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Guavagto

Feb 19, 2008, 6:26 PM

Post #1 of 42 (10139 views)

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The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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I am starting this not as a list for people who moved to Mexico, hated it and moved back to where they came from but as a list of the things we have learned after our moves.

I will start with some of the many things I learned I have learned.

You really, really should rent before you buy even if you fall in love with a house that is a bargain.

Where there is graffti there usually is a street gang.

If the police only come onto your street in convoys of two trucks with armed officers you have a real problem.

Gentrification does not quiet translate.

Re-inventing yourself could mean hiding your criminal past.



jennifer rose

Feb 19, 2008, 7:40 PM

Post #2 of 42 (10097 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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All the new appliances I bought in anticipation of the move will wear out in ten years. But then that could happen anywhere.

Don't jettison anything before moving. You may desperately want some of that stuff later.

Invitations don't mean that you have to accept them. You can say "yes" when you mean "no."

That the ten-year New Yorker subscription would expire in ten years, which means that you should've subscribed for twenty before moving here.

If you didn't practice some hobby like golf or painting in the US, you're probably not like to start practicing the same here.


morgaine7


Feb 19, 2008, 9:21 PM

Post #3 of 42 (10088 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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Almost everything is available here (should have brought 2/3 less stuff).

It is possible to stay in a decent Mexico City hotel for 200 pesos/night, though it may cost 400 pesos if you have two cats with you.

Fake Crocs are very comfortable, and nobody laughs at you for wearing them.

It's against the law to park on the street facing the wrong way.

The crankiest people in Mexico are U.S. citizens.

Kate


Georgia


Feb 20, 2008, 10:32 AM

Post #4 of 42 (10027 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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I should have started out with an FM-2 instead of an FM-3.

I should have sold my US cars and purchased Mexican plated vehicles right off the bat.

"Vuelta con flecha" means you can only make a left hand turn when the green arrow on the traffic light is lit.

"luego, luego" means right this instant, not later, later

"aguas!" means "watch out!"

Size 9 women's shoes are hard to find.

My gardener speaks an alternative form of Spanish which is not otherwise socially acceptable.


waltw

Feb 20, 2008, 10:53 AM

Post #5 of 42 (10022 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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"Where there is graffti there usually is a street gang"

Like the thread, but don't agree with this one. If this statement were true, there'd be a lot more crime in Mexico than there actually is.... Graffiti is everywhere.


ken_in_dfw

Feb 20, 2008, 1:45 PM

Post #6 of 42 (9993 views)

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Re: [Georgia] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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My gardener speaks an alternative form of Spanish which is not otherwise socially acceptable.



Georgia, why do I get the feeling there's a verrry interesting story behind that bit of learning?


jennifer rose

Feb 20, 2008, 2:04 PM

Post #7 of 42 (9990 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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If I'd known the 2005 car legalization program would've been so generous, I would've brought down a newer Cadillac.


Ed and Fran

Feb 20, 2008, 3:34 PM

Post #8 of 42 (9974 views)

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Re: [Georgia] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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Georgia: "luego, luego" means right this instant, not later, later


I didn't think anything here meant "right this instant". I took it to be "not quite as far in the future as ahorita". ;-)


tashby


Feb 20, 2008, 3:51 PM

Post #9 of 42 (9966 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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The timing of this thread is great (for us)!

We're currently scrambling to get out of our house (and thus making quick decisions about what to keep and what to toss), plus struggling with the car question......

Oy. Thanks for starting it and all the replies!


Guavagto

Feb 20, 2008, 5:45 PM

Post #10 of 42 (9953 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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That big sofa should have been stuffed in the back of the pick up and would be in my living room now

That I really should have studied Spanish from a native speaker.


Anonimo

Feb 20, 2008, 6:55 PM

Post #11 of 42 (9932 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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Your iTunes Music Store account may not work in Mexico. Then again, it might.
Example: I'm able too download, buy and rent movies and watch them on my computer. Our next door neighbor, with an American-based iTunes account, can't.

This I already knew: Skype is one of the greatest technological boons to civilization. Get an account before moving here. (It's available to download to Mexico also, but you may have to have a Mexican credit or debit card for a Skype Out account.)



Saludos,
Anonimo


Rolly


Feb 20, 2008, 7:10 PM

Post #12 of 42 (9929 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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"It's available to download to Mexico also, but you may have to have a Mexican credit or debit card for a Skype Out account."

I had no problem signing up for Skype from México using a check card from the USA.

Rolly Pirate


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Feb 21, 2008, 2:38 AM

Post #13 of 42 (9900 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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This I already knew: Skype is one of the greatest technological boons to civilization. Get an account before moving here. (It's available to download to Mexico also, but you may have to have a Mexican credit or debit card for a Skype Out account.)


Better yet, get a magic jack...Works just as good as Skype but it's a WHOLE lot cheaper. You'll have a phone # from somewhere (you choose) in the states, and everybody calls that number and it transfers to where ever you are in the world. You can take it anywhere with you, it's a USB device, and can be used in any computer cafe's or at home. The device is $19.95 and the yearly charge is only $20.
The voice mail is great also. If you have a call and you're not pluged in, you will receive an email with a wave file attached and you only need to click on the attachment to hear the message.

I make no $ for pushing the Magicjack and have no interest in the company....... Drats...
Getting older and still not down here.


alex .

Feb 21, 2008, 7:50 AM

Post #14 of 42 (9859 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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That a fruit cup bought at a roadside stand is eaten with chili sauce on it. Yuk.
Alex


esperanza

Feb 21, 2008, 8:36 AM

Post #15 of 42 (9852 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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That so many of the English-speaking foreigners who live in Mexico do so for purely financial or weather-related reasons and not for love of the country.

That so many of the English-speaking foreigners who live in Mexico prefer to bring their culture here rather than learn new ways of living.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Brian

Feb 21, 2008, 9:25 AM

Post #16 of 42 (9842 views)

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Re: [esperanza] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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That so many of the English-speaking foreigners who live in Mexico do so for purely financial or weather-related reasons and not for love of the country.

That so many of the English-speaking foreigners who live in Mexico prefer to bring their culture here rather than learn new ways of living.


esperanza

Had you known these things in advance, would it have affected your decision to move to Mexico? It seems to me that the very same characteristics can be ascribed to the Mexicans who are immigrating to the United States. Both cultures are increasingly having a bigger influence in el pais vecino.

Brian


jennifer rose

Feb 21, 2008, 9:49 AM

Post #17 of 42 (9838 views)

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Re: [esperanza] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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In defense of foreigners, the Spanish brought their culture to Mexico. And so, too, did the French. They came to Mexico for financial reasons and not for the love of the country.


drmike

Feb 21, 2008, 10:08 AM

Post #18 of 42 (9834 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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Things I wished I had known before moving to Mexico:
  • Somehow, get that damned Arizona license plate off my truck (it's like a red cape held in front of a bull with the Estado de Mexico Policia)
  • I'm 6'3", mexican furniture seems to sit just off the floor ( I hope next week will be our last trip and get our living room furniture down here)
  • Resturants in Toluca and Villa Victoria leave an awful lot to be desired (exactly what ARE those tiny fried fish with no meat on them?)
  • Taking the autopista does not always mean 4 lane, good road (sometimes the "libre" road is better and faster--how you know this ahead of time I haven't figured out, yet)
  • Although it is on the menu, "duraznos" will not be understood by the waiter in Villa Victoria (even if you point it out from the menu)
  • Same for "Limonada"
  • The propane truck charges roughly the same amount each month whether you have been home all month or not
  • The distance on a map is much different than the actual driving distance
  • Many decent sized villages aparently do not exist in the minds of Mexican mapmakers even though you are stuck in the traffic in the village it apparently does not exist.
  • The Road signage department has a wicked sense of humor. It will post a city and directional arrow, and then stop posting the city on a sign (you are supposed to know where to go after the inital direction)
  • Red and green chorizos are never to be eaten as a meal (a body cannot handle it in greater than gram quantities). It should only be used as additive to your meal.

These are a few things off the top of my head.
Dr. Mike

http://www.smarthealthchoices.blogspot.com

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain,
all leading in the same direction,
so it doesn't matter which path you take.
The only one wasting time is the one
who runs around and around the mountain,
telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.


Hindu teaching



(This post was edited by drmike on Feb 21, 2008, 10:18 AM)


jennifer rose

Feb 21, 2008, 10:53 AM

Post #19 of 42 (9818 views)

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Re: [drmike] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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(exactly what ARE those tiny fried fish with no meat on them?)


Those are charales. An excellent source of calcium.




jerezano

Feb 21, 2008, 4:02 PM

Post #20 of 42 (9775 views)

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Re: [waltw] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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Hello,

Graffiti is everywhere and the gangs are everywhere too. But most of them, at least in a small town are harmelss. They do mark their areas with their gang grafiti, but at least here in Jerez we do not hear of any gang fights, as in the cities. I live in an area which is well marked by the 18 de julio gang. I know immediately when I enter the San Pancho area. But again, the gangs here seem to confine their activities to just marking out territory. I could wish they wouldn't scribble the graffiti everywhere, but that is a dream.

Adiós. jerezano.


Anonimo

Feb 21, 2008, 4:54 PM

Post #21 of 42 (9763 views)

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Re: [alex .] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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That a fruit cup bought at a roadside stand is eaten with chili sauce on it. Yuk.
Alex

One of my favorites; especially "Gaspachos Morelianos", cups of chopped fruit, lime juice, chile powder and aged cheese.



Saludos,
Anonimo


Georgia


Feb 21, 2008, 7:16 PM

Post #22 of 42 (9739 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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I used my US credit card here in Mexico for my Skype out account. Not a problem.


Georgia


Feb 22, 2008, 12:09 PM

Post #23 of 42 (9664 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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Well, as far as I can tell, there are two instances where "time is of the essence" here:

1. When the clock strikes twelve noon, if it is one minute past and you say "Buenos dias" you will be corrected with "Buenas tardes." It's like they have a built in atomic clock that tells them when noon has arrived. No other time of day qualifies for this ardent respect.

2. "Luego, luego" really, truly, means "right this instant." It is usually used only when it does not concern one's own promptness, but someone else's.


esperanza

Feb 22, 2008, 4:33 PM

Post #24 of 42 (9629 views)

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Re: [Brian] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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In Reply To
That so many of the English-speaking foreigners who live in Mexico do so for purely financial or weather-related reasons and not for love of the country.

That so many of the English-speaking foreigners who live in Mexico prefer to bring their culture here rather than learn new ways of living.


esperanza

Had you known these things in advance, would it have affected your decision to move to Mexico? It seems to me that the very same characteristics can be ascribed to the Mexicans who are immigrating to the United States. Both cultures are increasingly having a bigger influence in el pais vecino.

Brian

No, it would not have affected my decision to move to Mexico, but it surely would have affected the decision I made first about where in Mexico to live. However, I truly have no regrets and have lived joyfully in Mexico for many years.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Guavagto

Feb 22, 2008, 5:39 PM

Post #25 of 42 (9619 views)

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Re: [Guavagto] The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved To Mexico

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Servants are both a blessing and a bane. Your maid/gardener is not your friend. They work for you. They do the job and you pay. If you treat them like friends or family they will think you are crazy. However if you are crazy enough to let them get away with things a Mexican boss would fire them over then you are just a sucker ripe for picking.

Mexican homes have high walls for good reason.

Mexican homes reveal nothing from the outside.
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