SnowBird Diaries
Surprise visit to Mexico
Sat, 28 Feb 2004
Fri night, 2/27 Well what do you know. Here I am sitting in an open gravel parking space among a bunch of other RVs on an Quechan Indian Reservation just across the border from Algodones, Mexico. When we learned that the blood pressure pills sent UPS overnight from Sansome pharmacy to Ehrenberg had been sent back, (UPS will not deliver to General Delivery) then re-sent by Fed Ex and wouldn't get to us until the earliest Mon. we were a little concerned. At least we learned that those particular pills are doing a job for me since my blood pressure began to rise after two days of half doses and today I was totally out. Then our new buddy, Robin Rose called from Yuma and told us the prices in Algodones for the various drugs I take. We had already been thinking maybe we should drive down to Yuma because the food scene in Quartzsite is deplorable - even worse than Borrego Springs. We had figured to shop for fruits and veggies in Blythe before we got here. But Blithe only has an! Albertson's. There were a number of dispirited pickets outside, big signs in the window "NOW HIRING", and lots of people going in - it is the only decent market in town. So we thought we would wait and see what we could find in Quartzsite and were really appalled - the worst of the U.S. scene in ersatz food courtesy of Monsanto and the American Chemical Society - lots of alcoholic choices and all the rest was bad fats, salt, sugar and artificial flavorings. The people looked it, too. (Digression from the already lengthy digression: funny interview with Bill Cosby in the AARP magazine, talking about how he has changed his diet. He is 66. Says, "I am what I ate, and I'm scared.") Anyway, so we were already thinking about going down to Yuma. So we drove down about 4pm, had long hassle about getting cash - our Bank of the West ATM card STILL doesn't work. Bill called Janice Poppen and she said to get a cash advance from Wells Fargo on our credit card and she'll pay the fee - finally got the cash, it is payday, I guessed about 40 people in line, and then bought about $1500 worth of pills for less than $500. It is a big business in Algodones. You walk across the border and the first thing in front of you is a mammoth pharmacy, with jillions of older people going in to get prescriptions. Takes about 30 minutes to walk there, buy the drugs and walk back. They all seem to be the standard brands - better prices than even the Canadian pharmacy and more selection. If they are as effective as I am used to we will figure on coming back next December when we would like to be back here anyway. Tonights parking is a noisier place to stay overnight than we are used to since you hear both car and train traffic, but its free and tomorrow we and Robin will start back to KofA.

Love, H