& OTHER GEAR
drugs & rock 'n' roll made me crazythank God!
An Erotic Novel
How we lost the right to feel.
Go to the beach.
Literary Love Affair
American Interfaith Non-Violent (I hope) Taliban Movement
considers Gordon Inkeles' work too shocking for your
Cancun Bashing by Jules
Part Two: The
$7.50 Ice Cream Cone
complains in The
Nation that "In Cancun, a double scoop of Häagen-Dazs
ice cream in a waffle cone costs $7.50--more than in Miami or Manhattan."
This is not
New York or Miami. It's Cancun, a remote tourism destination supplied
by air, road and sea at high cost under difficult conditions. Häagen-Dazs
is imported from the United States. It's sold by the scoop only
in two Hotel Zone shopping centers, one of them among the ritziest
in Mexico. This is like going into The Breakers in Palm Beach and
ordering a hamburger. Is it going to be the same price as McDonald's?
Of course not. It's the 100% tourist rip-off price. What else do
you expect? The Cancun Hotel Zone is a mass market resort designed
to give middle and upper middle class workers five days of fresh
air, clean water, smogless skies. It does that very well. It's not
designed to provide imported ice cream for the workers.
A standard Holanda
or Nestlé ice cream cone is about $1 anywhere in the Hotel
Zone. An excellent locally made ice cream, Nieve Gelato, costs
about $3 for a generous portion in its shop in Plaza Caracol. It's
much better than Häagen-Dazs. A liter of standard commercial
ice cream is $3 in the Hotel Zone; Santa Clara gourmet ice cream
is $9 a liter for regular, and $11 for premium.
finding a small, family-run Mexican taquería or panadería--a
taco stand or a traditional bakery--is much easier in downtown Los
Angeles or Chicago than it is in Cancún," he writes.
Conchas and Independence Day
cookies in Hotel Zone supermarket
There are no bakeries in the Hotel Zone, true, but there are plenty
in downtown Cancun, if we are going to use downtown Los Angeles
as an example. The marinas usually have convenience stores that
sell non-commercial baked goods. The San Francisco de Asis supermarket
in the Hotel Zone sells traditional baked goods such as sweet rolls
and the like. Street-side food stands are forbidden in the Hotel
Zone because they don't have adequate sanitary facilities. There
are taquerías and family-operated places in the food courts
of at least three major Hotel Zone shopping centers, as well as
scattered all along the principal thoroughfare, Paseo Kukulcan.
Taco stands can be found right across the street from Forum by the
Sea, where Cooper priced the ice cream cone.
Hotel Zone Mexican restaurants are outposts of downtown places that
began as family operations: 100% Natural (serves organic dishes),
El Mexicano (lavish show and regional dishes of all Mexico), El
Tacolote, La Parrilla and La Placita (all three serve country-style
tacos as well as complete meals) and Pacal (Mayan-influenced menu).
If we add other varieties of food such as Argentinian, French, Italian,
Japanese, and Chinese, the list starts getting very large. Mexicans
like foreign food just as much as Americans like pizza. You go out
to eat, you like a little variety, right?
the sad tale of the waitress who's never been to the beach in front
of the hotel where she works. She's an employee. She's free to walk
on the beach, which is public property, but the lounges and other
installations belong to the hotels. Are their workers supposed to
compete with the guests for the beach facilities? Moreover, lots
of Cancun workers go to very beautiful and ample public beaches
in the Hotel Zone such as El Mirador, the most scenic beach in Cancun.
protestors on one of Cancun's
public beaches —AP/Jaime Puebla
thinks he's in South Africa, using terms such as apartheid and Soweto.
There are economic distinctions, of course, but they are not racial,
although lighter complexions do predominate in the ruling class,
and racism is not uncommon among the old rich who still think Porfirio
Díaz was a misunderstood saint. Nonetheless, the governor
of the state of Quintana Roo is black, and almost all government
employees are mestizo. He complains about the lack of contact among
tourists and hotel workers. Cancun offers plenty of opportunities
for mingling. Mingling became such a problem in the discos here
because of the rapacious attitudes of some of the Mexican guys and
gals (paid and unpaid) who exchanged body fluids with tourists,
that the authorities had to impose a code of conduct.
Bashing is in Season
The $7.50 Ice Cream Cone
3: The Myth
of the Narco-Resort
4: An Open Letter
to The Nation's Marc Cooper
CANCUN USER'S GUIDE
Fruits & Vegetables
Zona de Tolerancia
Words to live by.