We pack up the truck and start driving. We make it to Chula Vista by about 5:30am and stop at some hole in the wall Mexican food restaurant and both get breakfast burritos. When we get to the border we are shocked that we are literally the only people crossing. I’ve never seen the border so empty before. We approach the the police slowly in our truck and they wave us through without searching us or even checking our passports. Johnny can’t speak Spanish at all but I can understand enough to get by so I will have to be the communicator on this trip. We need to get our tourist visa but don’t know where to go and get rushed through and somehow miss the immigration office. So we are now in Tijuana illegally and we are super white and confused. It’s still dark outside and both our cell phones immediately stop working even though we both bought international plans so we just decide to keep driving until we find people to ask for help.
We manage to avoid downtown Tijuana and keep on a road on the coast driving towards Ensenada. I’ve only been to the rough part of TJ and am completely shocked at how beautiful it actually is. The coast is lined with a million houses that all differ completely from one another in size and class. The mountains are crusted with beautiful homes with colorful walls and flat rooftops. The blue of the ocean breaks into frothy white when it meets the rocks and sands of the land. I roll the window down and can taste the salt water in my mouth and can feel the mist of the ocean on my cheeks. There are hundreds of abandoned houses everywhere and we instantly become interested in them because of the graffiti and burnt look of the roofless buildings as if they were burned down a half a century ago. We find a local radio station that works and listen to it all the way to Ensenada.
Once we get to Ensenada there is an immigration office that is of course closed. It’s not really a good look to be in another country illegally so naturally we’re a little worried. We sit in my truck and look at each other for a minute then I get out and go back to look at the hours of operation on the door of the office.
When I get there I see a man in an unmarked car stare at me as he drives by and slows down. Fuck. He stops the car and follows me around the other side of the building. I start running back to my truck and when I get there I lock the doors and start the car and tell Johnny we gotta go. The man appears in my rear view mirror and is motioning to us with his hands. We roll down the window and he tells us in Spanish that he can help us get our immigration card if that’s what we’re looking for. We decide to risk death and open the door and he is extremely helpful and amazing and provides us with the card and we tip him and get back on the road. So far everyone is really nice despite what everyone warned us about. And it will continue to be that way the ENTIRE time we’re in Mexico.
– kissa sins