Tijuana, Day Two: San Diego A-Go-Go

Posted by admin - 07/05/13 at 06:05 am

A little while back I took a little trip to Mexico, by way of San Diego. As with all of my trips, it became an accidental whirlwind of unintentional comedy and goofy stuff. Here are some of my dispatches from the road, written on the trip.

PART ONE: AIRPORTVILLE

PART TWO: SAN DIEGO A-GO-GO

Our tiny, overcrowded plane had two rows of first-class seating, filled with comfy people who wouldn’t make eye contact with the rest of us poor, cattle-seated bastards.

Moo! Mooooo!

Moo! Mooooo!

Ever sat in first class? I did once, on one leg of a long, multiple-stop journey. It was the best flight of my life. They served me champagne and gave me a hand-woven blanket. When I asked for peanuts, a nubile twenty-three year-old stewardess leaned over and placed them on my tongue, one by one.

I wasn’t sitting in first class on the flight, and I doubt I’ll ever get that again. I shuffled to the back of the plane, where the seats are as wide as a goal line, the overhead bins always sound like the door of a haunted house, and while your seat won’t move, the person in front of you can somehow recline to the point where you can check their molars for plaque.

By the way, do we still need the “No Smoking” sign? Why are we still pointing that out? You can’t smoke anywhere these days. I doubt anyone’s got the balls to light up inside a pressurized tube anymore.

As I’ve said before, I tend to wind up on smaller planes. This time, though, I wound up riding an airline billing itself as the “Big Lots of the Air.” It was more crowded than a Japanese subway car. For snacks, one of the stewardesses passed around a canteen and a sleeve of Ritz crackers. Instead of a movie, the attendant just stood up and told us about her vacation to Branson.

Tiny planes are always a little more terrifying than the bigger ones, especially when they ask everyone to lean to the left during the takeoff.

We landed in San Diego without incident. For the first time in my life, I get to see palm trees that aren’t just transplants in the parking lot of a Barnes and Noble.

Not me, but a West Coast doppleganger.

Not me, but a West Coast doppelganger.

By the way, in San Diego, there’s a small change to my schedule. My hair is no longer Sammy Hagar. I’m now told I look like the guitarist from Incubus.

Fair enough.

Because of the trip, I have a driver to get me out of there. We have a little while before we can leave. He stops in a parking lot for a break, and whips out his laptop so he can chat on Facebook. That’s not exactly the image of the old tour guide, scampering from hill to hill for just a Yankee Coca-Cola.

San Diego is absolutely beautiful. The hills remind me of pretty much every song about California I’ve ever heard. I’m barely in San Diego, though, as we load up and drive. We take the 5 South until we see the colors change, and cross the border.

The border is an odd place. They don’t stop you going into Mexico, only coming out. Why? Because Mexico wants your money. You could be driving South with a cannon on your roof, and they’d never even slow you down. They’d figure if you’ve got the money for cannonballs, you’ll spend some of that money in town.

— Come back tomorrow for part three, in which Reid learns about how Mexico traffic never stops, and Mexican time never starts.

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