Because we will be leaving Arizona at the beginning of August, we thought it was about time we ventured south of the border. Besides, Sonja had never been there and we just couldn't justify living in the Grand Canyon State for nearly two years without going to Mexico at least once. We did have another excuse to go, though, since some friends of ours wanted to throw us a party before we left. I mean, how can you pass up free cake and margaritas??
We didn't go very far into Mexico (I think if we had actually measured the distance we traveled from the border fence it wouldn't even come to a quarter mile), but we were officially on the "other side."
That wall is a depressing reminder of the ugly side of our country's immigration issue. It's also a stark reminder that many Americans view our southern neighbors with a great deal of mistrust and more than a little contempt. But the four of us (we went with Andy and Matt, two friends from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument) all had a great time.
At lunch, the very first thing our waiter brought to our table (before any chips, water, or even menus!) was four shots of one of Mexico's most famous commodities. As a result, Sonja got to "enjoy" her first ever shot of tequila! She was actually disappointed to discover that it didn't really taste like much.
As always (sheesh, I've been to Mexico twice now and I make it sound like I go every weekend), the contrast between the American side and the Mexican side of the border was quite pronounced. Not that you can tell from this picture, but everything just "felt" like we were in another country, even when we were standing right next to the wall, with the U.S. just an easy egg toss away. I can't really explain why, but I like it. Not the obvious poverty that surrounds you, of course, but the sensation that you have crossed an imaginary, yet very real boundary between two completely different worlds. It's an experience far too few Americans get to have.
Too bad the experience crossing the other border (the one we'll be moving next to) doesn't provide the same experience. Unless you count the sudden appearance of Tim Horton's on every street corner and poutine on every menu.
Nah, not the same.