Yesterday Mike and I took a trip to Tijuana. We parked at the border and crossed over on foot, as we usually do. It’s just not safe to drive your car in TJ. And your insurance won’t cover you if there’s an accident, or heaven forbid, if your car is stolen. So off we went, Mike lagging behind, taking pictures of everything. We wandered around the familiar places we’d visited before. I was looking for a clay or plaster “column” for my garden and had no luck until a gentleman directed us to a bridge which led to downtown. I had always thought downtown was far away, as there were cab drivers lined up at the border offering to take you there, telling you that it was a “very long walk!”. But here was this bridge that I had never noticed before, full of merchants selling their myriad of odds and ends. This one man had these swords made of crystal, with carved wooden handles. They were really quite beautiful, but I wondered what on earth a person would do with such a thing. We crossed over the colorful, winding ramps and came upon downtown TJ. Now HERE were shops that had real, authentic, Mexican made goodies! We found a store with lovely clay, ceramic, and plaster works and found the perfect column for my garden!
Now came the dilemna; we had walked about a mile and a half to get here…how were we going to get this solid clay column, weighing roughly…oh…35 pounds, all the way back to, and across the border? Michael had the perfect solution! Throw in the large wrought iron bird cage as well! He gave the store owner the agreed upon amount of money, and then we stood there smiling at one another, wondering what the next move was. That’s when a store worker suddenly produced a glorious K-mart shopping basket! OK, NOW we were experiencing Tijuana!! :o) This kind gentleman piled our treaures into his make-shift delivery truck, and offered to walk with us, all the way to the border with our merchandise! It was a memorable walk, up and over the ramps, being approached every few minutes by a beggar or a child selling bracelets. Only about 45 mninutes away from our comfortable home, and here was real poverty. We stopped about half way, and Michael got us all a soda. It was a hot day.
Upon arriving at the border, we were surprized to find a newly installed gate, through which our escort could not travel because he had no passport. This was the point where we were on our own. Michael, struggling with a 4-1/2 foot tall, iron bird cage, and me and my column…PLUS the other goodies that we just couldn’t live without, like a large vase, and a clay “sunshine” to put on the garden wall. We must have been a sight to behold! We were the poster children for “poor planning”! After we struggled for a while, roughly 10 feet between rest stops, a gentleman stepped up and helped Michael with the birdcage. The border officer had a good laugh at our expense, but we made it through! In the end, we have a lovely bird cage, which the parakeets are very happy in, and my waterfall fits perfectly on my great, new column. We haven’t hung the sunshine yet. But it was a day to remember! We haven’t laughed that much together in quite a while! I came away with a new, warm sentiment for the Mexican people though. Granted, we have a severe problem in the US with illegal immigration. But it is the government that is at fault. There are very many warm and caring people in Mexico, just as there are anywhere else you go in the world. We need to be so careful when life and situation cause us to begin to put any group of people in a “box”. We all know what that can lead to, and it’s ugly.
Maybe on another day I’ll tell you about the fun we had moving birds from one cage to another with Belle going into “hunting” mode as 4 parakeets flew frantically throughout the entire house bumping into walls and mirrors and who knows what. Everyone lived.
Well, now it looks as though we won’t be leaving on our trip until Monday. I know you were all holding your breath waiting for the story to start, but we have to be patient! Meanwhile, I can dink around with this blog a little bit and get it working real snazzy. 🙂