Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I go to Mexico

I emptied the shots from the camera, and this available light shot of Bernie and Red on stage was the first one I hadn't put on the blog. Not much of a picture, but it was taken with the optical zoom all the way out by holding the camera above my head, while in my seat in the back of the room. She seems to be pointing at us to drive home her point, while Bernie has his hands in the defensive posture that he assumes every time she begins to tell a story. Usually on him.
Loyce did not think Mexico on a rainy day sounded like much fun . But I wanted some of their over the counter medications that aren't available here in the US. So I went anyway, by myself. This is the border as you drive to the Mexican check point. They remind you to not take ammunition or firearms into Mexico, but otherwise you just drive right on thru. The walkway is on the right. The walk way as you begin to leave the US.
The river as you walk out on the bridge. This is where you put in your quarter to get through the turnstyle.
At the half way point they have the plaque that has the line on it. At that point the bridge is painted in a different color. The US side is in the Govenment beige cream color that is on most of the stuff here in the states. The Mexican side was in a steel gray with dark red trim.
Once you are over the bridge and go thru a declaration point. You come upon the Progresso monument. I was alone so I just took its picture as some other folks were beginning to get ready for their shot. I've seen this picture on many blogs but for those that only read this one here it is.
These are street shots of the main street. This one is from about a block in looking back at the bridge in the distance.
Looking South farther down the street, away from the US bridge.
This is the Red Snapper restaurant that the LLano Grande folks seem to prefer. They have sponsored the Softball team here at our RV park.
I will have to go back with the wife and partake of the seafood. Most of the menu items were 6.99 so price is just not an issue. From reading other posts, I am told it is quite good. Another day.

I purchased the meds and four little bottles of vanilla that will be used as gifts and came back. At the beginning of the Mexican side of the bridge is the turnstyle for the return walk way. It requires 30 cents and is payable in both US or peso. The Mexican authorities must get this money to maintain their side. After you pay this fee, you then find the first public bathroom since you left the US.

Customs on the US side was three agents that checked passports by passing them thru a reader, and asking what you have purchased. Everyone had drugs and vanilla. Some had liquor. Once thru customs, the next booth was to pay the Texas liquor tax of $1.00 a bottle.

The sidewalk experience overwhelms your senses. The sidewalk has tables along the streets with various wares as well as the area in front of each store. You pass thru this, like it was a gauntlet. Everyone is hawking their products all at once. You are bombarded with offers to have your teeth cleaned your hair cut or your shoes shined. Pharmacy sir? Liquor? New hat? Belt? It just comes faster than you can process it.

As an accountant, my type A personality, wants to be in charge at all times. This experience is anything but being in control. So you tend to move along to get away from this constant badgering. Only to find the next booth is armed by another even more insisstant fellow. Going to a restaurant is a refuge from this bombardment. Most are in the upstairs of the shops buildings. Away from the street. They have a bathroom, that you can use! Refuge!

The last thing that remains in your mind is the beggar folks. They are along the bridge as you get to the Mexican side. They cry and whine to get money and stick their hat thru any crack or small hole in the bridge structure. Along the sidewalks are folks crotched down in corners holding out old foam cups for money. They aren't pushy like the street vendors, they are just pathetic. Surely the Mexican government can decide how to handle this, but chooses not to.

If you gave every cent you had, you can't make a bit of difference in Mexico's object poverty. So you just do not give anyone anything. But the image stays with you even when you return.

We have so much!

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