Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mexico Requires Too Much Math

Even under the best of circumstances I'm not so great at math. I recently took an assessment test that asked me a lot of complicated math problems which I did quite handily, so it's not that I can't do math ... it's just that I CANNOT be bothered. I will only do math under extreme duress or if I am the only possible person available to do it. Usually I'll just stare at the dinner bill until someone just tells me how much I should leave for a tip, and Voila! doing math is avoided once again. So far this strategy has worked like a charm.

Camie isn't a mathematical wiz either (for a while there we were outsourcing our math to one another - I handled subtraction, while she had addition. It worked very well), so you can imagine my distress while in Mexico when we had to convert Real Money into Mexican Pesos for practically EVERY TRANSACTION. It was a special form of torture. And I don't mind telling you, I was a first class moron at it.

The conversion wasn't really that difficult - like 10% - the only percentage I can actually handle. But I could never figure out if it was up by 10% or down by 10%. It continued to eluded both Camie and me for the entire vacation. Secretly, I was glad it wasn't just me ... I hate being an idiot by myself. Here are a few examples of our bumbling. Just for your reference, 5 Dollars = 50 Pesos.

The first night at dinner our waiter brought his little hand held credit card machine to the table, which, incidentally, I really like from a security point of view. But it sure made my "stare at the bill until someone tells me how much to tip" strategy seem especially awkward. When it became apparent that I was on my own for this one I started looking for the Tax so I could double it. BUT THERE WAS NO TAX! (at least as far as I could see). The only option at this point -- much to my horror -- was guessing. Even at this point I wasn't about to do actual math. So I just looked up at him and asked $7?? I have no idea if that was even remotely close to 20%.

Out at the most sucky bar, Senor Frogs, Camie and I bought some RIDICULOUSLY expensive drinks. And, I was so proud of her, she accidentally gave the bartender a 30 CENT tip instead of a 3 dollar tip. The place was so sucky and the drinks so overpriced I felt that this was a case where bad Math was doing a good deed.
Camie haggled a vendor down to $15 dollars for some little presents, but then tried to only give them $1.50.
I tried to give a waiter a 500 peso tip, or $50, when really I wanted to give him $5.

Ugh. Don't these people know that when I'm ON VACATION the last thing I should be required to do is perform basic MATH? That's why I go on vacation, so I don't have to do anything I don't want to do! Duh.


Camie said...

I am laughing so hard and I want to defend or at least explain my bad math or confusion about coin actually being worth more in other countries(European), but it doesn't matter. I'm just that much of an idiot.

erin said...

hmm...i wonder if they have a vacation for people who want to do math?? like math camp but for adults. i'll have to check into that.

]\[-]{ said...

hee hee..."Real Money"

an honest waiter is always nice. I guess he turned down the $50 tip?