Oaxaca: No such thing as a quiet night in Oaxaca!

Oh the fun I had in Mexico. Those were the days: meeting loads of travellers, learning Spanish swear words, and getting drunk on the local lethal drinks. In the two weeks I spent in Oaxaca, Mexico, I had a right laugh. Here’s a short story of a crazy night I had with a travelling friend of mine.
Get the beers in!
Photo by bamgal

There is no such thing as a quiet night in Oaxaca.

“Let’s just go for one,” Uvlad said after we’d finished our meal, but it’s never just one.
North of the Zocalo, we strolled down a thin cobbled street, stumbled on a row of bars and chose one with a special offer on Coronas.
“Bienvenido,” said the barmaid as she leaned over the bar to reveal her cleavage. ‘You would like a drink?’ Uvlad had noticed her low cut top as well and grinned as we sat on the high bar stools. We were the only customers.
“Cuatro Coronas, por favor,” he said. The barmaid served the four Coronas, each time slipping in a lemon to add Mexican flavour.
“I’m not a big drinker,” Uvlad said. He was big, at least 120 kilos, and that night he was a drinker; a giant drinker.
By the time we’d knocked back six beers, a thick cloud of smoke swirled round the faint ceiling lights; the bar was rammed with noisy locals.
“Where can we dance?” Uvlad asked the barmaid. She looked at him to try to suss him out and smiled.
“With me you cannot, but Temptation is over the road.” She winked as she wiped the lemon rinds from the bar top. “Maybe I will see you later.” Uvlad paused as he finished the end of his bottle.
“What did she say?” Uvlad said as we staggered over to Temptation.
“That she might see us later.”
“I thought so,” he said, confused.
 The bouncer looked at his watch as we propped ourselves up against each other.
“Muy temprano – very early,” he said. Again we were the only customers.
“No pasa nada – no problem,” Uvlad said as he patted the bouncer’s shoulder. The Mexican raised his eyebrows, tutted, and let us in the dingy club.
The waiters were still setting up the bar and the band was testing the sound. We stood by the bar and showed each other our florescent teeth shining in the ultraviolet light. We ordered two more Coronas and waited for the crowd.
You have to try Mezcal if you’r ein Mexico!
Photo by dbrekke

After an hour, the club was full of Oaxacans and travellers dancing to salsa. Some Oaxacan students talked with us and introduced a local bevy.

“What’s it called again?” Uvlad asked me for the third time.
“Mezcal.”
“It like tequila, it make me happy,” he said, clinking glasses and knocking back the strong shot. Mezcal is the local firewater and over a million and a half litres are exported every year. Europeans pay up to $20 a bottle, while in Taiwan $275. We paid a dollar a shot.
The potent drink had its desired effect and Uvlad and I pranced about, sweating and making fools of ourselves.
“There she is,” Uvlad said as the barmaid came in. “Wait here.” He shot off to the bar, whispered something in her ear, and received a slap.
“What did you say?”
“If she wanted to dance salsa back at my room.”
“A bi
t forward, don’t you think?”
“I do now.”
When the band stopped, some students dragged us into a cab and we ended up in a late night bar outside the centre. A couple of mezcals later we were dancing on the tables wearing sombreros. At six in the morning we were mezcalled up to our eyeballs.  We said goodbye to our brief drinking companions and hailed down a cab.  
“Why are we pulling over?” Uvlad said five minutes into the journey. I’d almost dozed off.
“Oh shit, it’s the pigs,” I said.
“What pigs?”
“The police.” The police car flashed in front and the officers paced over and ordered the cabbie to get out. They argued for a while before our driver handed over some money. The mezcal had impeded my judgement but I presumed he’d been speeding.  
When we stopped outside our hostel, the cabbie tried to pull a fast one.
“You pay more for police, you in car,” he said.
“Your joking mate, you’re the driver,” I said.
“You pay more, you in car.”
“No way Jose,” Uvlad said, giving him what we agreed. The driver shouted a few expletives in Spanish as we left the car and stumbled towards the hostel.
“So much for a quiet night,” Uvlad said. 

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