Sunday, February 27, 2011

Revenge of Kulkukan

We  were slightly  attacked  yesterday. Our aimless wandering led us deep into the Tulum Pueblo.   In retrospect it may not have been a good idea rubbernecking around in a bright red, shiny Ford "Party."   We were not that far from a major highway and several huge, new, modern developments in that area.  

There is a New Orleans looking cemetery back there. It is made of natural stone and cinder blocks and painted bright colors. At first it gave the appearance of an amusement park or some kind of morbid storybook land instead of a repose for the remains of the dearly departed.
We thought everything was cool and that the locals were totally used to gringos cruising their turf. That's when I suddenly understood exactly where we were. We were in the hood. I had an immediate comprehesion like the feeling the captain of the Titanic had when he first saw the Iceburg. We shouldn't be right here, right now.

As we passed by two little Mayan kids standing in front of a squalid hovel, one of the little bastards chucked a rock into the side of our car. He must have been trying to break a window but it hit the metal with quite a loud bang and put a little dent below the back door handle. I took off at a high rate of speed but P wanted to stay and fight. First, it would be almost impossible to catch an 11 year old kid in his own neighborhood and what are you gonna do even if you did? Besides all that, our vehicle would become a stationary target and they might be able to take better aim at the glass.

Yankis go home! The descendants of the noble, savage, Mayans are increasingly angry at having their butts kicked by successive invaders over the last 750 years and are starting to attempt a political comeback. The Olmec tried to make a go of a civilization, they were conquered brutally by the Mayans who eventually fell to the Aztecs through political attrition. The Spanish came here and destroyed the fragile Aztec coalition in about 6 months. Now the Americans and the Canadians are kicking the economic hell out of the Mexican natives by buying up all the beachfront property and making their own ancient town much too expensive for them to inhabit. They have launched a feeble attempt to organise and are now trying to fight back. They even had a hero. This guy is an aging Che Guevara, Malcolm X type who looks disturbingly like Kim Jong-il without the hair dye. He appeared at rallies incognito then suddenly dons a wrestling mask and starts inciting the crowd.  He has lightened up a lot in the last five years and rumor has it that the former revolutionary now  makes a pretty good living running special classes instructing maids how to create whimisical  towel animals in the new beachfront  resorts. 

Anyway, one of the little turds hit us with a rock.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mexican Car do-over

The car deal at the Playa Ford dealer fell through. It wasn't our fault. We checked with the Mexicans who were with us. Nobody asked for a deposit, nobody wanted to go "Write it up" or anything like that. They sold it out from under P and she was Furious about it. Making P feel powerless is not a good idea.

Immediately after the debacle at Playa Ford L took us up to Cancun. We went to the auto dealer row. It was just like Playa, the only place with a Usado section was Ford. P found a little car she liked and negotiated a deal.

P was now determined to have a car. She was on the phone to the states. Credit union, credit card company and some other places. Armed with information, L and K we returned to Cancun on Monday. They had saved the car for us and had even moved it toward the back of the lot away from the street. Now we are pretty used to Mexico but the rate of the sale was maddening! Okay P decided to use a card rather than use an electronic transfer. Good thing. As soon as they had taken the card to the cajero, returned to have P sign the form, schlepped the signed form back to the Cajero (who may have been safely sequestered in a bunker deep in the rabbit warren of offices and storerooms), they came back with an official receipt. That was when they informed us that P could not legally licence the car! P's ears got red, L started talking at a very high rate of speed and the three ladies were all waving their arms and pointing at the paper. They somehow reached a "legal" solution about how to transfer the ownership of the car to P. That solution involves her getting an FM3 visa! That solved, we asked for "la placas papel" or a "permito temporado" so we could drive home. Not quite yet. We had to come back at 5:00 just to get a receipt! So here we were in Cancun, around 11:30am with 5 hours to kill. Had she used a wire transfer it could have taken up to a week.

Bring on the Hotel Zone. We decided to go get some lunch. Where to go? Margaritaville of course. We had our cheeseburgers in paradise and a $5 milk shake (Pulp Fiction and Jimmy Buffett are strange combination but, It's Mexico) it was too early after eating to return to Ford so Costco was our next stop.  P was shopping, L put on her glamorus sunglasses, found a couch display and took a nap.  K and I enjoyed racing office chairs that somebody had thoughtfully left in the isle.

By some miracle the papers were ready when we returned to the dealer and they are, may, possibly, perhaps, maybe, going to deliver it, with placas, insurance and tenencia (that may or may not mean tax sticker) to the condo on Thursday.  The sales lady has a FaceBook page with photos.   No kidding.

The contrast to buying a car, or any business transaction, in Mexico to a similar one in the states is just astounding. It is almost as if they are designed to make it difficult to spend large amounts of money. 61 people have to sign, initial and stamp lots of forms and carbon (actual carbon paper) copies.

So today the locksmith (another story) is coming by, the maid will be here and the FM3 professional form wrangler is coming with the realtor. I am going to work on my tan by the pool until they all get here.
This is more like it!!! Happy day!