Bit of a busy day today. Went into Playa del Carmen to get more gigabytes of internet access. They have got to think that I’m some sort of crazy gringo showing up every two weeks to get more bandwidth. But alas, where I’m located I have no other option. The other kicker is that since I don’t know Spanish, I can’t go online to purchase these gigabytes myself and I have to ask them to do it for me at this main office. They have been very accommodating and helpful thus far, but it’s always a hassle standing in line then hoping the customer service rep half way understands what you want. So one of the important Spanish phrases I’ve learned is “Solo hablo ingles.” (I speak only English.) Once I say that, they always get a look of consternation and I’ll bet their thinking, Oh boy another stupid gringo again! But they always try and understand and be helpful and I’m grateful for that as it is what’s getting me by so far.
Now getting these gigabytes is no easy process. They only dole out a maximum of 3 gigabytes at a time and the longest I can go on that amount is about two weeks if I’m frugal. (I’m not very good at being frugal with internet access, I hope to tell you.) Any way the first step is to place enough money into your account to cover the internet package purchase. You do this by standing in line in front of a glass security counter waiting for an open cashier. Once you’ve paid your $400 pesos, you then go and stand in line for an open customer service rep. There are at least 18 windows kind of like a bank and it doesn’t look like the reps are paid on the number of customers they help so many time it seems like they are just sitting there with no one being helped. You have to wait for them to wave you over to their window after standing in line. That’s where most of my troubles begin. How to make them understand what I’m needing. I use a lot of animations and hold up the USB stick to help. So far so good, I’m able to get what I wanted.
I didn’t come to realize this process until this visit, however did suspect it. I thought I would just have to pay the cashier and the account would be updated. Not so! I just paid the cashier on this visit then went to the mall McDonald’s to use their free wifi, but also checked to see if I could use the USB stick to get internet access. Good thing I did because no access was afforded. If I hadn’t checked I might well have driven back to the ol Rancho and been pretty pissed off I didn’t when I tried to get online again. Also stood in line at the “fast food” McDonald’s.
Anyway back to the TelCel customer service reps to stand in line to get me set up.
Afterwords, I stopped at a farmacia in the mall to try and get some Benedryl and some hard contact lense solution. No luck at the small one in the mall or in the Soriana grocery store. Decided to try the WalMart in town where I was heading next to get some groceries. Unfortunately, the farmacia attendant didn’t speak english at WalMart, but was able to point to some lense solution. I tried the best I could to discern what I needed. I recognized the brand, Bausch & Lomb, but trying to tell whether it was for gas permeable lenses from the Spanish wording was tricky. I bought one larger bottle that I hoped was cleaner and a smaller bottle I hoped with wetting solution. Later at home on closer examination the smaller bottle was for soft contact lense wearers. The large one was a cleaner, disinfecting and soaking solution all in one. So I got one out of two right and will wait til I get to Cancun to look for the wetting solution when I may be able to get more help. It always takes some time to do the shopping because you’ve got to evaluate everything you’re buying to determine if in fact it is what you want. I’ve already made the mistake of eating button mushrooms for dinner thinking it was a can of garbanzo beans. Finally, finished up and stood in line to get checked out.
On the way home I decided to get some gasolina at the gasolinera and also to check out the farmacia in Puerto Adventuras to see if they had Benedryl. It’s nice to have full service at the gasolinera, but I noticed they don’t do windows or check the oil. I think they leave that to the guy that roams the grocery store parking lot selling his services, changing out wipers, washing windows and headlights, etc. I’m pretty sure he is also responsible for return the shopping carts to the store after the customers use them. He probably does it gratis for the right to sell his services to the shoppers. The farmacia at this small mall in Puerto Adventuras did have an English speaking attendant. He was able to get me some gel tabs of the generic version of Benedryl. So I’m good to go.
After dropping off the groceries at the Rancho, I went into Akumal to have dinner and pick up the laundry I dropped off the day before. All day has been overcast and it wasn’t too busy in town. Had a beer at the Akumal Club on the beach and took a few pictures. The last one bothers me a little bit when you see cats around the beach. Not sure if they are leaving surprises in the sand.
Ate at an authentic Mexican luncheria right across from the laundry and was famished so ordered some grilled beef tacos and what I thought was a side order of quesadillas Turns out, they were both meals, I walked out of there stuffed. I appreciated they had the menu in both Spanish and English. It was so good I’ll likely go back. While dining, I had two feline visitors looking hungry so they helped me eat that last taco. Once again the lavanderia did a great job on my clothes for only $60 pesos ($4.70 US).
Back at the Rancho, after a day of standing in line and running around to three different towns, I slept well that night.