Tijuana has a reputation of being an ugly, crime-ridden no man's land full of homeless drug addicts, drunken debauchery, and violence. I know it was like this in the past, but it is really not like that anymore. Yes, there are unsavory places I wouldn't touch anytime after 7 p.m. But there are places in Portland that are the same way. One of the comments I heard most often before I came here was, 'Isn't it dangerous?!' Well, yes, I suppose there are places that are. But there are also places back home that were the same way.
But Tijuana does have it's nice parts and it's ugly parts. It's ugliest part is of course, traffic. The freeway on ramps and off ramps are rather ambiguous, there are more than a million of us ants coming and going around the roundabouts and rolling through stop signs. The other day as I was driving with Krystal to the Line, I apparently made my own lane because I didn't notice that mine had ended. There are unmarked one way streets and of course there is road construction in downtown, where we just park in the middle of a road because there is no through traffic. I swear, who designed this place?!
The second ugliest thing about Tijuana is the Line. I'm finding myself in the line more and more and I don't even have a job yet. Certain things cost less in the US, especially diapers. One time, I wanted to buy Hector a tool set so he could fix things; I went to the Sears here in TJ to see- they wanted the equavilent of $250 when the same exact tool set was at Sears in Chula Vista for $149. I buy diapers and wipes at Target in the US. I don't know if it is import costs or they just know that there are a lot of people who can't cross over the border that drives the costs of everything up. However, waiting an hour at the border idling your car eats up your gas! And Mexico's national gas company, Pemex, isn't any cheaper than San Diego gasoline and American gasoline is last longer. You know you're in trouble when Arco is good gasoline.