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gypsyken

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  1. At age 90, I agree with traderspoc's father about staying healthy by avoiding physicians as much as possible. And as a long-retired health care provider in psychology with some experience with medical care in both the U.S. (where I worked for a time with the organization that accredits hospitals and other health-care facilities) and Mexico, I have concluded that, considering all factors--especially that medical care in the U.S., but not yet generally in Mexico, is provided in order to make as much money as possible--the care in one country is not better or worse overall than the care in the other. (That is why I elected to pay out-of-pocket for my prostate surgery in Mexico some years ago, rather than going to the U.S. for it, where my Medicare copay plus travel expense would have cost more.)
  2. Many thanks for the film! I lived on Ramon Corona, east of Ramon Velasquez, in SAT for 13 years. Although I came to loathe my neighbors' big speakers blasting out their version of "music" that they wanted everyone to hear, and the Rosary broadcast from the church, I miss the sounds of the vendors--and the incomparable bolillos from the Chapala Bakery truck, the music emitting from it telling me to go out with my pesos in hand.
  3. I greatly enjoyed living in San Antonio Tlayacapan for 13 years, until circumstances forced me to return to the U.S. two years ago. Before that, I had spent every winter somewhere in Mexico since 1993. I still miss living at Lakeside, and I greatly enjoyed visiting there in March. But the greatly increased congestion I experienced--not merely in traffic, but with more building going on everywhere--did not lead to my concluding that it is feasible for me to return.
  4. I thought that I posted this on April 2, but apparently I didn't: On March 10 I crossed the border into Mexico in my toad (the car I tow behind my motorhome) via the relatively new Anzaldúas Bridge, which had been recommended to me and is conveniently near Alamo, Texas, where I have been spending the winter in my motorhome. There was no line or waiting at the bridge, a very positive feature. A single room, however, crowded with people, served both Migración, which issues tourist visas, and Banjercito, which issues Temporary Import Permits for vehicles, and I found it confusing to have to get in one line to apply for my tourist visa, then in a second line to obtain my TIP, and then in a third line to actually obtain my visa. I seemed to be the only gringo in the crowd, but some kind Mexicans were very helpful in directing me from one line to the next one. The drive through an industrial area of Reynosa to highway 40 to Monterrey and beyond was short, and the TomTom GPS that I had purchased for the occasion directed me. (It did not always do that, however.) I intended also to return to Texas on Easter Day, April 1,via Anzaldúas (although my TomTom did not recognize that as a destination). But Mexico News Daily reported that there had been a shoot-out in Reynosa on Good Friday, and more important in my consideration, that all weekend festivities had subsequently been cancelled, which suggested to me that more violence might be expected. Since I had no way of knowing what the relationship between my route through Reynosa and the area in which violence had occurred, or might occur, might be, I decided, instead, to return to Texas via the Colombia Crossing that is generally thought to be safe (though also not recognized by my TomTom). The crossing at Colombia was very easy and quick, very few people, in marked contrast to Anzaldúas, being there. You surrender your TIP, and receive a receipt for having done that, at a kiosk, turn in your visa at Migración, and you're on your way. Having crossed at Colombia several times, I knew that it was actually west of Nuevo Laredo, while my destination is considerably east of it. But I had forgotten how far west it is. And I had also forgotten how far west of Alamo Laredo is. So my decision resulted in a very long detour, which turned out to be unnecessary. I should have realized that the shoot out in an area in which a Good Friday procession was occurring could not be the commercial area of Reynosa through which I would be traveling on my way to the bridge.
  5. I thought that I posted this on April 2, but apparently I didn't: On March 10 I crossed the border into Mexico in my toad (the car I tow behind my motorhome) via the relatively new Anzaldúas Bridge, which had been recommended to me and is conveniently near Alamo, Texas, where I have been spending the winter in my motorhome. There was no line or waiting at the bridge, a very positive feature. A single room, however, crowded with people, served both Migración, which issues tourist visas, and Banjercito, which issues Temporary Import Permits for vehicles, and I found it confusing to have to get in one line to apply for my tourist visa, then in a second line to obtain my TIP, and then in a third line to actually obtain my visa. I seemed to be the only gringo in the crowd, but some kind Mexicans were very helpful in directing me from one line to the next one. The drive through an industrial area of Reynosa to highway 40 to Monterrey and beyond was short, and the TomTom GPS that I had purchased for the occasion directed me. (It did not always do that, however.) I intended also to return to Texas on Easter Day, April 1,via Anzaldúas (although my TomTom did not recognize that as a destination). But Mexico News Daily reported that there had been a shoot-out in Reynosa on Good Friday, and more important in my consideration, that all weekend festivities had subsequently been cancelled, which suggested to me that more violence might be expected. Since I had no way of knowing what the relationship between my route through Reynosa and the area in which violence had occurred, or might occur, might be, I decided, instead, to return to Texas via the Colombia Crossing that is generally thought to be safe (though also not recognized by my TomTom). The crossing at Colombia was very easy and quick, very few people, in marked contrast to Anzaldúas, being there. You surrender your TIP, and receive a receipt for having done that, at a kiosk, turn in your visa at Migración, and you're on your way. Having crossed at Colombia several times, I knew that it was actually west of Nuevo Laredo, while my destination is considerably east of it. But I had forgotten how far west it is. And I had also forgotten how far west of Alamo Laredo is. So my decision resulted in a very long detour, which turned out to be unnecessary. I should have realized that the shoot out in an area in which a Good Friday procession was occurring could not be the commercial area of Reynosa through which I would be traveling on my way to the bridge.
  6. I thought I posted this on April 2, but apparently I didn't: On March 10 I crossed the border into Mexico with my toad via the relatively new Anzaldúas Bridge, which had been recommended to me and is conveniently near Alamo, Texas, where I have been spending the winter in my motorhome. There was no line or waiting at the bridge, a very positive feature. A single room, however, crowded with people, served both Migración, which issues tourist visas, and Banjercito, which issues Temporary Import Permits for vehicles, and I found it confusing to have to get in one line to apply for my tourist visa, then in a second line to obtain my TIP, and then in a third line to actually obtain my visa. I seemed to be the only gringo in the crowd, but some kind Mexicans were very helpful in directing me from one line to the next one. The drive through an industrial area of Reynosa to highway 40 to Monterrey and beyond was short, and the TomTom GPS that I had purchased for the occasion directed me. (It did not always do that, however.) I intended also to return to Texas on Easter Day, April 1,via Anzaldúas (although my TomTom did not recognize that as a destination). But Mexico News Daily reported that there had been a shoot-out in Reynosa on Good Friday, and more important in my consideration, that all weekend festivities had subsequently been cancelled, which suggested to me that more violence might be expected. Since I had no way of knowing what the relationship between my route through Reynosa and the area in which violence had occurred, or might occur, might be, I decided, instead, to return to Texas via the Colombia Crossing that is generally thought to be safe (though also not recognized by my TomTom). The crossing at Colombia was very easy and quick, very few people. in marked contrast to Anzaldúas, being there. You surrender your TIP, and receive a receipt for having done that, at a kiosk, turn in your visa at Migración, and you're on your way. Having crossed at Colombia several times, I knew that it was actually west of Nuevo Laredo, while my destination is considerably east of it. But I had forgotten how far west it is. And I had also forgotten how far west of Alamo Laredo is. So my decision resulted in a very long and, as it turned out, unnecessary detour.
  7. Many thanks to everyone for the stimulating exchange. The reason I prefer to swim in lakes is simply that I do not like swimming in pools. But as I forgot to bring my aqua shoes, I guess I'll forego Lago de Chapala.
  8. I've been away from Lakeside for two years, but I seem to remember people, though perhaps not gringos, actually in the water at the beach at the west side of the Chapala pier. Does anyone swim there now? Is it said to be safe or unsafe? Has Dr. Strong had anything to say about it? I saw lots of footprints in the beach sand this afternoon, but no one on the beach or in the water.
  9. Thanks, all. I want to return to P.V. via the macrolibramiento, despite the tolls, because the road is so good. I understand that driving toward Guadalajara on the Guadalajara-Chapala highway 23, I take the returno after the "Burrito Triangle." I think I know what the Burrito Triangle is, near the junction of the highway from La Barca, but I can't remember its name, and it would be helpful if someone could tell me what its name is
  10. Sorry, having made some stops in P.V., I didn't note the time when I left, so I don't know the driving time.
  11. Driving up from Puerto Vallarta today, I took the apparently new "corta" Autopista del Sur de Guadalajara from Compostela, which fed into the apparently new Macrolibramiento de Guadalajara and put me right on the Guadalajara to Chapala highway 23, headed to Chapala. The tolls of 588 pesos were significant, and there was a very long backup and delay at one of the toll booths, but the drive was much easier than it used to be. When I drive back toward Guadalajara on 23 to go back to Puerto Vallarta, will I find an entrance to the Macrolibramiento? Will I have to do a retorno or some other maneuver to get on it? Thanks.
  12. At least the cost of living increases are keeping up with increases in the cost of living. (joke)
  13. But Bisbee, Bisbee Gal, is in virulently anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic Arizona, where I definitely do not want to be.
  14. First, I want to add two points to my previous post: (1) I remember the high noon shoot-out on Madero in Chapala, the murders in Riberas, the kidnappings from the carretera, the kidnapping and beating of a neighbor in SAT, etc. But having lived in Boston, New York, and Chicago, and having visited 68 countries on all six inhabited continents (and Antarctica, too), including Honduras, Guatemala, and South Africa, including Johannesburg, the violence in Mexico had nothing whatever to do with my leaving or not returning to it. (2) Among the inanities of the far-right-wing government of Texas is the promotion of guns, including encouraging teachers to carry them in their classrooms. I am not looking for "a left-wing paradise," just for a place not as right-wing and backward as most of Texas is (e.g., teaching kids creationism instead of evolution, that the cause of the Civil War was state's rights, not slavery, etc.) It' s not as bad in the heavily Hispanic Rio Grande Valley where I'm now living as it is in most other parts of the state; local governments there, for example, oppose the construction of a ridiculous and shameful wall that would, among things, destroy the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. But nowhere in Texas can one escape the crazy right-wing antics of the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, Texas State Board of Education, etc. Refusing to allow surgery to proceed until more money is produced, which happened to my friend in Puerto Vallarta, could not happen to a Medicare beneficiary in the U.S. I agree that good medical care is available in Mexico, if one can afford to pay for it or afford to buy health insurance here. (I had a cleaning and all needed dental work done this afternoon by the dentist I went to when I lived here. Much cheaper, and much more convenient, while I am here, than going across the Rio Grande to have dental work done, as many people in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas do. I spent last winter in Silver City, New Mexico, where I did find some non-far-right-wing people to socialize with. And the proposal of the Republican governor's appointee to stop teaching evolution and climate change in the state's public schools was withdrawn because of the vociferous objection to it. But it's a long drive from Silver City to Palomas, Mexico, for medications and dental work.
  15. I greatly appreciated the perceptive comments of Michael2595, but I empathize most strongly with the comments of RVGRINGO, whose situation is similar to mine. I spent every winter in Mexico in my motorhome from 1993-94 to 2015-16. Having traveled in every Mexican state in my motorhome, and having enjoyed several winters in Acapulco and then Puerto Vallarta, I began to stay year-round in San Antonio Tlayacapan in 2003. (It saddens me to see videos of people pulling up on jet skis and shooting people on the Acapulco beach where I used to spend most afternoons.) I acquired FM3, now Residente Temporal, status in 2002 (in Acapulco) and, with three five-year renewals, would have had it until 2017, had Mexico not changed its immigration law. With the change, Residente Temporal became limited to one four-year term, and not renewable in Mexico. Continuing as a Residente Temporal now requires one to leave Mexico after four years and apply for a new four-year term at a Mexican consulate in the country of which one is a citizen. Most of my Residente Temporal friends converted to Residente Permanente, as the Mexican government apparently preferred them to do. But Residente Permanentes may not drive foreign-plated vehicles; their vehicles must have Mexican plates, and I could not register my Honda CR-V in Mexico ("nationalize" it), because its VIN begins with "J," indicating that, although I bought it in the U.S., it was made in Japan. Therefore, I had to remove my Honda from Mexico before the expiration of my Residente Temporal status on May 2, 2016. I did not know what the nationalization status of my motorhome might be, but I was afraid to leave it in Mexico while I took my car to the U.S., so I also took it to Texas in April 2016. Had the law not been changed, I would likely still be in San Antonio Tlayacapan. But an incident encountered by a friend at a hospital in Puerto Vallarta made me think that once in the U.S., I might better stay there. Awaiting surgery that physicians said was urgently needed, in a condition that, they said, prevented him from flying to the U.S. for it, the hospital refused to permit the waiting surgeons to perform the operation on my friend until more money was produced to pay for it. In the U.S,, presentation of his Medicare card would have resulted in his receiving the surgery he needed, with no demand for any payment in advance. Having just driven down from Texas for a visit at Lakeside, I experienced the unmaintained highways and the appalling congestion at Lakeside that is much worse than I remember from 2016. I feel much more "at home" at Lakeside than I do in far-right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and theocratic Texas, where Trump supporters predominate. But I am not sure that I could tolerate the congestion now, and, becoming a nonagenarian in May, I am concerned about what might happen to me here should I need emergency medical care.
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