2011 Dec 24 | Tijuana with Monica

Our schedule for the day.

Pretty sunrise on the drive down.

Nice license plate.

We could have gone in the HOV lane, but since traffic was so light, it wasn't really worth it. Plus, a lot of time traffic in the HOV lane goes slower and you can't leave the lane except in special areas, so it's actually faster to go around traffic in the normal lanes.

The sunrise was pretty, but this was nasty to drive into. There's a car a ways in front of me I simply could not see.

They have a "be kind" sign in their window and yet they're sitting in the left lane going slowly like jerks. Well, maybe if you'd get out of people's way they would be kinder to you.

Even though I set it for only a few miles across the Mexico border, Google Navigation still wouldn't plot a route. Come on, all the roads in Tijuana are pretty normal.

We were planning on getting close to the border, parking on the US side, and then walking across because (1) it would be safer for the Jeep and (2) it would be faster, but all of the sudden we saw this and it was too late.

Although it worked out because we drove around a lot farther than we ever would have walked.

We planned to get there about 9am but we arrived about 8:30, so people were still getting their businesses ready.

There were a fair number of stray dogs.

The cops were blocking off this road for some reason. We wanted to go see the church beyond the roadblock, but we decided it was better to just leave it alone.

Another guy pushing his cart into place.

Lots of medical and dental businesses.

A nice church.

I was a bit scared driving around, but the signs were basically the same.

Looking north towards San Diego.

Me running back up the hill after taking the picture. Monica liked to say it was because I was being chased.

Looking to the east.

I think these were their public transportation buses. Well, it works.

Another church.

I was worried about finding parking because I'm assuming these use pesos of some sort, but nobody else was putting money in them, so perhaps they weren't checking them because it was Saturday.

Walking along some shops.

The salesmen were very aggressive; they'd follow you trying to get you to buy stuff. And as some older guy passed Monica, he touched her on the arm and whispered in her ear, "You're very beautiful." She was like, "Really? I'm already with this guy."

Neat arch.

Don't think I need any of that at the moment, and I read the cops are actually looking for tourists who buy drugs without a prescription.

A little pony you could take your picture beside.

Ooh, just in time for the Santa run!

The ones not dressed as Santa were not surprisingly the fastest.

Ah, there's a Santa.

Even some reindeer.

Checking out some more shops.

Uh oh. I went across and Monica didn't. We were both terrified she was going to get kidnapped instantly.

Just follow that sign.

Once you get close to the border traffic jams up and there are tons of people selling stuff between the cars.

I love this guy's home-made cooler transport.

Waitresses would go up to cars with a menu, you'd order, and then they'd bring your food to you.

There were also a few beggars.

You get to be outside all day, so it wouldn't be too bad of a job, except for the smog. And this woman had to haul her kid around with her all day long.

This guy was good at throwing these birds.

A guy playing a fiddle, although he was terrible; I couldn't even tell if it was a song.

I bet it would be pretty hard to find a job where you don't have to use your hands.

We waited in line right around a hour to get back. It would have been faster to park and walk across like these people.

Or use a motorcycle so you can drive between the lines of cars.

Monica is happy to get back to the US.

Almost there.

Yeah, right. Actually, our guy was really nice.

We wanted to eat there, but we left pretty early, so we weren't hungry. After sitting in line to get across, though, we decided we should at least eat at a little Mexican place just across the border.