Wow! Woke up to my first rainy day since being here since January 8th. It’s OK because I spent the day, for the most part, around the ol’ Rancho. The rain was very fine rain drops and not heavy at all. I think the birds especially enjoyed it as they seem to chirp and call a lot. It was kind of pleasant and peaceful listening to it. Plus the temp wais 70 degrees so sitting under the deck of the palapa with the laptop was very enjoyable. After being in such a dry spell it was nice getting enough rain that it is created some standing puddles on the limestone walkway to the pool. Exciting!
The rain continued all day long, just a steady fine rain. Made napping in the afternoon easy. I did go into town to pick up my laundry and was pleased with the results. It was very neatly folded and packaged in a plastic bag and was just $60 pesos ($4.70 US) for 17 pieces of clothing. While waiting for the laundry pick up time, I went to Gynn AK to use their free internet wifi while enjoying a beer (still not drinking the water).
The next day a little sunshine broke through. While I had no big plans for the day I did run into Playa del Carmen to the mall to pick up a few items.
I spent the some of the afternoon online at the McDonald’s catching up with downloads and syncing my iPod. Afterwards I went to the bank ATM. I knew there would be a transaction fee, but I never looked closely before now. I discovered the charge was $25 pesos (about $2.00 US) plus a value added tax of $2.75 pesos (about 22 cents). The value added tax on purchases is 11% and it is usually priced in the product. I’ll have to investigate what the income tax rates are here.
At the McDonald’s, I ordered a McPollo Tocino (chicken with bacon sandwich) meal priced at $63 pesos (about $4.93) but $6.24 pesos (about 49 cents US) was the value added tax. So the meal, a chicken sandwich, fries, and medium drink actually cost $56.76 pesos (about $4.44 US) without tax. Now, when I was in Florida and had occasion to visit the McDonald’s I remember not getting out of there for less than $7 or $8 for about the same meal. Same food, same prep methods, just different country.
Later, I went to the upscale grocery store (actually they sell everything like Walmart does), called Soriana Hiper. To give you an idea of some of the pricing here, I purchased some
hydrogen peroxide 430 ml $18.90 pesos $1.48 US
rubbing alcohol 200 ml $13.00 pesos $1.02 US
bananas (4) $5.03 pesos $0.39 US
power steering fluid $33.00 pesos $2.58 US
almond milk 946 ml $42.50 pesos $3.33 US
mosquito repellent 130 ml $46.00 pesos $3.60 US
I’ve used a conversion rate of 12.78 per US dollar. I believe the exchange rate has swung up a bit and may be closer to 13 pesos per dollar. That said though, it my belief that though the cost of goods in the Maya Riviera are a bit higher than other areas of Mexico primarily due to the tourist industry in this area, we are still receiving better value than in the States. There are value buys in many items here that we nomads need and want. This is good news for pensioners and folks on fixed incomes. I think that if things get inflationary back in the state, that there will be more pensioners coming to Mexico in search of value living. Some have already discovered this lower cost of living.
After arriving back at the Rancho, it started to rain about 8:00 pm. It continues steadily until I fell asleep. Certainly made sleeping easier.