Friday, June 20, 2014

That's a Bloomin' Big Wall

Having lived in California for coming up to 20 years, and living only about 200 miles from the Mexican border, you would have thought I might have ventured over it once in a while.  But no, I've never actually driven across the border.  Don't get me wrong, I have been to Mexico, but only by plane.  And a jolly good time was has by all, I can tell you.

But there was one time when I very nearly made it across.  Back in the days before we lived here, we came for a holiday to look around and see what we were getting ourselves into.  My dad said we must have the experience of going to Tijuana and seeing the sights... or seeing something.  I think he may have mentioned tequila and perhaps a donkey, but I can't remember that far back, and I'm not sure I want to.

So we all got ready for the big adventure and squeezed ourselves into the car.  Off we tootle down the freeway packed in like sardines.  And we drove... and drove... and drove a bit more.  There wasn't much to see, lots of desert, huge billboards, a few shopping centres dotted here and there and palm trees, lots and lots of palm trees.  After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived in San Diego, just north of the border.  "Not far now" my dad says.  The kids cheer and we all perk up.  "You've got everything we need, right?" he says.  "Including your passports?"

Whaaaa?  Uh oh..we needed passports?  Oopsie... "Umm, I didn't know we needed a passport - I left mine at the house!"  I sheepishly replied.  "You do realize we're going into a foreign country?" my dad says.. "You need a passport to get into Mexico, or at least to get out..."  Well, about this time, I was hoping the car would somehow suck me between the seats never to be seen again.  Yes, I had ruined the trip for everyone - bugger!  Needless to say, we did not cross the border that day and I've never been anywhere near crossing it since.  [Although we did stay in San Diego, have a lot of wine and went to the zoo the next day... don't ask me about the zoo though, because like I said, we had a LOT of wine]

I've had a picture in my mind of what the border looked like - something you see in films where there's a barbed wire fence, a big ditch and lots of dirt, dogs and guns.  Something Steve McQueen could jump over on his motorbike.  (Yes, that was a reference to the Great Escape)
So last weekend, we went to an event close to Jacumba, a tiny, blink and you will miss it town right next to the Mexican border.  As we drove through, you could actually see the border fence.  I was a little surprised at the size.  That thing is huge and there's absolutely no way anyone could crawl under, over or through it, let alone jump it on a bike.  It was amazing, America really, really doesn't want anyone getting in...
Nobody's getting over that thing..

...or so I thought from first glance.  We drove a bit further and as I was taking pictures, this happened...

Unless, apparently, you go over there

Yup, the wall just stopped.  And now I'm confused... I wonder what's at the end of the wall that stops anyone just walking around it?  Actually, I'm not sure I really want to know.  :-(
The nearest thing we have in Britain like that is Hadrian's Wall, and we know how well that works.  You just have to go to Rrafalgar Square when Scotland are playing England to know that wall doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. 
Nope - this isn't stopping anyone!

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