Tucson was the second biggest city in Arizona and was located in the Sonoran Desert. There were many sand dunes and cactuses all around.
The last time Li Du had come here was to sell the old pictures to the history professor of Arizona University.
It had been spring during his last visit and now it was fall. The scenery was different during different seasons.
Tucson looked bright and golden now. The beautiful color was very amazing.
Driving from the east side of Exit 258 of the I-10 Intercontinental Highway, they reached Tucson city in the evening. The sunset was beautiful in Southwest Americaeven better than Phoenix. Although the golden sand dunes looked beautiful, it was difficult to tolerate the heat once they got out of the truck.
Hans gave Big Quinn instructions. "Go northeast, man. Another mile and we'll reach the Arizona University campus. Let's have our dinner and we'll stay near there tonight."
Big Quinn looked at Li Du. "Boss, do you want to see the storage units tonight?"
Li Du yawned and said, "No, I'm exhausted. Let's have a good rest tonight. We'll talk about the storage units tomorrow. We have plenty of time."
They drove the truck to Fourth Avenue. This was the main street near the campus. There were many restaurants, bars and interesting shops.
The university students walked in pairs and groups. Li Du stared at them from inside the truck; he felt young and lively.
"I'm envious of these young people."
Hans looked at him. "Hey, are you trying to insult me? You say that as if you aren't a young man."
Li Du was stunned. "Oh yes, I'm a university student too. D*mn, I forgot."
They first needed to find somewhere to stay tonight. Hans asked, "Do you still want to stay in a tent? We can have dinner here and go to the scenic cactus loop later. It's eight miles long and open to all vehicles. There are plenty of picnic areas, lookout points and campsites."
Li Du waved his hand dismissively, "Let's call it a day. We'll find somewhere to stay and rest. Look, my three kids are exhausted."
Ah Ow, Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles lied quietly. The truck was too small for them to move around in.
If an animal didn't move around and stayed in an enclosed environment for a long time, they became tired. This kind of mental fatigue was more torturous than physical fatigue.
The price range for accommodations in Tucson was very large. During the summer and fall, hotel prices there were cheaper because no one would come to Tucson due to the heat.
Hans contacted a modern hotel near the desert. They could stay under the stars and next to the cactuses. The hotel served free coffee and waffles in the morning and there was a big screen for them to watch movies.
There was a sandy plaza in front of the hotel. The guests were allowed to have barbeques there. There was also a big open kitchen in the hotel. Once they paid the money, they could use the kitchen and cook their own meals.
Therefore, Li Du decided to cook his dinner. He had become used to western food, but he sometimes didn't like western food in different places.
Godzilla and Big Quinn got out of the truck to buy the supplies to make Absolute hot dog s. Li Du tried had tried one during his last visit to Tucson. There was bacon, salsa, pinto beans, shredded cheese, mayonnaise, mustard and onions on these hot dogs.
The hot dogs needed to be grilled. So they borrowed some grills from the hotel and the two big men started to happily barbeque their food.
The plaza in front of the hotel was open to the public. Since the environment around the hotel was nice, many people had come to have a barbeque that evening.
When Li Du and the others reached the plaza, there were many people there already. They used limewater to draw lines, indicating different territories with different sizes.
He became curious. "What happened? Why did they draw these lines?"
Hans explained, "People in Tucson are very tough. It's near Mexico and there were many conflicts in the past. They couldn't rely on the police or army, so they had to be tough to protect themselves. Therefore, being brave and tough is in their culture."
He didn't have to say more as Li Du understood. "And this is now reflected in their daily life. They might have to fight for territory, so they drew the lines to mark their territories?"
Hans snapped his fingers. "You are right. Did you know that someone could lose their life during a storage auction?"
"Competitions are cruel, brother," Hans said lazily. "People from the central region like us, we like to quarrel. But they don't quarrel herethey fight."
Li Du said, "Then we must be extra careful."
Lu Guan said defiantly, "There's no need to be afraid. People in Tucson bully those who are weaker. You can't show your fearyou must be tougher than them!"
Hans nodded. "You're right, you've been here before?"
Lu Guan said, "Yes, my good buddy got himself into trouble here. There were 20 men and he was alone. But during the fight, instead of acting afraid, he was fierce and tough!"
Li Du said with respect, "He is a tough man indeed. Did he scare them away?"
"No. He became handicapped after being beaten."
Li Du was speechless; he glanced at him and said, "Are you kidding me?"
"Of course not," Lu Guan said. "Although he was beaten up, he was handicapped like a tough man. He is a tough and handicapped man."
"F*ck you!" Li Du gave him the finger.
They didn't have to be afraid. They had Godzilla and Big Quinn, and Li Du had an ocelot and raccoon with him as well. He looked like a gang leader.
Nowadays, gang leaders didn't only bring fighters to conflicts. They brought wild animals as well. An ocelot could be considered a wild animal.
Once they reached the plaza, they found themselves in a wide place. There was a water pipe nearby, so it was very convenient.
Godzilla and Big Quinn started to barbeque the hot dogs. Li Du grabbed a drink and rested. He asked Godzilla to boil a pot of water so that he could cook some noodles.
During the sunset, the crowd grew bigger in the plaza.
There was no one near them. Godzilla and Big Quinn had been busy the entire evening. The weather was hot and so was the grill. They took their shirts off and looked very fierce.
Hans laughed when he saw this. "This will be an easy auction. I bet no one will dare challenge us."
Li Du looked at his proud face and warned him, "Don't challenge them either. Harmony brings prosperity. We are here to make money, not to get ourselves into trouble."
As the night approached, a few camo-painted SUVs drove toward them. Once the cars stopped, a bunch of huge men got out. They carried kegs and grills as they walked toward Li Du and the others.
As the big men approached them, they put their things on the empty ground. A black man looked at them coldly. "Who said you could come here?"