Laredo

Melly called and asked if I wanted to join them for a shopping excursion to Mexico. I thought it was a good chance to see something different with the safety of people who’d already been. So, I said ‘why not’.

We rented a car and drove south from Austin. It took use several hours.

We parked on the US side and walked across the border. I missed more than a few opportunities to take pictures. I should’ve pictured the walk across the bridge and the welcome signs but sometimes I am embarrassed by the camera. I hate looking “touristy”

It was not too crowded. Melly and C.D. said was unusual especially for a Saturday. My impressions were, I suspect typical… tight streets, old cars, loads people on the street. It seemed every corner had a pharmacia, a dentist or an optometrist. I guess there’s an epidemic of bad eyesight in Mexico but an extraordinary shortage of eyeglasses because I saw no local wearing a pair. If you throw in a solicitation every five feet, you’d think you’d found a drug paradise –  “Need prescription”, “Percoset”, “Vicodin” “Prescription easy.” Follow me.” The local mantra.

Children were at every turn, under foot to sell something though nothing of real value. Their fare consisted of beads, candy, and other gross exaggerations of a Girl Scout Cookie sale. I wonder who was the first to say that children should be shopping the wares of adults…heartstrings opening purse strings.

The markets were full of all kinds of crafts and artists work. I talked a woman who made leather goods into selling me some scraps of leather for virtually nothing…40 pesos. Less than 4 dollars. I will have it made into the journal cover I have wanted for so long. I found a few other treasures, mostly iron and metal decorations that I was able to bargain for as well.  C.D. found some rings and other smaller items. I don’t think they bought as much as they have in the past though Melly still took home a trove of items that we had to walk back across the border. I asked why didn’t we drive on across but they said there was no parking and that it would take a longer wait to get back across. Something was mumbled about high probability of theft too.

So, you stand in a quick line, show your drivers license and you are back in the good ‘ole USA. We headed back and made it a long one day trip.

I want to go back. Not to shop next time. I want to drive further in and get some shots of more individual homes and less crowded metropolitan areas. I want to utilize my camera more.

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