I'm traveling to Tijuana!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    As some of you know I will be in Tijuana, Mexico for a week later this month. I've never been, and was wondering, what is that part of Mexico known for, in so far as shopping? Are there any specific bargains for which I should be looking, such as: leather shoes, handbags, jewelry, pottery, textiles?

    I've heard Mexico is as cheap as Canada for some meds. Is that true? Is it even safe to buy a prescription med south of the border? :confused:

    I'm not a big drinker, but I would like to bring back a nice bottle of Tequila for my cousin. All I know is 'Cuervo.' What's the name of a good tequila I could be on the look out for when in Tijuana?

    Also, I don't speak Spanish. :redface: Are there any phrases which would be helpful for me to know? Thanks to Rico27 I know how to say, "cuanto cuesta?" :smile: You can tell this isn't a business trip, as the first thing I thought, of was how will I communicate when shopping? :lmao:
     
  2. HazelGod

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    Tijuana is known for one thing: donkey shows. Don't miss it!
     
  3. D_Ivana Dickenside

    D_Ivana Dickenside New Member

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    omg be careful!!!! TJ can be a lot of fun but it's also very dangerous! if you end up in the wrong part of town there's no telling what could happen. BE CAREFUL!!! my advice is to stay in the touristy areas (like revoluccion blvd) where there's a lot of people around because you'll be safer. most people speak english there and you won't have any trouble getting around. there's tons of americans in the tourist areas, as well as more police officers too. ohhh and whatever you do, don't drink the water! it's... not the healthiest. buy all your drinks bottled, even at restaurants.

    a few other things:
    -for tequila, go with cuervo or patron.
    -make sure you brush up on your bargaining skills, and bargain all you can even if the prices are rock bottom.
    -people drive like assholes in TJ, take a taxi instead.

    and a few phrases to remember:
    ¿donde esta el baño? = where is the bathroom?
    ¿cuanto cuesta? = how much does this cost?
    muchos gracias = thank you!
    de nada = you're welcome!

    have fun, and BE SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. HazelGod

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    Ugh, don't bother. The stuff worth drinking gets exported to here and other Western nations. If you're just wanting a gag gift, find him a bottle of local mezcal with a worm in the bottom.




    Donde esta la zapateria? - Where is the shoe store? :rofl:
    Donde estan los banos? - Where are the restrooms?
    Que hora es? - What time is it?
    Gracias - Thank you
    de nada - You're welcome (literally: it's nothing)
    Un poquito mas... - Just a little more...
    Ay, papi! Sangre mi culo! - Ow, daddy! My ass is bleeding!
     
  5. D_one and done

    D_one and done New Member

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    hola- *pronounced o-la* hello

    donde esta....?- *pronounced don-day es-tah* where is....

    la calle- *pronounced ka-jay* street

    el centro commercial- *pronounced ko-mer-see-al* mall

    derecha- *pronounced day-ray-cha* right (direction)

    izquierda- *pronounced ease-key-air-da* left (direction)

    por favor- *pronounced pour fah-vor* please

    muchas gracias- *pronounced moo-chas grah-see-ahs* thank you

    mesero/mesera- *pronounced may-sair-o/a* waiter/waitress

    puedes ayudarme?- *pronounced pway-des ah-you-dar-may* can you help me?

    necesito.... - *pronounced neh-seh-see-toe* i need....

    quiero.... - *pronounced key- yair-o* i want....

    comida- *pronounced ko-me-da* food

    ropa- *pronounced row-pah* clothes

    este- this (as in "i want this" which is "quiero este")

    eso- that (as in "i want that" which is "quiero eso")

    camisa- *pronounced ka-mee-sa* shirt

    pantalones- *pronounced pan-tah-low-nays* pants

    falda- *pronounced fall-duh* skirt



    limited spanish lol tried to use as many easily relatable sounds as i could in the pronunciations. hope that helps NJQT. hope you have a nice trip :biggrin1:
     
  6. Principessa

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    Okay, Senor Funny Man, how do I say:
    You are so handsome, are you married?
    Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
    Please be gentle, it's my first time. :wink:
    It will too fit in a condom! :rolleyes:
     
  7. D_one and done

    D_one and done New Member

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    i like where this thread is headed :lmao:

    *takes notes*
     
  8. Principessa

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    *BUMP*
     
  9. musclebare9

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    Mexico is a third-world country. Don't picture a US city. There are only a few main streets that are safe for tourists. Once you go beyond that, the streets are in poor condition and the houses are worse. Most have bars in the windows. I was only there for one day. I am a big guy and don't fear much of anything but I wouldn't want to go beyond the tourist areas at night. The one day that I was there allowed plenty of time to see all that was available, I can't imagine being there for a full week. I am not a shopper so you may take longer. Everyone that I cared to talk to (mostly shop owners) spoke English. This city exists off of American tourists they have to speak english. I bought some stuff with a credit card and found that all of the billing was well-handled when I got home. The shops I dealt with were aware of the exchange rates and helpful in giving me pricing in US dollars. As in many other countries, the written price is not the final price. They expect some negotiating.
     
  10. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    NJQT-
    This is what I got from freetranslation.com for your search for the tequila;

    Do you have a brand of tequila here called CUERVO?
    Tiene usted una marca de tequila aqui llamo CUERVO?

    Does anyone carry this Tequila?
    Lleva cual quiera uste Tequila?

    I'll take the CUERVO Tequila
    Tomare el tequila CUERVO.


    I might've gotten the translation mixed up.


    Check the site for more.Free Translation and Professional Translation Services from SDL
     
  11. D_Roland_D_Hay

    D_Roland_D_Hay Account Disabled

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    NJ, you will have a great time...just like any "city"...there are good parts and places to stay away from. Common sense has to dictate your time there. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. There are some beautiful side trips and good places to eat. The hotel should be able to guide you in the right direction.

    As far as tequila goes..cuervo and patron can be bought in the US. Seems silly to carry it back when you can get it here. A lot of the places that sell tequila will let you try it...go for something you can't get in the US. While I was in Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I bought Dickbell. Never tried it before until I went into the store that sold it...several samples later I bought three bottles..agave, reposado and green agave. Have fun sampling the liquor!

    Prescriptions can be much cheaper and bought without prescription...I say let the buyer beware. I know people who buy their medication from Mexico and other central american countries with no problems at all. It is what you are comfortable with!

    Shopping can be done in English...just start at the lower end and work up to a price you feel is comfortable. Just remember to not get ugly...I have seen people try to bargain at totally unreal prices. These guys and gals have to make a living too...if I see something of interest, I hit several places (they all see pretty much the same thing) to see where I can get a better price. Leather goods are inexpensive and decent quality.

    Have fun and let us know about your adventures!
     
  12. dong20

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    It's been a long time since I spoke much Spanish so these may be rough.

    Pareces tan guapo, ¿estás casado?
    Es que un arma en el bolsillo, ¿o simplemente felices de verme?
    Por favor, sea amable, es mi primera vez.
    Es NO demasiado grande para un condón (roughly, I think - could be por not para)

    You may also need :

    Me traiga más cerveza por favor -bring me more beer please
    Por favor, retire su mano de mi culo - Please remove your hand from my ass

    and lastly,

    Si, realmente tengo un machete en mi bolsa - yes, I really do have a machete in my handbag.


    Buen viaje!
     
  13. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Tijuana??? Wow. I've been in/through it at least 50 times. Very poor, very dirty, be smart, don't venture out much at night. Be sure to head take the road up along the border, past the bullring and hit the playas between TJ and Ensenada. The toll road is a beautiful smooth drive.

    I've NEVER heard of anyone going there to visit/vacation for a week...interesting.
     
  14. midlifebear

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    Trust me on this, I'm quite certain I know Tijuana much better than almost anyone who is a member of LPSG (unless they live there).

    1. Donkey Shows: Yes, they once existed. But Avenida Revolución, the main shopping drag, no longer has hucksters trying to get you to to see one. Why? In an effort to clean up the city, the mayor of Tijuana had these unseemly places shut down. Besides, you needed to take an "iffy" taxi ride just to get to some odd barrio and pay too much money for an entrance fee plus $5 drinks. It was always a risk and never a safe thing to do. But they did exist at one time.

    2. Tequila: 'Mericuhns tend to think Jose Cuervo is THE tequila to drink. This is primarily because it used to be the only tequila available in the USA. It's not so great, although many do like it. It's not made of 100% blue agave plant. It's more like a blended bourbon. For about $22 (or may be $16) you can buy a bottle of Hornitos Repasado Tequila. It is a light, clear liquid with an even lighter clear green tint. This is GOOD tequila. It's probably the cheapest good tequila you'll be able to afford. Because you'll be going back across the US border, the State of California only allows you 1 quart or 1 litre of alcohol. They may let you take two bottles with you.

    3. Avenida Revolución has been paved in pink concrete and narrowed into a paetonal (walking street) with only one-way (sometimes two way) traffic. It used to be four lanes with six lanes of cars cramming up and down it, which was much more fun. There are leather stores along Revolución that will have exactly the same goods as all the other stores. You'll need to check the cross streets going west to locate an actual store that manufactures leather goods. However, if you have the figure for it, Tijuana IS THE PLACE to buy a one-piece off-the-shoulder-strapless 100% leather cocktail dress. Black and red are very popular. They run about $85 to $100.

    4. Medications:
    If you have a prescription written by a USA physician (not just a prescription bottle) you can bring back 90-days worth of that medication as long as it is not a narcotic or member of the benzodiazepam family (Valium). However, if you have an empty prescription bottle of Valium, there's no reason not to take it with you, buy a box of Valium, then pop out all of the 100 pills in blister-packed pills into your prescription bottle. Sometimes the customs agents will want to argue with you by claiming that the generic stuff in you prescription bottle is actually stuff you bought in TJ and therefore illegal. Don't argue with them. They are looking for any excuse to cause you or anyone else grief. More about that later.
    5. Street jewelry and you're own shopping karma: Street vendors are ruthless and every time you stop or turn around there will be some guy with arms loaded with gold or silver chains and boxes of jewelry. Some of the silver stuff is Sterling. None of the gold-colored stuff is more than 14 carat, if that. The more you say "no" the lower the prices continue drop. Be prepared for all of your girlfriends for whom you buy bracelets or necklaces to develop green skin and rashes around the wrists and necks. Best way to avoid this is to visit a real jewelry store stuck on street level in one of the shopping galleries.

    6. Food: Sanborns (there are now two of these famous restaurants) are your best bet for sampling authentic and delicious Mexican food without worry of getting ill. The best Sanbourns is just south of the Jai Lai court towards the end of Avenida Revolución. The worst one is somewhere in the middle of the shopping area. It was once a Dennys.

    Crossing the border: In my opinion, every 'Mericuhn citizen should be required to walk from the creaking, rotating gates at the border, past all of the Mexican police inspection stations, past the taquerias (they smell great, but only for those with strong stomachs) through the 1970's-1980's newish area built by the city fathers of TJ to entice more tourism (they are now mostly the closest discos for USA teens to get to on weekends, drink, and then puke in their shoes), walk up the steps of the bridge that crosses the Tijuana River (occasionally one can see a dead body or two), cross the old brigde, and eventually wander to the entrance of Avenida Revolución and it's cross street where all of the main tourist shopping originally began. If you like to walk, do it.

    Take a Mexicoach: From the huge parking lots that line the USA/México border you can park for $8 or $10 a day which includes a round-trip ticket on Mexicoach. These are nice red buses plastered with the word MEXICOACH on them. They will take you from the parking lot to a bus station in the center of Avenida Revolución, which itself is a huge shopping mall that leads to the main drag. Once you've had your fill of TJ, you return to this shoppingmall/bus terminal and they will ferry you back to your car. However, regardless of how you plan to return to the USA be prepared to sit or stand and wait for about an hour or more. The traffic back into the USA is often backed up for a couple of miles. On weekends it can be backed up for 5 miles. If you're on a Mexicoach (or similar transport) you'll be required to get off the bus at the border, go through customs (ahead of all of those standing in line), show your Passport or whatever ID they require these days, declare your citizenship, let them screen your loot, then stand outside of the border patrol building at the end of the San Diego Trollely line waiting for that damn Mexicoach to make it's way back to where you are now standing. Please be patient. It will show up. It's a long walk from the parking lot where you started from the exit at the border crossing.

    Customs Agents and Border Patrol:
    These folks haven't got the easiest jobs in the world. Most of them are rather pleasant people once you get them alone on your own turf with a cold beer. But they endure nothing but continuous problems with drunks, undocumented families, drunks, teenagers trying to smuggle drugs, drunks, senior citizens who have never been out of Omaha, Nebraska, drunks, and plenty of indignant citizens of the USA who think their shit is made of gold and everyone should bow down to them -- and more often than not, these same patriots are drunk. Did I mention drunks? One of the more amusing evenings/mornings I've spent in my life was standing on the US side of the customs agents watching 'Mericuhn teeagers too drunk to stand blowing chunks all over each other. the had to sober up enough to make it through customs. So, be patient. Customs agents have sort of created a game for themselves by being polite, but curt. If they see a first-timer coming back across the border they will often bark "Citizenship!" It's more of an exclamation than a question. They have a slew of tricks of intimidation for rooting out 'Mericuhns who think they can sneak through the occasional kilo of marijuana, opium, or Levis stuffed with illegal steroids. So, when they yell "Citizenship" just respond with "USA." That's all they are really asking for. And you may need to show them your ID, especially if you're like me and have a Spanish last name. They may or may not want to search your shopping bags.

    You can pick up a list of things you can buy and and the legal amounts which you can bring back across the border at the border crossing. But it's probably easier just to look this info up on-line under US Travel Advisories.

    As for not speaking Spanish. Everyone who works as a sales clerk in a store speaks English. It's a job requirement. However, it never hurts to know how to say please, thank you, and where are the rest rooms.

    Remember, it's all attitude. Shopkeepers and sales clerks will drive you crazy with "Come in and look lady, everything is cheaper than KMart." If you want to enjoy yourself, engage them by asking, "KMart? Do you know how expensive things are at KMart?" and you'll soon be making friends and reasonably good deals.

    Enjoy yourself.


    EDIT: If you'd rather have a more sublime experience, take the Mexicoach to the Mexicoach terminal. Get off and buy a round-trip ticket to Rosarito. Get on the Rosarito Mexicoach and spend the day lurnking in open-air markets with ocean breezes. You can rent a tired horse for a gallop along the beach and drop into any number of pleasant little restaurant/clubs for an adult beverage refreshment. There is also a bar with over 100 brands of tequila you can sample and buy. Plus you have the Pacific Ocean and cool sea breezes to keep you happy.
     
  15. midlifebear

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    Boys Town: Now if Hazelgod wants to talk about Boys Town in Nuevo Loredo, we can discuss many more unsavory things than just Donkey Shows. For I, sheep that I once were, attended the University of Texas, Austin, Texas . . . Austin. . . that's in Texas.
     
  16. HazelGod

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    Mmm hmm...I might have been there a time or two. There's fantastic diving in Lake Amistad, y'know. :wink:
     
  17. RedScrotum

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    Thanx midlifebear, I'm not even planning on going to Tijuana and I found that most informative and interesting.
     
  18. scottish.47

    scottish.47 New Member

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    First off, DON'T GO!!!!!!!! You are going onto a foreign country and it is not part of California. You are on your own down there. As a native Californian, and living only a few miles from the border, unless you have a specific reason to go down there, just stay away from it. Even people I know of mexican heritage, who speak the language, don't go down there. It is unsafe, you have corrupt cops, and if you get involved in any kond of crime, it is arrest everybody and pay your way out. The place scares me, and I see no reason to subject yourself to it. If you want to see Tijuana safely, visit Old Town in San Diego.
     
  19. snoozan

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    From what I understand, going to another country to procure any sort of medicine or medical treatment is a very bad idea, period. Get your scripts at you local Walgreen's and have fun doing whatever else it is you'll be doing down there.
     
  20. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    I second that. Too funny, I've been to that Denny's...

    It's a great compendium... but your work seems more around a day trip from San Ysidro. She's going to be there a week. Ergo Revolucion is one afternoon, and perhaps an evening.
    Thusly, as you point out the day trip, or even better an overnighter to Rosarito Beach (no need to go to Ensenada... although some prefer to continue past and check out La Bufadora).

    Revolucion is for Bart Simpson ceramic dolls, itchy cheap panchos, poor/counterfeit jewelry, dollar mini-Coronas and watered down tequila etc.... with a whole week, it'll be easy to find deals, Plaza Rio is a decent place that comes to mind. Or if you want some great Mexican craftsware (dishes, decor, etc...) get the hell out of downtown TJ.

    Agree Mexicoach is a way to go. I got ditched way out up at the bullring and took the city bus once ... man o man. However, the drive along the toll road to Rosarito/Ensenada is gorgeous, the road is well groomed, very unpopulated, and has great small towns sprinkled along (riddled with American owned properties along it). There are some great craftsman (wrought iron, traditional art) in the "regular" non-beachy part of Rosarito.

    Somewhat in line with Scottish below... I can't imagine EVER recommending someone going to stay there. There are many other non-touristy places for a Mexican experience.... hope you are going to experience with locals whom you know.

    Also, I think Cuervo is popular due to our consumption of margaritas, and our lack of consumption of tequila as an aperitif. I don't mind, but would never prefer sipping Cuervo, yet at the same time wouldn't waste a good tequila in a blended (and probably rocks as well) margarita. Straight up might be a different story ;-) You'd be surprised how many are aware of other brands, much less premium cuts.... every decent bar I've been into across this country seems to carry Patron (love it or hate it), as well as a few other brands. Cuervo is just easy, accessible as you put it.

    I agree that Hornitos Reposado is a value-pick of good tequila. In my experience, the rarer brands becomes a preference between folk. Personally, when I'm there... I go for the premium Mezcal.... smoky, yum.

    Anyways, I wouldn't lug home a bottle of booze, that you can probably find here in the States, unless you live in podunk.... and even then. I have found some gorgeous small batch distillery tequilas that are in absolutely gorgeous bottles, that are usually decent and above tequilas, make for better conversations vs a US distributed brand, and make for a decorative liquor locker/cabinet/row.
     
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