It’s the Holy Week and just like in the Philippines, it’s non-work days on Holy Thursday and Good Friday for most people here. So, hotel rooms are very expensive! Not to mention, it’s “spring break”. The search results from Booking.com – the hotels close to the beach are at least 5,000MXN per night! I went for the cheapest one – a room at a condominium called Torre Barcelona. 5,000MXN for 3 nights. I thought I got a good price.
The best things about this place:
- It’s right next to a huge shopping mall called Las Plazas Americas
- Buses going downtown pass by the shopping mall
- Because it’s a huge shopping mall, there’s plenty of restaurants and a huge food court
- You can go out at night because there’s a Hooters in the mall
- The condo building is quite new, so are the furniture in the room
- It has a huge bed
- It has a huge closet
- This is NOT a hotel, so don’t expect to see a receptionist all the time.
- The receptionist does not speak fluent English
- No housekeeping! No one cleaned my room the whole time I stayed there
- No TV when I went up the room. I was told they’re going to put it but when I came back from dinner at about 9PM, no TV yet
- No soap and towels! I was also told they’re going to put these stuff when they put the TV but I didn’t find any when I got back from dinner! Good thing I was able to find the guard and he gave me these. However, the towel that was given to me was the one used on the floor.
- There was a fridge but nothing was in there
- As you can see in the photos above, there’s no table, only a chair
- Hot water is NOT available all the time! When I took a shower at about 11PM and before 10AM, I had to do it so quickly because the water was so cold even if I had it running open for a few minutes.
- The one and only receptionist will no longer be available after 9PM
- No cable TV, just the local channels (2 of them)
- Wi-fi is only available at the lobby
- You need to ask for new towels from the receptionist
- No water dispenser
- If you need hot water for your coffee or tea, I don’t know if you can ask from the guard
- There was an airconditioner but there was no way to turn it on. No remote control was provided. Maybe that was what the chair is for! Good thing it’s cool at night and there’s was no need for it.
Yes, my list is long. I know I got what I paid for and it IS Cancun in a peak season. I expect everything to be expensive, right? But I’m sure about one thing: I’m not going to stay in that place again. I don’t mind looking for the guard to ask for soap and towels but without hot water for the shower, it’s a deal-breaker for me.
Some complicated and unpleasant things happened in the office and my bosses wanted me to go back to Singapore as soon as possible. But I was so stressed out these past few months and I tried asking my boss if I can take a week off here in Mexico City… and he agreed!
Cancun was the first choice, then La Paz. A friend recommended La Paz and to be honest, I haven’t heard of it before but when I saw some photos in the internet, it appears to be beautiful as well. After comparing the plane tickets, it’s only 200MXN cheaper than Cancun so, I decided to go to Cancun!
The flight to Cancun was smooth, and no one was seated beside me. The plane was not full, maybe because it was a Tuesday and the long weekend hasn’t started yet. Aeromexico’s service was OK. We were given cookies and peanuts as snacks. And it wasn’t long before we began our descent to Cancun.
I don’t know where this is, but the beach looks lovely
And when we arrived at the terminal, Spiderman was there to greet us!
This was moving back and forth, cool huh?
Going to the downtown (Cancun centro) was cheap and easy. You head directly to the bus ticket booth after getting your luggages (it’s right beside the doors) and buy from there. It only cost me 56MXN. The bus was full, good thing I got in the queue before the other passengers got out. The trip going downtown took 30~40 minutes. After i got off the bus, sitio taxis were at the bus terminal and I got in one to the place where I stayed for 50MXN.
In a few days, it will be my fourth year in the current company. And a lot of things have happened. I did more than just the usual programming tasks and I learned a lot. I did a lot documentation, too. But now I want to get less involved in coding. It would be more fun to do integration or system engineering! For some of you out there who are working for business intelligence companies, do you enjoy what you’re doing? There’s one thing that I am sure of – I don’t want to be coding anymore in 2 years. Well, maybe programming just for fun.
So, I’ve been here in Mexico City since November 26th. Almost four months and my friends and colleagues back in Singapore keep on asking me why I like staying here. One of the reasons? Small gifts from the Human Resources on special occasions. I love receiving gifts, well who doesn’t?
Here are some of the gifts I’ve received in the past few weeks:
Valentine’s Day 2013
A chocolate in a cute name tag from a lady colleague, and some sweets from the Human Resources. Even if I didn’t eat them, it’s still nice to receive something
International Women’s Day 2013
And my favorite so far, a flower bouquet!
One of the things that I missed on my first visit to Mexico City is viewing the city from the hotel’s rooftop! And I’m very glad to have been sent here the second time. Of course, I made sure to take photos. I couldn’t forgive myself if I fail to do so this time.
My second visit to Mexico is more fun, I suppose. Especially because a Mexican colleague invited me and another colleague from Singapore to the racing tracks! The racing tracks is about 2 hours from Mexico City. I am the smaller one so I had to sit at the back. It was still a fun ride, though.
But of course, I got to experience how it feels on the tracks (just a passenger, though). Here’s my ride, pretty cool, huh?
I was very nervous at first but after a few rounds, I realized that I am not scared of speed at all! It was so exciting and unforgettable experience, indeed!
Don’t try it with an empty stomach! I was dizzy not because of the ride, but because I was so hungry.
I can’t believe that my last post was on November 22! It’s almost a month ago. I have my drafts but have been too tired to upload the photos. Anyway, I’ve arrived here in Mexico City on November 26th and I will be spending my Christmas and most likely New Year’s here. I do hope my lazy self won’t drag me down so that I can do more than just this quick status update. >_<
Christmas decorations are everywhere especially in the shopping malls but maybe I haven't explored the city enough at this time of year because I still need to search for the biggest Christmas tree in the city. Despite being away from family and friends, I am happy to meet new friends here and I have secured a gift! With a little convincing to do, I initiated a Kris Kringle here in the office. It felt so good watching people crowd at the wish list posted on the bulletin board.
Some backed out at the last minute but at least I could see that people enjoyed the gift exchange. Now it feels like the Christmas I'm used to. ^^
During my first trip to Mexico City, I went through Amsterdam on board KLM. This time, I went through Japan. But before that, I had to buy a new luggage because my old one was made of plastic and is now broken. I learned from my last trip that my baggage would definitely grow when I leave Mexico so I needed to buy a bigger one. My new luggage is as high as my waist, but the scale showed when I checked-in was only 19 kilograms. Fair enough, at least I would have 10 kilograms to spare for presents later.
From Singapore to Narita, I took Singapore Airlines (SQ), still with a business class ticket. I was ecstatic because it was my first time to go through Changi Airport Terminal 3 and my first business class flight with SQ! The Kris Flyer Lounge didn’t disappoint me. It is by far the best business class lounge I’ve ever been to. They serve the most number of food variety and the best one as well. Few minutes before boarding, I got to chat with my family using one of the iMacs at the lounge (cool, huh?). One disadvantage though: the lounge was crowded at that time but I still managed to grab one of those very comfy couches.
Unlike the business class seats in other airlines, the ones in SQ could be converted into a bed! With my size, i didn’t even have to curl up. I had a good night sleep on my way to Japan so I only had to use the entertainment system while I was having my breakfast. They didn’t give one of those personal kits in pouches but you’ve got everything you need at lavatory (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, etc). They just personal hand you a pair of socks and an eye cover.
It was about 7 hours flight and they only serve one meal. We were made to choose when to have the meal served. I preferred breakfast and I chose the Japanese menu. Food presentation was good and the taste was very good.
Time does really fly fast when you’re on a great airline. I had a wonderful flight with SQ. I shouldn’t forget to mention that the attendants were very nice and they’re really “visible”. It felt like they’re baby-sitting the passengers.