I have heard, many times, the statement, "Tijuana is not the REAL Mexico!" I fundamentally disagree with this notion and as I walked along the tourist sections of this city looking for evidence that Tijuana wasn't the REAL Mexico, I began to realize why so many people say so.
Most people walk across the border, and see all the shacks and shops along the way offering tourists everything and anything that sells. There is little order to the look of things because much of the construction is not in good repair and in every vacant spot another seller will plop. With more than 64 million people passing by each year there is opportunity and Mexicans are wonderfully clever when an opportunity arises.
The "junk" they sell are items that tourists are buying and if the item doesn't sell they hold on to it until someone buys it. Mexicans are not wasteful. Many of the shop owners are poor people trying to make a living for their families and some of those shop owners end up owning a great store such as Sara's, or owning many shops and making enough to put their kids through private schools. Mexicans strive to make the best of things.
The employees of shops or restaurants usually work on commission and will call you from the street to get your attention, in hopes that you will buy from them. The competition is strong and it is one of the only ways for them to succeed. Mexicans are ever hopeful.
As I walked past the Curio shops and restaurants, and as I thought, it occured to me. Those who find Tijuana so distasteful haven't considered the quality and character of the Mexican people and their generosity of spirit, this is the REAL Mexico and it is all around in Tijuana.
Fondest memory: A few months ago, at the San Diego Zoo, my granddaughters and I met several ladies, all wearing purple blouses and pinkish red hats, they looked festive and all had great smiles on their faces. We called them the "pink and purple" ladies and each time after, while on our way to the zoo again, my granddaughters would ask if the "pink and purple"--our favorite colors--ladies would be there.
Of course they weren't, but imagine my surprise several months later when I bumped into a group of them on Avenida Revolucion having a day trip to Tijuana! I stopped and asked for a photo for my granddaughters and the happy women agreed.
They corrected our, "pink and purple" to "The Red Hat Ladies Society." A group of women over 50 who, "believe silliness is the comedy relief of life " and who have, "a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next"
If you are a Lady, over 50 and are interested in joining one of their chapters, check out this web-site: Red Hat Ladies USA
I really can not think of a single reason why anyone would want to go to Tijuana.But my loved shopping there and haggling with the vendors.She could come home with all kind of goodies and the satisfaction that she got a bargain.
Fondest memory: Seeing it for the first time.That was my first 'foreign 'country.
See beyond the seedy, touristy crap in the town.
Fondest memory: During the last couple of years I have made several trips down to the hills surrounding Tijuana to help locals build simple homes for themselves. It has been good hard work lined with some amazing epiphanies on how so many people around the world live their lives who were just not fortunate to have been born in the western world.
This was a fun day thing. Wouldn't want to be there at night. There are many beggers here. Do not hand out money. Keep your wallet in the front of your pants. There are pick pockets here.
Fondest memory: The taxi ride.
Tijuana is a tourist place. A lot of Mexicans try to make some money from those who cross the bearder for one day.
Fondest memory: The day in Tijuana was exactly half time of my exchange year in the USA. So I had to smoke a cigar and have a dos equis of course.
I highly urge you all to skip this city
I found it to be the armpit of my entire trip.
Tijuana is a filthy disqusting City
Fondest memory: However you can get great deals on fake Watches and chess boards
the donkey painted like a zebra is rather entertaining as well