Saving the city

I just got this invitation from my friends from an arts collective named Bulbo. The text pretty much sums up how I’ve come to feel about Tijuana. There’s something wrong with the city, but, at least in term of corruption and the broken government, I feel like it’s a situation that has passed the point of repair.

That’s the macro sense of the things, but the microscopic view is much better. I’ve said it many times on this blog, the network of people I’ve met in Tijuana astound me. There are strangers I’ve met who’ve helped me on my worst days. Strangers who’ve given me their phone numbers and honestly meant it when they said I could call if I ever needed a hand.

The number one question people are asking me now, after all the reports of violence, is ‘when are you moving back to the U.S.?’

And now, with the new passport requirements in place, I no longer get the “I want you to show me around Tijuana” requests.

People in the U.S. just want to turn their heads and forget that Tijuana exists.

CityBeat contributor Carl Luna wrote an interesting piece on the number of Tijuanenses who’ve packed up and headed north, looking for the safety Tijuana may never be able to guarantee.

I’ll admit that I did start looking for a place in the U.S. a few weeks ago, but I quite that search and decided to dig in my heels. Perhaps I’ll buy a bat and keep it bedside, but other than that I refuse to run for the hills.

Right now, Tijuana is my home, and I plan on meeting up with some of my neighbors this weekend and at least entertaining the idea of making it better.


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 Art & culture. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Saving the city

  1. bajalaura says:

    I do not think Tijuana is beyond repair. There are certain situations that area making the area unsafe but I feel that there are so many people on both sides of the border that have a vested interest in fixing the problem.
    Good for you. Please keep in touch, I like to hear all sides of the story so I can keep others informed on your situation.

  2. Fred says:

    Kinsee, you are doing the right thing by focusing on the local network you have. Strengthen and extend it. That’s where your protection and assistance will come from.

    I admit I’m a bit worried for you. But life everywhere is a gamble, and you could get jumped by 14 year old gangsters riding the trolley.

    I suspect that you’re already well known in your neighborhood as the harmless gringa with nothing worth stealing, so the bad boys aren’t really interested in you. You might be accidentally caught in a mixup, but you wouldn’t be targeted.

    To keep it this way, befriend the older women around the neighborhood. Their social networks are often quite extensive, and may include the granny of some of the bad boys.

    The gangsters may not be afraid of cops or torture, but they are terrified of getting a stern lecture from grandmother.

    Best wishes to you, Kinsee.


  3. The majority of American foreigners living in Baja do so in Rosarito rather than Tijuana. Common sense dictate where you hang around and the hours you choose to do so. This is no different than other large cities like Los Angeles or New Orleans. Foreigners know this, that is why they’re still living in Baja.

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