Sometimes, You Gotta Run All Over Town

Today’s errands were to go to the bank, get coffee, and come home with chicken. Unless I wanted to bring my chicken back from the northern end of town (no), I had quite the route ahead of me. Red is what I walked, blue is the first bus I took, and green is the second bus I took. The whole thing represents 20KM of travel.

map

I started by going up to Rico’s in the Golden Zone for coffee. This will likely be my last trip for that… 🙁 It was very slow going and standing room only on a very crowded bus that lurched through nearly standstill traffic. Thankfully, a gentleman offered me his seat. As we inched our way north, I was glad that I’d decided to postpone a trip to the Mercado first since I’d gotten a late start and would never have had a chance to get to the bank before it closed at 4:00.

The Golden Zone was hopping as there is a motorcycle rally this weekend. But, surprisingly, Rico’s was almost empty. I was out of there in record time. I then crossed the street to get a bus back, but thought to do a little window shopping instead.  That was a dumb idea. The vendors were way too aggressive, even worse than in the Mercado, and prices were inflated. I gave up and went to a bus stop to grab the bus back down to get off a block past the Domino’s and casino to reach to the Scotiabank on Ejército Méxicano, but…

I waited and I waited and I waited. And then I waited some more. Traffic was insanely slow, which didn’t help. When I saw a little local bus marked Plaza Ley, that was good enough for me as it would get me to within about 2.5KM of Scotiabank. I wasn’t saving any time by far, but it would at least get me away from the traffic and give me what might be my last nickel tour of Maz.

The bus did its lurching route and after we passed the Ley del Mar I suspected, correctly, that we would be turning left on Insurgentes, my cue to get off. I did, debated getting on another bus to get me to the bank, checked the time, and decided to hoof it. That would mean a hike of about 4KM to the embarcadero, plus another KM or so on this side, a perfectly reasonable distance.

I reached the bank at 3:38, 22 minutes to closing. There were two people ahead of me in line for the ATM, so by the time I got into the booth, it was almost 3:45. I had 12,000MXN in my account and could withdraw up to 700CAD, so I requested 8,000MXN. The machine would not give them to me. I’ve heard that there is a withdrawal limit of 7,000MXN per transaction, but Scotiabank won’t let you take out odd numbers. So I had to take out $6,000 and then another $2,000. Thankfully, I’m not paying for each transaction!

It was just pas 3:50 when I was finally able to queue inside to see a teller. There were 37 people ahead of me in line. Yes, I counted. I had a sneaking suspicion that the doors would shut at 4:00 and whomever wasn’t being served would be kicked out. I decided I didn’t need small bills that badly when I heard a teller call for the lady with glasses on her head. I looked around and realised that she very likely meant me! I pointed to myself and she mimed for me to go to her window!

She greeted me with “How much would you like to change today?” Then, she asked me for my name, gave me hers, and said that from now on, I can cut ahead and go to her as soon as she’s free! Wow! I probably only have one more withdrawal to make here, but I’ll definitely take her up on that when it happens. I have no idea why I was able to get ahead in the queue and judging from the stares I got, I don’t think this is normal… But I was very happy! It would have really sucked to walk away without my smaller bills after the trip and a half I took to get to the bank by closing time!

Then, I headed to the embarcadero, stopping to get two roasted chickens for $120 along the way. They smelled like heaven and I was happy to tuck into them when I got in. I hadn’t thought I’d be that late and hadn’t had lunch, silly me. I have plenty of leftovers for the next couple of days, too, of course!

5 thoughts on “Sometimes, You Gotta Run All Over Town

  1. Remember when the ferryman recognized you as “an island girl”? Now the bank clerk recognizes you as just wanting to change bills. You really have become a local.

    • It’s rare that I’m anywhere long enough to be a “local.” It’s kind of nice when I become one. It’ll be interesting to see how long it’ll take when I get to Mérida.

  2. Just curious, what are your transaction charges on withdrawals? Our credit union in San Antonio charges $2.01 for a withdrawal in Mexico. Is that a lot?

    We rarely need to make a withdraw from our U.S. accounts but I’m just curious. Thanks.

  3. Pingback: Feeling Like a VIF (Very Important Foreigner) |

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