Geesh, how the weather has changed here. Woke up to be greeted with a chilly 66 degrees. Later at mid day, we got up to 75 degree. It’s overcast and breezy. Feeling a little better today, still got that persistent cough but not as frequent. Today, I’ve devoted to blogs, reading, and a little Spanish practicing. I’ve heard the US is getting cold weather too. Glad I’m here in the tropics right now even though it’s overcast.
I’ve not spoken about the Mexican money denominations. The Mexican peso denomination is fairly easy to understand. The bills I’ve had are in 500, 200, 100, 50, and 20 peso denomination. These bills are not all the same size, but they are clearly marked with their respective denomination amount making them easy to discern from one another. When paying I’m typically reaching for these first. The coins are also marked and the one’s I’ve had are the 10, 5, 2, 1, and ½ peso denomination. Their size seem very orderly, not like American coins with the exception of the ½ peso. I find it difficult to pay with coins unless I’m given adequate amount of time to search out the denomination needed. The denomination markings aren’t as clear as on their bills. I have found two different sizes of the ½ peso. I think an older version being larger and octagonal in shape and a newer coin being in the expected size according to the other denominations. Since I have been using bills for the large part of my purchase, I’ve accumulated a good handful of coins which add quite a bit of jingle to the pocket. I have to look for opportunities to use them. Something I notices while in Playa de Carmen the other day is that the exchange rate for the dollar has declined from $13 pesos per $1US to $12 pesos per. Not good for the tourist industry here, but I’m thinking it is going to get worse.
One other practice here in Mexico I haven’t spoken of, is who is bagging your groceries when you check out. I just recently found out that these individuals are volunteers?? The system is that after registering with the store anyone can volunteer to be a grocery bagger. Why would they do this? Tips!
This gringo did not know this on my initial shopping expeditions and probably was viewed as a stingy gringo. I’ve since changed that practice and now have tipped grandmas and school girls who were still in their day uniforms. I think it would be a great practice for American grocery stores to adopt.
A couple of things that I’m glad I brought with me are some anti-itch cream for bug and ant bites which seem to happen here easily. Also, some decongestant tablets have saved me during this latest bout of a cold.