Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mexican Tip numero uno


I've been to Mexico many times before butI had never gone by myself, until now. I thought Mexico would be a fairly easy country to bribe navigate. What I didn't realize is the fact that it seemed easy because my parents were the ones in charge of bribes negotiations. When you are on your own and don't have your usual wits about you, it becomes a whole different ball game.

Tip#1:

Bring cash. Bring American cash. You don't even have to exchange it. In Cabo San Lucas, where I am right now, the US dollar is just as acccepted by the Peso. But just bring a lot of cash, in a lot of small bills.

Don't think that you can get money from a cash machine. If there is a cash machine, it is probably broken. And don't be surprised if there is only one cash machine for miles (as was the case in the airport).

Don't think you can rely on your credit cards. Mexico is not very credit card friendly. Sure, the touristy and upscale restaurants and bars take credit cards but most other places do not, even places you swear they should. Also, do not think that you can go to a money exchange and extract money from your visa card. Most currency exchanges operate on a cash only basis.

Do realize that if you don't bring hard cash into Mexico, there is a chance you could be stranded at the airport for hours because the shuttle/taxis into town do not take credit cards. And the ATM might be broken. And the currency exchange booth can't help you. And you have to rely on the overwhemling generosity of Mexican airport workers named Irak who lend you the 14 dollars (140 Pesos) in order for you to take the bus into town and not get swept up into a rogue prostitution ring for lost and penniless Gringas.

If you do find yourself in the said situation, make sure you seek out boys from Alaska. They will buy you beer and dinner until you can afford to live again.