Heavens to Murgatroyd…The Time Draws Near
August 11th, 2012 by Les

“Your call is very important to us.  Please enjoy this 50 minute clarinet solo.”

Mark Twain: “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

No explanation necessary just be prepared to experience pure terror.  Okay, so I exaggerate…a lot…and often.  I think that may be a prerequisite for someone who writes about basically nothing on a regular basis.  Perhaps it would have been better said if I mentioned I experienced poor terror or David, even.  Three years in Mexico and I drove for the very first time into Guadalajara.  I’m talking the central city….not just the outskirts.  The driving in Guad is third on a list of most difficult places to drive in the world (don’t know how accurate the list was or what the criteria was)..the first two places being Mexico City and Rome.

My thought process in regard to this adventure…if I can drive on the opposite side of the car on the opposite side of the street in Dublin…the countryside in Ireland and England, good grief should I not be able to drive in Guad.  I mean I drove right out of the airport…in Dublin….much to the chagrin of my friend who not 30 minutes after hitting Dublin found herself in the foot well of the passenger seat trying to catch her breath…perhaps trying to pry her eyes open…or maybe not!  I mean, just because we made a wrong turn down one of those ancient narrow streets and this rather large red truck came barreling at us with obviously no intention of slowing down and just because there was absolutely no place to go consequently the rear view mirror on the drivers side of the car (which I might add should have been the passenger side of the car) flew off…was really an over reaction on her part.  I think what really put her over the edge was my maniacal laughter.  Actually, much, much later I told her if I’d have done what I felt like doing…I’d have passed out…much more disconcerting than laughter, don’t you think?!

I know we mentioned driving in our last blog in our “Enjoy” “Found Challenging” lists.  However, this driving experience happened after the blog was published.  Just had to share.

The other night David and I got into a discussion of the Catholic Pope’s…how many there have been and, in particular, what nationality were they.  Of course David was trying to remember what the family name of the 16th century Italian Pope was and couldn’t quite recall.  Out came his trusty iPod.  Using voice recognition he said: “16th century Italian Popes”.   What he got was 16th century Italian Oops and you simply can’t imagine some of the things they brought up under that category.  Now that was amazing!!

A few days ago while at lunch with a few friends one of them, our friend Jan, commented on the reason she and her husband Joe are staying in Mexico.  I asked her if she’d please write her thoughts down for me and this is what she wrote:
It is wonderful living here in our little corner of the world with the best weather one could hope for, the most gracious people who share their lovely village and the amazing expats we have met here.  Mexico is NOT for everyone.  You should come and rent for awhile to learn the area, the customs and the laws (which can sometimes be very confusing).  Like Les has said ” non working traffic lights mean GO/sometimes?” & “donkey’s always have the right of way”.   
Our life here is so much more exciting than if we had stayed in the states.  We lunch every Tuesday with about 20 friends, we go dancing once a week at least with 10-20 friends, we go to the local market “Tianguis”, the local “organic market”, the “hot spring spas” and if that is too much…..we just don’t do anything!
Our deepest appreciation to Les & David for their friendship throughout our adventure to move here.  We wish them THE VERY BEST in their new adventure.

Roadside Chat

Jan & Joe Ritchie

Always on the Alert

Another friend, Stella, sent us some photographs she took while traveling around the Chapala area.  The one to the right gives you a glimpse of some of the interesting driving conditions one may encounter while traveling anywhere throughout Mexico.  Another picture, to the left, is of one of the many “roof dogs” seen and heard throughout any village or town, as well.

Below is a list of medical information/thoughts from David and I.  Hope it is helpful to you.


Found Challenging


Les’s Comments    
Doctors   There are many fine doctors here inMexico.  Most of the doctors have been educated in theUSand are bilingual.  Though I have not seen a doctor while down here, David has seen a doctor.  Speaking as an observer, the doctors we’ve seen are informed, willing to listen and seem to be current on health issues, medicines and medical technology.
Medications   Most medications prescribed in the US, at least as far as I have observed, seem to be available in Mexico.  You will need a prescription for controlled medications.  Controlled medicines are those that are deemed as having a high potential for abuse, such as Tarpon®, Valium® and anabolic steroids. If the word ‘controlado” is used, it means that the drug is controlled and you can not buy it over the counter without a prescription from a recognized and registered Mexican doctor. 
Hospitals   Hospitals inMexicohave long been a safe and affordable health-care alternatives for scores of Americans who cannot afford medical care in theUSA. Be it dental treatments, cosmetic surgery, weight loss procedures, general surgery or any other medical procedure, Mexico is one of the most popular places in terms of catering to US medical tourists.With many private hospitals having secured international accreditations such as JCI and ISO, hospitals inMexicohave also taken several initiatives to attract international patients. Many of these private Mexican hospitals have hired English speaking doctors & supporting medical staff.It is recommended you take a time to tour the various hospitals inGuadalajaraorMexico Cityto get a feel for the type of services they offer.Neither David nor I needed to spend any time in a hospital while down here.  We’ve heard both good and bad comments from people who have stayed in the hospital.  That is, however, the case no matter where you go.
Pharmacies   There are two ‘classes’ of farmacias (pharmacies). The most common is sequnda clase (second class), which is allowed to sell all but regulated medicines. Pharmacies that sell controlled or regulated drugs are referred to as primera clase.  Farmacia Guadalajara is where David and I purchased most of our meds.  It is a huge chain and can be found in most cities.
David’s Comments    
Doctors As everywhere, some doctors care more about their patients than others. One told me ‘you can take my advice, or die. It’s up to you.’ I wasn’t really convinced that those were the only 2 options. The doctor’s know what they are doing. There is no question of that.
Medical Test My experiences with medical testing have been mixed. A simple echo-cardiogram inGuadalajaratook far longer than it should have – even a doctor questioned why it was taking so long. The technician seemed unaware of what she was doing, and kept digging her elbow in to a bandaged leg of mine. Doctors here are very inexpensive. A typical visit to a GP may cost $20US, a specialist coming down fromGuadalajara- $50
Special Comment A routine blood test to detect a possible past heart problem cost $90US. I thought that was a bit high. Dr. Rodriguez at the Ajijic Clinic on the carretera is a find. A wonderful man, kind and caring, with a wide store of knowledge. He is my first choice for everything.
Prescriptions   Prescriptions can be refilled continuously without having to pay for another doctor’s visit.

Now on to David’s wonderful photography…please go to (or paste into your browser) to see some of the photographs David has on-hand…the last chance for anyone who is here to purchase them.  If you are interested in any of them…please email David at and he will make arrangements with you.


Cute Little Guy

Sweet Kitten

On another note….the little kitten who showed up in our yard a month ago is still with us.  By the way, it is a “he” not a “she” hence the….I’m knot a blonde statement (which I am).  After further investigation I have confirmed…it is a little boy.  He is precious and precocious, full of energy, healthy, litter trained and interacts well with other animals…all the while trying to look fierce ..which, I’m afraid he doesn’t carry off well.  His coat is so shiny…almost ebony in color and, when he closes his eyes he disappears.  He needs a home badly and would be a perfect addition to any home.  The place we have leased in South Carolinawill allow two cats and we are bringing three back.  So you see as much as we would like to take him with us…we cannot.  As I mentioned in my last post, the shelters here are dealing with feline leukemia at the moment making leaving him in a shelter not a viable option. Please email me if you are interested in this beautiful little guy.  My email address is

And lastly, some friends (actually, I had no idea we had so many friends and we are both grateful to all of them) of ours are throwing an Adios Meet and Greet for us on Saturday, August 25th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Please see invitation below.  If you are in the area, we’d love to have you join us.




Hosted by:  Ed & Betty Garnett, Michael & Shannon Hodge, Brent & Ava Wilson,

Joe & Jan Ritchie

WHEN:                                    August 25th, 2012          2-4pm

WHERE:                                JUNKY MONKEY PIZZA

                                                      123            Carretera (West Ajijic)

(Approx ½ block West of Fonda Dona Lola Restaurant and Waffle House.  Mountain side.)  (There is a pool supply business next door.  It is right before the man that makes the Equipale chairs.)

Cash Bar will be available for wine, beer and soft drinks.

Pizza snacks will be served.

RSVP to:

They say that every choice you have ever made in your life brings you to the exact moment you are currently living.  Heavens to Murgatroyd…Mexicomight just be for you!  More to come.

The pictures below were taken on a recent trip to Tlaquepaquewith our friends Nick and Stella.

Just Beautiful


Front View of Church




Door Handle


A Beautiful Garden in the Center of Tlaquepaque

4 Responses  
  • Cindy & Fritz writes:
    August 13th, 201211:14 amat

    Dear Les and David,

    So very sorry we won’t be able to say goodbye in person! I really regret that we didn’t get to spend more time together…the Fates were simply not in our favor. We wish you both the very best of luck in beautiful South Carolina and look forward to reading about your new adventures there. los abrazos grandes!

  • LuAnn and Terry Oburn writes:
    August 12th, 201211:25 amat

    What memories you have of such a warm and inviting country! We’re looking forward to hearing about the memories you will be making in South Carolina. Safe travels and love to you both!

  • Laurel writes:
    August 12th, 20124:57 amat

    I will terribly miss your very unique ,expressive journals and David’s beautiful photos of the Chapala area. I have been there through your words and camera.
    Yet, I am excited for what your new life will bring and am delighted that you will continue to share it with all of us out here in cyberland. Have a safe and blessed journey back to the U.S.

  • Myron writes:
    August 11th, 20129:18 pmat

    Waiting to catch up with y’all when you get to South Carolina. We’re in Charleston and hope we can get together when y’all settle in.

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