Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Go today

To go or not to go...
...that is the question! Whether we should leave Manzanillo and head north today, or stay and eat at Señor Sushi's buffet tonite? We have such tough questions to face! What to do?

Puerto Vallarta and the airport where we take-off to fly to California are 170 miles from here. But that take-off is one week away. It seems that Señor Sushi's buffet has won again. We will not leave Manzanillo.

As Scarlet would say, "Tomorrow is another day!"

Maintenance day for MsTioga
MsTioga is scheduled to have her tires rotated every 5,000 miles. This is a very important maintenance item for MsTioga and that rotation is due now. We drove to a large tire place in the City of Manzanillo. The shop foreman quoted a price of 250 pesos which I know is about the right price for a tire rotation here in Manzanillo.

However, when the foreman returned from the office he informed me that the price was 800 pesos. I replied that this price is too high and that I would not pay it. I tried to bargain but the foreman shrugged his shoulders and gestured toward the office. I thanked him and drove to the next tire shop down the street.

At this tire shop the foreman quoted 250 pesos for rotating the tires and I accepted this offer.
Rotating front wheels

A cracked bracket!
When a mechanic works on MsTioga, I am always right there watching what is going on. Today when the mechanic removed the left dual tires, I looked around and saw a cracked steel bracket. This bracket is not structural, and is used to suspend the propane pipe line.

I asked if there was a welder in the company who would repair this bracket. And guess what? The shop foreman is an experienced welder. The foreman did a nice welding job as you may see in the pic below. I gave the foreman a 50 peso tip and he received this tip with a big smile!
The crack!

Crack welded

Bargaining in Mexico
I will state flat out, "You should always bargain for price in Mexico". When you fail to bargain here, the seller does not know whether the price is good! That is what most Americans fail to grasp!

When a seller in Mexico quotes a price to you, they know the approximate right price when selling to another Mexican. The seller may suspect that you pay more for the same thing in the USA, but they usually do not know what that price is. When you accept the opening offer, the seller is left wondering if the price quoted was too cheap. The seller comes away from that sale unhappy. Feeling cheated.

But when you offer a lower price, even if that lower price is not accepted by the seller, that seller believes that a good deal was made when turn around and you buy the product anyway. Also, consider this. When that seller that you did not bargain with goes to sell to the next American, the price may likely be higher than the offer to you. That seller does not want to make another mistake and get cheated by yet another Americano!

Let's say that you are bargaining with an Indian man here in Mexico for a gorgeous beaded bracelet. I have several of these bracelets mayself. You want to pay the asking price price for the bracelet. So, you counter with a price that is only a few pesos less than the asking price. This Indian seller will feel great, and tell his wife that evening what a great bargain he made with the American guy.

At the tire place today when I was quoted the 250 peso price for rotating MsTioga's tires, I countered with, "This price is high. When the work is done please charge me a lower price." The price actually paid was 215 pesos for the rotation and 185 pesos for the welding for a total of 400 pesos [$32 US].

Señor Sushi!
Jorge at the sushi bar

11:30PM - The busted sheet metal part
Little Mavicita and I just got back from Señor Sushi's Wednesday Nite Buffet. As soon as we returned to MsTioga and went online, we saw that Readers are concerned about the busted sheet metal part.

So, Little Mavicita and I went underneath MsTioga to take a pic. In the middle of the nite, no less! Because we love you so much for being concerned for our MsTioga's welfare.

First of all, we now see that the sheet metal part was NOT busted. It only appeared to be busted from the angle that Little Mavicita took "The crack" pic. This piece of sheet metal is there only to protect the propane lines in front of it from rocks thrown from the spinning tires just to the rear.
Sheet metal protective angle