07 Feb COFFEE TALK by Sally Dalton
RESTAURANT CONSTRUCTION: Construction of the new Xochitl’s Cholla CafÃ© is moving right along, and will be completed by June at the latest (of this year – always a relevant piece of data). The grand Grand Opening celebration will be announced in a future Coffee Talk article. The new building promises to have all the charm and ambiance of our current restaurant with the added attraction of parking, a bay view, and outdoor seating off the main street (to say nothing of WORKING toilets and light switches!!! We will be located about 1 Â½ blocks before you get to the current restaurant, on the opposite side of the street. You can’t miss us as you drive into Cholla. We are at the speed bump on the only paved strip in Cholla Bay. Come check out the construction! We will keep our name and our great cooks. Only the location will change.
SAFETY IN MEXICO: The safety of traveling to Mexico deserves addressing once again, as the press in the U.S. continues to spread a message of fear and danger. Obviously I cannot vouch for anyone’s safety, but I can report that the atmosphere of safety between the border and Puerto Penasco has not changed over the years. I still believe that with common sense which should be exercised anywhere, a person is no more at risk of harm here than in any comparable small resort town in the U.S. Those of us who live here are appalled that the press extrapolates the risk of drug cartels and police intervention to the safety of tourists here.
ROAD RULES: With the growth of tourism here, there is more traffic, and traffic rules are not only enforced more, but are more necessary for everyone’s safety. For example, the days when there were many trails leading from Cholla Bay to Penasco are gone. The road is a legitimate road, whether it is paved or dirt. Hot-dogging on the road is no more acceptable here than it would be in the U.S. and police are patrolling constantly. This is a big change from the past, where laws were enforced more loosely, and roads seemed more for recreation than travel. There are areas for vehicle recreation off the roads.
POLICE PROTOCOL: I know I sound like a broken record about dealing with the police here, and here I go againâ€¦ The police have a challenging job here, as many Americans don’t realize that driving rules here are just as valid as in the U.S. (For example, drinking and driving is against the law.) On the flip side of the absolute respect we need to show the police force and the laws, is the extortion which unfortunately continues. If you are stopped, and believe you are innocent, respectfully advocate for yourself, and insist that the problem be dealt with AT the police station. If a policeman wants to be paid at the scene, DO NOT do so. (That would probably be the first clue that it is extortion). Write down his name, badge number, vehicle number, and report the incident (time and location) at the police station. If you are stopped by the police, the procedure here is to follow their vehicle to the police station to pay the fine. Ask for a receipt. Do not let them drive your vehicle. It is important to report all improprieties to the police department. They cannot be addressed if they aren’t reported. It is an inconvenience, I realize.
UPSIDE OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURN: The economic downturn in the U.S. certainly has affected the economy here. The upside(s) – really, there are a couple – are: one, you can once again find some bargains in real estate and the other is that with less tourism, it is more like the sleepy little village we all fell in love with. So come and enjoy the natural beauty of the area and support the local community who so generously share their culture with us. Life here is very good.