0589 The Other Side of the Fence (USA 105â€”revisit)
Nogales Travel Blog› entry 13 of 92 › view all entries
Next morning Iâ€™m back in Nogales, taking the long hike from the bus station to the border. This time I stop next to an enormous bust of Donaldo Colosio, a hugely popular presidential candidate who was assassinated-- people believe-- by his own ruling party because they were afraid he might rock the boat too much. Afterwards, that same ruling party turned him into some sort of legend, naming streets and plazas after him all over thc country.
It seems as a fitting spot for my video clip-- a sort of symbol of Mexicoâ€™s confusing and contradictive political past.
I continue on, and take another video clip in front of the statue of an indian spearing a giant bat.
And then I reach a little plaza, and a tiny little â€śtourist trapâ€ť strip with a few restaurants and souvenir shops for the few tourists that dare to venture here despite all the travel advisoriesâ€¦
And across the border to the USA.
Nogales, Arizona is small and pretty boring compared to its southern counterpart. Thereâ€™s a shopping strip which clearly caters to Mexican shoppers.
And there are a handfull of buildings that do seemed to be relics of a bygone era. One is a free museum, so I go to check it out. It contains a number of displays about the cityâ€™s history-- particularly when there was a big military build up here back in the 1920s when there was fear that the Mexican Revolution might spill over.
The guy running the museum-- who travels to Mexico a lot-- seemed interested in a chat, so I ask him â€śIs it more dangerous traveling in Mexico than it used to be?â€ť
â€śWell, my parents drove across Mexico during the Revolution-- so, compared to that-- itâ€™s pretty safe, I should sayâ€¦â€ť
I continue on down the road, take a clip in front of a classy little old courthouse, then down along the highway as it gets more boring and more typically American, with cookie cut houses and forgettable strip malls.
Later that Day
After wandering around Nogales, USA, I decide to head back to Nogales, Mexico for the night-- as itâ€™s cheaper, and I feel thereâ€™s a lot more to explore there still.
So, satisfied with my tour of downtown, I head up the steep streets that go up and down the hills of Nogales.
The homes are mostly solid cinderblock or brick with a finished exterior, so they donâ€™t have the scrappy, claustrophobic feel of, say, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro-- but it is an interesting and unusual layout for a city and worth an afternoon tour.
A couple of large, Protestant churches built on the hilltops, with slightly off tune rock and roll â€śpraiseâ€ť music coming out, catches my attention. It seems Protestantism continues to make headway here in Catholic Mexico, with its lively music and flamboyant preachersâ€¦
After a couple of ups and downs the different hills, I figure Iâ€™ve sufficiently explored the hill neighborhoods of Nogales and look for a way down to the valley once againâ€¦
That evening I decide to brave Nogales at night again, and head to the border.
Finally, after another order of tacos, I decide to call it a night.