WARNING: if you're easily offended by others opinion and you LOVE Tijuana, you may wanna just move on. This page is our experience... we didn't like it and won't be going back.
So we're in San Diego and everyone tells us we have to go to Tijuana. We have previously avoided Mexico because Jenn had a bad experience as a teen when going to a Mexican border town from Texas and Jenn's Hispanic family tells us they would love to sell our children down there.
So we ran with just one of our children.
To the border.
Loaded with guns.
WE'RE NOT STOPPING!!!
See that weak spot in the fence?
Oops. Sunny's in. Kesley's not yet.
So Greg and Sunny left 'em all at the border.
STOP! Uh, I mean, ALTO! Comprende?
This is the start of the gauntlet if you're too cheap to pay the Taxi Cinco Dinero to the main shopping drag.
After cruising the shopping area that didn't survive except for a few hardcore, hard selling amigos - Gracias, no. Gracias, no. Gracias, no. Gracias, no. Gracias, no. Gracias, no... We walk across the beautiful Tijuana river on this bridge.
There were many living on the water. There were no houses. In the distance you can see the border fence.
Then we walked through the burbs just outside downtown.
We learned quick about circulacion on the Articulo 123. Don't even 'walk' in the water.
Chiclet - sounds like shik-lay said 5000 times a second.
It's actually scarier seeing these guys being all gringo like we are.
Feeling exotic - Fresh water bottles in front of Alaska. We'll be okay!
Ay Chingow Pinchay el noggin.
Touristy look! Smells better. Some cool architecture nearby. I think we survived the gauntlet!
We have arrived! Legal illegal drugs!
Overpriced plastic crap shoved in your face ruthlessly.
Contemplating how to get these pinchay gringos in his restaurant. Believe us - he tried, and tried like his life depended on it. And tried the same with the gringos behind us.
Sunny digs German engineering even in a third world country.
We were also told we have to have the picture on the zebra donkey. The first donkey of about 30 donkeys was $5 for a picture. We learn later that all the other ones are $2. Check out the vintage camera!
Austins attitude is now international!
We just wanted the $5 picture on the donkey. $3 for a second pic? Gracias, no. $2? No. $1, no. Then $10 for the first $5 pic with the frame. Gracias, no - $5 for the picture, that's all we want. Then $3 extra for the frame? Gracias, no. $2? No. Just the picture. $5 for the first pic, $2 for the frame, $1 for a second pic? Gracias, no. $1 for an extra pic? NO! Just give us the friggin $5 picture kid!
The friggin $5 picture without the paper frame.
Gringos - they see us coming from a mile away. They probably even communicate it through sonar, squeals, telepathy or something low tech but highly effective.
Bargaining here is not only an art, but a cultural phenomena. Jenn watched a Hispanic woman ask a price - $5 - she shot back two for $5 and walked away with the trinket. Jenn tried the exact same tactic with the exact same product and salesman. Didn't work for Jenn. However we saw the same blanket in many storefronts and many started at $40. We'd offer $20, no way. Some dropped to $24, most no lower than $35. Finally one lady let go of the blanket for $20 but was clearly disappointed. Greg barely touched a cheap guitar in one store and was yelled at - $65. While shaking his head and walking out the store the following was yelled - $55! $45! $35! $25! Ay Chingow...
Is the tourist in the bus?
We didn't test it. We took all our food and water with hand wipes and just left dinero.
These girls were on spring break from Purdue University in Indiana. They were bright enough to take the taxi and miss the gauntlet. We met them just across the border and ran into them several times on the main street. Thanks for signing the day~tripper Shannon (hat - thanks Shannon) and Carrie! One of you still needs to sign the day~tripper and please identify yourself, we suck at names (did we even get them?). Hope to see you all again someday!
The girls finally get their bracelets!
Room with a view.
Tijuana hills sure looked pretty. Too bad we're muy grande pollo(?) to take our car over the border and get out of the 'tourist' area. Did we mention we're bonita y enchilada muchas chones el byohos (Yvonne?).
We were ready to go home. Very tired of saying no.
Tijuana is an experience we won't forget. The kids are normally trying to get away from us in most stores, we could barely break their grip on us here! It was a freaky experience and left an impact on how well off Americans are. If you're ever feeling poor or sorry for yourself, go to Tijuana. God bless the people of Tijuana for their perseverance and ability to live on beans. We are told that if you go farther south than Ensenada that Mexico really changes. We purchased T-shirts, a blanket, some jewelry, coin purses, a shot glass, and probably some other junk. We don't believe we saved any money on our purchases but what an experience!
>> March '03