Day 25 & 26: Borders

I’m currently about five minutes walk from the Mexican border, at El Paso. It’s an intensely guarded bridge over the Rio Grande, with queues stretching back for blocks and guards pointing flashlights all over the cars taking the trip over. The border, in the United States, is very serious business.

So taking this trip after my European trip has been good for the contrast. In Western and Central Europe, I quite frequently didn’t even notice I’d crossed a border. The way I noticed that I was in a different country was simply by the style of architecture, the language spoken, the vibe of the place (vague, certainly, but often very noticeable), and sometimes the weather and geography or ethnicity of the locals.

By this standard, I’ve crossed ‘borders’ of a cultural, European fashion probably three times (Northwest/California, California/Southwest, Southwest/Texas) since coming to the United States.

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