A bit of a rant. This hits home for myself and I am sure many others in business and resident here too…Local nationals and immigrants such as I.
If anything pisses me off…it is the rude assumption of such. But…we are in Mexico I hear !!! Why do I have to pay? Or pay so much? So much I query ?? Really? I see it almost daily during tourist season here. I hear it daily during the tourist season here. From cafes and bars to the hardworking artisans …taxi drivers…you name it. They all …err sorry…many…waltz into town and Mexico and expect that we all work for nothing and are so hungry we will barter to our own detriment …then brag while walking down the street about their great deal and high five each other. And giggle gleefully. This drives me nuts!
I have had extremely wealthy clients here contact me for custom painting commissions. I am talking multi million dollar villas beachfront. Wanting me to paint huge pieces for them. Demand I show up at a certain time to their schedule to discuss it. I arrive…park and enter through the gates…past the plethora of I am sure poorly paid gardeners etc…into the home. Wait. Wait longer…person is on the phone and I get the finger up in the air telling me such. Uhuh. I am all ready to leave now. Finally I am shown a huge wall and dimensions are told to me. How much I am asked? I calculate and tell the prospective client. I get the as always…really? We are in Mexico you know! I want a better price! Ohhhhh I reply. Ok then…I raise it! The look on the face is priceless. I have already decided this person will never own one of my paintings. I tell said client …I quoted you a price that is 10% of my rate anywhere else in the world. I hear…”yes..so what can you really do for me here?” I say …I just told you…I guess…hmmmmm…nothing then …and I leave. But before I exit the room I turn and say…I do not know what you do or did for your career or living. Then I ask…did you get this fabulous villa by working for free? A smirk and a grunt…no! Then why the fuck should I? And I leave. You cannot imagine how many times I am asked to barter my artwork. Crazy making. Do I look like a hardworking beach vendor to you? No ? See? You called me honey. You know my value. If you don’t I can put you in touch with my dealer in Canada….you two can work it out. Adios!
I see tourists enjoying their 20 peso beers then bring out their phones to calculate a 10 or 15 % tip! Really? I have seen Canadian visitors tip with Canadian pocket change coins! They basically just told their wait staff to go to hell. As that type of currency is useless. First no bank here will change it. Second…you are now expecting your waiter or waitress to go out of their way to stand in a long line at a bank for a measly peso or so. Come on now!!!! A beer that would cost you anywhere from 7 to 17 dollars back home…yet you will NOT tip the staff a peso more for a beer that cost you what 50 cents? Shameful and embarrassing.
I have always had great respect for those I have met and befriended and worked with in this country. I am friendly and polite after all I am guest here…not rude…I am a good tipper….not a cheap person. I know the economy of this country …I now work in it…and cannot imagine ever trying to hammer them to their knees for a sale or not tip for their gracious service. I do not get it.
Also, I have personally heard so many times…”why the hell can’t these people speak English!” Again…really? Do you realize you are in a foreign country with their own language? Spanish? Just try please!!! Or go back home. I was in a large well known store in town several years ago. In line with my buggy full of stuff. An older expat woman was freaking at the young girl teller….she was screaming almost and ranting. Why? Because that girl could explain to her in English an apparent discrepancy over 5 pesos for an item on her bill. Yeah! No shit. When she shouted aloud “where the hell are we?” I told her Mexico. Then I told her …maybe you should just go back to your land and be happier. And more actually. Oops. She glared at me and stomped off. As I was dressing this horrible person down , I feel a buggy bump into my back. I thought…oh here we go. It was two lovely gays patiently waiting behind me. They said to me “go girl!” Whew . Lol. When I get to the till myself the poor young said to me in Spanish …gracias for that. I always sought her out when I was shopping.
This is not everyone mind you…of course not. But during the high season…it is very prevalent. I find it so very disturbing. Rude. Obnoxious. Why? North of border entitlement? Yes. Maybe…I just don’t know.
The people of this land are so very full of life,love and joy…They will help you if you are in need. Just please understand this ok? And be nice back. You will, I guarantee enjoy stay here. If you come down expecting nothing but grief…well..you just bring that upon yourself don’t you?
The real reason for this diatrabe is that tonight while waiting for a very long time for a taxi at a corner stitio stand a group of wasted tourists tried to bully me out of my cab. I stood in the rain for close to 30 for my late night ride home. But hey…they felt special. Just arrived. They want it…now! As I see finally a taxi pulling over they rush over and shout loudly…”Hey Paco…we need a taxi!!” How friggin rude! I am about to open the door…and I get accosted by one large male…”sorry sweetheart he says to me…this is ours!.” Uhhhh no…sorry it is not!!!! He received an elbow crush that I am sure he will feel in the morning. I threw his drunk ass to the side and climbed in …the others were climbing in too! Are you kidding me? The poor driver did not really want this crap going on. I just smiled at him and said in Spanish…step on it! He did. They all fell to the street. And…I got home with a few chuckles with the nice taxista. He was tipped well! Call me sweetheart while you try to rob me of my ride home? Not happening!!!
Life here is grand beyond belief. Visiting here on vacation equally so. Just please, please leave your crap at home. Have some respect. Oh…and this advice? Is Mexico free!!!! No. Pony up! And just enjoy!!!