Friday, March 20, 2015

Tortilla vs Roti

I went to Peurto Penasco (also known as Rocky Point) in Mexico by shuttle, which is a few hours drive from Tempe or Phoenix, close to the US-Mexico border and stayed one night there (12th - 13th, March 2015). It was a different world in the other side of the border. Anyone with a US multi-entry visa may enter Mexico and return to the US without another Mexican visa. Though it was a short trip, I had some interesting moments there.

So I was having my dinner in the restaurant. One of the guys (one who works in the restaurant, presumably) popped up and asked, "would you like too try thotheeyaa". I said, " whaaaat?" He said, "flour". I confirmed, " flour?" He said something like, "orange apple..." I don't quite get it. After a moment, the waiter came to me and asked me (the other guy must have told him about our conversation), "you want thotheeyaa?" I said, "what is thotheeyaa? I don't understand." The waiter said, "ah, then no problem." I insisted, "No, tell me. I just don't get it." The waiter said, "one minute" and came back with a plateful of sample. I smiled, "ah.. This.. I don't want this." The waiter said, "ah ok. How to call this? Not thotheeyaa?" I said, "no no no no no.. It is roti"

Later, I got to know that tortilla was originated in Mexico. I usually try only the local restaurants (exception given for Chinese and south Asian food). There are Mexican restaurants in Europe certainly. Just I never bothered to try. I still could not figure out what he meant by "orange apple". However, it indeed looks like roti, and ingredients and the recipe look pretty much similar.

It is "normal" in Rocky Point to scam or charge more from the foreigners in Rocky Point. For example, the restaurant had two menus - one in Spanish with prices indicated in Mexican Pesos (MXP), and the other in English with USD. One USD was equal to 15 MXP. But the price for the same item was marked as 90 MXP in Spanish, and 15 USD in English. That means 2.5 times extra for English speakers. Similarly, an entire meal costs just 120 MXP. But 18 USD (they include 10% tax in addition, though it was not mentioned in the menu. It is a regular practice in the US. Not sure about Mexico. I guess, they charge this 10% extra also only from foreigners). Again more than double the price. An English speaking lady (presumably from the US) found this and argued with the restaurant manager. She tried to get help from a Mexican girl who looked modern and educated. She asked her, "Is this a common practice here to charge the foreigners more?" The Mexican girl was reluctant to help, just smiled and said "I don't know". 

That English speaking lady left without eating there. However, I did not mind. As I noticed, it was common. I cannot ruin my entire night seeking a restaurant that does not try to cheat the foreigners. After all, I just stayed one night and had one dinner. So no need to bother much. My suggestion is, next time change some USD to MXP if you are staying longer there. 

I was there for the spring break. So the town was full of teenagers from the US. The legal age for alcohol consumption in the US is 21 or above. It is 18 in Mexico, and that also is not strictly enforced in Rocky Point. Hence students from Arizona come to Rocky Point to have some drinks all night. The town surrounding the old fish market looked like a party location. However, it had just a rocky beach, which makes it impossible to have some sun bath. To have a sunny beach, we should stay in the other side, which I heard lacks the bars and restaurants, unlike this side.

I was able to locate so many fake pharmacies selling cheap Viagra. Also many dentists. Try them at your own risk. :P Interestingly, there is a blooming real estate business, encouraging visitors to buy the properties and resell when the price goes high. As I learned, if you really want to do, you better have a very trusted Mexican friend to help you. Otherwise, you will end up paying 5 times the real price for a land or property in a no-man-zone.

When I planned this trip, I was warned by many that this used to be the heaven of the drug lords. But what I found was, just a party location! I encountered another scammer though. We just walked together, while he was trying to scam me for a boat ride that did not exist. I was careful; so I lost nothing. I won this time. :).

It was a different experience to visit the Latin America by land. Though probably I would not visit Rocky Point again alone, it was worth the try.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are welcome to provide your opinions in the comments. Spam comments and comments with random links will be deleted.