Illegal crossing

Last weekend, I started my day off right with a nice tall glass of orange juice and champagne. Five hours and about six mimosas later, I found myself a bit tipsy in Playas, the beaches of Tijuana.

A friend of a friend from England was in town and he was blown away by the absurdity of the border fence that runs right into the water (see below).

A bit tipsy and bewildered himself, the Englander demanded we cross through the gaps and use the toilettes on the other side (aka U.S. soil). I couldn’t say no. I’ve always wanted to try to cross illegally, not to mock the experience but simply for the experience itself.

So we crossed. The one resident Mexican we were with that day refused to cross and was understandably a touch annoyed, although amused by our undertaking.

We walked the beach on the U.S. side for a few minutes and nothing happened. The Brit needed more so we climbed the hill toward the public bathrooms and, within seconds, I spotted a Darth Vador-like image in the distance. The Border Patrol agent, wearing a dark helmet and goggles with a gun strapped to his thigh, didn’t do anything but stare. The Brit, being the good ol’ chap he is, walked right toward him in a “hey, I’m a stupid tourist” kind of way, and believe it or not, it absolutely worked.

By now, three agents had swarmed around us, two guys, one girl, and the Brit had them all laughing and smiling and nearly ready to let us snap their photos. They would’ve let us use the bathroom, too, but it was closed for the winter season.

We were white, so they were nice, but they pointed down at the shores at a family of Mexicans having a picnic below — half of the family on the Tijuana side, half on the U.S. side — and said, “You’ll have to cross back the way you came. We don’t want those people to get the wrong idea. A few of ’em will probably try to cross on us tonight.”

We shook their hands and went on our way, back through the fence to el otro lado where a nice homeless expat with a cockatoo was nice enough to mark the momentous occasion by taking a photo of me, the Brit and the bird.

About Kinsee Morlan

Arts and web editor at San Diego CityBeat. Interested in art and the Tijuana/San Diego border.
This entry was posted in Border issues. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Illegal crossing

  1. The ridiculousness of that fence is amazing, especially how it goes neatly through the “Friendship Park” plaque.

  2. Gurn Blanstone says:

    Let’s see, you got up, drank yourself stupid, went to the beach with a British friend, crossed the border and returned. Oh, the Border Patrol questioned you, which didn’t surprise you inasmuch as you had climbed through the fence, and they were nice (er, but only ’cause you “were” white).

    And you wonder why your words tend to just disappear? This is going to come off as harsh, but you need to hear it: Your blog reeks of the kind of intellectual flatulence that might make it among the Edwin Deckers and other such lightweights of the world, but is correctly dismissed as faux-edgy poop by anyone with the real power to make a difference. If you want people to take you seriously about serious issues, then be serious–or, at least be entertaining. But simply acting absurdly and writing about it smacks of middle school journalism or, worse, Jackass-light. You’re not a middle-schooler, so stop pretending.

    Mature as a writer and effect change. Otherwise, face the consequences of being inconsequential.

  3. Thanks for the comments Gurnster. But let me just say that there is a difference between my blog and the stories I write for the paper.

    The blog is where I have fun. I’m not trying to change the world or be consequential at all. I’m just writing about what I do and showing people what I see as a gringa living in Tijuana, the most dangerous and interesting city in the world in my humble opinion.

    I think the border fence is absurd. I treated it as such. No analysis, no attempt to explain anything. This is my blog. I’m allowed to drink mimosas, walk through the border fence and post it without attempting to piece together a fucking thesis.

    I was asking folks to comment on my story about the people who lived in the dumps but you commented on my post about crossing the border. Maybe you’re just a little confused. I forgive you, Gunnypoo, you little troll you.

  4. Derrik says:

    Orale Kinsee la guera!

    • Joe Polidan says:

      Your words did not disappear! All of my co-workers and I love the story. I don’t care much about Gurnster and his views on moral journalism. How long did it take him to write that essay describing “intellectual behavior”? Good job man. I found your story VERY entertaining. I found this article while pondering the possibility of scuba diving across the border. Maybe I’ll try that this weekend and post my own blog. Great story!

      *Who the fuck is Edwin Deckers…he must be pretty cool.

      *Who the fuck is

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