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Better than "211", and my budget is $40 a month. My food pantry accepts food and medicine donations. Dr. John Kitchin, Ph.D.
Tijuana is Now Open 24/7, Just Like it Used to Be!
DONKEY CARTS, THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FUTURE, AS SOON AS WE RUN OUT OF GASOLINE.
Caution: In Tijuana, it is more likely for the police or taxi drivers to rob you than others.
June 22, 2013 - Tried to help an old man lost in Tijuana this morning. He had become disoriented and asked help finding the way back to the US. I showed him the direction, and even landmarks on the US side. He went a ways, saw a Mexican sign pointing him in the wrong direction, and believed the sign. I tried to straighten him out, pointing out that the official signs are intentionally wrong. He did not believe me, and is still continuing south to get into the United States from Mexico. He refused to listen.
New Section on the Red Light District, Bottom
Hong Kong Gentleman's Club, see article below, or visit their website at www.hktijuana.com. As many as 30 nude dancers at the same time, on as many as 15 different stages. Open 24 Hours. Calle Coahuila (Street Number Zero), 1.7 blocks west of Revolucion (Main St.) Viagra sold on-premises, no prescription required. All prostitutes have an ample supply of condoms and are licensed and certified by the government to be free of venereal diseases. Standard Union Rate is $500 Pesos, about $40 Dollars, for a half hour, with the hotel room extra. Many specialty women, such as dancers, make up to twice that much. Hong Kong is the ONLY club in Tijuana that allows sex with the Dancers. (Nude dancers accumulate a huge amount of love, and can give that off sexually.)
Hotel Nelson, under the Arch, has a great shrimp cocktail.
La Placita (Avenida Revolucion between 3rd and 4th) is a Mexican restaurant that took up the slack when Sanborn's (like Denny's) went belly-up next door. I go in for a pancake Grand Slam, eating it next to people enjoying rancheros with chilaquiles. They have a full sit-down liquor bar, too. Tortillas are from scratch, and orange juice is squeezed by hand. Visa and Mastercard. Open 'til midnight. 2 doors down from the casino.
Good food on the road? Eat where the truck drivers eat. Or the tourism authors.
What do people ask about the most? It is usually the famous
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
AN ARTICLE ON THE HONG KONG CLUB FOLLOWS, BELOW:
Adelita' Bar is the best in live strippers and the finest prostitutes locally.
Right now, there are planned events at Adelita's, above, where customers will be permitted to purchase sex with genuine centerfold models. Hong Kong does that.
Al Capone's Chicago Club was founded by the notorious gangster many years ago.
La Valentina (above right) and Tropical (below left) are traditional Mexican whorehouses, for upscale Mexicans, and not suggested for tourists.
The Tijuana Playboy Club once again operates 24 hours a day.
Hong Kong Men's Club surpasses Adelita's (also an excellent place, plus no cover) because Kong is a full "Men's Club" and not just another whorehouse. There are 6 stages of live completely-nude (vagina and all) women performing, bathtubs and showers for Hollywood bathing scenes, waitresses running around without clothing, women giving men sex at the bar (or on the bar, or under the bar) and much more. There are private rooms, private club areas for members of various offshoot clubs, private booths, private tubs, and us photographers to help you remember and document your experiences with Miss September, as she also signs a copy of her centerfold, for your memories. (Show your buddies her signed centerfold and they will laugh and not believe you, but I'll shoot you 24 great photos of you doing her.)
If you want to grab a High Priestess who also performs, you can grab her right after a performance and have her in the back room. I have a Press Pass, which allows me to shoot pictures of this zoo. Resembles a British Whorehouse from the time of William Shakespeare. Here, titty-titty. Cabbies in the US call it "Whores-R-Us", a sort of Adult Toys-R-Us.
Reservations and Website at www.hktijuana.com
Helpful hint: The telelphone Area Code in San Diego is 619, 858, or 760. In Tijuana, it's 664, but you have to dial 01152 first, if calling from the US. There is also an Area Code with phones on both sides of the border, Area Code 044. Calling out of Mexico into the US involves dialing 0 (zero) first, and then the number exactly the way you dial it in the United States, WITH the "1". So, 1-999-555-2000 becomes 01-999-555-2000. Some phone booths require one extra zero at the beginning, too.
Emergency Tourist Phone Number is 078. Regular 911 Service in Mexico is 066. 078 is the Secretary of Tourism, and has the authority to order the cops to let you go! FBI-Mexico is 088 (extortion).
Left: Once open 24 hours for liquor sales, Kentucky Derby Liquors is feeling the pinch of the new laws that prohibit same. Right: Tijuana Station Bar, part of the Av. Revolucion scene.
CLUB 41 • GAY COUNTRY AND WESTERN BAR •
FREE SHOT OF TEQUILA FREE MALE STRIPPERS FREE MASSAGE, AND WOMEN WELCOME, TOO!
18 AND OLDER TO DRINK REAL men like to suck other men!
Avenida Revolucion, half a block south of the Arch. Park at Soriana, half block farther south. Left lane as you cross the border, and take first left exit. 4 blocks to parking at 3rd & Rev.
8 PM to 2 AM, closed Mon. & Tue. Phone from USA: 011-52-(664) 686-0435.
Safe Tours of Tijuana Are Possible.
A good tourism author warns of all possible scams, problems, potential problems, and so on. I'm very brutal, for your own good. Gives you confidence and understanding, to overcome your fears of visiting developing nations. Most US people are afraid of visiting Mexico, but you have an advantage if you understand how it all works. I am maximally nasty, so your trip won't be.
Since I get asked about Adelita's, the Hong Kong Club, and the Chicago Club a lot, I will eventually do information on them. It's complicated, but all part of tourism.
It'll never be as safe as visiting San Diego, but it'll also be way more interesting and unusual! I cover only the basics, and was a San Diego cab driver for years, specializing in tourism, TJ included. Most important tips:
1.) Leave your car at home! Otherwise, you need Mexican auto insurance, a security guard to watch your vehicle at all times, and even then it will be vandalized in less than 3 minutes, guaranteed! Plus, the return trip by car across the border takes hours. And, if you have a car accident in Mexico, you go to jail, automatically, even if you have insurance! CONTINUED AFTER ADVERTISING:
MATRIX INTERNET CAFE, Tijuana: Rent a computer with high-speed connection, running Windows XP in English! English keyboard, color printer, ice cream, candy, soda pop. 45 minutes for $1 US. 5th and Revolucion, Safe Tourist Area.
2.) Don't park your car within five miles (8 km) of the border. Desperate dope addicts will steal it. Downtown San Diego, maybe. East of there, no. South of there, no. CONTINUED AFTER ADVERTISING:
BEER AND TACOS IS LOCATED AT THE WEST END OF THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE FROM USA. 3 TACOS AND 3 BEERS FOR JUST $3.50! Cross the border, find the McDonald's, take the huge walkway to the other side of the shopping mall, and THERE'S THE BRIDGE! $1 BEERS, 3 TACOS FOR $1, YOU MUST BE 18 TO DRINK ALCOHOL. CROSS THE BRIDGE! BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
3.) Take the Blue Line Trolley south to the end of the line, San Ysidro Border Crossing. Follow everybody across the bridge and into Mexico, thru the turnstiles.
4.) On your left are the customs offices for health, immigration, motor vehicles, etc. You don't need a tourist visa ($20) unless you'll be staying some time.
5.) Straight ahead is the tourism office. They are helpful. The turnstiles near the tourism office are for the Yellow Cab area. Very expensive, a whole $5 just to go 7 blocks to Downtown Tijuana! Quality cabbies, though, and tourism-based. (Yellow Cab now offers "cooperative" service, shared cabs from the border to Downtown, $10p per passenger, which is about 80 cents each. A good deal!)
6.) The taxi drivers at Tijuana International Airport can work both sides of the border, so remember that they can get you back to your car or hotel in just one cab.
7.) Also remember these two phone numbers: 066 is Mexico's 911 number. And, 078 is the Office of Tourism Assistance. The Secretary of Tourism has the authority to order the police to let you go!
8.) Visit Mexico only during daylight hours, and only the main tourism area, Avenida Revolucion. Going more than one block off that street can get you killed. Really. The area north of the Arch is the Red Light District, in the 3 blocks or so between the Arch and the US border fence. That's called Zona Norte, and you will probably die if you enter there. (I'm exaggerating, of course, as I don't want you to think it's safe. It's a cocaine and heroin sales area, and not for beginners!)
9.) Revolucion has every service, from fine restaurants to beaneries, and from fine bars to dives. Also, leather, crafts, clothing, sporting goods, gambling, and much more. Caliente has off-track horse betting, wagers on sports games, and a casino with slot machines. Prostitution is legal in Tijuana, but has to be "refined". That is, overt pandering is only permitted in the Red Light (Machine Gun) District.
10.) Revolucion goes from the Arch, First Street (Articulo 123) to about Tenth Street. Almost everything is fake and a scam, but Mexicans believe that tourists go to Tijuana because they enjoy being scammed by experts. Really. Buy some "real" gold or silver, made out of zinc. Or, how about a "genuine" Mexican blanket, made in China?
11.) I like the shrimp cocktails at the Hotel Nelson outdoor restaurant, under the Arch, and often drink a beer in one of the bars on First St. You can buy fireworks (cohetes) a block east of the Arch, but don't try to bring any back, as that's a big felony. Mexican fireworks are very heavy-duty explosives, same as a bomb!
12.) You can bring back a quart or liter of booze, duty-free, plus a carton of cigarettes. No meat, plants, animals, fruits, or vegetables, with some exceptions.
13.) There are free concerts on weekends at the Arch, and the grocery store (Soriana) between 2nd and 3rd and Revolucion often gives away free alcoholic cocktails and mixed drinks, Sat. & Sun. afternoons. That would be extremely illegal in the USA!
14.) Prostitutes, if that appeals to you, get $40 per half hour, (often much less nowadays), hotel room additional. Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra are over-the-counter in Mexico, no prescription required, but over 90% of all prescription-type drugs sold are fake. That's why it's illegal to fill prescriptions in Mexico. Beautiful packaging, with no active ingredients, or maybe a tiny bit. Wonderful holograms and colors.
15.) All medical, dental, liposuction, massage, barber, etc., services are virtually unregulated. You need at least 3 days of college to call yourself an "M.D." One guy I know that's a plumber and a physician tells me that plumbing certification takes more money and more education than being a doctor! (A handful are extremely good, and better than most in the USA, they being either too honest or too progressive, which limits them to foreign countries only.)
16.) Tipping: NEVER tip a bartender, waiter, waitress, or cab driver! These are the best-paid jobs in Mexico! Tip the postman, gas station attendant, police?, and mall parking lot security. Tip the grocery store bagger, who works free except for tips. Same with the parking lot attendants. Police who give you directions or help can be tipped, but a maximum of one dollar, to avoid bribery charges.
17.) Calling the USA requires adding the digits "00" to how you would ordinarily dial the call. Isn't that easy? So, now the phone number 1-608-555-1212 becomes 00-1-608-555-1212. Easy enough? It's my job as a tourism author to figure this out, and make it simple for you! Add only one "0" if calling long distance within Mexico (from Mexico to Mexico.)
18. The KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, and Carls Jr. are close to US standards, but have no Value Menu. Little Caesar's Pizza does have several locations in TJ, with a $5 hot-and-ready pizza, same as the US! Expect things to cost a lot more in Mexico, usually double, because of the corruption. The exceptions are rent (including hotels), gasoline, alcohol, tobacco, prostitutes, antibiotics, many fruits, labor, land or real estate, propane, stolen merchandise, taxicabs and buses, and bakery items (sweet rolls, breads, tortillas.)
The exchange rate hurts, too. Many multi-national companies base the exchange rate at five cents per peso, even tho a peso is worth about eight cents. More at Item 30.
19.) The Duty-Free stores cost more money than going to Costco or Wal-Mart, so don't bother. Taxes and duties are almost zero.
20.) Two hours before sundown, start getting your ass out of Mexico! (After dark, leftover tourists are used for dog food...not really.) Darkness can be deadly in parts of TJ. I personally get robbed once in awhile!
1.) If you get drunk and drive, you are committing a serious felony, worse than murder. You left your car at home, right? No problem, as hotel rooms go for $6 a night, really. Good rooms from $8 a night, and deluxe ones $10 a night. I'm not kidding. Of course, the sign sez $30, but that's only for suckers! You wouldn't believe how many US tourist suckers there are! My friend works as a hotel desk clerk, and gets a sales commission when he finds a sucker willing to pay $20 for a room! When the desk clerk costs you 30 cents an hour, and the hotel maids cost you 25 cents and hour, and you bought the entire hotel, with furniture, for just $3,000, including the real estate and land, well, prices are low.
22.) ATM's work in Mexico, as do credit cards, but the bank fees are so steep that both are rare in many places. Pesos are worth about 8 cents each, so a $100p note is about an $8 bill. And a $50p note is a $4 bill. That leaves the $20p paper note worth $1.60, and the $10p coin worth about 80 cents. It is joked that not even God takes plastic in Mexico; the truth is that credit cards make corruption easier to track, and thus more difficult to get away with.
23.) The forbidden stuff: Cigarettes can be had as low as $10 ($130p) per carton, or a dollar a pack. Tequila, $1 for a small bottle. Beer, $1.50 per quart. Heroin is $4 ($50p) for a needleful, used mostly by ordinary people in chronic pain, as opposed to dope addicts. They eventually get addicted. Marijuana is about one-quarter of the US price, and available everywhere, but is a narcotic, and posession of any large quantities means prison time. Trying to bring dope into the US from Mexico is absolutely impossible, resulting in everyone who tries it being caught. Combination of dope dogs, electronic sniffers, and low-power X-ray, all of which are used without people crossing even knowing about it! There are also automatic scanners for weapons and such. Crack cocaine is sold one block north of the Arch. Get caught with a bunch, and you'll do one thousand years in a Mexican prison, with no amount of lawyers nor money saving you! A small amount of pot, heroin, or crack, tiny bit, is entirely legal, however. Keep it small! Too much of any drug, and you go to prison forever, and that makes your butt-hole extra-wide! You don't want that! Medical marijuana ID cards offer no protection at all in Mexico. And bribes don't either, now that TJ has a new, very honest, police force. By the way, that other "forbidden" thing, prostitution, is available everywhere in Tijuana, and not just the Red Light District. In Zona Norte, the area between the Arch and the US Border, a prostitute can hang around naked, pander, and even grab your private parts. Only there. The rest of TJ, a prosti needs to be "clean" and "refined". $40 (and often less) for a half hour of sex, the hotel room $4 or more extra. Mexico is the only place I've been where it is actually possible to buy tantric massage, and even tantric ("with love") sex! Both very expensive. Try the Hong Kong Club, and ask the management who they've got who is gnostic, plus both performs and does prostitution. I know they exist, as one of them advertises on this web-page.
24.) Since most prescription drugs require no prescription in Mexico, travel in a group, and be careful. Anybody can get ahold of any heart, lung, diabetes, or other drug, and put it into your coffee. Take your drink with you when you go to the restroom, or have somebody in your group guard it. Date rape drugs sell for about a dollar a pill. They're sedation dentistry pills, where you'll do absolutely anything for 4 hours, and then completely forget about the whole event.
The not-so-funny joke is that the worst thing that can happen to you in Tijuana is for you to wake up in a whorehouse, with your butt hurting really bad, and discover a sign next to the bed that you are tied down to that reads: "Fuck a gringo up the ass. Ten bucks." 100 date-rape pills for $33, or 3 for a dollar, wholesale.
25.) Street food vendors often don't have licenses, so you can easily get hepatitis, or even botulism, from a hot dog cart. Use indoor restaurants. Too much water running thru cat poop on rooftops, that then drips off the roof, onto food. This usually happens when the cart is being wheeled to or from its daily work station.
26.) The paint on railings, floors, walls, fences, etc., is lead paint, so leave the children at home, especially the young ones. Or, if old enough, educate the kids on the dangers of lead paint. Causes permanent stupidity in children. Carob is often used instead of chocolate, for children, as the latter contains lead. And, of course, never get your car (or anything else) painted in Mexico! Everyone lies and sez that their particular paint is safe, but bring a test kit!
27.) Several other tourism areas are also safe in Tijuana, such as the Zona Rio Mall. The area between the border and any tour area is super-dangerous, however. You might consider going by taxi from Avenida Revolucion to the Mall, followed by later taking a taxi from the Mall to the Border. Zona Rio Mall is as large and complete as any ordinary US shopping mall, but with lower prices!
28.) Return trip? Get into the very long line. If you want to wait even longer, pay $5 to cross the border in a bus or van! They go right up to the border, instantly, and then wait several hours before being permitted to cross. The huge pedestrian line takes an hour or less, usually.
29.) It is best to cross the border with a passport, because without one, you may need to wait an hour or two for your citizenship to become verified. Slows things down. A Passport Card can be purchased for $50 from San Diego County, Downtown office, on Pacific Highway.
30.) Currency exchange: Look for the highest low number of the two, or the lowest high number. The rate is specified in pesos per dollar, or the number of pesos that equals a buck. 1283 means 12.83 pesos is a dollar. That makes each peso worth 7 cents or so. The low number of the two is used when you are trading in dollars to buy pesos. The high number is for trading in pesos to buy dollars. The higher the number, the less a peso is worth. The lower the number, the less a dollar is worth. So, a quoted rate of 1250-1300 means a dollar will buy you 12.50 pesos. And that you need 13.00 pesos to buy a dollar. The difference between the two is the exchange guy's profit.
The problem comes when the rate fluctuates. All prices go up in Mexico with a low peso, and then never, ever, go back down. So, the exchange rate fluctuations produce only inflation. Right now, most prices in Mexico are based upon 16 pesos per dollar, which is the worst the exchange rate ever got in recent memory. Fast food chains base their prices on 19 pesos per dollar. Yet, when you buy pesos right now, you only get 12.5 or 13 of them for your dollar. Sad, isn't it? The peso needs to go to, say, 16, and then stay at exactly that, forever. Best possible scenario. In truth, you need to carry both dollars and pesos in Tijuana, and pay in whatever currency you consider a better deal on the particular item being purchased. That way, if the amount of dollars is too high, pay in pesos. And, if the amount of pesos is too high, pay in dollars. You can do that if you have them both!
THE FOLLOWING IS INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TOURISM:
31.) Your homework assignment is to plan a daylight-hours trip to Tijuana, being careful to be safe. Weekends are better than weekdays, but either is okay. I'm hard on TJ? I have to be. Otherwise you could get hurt. Plenty more you have to know before you tackle Zona Norte or the beach.
32.) The Mexican "Neighborhood Watch" program consists of allowing certain homeless people to camp out, in return for protecting your street, keeping out other homeless, and calling the cops when necessary. They're outside of your fenced yards, and there by permission. You help to feed, clothe, and even bathe them. You give them a few bucks to spend. They also make money selling dope. Yes, dope!
People in chronic pain need medicine. In the US, that means seeing a doctor and getting a prescription for painkillers. Or, perhaps getting a hospital IV, or whatever. In Mexico, you must usually buy your pain medicine from a dope dealer. This means that you may have to sell heroin in order to come up with enough money to buy heroin to kill your own pain. Bad leg? Constant pain? Join the Mexican Neighborhood Watch.
My alley, Tercera (3rd) Callejon (Alley) Zeta (Z), where the Tijuana Rescue Mission is located, has an alley manager, who always knows who's been there, if the utility meters have been read, and whether or not the once-a-month mail has been delivered. He or she knows the sports scores, latest news, cops, and even the intel police. Town crier.
Back in Old England, estates kept a recluse, or game manager (hobo), allowing him to camp with his family in the forest, as a back-up security guard. Same in Spain, and so the custom in Mexico. Sometimes the gardener had a similar arrangement. Even today, in the east San Diego communities of Alpine and Blossom Valley, this is often the case.
33.) Now, try a slightly more difficult trip, walking into Tijuana and going over the Pedestrian Bridge: Get off the Trolley, go over the Customs Building Bridge, turn right, go thru the turnstiles into Mexico. Passing Mexican Customs, turn right at the tourism office. Go thru those turnstiles and there will be a McDonald's restaurant across the street on your left.
To the left of the restaurant, and continuing in from the street a whole city block is:
PLAZA VIVA TIJUANA: A liquor store specializing in tourism, 7 drugstores, also tourist, a currency exchange business, and 2 great restaurants, one with a bar and dancing!
And, continuing to the other end of the mall, there's the PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE to Downtown Tijuana!
34.) At the end of the bridge, you can see the Downtown Arch, and at that arch begins the heart of the Tourism District. To return home, find the Arch, turn right/east (the walkway), and follow it straight ahead to the Bridge.
After the Bridge, aim for the McDonald's restaurant, crossing directly across the street, to the Caliente Off-Track Sports Betting and the Yellow Cab area. 3 more pedestrian freeway bridges to cross, and you can get in line for the border. You can see it from the bridges, on your left, the brown building past the TV screens.
(International Public Domain)
John Kitchin, NZ9F.com
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