TJ Baby

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July 13th 2002
Published: July 13th 2002EDIT THIS ENTRY

The BackpackersThe BackpackersThe Backpackers

Steve, Matt, Robbie, Carolyn, Me.
To the Americans TJ is known as the town where the 18-21 year olds go to be served in bars - a restriction that the back home in Britain is seen as very silly. Our friend Steve had been thrown out of just about every bar in four states so we decided that the last night of the Road trip should be in a bar. I met a Mexican guy in the SD hostel - "don't go, it's a shit hole, it's not Mexico". We explained and he agreed that it's probably a good way to end the trip.

To get from the USA to Mexico you get on a trolley bus in Down Town San Diego spend $2.25 for a ticket and ride down to the border - about 8 miles away. You then get off the bus and walk into Tijuana, through Mexican customs, immigration and border control - who were all asleep. Mostly the tourists consist of day trippers.

We walked into the main town, constantly besieged by Mexican guys - "Hey amigo, Taxi?" - "No", "You want drugs?" - "No", "You want pussy?" - "No". This was repeated every time we walked about 10 yards, interspersed with small children selling beads and new friends trying to get to use their bars - "Free margaritas for the laydees". I did buy myself a really nice pair of fake Ray Bans for $8 - everyone agreed they looked great and were a bargain at $8.

The TJ expedition consisted of - Steve (American), Robbie/Boghen (Canadian), Carolyn, Andy, Justine, Casey, Matt and I all English. Lots of English - I'm not sure why I meet so many English people on my trip but they drink well and
are great guys and gals.

I was a little concerned about my Visa for Mexico, so I wandered back over to the border to hand in my US visa and obtain a Mexican one. I found the US - a huge queue of overweight tourists and a Mexicans about 400m long. I went to
the front to ask what to do with my Visa, found out - went to the back of the queue and waited 45 mins to get the front again.

Next step - get a Mexican Visa, I found a tourist information office and got directions to the Migracion office. After asking at just about every office with a reception on the way I eventually found the Migracion office - there
was no one there. It's been nice speaking to people who speak no English - I'm surprised by the number of non-English speakers are dwelling only a few hundred meters from the American border. When the official arrived I paid my
$20 and got a 180 day Visa "To Do Mexico". Matt and Boghen would have to do the same - manyana. I'd left the guys in a bar - I arrived back after an hour and a half. The guys had already made a great start - Steve had already had Tequila poured down his throat by some whistling idiot - there are guys who wander the bars with bottles of very bad tequila and a whistle, if your not
fast in saying no, they grab your head, pour tequila down your throat while blowing ineptly on a whistle, once they think you've had enough of their tequila they start pouring your drinks down your throat, eventually stop, shake your head roughly and demand a tip, $1 is not enough. I was rude enough to several of the idiots to get blacklisted from their rounds for the rest of
the evening - shame.

I had to play catch up - luckily I've had extensive training for this and caught up pretty quick - realized that everyone else had eaten and so the catch up thing might not be such a great idea. Went to get food. The girls and Andy all went shopping, this left Matt, Robbie, Steve and I to get some serious drinking done - it was
after all nearly 2pm. The table behind us saw the arrival of some butch American girls.

Note: Robbie has requested to be known as Boghen throughout the journal - fine by me.

Boghen made short work of introductions and explanations - they were butch because they were lesbians - but he thought one would be real nice with more hair and a few feminine touches like a dress. Well they told us some great stories and suggested that we head to a bar 30mins out of town where they have naked bungee jumping. Unfortunately we had to wait for the girls and Andy to return from shopping.

The evening continued in much the same fashion - I made sure that myself and Steve took frequent pit stops to get soda and food - it's the best way to ensure that a 12hr drinking session ends with happiness and not vomit and tears. We finished drinking at 2am, though not all at the same time, 2 of the girls had headed back to San Diego earlier in the evening. We had stayed and
danced and chatted with a few Americans (all from San Diego) and lots of Mexicans - had met no additional English people - first time so far. Steve turned out to be virtually fluent in Spanish - and acted as translator for much of the evening - though I think he was editing heavily in both directions. I think he should have made this clear to us earlier in the road trip and have taught us some Spanish - it would have been interesting to have been learning Spanish in the middle of Yosemite national park.

Robbie/Boghen (this is a hassle), Matt and I had decided to team up for the journey into Mexico - our next destination would be Ensenada, Steve and
Carolyn were to head back to Los Angeles - so this was goodbye, I think Steve, Matt and I had made a good team over the last 10 days and had had some great adventures - lots to tell the grand-kids. Steve was kind enough to leave us with little Spanish cue cards, "What is your name?", "How old are you?", "You are very beautiful", "How many children do you have?", "I have lots of diseases". Armed with these we were ready to face the Mexican world properly.

We found a bus company that would take us to Ensenada - a trip of 1 1/2 hours in a great looking bus for about $10, I took RoboGhen and Matt to get Visas/Tourist Cards and then returned for the goodbye photographs and packs. My pack weighs in at around 37 kilos - I rapidly lose my sense of humor when carrying it - but it will make my legs beefy very quickly.

Steve is now writing up his journal for travelblog here (he never did) - it will be interesting to see how the stories differ - remember how nice I've been to you in these journals Steve - I expect nothing less

The bus journey to Ensenada was uneventful but comfortable. Armed with a guide book of Mexico each, a single 15 hour course in Spanish from RoboGhen and Steve's cue cards we felt confident and ready to continue our journey into the heart of Baja. I lost my fake Ray Bans in the Bus station and reverted to nasty pair I bought on the road trip after breaking my other pair from the UK - sunglasses I think will have to have a separate section in my budget.


28th March 2005

Handy site for traveling to Downtown TJ
Next time you're thinking of going to Tijuana or the Baja, check out this website: Lots of tips for travelling to downtown (Revolution Ave.) in Tijuana. Once on the site, click on "Locations" in the top right corner of the page.
From Blog: TJ Baby

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