Driving around southern California and Arizona I felt safe and I almost forgot about thefts which may happen in the USA like everywhere else.
But in front of my Nogales accommodation - Motel 6 - I could read warning. Look at my picture, please:
Please lock your car. We are not responsible for damage to vehicles or loss of contents.
Does it mean that there are quite many thefts of car contents in Nogales? I am not sure about it. According to official Nogales Police statistics there were 93 thefts from auto in 2002 but only 1 person was arrested for that offence/crime.
Usually crime rate is higher in bordertowns than inside a country not only in the USA. Especially if it's a border between countries of quite different economic situation (poor and rich).
In any emergency call 911.
From my friend Linda (lmkluque) from San Diego, California:
The theft sign at the hotel is more of a disclaimer than a warning. It is a way to publicly say that the business - in this case, Motel-6 - is not responsible for theft or damage caused to your car / property. (This means that if something happens, you can't sue the establishment for your loss.) However, that sign also helps to inform people who might not know that valuables left in the car could attract a thief. Many thieves target travelers because they are travelers. If the thief is caught, most travelers won't bother to come all the way back--in your case from Poland? Every time there is a court hearing / trial, especially when their insurance will pay them for the lose or damage.
Thank you Linda for your explanations.
There was not shortage of parking lots in Nogales downtown. And there was light traffic at least when I was there - in the morning and early afternoon on a business day.
In a hot day try to park a car in the shade. Hmm... it seems that most drivers park their cars there.
When you come back to your car parked in not shadowed place in a hot, sunny day be sure to get into real hell until your air-condition makes interior of your car colder.
Some drivers put sunshades inside the car windshields to keep the car from getting too hot.
Haha, it's a strange and luckily not accurate nowadays tip.
To be exact Nogales Santa Cruz County Public Library was not the first US library I visited.
The first was US Consulate library in Krakow, Poland which I used to visit as a teenager. Hmm... you even can't imagine how I was unhappy when I got to know that I was too young to register and borrow books there. But I could read/review them and learn English that way in a reading room - for free and in communist times where it was not supported by Polish/Soviet authorities in any way although officially it was not forbidden.
Hmm... I remember that a few of my school mates were afraid to go there. They said that they didn't want to have any problems, they wanted to get a passport for next travel for example (passports were stored at police stations that time and you had to apply before each trip). It seems that they had right. I didn't get a passport for one of my trips that time (reason unknown).
Now, it's known that there was a secret apartment next door to entrance to the US Consulate rented by communist security forces called UB. They took a picture to every person who entered the US Consulate, try to guess why? Hehe, they must have a lot of my pictures unless they destroyed them before they were gone.
Whenever you read prices on big commercials located by your highway/street in Nogales read them carefully. Pay attention to smaller letters especially.
They used to read the lowest possible price, often not for you and always with tax not included hehe.
Look at my pic: Motel 6 for $33.95? Yes but it's for single room, without a tax and Sun-Thu only. Weekend prices (Fri- Sat) are as usuall in the USA higher. I paid $44.51 ($39.99 + tax) for double room there on a business day.
Is Nogales and Santa Cruz County area hot? YES, it is, but exclusively at daytime and from May to October.
Nighttime temperatures can drop by as much as 30 F degrees (17.5 C). During winter they can fall below freezing (32F = 0C) in Nogales. It's usually a few Farenheit degrees colder in Nogales than in Tucson at daytime and even more colder at nighttime. So, wear warm clothes.
Southern Arizona and Nogales are one of the hottest places in the USA in summer at least at daytime, or more exactly from May to October.
In summer high temperatures are often over 100F = 38C (sometimes even 110F = 43C), low over 70F (21C).
Check the 10-day forecast for Nogales:
My top 5 advices for hot days:
1. Wear very light (and too large :-) clothes made of natural materials (cotton) and a hat,
2. stay in shadow if possible and move slowly hehe,
3. drink a lot of cold water (no sweet juices or booze),
4. avoid midday and early afternoon,
5. keep smiling :-)))
Can you see a curb on my picture taken in front of Nogales Santa Cruz County Public Library? It's painted in bright red color. It does mean: No stopping, standing or parking anytime. As I know parking there is allowed exclusively for emergency vehicle on emergency action.
Parking there is unaccepted either by law and socially. Referring to official statistics of Nogales Police Department there were 2 (yes: two) cases of park violations reported in 2002. No wonder, it's very expensive, I am sure and there are quite a lot parking lots throughout Nogales.
In California a fine for parking a car on such places was something like $400 as I know.
The Nogales-Santa Cruz County Public Library offered free access to the Internet. But the library did not provide e-mail accounts and did not support access to newsgroups, Internet chat rooms or chat lines. I didn't need to use them.
I think that travellers, like me, usually look for some travel info, may want to book accommodation online and first of all check and send e-mails. I was no problem to logg on VT there :-))).