Spidey Sense Triggered
That took forever! Left Guanajuato for Matehuala this morning. Took 10.5hrs. Never can get the connections without an hour wait at each connection. Four buses later, I'm here. Into the desert mañana.

Been coming here for years. Mostly always the same, but something just feels different this time. Can't put my finger on it. Sort of a lack of familiarity that I used to have here.

Maybe just my imagination.

Newer cars, more rap music blasting from them. Some houses have much more security and big German Shepard guard dogs.

The little basic hotel I usually spend the night, jacked up their prices. It's the old woman who tries that every time since I'm a gringo. Her son is always nice and charges me the regular rate. But, you have to catch him earlier in the day. I got in late.

Didn't feel like playing the haggling game with the woman, so I went to the hospedaje next door. Cheaper and basically the same as the other one, only he's got chain link fence mounted horizontally between the 1st & 2nd floors. I asked him about it and he said it was to keep people from jumping down or throwing bottles down to shatter in the tile.

So, I said "More or less security then?" He laughed and said "Sí, more or less."

A guy on the bus chatted briefly with me. Said he was visiting family here, but lives in San Luis Potosí. I asked him if it's been tranquilo in this area lately because a few years ago there was rare cartel violence for this area. They gunned down the presidente of Matehuala in the town center while he was speaking, then killed 6 more in nearby Cedral.

The guy I was chatting with clammed up, stopped taking altogether. He looked around to see if anyone was listening and said he didn't want to talk about it. I told him I wasn't trying to talk about anything other than asking if it was now safe on the street. He just said "I don't want to talk about it." Then wouldn't say anything else or even make eye contact.

Very odd. Maybe he just doesn't like gringos?

Seemed like he didn't want anyone to hear him talking with me in English. He spoke perfect English too without an accent. All of my Mexicsn friends who speak English, have an accent. I asked him about that and he said he spent a lot of time in the Mexico/Texas border.

The man at the hotel said it was calm now and they kicked all the bad guys out. Sounds good, but I think I'll get off the streets a little early tonight.

A band just starting playing in a nearby building. Ear-splitting volume. The music sounds like that guttural, demonic speed-metal where the singer sounds like he swallowed the microphone.

The music itself is marginally disturbing, but whats mostly disturbing is that this has always been a fairly rustic, Western town. Similar to what you might find in West Texas, only in Mexico. So this style of music is extremely out of character for this town.

Something has changed here. I can feel it.
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