Saturday, November 26, 2011

On the Road to Mexico, Part 3

Don't worry: this is Mexico.

If Mexican traffic enforcement is warm and personal, the same cannot be said for PEMEX, the state petroleum monopoly.  Coming from a free market country where there often seems to be a filling station on every corner, it is an unpleasant change to come to a country where stations seem to be a hundred miles apart, stations that open late and close early.  And at one point the rascals even tried to overcharge us, but as they claimed to have sold us more gasoline than our car would hold they got nowhere with their villainy.

    Late at night I found myself nervously watching the gas gauge as we passed closed stations with signs advising that the next station, which might also be closed, was 40 or 80 km away.  But I was thinking like a gringo, for Roger explained that if things got bad we had only to stop at some village and ask around to find someone who had gasoline to sell.  Don’t worry: this is Mexico. 

    And indeed, that was how we found gasoline that night.  We had found no station open and it had gotten dark and there was a little village off to the west of the highway that looked as if it scarcely had electricity, but Roger walked up to some people sitting outside a house in the cool of the evening, who directed him to another house where we bought a few litres of gasoline, that took care of our concerns until we could find an open PEMEX station.  See, said Roger, I told you not to worry: this is Mexico.

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