OXXO to the rescue!

I have lived in Merida for a long time, but yesterday, I got lost.

I know the way from my daughter’s home in Las Americas, to mine in García Ginerés. But in the dark, when the city neglects to turn on the roadside lights, EVERYTHING looks different, doesn’t it? I tried not to panic when I spotted a sign indicating that I was headed for the dreaded Periferico. It furthermore stated, that once I got on that “devil’s highway”, I would be Campeche bound.

Yikes! My aversion to the Periferico , Merida’s ring road, is absolute.  I will drive 20 kilometres out of my way to avoid it. Why? Because the drivers terrify me…  My idea of a safe journey does not include bumper-hugging SUVs, thundering tandem semi trucks, buses spewing smoke, and of course, the furious motorcycles… all driven at break-neck speed and passing with no precaution.

What to do? What to do? In the nick of time, I spotted my salvation  … OXXO to the rescue!

An easy-to-enter parking slot beckoned me, and I zipped in between the blue painted lines. Yes, yes… it was a handicapped spot, but in my situation, I felt I qualified for temporary status. I figured I would go inside, buy a bottle of water and call my son, which I did.

He asked where I was and of course I could not be specific. “I think I am on my way to Campeche,” I told him.

“Send me your location, Mom.” My cell phone abilities are limited, and I tried, but a message popped-up and informed me, my data was all used up. I could not share my location with Carlos.  “Look for a kind-hearted person with a phone, and ask them to share with me,” Carlos suggested.

I waited my turn, and told the cashier about my problem. “You no longer have a problem,” said smiling Maria Guadalupe (the cashier who totally lives up to the reputation of her namesake) She got a hold of Carlos, who explained to me where I was… Turns out I was on the correct road, but as I already said, everything looks different in the pitch dark.

I am a fan of OXXO, and last night I discovered that an abundance of emergency food supplies are not the chain’s greatest attribute. That honour should go to the cashiers.  Of course “Number 1” in my books right now is Maria Guadalupe but the crew who work at the OXXO near my house are also incredibly helpful.

They never accept tips, no matter how hard I insist, so writing this letter is all I can do for them. I will translate my words into Spanish and send them to the OXXO executive offices.  I hope the head honchos realise that no advertising or marketing strategies can match the goodwill generated by their hard-working staff.

I sincerely hope these employees will be appropriately compensated.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include spending time with freinds, reading, painting, cooking and travel.

20 thoughts on “OXXO to the rescue!

    1. Getting lost is frightening, but I kept my cool and found help… that is the important part I think… it we hang on to our wits it will all work out. Jorge and I are going to Canada tomorrow… I will call you when I am settled. Miss you always…XXX OOO

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  1. I really enjoyed reading about your OXXO experience and your perspective on the Periferico. Until 1.5 years ago, our town of Chelem Puerto had only a handful of smaller Six stores along with two limited-stocked grocery stores. Since then two OXXOs have been built with the newest one being about 3 blocks from my home. I do patronize these outlets as they have so many services, along with a wide range of inventory and food stuffs. I can’t say I have ever been overwhelmed with the clerks’ hospitality but certainly have never felt slighted…..Viva OXXO!

    Regarding the Periferico, I must say that I much prefer that highway rather than trying to find my way through the one way maze of streets in busy Merida. I have yet to perfect the art of knowing which Colonia I am in when I am searching for a specific street, and cross street, address. Last year I used my GPS to guide me into my lawyer’s office (not far from Home Depot….off of 60). I had been there a few times prior and was somewhat familiar with landmarks to watch for on 60. As I was coming from Alta Brisas mall this time, I thought it would make much more sense to cut across town instead of going back onto the Periferico. I followed my GPS talking directional lady. When I finally landed at my destination (according to GPS lady), I was in front of a dentist home office about 4 blocks from the Grande Plaza. Needless to say, since that time, I now gladly get back onto the familiar Periferico, and travel to the next exit that I’m familiar with. I honestly find that the traffic flow (at least from the Alta Brisas exit to the airport exit) sane with LOTS of police traveling amongst the traffic, and aside from some large semis to navigate around, quite enjoyable. But then again, I’m still a novice…lol.

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    1. Hi Allan! I love seeing you write, “our town of Chelem Puerto” How long you have waited to own your home here… Introducing you to Yucatan is something that pleases me immensely… how many great things came from our work in international tourism! But I digress… I am a great fan of OXXO… but not the Periferico. The driving is too fast. I am one of those slow-and-steady-in-the-middle-lane drivers… I cannot handle aggresive drivers who assume I will get out of their way in time to avoid a collision. Jorge and I are headed to BC tomorrow. I will cal you when we are settled. Happy Mothers Day to your mom.

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    1. The Periferico is the Devil’s Highway. I never go on it. I know that sounds ridiculous to those who drive it all the time, but quite frankly… I have lost my nerve when it comes to Merida driving. Another sign of age? Well yes, a WISE one!

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  2. Kudos to OXXO and wish there were one in my neighbourhood even though I live in Centro. Joanna, you might get a kick out of an old WWII song made famous by the late and wonderful Dame Gracie Fields, RIP, aka “Our Gracie” to the Brits. The song is called “Crash, Bang I Want to Go Home!” aka “The Blackout Song”. I have always loved hearing it and you can find the song on YouTube and can also google the lyrics.

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    1. Thanks Sharon. You’ll have to take a walk and explore your neighbourhood… I bet there is an OXXO not too far away… they are everywhere. I am sad we saw so little of each other this year… we must remedy this next winter. Have a great summer.

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      1. Thanks, Joanna. I too am sad we did not get to see much of each other this season. I know from your blog you and Jorge are now in beautiful BC. Enjoy, enjoy!! When I go home this Tuesday I will be facing a move to a smaller rural tourist town to be closer to son and granddaughter so it will be a massive change and culture shock for a big city slicker like I who has been used to just jumping on a bus or streetcar for the past 35 years to get to where I want to go not to mention all the downsizing to a smaller place.

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      2. Dearest Sharon… downsizing and moving to a smaller locale seem to be part of many friends’ lives right now… so you ar in good company. I will be seeing Marilou soon and we will raise a toast in your honour… Hopefully we can soon gather again in my Merida garden…

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  3. Joanna: i loved your OXXO story. I, too, find their employees universally helpful and cheerful. The last time I got lost was in the US, rather near where I grew up. What was once a sleepy town surrounded by farms is now a rapidly expanding metropolis with underpasses, ring roads and a maze of streets. My GPS was as confused as I was so I stopped at a 7-Eleven (kind of like OXXO,huh?) where a charming young girl of Hindu descent told me she had no idea where the road was I was looking for but that she would see if another customer did. Immediately the young man in line behind me started talking in heavily accented English, trying to help. He led me outside and pointed here and there mentioning places and roads I had never heard of. Seeing my confusion, he said, “Follow me” and jumped in his truck and proceeded to lead me for the next 20 minutes to the exit I needed. I am absolutely sure that it was miles out of his way. The interesting part of this story, however, is that, when I heard his accent, I asked him if he spoke Spanish and he beamed and switched over. Turns out he was a young electrician from Jalisco, Mexico who grew up in Maryland. We do, indeed, live in a small world.

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    1. GPS is a great help, but of course I did not have it turned on… after all I KNOW my way home from Maggie’s house… but in the dark… Your helpful saviour was from Jalisco… of course he was. Not to say there are no kind Americans or Canadians… but few of them would actually get in their car and lead you where you need to go. BTW it was great to see you the other night… we must do so more often

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  4. OXXOs are great! As to GPS -well, Charlie’s GPS woman for Mexico has some very strange pronunciations and odd ideas of where we want to go. That’s how we got onto the ‘scenic route’ through rural Chiapas. Good part was that we saw scenery we never would have seen otherwise.

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