In this part of the country, more than I've seen anywhere else in the word, the locals have a wickedly brilliant sense of humour. I discovered this when a hotel worker asked where I was going and I said, "Plaza Dos-Miles." He looked at me confused, "Plaza Dos-Miles?... I never heard of it... Ohhh... you must mean 'Plaza Tabasco'. You have to tell the taxi driver 'Plaza Tabasco', because he won't know what you are talking about." As soon as I told the cab driver to take me to "Plaza Tobasco" and saw him look back at me like I was crazy, I knew I had been taken. I should have known.
Tour guides tell passengers, "This is Enrique, our driver. He is the second best bus driver in all of Cancun." At which point (inevetiably) some curious tourist will raise their hand and ask who's the best driver--the guides roar with laughter. Guides tell tourists, "We will be stopping at 1:00 for our lunch which is included in this trip. It is a very special dish today, traditional Mexican delicassy... Iguana!" Horror spreads across the faces of some passengers before the guides reassure them it's a joke.
Watch for workers kicking each other in the bum at every given opportunity. Also watch for one bartender hiding the bottle/opener/ice scoop whenever his coworking bartendeder turns his back (the other guy will think he's lost his mind and look everywhere for it).
One time I was sitting outside and a security guard looked at me as I looked back at him. After several seconds of staring we both burst into laughter for no real reason at all.
I've said too much already--I'm giving away their best jokes!
Any gringos with little patience for slow service should probably stay away from Cancun. The fact that the city owes it's sheer prominence almost entirely to foreign tourism, combined with the Yucatan Peninsula's staggering humidity, keeps Cancun perhaps a virtual opposite of such places as New York or Osaka, when it comes to a businesslike atmosphere. Customs is slow, ordering food is slow, and taxis are often rather late.
Plus--a tradition in the Spanish-speaking world is to take an hour or two off in the early afternoon. The siesta, it's called. You will stick out like a sore gringo thumb walking around and insisting on getting several things "done" during the siesta.
"Mexican Time" - Things just don't move as fast as they do in the US - but, if you are on vacation, why should you care! We find the Mexican people to be so much more relaxed, no one is in a great hurry. Meals are a time to celebrate being together, not just to fuel up! Sometimes you'll have to wait in line, or your room isn't ready the minute you arrive at the hotel, or the shuttle back to the airport is late. Hey, it's Mexican Time! Just relax and try to be patient. Soon enough you'll have to go home and back to the grind!