June 15, 2011

Got change?

This morning, after Punta had finished her rounds and we picked up a couple mangos, we went to Carolina's for breakfast. At 30 pesos, it's a great deal. I got the huevos a la Mexicana, a scramble with tomatoes and chilis.
I offered all I had - 200 pesos. "No tiene cambio?" Dontchya have change? "No, gasto." No, I spent it. And so it goes every morning, every afternoon, every place you try to do business.
With Carolina, an old friend, I said. here's 200 pesos and open an account. "Puede comer todo semana. " You can eat all week. Exactly. And not fish for change!
Carolina is struggling. I saw her run to the corner for tomatoes after I had ordered and the Zeta gas guys paid for their breakfast. But in many cases, there is no excuse. Business owners feel a need to deposit their total at the end of the day, leave clerks without the ability to make change, and come back at night to gather more money for the bank.
I never understood why someone would risk a transaction by not having change! But they manage. Clerks go to neighbors, to their children, whatever, to make change.
At the guest house, I tell people to hoard their change. Before a week, they will see why this is good.
As an aside to this, when I got the hang of hoarding change, I was carrying it in a zip lock baggie. "The Mexican business woman's wallet" as it's referred to around here. It is all the rage to be so rich you need to carry your change in a baggie. If not rich, then smart. Because there will always be a customer like me who isn't completely truthful and might just have enough change for a 30 peso breakfast. Of course that would leave me broke with 200 pesos notes the rest of the day! No, not me. I've got change! And it's growing.


Anonymous said...

I have change in Colorado for my next trip! And, it is in a baggie. I must be rich! It will be great to have my starter stash when I get to Isla. Johanna

Jackie said...

With the ATMs dispensing mostly $200 and $500 peso bills it makes it difficult to have change for a cheap meal. Ralph always said that you could go to Mirtita's and buy a stick of gum with a $500 bill. I found that to be almost true. Since it is so close to my apartment I often go to Mirtitas to buy a couple of things and try to pay with the biggest bill I have.

Jane said...

Maybe that's why the nice young man who carried my bags off the ferry looked so happy and surprised when I dumped all that accumulated change into his palm and said, "I don't need it anymore." :-)