LUNCH IN ALGODONES

January 21, 2012

This is a sign you can understand in any language and not one we see much. Algodones, Mexico, about five miles West of Yuma  is reputed to have the highest density of dentists, pharmacies, doctors and opticians in a four block area,  than any similar four block area  in the world.

Hawkers reach out and offer to guide you to a dentist, doctor, etc.  every step of the way. Not that you need guidance, every other sign is for one or the other.  For most of them you don’t need an appointment. We arrived at 9:00 a.m. to be first in the door to Denny Salinas’ office, except, he was no longer at the same address as our last visit in 2009.  A young woman named Bettina walked us several blocks away to his fancy new digs. We learned you now need an appointment. But, as a former  customer,  he took a look at a problem I was having with an implant he did and fitted me in for ex-rays and a diagnosis.

We walked around town to look around. People, many recognizable “snowbirds”, were sitting in a busy square sunning themselves and  listening to a very good musician play several types of flute. Hauntingly beautiful sounds I recognized from Peruvian culture.

His partner was selling  his very popular CD’s. I could have stayed an listened for an hour.

The spray can artists were also working the square. They can do amazing things with spray paint and a piece of paper, rubbing the paint on then quickly drying it with a hair dryer. Jim cautioned this guy waving  a cigarette near the painters  but he laughed and defied the notion that a cigarette around all of those chemicals was in danger of exploding or starting a fire.  Popular pieces are the television dishes snowbirds have on their RV’s. In fact, Algodones depends so much on Canadian and American tourists they have a closed-street block party in December welcoming snowbirds  back to Algodones.

In our motor home we don’t have room to buy “stuff” but I like to look, anyway. People buy cheap drugs and liquor here as well. I got a bottle of vodka.

We like an open restaurant, hole-in-the wall type, that starts you off with three  kinds of salsa  a red, a green, both hot and home-made. Then avocado salsa,  sour cream, limes,  and chips.  A plate with tomatoes, onion, cilantro and shredded cabbage.  They cook their meats on a charcoal grill in front of their place. I tell you that because I haven’t a clue what the name of the place is if you go.

The food is always good and cheap, $5 for a whole chicken with rice and beans. Jim took a small portion. I ordered four tacos forgetting that they fill them really full of meat. Our two meals with Tecates cost us $13.00. The Tecate is good with a squeeze of lime in it. I never have this much fun when I go to my dentist in Murphys, doncha know!

Jim likes to go early so we get back across the border before the crowds line up. We didn’t make it. I didn’t mind at all talking to other folks in line. It was about a twenty-minute wait before we went through the friendly immigration inspection.

Something new since our last visit, for $5 you can be driven over in the yellow cart  and skip the line. The drug sniffing dog sniffs the cart and all the cars, too.

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