Erik Orrantia

author of Normal Miguel

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Thanks for the Warm Welcome!
Hotel California
erikorrantia

Wow...you guys at Cheyenne Publishing do seem to be a pretty tight knit group!  It certainly makes me proud to be a part of it...

Okay...here's a stupid question: how is this blog different from facebook?  I'll be some people have LiveJournal, Facebook, maybe even myspace!  How do they compare?  How do you keep up with them all?

As you may have read in my biography on Cheyenne, I live in Tijuana.  Lots of people wonder what it's like, so what can I say?  In lots of ways, it's not that different from the US--I rent a little 3BR, 2 1/2bathroom house, I shop at the grocery store, we go to the movies, etc., etc.

Of course, there are a few differences: there are police all over the place that drive around in caravans of pick-up trucks with their weapons hanging out (literally).  The internet is a little slow and the television sucks.  Blockbuster is a profitable business.  The street food is wonderful--tacos, tortas, seafood, tamales, etc.

Other than that, life is rather normal.  Well, there isn't nearly as much entertainment in Tijuana as in San Diego, but I'm a bit of a homebody anyhow.  Drinking age is 18 and the bars are funner.  People are less worried about driving drunk and breaking traffic laws which is a worry for me.  I guess after 12 years, you can get used to anything.

I know some of you live on the other side of the world...what's your life like?

 



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Alex said:

The main difference between LJ and Facebook, to me, seems to be that LJ's format encourages you to start conversations, which can go on for quite some time. You tend to be slower to add "friends" on LJ, but that's because when you do add them it's because you've had some contact and discovered that you have at least one or two things in common to talk about. On FB you collect "friends" by the dozen but rarely talk to any of them. FB is a better way to get your news seen by lots of people, but LJ is a better way to get involved in a community.

Yes. This.

I come from a suburb in central Connecticut. The police are not very visible, unless you leave your car on the street overnight because you can't put it in your driveway for whatever reason. Then it's best to call them in advance, or they'll get antsy.

We don't have any food vendors who sell anything on the street--that probably wouldn't be allowed around here--and even the so-called "cheap family restaurants" are fairly pricey if, like me, you don't have much money. And the two Blockbuster places closed a few years ago.

I've never been to any bars in America, though I have been to a couple at Oxford University. But that was about twenty years ago. So I don't know if the bars in Connecticut are any fun, and, given that Dial-A-Ride detests driving the elderly and the handicapped (I'm squarely in the second category) about in the evening, it's unlikely that I'll ever find out.

(Not that I'd likely go to a bar even if I could drive myself there, as, in addition to having trouble walking, thanks to lymphedema tarda, I'm also on anti-convulsant medication. According to my late neurologist, I can have all the booze I want...as long as I call the undertaker first.)

I couldn't tell you what local culture is like, because, thanks to financial and transportation issues, I don't see much of it. The town has serious issues with the disabled; very little is handicapped-accessible. It's a rare building that has doors that aren't heavy and difficult for me to open as I try to balance on a walker or an orthopedic cane. And the public library has been dragging its feet about getting its elevator repaired (and thus making the library accessible to the handicapped and the elderly) for the past four months. The neighbors pretty much keep themselves to themselves. I don't even know the names of the people next door, or most of the people on my street. They're not what you'd call a friendly bunch. They aren't hostile to people they don't know, but they are indifferent.

I live with a girl who's the opposite of me--lesbian with a girlfriend, very conservative, and a devout Episcopalian. (As opposed to me--straight, liberal and agnostic.)

Oh, and I hate snow, ice, sleet, cold and winter--all of which make the lymphedema worse--and I would cheerfully move somewhere cheap and warm.

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