i’d been staying at the line hotel in l.a.’s koreatown for weeks. nice place and a room with a view of the hills. newly remodeled. i knew the manager from my army days. i got a rate. i’d saved his ass from a savage beating in a dive bar in seoul back in the day. plus, i was flush with some cash from an old insurance deal that had finally settled. a good chunk of change. way more than enough to sample my way through every massage joint for several blocks in any direction with drinks and fine korean home style food at roy choi’s POT every night downstairs.
yeah, life on the large. i’d become pretty good friends with one of the massage girls. she’d even come over for drinks and dinner on occasion with some extra activity up in my room later. more drinks and sex. sex on the cuff for those occasions. she’d even sing to me in korean when we were finished. soft and lilting.
one night she’s singing away and she stops. she wants to know if i want to take a bus ride with her down to baja and ensenada next weekend. some korean travel thing but there would be chinese and viets as well. i figured maybe the change of scenery would do me some good so i agreed. she smiled and started singing again in her soft and surprisingly on pitch voice.
the next weekend rolled around and we headed off to baja with another 25 or so folks on a bus. we stopped in dago for lunch at some vaguely crappy chinese joint before heading across the border into TJ for some shopping. i bought the girl a leather purse. it seemed like it was even real leather. i guess we’d find out the first time she took it out in the rain.
a nice leisurely drive further south took most of the afternoon. we hit town and everybody checked into our motel. not the line hotel for sure. no view other than a mex rubdown joint across the street. great. almost like home. my traveling companion didn’t notice. the bus driver found us and asked if we wanted to make an unscheduled late afternoon trip. my girl said sure. i had no choice. so, back on the bus with maybe 15 or so of the 25 people on the trip.
the bus left ensanada proper at around 3:15pm bumping it’s way through the suburbs of the city. lala land type sprawl in baja. including smog. dig it. strange and enticing in a twisted way. yeah, anyway the bus was heading to the ‘la bufadora’. or some damn thing. a blow hole more or less in spanish an hour drive south of ensenada stuck out on the coast and in the middle of nowhere. a big tourista trap i’m told but then i get told lots of stuff and some of it is true. most isn’t. it doesn’t matter any more though but that’s another story.
i got sucked into this side trip like a noodle wending it’s way from a steaming bowl of soup up and into your mouth. meh. no biggy. the ride was interesting and this young vietnamese babe kept showing me some leg every chance she got. well, that was when her newly wed husband wasn’t pawing her. she had a nice twinkle in her eye when she flashed me that leg and i suspect by now they aren’t married any more. funny how life bounces, huh? i hope charlie didn’t take it to hard. he should have seen it coming. between some shot of nice asian leg and decent scenery outside the bus window the ride was over before i knew it.
stirring up plenty of it’s own dust the bus pulled into one dusty hell hole of a parking lot overlooking the ocean. it was pretty much empty with the late afternoon hour. a long walk down a row of mex vendors on each side of you selling just about anything and everything junky you could imagine with lots of food stalls thrown in for good measure. then there it was, the blow hole. la bufadora. crap. what a shit hole it was. jesus. not really a blow hole either. just some damn crevice in some damn rocks with the surf pounding into the crevice and the spray flying up into the hot afternoon mex sky. occasionally drenching the unwary tourista trying to keep their camera dry while at the same time trying get a nice shot of the stinky salt water reaching for the clouds. yeah, the fucking water smelled like piss with an undercurrent of crap. nice. but, hell this is mexico right? what else you expect gringo? nada i guess. zip zilch nada.
i guessed that the smell was originating from the sorta nice looking ‘bathrooms’ off to the side of the imitation blow hole. i was thinking the shit and piss must be flowing right out into the ocean from them. i had to take a look. i told my companion i was going to take a leak then wandered over to los banos. some old mexican babe was at a table taking money for a chance to pee or crap. 50 cents a pop. steep for a ‘clean’ shitter in baja. lots of folks were yelling and arguing and trying to get in for nada. it wasn’t working. why bother? not me. i ponyed up the half buck and in return was handed 4 pieces of semi nice double ply shit paper. oh boy. good thing i was just looking and maybe going to take a leak. walking down the steps to the bano and smell i had second thoughts. this was not going to be fun and believe me it wasn’t. a hell hole to be sure. at least my curiosity was soothed. after a sorta piss it was a walk back to the bus and the drive back into ensenada and dinner. the viet babe and my date slept the whole way back. no leg action. zip zilch nada.
dinner was at a clean and well kept fresh fish joint. and you can drink the water too gringo. nice. the beer was cold and the fish really was fresh along with being damn good. just don’t hassle the waiters, gringo. some dumb ass wanted something or another and was told there wasn’t any fresh that day or something. so, he goes off on the waiter and says i came all the way down here and i can’t get fresh whatever the fuck it is i came down here for? si, senor. not today. shit, give me the shrimp. goddamn it. ok, sport nice ugly american act. as for me, senor dos cervesas mas por favor. more beer, good bread and fish and out comes the chump’s eats. the waiter sets their food down on a small waiter like table just out of the chumps line of sight. but not mine. sipping my beer i watched as the waiter spit all over everybody’s food sitting at the loud mouths table. fuck me. nice touch jose. but then what else do you expect in baja gringo? zip zilch nada.