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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Was that automatic weapons fire?

December 7, 2013

We had Chicago style pizza tonight.  Seemed appropriate given that the local mobsters here in Mazatlán apparently gave the federalies a run for their money this afternoon.  But I get ahead of myself…

After a failed attempt to depart this morning, we decided we would head into the old part of town and see the art and archeological museums.  So after walking down the way to breakfast, we hopped a bus for the historic central part of downtown Mazatlán.  Melissa had tossed her map in the trash as we were supposed to have departed already.  So she only knew roughly where we were headed.  After having ridden the bus all the way to the end, we realized we were lost.  Ooops.

So we flagged down a cab.  Unfortunately we were so far off the beaten path that the driver didn’t speak English.  So we flagged down another one who spoke English – well sort of.  Enough that he convinced us to get in the cab.  Sure enough, a few minutes later we were in the historic district and Melissa spotted a sign for the museum.  We walked a few blocks only to find it was closed.  No idea why as the posted hours indicate it should be open.  Oh well.  We stop at a nice looking bistro and have some Sangria so the trip isn’t a total loss.

We walked part way back and then grabbed another cab.  As we were approaching the hotel, Dave saw two truckloads of federalies loaded up and headed off to somewhere.  Not that unusual to see one – but two trucks together – that’s new.

At the hotel we headed straight for the pool.  Dave wanted a few things from the boat so he headed down to the marina.  A few minutes later, Melissa hears a “ratta tat tat” sound that lasts about 10 to 20 seconds.  She thinks it sounds like automatic weapons gun fire.  She looks around the pool.  No one else seems to have noticed.  Odd.  A few minutes later the same sound, only its closer.  Sounds like it’s out front of the hotel in the street – maybe 1/8th of a mile away.  Again no one else seems to have noticed.  Very strange.

Dave returns from the boat, sits down next to Melissa and says, “Hey – that sounded like automatic weapons gun fire!”.  Melissa says, “Yeah!  I noticed it too.  But no one here seemed to notice.”  Ratta tat tat.  Melissa says, “Well maybe its demolition work going on in the abandoned hotel next door”.  Dave says, “like maybe a jack hammer of some kind?”.  Ratta tat tat.  This time the sound has moved even further down the street.  Melissa says, “Maybe its firecrackers.  Maybe it’s some kind of holiday and that’s why the museum was closed.”  Dave says, “Yeah, that would make sense.”  Ratta tat tat.

A little bit later Dave wanders down to the Harbormaster office to ask an unrelated question.  Another one of the cruisers was there and told Dave that indeed there was a gun fight of some kind in the street out front.  The street was blocked off and no one could leave the hotel.  And even phone service was out (why this would happen wasn’t clear).  Whether the gun fire we heard was from the police looking for a local gang member, or the local gang members taking out another one of their own isn’t yet known.

On the way to breakfast we had noticed a restaurant that advertised “Chicago style deep dish pizza”.  A little internet research revealed super good reviews.  So we decide to head down there for dinner.  Of course, we’ve not been off the hotel grounds after dark before, and we pick the one night there’s a gang fight out front to go sample the local cuisine.  By then they had opened up the street again, but there were still patrols and cops every block.

As we were walking down the street, a car pulled over a few yards ahead of us and the passenger door popped open.  A guy stepped out onto the sidewalk and just stands there.  Dave said quietly, “I don’t like this.”  Melissa dropped in behind Dave and kept Dave between her and the guy.  Sure enough, the guy starts to talk to Dave – he’s another one of the sales guys trying to find gringos to go to a time share presentation.  Ug.  We say “no thanks” and keep walking.  The car follows us and yells out to a guy on the next corner.  The next guy on the corner approaches us aggressively and tries to stop us to talk about the time share.  Now Melissa is starting to get irritated.  So she says “NO!” more strongly.  The guy gets snippy and makes a snide comment about how women make the decisions for men in America.

Who buys real estate from some guy that pops out of a car anyway?  This must work on someone or they wouldn’t do it.  Had this been our first experience with the car thing we probably would have been a bit more flipped out given the events earlier in the day.  But this was actually our second experience with someone in a car popping out and trying to intercept us for a time share.

We got to the pizza joint – which turned out to be great.  While we were there, we were treated to quite the show.  Cops driving down the street in a continual stream.  We’d been told previously that the people that deal with the drug gangs wear masks on their faces so that they can’t be identified.  So there were truckloads of armed police wearing masks driving around.  Night vision goggles and all.

Then after dinner some nut case started waving his arms and screaming at some of the time share people on the nearest corner.  We couldn’t hear any of the conversation but the guy was seriously agitated.  Looked either stoned or maybe just downright crazy.  So this little scene went on for quite a while.  The folks on the corner must have known him because they watched him but refused to engage despite the guy’s attempts to get in their faces and holler at them.

Ok, this has been the weirdest day in Mexico thus far.

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