An Apostate’s Chapel has tagged me with my first meme.
The rules for this meme are pretty simple:
1. Describe your earliest memory for which you can recall at least three distinct details.
2. Estimate your age when this event took place.
3. Tag 5 other bloggers.
I grew up in Chula Vista, California. Chula Vista is now almost a suburb of Tijuana, but when I was there it was a very rural area. We could go down the street and pick our own strawberries. My family would go for hikes in the undeveloped areas and we’d see quail or black widow spiders. My parents were divorced when I was seven, and the house in Chula Vista was sold in the divorce, so this would be in the years before then.
We’d drive to Tijuana for dinner and there wasn’t any border crossing, it was opened when I was young though and my parents would talk about whether we were going to go “that way” which could be quicker or longer depending on the traffic, or “the back way” which, if I remember right, involved taking our VW bug down a dirt road with a stop sign that said “Alto”.
There were two restaurants in Tijuana that we’d go to. One we went to less frequently because it was the “fancier” restaurant. I don’t remember the name, but the dining was in a shaded courtyard with a fountain in the middle that was covered with carnations. I liked that restaurant because the waiter would always give me one of the carnations to take home.
The other restaurant we went to most often. It was a walk along the street (Avenida Revolución) with really cool shops, a donkey painted like a zebra, ladies selling giant fake flowers, street-vendors with string-controlled dolls and the clack-clack of the (later to be banned because they shattered) clackers. A sudden turn between the shops and halfway down a flight of stairs took us to Cafe la Especial. They sell the best, greasiest little steamed meat tacos. The place had low ceilings and felt like a cave. The waiters would pinch my cheeks and smile at me. They had carved painted chairs, murals on the walls, and a roving musician who people would pay to make go away to the next table. We’d usually bring home a bag of tacos as well; they were so good cold the next day.
Later years, when crossing back across the border, the “back way” having been closed off I supposed, my mother would admonish me to say I was born in America and only if they ask. I don’t remember but apparently at one crossing when the border patrol asked everyone where they were born I, honestly, proclaimed I was born in Germany, which led to some explaining about my father being stationed in the Army and yes, I was really their daughter.
I still make a pilgrimage to Café la Especial for tacos every time I’m in San Diego.
I’m tagging the following bloggers:
A Whore in the Temple of Reason
Why Don’t You Blog?