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Words From Adelaide: Mexico

...The urinals were dripping water with such energetic spurts that one would have had to wear a salmon fisherman’s waders to be able to utilize the facility. The attendant stood there, proudly, showing a mouthful of gleaming teeth below his walrus moustache, and armed with a large plumber’s suction pad to signify his area of expertise...

John Powell goes on a day trip to Mexico.

Based on my one-day trip to Mexico over the border from California, it would be unjust to judge the country as we entered through Tijuana and went down the coast to Ensenada and back.

I was informed that the day trip included lunch and a free Margarita. Miss Margarita never showed up, which was a disappointment and they gave us a rotten drink to compensate.

As we pushed on towards Ensanada, from our moving coach, Tijuana seemed a mass of never-ending Gift Shops; many selling the same type of merchandise.

We continued towards Ensanada and, at one stage, stopped on a part of the coastal road, which gave us a wonderful panoramic view down the coast line.

It was decided, unanimously by everyone, to stop on the road at Rosarito, as we all wanted to visit (to us at that moment), the most important location of all – the toilets. They were unique and were most probably designed by Juan Cabrillo himself, when he discovered San Diego in 1542.

The urinals were dripping water with such energetic spurts that one would have had to wear a salmon fisherman’s waders to be able to utilize the facility. The attendant stood there, proudly, showing a mouthful of gleaming teeth below his walrus moustache, and armed with a large plumber’s suction pad to signify his area of expertise.

I chose to use the closet and at once had to call the attendant to remove debris floating like flotsam. He went into action with enthusiasm, waving his suction pad menacingly and, to be fair, dexterously, as he managed to flush the toilet bowl and then motioned me inside the war zone with a triumphant smile, as the water continued to cascade down the toilet bowl. Closing the door I was about to utilize the facility when the person in the next closet flushed his toilet. I paused, intrigued, as I heard a rumbling gurgling sound in the bowels of the earth; a metallic clang, followed by a surge of water like a miniature tsunami. Suddenly a water spout shot up into the toilet bowl then gracefully subsided. Fascinating. A new form of the Mexican Wave.

When I flushed my toilet there was the same rumbling sound, the warning metallic clang but followed, this time, by a very loud yell from the occupier in the next toilet. It at once became apparent to me that Cabrillo was avant-garde in designing a toilet with a built in bidet. He should have patented it. He would have made a fortune.

Apart from the unique toilets, Rosarito also had lovely long, wide sandy beaches, with donkeys and horses for hire should you wish to ride along the water’s edge.
We then continued to Ensenada where, before visiting the Gift Shops, we had a nice lunch at the Casamar Restaurant. Their much-boasted lobster was extra and not included in the cost of the tour lunch. Neither was Miss Margarita who, putting in a belated appearance at last, demanded a fee from any male who tried to establish even polite social contact by speaking to her.

On the return road to Tijuana it was evident that Real Estate development was taking place, except for one stretch of road where it was so sandy that the Government prohibited anyone to build there. The main road was good and the view of the sea on one side was nice but not spectacular, while the mountains opposite were more like hills. Although it is odious to compare but, in this part of Mexico, they fell far short of the beauty of the majestic mountains of Greece or those of the Lebanon.

On the homeward journey, reaching Tijuana again we were introduced to the shops and left to ourselves and the mercy of the merchants. It is a busy, expanding town, with the ‘Mariachi’ dressed in the picturesque black, Mexican clothes with silver braid and silver buttons and large sombreros and holding their guitars; and who will sing for you at the right price, albeit, the right price for them. They were just what the tourists wanted for photographs but to me they were not genuine. But it is a large bustling town nowhere near being underdeveloped, as I had imagined it to be, and where the main industry is fleecing the tourists; while robbing them is their national sport – which is as I had imagined it to be.

To see the real Mexico one must go down south with its wonderful scenery, picturesque towns, interesting Aztec and Mayan ruins, incredible galleries and lovely people.

I am glad I went but I will not be returning unless I can see the real Mexico down south and pay it justice instead of paying the Gift Shops.

Ole; hasta maniana.


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