Friday night in Querétaro. From the rooftop of our hotel we could hear a rock band playing a couple blocks away. They sounded good. My companion Margaret decided it was a club and she wanted to go. I hate clubs but they were playing old American stuff and sounded good, so off we went to follow the sound. Two blocks away we heard the music coming from a rooftop but there was no club here. Margaret went to ask at a restaurant across the street. Y’all know me though; I tried the door at the house it was coming from. It was open. Margaret came back and told me that this was an Air B&B that was rented out for a private party. She was disappointed because she’d wanted. Drink or two and a dance. I told her that we’d been invited and I pulled her through the door into a beautiful courtyard and pushed the door shut again. A couple of people at the far end of the courtyard glanced at us without apparent concern. I decided that we were dressed appropriately compared to them and pulled Margaret towards the stairs where the music was coming from. Margaret is not yet wise to my ways but should by now. “Someone invited you?” She asked. “Who? When?” “Just walk like you belong here,”, I told her. The light dawned on her then but she followed me.
Upstairs on the roof was a gathering of about thirty people. Dangerously small for a crash but we were here. I walked over to the bar, got a tequila from one of the white-costed servers, And noticed that it was quality, not crappy well alcohol. Then i sat and scoped the crowd: all looked European and younger than us but I decided to play this out. Margaret was panicking already so I sat her down by the edge off the rooftop and told her that they’d probably throw us out shortly but meantime she had a drink and there was dancing. I began to mingle and got another drink from a passing waiter. Eventually I noticed one guy there dancing on a table towards the back of the party. I’d heard him speaking English and I figured I needed to be seen talking to someone who belonged here He looked safe so when the song ended I helped him down. “Nice party, eh?” I asked by way of introduction. “Thank you." He replied. "This is my company. It’s a ‘get to know each other’ weekend for all my new employees.’
“Who are you?”, he asked. “”You do not work for me.”
Fuck it. At least I’d gotten two free drinks. I introduced myself and ‘fessed up. “Nick Stone,” I said, smiling and offering my hand. I do not work for you. I hope you can forgive me but the music sounded so good from the street and the door was open.
“Where are you from, Nick?”
“Estados Unidos”, I replied. “New Orleans.”
“You came from New Orleans and just walked in here?”
“Yeah, we do that,” I said, looking for Margaret and the door.
But he just grinned. “I am Antonio. Welcome to my party, Nick! Have a drink!”
So I did.
Turns out Antonio runs a company that’s working to provide a new way to transfer money online without going through third parties like PayPal, making it quicker, safer and cheaper. He introduced me around as his new friend from New Orleans, I met Ingrid, a tall girl from the Netherlands, and Stella, an oriental-looking girl, originally from Hong Kong, who has been traveling the world for a while. She thought that Americans were “stupid” because they never travel to other countries. I almost said that we never did unless there was a problem somewhere and then we showed up to fix it, but I was
still a couple drinks short of that level of truth talk so I just smiled and said “we’ll how can that be? I’m here.”this got a smile back from her.
We danced and drank until the band finished and then the owner of the house, Hermie, insisted that Margaret and I enjoy a late dinner with them downstairs where his servers had set up a taco grill. We had some, and talked for a while, then finally we thanked them and left. Total win, and a great night in Mexico. Arriba!