LOCATION: Our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER: Hot (93) and really humid
Today’s destination was Progreso, Mexico. Although we live less than a mile from the border, we need to drive about 20 miles to an entry point with a town – Progreso – that offers amenities.
Most people, as we did, park and walk across the border. It costs $1 to enter Mexico (and upon departure, costs 30 cents to re-enter USA).
After walking across the Rio Grande bridge, all your senses are assaulted. First you see signs, mostly in English, advertising available drugs in pharmacies, dentists, eye doctors, beauty shops, etc.
Progreso has one primary street. The street is covered with a canopy and shops, offices, and stalls line the pathway. Vendors stand in front of their shops shouting in broken English….”Hey lady, we sell drugs almost free!” Or ….”Hey, lady, the dentist is here today…..wanna crown for $100?” etc. Many of the shops have music blasting from speakers, enticing people to enter. The smells are interesting, too – candied almonds roasting, tacos cooking, and smelly car engines. We LOVE it!
Our first stop along the walkway was to buy a margarita. It is interesting that most of the walk-up bars are part of pharmacies. I guess it makes sense!
Now fortified, our next stop was a pharmacy. We like to go to one that is called “Similares” – meaning knock-offs. Since we will be gone for more than 3 months, George needed to supplement one of his prescriptions. All you do is take in the bottle of the US prescription, and they sell you the generic drug. No prescription necessary!
Progreso is very touristy. Many gringos in the Rio Grande Valley go there for dental work, eye glasses, and curio shopping. A lot of English is spoken, and USD is the favored currency. This changes as you walk farther down the street, away from the border.
We walked beyond the main touristy area and found this guy selling tacos and baked potatoes.
No English here. No gringos here, either. I ordered a plate of fajita-style tacos. He carved the meat off the spit.
We asked for a beer, and the stall owner called a shop nearby. A guy came over and sold us beers for $1.50. Very tasty taco and Indio beer!
On our way back to the US border, we did a little pottery shopping. George bought a belt from a young mother with a leather stall. I watched her baby while she showed George the belts. After haggling a bit, he bought one for $11.
We couldn’t resist buying some fried grasshoppers for a snack (they are in the bucket)….
Our final stop was at Pancho’s, a popular bar/restaurant near the border. We sat at the bar, on saddle bar stools and watched the bartenders do their work. This drink is a concoction of liquors, then topped with upside-down beers.
Back home, I did laundry, and more laundry, to get us ready for our trip. George watched football, snacking on his cricket purchase…..
DINNER: The cupboards and refrigerator are almost bare. Tonight, I finished up all the frozen seafood – shrimp and scallops, sauteed with peppers and onions. I topped it with a can of smoked oysters, which gave it an interesting twist. Served over the last of the rice.