DATELINE: Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. April 1, 2010
As a devoted Apple fanboy, I occasionally am privileged to receive insider info from a Silicon Valley source that chooses to remain anonymous.
(For similar reasons, illustrations are not available yet.)
Thus it was that I was astonished when I opened my encrypted email earlier this morning to learn of the collaboration of Pátzcuaro's Tourism Development Commission with Apple, Inc. in regard to the renovations of the Plaza Grande. The newly renovated Plaza will, first of all, be a wi-fi zone where both local citizens, expats and tourists can use their mobile devices to both check their email and chat in real time with their buddies. (There goes The Office.)
Artesanías aficionados will be able to shop online and pay with digital money for the Catrinas, Alejibres and Cocuchas without the bother and added expense of a guide to take them to craft villages around the Lake.
The new multi-story Mercado will feature multilingual touch screen iPads at strategically located stations so that shoppers may view produce, meats and clothing in an easy manner, comparing the prices in advance, and pay with credit card or PayPal. This lessons the risk of petty thievery as well.
Local fondas and taquerías are eager to jump on the digital bandwagon. Proposals are afoot for an iApp for online ordering from your favorite taquería, birrería or quesadillería for digital micro payments. This is looked on as a major breakthrough in reducing or even eliminating the perpetual coin change shortage.
As an added bonus, digital subscribers will be able to get combi van schedules on line and make reservations for boarding passes, thus eliminating the uncertainty that some persons experience under the present system. Phase 2 will breakout the digital readable passcards to eliminate the scrambling for change that is so aggravating now.
All involved are enthusiastic for the success of this plan. "If all goes well", said an unattributed municipal spokesperson, "we'll be looking at virtualization technology to allow more visitors to enjoy Pátzcuaro without those stinking tour buses clogging our calles."
Other municipalities are watching closely, and may develop similar programs if Pátzcuaro's is seen as successful.
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