Random Ram Daniel Hernandez

Feb 252004
Authors: Eric Klamper

Daniel Hernandez’s Spring Break of 2000 started off with a

28-hour Greyhound bus ride to San Diego. That’s right, several

dozen passengers, a handful crying babies, countless fragrances of

body odor, one toilet and 28 hours leading to a trip that was

compiled completely of unfortunate situations.

“My friend and I spontaneously left for San Diego to see a

friend who moved there and because we thought it would be a good

place to enjoy our break,” said Hernandez, who is a senior majoring

in English. “We had very little money so our activities were pretty


Tijuana offered a solution to their financial insecurity.

Hernandez and three of his friends ventured down to Mexico to

participate in what they thought would be a hedonistic utopia of

booze and girls.

They thought wrong.

Due to the limited number of schools that shared Spring Break

with CSU, Tijuana was barren of rowdy and intoxicated youths. Only

the sounds of trendy music pumping from empty clubs and dirty pools

of stagnant liquids filled the streets.

“We felt like the kings of TJ,” Hernandez said. “Every club had

people out front desperately trying to entice us inside with talk

of drink specials and beautiful women.”

The monetary limitations of the group led them elsewhere

however, and they chose to begin drinking in a bar located in the

basement of a dilapidated hotel paying $5 for unlimited drinks.

“I remember the bartender serving us a tray of tequila shots

that he poured out of an open milk jug…. That stuff messed my

whole world up,” Hernandez said. “We think that the bar made their

own tequila and that they didn’t filter out the hallucinogenic

chemicals from the cactus they used. It was like ‘Fear and Loathing

in Tijuana.'”

Hernandez and his friends wandered around the streets spouting

off nonsense to anyone who had the misfortune to cross their paths.

In their altered state, they passed away the entire evening,

visiting countless strip clubs and a pharmacy.

When the group finally managed to stumble their way back to the

border, crossing back into the states proved to be a challenge for

Hernandez. Being the only Hispanic man among his friends, his

nationality was the only one in question regarding re-entry.

“Apparently this man sat in a booth at the border and asked

everyone who walked by what their nationality was. You’re supposed

to just say ‘American’ and walk right on by. When my turn came, my

brain was in no condition for verbalization. Instead of announcing

my nationality, I presented the guy with my library card that I

pulled from my wallet. He kept on asking me where I was from and I

kept on giving him random stuff from my pockets, none of which

worked as a form of ID,” Hernandez said. “He finally let me go

because all my friends told the guy that I was impaired from the

night’s festivities. When I walked through the gate I noticed that

some of the Border Patrol officers were laughing at my


To make matters worse, Hernandez and his friends found that they

had missed the last train back to San Diego. With no money for a

cab-ride, the group began wandering aimlessly around the


“I got caught by a cleaning crew trying to take a ‘deuce’

between two vending machines at a Wal-Mart. They were

understandably both confused and unhappy with me and they called

security,” Hernandez said.

The guard continually tried to get the boys moving but every

time he turned away they would change locations and go to sleep.

Finally, the guard got fed up and called in the big boys.

“And then came the … Border Patrol,” Hernandez said. “They got

us off the parking lot and started yelling this crazy banter of

Spanish vulgarities. One of my friends got handcuffed and then he

started screaming crazy things right back at them like, ‘I’m an

American and a United States Marine. I was sure we were all going

to jail.”

But salvation arrived in the form of a beat-up Pontiac when one

of Hernandez’s desperate phone messages made it to the ear of a

friend in San Diego who drove down and helped negotiate the release

of his friends.

“We were so lucky not to end up stranded in the Border jail,”

Hernandez said. “This break I think I’d rather try Cancun.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.