Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mexico

I am combining 3 days worth of Mexico trip into one post. I went to UCSD so my Mexico was Tijuana, or as we call it TJ. And I would like to say that I got to know TJ pretty well in my tenure in SD, however, I didn't like to go there because it was sleezy and dirty and we students and tourists alike never really ventured outside of one area, Avenida Revolucion. During the day TJ sells touristy trinkets and at night it turns itself over to the nightclubs where students go to get shitfaced fast. Then ofcourse I knew your Spring break Mexico, the Cabo, Cozumels, Acapulco... but those are other posts for other days...
San Luis Border

So the prospect of discovering a new Mexico (no pun intended) was very exciting for me. The first day we crossed over into San Luis. San Luis felt like being in any other built up city except the signs were not in English. San Luis is a popular destination for people that cannot afford or do not want to pay the crazy prices that drugs companies charge in the States. There are pharmacies everywhere! You can get anything without having to present a prescription. The limit to bring back into the US is a 3 month supply. And ofcourse some drugs cause more suspicion than others-- narcotics like Xanax, are not going to go over well at the border crossing. I am happy that this option is available, but sad that it has to be. An example of a price difference, CRESTOR 1 month supply in the States cost approx $130 per month while in Mexico, $42. And with that the pharmacist was apologizing that it was so expensive. 200 amoxicillin cost $6, 1000 ibuprofren $3. This is all the same stuff. In fact, WHN told his doctor about it, and was telling him about it and his doctor whole heartedly supported it.

Another health care cute anecdote... my friend's two youngest brothers were born in Mexico. Their parents lived in Yuma but crossed the border to give birth. The youngest's birth cost 140 pesos.

Bringing them back over the border is weird. The first crossing at San Luis everyone in my party that had drugs were questioned by the same guard... ex. what is this for? DIABETES are you a diabetic? I wonder how many people get tripped up on that. She really pawed through my stuff and treated me like I was trying to pull something over on her. I was asked the last time I was in Mexico etc etc. Frankly, if it is not a popular narcotic drug which I am sure they have a list of, and you only have a 3 month supply, I don't feel you should be questioned too severely. A person's health condition is his/hers. A person bringing 3 mos is pretty innocuous. It seems a lot of trouble to protect the profits of the US pharmacuetical companies.

The border wall Mexico side- Dubya's handiwork (and also my breast... I really need to get Photoshop Elements!)
border wall

The American side:
Mexico border

While we were in the pharmacy, Tony the friendly pharmacist suggested we drive to Golfo De Santa Clara about an hour away for the freshest seafood. Going to the beach sounded really appealing. The following day we drove across the border (for San Luis we parked on the US side and walked over) after we stopped for Mexican car insurance.

The road between San Luis and Golfo De Santa Clara was a 2 lane road and it was sparse. Just desert. Except lots of litter.
Mexico road 2.jpg
Mexico road 4
Mexico road 3

When we got there it was pretty deserted. I don't know if it was because they were out of season, or people just don't go to Golfo De Santa Clara anymore.
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We had lunch in El Dolfin. I had a fabulous breaded fish (god I hope it wasn't their signature dish) And I was far enough in to
be able to practice my Spanish. Though I did notice that the Mexicans that understood English would just start speaking to me in English (San Luis) and the ones that didn't know English at all wouldn't even try to understand my Spanish (Golfo)
mexian lunch.jpg
At first glance, one thinks oh they ran out of room painting PARKING... but look at the bottom line.
golfo de santa clara 16

The locals were in the water despite the jelly fish, which were also dead on the sand and the sharks.
Mexico beach.jpg
(Yes, evidently is quite normal to deflate your tires and drive onto the sand)

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For $3 you can get a 6 bottle pack of Mexican beer packed in ice.

Bimbo is a popular cake like treat. I just like the idea of a slutty little teddy bear:
golfo de santa clara 5

On the way back we were stopped at a random Federale check point. Notice no pictures. This is because I was in the middle of a foreign country with 18 year olds with really big guns. Imagine a 2 lane desert road with a makeshift stop sign and road block. I think they chose the spot because there was a tree for shade. Federales have a reputation for being roguish or is the Mexican cops-- which group expects bribes and which ones are insulted by it? I am quickly trying to remember. We had to get out of the car while they poked around. I felt nervous even though we had done nothing. Though, I'll be honest with you, I did in my best Spanish ask one of the guys if I could take a picture of him. I figure what's the worse he could do. Don't say it... That didn't even enter my mind, but later when I was talking to the family in Yuma their answer was SHOOT YOU... and WHNs first response was the same. Look, I just wanted to practice my Spanish and really being shot over that didn't enter my mind and who knows I might have gotten a picture! (JavaJem would understand.) They let us go, don't worry I am not using my internet time to blog from Mexican prison. And crossing back over the boarder in the car, the border guard was really pleasant.

The last day we went to Algodones.
algadones2.jpg

Algodones is closer to the touristy feel of TJ, but without the filth.
algadones.jpg

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Algodones along with having many pharmacies, is known for dental work... (I would birth a baby in Mexico, but they aren't touching my chompers!)
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(Unlike San Luis, Algodones is a bit more unabashedly going for tourists combining what they think people want liquor and pills.)
They also have many optomotrists. It was quite weird walking down the street with men saying HOLA SENORITA DO YOU NEED ANY DENTEEESTREEE? HOW ABOUT YOUR EYES??? They also had many shops where you could get knock offs of your favorite designer bags. We would have spent more time there except it was so freaking humid that day. We were pulled into one jewelry shop and were immediately served Coronas. Ofcourse being from Las Vegas, starting to drink at 9am is normal.

Crossing back into the US I had Ibuprofen and Imitrex (which I did have a perscription for on me.) I just said they were both for headaches and the gaurd said boy you get a lot of headaches. I replied yes, I'm married. With that, he let me back into the good ol' US.
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I wish this picture could convey how hot and sticky it was!
Next time, Luke Skywalker's home planet!

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9 Comments:

Blogger Jinann said...

Great pics! I'm absolutley amazed at how empty the beach was! I've never been to Mexico, I'd like to go, but DH has no desire to go at all!

5:10 AM  
Blogger Shelby said...

Thanks for sharing pics from all of your travels! I am living vicariously through you- just so you know! I've never been to Mexico, and have always wanted to go. Somehow I think it will be a while. ;)

7:50 AM  
Blogger Javajem said...

LIquor and Pills ansd guns - oh my!! What a trip! and Yes I totally understand about the pictures :) I think I'd have been shot too!

4:52 AM  
Blogger Knit said...

A little something is winging it's way to your house. Just a small appetizer....:)

Your SP11, who is having way too much fun shopping!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

Your comment about getting shit faced at one of the bars in TJ brought back many memories :-)

8:20 AM  
Blogger The Crafty Weasel said...

I'm really enjoying your trip series!! Really cool..

By the way, bimbo is also the Portuguese equivalent to a red neck - hmm, yeah, I think that is the closest I can find!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Jejune said...

Fascinating reading about your trip, and seeing all your pics! Reminds me of my few years in Arizona as a kid... we did one trip to Mexico too, and I loved it.

LOL about the Bimbo Bear - heh ;)

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Purl said...

Thank you for sharing! I like Mexico, each time I have been there I have had a blast!

2:36 PM  
Anonymous sammy said...

I was just curious how much the Imitrex was and how many pills you got. My insurance just totally screwed me over, I will have to pay 40% of the cost for Imitrex--and it will end up being almost $10 a pill.

How much was it Mexico, if you don't mind asking.

You can email me at joanie234@yahoo.com

I have a script, too but hell- if I can get it for cheap in Mexico, I will travel there (im in texas) and get it there.

12:10 AM  

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