Monday, April 28, 2008

San Diego Part II

I arrived in San Diego on Thursday after an uneventful flight from Guadalajara to Tijuana, and bus ride from Tijuana to San Diego.
I didnt actually get to visit the infamous city of TJ, known for pestulant hawkers, violence, police corruption and as a haven for those seeking prescription drugs without a presciption and for underage US drinkers (the drinking age is 18 in Mexico, so they roll across the border to the all-you-can-drink bars). I wouldnt say its the Real Mexico (whatever that means), but the craziness and extreme contrast to just across the border would have been an interesting sight. Its just a shame that people think that that it is what the rest of Mexico is like.
The border itself was interesting enough though- it took about an hour just to get to the border in a distance which should have taken 15 minutes. Cars were banked up for miles. Once we got there, we were loaded off the bus with all our baggage and told to wait in the very long lines. There were huge signs everywhere saying that all conversations were being recorded, and anytime someone got out a cellphone (read: any Mexican), they were told to switch it off. It felt like some kind of space-age concentration camp.
A verbal screaming match broke out between some women while I was waiting in line- one accused the others of pushing into line, and was yelling at the top of her lungs for a long time.
Needless to say, I survived getting through without a hitch, although the atmosphere is of such that it makes you so paranoid that you start imagining that you might actually have hidden hard drugs/cuban cigars/Mexican child seeking better life in your backpack.
It was such a contrast coming back to the US. It took me awhile to get used to the fact that I can actually flush toilet paper again, and drink tap water without the threat of man-eating worms and amoebas growing in my stomach.It was also really great to see Angela again, and to share some great American beers (yes, beers other than Budweiser do exist). On the way home from the bus station we took a side trip to the Yardhouse, home of the largest selection of draft beer in the world. Its a great place.
I also met Angelas teacher friends at their Happy Hour(s)- a great bunch of people who were of course a little zany. Saturday night was spent watching dvds and then Angela very kindly took me to LA airport on Sunday morning.
The flight was long but not too bad, and I arrived in Germany yesterday to the very welcoming Gerhart and Annie, friends of my parents living in Stuttgart. Its a very beautiful part of Germany, and one I am looking forward to exploring.

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