San Diego, CA
Being this close to Mexico was just too much of a temptation. The City of San Diego has a great Light Rail/Trolley system that runs all the way to the Mexican border for the princely sum of $2.50. What else could we do?
Mexico, or at least this little corner of it, has the immediate feel of a booming third world economy, although the third world tag may not be relevant any longer for Mexico. It is a rapidly growing country with strong trade relations with the US. Still, the streets of the old city part of Tijuana have the unmistakeable third world feel. Dusty, more than a little shabby and, in the case of the tourist strip in Tijuana – major tacky! However, just a stroll away, in the newer part of town, shopping malls, flash new commercial buildings and clean, garden-lined streets predominate.
Beat-up old pickups ply the streets alongside Mercs and Lexus sedans. Street touts and be-suited business men and women share the sidewalks. Development with a capital 'D' is in full swing.
Despite all the vibrant feel of this small experience of Mexico , as we walked back to the border crossing, the dust blew in from the desert, the traffic at the vehicle crossings was beseiged by touts selling everything from prescription drugs to plastic chooks. “Illegals” (wet-backs) waited in the shadows for their chance at a new life just metres away over the US border. Amidst the noise and bustle, we were instantly transported back to the chaos of the Moroccan border crossing at Ceuta.
Where the First World meets the Third!