Barrio Antiguo!

26 09 2004

The last couple of days have been hectic.  Friday was the last working day down here, so I really had to try to get everything done before all the staff left.  I didn’t want any problems to crop up AFTER I’d left.  I would rather these things happen while I’m there, so that I can be sure that things will go smoothly after I’ve left.

Friday night, we had a barbeque after work.  Barbeques in Monterrey (and probably all of Mexico) consist of a steel framework, with a grill, and pan to hold the coals.  Charcoal, is not nice, perfectly pressed little cubes like we have up here in Vancouver, but the stage before.  Basically, it looks like burnt wood.   We all kinds of meet, and a cut of beef which I am not familiar with. (I can’t remember the name)  It was all delicious.  There were quesadillas, little limes, salsa, and the ever present guacamole. I had brought some of my Sockeye down, and it was enjoyed immensely.  When I told them that Sockeye is the most expensive of the local Salmon at $10USD/kg they laughed, as most fish in Monterrey is very expensive.  None the less, I’ve taught a small group of people that “Salmon” doesn’t mean only “Atlantic Salmon”, the common salmon eaten down here.  Of course, we had beer at the barbeque (barbacoa in spanish).  The beers come in little 190ml bottles.  It makes sure that your beer is cold all the time, rather than warming in the 30+C weather!  We had Sol, Carta Blanca, Dos Equis and Indio.  Of course like many parties, it died down when the beer ran out 🙂  I had a chance to say goodbye to the many great staff members of the company down in Monterrey, as I may never see them again (much to my loss)

After the barbeque, I continued with some more work that I needed to do, and finished up around 10pm.  Then, Doreen and I decided to head back downtown.  We went back to the Macro plaza, and I took some pictures, which turned out pretty poorly, which was understandable, given that it was night 🙂  They were still celebrating the 408th Anniversary of the founding of Monterrey, but this night was with a more folk styled band.  It was most interesting to see police EVERYWHERE, and the way they dressed, was reminiscent of the SWAT outfits you see on TV.  Nothing like the itimidating view of 10 policemen together, in their outfits, with various weaponry.  Something about them says “You’ll do what I tell you, and say Thanks!”. 

After a short time down at the palacio, it was time to check out “Barrio  Antiguo”.  The Barrio is an older warehouse district from back almost 200 years ago.  Of course people don’t like to store things in 200 year old buildings, so what do you do?? You convert them into nightclubs.  And convert they did!  There were probably 50-100 clubs, within a 4 block area, and they were all hopping.  Some had techno, some had older music, but most were alive with live bands playing many of the crowds Mexican/Spanish favorites.  We stopped at one club “Nunas”.  It was a small place, with a small band playing on stage, but they were OK, and we had a couple of drinks (which are cheap, cheap, cheap!), then we moved on.  Doreen kept assuring me that there was a place with neon palm trees, so we wandered for a while, until we found it.  It was a complex of 10 bars, all in gated courtyard, and party goers were out on the balconies of some, gyrating to the throbbing beat of Latin and American tunes, being played at ear splitting volumes.

Of course, what do we do?  We head inside!  We went into “Manaus“, which had a band of about 10 people singing and playing up front, and a few hundred bodies writhing to the beat. Girls were dancing on their chairs, and the Latin rythms were flowing through there bodies. Like any good international nightclub scene, the women were dressed to kill, and knew it.  The men were dressed in casual dress shirts, and slacks, and very much kept alive the image of the “Latin lover”.  We found a table to the side, and watched and drank a bit.  As the nigth progressed, the club got more and more full.  Thoughts like “So, this is what it’s like before the news item about people being trampled to death in a nightclub fire.”  It was packed.  We were shoehorned in almost, but that didn’t stop the crowd from partying on!  At one point the band changed from Latin to hip hop, and they had a guy out breakdancing.  Now, THAT was some skilled dancing.

One of the interesting things about these clubs, is that people don’t order a drink or two when they are in groups, they order a BOTTLE of Tequila, Vodka, you name it… It appears to be about 500ml, but it really looks strange to see a bottle at the table.  Down in Monterrey, it appears to be the norm at the clubs.

At 0200, after being fully saturated with the sights and sounds of the Barrio Antiguo, Doreen dropped me off at my hotel at about 0215, and I passed out – content from a busy day of work and fun.

I’ve got to get on my plane, so I’ll write up Saturday later. 

Later – Pictures now available

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4 01 2008

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