香港新浪網 MySinaBlog
« 上一篇 | 下一篇 »
Paley | 25 December, 2012 | 一般 | (157 Reads)

Aunt Esther said I could save a lot of money by having my dental work done in Mexico. I thought, Yeah sure, but what kind of quality are we talking about? I balked. dentist for some over the border facsimile. It's one thing to bargain for piñatas in the market place and it's another to let any old body tinker with your teeth.

I even went so far as to suggest that my 86-year-old aunt might be trading dollars for wooden teeth. I took perverse pleasure in teasing her. I'm sure my sweet aunt seethed over that one. Nevertheless, she kept quietly affirming her and Uncle Bob's positive experiences with their good old Progresso, Mexico dentist. I ignored her advice.

Then, old age kicked in. My perfect teeth suddenly needed mucho expensive' work. My daughter's teeth required multiple fillings from a massive onslaught of sugar. My wife needed crowns on top of crowns. Our dentist started quoting numbers that sounded like hyper-inflated South American currencies. My frugal pocket book started to scream, help .

Then, coincidentally, I received an international newsletter that touted Mexican dentistry. It further suggested that I could save a bundle over comparable stateside dentistry. That caught my attention. Now, I had corroboration. That perked up the tight wad in me. What, save money, for comparable work? Now, you're talking my langauge. Suddenly, wooden teeth seemed implausible, and saving money seemed possible.

Soooo, I scheduled an appointment with a dentist in Progresso, Mexico, just over the border from McAllen, Texas. I didn't know what to expect. Archaic conditions, ancient dentistry, middle age torture? Maybe someone would even slip in a wooden tooth or two. I was replica watches prepared to run, and run fast, at the first sign of trouble.

Boy, was I surprised? First, everybody spoke English. Sometimes a few words came out a little muddled, but pretty good English just the same. You had to listen carefully when the receptionist called out names. Bob would come out as Booob, Steve as Seeve, Brittany as Brrrtny, and Anna as Ahna. It was worth the price of admission just to hear how bizarrely your name could be adulterated over and over again until it gained some recognition.

Second, the waiting room and staff were first class. Neat, clean, and well orchestrated. The service area was first world, modern, and immaculately clean. I couldn't find a speck of dust to mutter my view in any direction. These people were obsessive clean freaks'. If only my house were this meticulous.

Another thing, the lobby was 100% full of retirees from the States. Hmmm ¦ ¦. I thought, maybe they have found a good value. One thing I've always noticed is that seniors are pretty darn savvy. They're on a fixed income and they've got time on their hands to find bargains. They're often well educated and they are prone to communicate their findings among themselves.

Years ago, when I was inquiring about restaurants in the United Kingdom, a native advised me a full house means good food . Just commonsense, I guess, but worth remembering just the same. Accordingly, I surmised that a full dental office means good prices and good work, or the waiting room wouldn't consistently have a standing room only crowd.

Conversations in the waiting room with various seniors confirmed the quality of their selection. An old guy with a fat Rolex watch laughed and flirted with the cute little receptionist. He pretended to be young and she pretended to be interested. A lady in the waiting room chair next to me gave me an education on selecting second homes and traveling in first class RV's. These weren't people that had to sacrifice quality for the sake of price. These were smart individuals that had simply found quality work for better prices.

What kind of savings are we talking about here? Is it worth the trouble of taking a south of the border trip? Judge for yourself. For me it was substantial. Teeth cleanings at our recommended Mexican dentist were $10, deep periodontal cleanings were $20 (we were quoted $250 in the States), standard filings were $20, ceramic filings were $40, and crowns were $150 (compared to our quote of over $600). Other major dental work had even more impressive savings. Other dentists with less elaborate facilities were even lower. Other areas away from the border have even more dramatic savings.

What about the quality? Our experience was great. I couldn't tell the difference between our tried and true' dentist and his Mexican counterpart. Now, to be fair, we weren't able to watch the latest videos in a comfortable chair like we did at our Stateside dentist. In addition, we weren't pampered by a smooth talking dentist with a new luxury car parked out back. But, considering the price difference, we were wowed' enough to return on a regular basis. The dentist and staff seemed quite proficient.

And, there were perks. Yes, perks aren't just for Enron and World-Com executives. First, we were able enjoy a mini-vacation in McAllen and Progresso, Mexico. McAllen is very comfortable and reasonably priced with a warm winter climate that attracts Winter Texans' form around the country, including my own loveable Aunt Esther and Uncle Bob. They venture south from the frozen tundra each and every year to escape the severe northern climate. They find pleasure in the warm weather and camaraderie among other retires from varied locations across the continent, while enjoying a very low cost of living.

Then, there are the border towns, with Progresso being the cleanest and most user friendly. You simply park your car for a dollar in a well organized lot adjacent to the border, stroll across the Rio Grande under a covered bridge, and presto your in Mexico. No fuss, no muss.

The town is clean, neat and very safe. If you're skittish at all about border towns, this town is for you. Americans dominate it. When you walk down the street, they're in front of you, behind you and everywhere in between. You can't help but trip over one darn near any which way you turn. In fact, you might even get tired of hearing English and yearn for a little more Spanish, just for a little extra flavor.

The police are prevalent and very helpful. Need directions, Swiss Replica Watches they are willing to help. Want to jaywalk, no problem, they'll stop traffic and help you cross. Want to drink a margarita or a beer while you stroll down the street and shop, no problemo'. They are there to help you, not to catch you in some minor infraction. Americans provide their livelihood and they are happy to show you their appreciation.

The vendors all seem to have that great entrepreneurial spirit that seems to have been lost by many back home. They are very anxious to please. Don't like the price, they'll change it. Can't carry a bulky purchase across the border, they'll break their back to haul it to the border for you. Didn't see exactly what you wanted, no worries, they'll call around until they find it and make you happy and themselves a sale.

And bargains abound. Doctors, dentists, prescription drugs, handicrafts, liquor, tobacco, and numerous services are all offered at substantial savings. There's the Rose Garden for .75 beers you can enjoy while being serenaded by a mariachi band in full dress, margaritas on every corner for a dollar, elaborate shoe shines for a buck, manicures, pedicures, hair styling, duty free liquor and cigarettes, and cheap meals that will welcome any budget. You can even ride a mechanical bull for a mere $3. And if you drink too many margaritas and involuntarily extract a few teeth while trying to ride the bull, you won't have to walk more than a block in any direction to have them made new again. Cheap fun indeed.

All in all, I don't think you'll regret a south Texas-Mexico getaway. It's fun. It's cut-rate. It's foreign. It's very safe. It's even a little exotic. It'll save you money. If you need any kind of significant dental work or if you just like to hunt for bargains, you will pocket enough money to pay for your trip, buy some tequila and stuff your wallet. And, by the way, you won't end up with wooden teeth'. I apologize to Aunt Esther for suggesting otherwise. You'll simply have a great little vacation that you will enjoy and profit by.

I am a successful semi-retired finance/management executive and real estate investor who achieved financial independence by the age of 35. I have subsequently spent the last 17 years managing my investments and traveling extensively around the world.

I have tried to help others by writing on topics including meditation, stress management, personal money management and financial and travel possibilities. I have self published a book on meditation and am in the process of writing other books on mediation/stress reduction and financial opportunities.

I have been fortunate enough to have the time to explore alternative lifestyles and to discover ways for ordinary people to physically, spiritually and financially improve their lives.

Be wary of Counterfeit Watches