I finally got esconced in my Hotel Room about 4PM yesterday, after more than 32 hours without sleep ( I do not sleep on planes). Needless to say, I was WIPED, and crashed until about 8PM, when I awoke and wrote Part I of my Doomer Travelogue. Onward here to Part II, today’s Adventures.
I was extemely nervous last night, for many reasons. I am of course completely PARANOID these days, and worried that I would get Detained at the Border trying to re-enter the FSofA. Have I yet “Made the List” as an Anti-Goobermint Blogger? Instead of returning to my Luxury Hotel Room in Yuma, would I get a One-Way Ticket to less luxurious accomodations at GITMO? I worried about the Dentist, despite the fact he came to me highly recommended by friends in Alaska who have used his services. I worried about the Security on the Street in Los Algodones. Would there be “criminal” types around who would try to divest me of my money or “things”? Could I FIND the Dentist’s office in this town?
Still, after finishing Part I and TRYING to watch some TV, I got a few more hours of sleep and woke around 6AM for my 8:30 Appointment with my Mexican Dentist. Why do I say I “tried” to watch TV rather than actually watched it? Because TV NO LONGER EXISTS in Hotel Rooms of the “Luxury” type!
Flipping it on, I got an EXTREMELY confusing Menu of Options, which included PPV Movies, Porn, Kidz Menus yadda yadda, and just FINDING the switch to get me to “normal” TV was a Treasure Hunt without a Map. I did FINALLY find “regular” TV, but there is no longer a “TV Guide” listing of what comes on when on which channel, just a list of the Channels.
So the only way to see what was on these Channels was to click through them, but the percentage of Commercials is such that just about every channel I clicked through had a Commercial running rather than actual Content Programming. Seriously, after messing with this shit for about 30 minutes I gave up and shut off the Tube. Its all just SELL SELL SELL.
Rising out of bed at around 6:30AM, I showered and screwed up my Courage. I prepped myself as best I could, which is not well since I could not bring even a Swiss Army Knife in my Wheely Bag past the Gestapo Agents of the TSA. However, I double checked that I had all the right IDs, checked my I-Phone and Galaxy Tablet for charge (communications if I got into trouble hopefully). Secreted CASH on my person, had a quick Complementary Breakfast in the Hotel Lobby and jumped in my Rented Ford Focus for the 10 mile drive to the Border.
It wasn’t hard to find the Border Parking Lot, I didn’t even need my GPS, just followed directions my friends gave me and even without that, the signs are pretty clear. You pass a Native Casino, numerous Bugout Machines parked on lots along the way and finally end up at THE BORDER. You know, that place where we are supposed to hold back the Mejicano Horde from Invading the FSofA. Passed this sign informing me that Weapons are ILEGAL in Mejico! Has anybody informed the Drug Cartels of this?
The parking lot is IMMENSE, but at 7:45AM when I arrived it was mostly empty, and it was only a few hundred yards walk to the barred Corridor you walk into Mejicano Territory. Despite the bars and all the rest on the way OUT of the FSofA, you have NO checks as you leave. There are Signs that warn you that if you carry more than $10K in Cash or other Negotiable Monetary Instruments you are supposed to “declare” it, but there is absolutely no checking on this whatsoever.
This is an important fact to consider for people worried about Capital Controls and leaving the FSofA with some MONEY. If you take this route at present time, you could walk across the border with 100lbs of Gold in a Backpack and another $100K in FRNs and nobody would ever be the wiser. No idea how long this situation will last, but it IS the case right now. Of course, depositing it in a Mexican Bank is no safe idea, as Peter here will attest to, but you CAN get it out of the FSofA right now this way.
Once you Cross the Border into Los Algodones, you are in ANOTHER WORLD. The Malls, the Chain restaurants, none of that exists over there. Its an old style Border Town, with lots of little Vendors hawking their merchandise, and you have to be able to Just Say “No, not interested” as you are hit on by numerous vendors trying to sel you something. Annoying as this is though, its a LOT better than the fucking Ads that were being pitched at me over the Boob Tube in the Hotel.
The main difference between Los Algodones and any other Border Town I ever hit (during my trucking years I hit a few others) is their Economic Model. The whole town is DENTISTS! OK, there are Optometrists also and the Pharmacies, but the driver is Dentistry. In about a 5 square block area of “Downtown” Los algodones, there are WELL over 100 Dentists, I would not even hazard a guess beyond that. The Dentists are out on the STREET beckoning you to come in, and even if you already KNOW the Dentist you are heading for, they urge you to get a “Second Opinion” and if you wanted to chance it, you could probably bid it down. However, if you already KNOW a decent one the prices are already so good dickering is stupid. I just said to the Dentists on the street I had my Appointment with my Dentist already, thanks but no thanks.
So, I wandered a bit through the shops since I was Early for my appointment, and located my Dentist’s Office in a Shop Plaza barely a block from the Border Crossing. It is a Tiny Office, the Waiting Room is about the size of a small Bedroom and the actual Dentist Recliner you get drilled on is in a room the size of a typical walk in closet in a McMansion. The Tech however is good, the Xray machine is Computer driven, no film. Overall very clean if small, and Jorge (my Dentista) speaks OK English.
I have now Relaxed somewhat, and spent about 20 minutes in the Waiting Room and the Receptionist gave me the Password to the WiFi, so I sent out a few messages to the Mod Squad here letting them know what was going on. Live Dentistry Updates from Mejico over the Internet!!! LOL. Where ELSE could you get that but the Doomstead Diner? OK, its only for the Mod Squad, but you get the idea here.
After some poking and prodding and discussion with Jorge, we agree on the Plan to Yank all the bottom teeth because there is simply so much wrong down there it would be ridiculous to try and fix it. On the top though, I elect to try to save the front teeth I have and go with a Partial Denture for the Molars which will attach to the front teeth. To do this, I go for 2 Root Canals on my Canines, which he needs to call in the Root Canal Specialista to do. Unlike here in the FSofA where said appointment would probably be 2 weeks away, he schedules her to come over to the Office at Noon. It is now 9:45AM, I have been in the chair since 8:40 or so.
So I go out and walk around Los Algodones and find a Cantina. I resist the urge to order a Corona at such an early hour and order Coffee and an Omellete. Not sure when I will next be able to eat solid food again, so I figured it was a good time to put some food in the stomach.
I mosy back to the Office around 11:30, send a couple more messages over the WiFi and then the Specialista shows up promptly at High Noon. Real Cute Mejicano Dentista 🙂 I’ve been through Root Canals before, and they can be Rough. However, this babe knoww what she is doing, and soon as I wince at all, she loads up the Hypo with still MORE numbing agents, and keeps on plowing the stuff into my gums. Probably had about 10 Shots, but couldn’t feel them really after about the second one. She drills and grinds and files for about an hour, then Jorge returns to carve the teeth some more to be ready for Crowning. After that, takes Molds of my Upper and Lower Teeth and soft tissue, and we make next appointment for Wed, when he will Crown Up here and do scaling and cleaning of the teeth that will remain in my head. Thursday, he will Yank the teeth and I will get my Partial for the Upper and Full for the Lower. I elected not to get Implants at this time. I’ll see how it goes with the lower, which supposedly is the most problematic for denture wearers. My sister has done OK with this though, so I want to see what this works like. If it slides around to much, I’ll come back in a few months and get 4 Implants dropped in to snap the lower denture into. Assuming of course in 4 Months I can still make this kind of trip.
Its now 3PM, and my Dentistry for the Day is Done, and I head back for the Border. Unlike the way IN, the way OUT is a LOT slower. There is a Queue about 200 yards long going into Customs. The Demographics of the Queue is very interesting. Its almost ALL Silents. 70-80 year old Retirees who live in AZ. I am a Spring Chicken in this crowd. In fact, if you walk around Los Algodones for a while you could easily become convinced the population of the world consists of all Old White Folks and Young Brown folks. Like the RE Developers of Yuma though, the Young Brown folks of Los Algodones hold no Ill Will toward the Old White folks from across the border wandering around town, they LOVE them! They are the Economic Driver for the town, the source of their FOREX that still holds some Value.
This REALITY is what really PISSES me off with respect to dimwitted Blogger Pundits who go on endless rants BLAMING Boomers for all the problems we face today. Jackasses like this simply do not look at the actual DEMOGRAPHICS and who received the greatest Benefits of the Age of Oil, and who in fact are still living quite well off of their Investments and GM Pensions that are STILL paying off courtesy of the Boomer Taxpayers (and Millenials, and GenXers etc) Silents set up this system, people like Warren Buffet and George Soros. Not Boomers. Boomers were TRAPPED by the kind of system set up by the Silents, who truly screwed this world, and who now are dying off just in time to fuck everyone else. If you want to place BLAME here as far as the Age of Oil is concerned, it rests entirely onthe shoudlers of the Silents, who were the most Greedy Generation ever to hit the planet. They sucked up the welath and spent it all cruising round the Golf courses of Florida for the last 30 years while Boomers picked up their Tab.
Standing in line waiting to walk my way back IN to the FSofA, I chat a bit with some of these Oldsters. The queue is so long I am curious how long it wil take to get back IN to the FSofA? I ask a Silent in front of me if he has done this before, he says yea, hundreds of times, from where we are it takes about an hour. He was almost dead on, it took 50 minutes. This ASTOUNDS me! Why?
Well, my Math Brain is not as fast as it was when I was a Child Prodigy or when I was doing Blackboard contests in the basement of Havermeyer Hall or pouring over spreadsheets at Drexel, but its still a whole lot faster than the average Calculator. LOL. Based on my walk to the back of the line, I estimate there are at least 500 people ahead of me. For this queue to move that fast, they have to be processing through around 10 Oldsters/Minute, or one every 6 seconds. I know the size of the building we are walking though, I estimate no more than 3 divisions can be made inside the building. In fact it was only two. So the Boarder Control Guards of the Foot Traffic out of Los Algodones have about 12 SECONDS to verify your Citizenship and whether you are a Political Criminal before granting you Access. So I say to myself, “MAN, these guys must be FAST on the Keyboard here to drop your Passport Number into the Database and see if it is Flagged! Then I think I have the answer, they don’t HAVe to keyboard it, the INFO is in an RFID chip in the Passport and they just scan it. Right? This is what you would THINK, BUT NO! No Keyboarding, no Scanning, NADA. You flash your Passport at the Border Guard, and you get Waved on through! LOL. There is better Security at your average Rock Concert or NFL Football Game!
Of course, if you do not fit the Demographic of an Old White Person, you probably get more scrutiny, but for you Old White folks who wish to move back and forth across the Mexicano Border these days, on FOOT is the way to do it! You could do it 3 times a day at least never carrying more than the $10K you are allowed to carry without declaration, even including having to wait on the line to get out.
For the Reverse movement of Mexicans, not quite so easy, but by no means very hard either. I pinpointed half a dozen places you could scale the fence in under 10 seconds if you are reasonably athletic and then make your way up the Colorado river with Snorkel and Flippers. There is almost NO WAY you would be caught. They simply do not have personnel to do it in the area, and this in a major town. Anybody can move across this border anytime really. Fencing the border with Mejico is an absurd idea, the personnel it would take to do it effectively would cost more than it costs to absorb the refugees! This is not even considering what you can do with a Kayak along the coast of Baja.
Anyhow, despite my calculations, I still had a certain amount of my initial Paranoia going until I actually passed my “check” with the Border Guard and got back into my Rented Ford Focus in the parking lot. Back here now in the bosom of the FSofA, I can enjoy the last of the ebnnies of the Age of Oil here in the 3 star Hotel Room I bought for Roach Motel Prices on Travelocity. Long as this system still functions, there are alot of ways to play the game still, and get “value” for your money. Why spend $10K for Dentistry when you can get the same job done just as well in Los Algodones for 1/5th the cost? Bonus, you help a smart Mexican Dentista feed his family with still working Dollars.
Which leads us into the final part of this series, not written yet, but I will call it now the “Unreality of Unknown Unknowns: Cross Border Fiat Collapse in the Real Economy.” Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.