David Dodd

David Dodd is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

Down to the letter

Dearest Nancy Cuskaden from Tijuana: U.S. publications don't distribute here in Tijuana. Remember the old days when you could wake up on a Saturday morning and find a stand and get a copy of the Union-Tribune for maybe a quarter more than what you had to shovel into a machine in San Ysidro before you got into the trolley with a cup of java before work on the weekdays? That was swell, but it wasn't legal. Like yourself, I sure miss those days. Sadly, they're over. It isn't terrorism, although it's about the same thing, isn't it? We just want to read the news, dammit! Here's the thing: Back in the day, a couple of people would go over the border early in the morning and put some change into one or two or three of those machines, slake a bunch of freshly-printed newspapers out, and bring them here. Not anymore. I can't tell you empirically that this happens now (only that my expat pals share in your frustrations), but I strongly suspect that the Mexican Aduanas (Customs Officials) have put a stop to it. I mean, I remember the days when we could bring anything into this lovely Country, but now it appears that they are serious about checking out our baggage. I'm no expert, but I suspect it has more to do with money that with terrorism. For example, I have what I call a 'hobo-cart' (not to be offensive toward hobos, but these things come in very handy), and I can load that sucker up with groceries from Food 4 Less and have no issues. But hell, I get the special-buy on two cartons of cigs from Duty-Free on the way in, and they go nuts. Seriously. Even though I had my gal with me, they demanded that we had to have separate receipts for the cartons. There were even Mexican Marines with big giant guns to ensure our compliance. I imagine this is our future here, Nancy. Sucks to be us, but we do enjoy the great food, the awesome beer, and a sense of liberty within this Big Metal Fence that most of our pals outside of here can't comprehend. And, we have the internets, which is likely the future of paper-print (which I will passionately miss), so it's not all bad. Unless you live in the hotel I have lived at for the past couple of years, in which case, we're screwed. But you're not alone, we ALL notice this here. The times, they are-a-changing.
— June 10, 2015 9:37 p.m.

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