Decades of Mexican drug cartel decapitations all but killed Mexico’s Spring Break industry. But that is changing. This year, a record number of spring breakers are expected to enjoy Mexico’s unadulterated fun. Generations of Americans have done just that beginning in 1920 when America brilliantly outlawed alcohol.
Some Baja California spring break traditions are the same. Papas And Beer, the world famous Rosarito bar with a volleyball court, still has the large Latino bartenders blowing playground monitor whistles, turning co-eds upside down, and pouring a shot of tequila down their throat. Baja municipal police will still shake you down for La Mordida (bribe) when they need some money; the same old rules apply, argue a little bit, offer $40.00 than give them $80.00 and you’re on your way.
Just like the good old days, Certified Pharmacy Technicians sit on wooden stools in front of their Farmacy offering to sell passers-by “Viagra, Oxy, Benzos, – no script required”. Beware that possession of those are illegal in Mexico and Baja police will search you in order to leverage their bribe against you. The police actually searched the inside of one suspects FOB key chain remote, looking for a hidden drug. (Although Viagra does not by law require a prescription in Mexico, the police act otherwise).
Due to Trump’s freefall of the Mexican Peso prices are rock bottom in Mexico right now. You can still find a dirty bar selling a bottle of Tecate beer for one greenback. Three tiny street tacos filed with pickled cow tongue for a buck, and a Styrofoam cup of raw clams drenched in Climato sauce can be had for three smackers if you are willing to risk eating food from a non-FDA street vendor.
Crossing the land border through Tijuana is more of a nightmare than ever. If you cross from San Ysidro INTO Mexico by foot you now must wait in line to be checked in by the Mexican border patrol and show your American passport (Mexico’s payback?). Driving into Mexico is easier, but you will still have to pass Mexico’s border patrol, and will be waived straight through unless they suspect you are smuggling money paid by American heroin addicts, back to the Mexican Cartels. Crossing back to the United States is long wait no matter what; you will be stranded anywhere from 2 to 5 hours on foot or in your car. Unless you have a frequent traveler card (SENTRI) you are stuck in a line accosted by churro and ice cream vendors, and yes, you can still buy an Elvis Presley velour painting.