Sunday, June 22, 2008

Driving With Pemex

I drove from Corpus Christi, Texas, to the jumping off place for Isla Mujeres and back, and learned a bit about Pemex. Rule 1: Never ask a pump man for the price, which is required to be posted outside the station. Rule 2: Stay with your car, or have someone else watching it. Rule 3: Make sure the pump is rolled back to zero before the pumping starts, or you may end up paying twice: for your gas plus that of the previous motorist and/or the attendant, who may give you less for your money by inserting in the pump his Magic Key. Rule 4: Have someone take advantage of the wonderful snack shop while you're watching the car. Rule 5: Avoid the toilets if at all possible, since they usually cost a pittance extra but don't demonstrate inside that any of the money is going to keeping them clean. (Ever notice how bad the service suddenly gets just before a USPS stamp increase?) Rule 6: Take toilet paper with you, as it will be stingily doled out as if you had the asshole of an ant. Rule 7: Tip the attendant: it is expected, but tip him only for his honesty. Rule 8: Eat at lot of Happy Meals before you go (there may not be a McDonald's in Coatepec), but save the wrapped toys so you can bring smiles to the small boys who flock around a gringo car offering to wash your windshield, &c. We found that the toys pleased so much more than money. Rule 9: Start your engines and enjoy Mexico!

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