Markets and Mexican Mores

Nearly had a bit of a crisis today. And my nearly, I mean I did... but managed to get myself out of it with just a very minor loss. And a renewed faith in the goodness of people everywhere.

So I went to the neighbouring town, La Penita today. Every Thursday the town has a market with vendors hawking everything from silver jewellery to donuts to sombreros. I had put off buying much of anything until today because I wanted to see what the grand selection was before settling on one single item.

I took a shuttle there, and a good chunk o' money was spent. I left with many shiny things and some cozy things and a couple pretty sculpture things.

I even "haggled" a bit, but not in the way I think of haggling. For me, it just means striking up a conversation and only paying what I can afford... and getting a discount for "pretty blue eyes." LOL. Those vendors really know how to flatter a lady :)

When I decided to leave, I meandered my way up the main street, snapping photos as I went. I reached the public bus back to Rincon de Guaybitos, and fumbled for my bus fare while stepping on the toes of a surly Mexican woman... before cramming myself in with the rest of my fellow bus riders.

It was a quick 10 minute ride back, and pretty uneventful... up until I reached the lobby of my resort and realized I was down a bag.

No, not the bag with the colourful Mexican blankets.

Not the bag with my pretty sculptures.

But the bag I brought WITH me to the market... yep, my purse.


Luckily, I had PURPOSEFULLY emptied my wallet of all ID, credit cards, bank cards, valuable documents/passport when I first arrived... anticipating some sort of worst-case-scenario. I stored them in my room's safe. So all that was in my purse after the market were 1 bank card, 1 credit card, my keys and 100 pesos (aka 10 dollars).

So that was good...

Except for the keys part. My room keys and safe keys were also in my purse. NOT good. That meant if the person who found my purse was sneaky they could break into my room (has the room number engraved into it) and get into my safe.

So I talk to reception, they go into crisis management mode, calling the bus company... and I sit outside on the street curb waiting for the bus to make its way back.

After an hour, and enlisting a bellboy's help to speak with the bus drivers... and many false alarms later... I finally *think* I see the bus I took... climb aboard, make the international sign for "sad pathetic tourist who forgot her purse" ... and the unilingual-spanish driver points to the corner of the bus... where my PURSE LIES.

Yep, unreal.

I rifle through it; credit card, bank card keys and water bottle are all intact. My 100 pesos was missing, but I didn't care. As far as I was concerned I was going to give it as a reward anyways... so whoever turned it in just helped themselves. The bellboy says he thinks the bus driver took it, because he said something along the lines of "I don't know if the money is still in there..." which is kind of shady, but frankly I don't care.

It seems I dodged yet another bullet (I once actually left my passport and travellers cheques in a Marks and Spencer change room when I was in Colchester, England... and they came back to me in perfect shape), and I'm reminded how people really are inherently good. Oh, and how lucky I am.

Oh, Meh-hee-co, mi amore....


towniebastard January 22, 2009 at 2:13 PM  

Glad to see you had some good karma on your side...and better luck than I did when I was in Italy this past summer.

Way Way Up January 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM  

Wow close call! I was attending a concert once in the Czech Republic and just as I walked out of the concert hall I noticed my wallet was missing. I rushed back into the hall and a lady approached me with my wallet telling me I had dropped it out of my pocket next to my chair as I was standing up. Big relief but for a minute there I was in absolute panic. Definitely not a good feeling. Glad things worked out for you.

Anonymous January 22, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

Wow, that is great luck. And it probably points to the fact that the vast majority of people everywhere are good and honest. Its that small bunch of rotten ones that can make our life miserable.