Mexico: last resort Tijuana
Saturday 26 October 1996
The busiest border in the world acts as a valve. Going south, you are borne along in a shuffling tide of humanity from the tram terminus across a tagliatelle of footbridges and through a macaroni of concrete corridors, and swept south of the border.
Immediately, you must make several exchanges. Dollars for pesos; order for chaos, but a gentle brand of anarchy that somehow restores a dimension that has vanished north of the border; and swap your preconceptions for reality. Not a single citizen slumbers beneath a sombrero; no moustachioed bandidos here. Tijuana is a big, fast city whose main industry is catering to the repressed needs of US citizens. Whether you need dentistry or drugs, you can get it more cheaply and easily in the Estados Unidos de Mexico than the United States of America.
And this is where the problems begin. The US authorities take great interest in people and their possessions heading north. Expect long queues and close questioning. I first went to Mexico with my Scottish grandmother. On the way back, she was apprehended because of a visa discrepancy. Only after hours of questioning at an office beside the humid, fume-choked highway, were she and I were let back in to California. On reflection, I'm not sure it would have been that bad if we'd had to stay. SC
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...