Brett Favre

Back from Mexico, here’s what I learned

Just got back from an eleven-day trip in Mexico, when apparently the only thing I missed in American sports were two brawls … the Class-A minor league baseball fight with the pitcher throwing a ball at an opponent and missing so badly he connected with a fan (always a danger of attending a game in A-Ball) and a WNBA fight featuring Rick Mahorn knocking a woman on her ass that somehow didn’t seem to become the biggest non-story of 2008.

Actually, Ray Durham WAS traded (no doubt pleasing everybody besides Bruce Bochy and Damon Bruce, who probably has to stop using the “Ray Durham was at Momo’s!” drop). The Warriors not only have their team set for next season (unless Al Harrington gets traded) but also somehow avoided to avoid the scud missile Clippers owner Donald Sterling launched towards Golden State’s practice facility that instead fell quietly into Lake Merritt without detonating. And unfortunately (but not surprisingly), the whole Brett Favre thing is still going on.

Since not much went on around these parts over the past two weeks besides our modem dying (continuing a stint that marked my longest Internet-free streak since I forgot my World Wide Web password during my Junior year in college…and was too lazy to ask the guy in the computer lab for help because the quarter was almost over). But I did learn a lot while hanging out in the Mayan Riviera.

Hold on — put the mouse down! I’m not going to regale you with a verbal slideshow about how it was such a great vacation, and everything was so beautiful, and blah, blah, blah. And I won’t tell you how I learned so much about myself, as if I went on the trip with my “Real World” castmates. I had a good time in Mexico. Congratulations to me, it really takes a learned and amazing person to accomplish that. But if any of you are planning on visiting our neighbor to the south, here are a few things I learned — some relevant, some nonsensical, some that may be a little offensive (lo siento).

The “Let’s Go!” guide to Mexico (the smart-assed version)

1. They speak Spanish in Mexico. I know, weird.

2. I’m not proud of the fact that my three years of high school and one year of college Spanish have led to nothing more than the ability to poorly translate road signs and menu descriptions and reply “un poquito” whenever somebody asked if I speak their native language.

3. Iguanas are everywhere, and to get another iguana out of their territory they’ll nod their head up and down really quickly for about three seconds. I wish humans would do that — it would make fights a lot funnier.

4. You know the old story where Jack Sprat could eat no fat and his wife could eat no lean? It seemed like a good portion of the visitors from the U.K. were making that story reality. I’ve never seen so many skinny guys with women that outweighed them by over 100 pounds (45 kilograms/7 stones). You know how America’s always talked about as the land of obesity, but at least our men usually outweigh our women. I don’t know how that helps, but it seems like it should count for something.

5. Nacho Cheese Doritos in Mexico taste like Salsa Verde Doritos do in the United States.

6. In the limited International sports coverage I watched, there was an eight-minute feature on David Beckham and how the L.A. Galaxy is an important MLS franchise (even though they never win anything in a league that nobody cares about in their home country). No word on Favre or if the Warriors matched on Kelenna Azubuike.

7. Pepto Bismol is a miracle drug. I’ll just leave it at that.

8. Early 1990s Nissan Sentras dominate the Mexican Riviera. The preferred car of all U.S. high school girls from 1992-95 who couldn’t get their hands on a Cabriolet, Jetta, BMW 2002 or retro Volvo, the old Sentras (which in Mexico are known as “Tsurus”) make up 90% of the taxis and about a third of all passenger cars. If this pattern holds over time, does that mean in 12 years that same area in Mexico will be overrun in a similar fashion with Jeep Libertys?

9. Went on a catamaran ride through the ocean where about a third of the passengers were holding buckets and pretending like we were taping an episode of “Fear Factor” (without Joe Rogan, thankfully). One of the ill ones was a 14-year-old skin-and-bones kid who looked like Tim Lincecum, only with hair midway down his back and black fingernail polish. I asked him if he was still sick from the All-Star Game festivities, but he just gave me a dirty look, turned the volume up on his iPod and stuck his head back in the bucket.


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