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monterreymx

Sep 29, 2009, 2:13 AM

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Monterrey Help Please

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Hello all, first post. I'm not new to international travel, but this will be my first trip to Mexico. I'm planning to drive down to Laredo and find a bus (they seem to run pretty often) to Monterrey.

The first question I have is about parking. Where can I safely park my car and how much will it cost (I'm assuming the lots have some security)? I don't want to take my car into Mexico just because I've never driven outside the USA before. It sounds like the fee for my tourist card is $20 bucks and the bus fare is $20. Any advice on that would be welcome. I'd just like to get it handled as smoothly as possible.

I've got connections with a family member (hotel employee) who can get me a great deal on a room. I'm taking my laptop and VOIP phone with me. And for work I'll need to use my VOIP phone (to accept calls from my US number in Mexico) so I can keep selling. It sounds like maybe Mexico had problems with VOIP years ago, but now it works well? Can anyone confirm that for Monterrey. I won't be calling local numbers with the VOIP just taking sales calls from the USA.

It sounds like my doctor is going to advise me to get the HEP A Vac and I believe Dengue Fever pills. A nurse I know suggested that will be the case.

I may go with a buddy, but that isn't set in stone yet. I know the basics about making sure the cabbie has the meter on (maria por favor :) ). I always carry a copy of my passport (and it sounds like I'll need to carry the tourist ID card), and I normally go with a fake wallet in my back pocket. I carry a little money in my front pocket to pay for most things, and the rest of my stuff is inside my sock down in my shoe. That has always worked for me.

The main reason I'm going to Monterrey is because I have a job now where I don't have to show up to the office. I've read plenty on the internet of these guys taking a vacation to some Latin American country and paying some agency to find them a girl or something. I read one "trip report" where a guy was pleased to announce he got engaged on his first trip.

Well I just leave my opinions about that to myself and say I've enjoyed meeting the latinas I have met on vacation, so I'd like to actually spend some real time in Mexico and hopefully during my time meet some nice ladies. I've read about the nightlife online, but if anyone has any great suggestions I'll definitely check it out.

I had 2 semesters of spanish in high school, but haven't had any classes since 02. And my brain only has enough room to remember some of the stuff I learned in college, grad school, and for work... so my spanish will be muy malo. But I am buying some materials to relearn and refresh myself with the language. Part of what I like about Monterrey is it sounds like most if not all know at least some English (if not fluent). If I went to Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Chile etc I don't think I could expect that.

I've driven at most 12 hours before, but to the border I think it will be 16 hours and I'd like to just drive it all in one day. Well sorta... I'm thinking take an evening nap and then get on the road at 1 AM or 2AM in the morning so I can take a morning break and a lunch break (which seems healthy to get off the road), and then so I'd be done driving while it was still light out. If I have a buddy with me the driving becomes less of an issue.

Thanks for the help!



gpkgto

Sep 29, 2009, 7:45 AM

Post #2 of 62 (10694 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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I can´t offer any real help, but if you are coming to Mexico just to meet women, why not just stop at a border town? (And don't forget your hazmat suit and full-body condom).


(This post was edited by gpkisner on Sep 29, 2009, 7:46 AM)


richmx2


Sep 29, 2009, 10:01 AM

Post #3 of 62 (10663 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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Most border towns have long term parking lots at reasonable rates. Around the bus stations, you can usually find lots, or someone can direct you to one. I'm not sure where you're coming from, but if a long drive is difficult for you, you can catch a direct bus to Monterrey from Dallas or Houston or Austin or...

You might be better off taking a bus the whole say, which will save you worrying about the car.

I only lived in Monterrey for a short time (on business for a couple of months), but don't recall taxis having meters. It was zone fare, but things may have changed. At any rate, you should chill out... watching out for your money is a good idea, but don't spend all your time being paranoid about it. Just bring an ATM card (yes, they work here, but let the bank know you plan to use it outside the U.S.) and don't have more than a day or two's worth of cash around. And, you're reasonably save leaving cash, etc. in your hotel room... if you are at all worried, I usually stuck the money and ATM card in my dirty socks, buried in my luggage. Nobody's gonna steal dirty socks (though in some mom-n-pop hotels, the maids will just pick up your dirty laundry if you leave it laying around... and clean it!)

Barrio Antigua in Monterrey is the area with the clubs. Remember your manners... Mexican women (and men) appreciate that... when young foreigners run into real trouble in Mexico, it's usually because they got drunk and acted like dicks in a club.


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carlw

Sep 29, 2009, 10:01 AM

Post #4 of 62 (10662 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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Where are you starting from in the USA? Depending on where you are, there are plenty of Mexican buses that go from USA cities to Monterey. They are more comfortable and less expensive than Greyhound. For instance, you could leave Dallas at 7 p.m. on a Turimex bus and arrive in Monterey 7 am, no change of buses or hassles at the border.


Peter


Sep 29, 2009, 1:46 PM

Post #5 of 62 (10634 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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Don't bother with the car unless you are planning to stay long and want to travel, public transportation and taxis are plentiful and inexpensive. There will be plenty to do close to wherever you stay to keep you occupied for weeks.

Never been to Monterrey but it is in Mexico, therefore as a gringo new to Mexico most of what you will find unique will pretty much be the same throughout your time here any place you go. Monterrey is the third largest city in Mexico, you will have plenty to choose from and will have a great time. Probably the first thing unique you will discover is that the people you encounter will go much further to please you than you are accostomed to in the US. It's not a put-on that's just the way it is here.

It sounds as if you would enjoy visiting some of the cantinas, I highly recommend it and it will help your Spanish enormously. With the few words you already know you will find yourself quite fluent after several cervesas. In those cantinas you will pay a very reasonable price for your beers and a small fortune for hers, though her beers really will be near the price you may already be accustomed to paying in the US. Go there around mid-afternoon and you will probably be served pretty decent botanas, snacks, free with your drinks. Relax, look around, drink a beer and find a lady to invite to have a drink with you, or not, no hurry. Some of the ladies are very sweet and almost as new to this as you, others may be a bit more professional, both kinds are there and it is not unusual to find someone who is working that job just to find someone with means to have a relationship with, others no. But if you see someone that gets your interest, by all means invite her to your table, you will have her undivided attention and even if she speaks no English she will work very hard to make herself understood. You generally don't need to be paranoid about your money in Mexico but in the cantinas, especially after a couple hours of heavy drinking and petting the precautions you mentioned aforehand are a good idea. Put money you care to allow yourself for this activity in an easy to reach pocket. Put some more in another pocket. Avoid going for your wallet. When you pocket is empty, leave. Consider going back the next day or try a different place.

There is so much to see and do in Mexico, not just the bars, but not enough time is given to these activities in these forums and it sounds like you wanted a clue.

Don't think about marrying the first Mexican girl you find of interest, it's not that easy to do.


(This post was edited by Peter on Sep 29, 2009, 1:54 PM)


monterreymx

Sep 29, 2009, 3:09 PM

Post #6 of 62 (10610 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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Thanks for the help... except for the person who suggested I go find some hookers. I'll basically be coming straight down 35. If I was parking at the airport in Kansas City it would be like 5.50 a day. I'm fine with a rate like that... I just think it would suck if parking in Loredo was like 15 or 20 bucks a night or something. I couldn't find rates online.

I'm not really paranoid however I do understand the culture in Costa Rica and you do have to really watch out for pick pockets and those trying to help you out. The person wanting to help you change your tire by the side of the road is normally the same one who let the air out while you had it parked at the beach.

I've been reading about the clubs at Barrio Antiguo. The age range I'm interested in would be around 20 to 25. Not that I don't like loud music... but that can get in the way of trying to talk to them... especially with the minor language barrier.

As for taking the bus. I have looked into it and even if I drove to Austin the bus still took forever to get to Monterrey. I think my best bet time wise is to drive to the border... and since I'm uncomfortable (at least for my first trip) driving in Mexico I can just get a bus to Monterrey from Laredo.

As for the comments about behavior in these night establishments. I'm sure I'll apply the same rules that make sense for Costa Rica (no not the hooker bars). The most obvious thing that comes to mind is if there is a guy in her group (even if he isn't dating her or even dating her friend or sister)... the guy generally will get super pissed if you bypass him and hit on the girl. Plus some just don't like young gringos coming in and dancing with hot women in the club. So in general I already know it is better to not be brash and blend in as best you can.

I would assume in Monterrey I'd be less of a novelty than in many places in Central America & South America.


Peter


Sep 30, 2009, 7:39 AM

Post #7 of 62 (10543 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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Public parking downtown can certainly cost you those high rates and a car is not really a necessity for a short stay with your activities planned for the urban areas. Good you are considering the bus.

"Hooker bars" is what many are, but not necessarily so. Cantinas or botaneros are other names that better fit some of those establishments. Either way companionship is often a menu item and some of the ladies are not really hookers but are looking for a better situation in life and are making some money in the process. I currently live with such a lady I met about a year and a half ago at a Men's Club and it has worked out well for both of us. I have spent a good deal of time with several of the girls I met in such places. I will be a customer 2 or 3 times but after that we are just dating. 20-25 year age range is just about right but they come in all ages. Certainly there are some that better suit than others and it doesn't take long to figure out their angle. But don't write them all off as hookers and losers, the tough economy has hit deep and some people are working jobs they would not consider doing in better times. Go early, 3pm or thereabouts, the new girls start early and they are generally the ones you would find more suitable to go out with.

The discos I have less experience with, they are often sort of dressy affairs where guys take their dates and wives for a night of dancing, while others are for singles but often are places for the locals and you could feel out of place though downtown nightclubs cater to turists.

I don't usually spend so much time on this subject but your posts do allude to finding casual companionship or better. It is great if your friend can help hook you up with some locals but you may do better on your own. I don't think you'll have time to meet friends at church socials and it's doubtful your language skills will be enough to meet ladies in the park, but you never know. Here you are somewhat socially challenged and I'm following your lead and suggesting a course of action that may be something other than what you might expect it to be. Buenos suerte, good luck. I'm sure you will enjoy your visit.


(This post was edited by Peter on Sep 30, 2009, 7:43 AM)


monterreymx

Sep 30, 2009, 8:31 PM

Post #8 of 62 (10481 views)

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Re: [Peter] Monterrey Help Please

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"Hooker bars" is what many are, but not necessarily so. Cantinas or botaneros are other names that better fit some of those establishments. Either way companionship is often a menu item and some of the ladies are not really hookers but are looking for a better situation in life and are making some money in the process. I currently live with such a lady I met about a year and a half ago at a Men's Club and it has worked out well for both of us.


My comments were directed towards the poster that basically suggested I take a drive to Boy's Town in Nuevo Laredo. I'm familiar with (read up on) the clubs, bars etc in the barrio antiguo. In a place like Costa Rica it is generally pretty clear which bars are for gringos looking to pick up an independent provider and pay for sex and which ones are for locals and non sex tourists.

So maybe you could educate me about these establishements (cantinas or botaneros) in Monterrey? I was assuming that in places like Cafe Iguana or Nueva Luna it wasn't a pickup hooker bar. I figured there were certain streets and strip clubs for that stuff.


jreboll

Oct 1, 2009, 2:24 AM

Post #9 of 62 (10456 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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There are buses that leave downtown McAllen everyday. Look up Gruposenda.com for prices and schedule.
Downtown McAllen is pretty safe and has parking available.


monterreymx

Oct 1, 2009, 10:08 AM

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There are buses that leave downtown McAllen everyday. Look up Gruposenda.com for prices and schedule.
Downtown McAllen is pretty safe and has parking available.

McAllen is a longer drive from San Antonio than Laredo. That would seem to make my trip longer.


Peter


Oct 1, 2009, 3:05 PM

Post #11 of 62 (10368 views)

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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Sorry, I know nothing of Monterrey specifically. If you were coming to Morelia that would be a different story.

There are several different classifications of such places but generally the botaneros are what I suggest. You could ask a taxi driver, "hay botanero cerca de aquí que tiene ricas botanas y tambien las damas?" (is there a botanero close by that has good snacks and ladies also?) He would probably get the idea with that that you are looking for a place to have a beer and some lunch and also meet some girls. Without stressing that you want snacks and beer foremost he might take you to the raunchiest place he knows of thinking that is what you want. Good idea to stress that you're hungry and want something to eat and drink so mention comida y cervesa, damas as a secondary thought. Go in the afternoon. Mention cantina also, that's often more to the point but some can be pretty downscale.

Generally speaking many of those places are clustered together in certain districts, but not always. It's nice to have a selection in case the first place has nothing that interests you you can go up the street to the next.

I hope this helps somewhat. The formula has worked for me. Enjoy Mexico, it's really quite an interesting place.


monterreymx

Oct 1, 2009, 3:37 PM

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Re: [Peter] Monterrey Help Please

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Sorry, I know nothing of Monterrey specifically. If you were coming to Morelia that would be a different story.

There are several different classifications of such places but generally the botaneros are what I suggest. You could ask a taxi driver, "hay botanero cerca de aquí que tiene ricas botanas y tambien las damas?" (is there a botanero close by that has good snacks and ladies also?) He would probably get the idea with that that you are looking for a place to have a beer and some lunch and also meet some girls.


Ok that makes sense. My experience is Costa Rica would seem to indicate there are basically two types of places. Ones to dance with the locals and meet college girls/ young professionals.... and ones to meet an independent and negotiate a rate for well the obvious.

What you are talking about seems to be some sort of middle ground I wasn't aware of. It makes me wonder if I walk into a local bar (maybe outside the Barrio Anitguo)... what kind of bar am I in... and what are the rules?

I myself have a graduate degree so I generally look for educated women. But sure I suppose with this economy you could expect all sorts of folks in a bar in the afternoon right now.


esperanza

Oct 1, 2009, 3:47 PM

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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If you want to meet college girls and dance with the locals, you might want to look for an antro. That's a combination night club/disco, primarily for a higher class of younger people than you will find in a cantina.

Antros
are open at night, not in the afternoon, and are usually fairly upscale.

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monterreymx

Oct 1, 2009, 4:01 PM

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Re: [esperanza] Monterrey Help Please

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esperanza,

Yea well I just wasn't really aware of these cantinas. What you are talking about seems to be the places I was looking at checking out... Cafe Iguana, Skizzo Electro Club etc

http://cafeiguana.com.mx/iguana/index.php

http://acidmty.ning.com/group/skizzoelectroclub


esperanza

Oct 1, 2009, 4:13 PM

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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Exactly.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Peter


Oct 2, 2009, 7:01 AM

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Re: [monterreymx] Monterrey Help Please

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What I was speaking of is a middle grounds, these cantinas and botaneros run the gamut from fairly upscale establishments to sleazy dives. You can usually get the idea of what kind of place they are by looking at them then decide for yourself. Some actually do attract a more refined clientele, San Pancho's might be an example of that.

I really was suggesting the places where the ladies are making a commission on the drinks you buy them. That assures their attentiveness. In these troubled economic times you can find some reasonably refined and educated women working in these places, though they are not the majority. I am attracted to those who possess a curiosity about the world, which higher education does not guarantee or the lack thereof exclude. Only by chatting casually can you discover such virtue.

I suspected you have drawn a bead on your nightlife plans and intend to visit the clubs such as Esperanza suggests. If you have the social wherewithall to make a successful go of that, that's wonderful. If not and you find you have free time in the afternoons and thirst for a beer and some free food then these botaneros may be a place to hone your social skills for the bigger game in the evenings. My nightlife right now is a bit more mundane homelife I share currently with a very nice lady I met some time back at a botanero. Happy hunting.


jerezano

Oct 2, 2009, 8:45 AM

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Re: [esperanza] Monterrey Help Please

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Hello,

What nobody seems to have mentioned is that a real Cantina does not permit the entrance of women. Not even women accompanied by a companion. The purpose here is for a drink or two or more, conversation with friends or acquaintances, a friendly game of dominos or to sing along with strolling musicians who drop in to make money. Serious drinking occurs here and many patrons spend all their quincena (2 weeks pay) on drink and song. Cantinas are licensed to sell both beer and hard liquors.

But if there is a cantina which permits the entrance of women, those women are usually licensed hookers or freelancers (which is illegal). The cantina can lose it's license in either case since the licensed hooker is supposed to stay in the zona roja and freelancers are law breakers. The patrons treat those women as hookers and you could call them hooker bars. This type of establishment does not advertise and is usually known only to local people. The prevalence of this type of cantina also depends upon the tolerance (mordida?) of the local authorities. Theoretically this type of cantina should lose its license.

Botaneros are just places to eat. Not clubs nor cantinas, but a botanero usually has a license to sell beer along with the food. But not any hard liquor. Liquor service is reserved to restaurants and to bars and antros. I have seen botaneros which do have freelancers operating. They too depend upon the tolerance of the local authorities but usually the neighbors complain bitterly and the establishment does not stay open for long.

A bar which permits the entrance of women is usually designated as a Ladies Bar and will so advertise. But usually the women who go are either accompanied by a male or in a group of women. Whether a pick up can be made or not, is debatable.

Licensed Antros on the other hand are dance clubs, what we here in the US would call a night club. The main purpose is to drink, dance and have fun. If you can dance you should be able to find a girl without trouble. If you can't dance it might be difficult. Antros usually have a lot of difficulty with their neighbors because of the music and noise and rowdy patrons into the early morning. Of course some antros are administered more strictly than others.

Some restaurants have small dance areas and music. These are family oriented.

This has been my experience here in Zacatecas, Jalisco (other than in Guadalajara), and Nayarit. Perhaps in major cities such as Monterrey or Mexico City or Guadalajara or Veracruz, etc., the ambient is different. But what I have said is in accordance with most National , State and municipal laws.

Since the poster's original question was directed about the city of Monterrey, from time to time newspaper articles about Monterrey and sweeps of authorities throughout the city or its barrios seem to confirm what I have written here. Nevertheless I have no experience there.

Hasta pronto. jerezano.


gpkgto

Oct 2, 2009, 9:58 AM

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Re: [jerezano] Monterrey Help Please

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"what we here in the US would call a night club"

You can only go to a "night club" in the US if you have a time machine--since they pretty much disappeared in the 1950s-60s.

Also, something people probably do not know and maybe would not even notice, but cantinas are popular with gay men who go looking for other men--usually married--who like to do "things" on the side. If a guy is too friendly with you, he may be more interested in you than you are in him.


La Isla


Oct 2, 2009, 1:20 PM

Post #19 of 62 (10177 views)

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Re: [Peter] Monterrey Help Please

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I really was suggesting the places where the ladies are making a commission on the drinks you buy them. That assures their attentiveness. In these troubled economic times you can find some reasonably refined and educated women working in these places, though they are not the majority.

Maybe it´s just me, but why would a man want the company of a woman who's paying attention to him because she's getting a commission for the drinks he´s buying for her? I´m speaking from a woman's point-of-view, of course. No doubt, Peter (and other men on this thread) might have another way of looking at it!


Papirex


Oct 2, 2009, 2:40 PM

Post #20 of 62 (10165 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Monterrey Help Please

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The girls working in bars for commissions were a big problem in The US in the late 1940s. They were called “B girls” (Bar girls) I was a kid then, but my oldest brother and his friends told me that they would tell a B girl that asked them to buy them a drink, that they would buy them one, if they let them taste the drink first. The drinks served to the B girls were always non-alcoholic.


The B girls usually decided that they were not thirsty then. I think that publicity about that practice is what finally ended it. When most men realized that the girls were being extra friendly just to make a few Cents on every drink, the men wised up I don't know how smart the men visiting México might be.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


gpkgto

Oct 2, 2009, 2:50 PM

Post #21 of 62 (10160 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Monterrey Help Please

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Tha same happens in Mexico--they get non-alcoholic drinks and the guy pays double. It is called "fichada"--don't know why.


(This post was edited by gpkisner on Oct 2, 2009, 3:28 PM)


Anonimo

Oct 2, 2009, 2:57 PM

Post #22 of 62 (10158 views)

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Re: [gpkisner] Monterrey Help Please

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http://davidlida.com/?p=582

Fichas: dance tickets?



Saludos,
Anonimo


La Isla


Oct 2, 2009, 7:37 PM

Post #23 of 62 (10120 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Monterrey Help Please

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The era of "B girls" was a bit before my time, though not by as much as I'd like (: , but I recall see that term in novels set in that period. Never knew exactly what it referred to - thanks for the interesting bit of trivia, Papirex.


gpkgto

Oct 3, 2009, 6:00 AM

Post #24 of 62 (10086 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Monterrey Help Please

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A Mexican friend just told me that you are exactly right--patrons used to buy "fichas" good for a dance (and the rest was negotiated privately). He said the dancing girls (e.g. in a table dance place) "estan fichando" the patrons now--i.e. getting a cut of the patron's drink tab.


Peter


Oct 3, 2009, 11:58 AM

Post #25 of 62 (10055 views)

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Re: [gpkisner] Monterrey Help Please

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Tha same happens in Mexico--they get non-alcoholic drinks and the guy pays double. It is called "fichada"--don't know why.


No wonder I pay double for the ladies' beers. They have to open them, suck out all the alcohol, then re-cap the bottle so the server can open it for her when it's brought to the table. It seems she's also sneaking a few drinks when she goes to the tinkletorium, or is just good at faking getting plastered along with me.

My girlfriend tells me her drinks actually had alcohol. She must be a liar AND a whore. Good thing I come to these forums so I can learn the REAL truth.
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