Saturday, November 3, 2012

Annual MazReal Real Mozzie Alternative Awards Part 1 of 2

Expats living in Mazatlán are looking for alternatives to their regular haunts, alternatives to the same places that win the awards year after year. The MazReal Real Mozzie Alternative Awards have become an essential guide to all the places and activities where the hip expat wouldn't be seen dead not going into and wouldn't be seen dead not doing. 

Our staff have trawled the city suffering food poisoning, bed bugs, the plague, muggings, decapitations and scrofula to bring you this list of places where, if you are seen exiting from, will make your name light up amongst the discerning expatriates in our wonderful community. Places and activities that will really elevate your standing within that community. 

This list is compiled by the editors of MazReal and expats themselves who feel these are the  new pursuits and activities that will make a retired person's life worth living and will further add a spark of frisson to your lives. 

The Best Thing To Do With Visitors

Shotgun fishing.

There was so much back and forthing going on in this category between Shotgun fishing (women voters) and Marlin torturing (men voters) that MazReal staffers got so pissed off with all the extra work that they voted in favour of the women as the best day out for visitors is to shoot fish rather than torture them with a large hook and then weirdly throw them back in for the fish to have to go through with the same thing again! 

Forget the hassle and expense of actually hiring a boat and crew so you and your visitors have to spend hours of inactivity and seasickness waiting for a tuna or marlin to bite and then the hours of pain and suffering as you play around with it on the end of your hook, try this easier method and just shoot them with a shotgun or toss a stick of dynamite in the sea or river. We all know that this country is awash with weapons and explosives so even the ladeez have the opportunity to do what manly men spend an inordinate amount of time and energy doing. So while the men are giving themselves hernias and strained testicles reeling in a marlin you women can pick up a gun and blast the fish out the water.

Wandering aimlessly around Plaza Machado as an activity that garnered some votes but this winner suggests that that relaxed ambience is becoming so out of touch with what the 'real' Mexico is all about. The 'real' Mexico, according to statistics and blogs from Mexicans is Pancho Villa, Narco Corrida Bands, street food, pre Columbian history, baked elotes, death, revolution, Day Of The Dead, surrealism, tortillas cooked on a hot stone, shotgun fishing and Natalia Medina walks.

What to do, where to go? Our advice? Forget killing fish and make a trip up the Mazatlán garbage mountain and give sustenance to the 'recyclers'. 

Contact MazReal for gun and explosive hire and you will redirected to a corner of a street at midnight in Olas Altas from where a dark windowed SUV will pull up and hand you your 'fishing rod' and 'tackle'.

The Best Petsitting Service 

Zeke's Dog and Cat.

While you are out and about enjoying your time on the town with your pals, your pets needn't be clawing at the doors, howling and tearing up the upholstery anticipating your return, Zeke's Dog and Cat is the answer. We have had nothing but good reviews from fellow animal loving expats regarding entrepreneur and animal lover Zeke Crapston who has a pet training school somewhere in the backstreets of Olas Altas.

 He has a novel way to take your pets out for a walk, a method that will make sure your pets will have run off their surplus energy and some of that excess puppy fat by the time you get home. Amongst other dog and cat activities, your beauties will have the opportunity 'drive' Zeke and his car to El Quelite where he will have a beer and a meal with his friends and then they can take him back again. This is the perfect way to give your pampered pooches a good workout and allow Zeke a day out and to save him the cost of gas at the same time.

No wonder Zeke's service got the most votes. 

More awards after the break

The Best Place To Meet Singles

Clean Cut Cafe and Grill

We all know that there are many single human species out there who desire to meet single men and this is the place that has received the most votes. 

 The Jungle Oyster bar received almost as high accolades probably due to the fact that oysters are known to increase the libido and give you an upset stomach at the same time and therefore bypass the art of conversation and subtle seduction by getting straight to the point or send you sprinting to the toilet. The Talking Parrot came in there strongly but someone shot the fucking bird because it wouldn't shut up so the name had to be changed to The Dead Parrot. From then on the place immediately fell out of favor and the votes dried up.

Here, however at the Clean Cut Cafe and Grill in Olas Altas great looking lads from Eastern European countries and ex Soviet states have been flown in especially to entertain the ladies and men. Trained in the art of conversation and if you want it, seduction and table top dancing, these young gentlemen will make your evening a pleasure. They have also been trained to cook and serve mama's butterbroks and tvorogs for breakfast if you find yourself between the silk sheets of a nearby boudoir come morning.

We all agreed with the voting on this category as some staff here at MazReal 'road tested' the Clean Cut Caf and left the next morning with a smile on their faces, silk burns and a satisfied belly full of Russian breakfast.

There is no discrimination against men as The CCCG caters for all tastes.
The CCCG lads are recycled monthly to allow for a constantly upstanding group of lads.

The Best Annual Event (The editor distances himself from this one)

The Men's Annual Whistling and Degrading of Women Event

This dubious event was chiefly chosen by the male expats* and as only six people voted for the event in the spirit of democracy and fair play we had to add it as a bone fide annual event. Sad males who are mostly single retirees from the building industry gather round the lake in El Bosque de la Ciudad, sit around in skimpy Speedo swimwear drinking beer and whistling at passing women. These men have spent most of their lives digging up roads and erecting scaffolding on city building sites and they are worried that the art of whistling degradingly at passing women will die out so this event they feel is a sure way to keep the dying art amongst filthy old men alive. Carnaval came a close second with 5 votes due to the fact that most expats bugger off to escape the noise and people peeing on the walls of their houses.

*editors note: we have come to believe these men are semi-permanent residents from a cut-price RV park located in a grubby palm grove in NoMa and not genuine Centro expats - those fine upstanding men who should not be tarnished with the sad representation of grown men wearing skimpy Speedo swimwear that show off their 'fruit bowl' like so many of those permanently tanned Mediterranean women demeaning macho slobs.

The Best Local Personality

Dapper Jim Thighs-Moriarty

Dapper Jim (pronounced Jim with a hard 'J') came in a bold first place ahead of that other muscly chap on roller skates who blazes up and down like the Pied Piper of Hamlen with his entourage of likeminded fitness buffs panting in a straggly line behind him. These two personalities are so different from each as can be seen by the fact that Dapper Jim has a very relaxed attitude when it comes to casual pastimes probably due to his sky high hypertension, an affliction that we all carry at this stage in our lives. 

Jim can be seen wearing a bowler hat, dressed in a finely cut double-breasted suit and patent shoes casually riding a self powered surfboard and all the while puffing nonchalantly on a Russian sobranie. He hardly breaks sweat in his pursuit of sporting perfection. Whereas the other fellow tight in lycra pounds sweatily up and down the malecón shouting "PAIN IS GAIN, PAIN IS GAIN' at the top of his lungs making us all feel terribly inadequate. No wonder all the out-of- shape voters voted Dapper Jim as their personality of the year.

Jim this coconut daiquiri's  for you!

The Best Place to Watch the Sunset

Smog Sunsets

Mazatlán never fails to give us a wonderful sunset to end the day with. Wherever on the malecón you decide to sit back at the end of a hard day of retirement, the evening sky will invariably light up golden and convert you to catholicism. But for most hardened expats the terrifying elevator ride up to the windswept roof of the Freeman and the 'malecón' view has become too damn familiar so we look for an alternative way that nature can add some interest to our otherwise mundane lives in the form of a golden sky and a mystical green fairy lantern*. The smog over the city in the evening can provide just that.

It is here that physics lends a hand when the afternoon sun blazes gold shafting through the thick urine coloured pollution emanating from the central thermoeléctrica power station. There are a number of interesting locations to view this from. One such place is from the behind the smoke of the fried chickens stands in Colonia Urias and from atop the Mazatlán city garbage dump where the hundreds of squawking sea gulls fighting over our household waste add another layer of interest to the golden light. 

These locations tied and received numerous votes because the popular viewpoint from Hotel Freeman with its terrifying elevator ride up and howling gales that sweep its roof and those from the Puerto Viejo with its ear blasting rock music accompaniments have become so passé according to the voters. So with this unexpected winning tie it seems the expat community are searching for a way out of their mundane existence that they sometimes feel they are in.

So as you meld into the aggregation of barking street dogs, smoke from meat BBQs and exhaust fumes from belching traffic all adding their own layers to this unique experience, you’ll surely hear a running commentary about the mystical land far to the north beyond the dark forests of Mawdaw, the deep canyons of Glamdring and Saruman's Mystical Misty Mountains of Isengard; some will see it and others will not.

*It is generally known that the Mystical Green Thingy is just a flashback of visual and time distortions we all experienced from those youthful days when we all dropped acid. We at MazReal have all seen it in varying degrees of lucidity but when we have excitedly pointed it out at the time, others around us just shrug their shoulders.

The Best New Form Of Expressive Art

Steamroller Conceptual Performance Art

Steamrollers have for a long time been used to press an image onto paper especially in times of economic hardship when the printmakers on hard times have had to sell their presses to make ends meet. Using a steamroller takes the process out of the confines of a studio and many artists and printmakers can collaborate and do all their work in one or two passes of a 'mechanised printing press on wheels.' 

This is the ultimate in collaborative art. A kind of Socio-Communist inspired way of producing art. As we at MazReal are card carrying Bolshies* to the core, we like the idea of art that contains Socialist ideals but we have taken it a step further into the realms of Conceptual Performance Socialist Steamroller® art. This is an amalgamation of the high brow and working class art  - in this instance the combination of delicate ballet and the raw mechanised re-surfacing of a road. 

You cannot get more dramatic or democratic than that concept. Everyone from steamroller enthusiasts, tar macadam disciples and road construction gangs to opera aficionados and students of classical music will find something in it. This should make sense especially to Schoenburg followers as the discordant dissonant sounds that a steamroller makes when rolling a road surface equating to the anti-logical harmonies and notes produced by that famous composer will be self evident.  

As all voting expats fall into those categories, no wonder this has won the award with 100 percent of the vote. Coming in second with 0 percent was the Communist Inspired Synchronised Tractor Potato Ploughing Competition that passed itself off as a Suprematist Constructivist Soviet happening. The judges thought it was just a case of pretentious blowhardism.

***Permanent Revolutionaries****
****Paid-up members of the Socialist Workers Revolutionary Party.

® registered to MazReal Inc.

The Best Musicians 

The Ukelele Swimsuit Girls 

Just one look at the happy glowing faces of these young women minstrels and you know they have already got our vote for the best musicians award. The MazReal offices were all 
a-buzz when they happened upon this chirpy quintet playing a Johnny Weissmuller rendition of that classic Somewhere Over The Rainbow to rapturous applause down at the Kamikazi Pool Hall off Teniente Azueta. 

Noted for our rapid decision making we snapped them up in under a second and agreed to act for them in the capacity of managing agents. Now they are a hit wherever they go and our photographer managed a moment with them in their trademark Twenties swimwear and bobs as they were about to do a busy series of beach gigs over at Pedro's Shrimp 'n Grill waters edge on Stone Island then a slot next door at Federico's Grill and Octopus Tentacle and then strumming to diners at Raymundo's Rib Shack and Calamari Curry Palace and finally later in the evening they will fly out to a residency at The Royal Albert Hall in London interspersed with afternoons gigs at The Taj Mahal Balti House on Brick Lane E1.

Previous winning musicians in this category have all been chosen because of their innovative mixes of original traditional jazz-jazzy sweet-rock ‘n’ roll bluesy-based non-traditional blues and tickling ivory jazz and now with these strummers in town they have to give way to the new sound of foot tappin' ukeleles. 

Famous impresario Giulio Gatt-Casazza says it all in one word "The variety of tones and melodies that this women's combo can churn out in a night is phenomenal - from Harry Conk Junior to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole to Tiny Tim playing Tiptoe Through The Tulips and the  Pink Floyd classic The Greatest Gig In The Sky played by that famous Caribbean ukelele maestro Lightspeed Champion - you name it, these charming women with girls faces can play it."  

Go it Gals!

Most Unusual Thing On Wheels

The Godman Of NoMa

This is The Godman of NoMa, this wonderfully eccentric fellow like a caricature from Dickens' Oliver Twist sits inside his van with the doors open to the street making and selling bespoke 'jewellery' at a secret location close to that wonderful Spanish architectural wonder that appeared suddenly from out of the pristine beach one morning last year, the Hotel Riu. The hotel that really adds Mexican flavour and character to that part of NoMa. 

Godman (he refuses to divulge his name for tax reasons and for being on the the most wanted list of Interpol except to say he is Godman of NoMa) has lived a life on the road. He started making jewellery, he said, from the back of his van when Napoleon was marching on Egypt and he happened to be there at the time parked on the side of the road near the pyramids of Echops. 

He continued "Those wonderful soldiers in all their resplendant colour were really good to me and bought all my stuff. Even that wonderful man Napoleon who introduced me to Emma Hamilton or was it Thompson bought a piece which he now wears on his fez which he wears while walking on the island of St Helena. Strange that I was at the time parked on Venice Beach LA and had just dropped a tab which my man had said would cure my headache and paranoia and I ended up here outside The Riu where you are now singing to me."

Preacher Frank, as we shall call him, has turned his evilly sweaty BOed smelling van into a mobile church on wheels from where he conducts tented revivals and jewellery workshops to any one interested who happens to be passing.

 "My congregation is pretty sparse." he says "As no one seems to pass. They pass alright but move to the other side of the road when they hear me cursing and raging to the heavens."

"Is that the QE2 over there?" he asked pointing at the Rui. "I gotta close up or I'll miss my passage to Liverpool."

As there are not many unusual things on wheels in Mazatlán this delightful eccentric got all the votes - that was the one cast by the reporter of this piece from MazReal. A broom seller who goes by the name Diego van Diez used to be a graphic designer came a close second but as he was a caricature out of Mary Poppins he flew off over the chimney pots shouting "Cor blimey guvnor" before we could have a chance to have a chat.

Part two will cover the rest of the categories that we all care about:

The Best Hangover Remedy

The Best Hairdresser/Spa/Salon
The Best Day Trip
The Best Beach
The Best Unusual Food To Try
The Best Grocery Store
The Best Street Food
The Best Seafood
The Best Ribs / BBQ
The Best Breakfast
The Best Coffee
The Favorite Restaurants
The Best Hotel/B&B 
The Best Expat Information Publication

MazReal and the crew are taking three weeks off to report on the Soya bean planting season in Mato Grosso Brazil, clean energy in Johor province Malaysia, international cargo statistics at Chek Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong and food in Singapore from where we will take the slow boat back to Mazatlán via Tombstone Az. in early December to greet the last straggling arrival of the SnoBird migration back to that fine city of Mazatlán.

©MazReal 2012

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