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Old 12-20-2011, 01:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
and Mexico:
Fred On Everything
Living in the city in December, we just finished the peregrinaciones which are parades from every colonia to the church of Guadalupe for 12 days. Now we are doing the posados which reenact the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph that go on for 9 days. Lots of booms and fireworks. The Mexicans really know how to celebrate life! I sometimes wonder if gringos would be happier with the emphasis on family and relationships. It sure does not require a lot of money.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:36 PM   #22
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I think the press scares people and no one should go somewhere where they will be scared.

For me, I like PV because it has less murders than Vancouver where I live in the summer. I also lived in Edmonton when it was the murder capital of Canada. Statistics don't bother me much.
Ya the hype is very lol. There normally are more murders in the USA each year than Mexico.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:25 PM   #23
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Ya the hype is very lol. There normally are more murders in the USA each year than Mexico.
Based on murder rate or number of murders?
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:55 AM   #24
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Some people leave the US in search of a lower cost of living but also a different lifestyle. Others retire as expats looking for a lower cost of living but still want certain aspects of US living in their new expat location, including language and a sense of security. They are often disappointed. This has happened many times in the past, in Mexico and elsewhere, and will do so again in the future.

The lower cost of living is the product of a lower standard of living, greater poverty and much more political and economic volatility, and some expats are not prepared to deal with these. Hopefully they still have the resources to move on. It is very risky to relocate abroad when the motivation is cost of living and not lifestyle.

I've not followed Fred's blog but conclude from his columns that he enjoys his Mexican expat lifestyle. If that is the case, Ed the Gypsy is correct and he will find a way to remain. I think Mexico has great expat potential and the bigger risk (for expats) is not the crime rate but the increasing standard of living which will make expat life much more costly over time.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:15 AM   #25
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It is amazing to encounter expats who criticize Mexico because they cannot spend USD nor speak English. In the past 10 years, the number of Mexicans that speak English in PV has probably declined.

This is because there was a building boom that attracted people from the country who spoke no English. After the bust, they have opened shops or got jobs in the service industry. The reluctance to accept USD is a combination of instability of the currency and tough anti-money laundering laws.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:07 PM   #26
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It astounds me that some people try to spend USD anywhere except the USA.

In our neighborhood upscale supermarket (such as they are here in Baku), my wife and I observed a stylish older Western woman (who we had never seen before) try to spend a Ben Franklin at the check stand. The poor check girl was terribly confused by this. I would have been, too. I would not have been as nice as the kid behind the counter was.

Taxi drivers here regularly get passengers who try to pay in various currencies. Sometimes they accept as they have little to lose. From time to time, as a courtesy to our favorite drivers, we buy euros, dollars and Scottish pounds from them, which we can use.

These vignettes show me how gentle and tolerant the Azeri people are and how many Western blockheads there are in the world.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:18 PM   #27
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MichaelB speaks sooth.

After spending an afternoon in Fred On Everything, I think I would enjoy Fred Reed and his family as neighbors (provided the wind was blowing his smoke away).
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #28
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I think I would enjoy the occasional evening boozing with Fred. A neighbor? Well...
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:30 PM   #29
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A separate thought:

Having resided for various lengths of time several places outside the US (and some unpleasant ones inside), I have the philosophy that I should never have things I could not walk away from in a minute, including real estate. As Dorothy said, "We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto." DW knows this, too, but sometimes we do take risks.

Exceptions have been Canada and Denmark, but we do not always wind up in such nice, orderly places.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:32 PM   #30
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I think I would enjoy the occasional evening boozing with Fred. A neighbor? Well...
We've had worse.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:09 PM   #31
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Having resided for various lengths of time several places outside the US (and some unpleasant ones inside), I have the philosophy that I should never have things I could not walk away from in a minute, including real estate. As Dorothy said, "We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto." DW knows this, too, but sometimes we do take risks.
This is excellent advice. That, and keep your papers handy and up to date.
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After spending an afternoon in Fred On Everything, I think I would enjoy Fred Reed and his family as neighbors (provided the wind was blowing his smoke away).
That all depends on what he is smoking...

Gypsy Ed, I do look forward to enjoying a glass of beer with you some day and sharing some stories.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:20 PM   #32
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I would enjoy that myself, Mike. Somewhere in South FL maybe?
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:30 PM   #33
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I would enjoy that myself, Mike. Somewhere in South FL maybe?
I haven't yet lost hope that it could be Venezuela...
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:26 PM   #34
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I haven't yet lost hope that it could be Venezuela...
Perhaps watch some baseball in Choroni?

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Old 12-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #35
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Some people leave the US in search of a lower cost of living but also a different lifestyle. Others retire as expats looking for a lower cost of living but still want certain aspects of US living in their new expat location, including language and a sense of security. They are often disappointed. This has happened many times in the past, in Mexico and elsewhere, and will do so again in the future.

The lower cost of living is the product of a lower standard of living, greater poverty and much more political and economic volatility, and some expats are not prepared to deal with these. Hopefully they still have the resources to move on. It is very risky to relocate abroad when the motivation is cost of living and not lifestyle.

I've not followed Fred's blog but conclude from his columns that he enjoys his Mexican expat lifestyle. If that is the case, Ed the Gypsy is correct and he will find a way to remain. I think Mexico has great expat potential and the bigger risk (for expats) is not the crime rate but the increasing standard of living which will make expat life much more costly over time.
Truer words where never spoken! Those of us living in "catch up" economies know that "dollar parity" is our enemy and it is important to use this "now" to your LT economic advantage!

I also see "personal freedom" as a motivator among my "expat" acquaintances
as more people choose places where they can "fly below the radar".
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:20 PM   #36
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We had a drive-by shooting close to our neighborhood in Phoenix not that long ago and the chart for home invasion crime gets closer to our location every year. Sometimes people get shot at the traffic light 2 or 3 blocks from our house and we live in an upscale neighborhood. There has not been a mass exodus from our area due to these crimes. In fact, as Boomers age, our area in AZ continues to be an attraction, especially to the Canadians.

Years ago when we “semi-moved” to Chapala in 1993, it was a different sort of Expat who lived there. They were the characters, the ones who lived outside the box in many ways, and who were the adventurers and the pioneers. Most of them either knew Spanish or made a good go of it with the locals.

These days, 18 years later, it’s a new breed who is coming to Chapala. These people want a place “just like home only cheaper” without changing their lives much. They drive their new SUVs or their red Mercedes convertibles and wear their country club clothes and jewelry, don’t speak Spanish or try to, and they stand out gleamingly from the crowd and then wonder why they might be a target for theft or disingenuous locals.

There are so many of these types of Gringos now that the culture in the area has changed noticeably and in a way that is not necessarily for the best. Pricing has also gone up for daily goods and services (another topic).

All of this being said, Billy and I have been traveling off the beaten track in Mexico and Central America continuously now for over 2 years and have not felt unsafe or threatened. Of course we use common sense.

We feel very safe in Mexico and our quality of life is rich. I’m not saying anyone should ignore these stories or be naïve about it, but I bet if you focused on anything negative you will surely find it.

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Old 12-22-2011, 06:41 PM   #37
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Years ago when we “semi-moved” to Chapala in 1993, it was a different sort of Expat who lived there. They were the characters, the ones who lived outside the box in many ways, and who were the adventurers and the pioneers. Most of them either knew Spanish or made a good go of it with the locals.

These days, 18 years later, it’s a new breed who is coming to Chapala. These people want a place “just like home only cheaper” without changing their lives much.
T'was ever thus......On the 11 year Saudi project I was associated with, (I was there for 7+ years), the 'originals' (I came a few years later at the earliest available opportunity), were a different breed from the 'gray people' who arrived later, and who wouldn't have considered being there from the outset...(when they arrived it was simply a transfer from one established office to another).

Just another revival of the history of the 'Old West' wherein there was no place for the pioneers when the lawyers and accountants arrived.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:01 PM   #38
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Based on murder rate or number of murders?
Number of murders...but still there's a lot of hype regarding Mexico...no idea why any of us enjoying this country is still alive!!
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #39
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The other thing about Mexico is that they take pride in not planning for things. If you are used to a good municipal management, you will find those aspects of life frustrating. So it takes a certain kind of mentality who is used to or can adapt to rolling with the punches.

(Of course, lately that would seem to apply to legislaters in the US!)
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:52 PM   #40
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...These days, 18 years later, it’s a new breed who is coming to Chapala. These people want a place “just like home only cheaper” without changing their lives much. They drive their new SUVs or their red Mercedes convertibles and wear their country club clothes and jewelry, don’t speak Spanish or try to, and they stand out gleamingly from the crowd and then wonder why they might be a target for theft or disingenuous locals.
We drive a 1993 Ford Explorer. We have owned it since new and it has yet to top 100K miles. It is so common in this area that no one notices it. Not being noticed goes a long way. Like not wearing expensive jewelry.
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...All of this being said, Billy and I have been traveling off the beaten track in Mexico and Central America continuously now for over 2 years and have not felt unsafe or threatened. Of course we use common sense.

We feel very safe in Mexico and our quality of life is rich. I’m not saying anyone should ignore these stories or be naïve about it, but I bet if you focused on anything negative you will surely find it.

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Nice to hear that your travels are still going well, Akaisha. You and Billy were an inspiration to us back when we were trying to decide whether to buy down here. I think it was about the time you were getting your place in Arizona.
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