- Personal Stories & Opinions>
- You Just Laugh
Today I decided to get some food at a nearby street food vendor.
I forgot the guys name but there’s this dude who produces some awesome food near me in Mexico City.
Sometimes I get gorditas to flautas to quesadillas to whatever else.
Anyway, today I decided to get something called a huarache or something like that.
I forgot how you spell it because I rarely tried it before despite living in Mexico all this time.
It’s basically some thing with bean type stuff inside it and a bunch of food put on top of it.
And I ordered a quesadilla with it also.
As you can see a photo of both right here.
Anyway, the street vendor guy is very nice.
He spent time in New York City for like 7 years before returning to Mexico.
I’m such a regular customer that I go to him maybe like 3 or 4 times a week.
He covers such a wide range of Mexican food with always something available that sounds good for lunch.
Good prices too.
And never does he try to gringo price me either.
So I walked up to him today to order the food you saw above.
And told him I’ll be back in a second as I had to buy some toilet paper.
I’d normally go to the 7-11 nearby but I don’t feel like crossing the street.
So there’s this little mom and pop corner store next to the little plaza area I’m at.
And I’m looking at the aisle of stuff they have to see if they have toilet paper.
Then I get in line and wait my turn to buy it.
When I grabbed the toilet paper, I read very clearly that it was worth 13.50 pesos.
It was the only type of toilet paper they had that came in a package of 4 rolls.
Unfortunately, it was the only type of toilet paper they had….
Because it was one of the cheapest brands you can find in Mexico.
The type of brand that makes your asshole bleed profusely when you use it.
But it’s all they had so we’ll roll with it.
13.50 pesos it said very clearly.
The lady then looks at me.
Looks at the toilet paper
Looks at me again.
I look back at the price and read it very clearly to her.
“Dice 13.50 pesos.”
And the price tag clearly said it was for the package of 4 rolls of toilet paper.
“Nooooooo, 24 pesos gringo.”
“Gracias.” I say as I left the store without paying.
I didn’t feel like taking up the line for too long arguing with her since there were people behind me who needed to pay.
But, for some reason, the lady felt like I couldn’t read a price tag.
now, to be fair, the price difference isn’t that much.
We are talking an extra 55 cents in cost here.
It’s more of the principle of thing to not let people fuck with you for being different.
Reminds me of this story I wrote here.
Where a hot dog stand I used to go to a lot would always charge me a small bit of money for the 2 hotdogs with cheese.
And I would go there often and ask the same thing always.
Plus, they always had the price listed down in front of you.
Anyway, I went there again and they had a new guy behind the stand who wanted to charge me like double the price or some shit.
And we ended up arguing over what the menu said.
That moment annoyed me.
The toilet paper incident today?
Didn’t bother me as much.
At some point, you have to learn to laugh it off.
Laugh what off?
The Special 150 Dollar Water
Back when I lived in Barranquilla, Colombia…
I went to some store to purchase like 20 liters of water for the week.
Normally, I’d always go to this one corner shop that had what I needed.
But I was running around the city doing a bunch of errands…
And it was more convenient to stop by this specific corner shop that I never went to before…
With the empty water container in hand ready to buy another 20 liters…
I put the water container on the counter and ask for the price of another one as I dig into my pockets for some money.
I forgot the exact price they would normally charge for this but it would usually be like maybe 2 to 5 bucks or something like that?
Anyway, the guy behind the counter was some skinny ass dude…
A bit on the older side – maybe middle aged or so with a bald head and a moustache with light brown skin.
And he looks at me and hesitates a second…
Before saying some price in Colombian pesos that I forgot what it was.
But I remember the price in dollars because I did the math of the exchange in my head when he said it.
And genuinely thought I misheard him when he said the price.
It was roughly 150 dollars in Colombian pesos.
I shit you not.
He said some large price in Colombian pesos…
And I take it in for a second…
Thinking to myself “wait, did I hear him right?”
He repeats himself.
And I do the math in my head while he writes the price down in numbers on some small receipt looking white paper.
I look at it “yeah, that’s the number he said.”
And now I’m doing math in my head.
Because Colombian pesos work in much higher numbers than say Mexican pesos or Argentine pesos or a lot of currencies down here…
Like, if I remember right, it was like 3,000 pesos to a dollar or some shit?
So I’m doing the math in my head.
Not because I’m contemplating if this is a good deal or not…
But more I’m contemplating just how much this guy thinks I’m retarded.
Like I don’t know – did I wake up today with the word “idiota” written on my forehead?
And the math is done – assuming I did the math right – and, to be fair, I’m terrible at math…
The price was roughly a little over 150 bucks.
I’m pretty sure the guy realized that I realized he was trying to fuck me over
He shrugs his shoulders without me saying anything but probably seeing my face of “what the fuck?”
And he walks away to attend some other customer who walks in.
I walk away.
Go to the other corner shop later in the day that I normally went to.
Got the normal price of like 2 to 5 bucks or whatever it normally was.
To this day, I’m still not sure how the guy legitimately thought I was going to pay 150 bucks for that amount of water.
Sometimes it’s because the locals think we don’t know what the prices for goods are down here…
Or can’t read price tags maybe?
Like the chick or the hotdog guy above…
But even in those cases…
You are getting charged maybe an extra 1 to 5 dollars maybe or some shit like that?
But nobody would pay 150 for what he offered.
How did he think he’d get away with it?
It could’ve been he just thought my gringo ass was just a tourist and that we gringos just shit out bricks of gold on demand.
That spending another 100 dollars or more is nothing to us.
I don’t fucking know.
Granted, that isn’t uncommon either…
Folks trying to pull some scam on you when the scam is so obviously a scam.
Literally the lowest of IQ scams out there.
Sometimes I’m amazed at how incredibly stupid some of the locals can be down here when it comes to how low IQ their scams are.
Like this guy for example.
He lost my business obviously.
Well, never had much of it to begin with as I never went there before.
But even if I was the ignorant tourist who doesn’t know prices…
Charging double the price would be more likely to work than something as ridiculous as what he wanted.
Fuck – why stop at 150?
Shoot for the moon.
Charge me 1,000 dollars!
Didn’t you hear?!?
Us gringos just SHIT OUT GOLD on command whenever you want?
HJAHAHA RIGHT WE HAVE ENDLESS AMOUNTS OF MONEY!
Ever since we robbed Moctezuma, we have LOTS OF GOLD!
It’s so fucking stupid – the low IQ scams and low IQ bullshit.
Like trying to charge a different price than what the menu clearly says to a loyal customer who stops by often.
It’s short sightedness too – lose the loyalty of a customer who would come back often for repeat business at the possibility of getting an extra 5 bucks one time.
But, in their ignorant mind, we gringos are only here for a week and so our repeat business over months doesn’t matter.
Learn to Laugh
Still, you have to laugh it off.
No, not laugh in their face – “OH JAJAJAJAJA SILLY MEXICANO, CREES QUE NO PUEDO LEER BIEN EL PRECIO?! JAJAJAJAJAJA”
When something like that happens…
Look, the guy didn’t get his 150 bucks out of me.
So no harm in the end of the day.
The hotdog stand guy didn’t get his extra 3 bucks or whatever the difference was.
The lady behind the counter didn’t get her extra 55 cents.
So who cares.
You have to not let it bother you.
Laugh it off.
And it’s not just the gringo pricing…
Other aspects of life too.
You get on the metro…
One million people all pushed inside…
Sweating your balls off.
Maybe the train jerks you around with its abrupt stops.
Or maybe it stops completely and you have to wait an extra 20 minutes.
Perhaps you try to exit the train and you have to push against 500 people trying to force their way in even though they are supposed to let you get off first…
Maybe the train crashes like you see here.
Just laugh it off.
Crawl out of the debris all bloody with your left arm cut off and a few broken teeth…
Just laughing as you crawl yourself out over the dead bodies of others.
“OH SILLY MEXICO…JAJAJAJA….YOU SO SILLY WITH YOUR FUCKED UP TRAIN SYSTEM…JAJAJA”
I mean it.
Learn to laugh.
At some point you have to.
The homeless guy who harasses you.
To the fresa upper class Mexican with a stick up his ass running around announcing to everybody in Roma Norte about “i SpEaK eNgLiSh!!!!1!1!1!!!”
Whatever minor issue of the day that annoys you.
And it’s usually minor.
Not usually as severe as your metro train crashing into the ground.
That might be something that is harder to laugh at as you crawl out of the debris…
But still – learn to laugh at the failures when you can.
Don’t take it seriously.
It’s usually minor.
Like trying to win me over on 55 cents.
Sometimes it’s ridiculous to the point that you think you are dreaming like someone wanting to charge you 150 more than normal.
So ridiculous you just have to laugh about it.
Otherwise, as I said elsewhere, you might get jaded about life down here.
And, being honest, you’ll probably have a moment in life where you are a bit jaded.
But you learn to move past it.
Accept the imperfections of life here like how there would be imperfections anywhere else…
You just laugh.
Don’t take it too seriously most of the time – especially in minor cases of annoyance.
You just laugh.
That’s all I got to say.
Enjoy this song by the way.
I feel it gets the point across of what I'm trying to say.
If Satan gave you a taco as bad as this one with all of the drama that unfolds afterwards...
Well, as I said...
You just laugh.
Follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.