How I Met Pancho Villa
I walked into a Real Estate office in Sayulita some years ago and asked if my Real Estate license from California would work down here and he asked if I played an instrument? Dazed and confused… I asked what that had to do with me working there. He told me I didn’t need a license, but they were looking for someone to play guitar in their band. If I had ever learned to play a guitar I would have a job in Mexico selling Real Estate.
When you are looking for really prime pieces of real estate along the coast you have to go on scouting missions…..I started asking a lot of the locals in San Pancho to give me tips on what to do to find great properties. I asked a friend of mine to take me out to find some nice waterfront properties up the coast. So one morning my friend picked me up to go out scouting….We were headed up the coast about 45 miles in a rundown surf van that had no air conditioning and none of the windows rolled down and it was a bit rickety….not to mention dirty inside and really dirty on the outside actually beyond dirty. You could actually see the hot dusty dirt clouds in the van swirling around in the air as the sun would shine through the closed windows. Every now and then the driver would pull over real quick and we would open the sliding door for some fresh hot air. Oh so refreshing…..
We headed up the coast and we passed quite a few towns…big ones and real small villages…..fortunately for me my friend speaks fluent Spanish which makes things a little less scary. While we are driving he starts to tell me stories about Gringo’s going into villages and never coming out. He starts telling me really scary stories I really don’t want to hear, but I am all ears. Actually he had me scared to death and I was feeling like maybe I didn’t want to go any further, but we were half way there. He tells me the plan for the day… we are looking for this certain man who is a land scout and has some prime pieces, but we don’t know where he lives, we don’t know what he looks like, but we do have his first name (Pancho). Well the scary village my friend had told us about on the way about the Gringo’s never coming back out of is the village where this scout lives, so we get there and we are suppose to wait for him out on the highway, but he doesn’t show up so we head into the village and start asking for this one guy by his first name and I have to admit I am scared out of my mind, but acting all cool.
At first nobody seems to want to talk to us and when we pull over and ask folks just kind of ignore us. We keep asking and nobody seems to know where, or who this guy is, but one person points and sends us to the edge of the village and we get out of the car and start to yell out his name….(hey Pancho!) the reason we yell is because we don’t know what he looks like or what house he lives in. We park in front of the last house at the very back corner of the village and there is no front door or windows on this house. After a minute of yelling towards the houses a very scary man comes to the door and it looks like he has just been beaten by a gang of people, or trampled by bulls. His eyes are bleeding and all red and swollen and his arm is in a sling and he has cuts that are bleeding all over his body he is limping and he is really dirty and he looks really bad. I think to myself….Oh my God let’s get out of here before it happens to me, but he acknowledges us and waves for us to come up to the open doorway. He turns out to be a really nice guy and proceeds to tell us what had happened to him.. and he tells us that he fell down hauling wood. I’m thinking sure you did!!!! He tells us he will be helping us find the scout…
We head back out of the village to the highway where we are pulled over waiting again for the scout. Police go by real slow and stare at us, but probably go on by because the look of the van and we look like surf bums. We have a description of the car the scout is suppose to be coming back to town in so we wait and we wait. We see a car coming and my friend gets out and waves him down. He parks behind us and walks up to the van… he pushes open the sliding door of the van and jumps in smiling at me….OH my God this guy has just a few teeth and only one eye…the other one is all white and glazed over and now I’m thinking oh my God….Someone has probably stabbed this guy in the eye and I’m gonna die without anyone knowing I’m out here in this village. He tells us there are maps he wants to show us at his house, so we drive him back to the house where we were and he takes us in and is one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet. I can only assume this by all the smiling and laughing he is doing. Although I can’t understand one word he says…my friend tells me that we are getting along like family.
It was so hot in the house and I started to feel real sick and dizzy and wanting to throw up and I feel like I am going to die of heat stroke. I smile and point outside and I go out to the van which is hotter than the house and pass out on the floor. I wake up a little while later soaking wet and drooling all over myself. I went back in and excused myself and they all smiled, I had to ask for some water, as they laughed because they didn’t understand a word I said. After a while they are done doing business and it felt like family, so we say good bye…(adios) get back in the van and we end up going home with maybe a couple of new pieces of ocean front property and a bunch of new friends. After I thought about it for awhile…. with all the scary stories my friend was telling me….I think my friend was just trying to scare me so I would behave… I did!
Pancho Villa Goes G.Q.
I headed back up the coast from San Pancho the following month. A little update from the last time I told you about the very scary scout dude in the little village. I went out to the village with my buddy again and we were supposed to meet up with the same guy who was the scout for properties. You remember the guy with no teeth and the one eye that was glazed over….very scary…we waited at the entrance of the village again and he pulled up in the same van that he had last time, but this time things had changed. I saw him getting out of the van and almost in slow motion the first thing I saw was a brand new pair of very expensive ostrich cowboy boots step out of the van and some very nice tailored slacks. When he jumped out I hardly recognized him…He smiled and had a full rack of bright white teeth a real nice cowboy shirt and some designer sun glasses….along with a real nice designer leather patch for his eye. Things are looking up for the scout. He was such a nice guy I was really happy to see the change…Maybe after he sells a few more ocean front properties he will meet us in his helicopter or Hummer. Life is good here in Mexico and getting better.