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Should I run for the border? — CURT YEOMANS

Curt Yeomans

Curt Yeomans

I’ve never been more on the fence about a trip than I am about the one I’m about to take later this month.

The destination is to Anaheim, Calif., and most of the trip is pretty well set. I’m pretty comfortable with most of the trip. I’ll be staying at a very nice — and fairly expensive — hotel about 0.3 yards from the Anaheim Convention Center in south Anaheim.

While many of my trips are solely for pleasure, this one will be a little bit different. It’s for — shall we say — personal business.

And no, that doesn’t mean what you might think it does. I’m not that kind of journalist. Despite appearances, I do have some standards.

It means I have personal business to do in Anaheim and I’ll leave it at that.

Of course, I will get a little bit of downtime while I’m on the left coast which brings me to why I’m on the fence about this trip. Yes, my trip includes some complimentary tickets to Disneyland, but that wouldn’t cover all of my downtime.

You see, I can’t decide if I should take a day trip tour to Tijuana, Mexico.

Let me explain the dilemma. I’ve never been to Mexico, and I’d love to add that to the list of foreign countries I’ve visited. Tijuana would be a great chance because I’d slip in, see the city, probably buy some stuff and slip back to the U.S. in the same day. That makes it very convenient.

On the flip side, there’s been lots of talk in recent years how dangerous the U.S.-Mexican border has been in recent years with drug cartels.

Now let me take a moment here to explain that I am not taking a shot at Mexicans. I happen to have a great deal of respect for Mexicans. I took an entire course on Mexican history in college, and I find the culture to be fascinating.

Did you know the Virgin of Guadalupe is significant not only because it’s an image of the Virgin Mary, but also because it’s seen as a symbol of blending of the native Mexican and European (i.e. Spanish) cultures?

Were you aware that Cinco de Mayo is nowhere near as popular in Mexico as it is in the U.S.? To them, it’s just a minor holiday commemorating a victory over the French. To us, it’s an excuse to get heavily plastered.

Did you also know the Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortez, initially tricked the Aztecs into welcoming him by pretending to be the reincarnation of the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl? Of course, he did the very ungodly act of butchering everyone. His victims included the Aztec ruler, Montezuma, who has been reputedly taking out his revenge on foreign visitors to Mexico ever since.

So, as you can see, I am quite aware of Mexican culture. I am not denouncing Mexican culture. I am simply expressing a concern which stems from news reports in recent years about the drug cartel violence on the border. While much of the attention has been particularly focused the border between Mexico and Texas, I am acutely aware of the concept of branching out and that is what has me worried.

But it’s one day, and while the things I most want to see in Mexico are the Mayan pyramids which are nowhere near Tijuana, I’ll take what I can for now. I have no real interest in seeing Cancun. Although I’d have a better chance of seeing the pyramids, I would think it has too many tourists working on their tans.

If I want to be around people working on their tans, I’ll hang out at a tanning salon. It would spare me the hotel, airfare, transportation and meal expenses.

Tijuana wouldn’t be so bad. I could go down there, enjoy myself, have some alcohol and come back to the U.S. It’s foreign travel on the cheap. Whether I take this day trip or not won’t have an impact on my plans to go to Anaheim. I am going to California regardless of whether I take a side trip to Mexico.

Maybe I’m just being overly cautious for no reason. I don’t know, but the question remains.

Should I go?