February 17 2017
Playas deTijuana Mexico
I am feeling like such a lucky girl! A big storm is blowing in from the Pacific. The wind is loud and rocking my camper trailer around, but Karina, my landlord, just sent over a big bowl of homemade posole! Nothing like a rich hot bowl of soup on a stormy day to make you feel good inside. Posole is a traditional Mexican corn soup made with hominy and pork. All my years of living in the southwest and I have never had it. What a fool!
The rain won’t start until later today, but is expected to be very heavy for several days. I did decide to stay in Playas de Tijuana another month, and that means a lot of the streets around me will be flooded as well as parts of the streets washing away. They still haven’t repaired even the huge holes in the main drag from the storms last month, so I guess they’re just going to wait until the storm season is over. The infrastructure here is still very 3rd world. All morning we’ve had very strong winds (weatherman says high 20s sustained), with gusts up to 60mph! I woke up to my trailer. rocking and rolling like crazy! But I’m safe and warm and this morning Ramon & Katarina took me with them to the store to fill in some gaps, so I have plenty of food (enough to last until I leave, in fact). One of our stops was a tortillaria. It was really interesting to see the mechanized tortilla maker at the back of the store. Warm, freshly made Tortillas are nice with my soup.
I love it in Playas! Laid back, right on the beach, but plenty of shops & close enough to both Tijuana and, over the border, to San Diego that anything you could possibly want is within a short drive. Yes, I do spend most of my time holed up, but that’s what I like to do! Then, when I choose to go out, I like to have all options open to me.
I’m paying $350/mo for this 1 bedroom trailer (includes utilities, cable, and Inet), food is about ⅓ of what I’d pay in San Diego. Uber to the restaurants in Playas is usually less than $2 & a ride into Tijuana itself is around $7.Tijuana has always been a medical destination for Americans & Canadians looking for low prices on dental, eyeglasses, medications, and even surgeries. With these prices I can afford to live in a perfect climate and be within blocks of the beach. Another plus is location. The TIJ airport services Volaris, Interjet, and Aeromexico, with inexpensive flights to Latin America, Carribbean countries, and more, mostly through Mexico City. San Diego airport is a major International airport for going anywhere else. What more could anyone want?
This is definitely going on my ‘places to maybe settle down’ list. When Steve & I lived on the coast in San Diego county all those years, we knew we were in paradise (for us). But I also knew that there was no way I could afford to return. I think I just found it. The wheels are turning.
A couple weeks ago, I went to one of the coffee shops right on the beach. I felt so at home, I started making notes for you guys. “I’m in a dream! Sitting in a hippie cafe right on the beach with an eclectic mix of folk/techno/classic rock music I love and crashing waves in the background. As I breathe deep, I can feel my soul recharge.” I was trying to hold back tears as I sat there, it was so perfect. The sun was thinking about going down & it was beginning to cool, but I was still comfortable sitting outside in a long-sleeved tshirt for an hour or so reading my Kindle. Once it was down, I moved inside to an overstuffed armchair & was glad I’d brought my cape. But I continued to stay. The staff has no problem with it, in fact, they encourage loungers, with a whole wall for book exchanges. I decided to have dinner in addition to the iced chai I started with (best I’d ever had, btw).The pastrami sandwich looked bland, but was excellent and I also splurged on a huge slice of the richest, moistest chocolate bundt cake. $8 total. In fact, I’ve been back a couple times since then and when I put in my order at the counter, they had remembered my name!
Looking north from the cafe, you can see the curve of the beach past the border fence (that does extend into the water, past San Diego harbor, Coronado Island, and the skyscrapers downtown, clear to Point Loma. Looking west, you see islands.the Islas Coronado. Except for a couple lighthouse keepers a a few military, these 4 rocky islands are inhabited only by sea lions and birds. If you have/hire a private boat, I hear the snorkeling is good, too, but the water is too cold for me to try it!
Meanwhile, I’m listening to the rain. Home is where I am.