At long last, I have decided to have a go at writing my own blog. God knows I’ve written many pages of comments on the blogs of others. Some of you may know me as “Kim G, Boston, MA.” Given the fact that my natural-born privacy paranoia has only been stoked by the Edward Snowden revelations, this is probably about as open as I’ll be as to my “real” identity.
But here’s some background. I’m an early 50-something gay man, originally from San Francisco, living in Boston proper in a 97 year-old house which I bought and renovated, now with two cats and a housemate, who’s been recruited to look after the place when I travel. I retired from a career in the financial industry about a year and a half ago to work for myself. I’m a good cook. I bake my own bread when it’s not too hot out. I have vegan tendencies at home, but eat meat in restaurants, and occasionally grill my own steak. I love food from around the world. I garden. I ride a motorcycle, though that’s likely to end soon as it sits mostly unused in the garage. I keep up with the news, with a heavy interest in the financial news, economics, and international issues. I enjoy photography, and like to travel. I love music of all kinds and play the accordion. My friends say I have a great sense of humor, and I definitely find the world filled with hilarious contradictions and absurd juxtapositions.
Over the past eight or nine years, I’ve probably spent a month per year in Mexico, mostly DF, but “F” and I have traveled around the country quite a bit. Sadly, after seven and a half years, “F,” (whom I still love dearly) and I broke off our relationship. This happened nearly a month ago, and I’m still trying to recover. “F” lives in DF and teaches high school there.
My first trip to Mexico took place in the late summer of 1986. On my way to university in Houston, I stopped in El Paso and decided to walk across the bridge to Ciudad Juarez. Though a seedy border town, it had not yet developed the serious violence which would come later. And while my trip was brief, I enjoyed it. I bought huaraches and a few bottles of Kahlua, walked around a bit, then headed back over the bridge to El Paso.
After graduation in 1993, a Mexican-American friend and colleague and I decided we’d treat ourselves to a Mexican vacation as a reward for making it through business school. We booked two weeks in the Yucatán, where we spent time in Cancún (not very Mexican in my view), Tulum, a day in Chichén Itzá, and four or five days in Mérida, which was captivating. After that trip, I knew I’d want to return and explore the rest of the country.
I spoke some very rudimentary Spanish at the time, having taken a year or so of Spanish in high school, along with four years of French. I was the only kid in my high school to take two languages, and now wish I had put the energy into Spanish that I had lavished on French. Still, the French helped me learn Spanish, and I’ve since become fluent in Spanish, while pretty much forgetting my French.
In 2005, after a split-up with a lover, I was due to sail on the recently launched Queen Mary II, with a British amiga from Southhampton to New York. Unfortunately she had to cancel at the last minute, so I was left suddenly with vacation time from work, but no plan. What to do?
I decided to go to Mexico City (DF) that June on my own. I attended the City’s Gay Pride. Wow! What a festival! On that trip I walked around and saw as much as I could, and by the end fell in love with Mexico City. That trip began a long string of adventures, which continue to this day. On this blog I’ll write about some of those adventures, and the dramas I found surrounding me south of the border (SOB), where there is LITERALLY never a dull moment.
Why Gringo Suelto?
Suelto is the past participle of the verb soltar, which means to “let go” or “unleash.” Suelto itself can have many meanings. Free or loose is one of them. But it can also mean “unleashed” or set free. For example, Un animal suelto, is an animal that may have escaped (like from a zoo or something) or may be merely unleashed like a dog running around a park. Soltarse can also mean to come out of one’s shell, or to break free, or cut loose. Freed from a job and financially independent, I am now officially suelto, and I’m going to write about my adventures, past, present and future. Hopefully my life will grow more suelto as I continue this blog.
I’m currently in Boston, but hoping to spend some more time south of the border. I’ll be writing about my adventures there, here and elsewhere, along with the characters I meet.
I look forward to your comments and thoughts.
Where some of you know me for these taglines. We’ll see whether they work for blog posts.
P.S. Despite the map above with the red line, there are NO nonstops from Boston to Mexico City. Unfortunately.