Saturday, April 21, 2007

More than once upon a time in Mexico

Before Coachella, before the Rage reunion, after the massive 25-hour drive, we visit not only a major Mexican city, but a major battleground in the currently raging battle over immigration into the United States. We visit Tijuana.

Tijuana holds an important part of current events. Many immigrants, more often illegal than not, pass through Tijuana or find themselves dumped there as they battle for a better life in America. Many American tourists, more often than not seeking things illegal in the States, visit Tijuana each year. While a few years back that may have sounded enticing, this time around I seek to visit Tijuana to soak it all in.

What's it like, this basin of hopes, this focal point of dreams being realized or shattered? What effect do American's thirsting for women, drugs and wild times have on this city? I can't wait to see what goes on there.

I've visited many Mexican cities, from the capital, la ciudad de Mexico, la D.F. (pronounced deh effe), the hub of the country, to Puebla, a quaint city southeast of Mexico, that bears the influences of French and Italian archetecture. I've been through Oaxaca en route to Latin America's largest water park. I've sat on pyramids built by indigenous peoples in places whose names hold too much of an acient language to remain in my English-speaking brain. I've spent a week during spring break in the cliched, dullness that is an Acapolco vacation.

But Tijuana, that's a new one to me. I look forward to getting a brief glimpse of the situation there, while I fully realize a few hours introduces us to far too few of the attractions offered in the city. Still, I always enjoy learning more about a foreign country, particuliarly one that has played such a major part in my life as well as the times and places I have grown up in. Viva Tijuana, viva la vida que raro.

Here's a sampling of pictures from my past adventures south of the border. Very top, there's me at 18 eating tacos at a street market in Mexico City with friends. Second from top that's me at 20 jumping off a 40 foot platform at a waterpark in Oaxaca. Very bottom, that's me during Mexican Independence Day in Mexico City with women that like me far more when we can't talk to each other. Second from bottom is me at 22 busting a pinata on the street of Mexico City a few days before Christmas. Next closest is me in the Puebla countryside toasting a beer with an 8-year-old friend.

Expect more pictures from Tijuana on here as the trip unfolds.

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