This blog is an account of Jacob and Mike's (Skippy) cross-country trip to move Jacob from Chicago, IL to Irvine, CA. We decided we'd document the trip by making a blog post for every hundred miles we drove, in addition to anything else of interest. There is a map that I made with a thumb tack in each place where we wrote a blog post.

Friday, June 8, 2007

You boys like Mexiiiiicoooooo?!

1:30AM PDT | N32°31'29" W117°1'4"

This morning I went downtown with Joe to get lunch. The he left me there while he went to work and I had a nice long walk. I strolled all around Balboa park, along the water front, across the San Diego River, through several urban parks, and wooded areas. I went to a few stores to look for fun things to bring home for friends. I walked for quite aways, probably about 5-10 miles that day.

I later found myself in a suburban combat zone of highway on ramps, eight-lane roads, shopping malls, and humongous parking lots. It was pretty difficult making my way though there on foot but luckily Joe got out of work shortly after I got there. I recounted my travels to him on the phone as he attempted to retrace my steps. Much to my surprise, as I got to the last thing I remembered, he drove up next to me.

We left for Mexico to go to Tijuana for the night after we got back to his place and I took a lot of photos on the ride down to try out my camera's night-scene option. It accentuates light, as you might expect. It's like over exposing the film if it were not digital. If any of you were wondering what San Diego looks like at night at 80 miles per hour, wonder no more.

After a short 20 minute drive we were at the boarder, right across the river from Tijuana. Tijuana, for those of you who don't know, is Spanish for 'city of bars'. We parked in a parking lot in the US and walked across the boarder. I figured it would be easier getting into Mexico than into the US, but I didn't expect it to be an unmanned turnstile. We just walked right through one of those metal revolving doors that only go one way just like you find in the Boston subways. And with that we were in Mexico.

Immediately after we got there, we were offered taxi cab rides and were told it was too far to walk. One by a guy who knew where "best place" was and one by a guy who knew where "a better place" was. Six more offers followed before we walked through towards the strip. As I walked down the strip I lamented the fact that Jacob was not there with me to see this. If he thought Vegas was open about its sex industry he would have been baffled by Tijuana.

As we walked down the strip we were followed by men outside bars trying to stir up business. We were followed at times for a few blocks and insistently asked to patronize their establishment. "No cover charge.", "We have the prettiest girls, amigo.", and few other things I'll not repeat since children under thirty are reading this blog. One man, not confident enough in his English, just cupped his hands a foot from his chest, smiled, and pointed in side. I began to wonder if any of the women behind the doors we saw were wearing clothing.

We pressed on, bound for Plasa Rio, an area a friend of Joe's pointed us to. Plasa Rio is Spanish for 'plaza of bars without naked women and considerably less pushy bouncers'. Once we got there we found the area lived up to its name. We got a nice meal at a bar and had some drinks. I attempted to use my high-school Spanish skills to get some dark bear to no avail. "Servesa moreno" I said. "Lagar?" the bartender said. Which sounded pretty good but as it turns out Dose Equis Amber Lager is not very dark, or very good. I don't even know if the word moreno can apply to a bear, or if it's just for complexion.

We went bar hopping a little more and came to a really packed bar with loud music and a one-dollar cover. It was pretty fun and the strobe like was a nice touch. Then we saw some pretty bad live music after we were encouraged to check it out and we left before ordering a beer. We decided it was getting pretty late and we planned to get up early the next morning to go surfing so we head out to the road to find a taxi.

Getting processed on the way back was pretty simple as well. There was no line and the attendant asked me for my license. Asked me if I was a US citizen and then where I was born. With that we were on our way and so ended our night in Tijuana.

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