Centro Cancun

Trip Start Jul 29, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2005

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

I'm pretty glad I ended up going for the A/C dorm room at the hostel. And to think that I could've saved 2 bucks had I stayed in a 9-bed room with only a fan. Instead I got a 4-bed room with A/C. I know, what a fool I was to not save 2 whole dollars.

When I was walking around downtown, I found it kinda interesting that the locals are trying to see if I speak Spanish first before they try to go into English. With such an established tourism industry over here, I would've guessed that they would flawlessly go into English whenever they saw someone that sticks out. So maybe I don't stick out, or maybe I completely forgot that downtown Cancun is less touristy than beach Cancun.

Basically I just walked around for a while to find a place where I could make a phone call back to the states. And of course, since it was a bit spendy, I had to shop around and check out rates. It appeared to be that the further away from the hostel (and busier part of town) I went, the cheaper it was. Unfortunately, when I made my call, I didn't know how to dial properly so I got charged for bad calls.

Then I went to find water, I was so thirsty and needed something to drink. I went into a local hipermercado (Chederai!)  and found cheap drinks...which were in the aisle and not the refrigerator. It was liquid at least.

I headed off to the tourist market to see what the big deal was about it. I learned the hard way that bargaining is tougher than I though. Any discount is from a huge markup. I think that speaking in Spanish at least bought me some credibility. I think I ended up doing pretty well on the negotiation because in the end he just kinda got disgusted because he knew he had to close up for the night. I did manage to bargain down an item from 110 to 35, so I felt pleased, even if I did feel cheated somehow. Then he asked for extra money for a coca-cola. Bah. I think I wanted to chase him down more than I actually wanted the product. It's a fault of mine.

After I went away, I just had to analyze the whole bargaining situation. I thought a lot about his style of negotiation and what clues I gave to him to either stick or go down. I think I really botched my non-verbal signals and I let him onto what I was thinking, but my words didn't really let him know when I was willing to pay. In a way, my strategy was alright, I showed interest, but I kept falling off so they kept on having to drop. Then again, if I had just hard-balled and stayed low, I'm sure I could've gotten what I wanted. But for being an amateur, I did alright. I'm sure I did much worse in Brazil, so at least I've been improving.

I ended up eating Burger King for dinner. I wanted authentic, but nothing else was open in the area. I couldn't find a single reasonable restaurant or diner in the area. Everything was closed by the time I got around. It was pretty disgusting, but it was fairly interesting to see who was at the fast food place and to see the beggars outside.

There was a cool art show at night where the local stoners sell hemp jewelery and the such. It was a nice five minute distraction. But I wanted the A/C so I went back to hostel. And such a lovely surprise to see no one in my room! A private room with A/C! Of course the bathroom was horrible, but the A/C! I guess that's the price to pay going closer to the equator during late summer.
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