Okay, so it is not like Carnival in The Big Easy, but for about a mile before arriving at the US border at Tijuana, it is a great deal like the sideshow of a big US fair. No matter what you might want – bathroom, water, food, soda, mementos of Mexico – it is there.
There are wooden walls built up about two stories high painted in the bright colors expected in Mexico. Vendors of everything from food to carved crosses, water pots with mugs, and even women dressed up in nursing uniforms with their hair rolled back in styles harking back to the nurses of the 1950’s all looking to make some money. Several lanes are shut down to accommodate the carts of vendors.
I wanted to take some photos, but I figured there would be a charge for it. So I didn’t. Well, I took one, but it wasn’t much to look at.
Some of the same people came by more than once, which either means they don’t take “No thanks.” for an answer or they can’t remember what cars they’ve been by. Probably the latter since it is unlikely they want to waste time trying to draw water from a dry well.
I mostly watched from the corners of my eyes. And because I was doing my best to look disinterested I found myself in a fit of yawning that lasted a good half an hour.
These are hard-working people. They’re the American entrepreneurs of yesteryear. They’re hawking whatever sells – serapes, shaved ice drinks, pottery, statutes, carved wood, cheesy necklaces that look like they came from Carnival. And then, there is the occasional beggar – a person missing an arm or in a wheelchair – not many, though.
The ladies in white uniforms are pristine and remain that way. The men and women selling goods are dogged in their determination to get someone to buy – and I can only imagine people like Horace Greeley applauding from the wings. The crowd dies down around the area where the US takes over the landscape.
I wonder when the vendors come to work; when do they fold up for the night?