NEVER suggest the playa.

They say patience is a virtue, right?

Today I went downtown with my host mom to run a couple of errands; she needed to stop in the bank and I needed to make a couple photocopies. There are countless busses that pass by our house and go right into the center of downtown, but she insisted that we drive. So I hopped in the car and we headed downtown. Let me just start by saying she is not the best driver that ever got behind the wheel (nor is she the worst). Regardless, she honked her horn and cursed constantly inside the car; the blue Audi ahead of us was a ‘peligro‘ and shouldn’t have been allowed on the road. After forgetting (personally I think she was just too distracted by all of the traffic around us) to turn at the correct street, we meandered the traffic filled streets of the city, hoping to find a parking spot on the side of the road. We drove around for at least a half an hour but could not seem to find a spot anywhere near the bank. We had passed by at least 6 ‘playas‘ or parking lots and so I suggested we pull into one if we go around one more time and can’t find a spot. Lesson learned. I should have kept my mouth shut. After my proposal I got a lecture about how expensive the playas are (6 pesos an hour; $US1.40/hr) and how they are a scam, and how the convenience is not worth it, yada yada yada. So, I bit my lip and tried not to laugh as Susy started getting more and more flustered with the fact that she couldn’t find a parallel spot. A painful 10 minutes later, we finally found a spot somewhat close to the bank. Breathing heavily, cursing, and throwing off her coat, she struggled to fit her auto (sans power steering) into a little parallel spot on a busy downtown street.

After another hysterical experience at the bank and a quick stop at the fotocopiadora, we stopped for a quick coffee and then headed back to find our car. You would think that for all of the effort and time we wasted looking for a spot on the street, it would have been free to park, right? Nope, we both thought wrong. It cost us 4 pesos ( US$0.95) to park for the hour we were downtown. It’s funny what people will do to save 2 pesos. I’m 100% SURE that money we saved in parking, we wasted during our 6 trips around the city. But hey, what do I know.

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