby ribs, cheddar cheese and fresh milk.
We were not prepared to travel frozen and my Popoluca refused to let me buy another 40 gallon ice chest, the one we owned had been forgotten, so I had to settle for one of those 70 peso plastic bubbly ones and stuffed it with mostly Bagels.
Why Bagels? you may be asking.
Preferentially I would love a good black bread, or one of those steinofen gebackene brots.I grew up in northern Europe and eating white bread was next to being excommunicated.The Bagel habit I picked up by osmosis via an ex, Jewish wife, about whom my most fond memories are my kids and lox (smoked salmon +/-).
So now I am getting ready to munch on a genuine Mexican bagel and schmear it with genuine Mexican cream cheese flavored with Chipotle, accompanied by one of those funny shaped Mexican tomatoes and the usual round onions and smothered with something called smoked salmon “Irish style”.
And for this, I left beautiful uptown Miami, Florida?

Aug 19, 2007

Catemaco bodyguard

He is afraid to get near water without wearing a life jacket because he cannot swim.

You should see what he wears while guarding me.

I need a bodyguard like I need an extra toe on my foot. But my Popoluca has been insistent since both family members and familiars began making unexpected obituary notices.

My bodyguard is almost as confused as I am. He thinks that I am his bodyguard, which may be true because he is my Popoluca's favorite son.

Anyway, the two of us have been seen driving a mysterious dark window tinted black SUV throughout the inaccessible areas of Los Tuxtlas, and the word on the street is that we are probably two gay drug lords visiting their plantations. The smart observors think we are buying up Los Tuxtlas at bargain prices and are now tripling their asking prices.

Catemaco is not far from the end of the universe in terms of accessibility. Nevertheless, the pueblo has a relatively violent history. Some of the lurid items are political candidates shooting each other in the thirties, and a multiple homicide brujo war in the 1990's.

Lately, the homicide rate in this village of 24,000 has been increasing beyond the usual machete shlashings of disrespectful friends or family.
Some serious assassinations involving kidnaps, drugs, drugs, and more drugs have been making statewide headlines along with the Catholic church supposedly booing the local brujos.

All that mayhem is gist for chit chat, and boy, oh boy, does Catemaco have chit chat. I seriously think that a loud fart on one end of Catemaco will be discussed on the other end within minutes.

Anyway, today's murder case, involving the chief brujo's son seems to have been converted into a simple kidnap with blood loss.

Nevertheless my Popoluca now wants to add another guard to my entourage.

Would someone know whether there are any used Pope Mobiles available?

Aug 9, 2007

Catemaco to Minatitlan / Coatzacoalcos

Surprise, surprise, the road leading from beautiful downtown Catemaco SOUTH is in good shape.
For those in a hurry, I recommend heading towards Acayucan, passing by the city, and seeking the turnoff to the southern “cuota” Vistahermosa toll road. Going through Acayucan is problematic, and the free road to Minatitlan bustles with heavy truck traffic.

Coatzacoalcos is like the Brooklyn of forgotten days. HINT: First price is a weekend in Coatza. Second price is a whole week in Coatza.

This bustling oil port has few redeeming touristic features aside from a great location on the confluence of the Gulf of Mexico and the Coatzacoalcos river, modern shopping facilities and an attractive “malecon” beach road.

Most hotels are overpriced, but the seafood restaurants at the edge of the river, overlooking the scurrying ferries towards Tabasco may make the city a worthwhile stop.
Adventurous drivers can embark on a ferry to continue a coastal trip south.