I was in San Diego for a week and on one of my days off, naturally I headed down to Tijuana Mexico. There's not much to see there, but I wanted to get a real Mexican taco and some cheap prescription medication. Specifically I was looking for a topical creme (none of your business!) that even with a prescription here in the land of the medically fleeced is wicked expensive. Also I was thinking of picking up some prescription strength ibuprofen because the constant long flights criss-crossing the land of ridiculously high medical care costs can get tedious in my lower back and ass-bone area.
These are pretty much the only pictures I got in Tijuana, but I have more border town follies to tell. Luckily, I also visited the Mount Palomar Observatory while in Southern California and there's not much to tell about that trip so I'll punctuate my Mexican tale with those pictures instead.
So randomly, I chose one Mexican pharmacy out of hundreds; a tiny corner shop that I liked the look of. I went in and the proprietor introduced himself as Federico. I asked him if he had my topical creme (shut. up.) and he did, and then I asked him about my ibuprofen. He had it of course but it was a bit expensive for me so I opted not to get it there and maybe shop around a bit first.
So as I was purchasing the topical creme Federico pulls up a bottle from behind the counter and asks me if I like Tequila. I stutter for a moment but what is one supposed to do in such a situation? I say well sure, who doesn't? So we do a shot of tequila together. I then sputter a bit with the tequila shivers, but it's actually pretty smooth stuff and I enjoy my shot. I say well that's mighty nice of you Federico, thank you very much. He says hang on hang on, want another?
So we're hanging out for a while, chatting about this or that, doing shots of tequila in this pharmacy over the counter in broad busy daylight and I think, "Mexico is different." Then he asks me why I wanted the prescription strength ibuprofen for and I explain to him about my lower back pain and all of that. So my new friend ducks down under the counter again and pulls out a large blue pill and hands it to me with another shot of tequila and says to try this one out. I of course take it because I trust this mad chemist completely, for some reason (I'm guessing it had something to do with the tequila but I suppose we'll never know for certain). "What is it?" I ask, putting down my empty shot glass. "Vicodin my friend," he says. "Wonderful," I reply.
I had sprained my foot jogging on a hotel treadmill earlier and I quite forgot about it during my afternoon in Tijuana. I had the nicest time, walking about, buying a cup full of salty pomegranate seeds from a street vendor. I got my taco and a cerveza too, and they were delicious and I felt very good and nice.
My job in San Diego was on a Navy Base, and the next day I was talking to one of the Navy guys in the class telling him about my trip to Tijuana and he got all weird on me. He said "You went to Tijuana?!" And I was kind of like uh, yeah why not? It's like 15 minutes down the road, what's the big deal? And apparently the big deal is that the military has forbidden servicemen to go into Mexico while off duty because of all the drug cartel related violence down there. He was telling me how people are getting killed there all the time, or kidnapped, even American bystanders and I was thinking huh, I'm glad I went and had such a nice relaxed time there without knowing about all of that.