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Visiting Tijuana

tijuana mx.jpg
Run Mexicans Run!
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So the other day I told you about Laughlin. Today I'm going to reach in my memory banks and tell you about somewhere else. Let's go to Tijuana Mexico.

The city of Tijuana's mystique goes far deeper than its border facade of tequila and prescription-less drugs. No, Tijuana is a haven for just about everything illegal in the United States. But don't judge it for that, because it's also filled with culture, interesting people, and great food.

My first experience with "T.J." as they call it, (jargon in Southern California,) was shortly after moving to Ventura. My Spanish professor who was also a white blonde gringa, spoke fluently the language, and was actually the author of our textbooks. She may have looked American, but she knew the ins-and-outs of Mexico.

She gave me good advice on my way there, some on which is fairly important.

1) Park on the US side and walk across.
2) Don't get arrested in TJ
3) You can bring 2 bottles of Tequila home.
4) Don't go to the Tijuana Donkey Show.

So one day, I threw the T-tops off of the Camaro I was driving and headed down the 101 to the 405 and into San Diego County.
The drive is one of the most beautiful and serene drives in California. Open freeways with the coast on your side, you don't even realize your getting close until you see highways signs with rapidly running Mexicans warning you to beware of hitting Mexicans. For me this was comical because the closest thing in North Carolina we have is a deer crossing sign. I couldn't imagine having to call your insurance to say you'd hit a Mexican.

So I park the Camaro feet away from a twelve feet from the brown iron border fence, in a secured parking lot. I Threw t-tops back on, and began walking to the spiral gates that allow entrance into the country. It's a fairly lackluster experience as no one questions or cares leaving America, it's the coming back that's the problem. Once you clear this area, which is some sort of purgatory between the two countries, you arrive in the hustling and bustling Tijuana. It's like going from a country roads to New York city in the matter of seconds. Immediately, if you're white, little girls come running up to you begging for money. Street vendors shout out "Bonita Senorita, come here, por favor." Trinkets, Jewelery, and everything you can imagine is being sold at the highest price they can sucker you out of.

The most important part of any Tijuana trip, which I learned after several times there, is the food. The aromas fill the air as you arrive, and everything from tacos, to nachos, with authentic Mexico sanitation, encompass the marketplace. Combine this with the bars, and grab a cerveza with nachos for only a fewdollars.

Most people come to Tijuana for something, whether its a busload of senior citizens getting their prescriptions or underage college students enjoying Mexico's relaxed drinking laws.

What most people don't know is the city of Tijuana beyond that which most people see just across the border is that of poverty and lawlessness. During daylight you can grab a Taxi and head into the city for even better deals on the things you've come for, including those who come for the sex industry, and the illegal narcotics.

In Tijuana, there is opportunity, and many of its residents take advantage of any US visitor who is easily persuaded. One of the more commonly held scams is for taxi drivers to take unsuspecting victims to some back alley where they're robbed and left for gullible. One of these scams is the Mexican Donkey Show I mentioned earlier.

For me, I travelled to Tijuana about 20-30 times in my 5 years living in California. It was always interesting, and at times, educational. The process of coming back across was always simple for me, but for anyone who looked half way ethnically Mexican, the ability to cross the border with drugs and alcohol, often made you feel like a smuggler, even if it was only Tequila and Midol. The first few times you stand in line at the border control and are asked "What country your from?" it's a relief to be back Stateside. This quickly fades the more you go, because eventually you realize that the US government MUST let you back, or no marijuana will make it to Berkley.
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Liv
 

Well I missed your earlier post so I had no idea what a Mexican Donkey Show is. I could guess but being an analytical person I went to Google. Imagine my surprise. Secularity is the #1 Google hit for "Mexican Donkey Show"
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A Person
 

That sign cracks me up. It could just as easily mean. "Caution, people fleeing Godzilla"

I havent been to TJ, but I have walked into Nogales. Its very much as you describe above...prescription drugs, cuban cigars, liquor, adult entertainment, etc.

However I was surprised by the utter lack of security coming back into the country. The guy at the xray machine might as well have been asleep. This was in 2003! You'd think they would be more attentive to it.
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Sanjuro
 

When my wife and I were living in San Diego, we frequently would travel to Tijauna for the day. We always parked at the parking lot on the San Ysidro (USA) side and took a bus for a dollar over to Avenue Revolucion (sp?) to shop and eat, always without any problems.

One day we chose to drive our car over the border, after purchasing the required Mexican auto insurance. We drove the 90km distance down the coast to Ensenada, a remarkably beautiful drive on a well maintained toll road along the Baja coast high above the Pacific Ocean. What beautiful views! We had a great time shopping and eating at the excellant local restaurants.

Then on our return we were stopped by what appeared to be local Tijuana police for "speeding". I told them respectfully that we were sorry if we had gone over the limit maybe by 5 MPH, but began to suspect that the two Mexican partolmen were imposters. They did not ask for any ID or proof of insurance, which a bona fide Federale or local police would naturally have done. They wanted us to pay a fine to them (first asking, how much money do we have!) and when I politely told them that I had no money left in my wallet, they ordered us to follow them "to see the judge." After they made a turn off the main road down a narrow one way street, I gunned it and raced down the hill to the border, anxiously looking in my rear view mirror for lights and listening for a siren. Fortunately, they did not follow us, we made it back to the good ol' USA safely, and my wife and I never returnd to Tijauna after that incident. I think if we had followed them, we might both be stuck in the Tijauna jail today. Beware of fake police in Tijuana!
mercurialmike
 




yeah you would have been stuck in tj alright but not in a jail lol. more like in some mexican pedohpiles home chained to the wall watching various people have their way with your wife.
skilo
 

I lived in TJ for a year! Have family there, and yes people selling you stuff will try to sucker you for as much as they can, you are their means of survival; and no you don't need to watch out for fake cops, YOU NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR ALL COPS (Real cops are the real culprits behind all the kidnapings) and no they dont go after regular old joe shmoe, so if you get stopped 10 to 20 bucks takes care of it. Remember there's power in numbers, so if u go take some friends along. I wouldn't venture away from the tourist areas as just past it is usually were the cartels have their encounters and innocent people get off''ed. And just remember the city mayor launders money for the cartel through his casino (the only one in mexico), I'd stay away from that place too (It's called Caliente, he also owns the race track). Otherwise you can find good deals on stuff, especially medical care and yes its safe. My wife had our son there with much better care (nurses in mexico are way better), a doctor from san diego, and at a fraction of the cost (with a 4 day hospital stay).
Yeah, OK
 




Hey - social commentary on health care - in the Mexican Donkey Show thread!

Whodathinkit?
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A Person
 

LOL!

I used to go down to Mexico all the time for pharmaceutical runs (drug run just sounds bad). It's my belief Mexico will eventually become like many eastern countries offering lower cost elective surgeries and dental care eventually. It's, as mentioned above, starting to become readily available apparently.
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Liv
 

The place that lasered my eyes used to do quite a lot of Americans. When the dollar was at 80 cents it was quite a deal, now the dollar is at par it's not such a bargain.

I should head off to the UK , the pound is the cheapest it's been for 30 years at 1.54!
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A Person
 

hey we don't need examples just tell us where is the donkey show or it is true or not, you just gives us example BS.
Guest
 

I want to make a point. Mexico is not Like Tijuana. have live in mexico for more that 6 years now and for my particular way of thinking is Tijuana is the most grows and terrible place on earth. all becouse people from the US come to find the bad stuff that cant actually find in there own place.

But get in the better places of the country like los cabos, Mexico City, Acapulco, Cancun, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Oaxaca, Cuernavaca, Pueble, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Veracruz. and you will see the real mexico. just the best places you mind can imagine. There are bad things and places everywere in the world and mexico is no exeption, but let's just not visit the wrong places and focus on the nice ones.

the police and mexican law men. Are diferent and not has currupt like the ones in the not part of mexico. and people are completly diferent just from the middle to the south of mexico. cant say way. but they are all the things that in TJ and ciudad juarez are not.

.......................................................................
john
 

The still that is shown and the video that YouTube removed come from a Hollywood movie set in Ciudad Juárez. It is a work of fiction.
The Real Tijuana
 

I've seen a donkey show. I saw it in 1995 in Neuvo Laredo. There is a big well painted sign that says "Donkey Show" and a donkey with an erection below the sign. They have Donkey Shows occasionally in Cuidad Acuna from what I heard years ago. After seeing it, you will walk around in a stunned daze for about a week shaking your head in shock. The donkey lost his erection and defecated when I frightened him with the flash on my camera. The woman faked the sex act at that point. I cannot believe the local Walgreens developed the film.
460
 

Very interesting and a bit peculiar too!
westin
 


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