January 8, 2009

Bienvenidos a Mexico --- Tijuana

From the best to the not so good or rather the worst. We found a couple of hours but didn't have the time to go to anything really exciting like the zoo or legoland or a casino so we had the not so bright idea to go to Mexico. What contrasts from La Jolla the day before. We drove to the border and luckily decided to stop at a market on the way to grab a bottle of water to take with us. We parked at the border and walked into Tijuana instead of driving. I do believe that was the only one wise choice we made this day. Immediately walking away from the customs building and heading to downtown Tijuana we we were awe struck 180 degrees from the La Jolla awe struck. Extreme poverty would be the truest description. Very young children approached us several times through the walk begging for money. We could see their Mothers telling them to go to us. As we entered downtown we were hounded by literally every shop keeper to enter their store that they would give us the best buy. Keep in mind we weren't sure what 'it' was they were going to give us the best buy on. One burly guy wanted us to shop in his store but when we peered into the building that was dark we didn't see any merchandise....hmmmmm??? I do know we could've entered about 30 places offering just about any medical procedure known. We walked out on the edge of the sidewalks or down the street itself so not to be led into any buildings. At each corner we could've had the grand opportunity to get our pictures taken with a donkey painted to look like a zebra with a huge sombrero on its head. We kindly declined. (or rather ignored the requests over and over and over....) We finally did stop in one half-respectable store and bought pure vanilla. I kinda question the pure part but I was just being the terrified tourist. We walked into Tijuana bought some vanilla and promptly walked back to the border. We moved quickly non-stop for about 90 minutes and thankfully got back through customs without incident and sped back up the highway to San Diego. Many at the conference questioned why we ladies would venture down Tijuana way alone and told us not to do anything like that again. Where were they before we left? Not a pleasant experience but you know if I wouldn't have went I would be here today saying to myself why didn't I go when I had the opportunity. Life is like that -- some things you just have to experience for yourself and learn some lessons the hard way.

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