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.