Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Free Parking!" and a scary elevator

As soon as we entered Cozumel we were again immediately presented with MANY shopping opportunities. We found a small elevator to take us to the second floor which is where we had to go to enter the mall. The shopkeepers were urging us into their stores here too, and we heard many more offers of "Free Parking, Free Parking!"

When we got to the back of the mall we wanted to go down to the first floor so we could go into Cozumel. The only elevator we could find was broken. While Melissa, Alan, and I were contemplating what to do, a local man came up and pointed down to see if we were needing to go down. We nodded yes and he motioned for us to follow him. He took us down one hall to the back of the mall and then into a back door of a service area. At some point my life started flashing before my eyes because I didn't know this man and didn't know where we were going. We went down another hall and stopped when we got to a huge freight elevator with heavy steel doors. He manually opened the doors and then motioned us on. I was very happy to see the light of day again AND have my heart resume beating.

Off we went exploring the streets of Cozumel. We got past the mall and enjoyed some of the local shops, some in buildings and some in open areas in alleys. It was mostly the same souvenier types of items over and over again, but we also saw some beautiful and unique items. I fell in love with a very colorful handcarved round tabletop painted in many bright colors but it was too large to transport home and we really had no where in our house to put it.

You could buy Cuban cigars (but it's illegal to bring them back into the US), "Rolex" watches, and a whole host of diamond and tanzanite jewelry. The most popular item for the travelers I was with was Mexican vanilla, which is sold in many different size bottles. We came back with a liter of it which we paid $8 for. The woman who sold it to us asked me twice to tip her to pay for her chicken tacos. Lots of workers (mostly in entertainment areas) wear big buttons asking you to tip them. I really had to learn when to say yes and when to say no.

The second picture was taken in an alley off one of the side streets of Cozumel. Alan and I thought the wiring was interesting. The third picture is of a local pharmacy where you can buy "prescription" drugs without a prescription. I'd heard you could do this but seeing it in person was eye opening!

There's more to tell you about, but I want to separate it into more posts, so hold on, the adventure continues...

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