Jun 24, 2007:  Tijuana


LG and I drove down to San Diego for the Red Sox-Padres game.  Afterward we took the trolley to the border (33 minutes from downtown) and made a brief incursion into Mexico.  I'd been there before--first visit was in 1986 with the family, last was in 2000 with T-Luv, most notable was in 1994 when we all technically got arrested and I fell asleep on a hotel room floor with a bottle of tequila in my hand--but that was before I started creating my nifty travelogues.  So here you go.  It was a mere two-hour visit with no hijinks involving drunken Aussies or arrogant English cunts.  So if I'm curt, then I apologize.

This is from the pedestrian route into Mexico, which crosses over Interstate 5.  The sign suggests that we're facing south here.

Not much of a wait to get into Mexico.  To the right is where the pedestrian ramp ends and you go through those turnstiles that chop you into 20 pieces if you forget to move out of the way.  I saw it happen to a skinny guy once.  Anybody can enter Mexico--they don't even check IDs here.

The Border.  In the distance is the giant arch that spans Av. Revolucion, which they had just started erecting (uh huhuh) last time I was there.

I messed up here--I could have executed an International Fart but didn't think of it until now.

A little bit past here is where the taxis wait to take people to Av. Revolucion.  If you instead make a right turn, you'll pass a bunch of merchandise stands and eateries and reach a plaza with a bunch of pharmacies and more eateries.  Then there's a bridge over the sulfurous canal/river, with the ramps to and from the bridge lined from top to bottom with more merchandise stands.  Last time I was there the big item was Pikachu dolls.  This time there were a lot of lucha libre masks and counterfeit sports hats.

We didn't have time to check out Av. Revolucion, although it was only two blocks away, so we had "dinner" at the base of the ramp on the other side of the river.  Dinner consisted of 3 tacos for $1 and 3 Pacificos for $2.50.  I had two of each.  The tacos were small and the meat tasted somewhat like steak, but might have been horse or polecat.  Or maybe it was from a less-desirable part of the cow, like the "angus".  I used the bathroom here and it was one of the foulest I've encountered, reminiscent of when I peed on a pile of poop in Belarus.  When I got home that night I had to soak the end of my shoelace in bleach because it smelled like a homeless guy.

From our table at the taco stand.  Real Cubans!  You can't take them back across the border of course.  I took this photo primarily so I could make an Earl Hafler reference, which I guess I just did.

Giant Mexican flag.  You can't really tell from this perspective but this has to be one of the largest and most patriotic-looking flags in regular use.  It and the arch dominate the TJ skyline.  I took this photo from the bridge going back across the river.

Back in the plaza.  Levitra, Viagra, Cialis...all the drugs advertised in spam e-mails, here in one convenient location.  Yoda wouldn't like their slogan, though.

Whoa.  I went to Yahoo! to search for the dialogue where Kramer thinks "Myanmar" is the discount pharmacy, and one of the top stories on Yahoo! right now involves Myanmar.  Whoa.

We're back at the border here, and as you can see, the queue to get back into the US is a bit longer.

LG suggested I take this shot because he thought the brake lights would look cool.  Now that I look at the photo, it underhwelms and nonplusses me.

The only previous photo I'd taken inside Mexico was of two telephones near this spot in 1986.  I just looked at that photo and the ground and background are completely different, but it's possible that they've built stuff and repaved since then.  I'm confident that it's at least the same wires involved, even if they moved the phones.  I felt bad because I didn't want the salesgirl between the phones to think I was taking a photo of her.  She was just kind of in the way.  But she covered up, see?  I didn't notice the lucha libre masks--I should have bought one as compensation for the inconvenience.

Just past the phones is the entry into the US, where you do have to wait in line and go through immigration.  You still don't need a passport but I brought mine anyway, thinking it would be easier.  Instead it took a few extra seconds because the agent flipped through my passport, checking out and commenting on various countries.  For the second time since my Egypt trip I was specifically asked what I was doing there.  My favorite exchange:

Agent:  "What's in the bag?"
Me:  "Uh...stuff."

I immediately realized that was an insufficient answer and prepared to itemize the contents, but he'd moved on to the next question.

On the San Diego side we boarded the trolley back to downtown (delayed a bit because the ticket machines gave only $5 in change and all we had were 20s--this system's less convenient than even the LA subway).  On the trolley I told LG that he looked "cherubic" with his sunburned nose from the game.  I didn't realize how much sun I'd also gotten (I kept up my tan with the South America and Florida trips and thought I was sufficiently protected) but as I type this four days later I'm peeling about the face and breast chest neck and head.  Well, just the face and neck--I couldn't pass up a nod to Jack Tors.  So once again, I've returned from an international adventure, and I'm as sunburned as a witch's teat.


2007 Zzyzx Creations

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