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Don


Nov 13, 2003, 7:13 PM

Post #26 of 48 (3499 views)

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Re: [Carianna] Not in a resort area

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Like Cozumel island where I live, for example. Our electric bill on an 1100 sq ft house where we seldom use the AC -- just fans a few lamps and nonstop computers and monitors -- runs $250 US/month.



I am not sure what electricity costs on Cozumel Island, but our electric bill, here in Jalisco, isn't that high for EVEN TWO MONTHS. We have a washer, refrigerator, computer, freezer, fans, lamps and an outside front door light, we leave on all night. I knew an American couple that was living on $1,000 U.S. per month. They had to watch their money, but they had a car and rented a nice house for $100 U.S. per month.


believer111

Nov 13, 2003, 8:26 PM

Post #27 of 48 (3491 views)

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Re: [OkieTrader] Can I live on $1,000 USA per month?

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whereever you go in Mexico,okietrader, brace yourself for cultural shock!!! No matter what we outline for you in these forums, it can't be pictured until you experience it....ya gotta relax and roll with it!! happy trails!



shalom,

Dios le bendiga,
hermana greta


Guapo Gabacho


Nov 14, 2003, 5:33 AM

Post #28 of 48 (3482 views)

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Re: [Mazatleca] Not in a resort area

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I guess I should not have used the word “class” in my previous post because it seems to impart some connotation as to social status or caste. I ask that you substitute the word with the words income bracket.



My personal experience is that one could easily live on $1,000 USD a month in Mexico, especially in my favorite areas of Southern Veracruz State and in Chetumal, Q.R. I also believe that not having a car is not an impediment to quality Mexican style living. I used examples for supporting evidence based on the Mexican norm, not what a person pays to live like an American tourist in an English-speaking enclave.



I personally prefer to live in the US and would rather live here on public assistance than in Mexico in any income bracket. I had a lot of fine experiences living in Mexico which I will always cherish, but what living there did for me the most was to remove the fantasy that so many in the US have about living there and has made the grass here much more green. Maybe if I was a Canadian I might like Mexico more, especially for six months a year.

I recommend to anyone that wishes to live in Mexico, don’t commit to any location for more than six months at a time and wait at least two years before making an investment in real property. Not everybody in the US would like to live in Phoenix, Arizona or Winter Haven, Florida for example, so check out other places than S.M.deA. or Ajijic.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.

(This post was edited by Guapo Gabacho on Nov 14, 2003, 5:46 AM)


Carianna

Nov 14, 2003, 7:09 AM

Post #29 of 48 (3472 views)

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Correction on Electric bill

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I said our electric bill for a 1100 sq. ft naturally cinderblock and plaster two story home in Cozumel was the equivalent of around $250 US/month. I forgot that our bills come only every two months. So the actual monthly tally is around $125/month. I should say that we've built our home high--3 stories each with 3 meter high ceilings-- and with tall doors to catch the trade winds that run east to west in these parts. Because of this, we don't have to run the air conditioner very much--only at night in the summer sometimes when its particularly muggy. If we ran it round the clock like a number of our ex-pat friends here do, I shudder to think what the bill would come to. Well, actually, I can give you an idea because we also have a 3 bedroom rental home with interior space of around 1700 sq. ft. With 3 bedroom AC's running every night for a month -- just at night, mind you -- the bill for two months tops $500 US for April through August.

Telephone and a DSL connection via Prodigy/Telmex brings our monthly tally for phone and internet (assuming no long distance calls) to around $80 US/month. Water and sewer is very very inexpensive here. Property taxes ditto. Food at the groceries is about what we were paying in small towns in Florida and NC but the quality tends to be better. Basic cable tv service $20 US/month.


Esteban

Nov 14, 2003, 7:58 AM

Post #30 of 48 (3457 views)

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Re: [Mazatleca] Not in a resort area

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I agree with most of what you say except for the idea that the ex-pat community didn't re-act like your Mexican friends. Ex-pats assume that you have your FM-3 which assumes you are bringing in at least 1000 US dollars a month. Not to speak of the fact you have a Mercedes Benz....now I know that you didn't have the Mercedes down here at the time but people close to you knew it was sitting up in BC. So, I don't think you should be so harsh on the ex-pat community here in Mazatlan. Your life has changed since that purse snatching episode and I bet you have ex-pat friends now, who would help you in time of need. Am I wrong?

Sincerely,
Esteban


reg767

Nov 14, 2003, 8:22 AM

Post #31 of 48 (3451 views)

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Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month?

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I am very interested in the opinions and observations about Gangs (Cholos?) in SMA and other places for that matter in Mexico. I am on the east coast US and was reading in newspapers recently on watching on TV just last night about gangs infiltrating new areas - a little scary of course. I was in SMA and Chapala area for about 2 months in early 2003. This is likely too short a time to see much of gangs. (By the way, is Guanajuato city the biggest secret around - incrediibly beautiful.) QUIET

What's the latest view from Mexico re crime, gangs and other safety issues in towns like SMA, Chapala perhaps and other small towns. I know or at least hear that Mex City itself is separate story. The US has its gun problems of course (too many and too easy to get) compared to other countries. What is the general consensus and/or opinions on crime and safety in "middle" Mexico? Thanks.


Carol Schmidt


Nov 14, 2003, 7:36 PM

Post #32 of 48 (3396 views)

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Re: [reg767] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month?

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I find no crime at all in SMA, though El Computo has had some bad experiences. I'm in centro, in the tourist district, which I think gets special police attention because of the need for the tourism industry.

I heard at a lecture here that the average murder rate for a U.S. city of about 100,000 is five a year, while SMA has had three the past two years, two of which were out in the countryside where things do tend to be a bit rougher, and one was within the city limits and two young men, alcohol and fighting were involved.

I know to not leave a purse where it can be lifted easily, and in crowded fiestas to watch out for pickpockets. I feel very confident walking the centro streets as late as midnight with my partner, another woman, both of us in our 60s though we don't appear frail and vulnerable.

A gringo friend who moved into an otherwise all Mexican neighborhood was told by her maid to be sure to put bars in the windows though, and window bars are very common. Some of the homes have put broken bottles into the tops of their fences to further keep prowlers out.

I hear that homes which are left vacant for any length of time can be subject to burglaries and even squatters, so you arrange to have a house sitter. Some of my women friends who live alone keep fairly large dogs just for appearances.

These are just some impressions off the top of my head--I feel much, much safer here than I did in Phoenix, LA and Detroit, where I have lived previously! As I've said on these forums many times, in LA we were robbed or burglarized five times in four years (my partner was knocked unconscious in one of the robberies), we had a murder in our back yard while we were on vacation, and the Hillside Strangler and the Night Stalker both were close to where we lived. We would drive home at night and a police helicopter would be circling over our house with a spotlight beamed into our backyard, and we would just turn around and head to Denny's for a few hours.

I would be afraid to go into Mexico City on my own, only having been there on a supervised tour, and I am steering clear of Chiapas, though many friends have been there and say they felt no danger. It's kind of a neighborhood thing, I think, and a matter of timing--do a couple of kids with nothing to do live in the area, and maybe have a grudge against you? Expect vandalism.

I see some graffiti here, but absolutely nothing like in LA and Phoenix! And don't get me started on the gangs in LA--I was often terrified. And I was beaten up and some of my hair ripped out of my scalp in a rape attempt in the finest hotel in Savannah, Georgia when I was younger, attending a Catholic Youth convention, so don't talk to me about crime in SMA!

Carol Schmidt


Marlene


Nov 14, 2003, 10:09 PM

Post #33 of 48 (3385 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] Not in a resort area

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Guapo,

You make good points in your post, especially the recommendation that folks stop, look, listen and wait before investing in real estate here. (My worst fear is that we buy the lot of our dreams, only to wake up one day to find a mechanic or welding shop next door! ....Eeeek!) How many of us have seen folks rush into buying homes while on a vacation? That is a recipe for disaster which occurs time and again.

Also, I have to agree with you about a car. While nice to have, it sure isn't going to make or break your Mexico experience. Buses, both in towns and from town to town are frequent, inexpensive, and safe. The reason I finally brought my vehicle down was when it became clear that it was worth more to me here (in the way of work related transportation), than I could sell it for up north (next to nothing). It simply made economic sense to hang on to it for the duration. Mechanics here are inexpensive and speedy. If the part is not readily available, one gets made. Just one of the many things I really love about Mexico. Nothing goes to waste - everything gets repaired.

What, if anything, did you miss most when you made the move back to the USA? That must have been a big transition given that you had lived here a number of years. The experts say that the culture shock can be equally difficult when the move is in the opposite direction - back to one's original homeland, especially after an extended stay abroad. Did you find that to be true?


Guapo Gabacho


Nov 15, 2003, 2:59 AM

Post #34 of 48 (3378 views)

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Re: [Mazatleca] Not in a resort area

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The "shock" was only in not hearing the constant honking of horns while in the cities, complete lack of trash strewn vistas, and the high cost of avocados and pineapples. I hate fast food, but upon my return I will admit buying for my first meal a Whopper hamburger with lettuce.

The culture shock you speak of I experienced when I moved back from Guatemala after a three-month stay studying Spanish. I had nightmares daily where I couldn't get back to Mexico for some reason or other. The doctor I consulted diagnosed it as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It lasted for four months.

PS: Upon reflection, it is possible that the return transition to the US was made easy by my bringing back with me a piece of Mexico, my Mexican wife and children.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.

(This post was edited by Guapo Gabacho on Nov 15, 2003, 3:39 AM)


Marlene


Nov 15, 2003, 9:13 AM

Post #35 of 48 (3331 views)

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Re: [Esteban] Not in a resort area - Cultural Differences and Living on Little

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Thanks to Esteban for posting that response. It reaffirms the point I was originally trying to make about the different ways of thinking from culture to culture. My post wasn't meant to say one was right and the other wrong. It wasn't about asking for help and not receiving it. (That didn't happen) I was simply trying to point out two very different reactions I received at a frightening time when I abruptly had NO access to bank or credit, money or house keys but still had to eat. It left a lasting impression on me. Oh, and I guarantee one can live on $1000.00 a month after that experience. (to keep the thread on track!)


Esteban

Nov 15, 2003, 9:36 AM

Post #36 of 48 (3323 views)

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Re: [Mazatleca] Not in a resort area - Cultural Differences and Living on Little

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I always keep a load of rice, beans and various other stuff, in the kitchen in case something weird happens. Sometimes, I even force myself to eat what's in storage so it doesn't go to waste. I've found that both Mexican and the majority of Norteamericano's here, are always willing to help in time of need. I think that after a while, the "Mexican way" rubs off on the Norte's. If you don't catch on to the culture, the politeness, the interpersonal way of doing life, soon, you find yourself stranded on Giligans Island. Even in a city as large as Mazatlan, some stay lost in the grips of alcohol or some other affliction that keeps them locked up in nowhere land. You can live on a grand a month but it's much easier with help from your community and if you not only learn the language but make an attempt to meld your culture with your surroundings. Both have something to offer.


elcomputo

Nov 15, 2003, 5:40 PM

Post #37 of 48 (3282 views)

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Re: [Carianna] Not in a resort area

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Just out of curiosity, do electric rates vary around the country? I had assumed the federal government controls electric distribution and therefore charges the same rate in every part of Mexico. Am I wrong?


Rolly


Nov 15, 2003, 5:56 PM

Post #38 of 48 (3279 views)

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Re: [elcomputo] Not in a resort area

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Hola Geez,

The CFE rates are about the same all over the country. I say "about" because there are some seasonal adjustments for some areas. Unfortunately, I can't give you the details of those adjustments -- they don't apply in my area, so I have never researched them.

You can learn more here: http://www.cfe.gob.mx/www2/home.asp

Rolly Pirate


elcomputo

Nov 15, 2003, 6:44 PM

Post #39 of 48 (3275 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] Not in a resort area

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That's the best advice I think I've ever seen on this site.

A friend was trying to convince me today that the best investment in the world was real estate in San Miguel de Allende. It's a "can't miss" investment, she said.

I told her the last time I heard that was from real estate agents in Los Angeles during the bubble of the 1980's. The bubble started bursting in 1989, and I thought I had caught the bottom of the market in late 1990. Sadly, I learned there is no predicting how far a real estate bubble will rise -- or how quickly and by how much it will deflate.

Buy a house because it's the one you like in an area where you want to spend a very long time. (And where you can be pretty certain you will have the continued resources to spend a long time there.) It's a good idea, too, to rent there for a while before you make that decision.

I have not yet gotten to the same point where you are with regard to living in the USA vs. living in Mexico (there are other parts of the world, too, that I might like to explore), but I think I might be getting to that point. As a pen pal from the USA asked me a couple of weeks ago, "What's the attraction down there?" I'm afraid I was at a loss for words. Because of that, I think maybe I have not yet decided whether there really is an attraction down here for me. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. SMA is quaint, but quaint can wear thin. A lot of the people are nice; others are definitely NOT nice. The weather is gorgeous, but there's more to life than the elements. Give me another six months.


elcomputo

Nov 15, 2003, 6:48 PM

Post #40 of 48 (3273 views)

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Re: [Carianna] Correction on Electric bill

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I guess $125 per month is not all that high. But if you suspect your bill might be high, so what a friend did. He shut off everything electric in his house and took a look at the meter. The little needles kept spinning around. That's when he knew a neighbor had tapped into his electric line.


elcomputo

Nov 15, 2003, 7:55 PM

Post #41 of 48 (3270 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month?

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I would agree that violent crime in SMA is lower than in a comparably-sized town in the USA. Religion is stronger here and you don't have the crazy gun culture here that you do up north. If Jesus and Lupe have a domestic quarrel, Jesus doesn't get the .45 out of the closet and blow Lupe (and the kids) away.

I just got back from Texas. One of the news stories was that a jealous ex-husband (a Mexican-American, by the way) took a shotgun and wasted his ex-wife's current boyfriend and then a neighbor. The cops came, and he wounded four of them before they killed him. All over a domestic dispute and the fact this guy, who probably never went duck hunting in his life, had access to a shotgun. You just don't get those kinds of human interest stories out of Mexico very much.

What SMA DOES have in abundance, however, is property crime. I think this is because gringos are such easy pickins'. Gringos have money, collectibles, appliances, and a lot of other nice things that can be fenced. And there are a plenty of gringos to choose from in SMA. Most of them are fish out of water -- and old fish at that. Not a lot of fight left in them. There's not much to discourage thieves, either. Policing in SMA, just as it is in the rest of Mexico, is a joke. Or worse. I strongly suspect that the police are active participants in a lot of the property crime that goes on in this town. Why should the cops care what gringos think? Why should they care what the current political administration thinks? As long as they don't get caught in flagrante delecto (and WHO is going to police the police here?), they've got lifetime employment. It's nearly impossible for a Mexican government worker to get fired, and a cop is a government worker. Sure, a cop's pay is lousy, but the after-hours benefits are terrific!

As to the original question, of course crime is being imported into this town and any other town of reasonable size in Mexico. It comes down with the cholos returning to their family homelands and with cholos working for the drug traders. My prediction is that crime will grow in every town and city in Mexico so long as the drug trade provides jobs for unemployed youth, so long as the police continue to be dirty, so long as Mexican kids continue to have babies when they are 16 years old, so long as the population keeps growing while employment remains stagnant, so long as the family structure continues to break down as people migrate from small villages to big cities in search of work -- in short, as long as Mexico continues to belatedly move from an agrarian culture into an industrial economy without getting anywhere close to having a grip on its social problems, crime will increase everywhere in this country -- including towns like SMA.

But remember, the question was about Mexico, not SMA, and Mexico City, with a quarter of all the population in the country, is what is really happening in Mexico, not SMA. And what is happening there is one of the worst crime situations in the Western Hemisphere. Poison does spread, however, and SMA, nor any other town in Mexico, is immune.


Brian

Nov 15, 2003, 8:20 PM

Post #42 of 48 (3265 views)

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Re: [elcomputo] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month?

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Well you certainly have answered your own question posted last July. I am sorry that you have had such bad experiences here in Mexico but it sure seems as if you have a victim mentality and that it was a self-fulfilling prophesy. Do you agree?

" Hi,

There is a distant possibility I may be going to Mexico City for a job. (I'm very happy in SMA, but I need the money). I just tried to do a search on problems living there. I found some stuff (and some advice on how to deal with) the pollution. But I could find nothing relating to crime in the city.

First, just how bad is it? Second, what do people do to avoid being victimized? I can't afford an armored car, I'm too old for kung foo fighting, and I have the bad habit of being an over-trusting soul.

Any advice?

Martin
Geezer Extroadinaire"


Carianna

Nov 16, 2003, 6:10 AM

Post #43 of 48 (3235 views)

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Re: [elcomputo] Correction on Electric bill

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Yes, that is relatively frequent occurrence on Cozumel as well. Also A lot of people used to come out every night and turn their meters over until the commission got wise and started putting little meter tabs on there to make it more difficult to do this. I understand there's a little trick you can do with drilling a hole in the meter wheel and inserting a piece of nearly invisible nylon filament in there to lock the wheel so it doesn't record the kilowatts you're using. People who have done this advise only doing it 10 days out of the month.


Carol Schmidt


Nov 16, 2003, 1:37 PM

Post #44 of 48 (3167 views)

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Re: [elcomputo] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month?

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Your recent bad experiences have certainly soured you on Mexico! Just for the record, all you readers out there who might be swayed by elcomputo's experiences, I have not known personally a single person to experience any crime here except an empty computer box being taken out of the back of an open pickup truck. I've heard and read of crimes happening to others, such as elcomputo's experiences, none of them anything like what happened to me many times in many locations in the States.

The U.S.'s stereotype of Mexico is that it is crime-ridden and that scares many gringos away from even visiting. Friends back in the States are petrified for me that I will be kidnapped any second. My aunt won't come visit because she is sure she will be murdered, and she lives just outside Detroit!

Crime can happen anywhere, to anybody. I think the chances are much slimmer here.

Now as to dangers in San Miguel, falling on the cobblestones is a far bigger reality. I just fell for the fourth time in a year and a half here. Luckily none of the falls has left any serious damage beyond aches and scratches, but a broken hip or shattered knee is a real possibility.

Carol Schmidt


elcomputo

Nov 16, 2003, 4:19 PM

Post #45 of 48 (3143 views)

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Re: [Brian] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month?

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Nope. I don't agree. First of all, I have never seen any evidence printed anywhere of any studies which have proven the catch phrase "self-fulfilling prophecy" is a legitimate, scientific concept. I don't believe there is such a thing any more than wishing upon stars gets positive results.

I do believe that all of our outlooks are colored by genetics and experience. I will admit I am the kind of guy who believes there is no such thing as analloyed good or bad (even cholos were once little kids with the potential of turning into productive, contributing adults instead of the barnicles on society's behind that they turned into -- and that even the most anti-social of them have the possibility of redemption).

So, with this attitude of mine, when one guy tells me how wonderful Mexico is, how cheap it is to live here, I say I want to believe you. I want to see and experience this wonderful place for myself because for years I have read a number of books and talked to a lot of people, all of whom say the government is corrupt, the police are corrupt, most of the people are poor, public services are Third World at best, you take something of a risk even visiting the place, and so on. Nonetheless, I am something of an optimist because I HOPE that guy is correct.

So I look for myself and find there really are jewels in Mexico -- some friendly people, beautiful art, wonderfully preserved history, interesting and friendly gringos, things to do, and things to see. But I also find it is NOT cheap. And that, in fact, all the negatives about Mexico are here, too. Some of the people would not hesitate to rob and mug you, outside the buidling with the beautiful art the street is filled with trash, a number of the 18th Century houses are covered with graffiti, and a lot of the things to do are either too expensive or second rate. Plus, I have learned there are also gringos here whom I would go out of my way to avoid in the USA -- they were jerks there, and they are still jerks here.

So I have to make a decision about whether I want to put up with the crap side of Mexico in order to benefit from the good side. I know others have gone through this and have decided both ways. All I can say at the moment is that I am still gathering evidence to make a decision, a decision that in ways is made more difficult, in ways easier, by having rocks chunked at my head by young criminals-in-training.

As for having a victim mentality, you're damned right. When you've had gringos rent you a place they KNOW is in a bad part of town and you don't, when you've had your wallet stolen, when you've had rotten kids trying to sneak into your house, throwing insults at you, throwing rocks at you, and killing your dog, you definitely develop a victim mentality. And I feel a helluvalot safer having that mentality than having a polyanna mentality that seems to prevail among many gringos here.

It's all well and good to go among the natives as the friendly anthropologist with arms wide open if you are willing to accept the fact it's easier to catch a spear in the chest that way. I am conducting no anthropological experiments here. If I want to engage a society, I'll go work in Lappland where there are no known cholos. Or if I wanted adventure, I could have gotten all I wanted and a cheap place to live in Compton. All I want is a nice, warm place that I can afford and where I will not be hassled. Mexico was nearby. I have not yet determined whether it meets my criteria yet.

And yes, I HAVE answered my question. There is no way I will work in Mexico City, which would be the crime capital of the Western Hemisphere if Colombia and Jamaica were to disappear from the map.


elcomputo

Nov 16, 2003, 4:50 PM

Post #46 of 48 (3137 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month?

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I agree there is a general stereotype of Mexico being crime-ridden and that it is not a completely accurate portrayal of the country. I think this is because people hear of a number of incidents and then blow the situation out of proportion. For instance, when in San Antonio a few months back, I read a story in the local paper about some towns near Mexico City taking the law into their own hands and lynching people they believed to be criminals. This was a legitimate three-inch story on an inside page. But the paper played it with a big headline, photograph, and 20 inches of copy starting on the front page.

But I also think that most stereotypes develop because they have some basis to grow on. For example, I have been to France a couple of times and have never encountered any rudeness. I know it's there to some extent because I know other people who HAVE encountered it. But this has led to a stereotyped picture of French people being rude towards Americans. I am pleasantly surprised when I don't encounter it.

When I encounter patent criminality in Mexico, I am not surprised. I know of and have heard of people who have visited the country and have had the misfortune of being ripped off by crooked cops or being mugged or whatever -- whether in Mexico City or Ensenada. And for me, having my dog stolen and probably murdered is one of the worst things that has ever happened to me anywhere. And that, naturally, is going to color my experience here. I have told people in the States about this, and it has further colored any picture THEY have of Mexico. They will not recall all the good things I said about the country; only the rotten cholos.

You make a good point about the dangers of walking around San Miguel. Actually, there are about four things that will keep your eyes glued to the ground rather than on the beauties around us. First, there are the cobblestone streets. These are difficult for me to walk on in athletic shoes; I can't imagine how women navigate them in heels. Second, there are the sidewalk paving stones; for some reason, whevever it rains, those things develop surfaces akin to 3-in-1 oil. Third, there are the idiotic people traps -- sidewalks that drop off when you should not expect them to, strips of concrete placed across sidewalks for no other apparent reason than to trip the pedestrian. Finally, there is the loose soil. There are so many dirt streets in SMA, and having seldom or never been graded, all seem to consist of loose soil that gives way under your feet.

And I have not even included the sidewalks that are like obstacle courses built by elves. Or the buses that keep rolling while you're trying to get on or off.

I, too, have gone to ground at least four times in six months here. Maybe us older folks should threaten the city administration with a visit from a joint team composed of the AARP and OSHA.


believer111

Nov 17, 2003, 2:11 PM

Post #47 of 48 (3079 views)

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Re: [elcomputo] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month? ETC!!!

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amiguitos (as):

Mexico is all the good things you post about and also all the bad things you post!! It is Mexico....a third world country..... a very poor corrupt country. Even Americans with $1000 SS incomes are considered 'rich/prosperous' by mexican standards. We are a spoiled nation and whether rich or poor we have access to so much....whether we can afford it or not!

Mexicans are in awe of this and don't really understand our culture and the advantages and our education to systems and products....having no exposure to 'our stuff and way of life' they become overwhelmed with even the simplest things that we have. I have found that in their culture if it's available they'll 'borrow' it! One mission area where I worked, we have a private parking area for the Christian workers..both american and mexican. The (Christian)American's often found their gasoline syphoned...taken by the (Christian ) mexicans. The mexican thought (practicing Christian or not)is that we have so much that we should share with them....even without their asking. This attitude was prevelant in any area I have lived in Mexico.

I thwarted a lot of 'borrowing' by openly donating food, a few pesos here and there and explaining that I too was 'poor'. The problem with the police corruption can sometimes be used to one's advantage! I befriended them, did some 'favors' and developed my own protection! Todo es posible in Mexico.

The corruption with 'stealing utilities' and stealing phone service is an ongoing problem and as long as it is a third world poor country will continue to exist. (I have seen neighbor youths scale power/telephone poles and tap into lines and make phone calls to whereever! This is done quite easily and they all know how to do it!) I lived also in an area where there was no water and neighbors figured out to tap into the water lines of a local school. If there is a way to utilize an existing service, the mexicans will figure it out! This is helpful when it comes to certain repairs (home and car) sometimes, as they are ingenious at 'making do' and creative with their repairs for survival!

Otherwise this is an UNeducated nation .... the plastic bag was the worst thing our advanced nation introduced to Mx....non biodegradable and ruining their landscape. They always went through my trash and found items to use...cardboard or whatever. Amazing how resourceful they can be! They have to be...no money and no 'stuff'....I can just imagine how much more trash there would be in the country if they didn't need to be resourceful.

There are areas where rusted out carcases of automobiles dot the landscape...no tow trucks available and even if there were noone could pay to have the vehicles hauled away..no money and no zoning laws or 'civil codes', or building codes. The 'wealthier' live next to the poorest. I had neighbors that lived in 'houses' made of trashbags and cardboard! Everyone co-exists.

The mx government does nothing to improve the life of these people....the elected officials leave office with many houses, luxuries, properties, and monies that they did not have when they entered office. It is a third world, poor, corrupt, ignorant, and absolutely charming country. Get to know it and roll with it!!!

shalom

Dios le bendiga,
hermana greta


elcomputo

Nov 17, 2003, 4:30 PM

Post #48 of 48 (3057 views)

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Re: [believer111] Cholos - GANGS ? - $1,000 USA per month? ETC!!!

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"The mexican thought (practicing Christian or not) is that we have so much that we should share with them....even without their asking."

If you have ever read accounts of the culture clash between anglos migrating west in the 19th Century United States and the native Americans they encountered, you will know about Indians walking into homesteads unannounced, uninvited, and helping themselves to whatever struck their fancy. Sometimes they would offer something of theirs in trade, sometimes not. It infuriated the settlers and puzzled the Indians as to why the settlers got infuriated.

It's almost as if the cultures have two different concepts regarding property. A common sport among the various Indian tribes was to steal one another's horses, again illustrating a very different way of looking at property.

So, this is something, I think, that goes way, way back in history, long before the indigenous people of Mexico got poor and white Americans got rich. In fact, I will bet you could still find something similar among the Inuits of the far north. (And then there were the potlatches of the Northwest Indians, whereby one tribal chief would give away nearly everything he owned at a big party he would hold; this told the guests he was such a big man of great wealth that he could afford to give away all that stuff. Of course, he would receive stuff himself at other chiefs' potlatches. This was a kind of reversal of the practice of "taking what you want" by giving it away, and maybe was intended to put an end to "theft.")

But something that characterizes poor Mexicans as well is that, if they know you, you are always welcome to share their food. You will not be turned away. This fits with the idea that the wealth should be shared, no matter how rich or poor you are.

I would not be surpised to find that the Mexican attitude toward property, wealth, and sharing was something that came with the first inhabitants of North America from Asia when they first crossed the Siberian land bridge.
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