Playacar

Playacar is Playa del Carmen.  People often refer to Avenida Cinco/Avenue 5 as the city of Playacar.  It’s basically a walking downtown area, decently sized.

I’m not a “shopper” per se but I have a List.  I want a nice, long Stevie Nicks-ish black skirt.  A mystical-ish purple necklace.  Something rainbow-dyed silk maybe.  A purple flowy dress.  Maybe a couple more things.  My eyes are also attracted to colors and shiney things (mm, technology…).

Besides, it rained so what else was there to do but shop?

The walk there from the hotel zone is bizarre.  There are ruins just all over the place, some with labels some without…no protection on them whatsoever.

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Did I mention we went the first two weeks of December?   That’s right, Christmas in Mexico!

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We were also around for the Festival of the Virgin Guadalupe, apparently Guadalupe and Mary are one and the same.  It was weird though, it was supposed to be on the 13th but we ran into the parade on the 12th.

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I’m even less of a drinker than a shopper but who can say no to a swing bar?  With swings~!  So I had an orange fanta heh.

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There’s a little port for the ferry to Cozumel and right there is a juke box with some of the most random stuff on it.  It also had way more music than any juke box has a right to have.  I wanted to put something on and start dancin the night away 😉

You quickly find that almost every store carries almost the exact same stuff.  Some of which you can find in the US.  And yes, you can bargain.  It’s to their benefit because if they say ‘$10’  and you say ‘$8’, at least they’re buying it from you and not the guy next to you.

La Fiesta is a big store where you don’t bargain but the guy from Orbitz who did some travel agenting for us said you can mention someone told you 10% off your total purchase and you should get it.  I didn’t buy enough there to make it worth asking.  He also suggested to start bargaining at 50%.  So if they say 10, you say 5 and eventually you meet around 60%.

I feel like I’m taking advantage of people that way, I like a solid price point.  I like the respect that someone isn’t taking advantage of me, that they set their price point at the actual worth not inflated (heh heh yet I live in America…).  But my friend went to China and she said that there the shopkeepers respect you when you bargain, it shows that you know what you’re buying and how much it’s worth.

Lots of cheap souvenirs.  One thing I don’t get is if  there are so many people living in these hovels, why aren’t they handcrafting stuff?  Or maybe they are, they just don’t put any creativity into it so it looks just like everything else?  I did get a nice woven belt that was hand-made but I dunno about much else.

The jelly fish lanterns made from gourds were cool but I swear I’ve seen them for sale in the US too.

My bargaining experience was pretty simple.  My coworker gave me some money to get her a box and a gift for her grandson.  I had my eye on one with the Mayan calendar on it and some other options so I asked the price.  He said 200 pesos (less than $20).  I put it down and looked at a smaller box next to it.  “180 pesos.”  …  I wasn’t really intending to bargain right at that minute so I just said I might come back later.  “150 pesos.”  Well, okay, I think around $15 was fair for the box so I figured I might as well haha.

btw, if you ever go to Playacar and see this store….

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…….bring me back the black lacy flamencoish skirt? ;___;  I really wanted to get it.  We went in the store multiple times.  My dad kept telling my mom to buy it for me–which is why I didn’t just suck it up and buy it myself–but she never did.

One thing that got really annoying was the salesman attitude.  Everyone is so desperate for business they nearly jump on you.  They’ll call your attention with anything they can find–if you’re wearing an ad shirt, they’ll comment on it, if you’re hand-holding, they’ll comment on it, if you’re a group, they’ll comment on it.  ‘Hey, hey, familia!  Come here!  Why are you still walking?  This is the best store, I have a good deal for you!  Hey Mister, I have something your Lady will love!’  As it is, I’m someone who hates just dealing with “Can I help you find something” from Target employees–and I worked for Target!  This is 10x worse.  I hate that people are pushing something in my face that I don’t want or need–if I want help, I’ll ask for it kthx.  You just have to keep your head up and move on, act completely deaf.

Every time I went into town I saw people trying to sell you on getting a picture with a monkey.  The monkey was SO CUTE!  My parents wouldn’t ask how much for it though and I didn’t have much to spend.  But on the last day, I had 50 pesos (less than $5) to spend.  Well, technically I had 65 pesos but I wanted to keep the 10 peso paper and 5 peso coin.

I asked how much the picture of the monkey was…  50 pesos!  BUT THEN he said I had to use my own camera.  Which was at the hotel, of course.  My mom got hers out but the battery was dying D:  I’m not sure that any of the pictures came out.

I thought it would be just one picture.  He put the monkey in my hand (I never did get the monkey’s name ;_; ).  Then on my shoulder.  Then on my head!

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