Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday in Tijuana

My agenda for the morning was to walk 20 minutes to Mercado Hidalgo. This is a local market where you can buy fruits and vegetables, kitchen goods, spices, and pinatas. I enjoyed the walk around but didn't actually buy anything—what do I really need? Well, I wanted a fruit juice but by the time I realized I wanted it (I normally avoid fruit juice due to high sugar content), the juice was across the parking lot by the entrance, and I was a lot closer to the Museum of the Californias where I was headed next.

I walked to the museum—ohhh, free entrance day! Oddly, there was a special chair exhibit on display. My next stop was another 15 minute walk away, Telefonica Gastropark. This was a fun visit but ultimately, I eat at more than enough food trucks because that's all we get at my job. I have gone from finding them novel to hating them with aggressive and furious passion. Food trucks are only fun if you can choose to eat at them rather than being forced to, every weekday. Being uprooted from the center of Manhattan and landing in food truck-land is not ideal. If you think I'm being cranky, try eating at trucks for 20 lunches a month and then get back to me about your experience. (Yes, I know I could take my lunch or grow my own lettuce or buy a goat or whatever. An aside, that's the most exhausting thing about Facebook. People are just so very helpful.) 

I fired up the Uber app on my phone—Lyft does not seem to work yet in Tijuana—but the nearest Uber was seven minutes away, so I just walked back to Revolucion. That's when I had my one questionable interaction. A guy came up and walked alongside me, then stuck his hand out and introduced himself.

Oh no you don't. 

"Not interested." I shook my head and refused to take his hand. The rules don't change because you're across the border. Random people don't walk up and introduce themselves unless they want to sell you something or discuss helping you part with money.

He trailed me a while, but eventually disappeared. I don't know when. I was intent on not looking back.

I stopped at the coffee shop by 11:15, and rested for a while. What would I do with the rest of my day? I'd paid for two nights at the boutique hotel, primarily because they only accepted bookings of two or more nights. But I'd pretty much seen what I'd come to see. I couldn't use my laptop in my room because the wifi was broken. I could have taken it to the coffee shop to write, but I could do that on the Amtrak.

"Eh, whatever," I thought, and went to the hotel to check out. So what if I lost the cost of a night's lodging? I'd leave now, cross the border, and get the traveling over with instead of going home first thing Monday morning. (The boutique hotel chose to refund the second night in the end, because of the broken wifi, which was really great of them given it was my choice to leave. I had no expectation of getting a refund.)

I got my bag, dropped the key off with the doorman, and walked up Revolucion toward the arch. I walked in the direction of the border, following the crowd along the airport-like winding queues into California, where I paid a dollar to a jitney operator to get a lift back to the trolley to San Diego. Trolley to Amtrak to Red Line to Burbank by dinnertime.

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