Synergy Spanish

This system teaches you Spanish, the easy way - not the academic way. With only 138 words you will be speaking Spanish.


The Best Vet in Mexicali!

Dr. Rafael, the best veterinarian anywhere; he's close to the border, speaks English and has lived in Arizona! Click

Mexican Auto Insurance

This company has been with us since 2008. They are the oldest and best established insurer for those of you travelling to Mexico.
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My first trip to the USA after my Tarlov cyst operation

Waiting to cross into the U.S.

Waiting to cross into the U.S.

December 1st, was the first time I crossed the border to Calexico, two and a half months after my Tarlov cyst operation!

While I was recuperating, Jim had to go alone to Calexico for our usual errands.  Today, I got into the front seat of our truck, Matthew sitting in the back, Jim at the wheel, he stepped on the gas, and we were off to the border-town of Calexico. Yippie-Kai-Yay!!!!!!!!

While waiting in line for U.S. customs, we saw a blue car, a Jetta, with Pennsylvania plates in front of us.

There were two American gals, with their 4 dogs inside the car. The two larger dogs had their heads poking out of the car, and were enjoying every moment, while the 2 smaller dogs hopped around inside the small Jetta. The women bought little vases and welcome signs from the Mexican street vendors along the border crossing line. They also bought cold drinks and bottled water for their pets, which they dribbled out of the bottles for their pets to drink. We love dog and cat people, and it was such a nice scene.

We reached checkpoint, at the same time as the two gals and their four pets. The border patrol guards, after inspecting the gals’ passports let them and their dogs all through.

On a prior trip, Jim had asked the U.S. Border Patrol guy what was their policy on pets? The guy said, “So long as they look healthy we let them in.”

“No papers?”


“How many pets can I bring into the U.S., that way?” asked Jim.

“Don’t think there’s a limit,” came back the answer.

Good to know.

We had lunch at Denny’s in El Centro at around 2:00pm – the tab came to $54.00 for the three of us. Looking at the bill, Jim said, “Heck, that would be about 702 pesos – plenty for six people back in Mexicali.”

Next, we popped into the Social security office, and the IRS next door, to clear up on some paperwork. Jim is still trying to get Social Security to give us credit for years they have missed – yeah, that’s right – years they have missed. Well, they are checking on it.

Friends – don’t be like us – get your earnings statement from Social Security at least once every couple of years. If you wait too long – they may have “lost” the data they say, and you will be getting less on your Social Security. Incredible!

Then it was off to Staples to get some toner for our computer printer. Wow, ninety-six bucks – and it used to be around seventy.

The price of food and printer ink have gone up.

Jim complained, “Our dollar’s goin’ down! The next time we order online or get it back in Mexicali.”

Leaving Staples we turned the radio on to NPR – just about the only English language station in the area.

Jim joked, “I’m not a Commie just because I listen to NPR.”

Matthew asked, “Is it a Communist radio station.”

“Pretty near,” laughed Jim.

We had seen on the TV about the White House crashers, and were all amazed at how these two people managed to get into the White House without proper invitations.

Now it was on NPR.

"She coulda knifed him right then and there," said Jim

"She coulda knifed him right then and there," said Jim

Jim just shook his head and said, “Those bums coulda killed the President. So what if they had no weapons goin’ in – there were plenty of knives lying around on the tables. They should have taken those bums out and shot’em in back of the White House.”

“I agree,” chimed in Matthew – I don’t care much for Obama, but he is our President.”

“You bet,” said Jim.

On our way back, we stopped off to collect our mail and drop into Wal-mart’s Calexico store. Matthew needed a portable heater.  It gets cold at night in Mexicali, even though it is sunny and in the 80s/70s during the day, but, at night, it drops of by a good 40 degrees. It starts getting dark by 4.30 in the afternoon, now.

“Are we going to get a Christmas tree,” asked Matthew.

“What in tarnation for?” asked Jim.

“Well, the lights and all…,” answered Matthew.

“I think were a little old for that kinda stuff,” said Jim.

Matthew didn’t respond, but slumped back into his seat like a spoiled little kid – he’s a funny guy, that way.
We live in tough economic times. For folks who want to live – what we think is a great life – in Mexico, I highly recommend that you buy The Best How-To Book on Moving to Mexico, by Carol Schmidt, Norma Hair, and Rolly Brook, three retired people who have moved to Mexico and made a great go of it.
We live in a border town, and our experiences are different from theirs in many respects, but we learned a lot from their book.

97 year old woman living in her car

97 year old woman living in her car

Recently, we read about a 97 year old woman, and her two sons who had lived in their car, after they were evicted from their apartment.  It broke our hearts.

With their combined income, they could live quite comfortably here in Mexicali. Small two or three bedroom apartments here in Mexicali cost only around $250 a month.  According to the newspaper, that 97 year old woman was getting a lot more than that on her Social Security.

Too bad they don’t know about Mexicali, where they could have a decent life.

3 comments to My first trip to the USA after my Tarlov cyst operation

  • Carlos Alcala

    Dear Mary Ann,
    I want to thank you for your thoughts that you have shared with all of us on your blog. You have come to understand our town and what it takes to live here. It is a great town and I feel even more than honored when I read all those comments coming from an american citizen like you, living with your family on the same city I am but never crossed our roads before.

    I fell on you blog by indirectly searching for a job on Google. BTW, I am mexican and live in Mexicali since more than 20 years ago, but all my life I have worked for american companies all over the state and I believe I have come to understand american culture well enough to feel comfortable with it.

    God bless you and your family.



  • Jay

    I have some questions about Mexicali, can you email me? I have been there a few times but I am looking to see a doctor and I am hoping you can give me some advice. My email is Thank you.

  • I had listen this on news, they were not welcomed. Its big mistake from US security officer. They could harm Mr Obama or Mr. Singh. Thanks for this full story.

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