Carl's Mexico Notebook
Archive Issue for 27 June 2001
Buying Drugs in Mexico
More advice from David Eidell
Carl's Note: Buying prescription drugs in Mexico and questions related to hospitals and health care now make up a significant (and sometimes scary) portion of the email we receive from our readers. David Eidell has published a number of letters and excellent articles with us on this topic -- you can read Buying Prescription Medicines In Mexico .
I want to emphasize, however, that we only offer information and advice based on our own research and personal experience.
We are not interested in selling anything but books! Please do not ask us to recommend specific pharmacies, medicines, doctors, or under-the-counter drug sources.
on with the show....
On 27 June 2001, Richard Price wrote to David Eidell:
Question: I read your excellent advice on the website "People's Guide to Mexico," and I have a few questions: If I have a prescription for Valium from a U.S. doctor, do I still need to get a prescription from a Mexican doctor in order to legally get the prescription filled in Mexico?
David: U.S. prescriptions are not officially recognized in Mexico but it makes for convincing proof to a Mexican doctor that your US doctor thinks the medication is appropriate for you.
Question: Last night on the TV show Dateline, they had a story about an American man who had a prescription for Valium from a U.S. doctor, which he took to Tijuana to be filled. Upon leaving the farmacia, he was stopped by a plain clothes Mexican police officer who arrested him because he didn't have a prescription from a Mexican doctor. This poor guy spent over a year in a Mexican prison!!! (Of course, the TV show didn't mention how many pills he was carrying.)
David: The man purchased six hundred tablets of Valium off a street corner. His precription was from an unlicensed Mexican doctor from a year before.
Question: What do you think? Should I try to get the prescription from a Mexican doctor, or is that unnecessary?
David: It is not only necessary -- it is mandatory! Be certain to declare all of your medications at US Customs when asked to do so.
San Blas, Nayarit: Bungalows and Cyber Cafe
Hola Hola Carl y Lorena!
Way back in the winter of 1995, before I even knew what windows were, ( not long after Al Gore invented the internet), and pesos were not "nuevo" - I wrote to you an old fashioned letter, that was actually carried by post to you.
I told you the story of my mother bringing me and my siblings to Mexico as children, and of my return here to San Blas, Nayarit. In that letter I wrote about some bungalows my wife and I had opened which had left us virtually without pesos and hungry for people to come stay with us.
You were so kind as to print this letter in your People's Guide Travel Letter and only asked that I write back with more information about San Blas. Well, what a long strange trip it has been......
Now, many years later, I found that same letter on the internet, right from the Quinta California, which now has an internet cafe - "San Blas en Linea".
Well, a little late - but here is that information you requested. This is our page of information, photos, stories and links we have only just begun. We hope it is of interest to you and your readers....
People will be pleased to know that La Quinta California is still small, economical and personally run by myself and my wife Alma Rita. We are most proud of our courtyard, our pets and the fact that we now really do have plenty of hot water.
We thank you for all you have done for thousands of travelers and the people who host them.
Chris y Alma Rita
oaxaca perdidoby "W Joe Tyler"
I really enjoyed Bill Masterson's take on the new oaxaca. with a small o.... I lived in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca City, Puerto Angel and a place called San Jose Pacifico between 1975 and 1980. we used to ride dirt bikes down to what is now Huatulco before it became a movie set. At that time Oaxaca City was an amazing experience for a boy from Texas... the old market which has since been replaced was a fried grasshopper heaven and the restaurants that Bill wrote about were already there. The Indians with blue eyes that didnt even speak spanish were my favorite. The Tehuantepec women in those crazy beautiful red and black bug blood dresses. I think of the Zocalo like it was in 75 ..76...77.78..79... like what I hope these new tourists can even imagine it to be. Real restaurants around the edges and real groups of young Oaxacanas walking one direction to check out the muchachos walking the other way with the mothers and brothers sitting under the lights and making sure everything was cool....it really was like that ...when there wasn't a croud of Nazis taking pictures or American marketeers giving advice to little old ladies... the Mexican military observations were right on the money, but it was the same in 76, when being a young american, to them was like having a target. They are and always have been really scary. Monte Alban... when I was there was rarely visited and such a treat to go to early in the morning... little guys coming out with cloth covered treasures that were barely dry... it was a hoot. I dont know if you ever went to Salina Cruz, but I spent 7 months in jail there with 86 of the best guys I've ever known... Zapotecs that the soldiers were afraid of, murderers from Tuxtla... a great group of perdidos. It's a long story that I don't get into often, but Bill's writing sort of woke that up in me.....don't be too hard on Oaxaca... it cant help what has happened to it... as we get older its up to us to remember and remind....how exciting cruising down that mountain coming from Puebla it was...Talk to you later...adios...Joe
(Carl replies) Joe, I thoroughly enjoyed your letter and recollections of Oaxaca in the Seventies. Several of us hiked south from San Jose del Pacifico in about '74... chased by the Army, lost for well over a week, held under "house arrest" by Indians, Lorena got pneumonia, etc. etc. Returned to Oaxaca on top of a beer truck and were almost decapitated by low branches. A thoroughly grand adventure.
Yes, I also remember the plaza in those days, and the scary-thrill of wondering if we were going to be caught up in the next hippie-purge. Did you ever hear the story of the gringos who went down to Puerto Escondido for the big comet happening? They were evidently rounded up by the Mexican Army and forced to build a school, then deported.
How about the Oaxaca Trailer Park community? A fine selection of weirdos, dealers, scammers, and world vagabonds.
Monte Alban: the caretaker let us camp at the site, perhaps because Steve fixed him dinner and poured a lot of drinks. Many of those "freshly baked idols" were indeed fresh, but I also recall that some of the locals went into the ruins at night with a shovel!
(followup from "W Joe Tyler") carl.. oaxaca trailer park was a refuge for me at one point...I was stuck waiting for my partner and had no money..I went to the the oaxaca library and stole some books and sold them to the wierd people there in the park..it would not have been an option except for the understanding nature of the park world..it keep me alive and showed me the real meaning of compassion..I owe the oaxaca library a lot.