Archives for posts with tag: Mexico

The Reverse Migration To El Sur

Haresh Shah
fiercelatina

Had she submitted today, a polaroid wearing only a tan and mascara, just to see if I could make the cut, she certainly would have been considered seriously and most probably made it as Playmate of the Month in the U.S. Playboy. In the year 2015, with the dramatically altered demographics and with the both political parties wooing the ever growing Latino population, what could be better than to have a born in Glendale, California of Mexican parents, a natural beauty, raven haired, five feet tall with voluptuous hourglass figure, the dark brown eyes, seductively and invitingly looking back at you? At 24, she is in her prime and has already been a part of a study program at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and has earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Whittier College. A perfect fusion of beauty and the brain – an ideal girl next door.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

The Domestic Arrangements South Of The Border

Haresh Shah

aztecqueen

I met Pepe Morales during a Playmate promotional jaunt in Acapulco. Our publishers have hired Pepe to cover the event – a young Mexican photographer and socialite of some renown . He seems to know everyone we run into and is greeted with the warmest abrazoz and pats on the back, while he bumbles around following the Playmates and documenting the weekend, with me taking additional photos whenever I am able to sneak some shots without neglecting my duties that of the Playboy executive on site.

Pepe and I hit it off right away. When back in Mexico City, we meet one evening for dinner. We have fat juicy steak dinners at Barbas Negras during which we drown three bottles of Los Reyes. Feeling absolutely no pain, Pepe asks:

‘What would you like to do now?’

‘I don’t know. This is your town. Maybe go cunt chasing?’

‘Why not? Let’s just get out of here and together we’ll paint the town red,’ he proclaims.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Haresh Shah 

How Can You Not Fall In Love With Them?

parachute

‘And now ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching the home of one of the most colorful characters of our country: Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, the adventurer and the author of the Republic of Venice and the autobiography, Histoire de ma vie (Story of  My Life), which is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. But as many of you certainly know, he is mostly known as the great lover of women. Yes, the great lover and the great liar.’ We are on a gondola site seeing tour navigating through the narrow canals of Venice. On our right is a long curving three story flaming rust colored brick building with elaborate balconies protruding out of the walls and huge windows overlooking the the canals down below.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Body And Soul Union

Haresh Shah

cuernavaca

Actually our destination this Sunday is Las Mañanitas, more in line with an all day weekend outing for Playboy executives to spend a leisurely afternoon in the lush gardens of one of the most beautiful hotels and restaurants in the world. Enjoy sumptuous Mexican delicacies washed down with Tequila Sunrises and Daiquiris. Only a short half an hour drive from Mexico City, the town of Cuernavaca is heralded the City of Eternal Spring by the geographer, naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, is a perfect escape from the dense clouds of pollution, swarms of crowds and the constant dint of noise of Mexico City. It is the pride and joy not only of the town of Cuernavaca, but of the entire country. We sit under the open sky and under the cooling shades of the trees and sip on our psychedelic tropical drinks. We are surrounded by  the tall royal birds among them the proud peacocks gracefully prancing up and down with their iridescent tails spread out into magnificent round throne like fans. Prancing along are other long necked beautiful birds swaying and strolling while jumping monkeys frolic up and down the tree branches. It feels like being in paradise, the garden of Eden as one would picture it. The only other time I would come upon such an exotic place would be several years later on my first visit to Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Haresh Shah

My Close Encounter With An Angry Nobel Laureate

The Original Unabridged Version Of FACE TO FACE WITH GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ MARQUEZ

It’s October 29, 1982.  The master of magical realism – Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez has just won the Nobel Prize.  Playboy magazine has in its inventory a recently concluded interview with him, conducted by the veteran journalist Claudia Dreifus.  The interview has been transcribed from hours and hours of time Ms. Dreifus spent talking with García Márquez in his Paris apartment.  It has been edited and ready to go – almostPlayboy has promised García Márquez that it would show him the edited version, mainly to check facts and to point out inaccuracies.. As a matter of policy and editorial integrity, the magazine does not give the interview subjects right of approval.  Normally, Playboy closes most of its issues three to four months in advance.  García Márquez would make the trip to Stockholm in December to accept the Prize.  The interview must appear as close to the Nobel ceremony as possible.  This means, the scheduled February interview had to be pulled and be replaced by García Márquez interview.  The problem is; the elusive Nobel laureate is nowhere to be found.   On the day following  the announcement and during the following day, he is met by the press at his home in Mexico City.  Several frenetic phone calls from Playboy editors to his house are answered again and again by his Mexican maid.  He has gone away on a month long vacation, leaving behind strict instructions that he didn’t wish to be reached.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Haresh Shah

Eres Tu, Eres Tu, Asi, Asi, Eres Tu…

between_the_fountain

Premonition? Up until this very moment, I had never thought of it that way. But there are times when you can’t help but wonder and end up giving things the benefit of the doubt!  During the trip I took from Chicago to Mexico City, I met with Francisco Sadurni, the local attorney hired by Playboy to help me get a long term multiple  entry visa.  Knowing that I didn’t have any plans for the evening, he tagged me along to a party at his uncle’s house – also an attorney.

From the outside, the house looked quite unpretentious. Ordinary even. But what I encountered behind the closed street-side gate was nothing like anything I had seen inside a private home. It opened into a vast courtyard running into a spacious living room. The centerpiece about which the people milled around was a real fountain, like in a small garden of a Shinto shrine. There were ornate columns buttressing the slanted skylight roof. The palm, cactus and other tropical plants gave you a feeling of being in a rain forest. Five piece strolling Mariachi band  serenaded while the guests made trips back and forth between the individually canopied food and drink stands, set up  like in a traditional Mexican mercado. Bottles of French champagne popped open and emptied every few minutes. Men were all dressed like  lawyers in their dark pinstripe suites, which many of them probably were.  There were scores of beautiful young women dressed so provocatively and yet elegantly in their clingingly skin tight outfits with revealing tops. I felt like Alex in the wonderland.  What I had thought to be a party  containing of about twenty people, turned out to be a hundred or more guests.

Francisco takes me by the hand and introduces me to many of the guests with his good humored effervescent Mexican manner with an abrazo here, a back slapping there.. As everywhere else, the name Playboy evokes an awe as people shake hands with me and make small talk.

Seeing that I am eyeing the approaching morena in her dark and shiny burgundy-on-burgundy striped satin jumpsuit, he stops her in her tracks.

‘Let me introduce you to my cousin Luis’ daughter Patricia.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Haresh Shah

Corazon de Melon, de Melon, de Melon….

passportbook_sketches_v2

Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles had more of a feeling of a traveling agency then that of a diplomatic mission. Of the posters on display there with enticing graphics of the country’s top tourist destinations, the one that I remember the most, said in the large type face: Mexico. So Close And Yet So Different.  On my second visit, I said to myself, they might as well add: And So Outrageously Difficult To Get Into. So close in fact, that you can get in your car, have a nice lunch in Tijuana and come back on the same day. Or if you lived in the border town of San Ysidro, south of San Diego, you can simply walk across the border, pick up some cheap Mexican grocery and medication, come back and go as often as you want.  And from the places farther away, like Chicago, you can hop the plane and on impulse take off for Puerto Vallarta for a weekend.

Not so simple if you were a holder of passport from one of the “third world” countries. Up until 1980, I traveled with my Indian passport. This meant,  I needed a visa to go anywhere beyond the defined borders and the time frame.  Several years earlier, when I took my first ever trip from Chicago to Buffalo, New York, George, the young account executive at the printing plant fixed me up with a friend of his girlfriend and we three went out on the town on a double date. During the course of the evening, I got to see yet another wonder of the world – the Niagara Falls. So breath-taking. ‘Its even better from the other side,’ they told me. But I wasn’t allowed to cross the border into Canada without a visa, so we remained where we were. While living in Chicago, I used to often joke about how some day I might even need a visa to go see Wisconsin Dells! You wouldn’t think getting one for Mexico would be all that difficult. Especially considering that I was a legal resident of the United States and the possessor of the mighty green card.  No importa. It was my Indian passport that had the consuls in Los Angeles and Chicago humiliate me before carrying out their bureaucratic function of issuing me a visa.

Pages: 1 2 3