borders culture crit photo tijuana

Avenida Revolución, Tijuana

La Revolución, Tijuana

It’s a quiet Friday night, a few minutes before midnight. An elderly gentleman approaches me and asks “Ud. habla Español?” “Si” I reply. He then tells me “los taxistas llevan droga en el volante.” He proceeds to explain how the taxi drivers hide drugs where the horn is in the center of the steering wheel. I suppose he thought I was a reporter; one tends to stick out like a sore turistic thumb slogging a camera/bag/tripod up and down Avenida Revolución.

My guess is more than ninety percent of those on Avenida Revolución on a given night aren’t from México. Manu Chao’s “Welcome to Tijuana” is fitting for these visitors, but there are several million more people who actually live in Tijuana but never visit Avenida Revolución. They’re good people, quite tired of corruption and the violence of rival narcotraficantes. And as I walk down this street with a target on my back, I actually feel quite safe.

4 replies on “Avenida Revolución, Tijuana”

I went to Tijuana once. I drove there with two Hollywood actor friends. We went into this place, Rio Ritas to drink cheap, awful tourist booze. And then we went into a market to buy some colourful mexican blankets. This old man came over to us smiling. He said “how much for the girl” and gestured to me, smiling. My friends burst out laughing. And the man turned to me and said, “do you know Karate?” – I was wearing a shirt that said “Malibu karate.” It was my friend’s. My friend who the man asked to buy me from. So I turned to the man and said, “yeah, I know karate” and smiled. Then he gestures to his pocket “fifteen minutes. For all the change in my pocket.” I tell you, a girl learns a lot of things about how pretty or not pretty she is. But there’s nothing like learning how much you’re worth as a body. That’s my memory of Tijuana. I love the photo, by the way.

Now that’s a new way of looking at it! ;-)

Tijuana is one of those places that writers love to write about. Your picture was so evocative … it made me remember the whole encounter like it was yesterday.

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