Tijuana Felix Wong

Here are photos from an afternoon spent across the California-Mexico border. I walked across from San Diego and spent an afternoon walking around Tijuana, mainly as a way to continue a foreign country a year streak that has dated back to 1999. This was the very first time I stepped foot on Mexican land.

It turned out to be good that I did not stay much longer, as the air quality was very poor. Still, it was interesting to see the contrast between Mexico and the United States in this area.

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Crossing the border into Mexico.A dental clinic sporting my name!Lots of cheap drugs...A church."Alto" means "high" in Spanish but I guess it means stop as well.Basketball and graffiti.This was by far the nicest home I saw, with even the door wrapped like a holiday present.  That it was the nicest home I saw is not saying much, though.Here's why: the rest of them, like this wall, all had graffiti on them.  Okay, maybe not all, but it seemed that way.  It makes my childhood home town of Stockton look even relatively clean...English graffiti: "Bobby is my idol!"A view of the city from above.I did order some ghetto beef tacos from this "Taco Beel" (actually Taco Bell, though unrelated to the U.S. Taco Bell I'm sure), however.There was this park in the middle of the Tijuana, which was probably the nicest part I saw.  There were even a few merry-go-rounds outside of it (not shown in this picture).The open air markets kind of reminded me of those in, say, Chongqing, China.  There were flies and bees all over the food.  I cannot imagine anyone wanting to buy or eat that stuff in what seemed to be really unsanitary conditions, but what do I know...Of course, there was McDonalds!  I did not go into this one.There was a Hard Rock cafe here, too, with a car sticking out the side of the building.  I did not go into this one either.The beef tacos were pretty tasty and nice-and-spicy.  They were 3 for a dollar.I was surprised to see cars that were not available in the states, including this small Chevy pickup truck (like a modern version of the classic Chevrolet El Camino from the 60s and 70s). I think this model is the Tornado.This is the Atos by Dodge 5-door hatchback, again not available in the States.  Reminds me of the new Chevy Aveo...As opposed to going TO Mexico, where there are no border controls whatsoever (i.e. O.J. Simpson easily could have gotten into Mexico if only the police did not nab him on I-5 first), going back to the U.S., going back to the U.S. required identification checks (e.g., a CA drivers' license), resulting in long lines.  Merchants were fairly aggressive here in trying to sell stuff to motorists, though I have to say, they were for less aggressive towards me than, say, panhandlers in San Diego!

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