Friday, December 18, 2015

Crossed and double crossed.

Crossing the border is easy, blink your eye and next thing you know you're in Mexico. That's the easy part. Getting our FMM (Tourist Card Visa) is usually easy too. Typically I pick them up at the San Ysidro crossing, you pull over once you cross the border and the Immigration office is right there. Supposedly (thanks Matt), it should have been just as easy at the Otay crossing.

Made it! CON KSO in a safe port: Hotel El Portal in La Rumorosa
Was it? Hell no. Nothing's that easy. The Otay crossing is being totally remodeled and the station is torn up.The Mexican Customs guy took a deep breath and tried to explain how to navigate the maze that gets you to the Immigration Office. The deep breath told me everything I need to know. He was basically saying (in Spanish), "There is no way you're going to ever figure this shit out Gringo, because I barely know how to find the place myself- but I'm gonna tell you anyways." I asked him if we could just park right there in Mexican Secondary and walk the hundred yards to the new building. A long stare pretty much said it all (which was, "You are not my problem now, welcome to Mexico have a nice day"). We drove out and gave it a half-hearted attempt, ending up in a light industry area right next to the border wall, prime El Chapo/Cartel tunnel rat real estate. Feeling extremely out of place, we said fuck it and headed for Tecate and La Rumorosa. We'll have to figure out the visa thing later. I don't really need one but the girls will when they fly out of San Jose del Cabo.

This is what 700 pesos (about 40 bucks) gets you in La Rumorosa... pretty sweet. Super clean and close to a great restaurant. And oh yeah, all the electrical shocks you want from the light switch. Bueno!
Driving to La Rumorosa should have been easy. Was it? Hell no. Pro-tip: pay attention to what you're doing when driving through TJ during rush hour. I got the ol' Texas Suck-Off and was siphoned off the main highway into a never-never land of OXXO mini-marts, Pemex pumps, tire shops and furniture stores- there was even a fucking clown walking up and down the jam packed road. As if my shit was freaked out enough by the Death Race 2000 swirling around me.

Eventually we navigated out of that mess (thank you geo-stationary satellites) and here we sit in cool, little hotel El Portal in La Rumorosa. There's a take away lesson in all the day's craziness: If you don't swing at a couple fast balls you're never gonna learn how to hit them. What the fuck does that mean? It means that if we never put ourselves into trying circumstances we really don't grow and learn. I did not enjoy getting lost, but I learned from it. I always tell my chem students that they've got to get used to making mistakes because that's the only way you get where you want to be. So today was my learning day, stay left and dodge that Texas Suck-Off.

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