South of the border

7 04 2010

Across the bridge at Nuevo Progreso, MX

Monday we headed south of the border to the small town of Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.  This tourist town is right across the international bridge about halfway between Harlingen and McAllen, Texas.  As a testament to the expensive health care in the US, the majority of the shops along the main street are pharmacies and dental offices.  Mixed in are large department-style stores stocking everything from tequila to Mexican pottery and small street corner vendors selling roasted almonds, strings of garlic, jewelry, DVD’s (I’m sure they are legal copies) and blankets.  And, at the “medical spa”, I saw this ad: Landfill will plump up those lips for a sensual look.  Umm..maybe a bit of a language translation issue?

A few backyard cantinas are also nearby, allowing for a quick stop for a beer in between shopping.  Our favorite of these outside cantinas is the Rose Garden, a simple backyard location with plastic tables, chairs and cheap $1 beers.  Take a seat at one of these tables, order up a cerveza and wait for the kids to arrive.  Selling everything from shoe shines to jewelry, some of these kids have a real entrepreneur spirit.  If you have an appetite for Mexican food, many of the larger stores have nice restaurants providing good local fare at affordable prices.  At the height of the tourist season, many of these places offer dance bands to entertain the winter texans.  

Our typical Mexican shopping list includes cookies and tequila.  We also make a stop at our favorite pharmacy for an annual supply of allergy medicines.  (in Mexico, a year’s supply of Claritin, a typically over-the-counter allergy medication, costs about $30 – compared to over $300 in the US).  The bridge toll into and out of Mexico is about $4 per vehicle, or $.50 if you choose to park your car on the US side and walk across.  Re-entering the US, passports are required and the state of Texas charges about  $1 tax (depending on size) for each bottle of imported liquor.

The Canada Store & Garcia's restaurant

Main Street, Nuevo Progreso



One response

8 04 2010

Muy Bueno. Bring home the Claritin!

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