I sent Alberto a very last minute couchsurfing request right before arriving in San Blas. Luck was on my side, and within an hour of my arrival, Alberto had scooped up both Raul and myself in his rattling green truck and we all embarked on a midday tour of the quiet, muggy, mosquito-ridden beach village. Alberto is a special person and I’m glad to have had the chance to meet him. In addition to his generosity and helpfulness, he is also a fascinating guy to be around: his brain is constantly firing and bursting with ideas and analysis and stories from his crazy life experiences. When I think of San Blas I think of Alberto and his energy, groves of jackfruit, the beach,the swamp, the crocodiles. And the bugs, don’t forget the bugs.
I want a good car. Yeah, that’s my current mission. I want a good car, and I want to meet up with my three Chihuahuas that I have up here in Mazatlan and spend three months with them by a river or something. That’s it.
*Sigh. Then a long pause*
It´s not hard for me to find it… just that it’s not original. It’s simply: be good.
We’re so subjective nowadays about what’s good, like you said. People pick and choose what it means to be nice. To be giving. I’m not Gandhi or anything, but I always want to be on this side of doing the right thing. Always.
What’s something I need to know about you to understand who you are?
I am right about people 8 out of 10 times. I am always analyzing people and I understand what people want to do and why they want to do it.
Also, I think about the beginning of the universe and the end. Philosophy I guess. I love philosophy. I think it’s more important than anything else. But then again, my goal is to have a good car so I don’t know.
On Being an American living in Mexico
Contrasting the values that I’ve been given through education in the States with what is here, and trying to apply those and trying to teach those and seeing what I get out of it.
What I do is animal rights. I’m constantly seeing where I can help a dog or a bird or I’m investigating organizations. There are circuses now in Mexico that dont allow animals, which is big. We almost got rid of bullfighting last year, but it’s so difficult because people arent even conscious.
There are so many things wrong here, with civil rights and all these other things that you want to change, and you want to do what youre accustomed to doing -changing things- but you can’t. It makes you reflect on the world as a whole. You understand what the big boys do: they’re not insensitive but they understand that they can’t sacrifice themselves, they’re just a drop in the ocean.
On San Blas
Living in San Blas means good seafood, empty beaches, cheap rent, soitude -a lot of solitude- and nature. And lots of bugs. I have to give a shout out to the bugs.
What’s one amazing experience you’ve had?
This is something that as a young traveler I asked a lot, and I stopped asking. ‘Cause when you live in a foreign country there are so many amazing things.
Gosh, I don’t know. I don’t skydive, I haven’t fought with a shark, I havent saved anybodys life.
Don’t let this get out in the media, especially if I’m in a stable relationship with somebody, but: I was on the beach in Sayulita, and after a really good swim I had these German models all waiting for me. It was like one of those MTV videos and stuff, and I was like This is really perfect: I’m healthy, there’s sun, they’re running toward me, I´m gonna have some good food, some wine.
And… that’s exactly the opposite of living in Los Angeles and being a commuter working a sales job. That moment is what people stuck in traffic dream about.
What´s the most emotional experience you can remember?
One was being really really scared. You asked me how many times you can cheat fate while you travel? Well, I was being chased by people who I was pretty sure were kidnappers in Oaxaca, in Zipolite, and just being scared and being alone in a foreign country was when the dream of traveling and not having anything bad happen to you…. that dream kind of went away.
I was real cautious after that as a traveler. At one point that night I screamed at the top of my lungs ‘help’. As a man, in the middle of the night, screaming the world “help”… I think a man maybe once or twice in his life will do that: be completely helpess and need help.