Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shopping in Playa

Many, many things in Playa Del Carmen have changed since we were here in early 2003. For example, there has been a HUGE influx of Italians. Though Playa was always full of more European than American travelers, there was a stronger German and Dutch influence before. Italians now comprise probably 90-95% of the tourist base. Because of this, the marketplace has also changed. There are so many Italian restaurants, cafés and boutiques that it has actually been a bit of a challenge for us to find decent Mexican food to eat. I went shopping today to find a dress for Matt and Jackie's wedding and had a difficult time. I had envisioned a simple linen sundress that would have been popular last time we were here, but it seemed like every shop had apparel tailored to fit Italian tastes and figures.

One thing has not changed, however, and that is the aggressive sales tactics of the Mexican shop owners. Granted, it is the slow season right now - and many of them are really hurting for business - but I cannot believe how creative they have become! When we were out today, Henry asked me how we could "find the mayor of this town" - he wanted to report all of the pushy sales people! It was another lesson in cultural differences.

I wonder if, perhaps, the shop owners all attend training seminars to learn common American phrases. I wonder, too, if these are the only American phrases that they know. So
many of these are things we have heard before, but the bar has definitely been raised with a few:

"Almost free to you, señor."

"Only today. Only for you."

"Hello, beautiful family. Come to look in my shop."

"Hello, I have been waiting all day for you."

"Hey, Beautiful Lady - braids for your beautiful niña?"

"Best prrrrrrices in town, señor. I prrrrrromise to you."

"What you want to pay?"

"Welcome back. You promised me to come back."

"Hello, Big Spender! Is that you?"

"I have just what you always need."

"Hey, señor - Let me make you a deal."

And my personal favorite, that actually made me belly laugh:
"Let me be the last one to rip you off."

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like they should learn those sayings in Italian too!