|Mexico - welcome to Tijuana, tequila, sexo y marihuana...|
Hot. There were a few wobbly people around, all-night drunkenness settling in, they hadn't hit the bed yet. We crossed the main Avenida Revolucion which is the central nerve of the small town and is packed with bars -mainly-, restaurants and all kinds of shops -gold being one of the strongest commerce.
A Mexican woman who looked
at us full of suspicion opened the door and said a room would be free
around 11/12pm (check out in Mexico is average 12-1pm), we couldn't have
a look, we had to pay in advance and come back later. While all this negotiating
was going on, a group of girls -southamerican but not Mexican- asked for
rooms available and the patrona kicked them off angrily. We were a bit
shocked by her rudeness but later on we would realize the girls were in
Tijuana for "business" and the patrona wouldn't have any of
And we went to check out the local tequila. At every door there was some Mexican bubbly girl offering you cheap shots, 2 for the price of one, happy hour was 24 hours in Tijuana. Everywhere was packed with tourists, mainly American, having a bit of a wild time. It is a bit of an outlaw town, a bit of a brothel, lots of parties and any kind of commerce you may be interested in. In any case, it's allright for a couple of days and we did have fun.
From early in the morning there were the "chiquitas" at bar doors enticing you to go in and have a tequila. In restaurants we started to see two things: one, it was going to be damn hard to be vegetarian in this country and two, the mariachis. They do sing around loud while you eat and ask you if there's any song you want and then pass around for money.
We suddenly realized that we hadn't crossed any immigration check points when we arrived in Tijuana, part of the Southern California, which was allright for Miles who would go back to the States before his American visa ran out, but I needed a stamp on my passport. So we went in search for the immigration office which was quite a quest. The officers looked very scary with their macho attitude, their mustaches and their guns and we knew enough about Mexican corruption to be a bit wary of the fact that we might have entered the country illegally. But even if they didn't make us feel comfortable in the least, it was allright. After the stamp we had to go to a bank next door to pay for my visa (???).
I had to get ready to be on my own in Mexico soon so I had to buy two things for protection: a bra and a wedding ring. I found the most armour-like bra and then we went hunting for wedding rings. There's lots of gold shops around and lots of wedding rings for some weird reason! We went shopping for prices and everytime there was a funny look and a "you want two, yeah?" "no, just one, for me" and weird look of the salesman who wouldn't ask anything else. I found a 15K one for just $15! real bargain. Right, I was sorted. Miles bought some real Cuban cigars for presents and we kept drinking tequilas for a couple of days.
Next we would take a night 20 hours bus through 1500 km of cruel and beautiful Northwestern Mexican desert to Los Mochis, by the coast. Awful expensive hotel. The town was no better. We just spent a night there to get the amazing Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico next morning.