Una Propina (a tip)

I have given some thought in the past few days to tipping. It has been quite interesting to live in a different culture and slowly figure out what the deal is….on almost everything. But, let’s talk about tipping in Mexico. I don’t really mean to address the question, “How much should I tip?” I am more interested in thinking about what a tip means. I have reached the conclusion that while the Mexican people you might be tipping certainly appreciate the pesos, there is much more involved than that. They appreciate that you are saying to them, “I appreciate you. Thank you for doing a good job. Thank you for helping me out.” Believe me, if you move to a different country and you are trying to learn the language and customs, you are going to need some help. Sometimes you will be amazed at the positive effect a little regalo can have.

For example. Fred and I park our car in a lot across the street from our house. It costs about $30 a month. Very handy, too. Several different guys work there, but there is one guy that you just kind of know is the boss. One of the great advantages of parking our car in that lot is that most of the time we are allowed to cut through the lot and onto another street, which makes our walks out and about much easier. Only people who park long-term in the lot are allowed this privilege. But sometimes, for reasons that make absolutely no sense, the gate is locked. Then we have to turn around and go back. The guys act like they can’t unlock it. So, Friday night we were on our way back from dinner. As we approached the gate, we saw it was closed. I decided that I would just ask the guys to unlock it, and thought maybe they would. (I was feeling lucky). But, as we approached the gate, it magically opened. (Well, it has a remote.) The guys had let us in!

One thing that has happened in regard to the parking lot is that we have made friends with their dog, Mancha. Like really good friends. Like he acts like I am absolutely the coolest. I think the guys have picked up on that. Everybody likes a person that their dog likes. Think about it.

Anyway…..Fred and I had been meaning to give these guys a bottle of good tequila, as a little tip, but the time had never seemed just right. So, Friday was the night! We walked across the street, got a beautiful bottle of tequila that we had sitting around, and gave it to the boss, but made it clear it was a gift for all of them. Very good idea. When we walked back through the lot today it was all smiles and nice. I think we have maybe solved the gate problem. And, I do appreciate those guys a whole lot. And the dog is sweet to Pinky, too.

So, if there is someone in your life who does a service for you that you appreciate, or that you know they could do if they really wanted to, give them a tip. And, remember it isn’t so much about the amount (but don’t be cheesy) as it is about just saying,”Thanks.”

The pictures at the bottom are the parking lot guys. I took their picture today….but, by the way, that kind of sullen-looking guy in front wasn’t there on Friday and didn’t get in on the tequila. He probably was thinking, WTF? And the Magic Gate. There is also a picture of the open gate.



2 thoughts on “Una Propina (a tip)

  1. Great story! I never thought of tequila, but from time to time, I bake cookies or cupcakes or something homemade and take it to the parking lot people on Mesones where I park a couple of days a week. Even if the wooden doors are closed, signaling that the lot is full, if I toot my horn and they see me, they open the gate and fit my car in somehow! You are so correct……….a little regalo means a lot. It always makes me smile when those doors open!

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