duff004.jpg
Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. His memoir, It's So Easy (Simon & Schuster) is out now.
Him: "Wanna buy cigar?"

Me: "No,

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Once Upon a Time In Mexico

duff004.jpg
Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. His memoir, It's So Easy (Simon & Schuster) is out now.
Him: "Wanna buy cigar?"

Me: "No, gracias"

Him: "Weed?"

Me: "No. Me no fumar"

Him: "Cocaine?"

Me: "No. No gracias"

He walks away, scratching his head.

Repeat again all the way up and down 5th Ave., the shopping area and 'returant row', of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

I am in Cancun this week on a working vacation. I am playing a small acoustic gig for a company that I work in tandem with. It's pretty cool that I can bring my wife with me for this Valentine's week. All expenses are paid, on top of what they are already paying me.

If this is "selling out," well, shit, bring it on! I'm into it.

I can see doing this kind of thing at this point in my career. Greece? Turkey? Hawaii? South of France? That'd be pretty cool, eh?

I could see it now" Me and John Roderick putting together some wacky acoustic duo. We'd get the hipster and rocker accounts. He and I could while away the hours on the beach somewhere, me with a ukulele, he with some bongos....practicing our set between Scrabble moves and a running snark-filled, ironic commentary on life.

But in all seriousness, these trips and tours are always a great opportunity for me to observe and learn about others' cultures and people and their society on a whole. Music. Politics. Economy. Fears. Hopes.

I feel like Samantha Brown, but with more dude-like observations.

When this Cancun trip was booked, I had heard from more than a few people, to be careful. The "Drug Wars" down here in Mexico have been making a ton of headlines lately; the headlines coupled with a few episodes of "I Survived," can scare the hell out of anybody, I suppose.

My own experiences from traveling south of our U.S. border though have always been epic. In a macro way, the people down here--and further south, too--just seem happier and care-free (for whatever reason!).

I took a cab down to Playa Del Carmen on Tuesday. It's about 35 miles south of where I am staying (or, about the distance from Seattle to Tacoma). I was with my wife, Susan, and the cab driver suggested that he could give us a ride back once we were done shopping and eating dinner. He wouldn't charge to wait for us. He dropped us off in this bustling town, and did not make us pay for the ride down.

He trusted us that we would call him for a ride back and pay him then.

There were about 50 cabs down there, and we could have easily just taken a different cab back. But this dude simply trusted us. It seems to be the way things are down here. It seems simple, right?

But my head screamed "Dude! We could have dusted you and only paid for half a trip!"

 
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