Sunday, August 11, 2013

Work, Work, Work

Well, not really.   We got a call for two courses here at the border.  Juan is taking Reynosa and I came to Matamoros.   We left Monterrey this morning on the bus, he took one and I took the other next to his.  We had breakfast across from the bus station.  Monterrey has a new bus station, well, at least half of one.  Space is so limited downtown they tore down one half and rebuilt it now they are doing the other.  Very nice, just like an airport with freezing cold air conditioning,  a couple of convenience stores and a couple of small diners.  No more rickety stands.   The metro runs right to the bus station as well.

Our tickets were purchased the other day.  Although all expenses are paid we asked for the teacher discount.   The trip was uneventful but interesting.   Usually you have a  checkpoint at the km 30 heading to Reynosa.   We were stopped about 20 minutes before that.   Unloaded the bus, all the passengers and luggage.  Outside were a couple of army vehicles and one very interesting truck.  It opened on both sides, a conveyer came sliding out and a soldier manned the controls from the inside.   Just like at the airport.   We sent our luggage through one by one and we were back on our way.   20 minutes later we reach the 30km checkpoint, pouring down rain.   The bus attempts to pull over for the customary inspection and the soldiers are waving us on with a smile on their face.  A couple of jokers on the bus opened their curtains and encouraged them to come on board.   Everyone had a good laugh and off we went.

The hotel I'm staying at in Matamoros is next to a Bennigan's restaurant and my meals are charged from there directly to the hotel per the publisher.  So I went there for dinner to see what it was all about.   I ate in a Benningan's in 1984 in San Antonio.  The food is okay, the soup was very good.  What surprised me was the price.   Good lord, 99 pesos for a slice of some factory produced cake.   That's between 80 and 100 dollars for a cake depending on how you slice it (no pun intended).   I asked for some butter for  my cream of potato soup.  Can you believe it?  They charged me for the butter.  

I will be here until Wednesday and I am looking around here for a much better place to eat.  The hotel offers a full breakfast until noon so that is taken care of.   Had I eaten dessert, my bill would have come to 280 pesos, that is almost a week's worth of groceries.

I think I need to convince the publisher to pay for fuel and rv park or parking and I can use the rv.  Much more to my liking.

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