21 September, 2021

Cruise ships are back in town, which means the Mazatlán Tourist Aide Volunteers are back in operation. Well, sort of. Two weeks ago I was the only one to sign up. The typical cruise day in Mazatlán is Tuesday, but for some reason Carnival has decided to alter their route. Instead of the typical, Cabo San Lucas to Mazatlán to Puerto Vallarta route, they’re going directly to Puerto Vallarta, then Mazatlán, and lastly Cabo San Lucas. This puts them in port here on Wednesdays.

So, two weeks ago I started off at the cruise terminal. A few people came out of the port – but the majority were taking pulmonia tours. The few that were walking the blue line weren’t in the best of moods. One would think that if they knew what the blue line was, they also would know what the person wearing the blue shirt that says, ‘Mazatlán Tourist Aide Volunteer’ is about. Nope! I sign up for roving shifts where I walk around and help people I come across … and after about 20 minutes of grumpy people it was definitely time to rove. On to the Plazuela Machado. Pulmonia drivers said very few had made it to them, and a group that had been walking behind me must have veered off of the blue line path as they didn’t make it to the Plazuela! I *did* tell them they could follow me, but sometimes grumpy people just know better! Lol.

Olas Altas was a little better. I think there are some that take a pulmonia from the cruise dock and just ask to be taken to the beach. I know I didn’t see them walking. I was able to help a few people here, then on my way to the clavadistas. ONE tourist bus was there, when usually there would be two or three. I didn’t see the fun bus at all, and the segway tour only had two tourists.

By this time I am getting hungry, and I have to pass Via Condotti … so it was a perfect opportunity to get some breakfast and take a short break … turned out to be very short as some cruise ship passengers came by and needed a little help!

And now on to the cathedral. Here there were a lot of tourists, but they were all in tour groups. I didn’t see any without the little stickers on their shirts. I’ll answer questions from these tourists if they ask, but pretty much leave them alone as the tour guide operators have things well in hand. So, back to roving and my next stop is the mercado. I always swing through the mercado because it’s a tourist spot – but I rarely find anyone who wants/needs help there. Nothing was different this time. A few tourists at the trinket stalls, no one looking lost or in need of help.

I usually rove from 9:00 am / 9:30 am until noon. This gets me my daily 10,000 steps, strengthens my tan, and noon is about the time when my bottle of water is getting low.

Heading home I go past the Abraham Carne Asada joint. I’ve said before how good their carne asada is, but now I’m going to tell you why I haven’t bought anything from them in a year. I would usually get the package of 1 kg. meat, tortillas, and a side. Well, I was on my diet that last time and decided I was going to portion things up so I could figure out how many calories each ‘meal’ was. Imagine my surprise when the meat weighed a total of 600 grams, not a kilo. No, my scale isn’t off. I’m pretty sure their scale isn’t off either. The woman who runs the place uses her scale for every order too, so I’m pretty sure she was just scamming me. And she knows I live in the neighborhood, and had been a fairly good customer. Not a good move, because there are far too many other places to shop than hers. Her shop is just more convenient, but I’ll take honesty over convenience any day. El Pechugón isn’t all that far from me either, and I usually prefer chicken over beef.

Since I’m on a ‘give people a warning’ rant, I’m going to let you know about ‘Mokja’. Mokja calls themselves a Korean restaurant and is located just a couple blocks north of the mercado Miguel Hidalgo in Juárez. I like Korean food, and their menu certainly looks like fairly authentic Korean food. I ordered the Jjajangmyeon. This is one of my favorites when I’m in Seattle. Chinese restaurants call it ‘Noodles in Beijing sauce’. I even had it when I was in Beijing! Unfortunately what Mokja served me had zero resemblance with real jjajangmyeon. The sauce was not made from black bean paste. The noodles were fettuccini noodles, not the spaghetti noodles as shown on their menu, or better yet – hand made fresh noodles. There were no cucumber slices (thankfully – they make me burp all day) on top. What there was, was a brown gravy with lots of little chunks of potato and maybe six little pieces of pork. The portion was large, but large and not very tasty wasn’t what I wanted. It really was disappointing. $135 pesos, not a crazy high price for jjajangmyeon, but for what I got it was out of line. I also ordered some kim-chi. I just took a bite and can say that … it’s kim-chi! And it’s pretty good! $210 for the large (they say ~750 ml) jar. Definitely on the high side of the price scale, but where else are you going to get it in Mazatlán? So, I would go back for more kim-chi. I would not go back for the rest of their menu, nor for the packages of noodles they sell (Toyo has a better selection). P.S. If you want to see what real jjajangmyeon is, here’s a recipe:

Another cruise ship tomorrow, and I’m signed up for a roving shift. I missed last week because I came down with a little case of pleurisy. A week of painful/uncomfortable breathing and I’m now back to my normal self. I went out walking yesterday and racked up 15,000 steps, and gave the top of my head a little sunburn! I was totally drenched by the time I hopped on a bus and made my way home … walking in 90 f. weather isn’t for the faint of heart, but I did score a couple of HUGE chamorros at the mercado Miguel Hidalgo!

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