Saturday, January 05, 2008

Okay. I was wrong.

A week ago I wrote that the best way to cross the border at Matamoros is to drive across the bridge.
So that is what I did yesterday. And by the time I finally got to see the rainbow over the booth on the US side -- about an hour after pulling out of the parking garage at Garcia’s -- I was pretty sure I would have been better off walking. There was almost no line in the pedestrian lane. If there is a way to predict which route is the better bet (walking or driving) I have not stumbled upon it. Or maybe I just suck at it.

Sitting on that bridge for so long gave me time to reflect upon several things (in no particular order):

1. Wouldn’t it be sweet if someone posted a webcam on the US side of the bridge so one could discern trends and base one’s timing on something other than gut instinct?
2. Would it be possible to put a dollar amount on the lost productivity of all those people sitting on the bridge? How about the amount of emissions coming from all the idling vehicles? It sure seems to me that American ingenuity could come up with a better way to make the border crossing less arduous while still providing security...
3. How come the left lane is moving so much faster than the right lane? I have not moved in five minutes and that little black VW that was right next to me is already out of sight! (As is turns out, the left lane was being serviced by two booths, while the right lane only had one. Hardly fair, but who do you complain to?)
4. Hey look! A rainbow that ends right above the immigration booth! Where’s the pot o’ gold? No wonder people want to migrate here!
5. I just spent 1.5 hours in a comfy chair while a skilled healthcare provider painstakingly reconstructed a tooth she had drilled the heck out of a couple weeks ago. A tooth that my former dentist had given up for lost, asserting it needed a crown that would run me something like two grand. The Mexican dentist charged me $29.00 to drill the thing and $64.00 to rebuild it. By the time she pays her rent and her equipment costs and the salary of her assistant, I figure she is clearing about $15/hr for her efforts.... I should have tipped her.

Well, I didn’t. Tip her, that is. But I can put in a plug for Greengos Dentistry right here and now. The equipment is state of the art. The clinic is sparkling clean and new. The staff is unfailingly courteous and bilingual. I am a big baby when it comes to pain, and I didn’t feel a thing. Doctor Daniella says I will likely need that crown some time in the future, but she believes in keeping as much of the tooth intact for as long as possible. I like that. And when my former dentist calls to tell me it is time for a cleaning, I'll say thanks for the reminder -- and then I will head back to Greengos.

Affordable dentistry just 30 miles away is another really good reason to live here on beautiful South Padre Island -- no matter how long one might have to sit on that bridge.


Blogger Unknown said...

One suggestion is to not travel back to the US around 2:00 weekdays. At this time many, and I mean many drivers are crossing to pick up children attending school in Brownsville.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Also, avoid the lanes with women border patrol agents - I don't know why but after nearly 30 years of crossing in Browntown the "gals" just take longer.

2:39 PM  
Blogger shootnstar said...

I love to walk across because it is so quick and easy. Even now with the "prove you're not a terrorist" delay, it is only 5 minutes to cross the customs officer's desk. Don't you just love it? Many years ago, I discovered the deliciousness of "jicama" while waiting in line to cross at the old bridge. I had bought a cup of fruit to pass the time and was blown away by the mild yet sweet and juicy white squares. I asked what they were and as soon as I got back to the US, bought my own. I have learned to love them raw with Tencha's powder and even fried, I discovered, are good. Sometimes, a wait in line can be a learning experience.

8:42 AM  

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