I paced my drinking so i could drive home safe; that also meant staying out till almost 2. The next morning i was up bright and early and under-rested to fly out to Monterrey. J, the fellow house music fan i randomly met on Facebook last year, was waiting for me and drove me out to his apartment. We headed out for some food and drinks, where i promptly forgot the "don't order anything that isn't cooked" rule and had a sandwich with fruit. The original plan had been to grab a power-nap before going clubbing, but that got sidetracked when we got back to the apartment and cracked a few more beers with his room mates. Monterrey feels pretty much like any other city, except it's hot, Spanish and surrounded by mountains. Driving and parking is a little chaotic, and you see little food stalls and whatnot around the place, but i was as pleasantly surprised by the similarites as the guys were when they saw my photos of Texas cities. Of course i haven't gone to the poor areas, but then neither do the people who live here.
My Spanish is a fucking disaster. At first i couldn't understand a word, and i felt like a complete tool, because at least Americans can wing it a bit. After last night, little bits and pieces are coming back to me. We headed out to a nightclub around 11:30 and crammed in two hours of dancing. Apparently the new governer has cracked down on clubs, so everything closes at 2, when the streets fill with drunks wanting to keep dancing. The club itself was a wonderful little underground joint playing German deep and tech house, the kind of stuff i never get to hear in Canada. It was absolutely rammed, sweaty as hell and fucking awesome. On the way back to the apartment we stopped for tacos ("best tacos in Monterrey"), then drank and talked codshit till 6 in the morning. Actually, a bunch of them were still going when i passed out at 6:30. I hope i retain the tiniest fragments of the language today. I suspect i will retain the nickname they gave me, at least.
It's crazy hot and i am totally ready for some sightseeing when the boys wake up. J wants to take me on a hike Sunday. His photos from up there are stunning, though it's a 3 hour walk to the peak and he was worried my fat old ass wouldn't make it. I'ma try prove him wrong. My stomach is for shit, but i am blaming the beer more than the food, which has been great. I am so happy i have someone to look after me here; without a guide and translator i'd be stuck in a hotel with a bunch of Americans sipping margaritas, which i could do anywhere.
To put people's minds at ease, yes my head is still firmly attached to my shoulders 24 hours in, and the only automatic weapon i've seen was brandished by a cop at the airport. The crime is definitely a topic of conversation (a bunch of these guys moved from Juárez to get away from it), but life goes on, obviously. What i'm loving is how excited people are about their home country - in Germany people were like "why are you here?" whereas in the US and Mexico it's like "why aren't you staying longer and checking out all these other places too?" Maybe in the future when my Spanish is less for shit.