On June 12 the Stamina Tour to Mexico City began. I boarded the plane with Stevie Williams, Lee Smith, Chico Brenes, Fabian Alomar, and Eliezer Soto. Upon arrival we met up with Julio de la Cruz and Enrique Lorenzo.
On the flight there, I glanced out the window and saw the capital of Mexico appear through the thick smog. As I thought to myself, “This place is smoggier than Los Angeles,” I recalled people telling me that Mexico City is the smoggiest, most-populated, highest- elevation city in the world. It also has the most VW Bugs – thousands of them roam the streets. VW taxi drivers take out their front passenger seats to provide more comfort for their customers.
After passing through customs, we were greeted by our tour- guide Roman Ruiz and his older brother Mauricio – the owner of Extreme Skate Shop. After saying our hellos, we went to Roman’s sister’s house. His sister was nice enough to offer us her house for ten days, while she and her daughter stayed in a hotel. From past experience, we knew if we went to a hotel, we’d get kicked out after a day. Julio had promised us we’d stay in a mansion with a maid who would do everything for us – cook anything at any time. But he lied. The “mansion” turned out to be a three-bedroom apartment with no phones. Actually, there was a maid the first day, but after that, we never saw her again. And there were phones, too, but we had to search the house to find them. We finally found the phones hidden in the closet – phones, but no telephone cords. We were pissed. We made a trip to the store and bought cords. The next ten days we rang up the phone bill. Revenge is fun.
We decided to check out what the city had to offer and discovered a flatbar. The thigh-high ledges were head-crackingly waxed, but once I saw this spot, I knew it was going to be a hangout – right next to Extreme Skate Shop, the locals called it the Ponds. To no one’s surprise, we ended up chilling there four to six hours a day for a total of four days.
We decided to attend a bullfight to take in some local culture. Once there, we saw a bull get viciously stabbed and poked at. Julio told me the bullfighters must cough up money to pay for their costumes and the dead bulls before they turn pro. When the fight was over, we checked out pyramids outside the city. One pyramid had a statue of a person holding a gun. At the time the pyramids were built, guns didn’t even exist.
After experiencing the lifestyle of Mexico City, we headed for the coast to test the waters of Acapulco – we were shocked by how unbelievably hot the weather was. But even though the weather felt like hell, it seemed like we were in heaven. The water was crystal clear, and our hotel overlooked the entire city and the Pacific Ocean. We swam and jet-skied until Fabian collided into Stevie at full force, throwing him ten feet.
Acapulco doesn’t have any ground-breaking things to skate, but we shot photos right up until our flight left at 4:30 p.m. because of our love of skateboarding and coverage.
Sweaty and excited, we rushed to the airport to catch our flight home. On the plane, I played back the whole tour in my head – highlighting the relaxing times we spent in Acalpuco, the unique culture of Mexico City, and the friendly people we met, including Pay, Tico, Patricia, and all the locals at the Ponds. We also enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Ruiz family, and expressed our appreciation by torturing Roman during our ten-day stay.
I’d also like to say thank you to the people of Mexico City for their newfound friendship. Oh yeah, and Roman, you can stay with me in America.
The Stamina Team Mexico City Quiz
1. True or false: We took a helicopter to Acapulco.
2. True or false: Some Stamina team members used dog toothpaste to brush their teeth.
3. True or false: Lee Smith bought platinum chains on the beach in Acapulco.
4. True or false: We were treated like superstars and got V.I.P. passes to all major sporrting events.
5. True or false: Julio de la Cruz went on the Good Morning Mexico show.
6. True or false: In Mexico, you can get your driver’s license at the age of fourteen.
7. True or false: Paramedics stand in the streets soliciting donations.
8. How many pesos did Julio de la Cruz pay to piss on a government building?
A.) 50 B.) 100 C.) 250
9. How many pesos did Seu Trinh pay the cops to shoot a skateboard photo?
A.) 50 B.) 300 C.) 1,000
10. What do Mexican police officers’ uniforms consist of?
A.) The same as a bullfighter’s outfit.
B.) A bulletproof vest and machine gun.
C.) Whatever they want to rock.
Answers: 1. False 2. True 3. False 4. False 5. True 6. True 7. True 8. C 9. A 10.