Algodones, Mexico and Glasses

1/20/16 (Wednesday) in Winterhaven, CA (Pilot Knob-ROD)

This time I was determined to take pictures, so as soon as we crossed into Mexico, I took a photo of a big sign there. John yelled at me that photography was not allowed, as I continued up the walk. Sheesh, I didn’t see the sign. The first thing you notice is the “Purple Store”, a pharmacy and liquor store.


Walk to the end of that street and at the first intersection, to your right, you’ll see our “Oasis Dental Group.”

mexico 3

Now realize that as soon as you see the Purple Store you’ll be greeted by many “sales persons” asking if you want dental or optical services or need medicines or liquor because that’s how they try to get you to purchase theirs. You can say “no thank you” or simply look ahead and ignore them and they will let you continue on. However today my mission (besides some photos) was to research prices for replacing my glasses. After listening to many different explanations, at the a few of the different optical shops, I came away with quite a range of quotes and the realization that I should have had a clearer idea of what my glasses entailed. Following; my research on the Internet AFTER we checked things out in Mexico.


Lenses (glass, CR-39, polycarbonate, high-index, Trivex)

Bi-focal or Progressive (Varilux Comfort most prescribed, Essilor Ovation)?

Coatings (scratch-resistant, Anti-glare/Anti-Reflective/Crizal,Ultraviolet protection (only needed with CR-39), polished edges). Transition (turn dark in sun) are not as helpful as wraparound sunglasses for visible sunlight because 50% of sunlight reaches your eyes from around your frames. Also in a car the roof and sides of the car lessen the amount of sunshine needed to trigger maximum darkness change.

At most places the exam was free. If your glasses were basic (like John’s) then it would take a day to have the lenses ready. If they were pretty complicated (like mine) they could take from 2-4 weeks to be ready. Very good to know.

Research accomplished, we got in the line for the USA. There we found out that many people come to Mexico for the liquor, but it’s not sold until 11 am. Thus the line to get back into the US can get really long if you get here after 11 am. It was 11:15 and already we had to stand for about a half hour, where as on our last visit (left about 10:30am) there was no line at all. Our neighbors said they’d been in the line for 3-4 hours before.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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