After work today Bob and I hopped in the truck for the nearly an hour long ride to Progresso, Mexico.
We want to get another 90 days fill on his prescription medications and pick up a few other things.
We had perfect weather for today’s trip. Arriving without incident or getting lost, well ok, a quick phone call was made to Bama to get the exit number, we paid for parking and set off on foot over the Rio Grande River.
Of course one is obliged to take a picture of the border sign. I even think it’s a law that you have to do so because everyone with a camera was.
I knew from my previous trip to Progresso what I was going to see as we crossed over the bridge. It was something I wasn't looking forward to and glancing at Bob out of the corner of my eye I saw him wince when this sad display came into view.
Small children who should have been in school learning times tables were holding out ball caps and yelling, “Lady, nickel?”
I had my camera in my hand and just pointed and clicked the button, not knowing what I was going to get. Ball cap after ball cap lined up in the bridge wall openings. Little hands and little voices begging for nickels.
We watched a couple walking ahead of us throw some change into a cap and suddenly caps held by taller people with deeper, louder voices came into view above the caps held by the kids. Calls to us as we passed got louder and caps were waved. Bob and I looked at each other, our hearts breaking to think that is everyday life for these people. We quickened our steps to get off the bridge.
We paid our quarters to enter Mexico and once again no one checked our passports
Having never been in Progresso, Bob was amazed at all the pharmacies, dentists and eye doctors, much like I was my first trip here.
It didn’t take long for Bob to stop at a street vendor and check out the leather goods.
We went into the pharmacy where I bought the medicine the first time here and asked for the meds needed. Satisfied with the expiration dates we paid and got on with our shopping.
I absolutely love this store! I could spend a ton of money in here and that’s saying something for this Queen of Cheap!
El Disco Super Center, I love this store!
We walked up and down every aisle oohing and aahing and making a mental list of what to purchase when we returned later to actually buy. We knew we wanted several things and didn’t want to have to carry all the bags. I’ll give you a little glimpse of what we saw.
Beautiful crocks with deepest, richest colors.
Hats galore including the one Bob is modeling here.
I wanted several of these flamingos to take home to friends on the east coast and to deliver one to a flamingo collecting friend in Quail Run. If only they hadn’t been so big.
If colorful frogs are your thing then you just have to get to El Disco!
I wanted one of these pitcher/glass sets so much but had to give in to the reality that there just isn’t room in the 5th wheel to store all the things I want.
After browsing all the aisles we left in search of some liquid refreshment. In other words, a beer and a Pepsi.
Just a few doors down we came to an open air bar tucked in between a dentist office and a pharmacy. Imagine that.
Two empty bar chairs beckoned us into the Red Panty Bar.
Our bartender was kept quite busy as it seems you can order drinks to go in Styrofoam cups. I don’t know what this drink is but the red on top is chili powder, lots and lots of chili powder and a squeeze of lime on top of the plastic lid.
Time and time again we felt these tiny little taps on our backs and when we turned around we found these very young children, four, five and six year olds, peddling little trinkets for a dollar. We learned by others to just say, “No, thank you.” If you bought something a signal must pass from one child to the next saying that you were a sucker or an easy mark for those big soulful brown eyes and that tiny little voice that says, “You want to buy, only one dollar.” As soon as the bartender noticed them they were told to get on their way.
They must do okay because none of them looked hungry, or dirty and their clothes were decent.
As soon as we got up to leave our bar chairs were taken.
A few doors down we found this old Mexican woman sitting on the sidewalk holding out a cup. She didn’t speak, just sat there forlorn.
I felt bad holding my camera at my waist and snapping this picture and had she been looking at me I wouldn’t have been able to do it. But I wanted to show you what you see in a border town. But then is it much different than what you could see in Anytown, USA?
We saw bags and bags of colored eggs on every corner. One thing was really strange though. The were all smashed on one end so that they could sit without rolling I guess. It was really strange.
All the alleyways are jammed packed with little tiny stores.
Jewelry, clothing, hat and boot stores line the narrow walkways.
I think I’ve mentioned several times that there are a lot of dentists here. Did I mention they have sidewalk signs showing before and after photos of their work?
As we walked the main street we saw a lot of chimineas. We have seen these priced from $79 on up in the States. These? $27.00 If only we had the room!
It’s a shame we weren’t in the market for a hat too.
We walked back to El Disco and made the purchases we wanted.
As we were walking back to the border I passed that building. You know the one I’m talking about. Well, I had to go in just to see how things were. I think this picture says it all. (For new readers who have no clue what I’m talking about, go HERE.)
On that note, I’m going to close this.