Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday February 16, 2011...Adventures in Mexico

It was a most interesting daily jaunt.   I crossed over the border into Nuevo Progresso Mexico on Tuesday. 
First impression was the presence of the army. They had armored vehicles with machine guns mounted on them. They also had sand-bagged posts with soldiers manning them. They definitely announced their presence to the hundreds of tourists crossing over from the US. 

Second impression was one of a marvelous bazaar with hundreds of small shops carrying all kinds of items for sale. I also noticed many, many pharmacies and dentists. It seemed as though there were as many as 50 of each. Outside of many of the shops were hawkers calling your attention to this pharmacy or that dentist. There were also many sidewalk vendors about. The streets were crowded with tourists and hawkers. People were on the sidewalk and in the streets. Cars and trucks were slowly meandering down the streets. 

I had a chipped tooth and went into a dentist's office. He was able to immediately help me. He took xrays and showed me where the root was exposed and that rather than covering it with a filling that would eventually cause great pain, I needed a root canal and a crown. When I asked him how much it would cost I was told the total would be $300. This was about a third of what I had paid for the last such procedure in the United States. I asked him how long it would take and was told it would be ready in 2 days. This seemed such a bargain that I asked him if he did partial plates. I had lost a partial plate on the left bottom of my mouth some months ago and dreaded paying another $1,000 for a new one. He quoted me $350 and that included a newer base of flexible material instead of the metal plate. It will also be ready this week. He was extremely polite and quite knowledgeable. He spoke Spanish and English and wasted no time. I was quite pleased.. I'm going back Friday for the crown and the partial that would have cost about 3 times what I will end up paying.

After coming out numbly from the dentist, I shopped for a bit at a leather store with my sister and brother-in-law. I noticed that my sister was able to barter the price down on a purse from $20 to $15. Unfortunately I had already agreed to purchase 2 leather hats at the marked price, otherwise I might have saved a few bucks. Oh well, you live and learn. I will shop a bit more when I go back for my teeth and perhaps try bartering. We, in the United States, are not used to arguing the price down on objects – so this will be a new experience.

I would also point out that the dentist was located within a block or so of the border checkout, so it was very convenient.  A great place to go for dental work and adventure.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday February 10, 2011...I'm innocent!

It is NOT my fault!! 

Everyone is starting to point fingers and rumors are spreading that I brought the cold weather down here. 
I was trying my best to escape before the blizzard of 2011 hit Kansas City. It was right behind me all the way. The folks in Waco were wacko anticipating cold that they weren't prepared for. Warnings were out all along the way. 
The devil was on my tail, but I kept riding south trying to escape his clutches. 

I did get a nice tail wind that improved my mileage, but it still wasn't my fault. The pipes were freezing and the roads closed with ice all around. Probably the crops will fail and people will always remember when Bob came to town. 

Schools and businesses closed their doors and people stood shivering in their tee shirts and shorts. Nobody knew what to do. I see groups of people standing about and muttering and pointing fingers at me. Everybody I meet says “so YOU'RE the one who brought this cold weather down here”. It's frightening. 

All I wanted was blue skies and warm southerly breezes and palm trees swaying and fresh fruit and vegetables growing. Now I've been down here for over a week and last night it again got down below freezing. To me this doesn't seem bad for February, but this is a calamity for these warm blooded folks down here with little heat and no warm clothes. Next week it's supposed to warm up to about 80 in the daytime and 60 at night, but folks will still remember “the man from Missouri who brought down the cold”.

I hope they'll let me stay till March.  I'll try to bring warm weather north with me.  I could use a southerly breeze to help my mileage.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thursday February 3, 2011 SNOW??!! HERE?

Well, here I am in sunny south Texas escaping the artic blizzard that has struck the midwest.

Unfortunately, the artic air has pushed south even to here. It has gotten down to below freezing and the people down here aren't really prepared for that. Tonight it's supposed to sleet, freezing rain, or snow over much of the area which will affect the citrus crop and the vegetable crops if it stays cold very long. I feel sorry for the folks who don't have heat in their houses or warm clothes. It's supposed to be about 30-40 degrees warmer than it is. I drove 1,000 miles south to get away from cold weather and I didn't expect this. Hopefully, in a few days or a week the weather will return to normal and I will be able to enjoy the balmy weather and bask in the sun. 

I'm really good with balmy and basking.