In my last post, I talked about returning my uniform back to my former hotel. Funny enough, a few weeks before I ended up leaving Mexico, I had a strange experience with my uniform. I have always been mildly intuitive and highly perceptive. Friends have often called me Sherlock Holmes, bruja or witch, or just crazy.!! Oftentimes, I do not even understand why I know, do, or say something until much later on when all the puzzle pieces fall into place.
This particular incident took place at the end of January. I was in our daily morning meeting and nothing was out of the ordinary. At the end of the meeting, the head concierge called me over to tell me I needed to change my blouse. Apparently, my pen had exploded in my pocket and it did not look professional. Of course, I told her I would change it immediately. I usually did not agree with her methods regarding guests, but in this particular instance, I could not have agreed with her more.!
However, I did have one small problem. The women who worked at the ropería or clothing room did not speak English. Usually, I was able to use my passable Spanish to get my hemline resewn or something ironed. But somehow, I felt that exchanging a blouse was going to be a big ‘lost in translation’ deal. So I asked my friend J.A. to help me out with the translation. And he readily agreed.
J.A. had worked at several of the hotel’s locations over a number of years so he was pretty knowledgeable about how the hotel operated and he knew almost everybody.! Sometimes walking around the resort with him, I felt like I was walking with a celebrity.!! jajaja… Also, J.A. was the first person I worked with and he trained me.!! When we worked at the gazebo together, we even called each other ‘mi esposo/a de trabajo’ or my work husband/wife.! When we both moved on to other gazebos and other teams, we still referred to each other as x-esposos.! Even to our guests.!! It made the guests laugh, so we continued to use the reference 🙂
Incidently, J.A. has a beautiful wife who I know very well. It was just in good fun.! So back to the story. J.A. and I met up and he went to the ropería with me. He explained to the lady working there how the head concierge wanted me to exchange my blouse because of the pen stain. She explained to J.A. that I would have to clean the stained blouse myself. She could not exchange a pristine blouse for a stained one. I would have to be responsible for my pen explosion.! She would just loan me a pristine blouse temporarily which I would also have to return back to her in good condition. Ah welcome to Mexican bureaucracy.!!
But I had little choice in the matter as my blouse was stained and unprofessional looking. And I, of course, did not wish to engage in an argument with my head concierge as to why I did not exchange my blouse as she had requested. So I agreed.! J.A. reiterated my agreement to the lady working at the clothing room. At which point, there occurred another flurry of conversation that I did not completely understand. But what I did comprehend left me feeling anxious. The lady at the ropería wanted me to leave my passport or FM3 visa as collateral..!! Say what.?!? Que, que??
As J.A. repeated the request back to me, my blood began to boil. All I could think of was how sometimes living in Mexico made me so crazy because everyone followed the rules to the letter.!! Even when they made no sense, even when they were completely unnecessary. Sometimes, they even made up more rules to cover their asses.!! This of course seemed like one of those times to me.! Because really, what was I really going to do with an extra work blouse.??? Sell it..??? On the black market.???
I looked at J.A. in disbelief.! All I could get out was ‘no’ at first. Of course, he looked surprised. Finally, I found my voice and from out of nowhere I said, “I can’t give any of my ID’s not even for a minute. First off I need one to legally work in this country. I can be sent home and/or get fined if it is not on me at all times. Secondly, I need both to leave the country since I am now a resident. God forbid something happens to me here or to my family in Chicago and I need to leave immediately. I am not going to have time to stop at the pinche ropería to return my blouse.!! No thank you. I will just deal with the head concierge and wear a sweater for the rest of the day.”
J.A. turned to the lady and said nevermind in Spanish and that I was not going to borrow the blouse. At this point the lady looked confused because clearly I had said way more words than J.A. had translated. So she asked him why not. At this point, J.A. looked at her and with all sincerity said, “Gabacha loca” or crazy white girl.!! I didn’t laugh then, I just shrugged my shoulders and left. In retrospect, it was kinda funny 🙂 But more importantly, I did end up leaving a few weeks later unexpectedly due to my father and my storage locker debacle. How had I known? I don’t know. But I had. Hence, all my nicknames. Now I had a new one to add to the list. One gabacha loca coming right up….