Crossing the border into Mexico was about as easy as anybody could imagine. I took a trolley from San Diego to the border for a mere $2.50 and walked across. Passed some heavily armed police/military personnel and drug sniffing dogs, through a one way gate and I was through. Charming in its simplicity. From there I took a cab to the airport and bought my ticket which was leaving for Merida at 00:40 the next day. So I had a day to spend in Tijuana:S I went through the first level of security at the airport and checked my bags into storage then caught a cab into town.
What to do in Tijuana? Zona Norte it seems…… I walked through the area and it felt quite safe with police everywhere and it was entertaining having women cat calling me trying to entice me to join them. I can honestly say though that I have never been less turned on. It just seemed so unnatural. I left pretty quickly even though it was far less dodgy then I had been warned. I found a place to have lunch and had a veggie sandwich. Then began the hard part, what to do now that I had moved on from the cities major ‘tourist’ attraction? I walked around the Zona Centro and check out a few shops with things I didn’t want or need, and finally caught a taxi to give me a more full tour of the city.
He took me around to the Centro Cultural and the Zona Rio where there were a bunch of statues and other interesting monuments. He showed me a good view of the city and also a big outdoor mall…. Ok so that was an hour long ride and really didn’t feel like I gained much. I returned to the mall and walked around and decided a good way to waste time was to watch a movie. I saw Lluvia de Hamburguesas in 3D a movie I had already seen in English, and it is a kids movie so I thought I could at least follow along and maybe learn a bit of the language as I went. I don’t know how much good it did, but it did bring me to dinner time.
With nothing better in mind to do, I caught another cab back to the airport and had dinner there. Read a book and played Sudoku until finally I could check-in. Once I was through security I could go and waste some more time. Well as luck would have it, I met a cool guy from Boston who was studying medicine in Tijuana to save a couple hundred thousand on US tuition costs. We talked about everything from world travel to health care reform. It certainly helped pass the time away.
Finally as I was boarding the plane I noticed my wallet was missing! As people were boarding I started trying to get off, or at least to a stewardess. I told them as best I could what had happened and they told me I couldn’t go looking for it, but they could send somebody to look. No luck. I could either get off and wait in Tijuana or go on to my next destination and they would try to get a hold of me. I decided to stay on my current course. I fell asleep on the plane for maybe an hour then proceeded to get very faint. I collapsed in the front galley of the plane. I felt cold, scared, faint, constricted, weak and sick. They pulled out the oxygen an started giving it to me, a stewardess wrapped me her jacket and a doctor on board came up and bless his heart did his best in broken English to help me and make sure I was OK. I started to feel better and returned to a row of seats that had been cleared for me. There a Mexican therapist came over and tried again in broken English to guide me though my anxiety. As he was talking to me the stewardess came up and informed us that the wallet had been found and I gave them the address of the hostel I was going to stay at. Needless to say I was feeling much better by the end of the trip and am eternally grateful for the kind hearts of the people on that flight.
I am now safe and sound in a hostel in Merida but still have no access to my regular sources of money (Visa, Debit, BC Drivers License) and am instead having Money wired to me through Western Union. Hopefully I’ll get it all back soon!
— Wish me luck!