Tijuana Stories and Tips

6 - A Reality Check

I won't lie to you.

Some parts of our trip showed an urban city, away from the main tourist areas, that weren't as polished as Revolucion. The smells of urine and sewage were strong there, graffiti and decay decorated the walls, and the people milling about looked much less than friendly. It looked, really, like any urban area.

The difference is that Tijuana, a city of a million people, is crucified for these areas. Whereas, say, Philadelphia for example, is not. I've seen Camden, New Jersey, and it is far worse than what I saw in Mexico, and probably has more seedy bars and strip clubs.

Nobody says that the whole of Philadelphia is bad because of Camden or areas of West Philly. Nobody makes judgement on the USA and its inhabitents as a result of finding one of these areas.

It struck me as less than fair.

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Many stores searched for employees.

Most of the Help Wanted signs that we saw on Revolucion were looking for bilingual workers. With the huge tourist tides, I'd noticed that most of the store workers and vendors spoke English, sometimes broken, but well enough to pass and be understood.

On a side street, down a hill and past tables of street vendors selling jewelry, trinkets, and souveniers, cashing in on the fringes of the Revolucion crowds, was an art supply store/english school. A local told us that the rates were exorbitant.

I wondered, though, how knowing english would affect the earning potential of those who chose to pay.


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