It was a first for me. And my reaction was one of disbelief as much disdain.
You see over here in Mexico everyone seems to be making up new ways of making a few pesos.
And this attempt to prise a few pence out of my pocket almost deserved reward – if only for making Jacky and giggle uncontrollably for hours afterwards.
The Mexican wasn’t suggesting anything sordid. In fact, he did actually did want us to ‘touch’ his monkey – a mal-nourished-looking sort of marmoset.
While it might not be unusual to see these kinds of people parade monkeys or parrots around in resorts around the world, here they’ve taken the idea to new levels.
Sure, in Tangiers I was offered to hold a snake for a photograph for a few pence. I think in Tenerife I also held an exotic parrot.
But over here these people have upped their game.
Kittens and puppies and even tiger and leopard cubs are offered to hold and pose with.
Did we take them up on their offer? Hell no, we don’t agree with it.
But you have to admire the efforts of the street men.
I mean, where the hell do you get a leopard cub? eBay?! Walmart?! (They seem to sell everything else bar cafetierres).
Another thing Mexico has an abundance of is dogs.
It seems that you’re not Mexican unless you have at least one. And sadly there are so many strays they nearly outnumber people.
Driving around Tijuana is difficult enough without having to avoid hitting a dog.
And most of them are big enough to cause more damage to your vehicle than to them if you do hit them.
With the intense 24/7 sunshine here (I’ve seen one drop of rain in just over five weeks) the odds are that the bugs are going to be bigger.
And they certainly are.
That ‘thing’ which I posted a picture of a few days ago was nothing I’m told.
We ended up spraying it with enough insecticide to wipe out an entire species. And then it wriggled and writhed around like it was enjoying a cold shower.
The old faithful foot stamp was the only way to deal with it in the end. But you just know it has friends who want to join the party.
Cockroaches are the norm around here. As are spiders and spiders of the 'black widow' variety.
You know, the Mexican (or Spanish) word for spider is ‘arana’.
So when I ask someone what kind of aranas they have over here and they reply “well, tarantulas” you know that that arana is going to be pretty special.
I mean, a ‘tarantula’ is a ‘tarantula’ in any language surely?
So the ‘tarantulas’ over here are not going to be your average money spider are they...?
I am yet to meet one but you’ll know when I do.
They say that in space ‘no-one can hear you scream’, but believe me – the guys on the International Space Station will hear me when I see one.
Last weekend I’m also pretty sure you would have heard the screams of 20 or so thrill-seekers who got stuck on America’s tallest theme park ride.
Jacky and I – together with one of her best friends – visited Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles which is home to a ludicrous amount of rollercoasters.
One of the newest rides is the ‘Lex Luthor – Drop of Doom’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn5X805NVLY) which throws people up to a height of 200+ft, pauses, and then drops them down about a thousand times as fast.
It’s the world’s tallest and most vertical drop ride. When people drop they do so at 85mph in five seconds.
We were queuing to go on this new ride, watching people going up and down, when all of a sudden it went up... and then stopped.
|Can we come down now please?|
|A long way down...|
Now THAT was the stuff of nightmares. The usual delay before plummeting is about 20 seconds. But these guys were up there for about four minutes.
So stood aghast with feelings of impending doom, what did everyone on the ground do?
They took photographs of course... me included.
Once a journo always a journo right?!
Fortunately the thrill-seekers made it back to the ground in the planned fashion, albeit slightly delayed.
And by that point we were no longer in the queue.
Six Flags makes Alton Towers look like a pink merry-go-round.
|Life is a roller coaster|
|Not the time to drop your keys|
|Not for the faint-hearted|
And Jacky is its biggest fan. I’ve seen excitement on a face before, but Jacky’s expression at the mere mention of the attraction is something else.
When a grown man gets off a ride you’re about to get on and says ‘THAT is f*cked up’, you know you’re in for the ride of your life quite literally.
‘X2’ is its name. And it’s worth googling. You sit in it backwards and you’re thrown around a track upside down and left to right.
You actually feel slightly abused when you get off. Well, at least I did. Jacks was bouncing.
|So we got a little excited...|
It would appear mad to queue for two hours for a two-minute thrill but it’s worth it each and every time.
So the next time anyone is in the US put it in your itinerary. It might seem strange to pay to be abused but hey isn’t that what council tax in the UK is all about?