So we get into his fire red Mach 1 and end up at the cozy Las Nueves. Unfortunately for us, since Pepe’s last visit there, it has now turned into a trendy gay hangout. We have a drink or two there and then make our exit.

‘I know where we can go. To your casa amarilla.’ So we end up at the lobby bar of Camino Real. This gives us time to simmer. As in Acapulco, Pepe seems to know everyone and everyone seems to know him. People would stop by, couples, men, women – especially women and they go through their Mexican tango of hugging, patting the back and then parting with promises to meet up soon again. At the end of which, two of his female acquaintances walk up with exuberant Hola Pepito. He invites them to join us. Introduces me and builds me up as el hombre de Playboy. Curiously, it’s a pair of a blonde and a brunette. Both good looking. Gives me a feeling of being society girls about town. Quite friendly. But they speak only perfunctory English. We have a couple of drinks with them and then Pepe proposes.

‘How if we go to my place and party?’

The girls try a bit hard to get, but then after some prodding from Pepe, seconded by me, we all pile into his compact sports car, somehow managing to squeeze ourselves in. Pepe and Lucia in the front and me and Tere  in the back.

●●●

On that Saturday, Pepe has invited me to his place for breakfast. He feels it’s unpardonable that as long as I have been coming to Mexico, nobody has yet gotten around to take me to the Pyramids. Why don’t you come over to my place on Saturday, we’ll have a nice breakfast and then drive out to the Pyramids?

Pepe’s is a spacious penthouse apartment near the Chapultepec Park in the center of Mexico City. Cascades of light pours in through the skylights illuminating dozens of artworks and the blown up photographs that adore the walls. Some of the photographs with blurred images of the billowing skirts of the folk dancers remind me of Holi festival in India. He’s not only a photographer but also a serious artist and all that hangs on the walls is his own work. The place looks larger than I remember it from a couple of nights ago. I think it contains three, if not four bedrooms. Large kitchen and the dining room. Even though some of the furnishings has that colorful feeling of Mexico, most of it is the modern functional. It feels warm and comfortable.

When I arrive, I am greeted by a tall, angular faced, as if lifted from a cubist art, long necked and sharp penetrating dark eyed woman standing on the other side of the threshold. She doesn’t say anything, but silently welcomes me with a toss of her head. Her long and curly hair following the motion of her neck.

‘Hola Haresh. Bien venido mi amigo a tu casa en Mexico.’  Pepe rushes towards me, suddenly throwing the woman in the background with a fuerte abrazo, and the pat on the back he takes me by the arm and leads me to the table. Such exuberance! But this is Mexico and I am getting used to it.

The table is laid out just so. The plates glowing with vibrant colors are nestled into the larger shiny copper plates that serve as placemats. The clothes napkins are bright burgundy. A jar sweating of freshly squeezed orange juice awaits. The pungent aroma of strong Mexican coffee permeates the air. Engulfed in Pepe’s exuberance and displayed hospitality, for a moment I even forget about the pretty young woman.

I am treated to a sumptuous Mexican breakfast consisting of fresh papayas and mangoes, huevos rancheros with home made red and green salsas, frijoles, chorizzo, piping hot tortillas and even chiles toreados – the pan fried hot jalapeño peppers with fresh scallions. The relish my Latin Valentine Patricia had introduced me to and Pepe remembered me telling him how very much I loved it. And of course the strong café Mexicano served so attentively and gracefully by his maid Clarissa. For every gracias I utter, she rewards me with de nada and with the sweetest little smile and a sparkle in her eyes. At every compliment, I feel that extra hump in her short walk between the kitchen and the dining room as I watch her long curly hair tossing up above small of her back and caressing her shoulders. She looks very young, like in her late teens the most. But even in her innocence, I sense a certain worldliness on her face and in her eyes. Would certainly qualify to be a Playmate. Even in her homely dress covered with an overall, her figure and her beauty excel.

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