The party at Papas & Beer was absolutely nuts, as I had predicted. It was MTV Party to Go times a thousand — half-naked girls doing skank dances on platforms, thug-like dudes grabbing girls’ asses at will and the worst mainstream hip hop you can imagine blasting through the speakers in the main room of the over-sized club.
But tucked upstairs in a smaller, quieter room, the music was better and the girls and guys less oversexed. It was what you could consider the electronic-music room, and even though a large percentage of people were on some kind of drug, it was a much, much better vibe.
Tijuana kids, thanks to Nortec Collective, have a deep and passionate love for electronic music of all kinds. The most interesting aspects of the whole night were, first, the way the DJ I went with, Mark E Quark, was treated, which was like some sort of uber rock-star complete with a hotel room, free drinks and anything else he wanted. And second, the way in which the group of people I met treated me — they were friendly, accommodating and, in short, amazing.
At one point, a girl explained that she loved to make Americans feel welcome and at home when they visited Mexico. She said this as she handed me a drink, a cigarette and showed me where I could stand and feel a cool breeze blowing into the sweaty club. I wish we Americans treated Mexicans the same way, but I think it’s safe to say we don’t. Mexican people are just warmer.
The warmth of their culture continued to tickle me as I watched the orange sun rise from the balcony of a house at the after party. No one at the place really knew me, but there I was being given water, beer, a bed if I wanted it…I can barely speak their language, but there they all were, making sure I felt right at home.