Friday, July 6, 2007


I just dropped off two guys, probably in their upper 40s, at the border crossing with Mexico. They wanted the main San Ysidro crossing. I don't drive into Mexico with the cab, of course, so I dropped at the foot crossing. They plan to take a TJ cab on the other side, then visit one of the whorehouses.

On the drive down (15 minute drive from downtown San Diego), they told me about a shakedown a few years back. They were walking through downtown TJ, and decided to stop at a pharmacy. The "pharmacist" was offering Viagra for $1 a pill. On a whim (they claim), they each bought two to see what they would do. After walking a short distance from the pharmacy, two TJ cops stopped them and asked to see the contents of their pockets. They confiscated the Viagra and said they were going to jail if they didn't voluntarily part with the $500 they had between them. So they paid.

Just before they got out of my cab, they were putting money in their shoes. "Only keep a small amount in your pocket, and the rest in your shoe," they said. I've been to TJ many times, and I've never been shaken down. I've never tried to buy meds without a prescription, either.

They wanted to pay with a credit card, but I'm a cash-only cab. I offered to give them a cash receipt. "No, thanks. Can't have the wives finding receipts that say Tijuana."

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