I wanted to share something quite special that happened to me recently. Aside from being known as a “party” guy, I sometimes happen to work…
I had never been to one of those time-share things until the first time I went to Mexico. You know, those presentations where they hold you hostage for hours while demanding to know the dollar amount in your savings account. True story that is what happened to us! Landing in Puerto Vallarta at about 8 pm, we de-boarded the plane by a staircase and walked across the runway to the airport.
After clearing Mexican customs, we left the airport walking down a long ramp towards the front doors. All along the hallway were booths. These booths displayed taxi services, car rentals, horse back riding, cruises, fishing trips, the works. We did our best to avoid being stopped but eventually a charming Mexican boy, and a beautiful Mexican girl got our attention and held us in conversation. They promised us a free taxi ride to our hotel that evening and a cruise the next day if we went to their 90-minute time-share presentation. An all-day, all-you-can-drink-and-eat cruise, free, tomorrow, in exchange for the 90-minute presentation. We caved.
Of course, we had to pay for our taxi that night. It would be reimbursed on the cruise. The taxi driver promised he would pick up the next morning. The next morning we were waiting outside our hotel when an entirely different taxi driver insisted we went with him to the cruise. He drove us from the opposite direction of the port, out of town for half an hour on a narrow jungle winding highway.
At a brand new 5 Diamond time-share resort, we were offered mimosas. Then they separated my friend and I and we were each presented to our time-share real estate agent. She showed me condos I could never afford. They insisted I drink champagne and demanded to know why I wouldn’t sign up to buy a condo. Supervisors were sent over to ask what my the savings in my bank were. They made me fill out a work-book demonstrating how much more affordable it was to buy their time-share than any other type of travelling. After four painful hours, I was let go. I found my best friend waiting for me at the bus stop. There were no taxi rides back to the city, not for those of us who did not buy a time-share. Our taxi ride was redeemed, however, and the cruise turned out to be the real deal. I don’t like the way they tricked us into attending the time-share and held us, hostage. But he next day we spent eight hours on a boat eating ceviche, drinking “cervezas”, and trying to forget our first full day in Mexico.