Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A full-service country

Mexico is all about service (primarily because labor costs so little - people put in 12 hour days for $30 or less and many people work just for tips). Wealthy Mexicans and American retirees live like kings with full-time nannies, drivers, cooks, maids and gardeners. But there are also a lot of little things throughout the day that remind you you're not in Kansas. For instance, there are shoe-shine stands on every corner, but you don't even have to inconvenience yourself - the shoeshine guy will come to your office and polish them up while you continue to sit and work at your desk. Or stand guard as seen in the above photo.

You do not pump your own gas in Mexico. If you park at the grocery store or the mall or even on the street, a man will almost always appear out of nowhere to offer to wash your car. Not only do pizza places deliver - so do all the major pharmacies. You don't even have to get out of your car to shop, because there are vendors at nearly every stoplight selling everything from peanuts to chips to soft drinks, toys, maps, traditional candy, the day's newspaper, and flowers.

But the ultimate luxury experience in Mexico would definitely have to be going VIP to the movies. Both of the major chains, Cinemex and Cinepolis, have several VIP cinemas which cost twice the usual admission price of $5. For your $10, you get: a leather recliner, a full restaurant menu with everything from sushi to lasagna to chocolate cake, and, of course, access to a full bar. A major newspaper recently did an article about how Mexico is so far ahead of the world in terms of VIP cinema, which doesn't even exist in most countries (naturally, the example for America was some po-dunk theater in Texas that happened to serve BBQ). As the PR girl from Cinepolis put it, "We Mexicans just like to spoil ourselves."

Living the good life...waiter, could I get another mojito please?

Even the bathrooms are swanky when you go VIP.

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