This is a story submission from The Gypsy Nurse.
The following was originally written back in April 2005. I’d been traveling for about a year at this time. Working in McAllen, TX. McAllen was a mixed contract for me. I had some minor difficulties on the job with a co-worker but met some wonderful and lasting friends while there. There are so many experiences that I attribute to having worked as a Travel Nurse. Things that I don’t know if I would have ever seen or done if I had remained a staff nurse in my hometown.
The Hidden Danger of Candied Pecans
Yep…candied pecans! Made fresh on the street in a boiling pot of oil, sweet, hot and so very innocent looking. Very yummy and you know my love for sweets! I couldn’t pass them up. However….as wonderful as they are, I will never eat them again. I picked up a small bag of these delectable yet dangerous goodies in Progresso, Mexico today and saved them for an evening snack. Upon crunching on my first bite….yes, my FIRST bite…I chipped a tooth!! Guess I need to go back to Mexico and see the dentist next time. So, no more candied pecans for me! Guess I should have passed them up this time as the waistline doesn’t need them anyway! Maybe someone is trying to tell me something?
My new Travel Nurse friends; Theresa, Ed and Paul joined up with me for a day-trip to Progresso Mexico. We drove to Progresso today and had a great time. We stopped in a little cafe and had breakfast while listening to a Mariachi band, then we wandered the streets and attempted to make a few deals with the street vendors. All over town, you can hear the hawkers calling out “almost free” as they attempt to sell whatever trinket they have for sale. I picked up some sort of noise maker/toy for my daughter for “almost free!” She will love them but I’m sure that her Dad will want to kill me for sending them.
After shopping all morning we landed at a local place named Poncho’s for beer and margaritas. Live music today included some really BAD country singer!! We were more than happy when the Mariachi band wandered into the bar and gave a slight reprieve from the bad karaoke type country music! After a couple of drinks, we wandered down the street for some fresh taquitos from one of the street stands. One of my favorite things when visiting a new place is to savor the food. The street vendor didn’t disappoint. Final stop included the liquor store as everyone knows that no trip to Mexico is complete without cheap alcohol…and of course noisemakers touted ‘almost free’.
It makes me sad that the safety along the Mexico border has changed so very much since I was there in 2005. I don’t know if it’s even feasible to drive across the border anymore.
I recently spent some time in the south-central area of Mexico and felt perfectly safe there. I just don’t know if I would cross over from the US at this time. If you do happen to make it to Progresso…stop in at Poncho’s for a cheap (yet tasty) Margaretta and find your own trinket “Almost FREE!!”, but be sure to stray away from the candied pecans…they really are dangerous.
I’d love to get more stories from travel nurses! If you’re a travel nurse and have some good stories, use the “submit your story/contact” link at the top to send ‘em my way! Happy New Year everyone!