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Pop Op: International relations

With Arizona passing the stupidest immigration law ever, I thought it was time for me to travel south of the border (well, further south than Tijuana or Puerto Nuevo) on a little peace ambassador mission.

Fortunately for me, my friends Dale, Chaz and Johnny from Martinis Above Fourth have a great condo in Puerto Vallarta and my high school friend Jenni bid on a week's stay at said condo during an AIDS Walk Fundraiser last year. So with a bag filled with Aussie Bum swimsuits and a few pairs of shorts, I set off for a week in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy some cervezas and camarones.

As I set off for my vacation, I got to thinking; isn’t it a good time to improve on our foreign relations?

Hola Hollywood
Right from the start, my friend Jenni was concerned about her status in Mexico, since she’s currently a resident of Arizona. We were discussing her residency issues while we sat at an outdoor cantina and compared the guys to D List celebrities. We were stuck on a guy we dubbed "Eddie Cibrian" when our waiter asked me where we were from.

I looked him squarely in the eye and channeling my inner future television writer, said, “Hollywood.”

“Ah! Hollywood!” he responded excitedly.

“We’ve see Charlie Sheen here!” As our waiter walked away, I turned to Jenni and said, “Didn’t he get arrested down here at some point?”

Jenni shook her head, saying, “I don’t know, but I am saying I am from Hollywood now on. That’s way hotter than Seattle!”

On the hunt
“You need to find us some hot gay vacation friends,” were the marching orders I got from Jenni not long after our arrival in Puerto Vallarta. On our first trip to the gay beach in front of our condo, Casa Soltar, I spotted who I wanted to make our vacation friends. Three hot guys who were obviously tourists (based on their lack of a tan, I was guessing from a northern state).

We were laying on the beach watching them from not far away when I noticed one going to get beers.

Jenni said, “You better go now or I will. I can be very friendly!”

I told her to wait; I had a better plan ... to pick one of the ones walking solo on his way back (like a lion catching the weak gazelle away from the herd).

When I saw him coming back, I decided to pounce. As I started to walk down the beach towards him I heard his blonde friend cat-call, “Look at that swish!”

I turned around with an undignified look on my face and the blonde quickly said, “Oh no, not you!”

Plan B
“I was actually going to say hi to your friend because I wanted to meet you guys,” I said, changing course to walk back to where the two remaining friends were hanging out.

It wasn’t my original plan, but quickly we struck up a conversation and soon the third member of the group returned. Turns out their names were Sean, Taylor and Matt and they were visiting from Canada.

“What do you think of Canada?” Taylor asked me.

“I’ve never been,” I said honestly, “but I know you have better health care than we do, despite what the Republicans have been telling us.”

I was in good with the Canadians so we made plans to meet up for drinks that night at Mañanas, which is the gay dance club of choice in Puerto Vallarta. What I didn’t know, was that in addition to Canadians having good healthcare, they could drink! It didn’t take long to start making friends from all over the place and our currency of exchange was beers.

Fortunately for us, we met Edward and Oscar who were vacationing from Morelia, Mexico and they decided to update our Spanish vocabulary after informing me that, “Como te gusta mi pinga” sounded lame.

Before long, Taylor had mastered how to say, “Chupa mi verga!” and it was the only phrase he could remember the next day.

The Whole Enchilada
I will be the first to admit, I have done very little traveling outside of the United States. As a matter of fact, this was only the second time I have ever had to use my passport to go through customs. The thing is, whether you are going to a foreign country or traveling to a new city, it’s a lot more fun if you don’t stay in your little bubble while you’re out there. Sometimes it takes meeting new people to find new adventures and maybe pick up a conversational word or two.

Travis D. Bone is a Los Angeles based writer and a graduate of the University of California at San Diego. After spending 13 years in San Diego where his journalism efforts earned him a San Diego Press Club award he took his chances on moving to Los Angeles to become a television writer. Now he’s working in finance for a studio, so that didn’t turn out quite the way he expected. On the upside he’s still writing, still single and still living it up splitting time between Los Angeles and San Diego. In short he’s got a lot of stories to tell.