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davesteffes


Apr 26, 2008, 8:29 AM

Post #26 of 50 (4041 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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We moved to the Xalapa area of Veracruz about six months ago. My wife and I met in Eugene while attending U of O and went on to live many years in Oregon and Washington State. We like this area due to the green. It is very tropical in vegetation, bananas, palms etc. but also has 100' pine forests and flowers everywhere. We have Pico de Orizaba at 18000' looking very much like Mt. Hood and were surrounded by great mountain veiws. We're at 5000' elevation so it is cool in the summer and we have a mist during the winter called chipi-chipi that reminds one of the Oregon drizzle but not as cold. Xalapa (or Jalapa they spell it both ways) is about the size of Portland and has a great University, symphony and many other cultural outlets (unlike Tepic), but were only 60 miles from Veracruz and the gulf of Mexico on a great US style highway. You might want to check it out.


Rolly


Apr 26, 2008, 8:48 AM

Post #27 of 50 (4035 views)

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Lerdo is not for you

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While everyone is extolling the wonders of their abode, let me say a few words about my town.

We enjoyed one of the warmest winters on record. Now the warm has turned into HOT. I read in the local paper today that this April has been the hottest on record. The weather people expect May will be another record setting month with several days of 110°+. I may turn into a hermit.

We have had no measurable rainfall for the past 7 months. The rainfall in the mountains, important for irrigation water, has been one-tenth of normal. The outlook for farmers is grim.

So don't come to my desert.

While I hate summer, I'm still glad I moved here.

Rolly Pirate


drmike

Apr 26, 2008, 10:46 AM

Post #28 of 50 (4012 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Lerdo is not for you

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Rolly, you might want to re-read jl1's comments on the "rainy season" thread...about global warming. Actually in March my wife and I spent a night in your area as we were heading to Phoenix to bring our furniture down and in the morning when we left the motel our vehicle's thermometer read 29 degrees!

Lucky for us in this area this spring is ~45 degrees in am and the highest I've seen so far on my office thermometer is 81 degrees. I can handle that!
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



jl1

Apr 26, 2008, 3:04 PM

Post #29 of 50 (3985 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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You are absolutely correct about the prices of real estate and homes on the beach, or within, say, a block of the beach. There are still bargains out there-especially when compared to California--and I was fortunate enough to land one. We were unfortunate in purchasing a property that had a clouded history of ownership. But we were very fortunate in that, even after legal expenses, we came out with a better buy than the cheapest comparable land. I would not recommend our route to anyone, however. Way too much at stake. As for the weather, I grew up in the New York City area, where the heat and humidity in summer felt a whole lot like that in the Vallarta area. That said, I can understand it being unbearable for anyone who had not been acclimated to it previously. Always enjoy your comments, Gringal.


Gringal

Apr 26, 2008, 4:10 PM

Post #30 of 50 (3961 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Anything is a bargain compared to coastal California !

By the time we sold out and left for Mexico, you couldn't buy a shack a few blocks back from the beach for under a half mil. That was four years ago; prices went up from there and haven't come down much.

Another consideration on where to move: Electricity is very expensive in Mexico. Very. It's important to find a climate you can more or less live with "as is". Kicking in a whole-house air conditioner would be like hearing the sound of mucho dinero coins cascading down the drain, never to be seen again. Since we are wusses, that eliminates the coast. Other areas, like the beauteous Patzcuaro, are super cold in the winter, so here we are in the Lake area, bellyaching about the heat in the only two months we have it! Humans are peculiar.


Bloviator

Apr 27, 2008, 2:35 PM

Post #31 of 50 (3912 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Just got an email from a real estate person in Solano Beach, CA. She assures me that there is a possibility that I might be able to find a shack in her area for $600K or thereabouts. Teardowns - which are not allowed by the Coastal Commission without a lot of grief - go for $1M where one of my friends lives in Carlsbad.


jl1

Apr 28, 2008, 5:13 PM

Post #32 of 50 (3841 views)

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Re: [Bloviator] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I recall a similar story that I was told in Laguna Beach 5 or 6 years ago. This is why we feel so fortunate to have landed a property at the top of an arroyo, about 200 feet above the beach. We'll probably have to sell our house in Berkeley eventually, but I guess that's what retirement is all about. Still, it's tough to sell a place you've lived in for 27 years. I'd be interested in hearing from people who've had to make that decision. The reality is that the house is too big for just the 2 of us. My daughter lives in L.A. and seems much more interested in visiting us in Sayulita than coming home to Berkeley. I'm interested in how others have dealt with the emotional/psychological issues around retirement itself, not just the move to Mexico. Anybody?


margretmaker

Apr 28, 2008, 10:05 PM

Post #33 of 50 (3805 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Retirement is a new adventure for us as well. We've been doing house exchanges for over a decade in Ajijic (other parts of the world as well) and when the opportunity presented itself we decided to purchase the place we knew so well. We plan to spend three or four months in the winter and perhaps another one or two months in the summer. Even though we are completely fascinated by the ancient culture in Mexico we also enjoy the urban life of our home in San Francisco. In many practical ways they are similar. We can walk everywhere. There is a sense of community. I am trying to figure out how to juggle both. mm


hunteradvisor


Apr 29, 2008, 5:02 AM

Post #34 of 50 (3796 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Retirement/restylement or the newest word Encore, they all attempt to describe what the second third or in some cases half of life might look like. For my husband and I the dream of living in Mexico emerged through training that I was involved in as a Certified Financial Planner. I've always been more interested in the interior of money and what motivates us than the charts and graphs and so persued education in the psychology of money and financial life planning as part of my professional practice. Four years ago in a 5 day workshop that explored "living your life's dreams", the idea of owning a home in Mexico was planted. The next vacation my husband and I packed up a tent, rented a car and spent a month exploring the west coast north and south of Puerto Vallarta in search of a place that would call to us.
We are water people, living on the east coast in Portsmouth, NH so we knew we needed the ocean and access to an international airport. The way in which our home found us was truly amazing, a story for another posting. I will say that being open minded, incredibly patient and determined helped as we ended up with a 100 acre goat farm, not the tiny 2 bedroom home a block off the beach I had in mind. We also realized in the last couple of years that we missed the stimulation of a larger community and some of the advantages a city offers and so while studying spanish for a month in Guanajuato this winter we purchased the smallest possible concrete bunker. Although it will need a total re-build, it will be a great place to stay while persuing our language courses and for rental income the remainder of the year. It answers several of the postings I've seen regarding weather.
The question of making the move is one I am most interested in as this is what we grapple with. 5 grown children and 2 moms are only part of the picture. My husband and I have thriving businesses here and lots of friends and community involvements. We are relatively young 50 & 53 to disconnect from a steady source of income, although it really comes down to what goes out as much as what comes in. Flying 5 children and 1 spouse down each year for the holidays would be a luxery we could no longer afford. The suggestion from my fellow planners is to take increasingly longer periods of time in Mexico before cutting ties. This year I took 2 months and my husband took 3, we also take 10 days to renew my fm3 in Sept. There is a blessing and curse in the internet over an hour away on a hellish dirt road, making working from Mexico an impossibility at the moment.
We love our summers here on the Maine coast and would hope to keep our house here as well, so the challenge. How to have it all and have it now? As trained as I am in these matters and gifted in assisting my clients in these issues, I've come to realize that I am myopic in my own matters and so have finally hired my own financial planner trained and experienced in matters of the heart and soul. Most attorneys know better than to represent themselves and normally doctors don't try to operate on themselves, but this realization has been a long time coming for me. So I would offer that you may want to seek professional help from someone who does this type of work who can bring creativity and the realization of your life's dreams to reality, as I am always reminded, we only have one shot at this life, make your best.
Isabel
www.RanchoSolyMar.com

(This post was edited by hunter on Apr 29, 2008, 5:12 AM)


jl1

Apr 29, 2008, 9:04 AM

Post #35 of 50 (3752 views)

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Re: [margretmaker] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I think the short term answer for us is to not make any major decisions for at least a year. We too are fascinated by the ancient culture of Mexico and look forward to exploring the country. And yes, the Bay Area is not a place that one leaves easily. When we first started looking in Puerto Vallarta, realtors kept wanting to take us up to the top of Conchas Chinas and Mismaloya to dazzle us with the views. I don't think they quite got it when I would tell them that we have been living with one of the most famous views in the world, the Golden Gate, for over 20 years, and would rather be closer to the ocean. Anyway, our house in Sayulita is satisfying enough for us to even contemplate leaving the Bay Area. I guess what I was trying to get at is, for most people, either retiring or moving to another country are in themselves major rites of passage, big enough to feel all-encompassing. To be doing both sometimes feels overwhelming, yet still feels right. Any feelings on that?


jl1

Apr 29, 2008, 9:27 AM

Post #36 of 50 (3744 views)

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Re: [hunter] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Wow, a 100 acre goat farm. You guys don't sound ready to retire from anything. Sounds like you have chosen an avocation, even if you don't plan on farming for profit. Your combination of places sounds ideal and I get the feeling that the adventure of life is still calling to you. Good luck with it. As for the financial planning part. I never mentioned finances. We did meet with one planner who told us that we would have to work for another 25 years or so before we could retire with our desired income. What a hoot! His financial "pie" was not based on our situation and philosophy. The reality is, we can do it any time we choose. I'm thinking about things like where, when the time comes, we would choose to die. Ironically, my wife and I feel more a part of the Sayulita community than we do at home. There is something really rewarding about seeing positive changes affected immediately, such as helping with the local schools, trash collection and the like. Sayulita has a cosmopolitan feel, despite the dirt roads and lack of civic infrastructure. There are no elected politicians, school board, street lights, paved roads, town police, firemen, ambulance...none of that stuff. Yet, somehow, (this is one of the amazing things about Mexico) life goes on and the village grows. More than anything, the beauty of the place, the ocean, the views, it is the appeal of the local community, watching the families interact in the Square, seeing small children run around knowing that the community as a whole are one, looming parent, that appeal to us. We both grew up in Italian neighborhoods in the New York area, with Old World marketplaces and local commerce. The Village of Sayulita brings us both back to our childhoods, when family and community were not things that one sought, they were there, as natural as the air. So, the dilemma is, do we give up the familiar? Could it really be that easy? Will we feel cut off from our native culture? I'm not talking about foods that we'll miss; movies, tv, stuff like that. I'm wondering if one's country, state, city, town are such a permanent part of who we are? We will, of course, learn this for ourselves; but I would like to hear from those on this forum who have the benefit of years of experience.


margretmaker

Apr 29, 2008, 9:55 AM

Post #37 of 50 (3735 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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By doing both, I assume you mean retiring and moving to Mexico...I have been "retired" for a year and my partner retires in three months. It has been helpful for us to not do the retiring part simultaneously. We've been back and forth to Ajijic over the past two years setting up our small place. We did not want to buy something that required selling our main home. That was a primary decision. It is interesting that many of the people we've met in Ajijic have made a permanent move, often without really knowing the area, or Mexico. The romantic in me is moved by that but I suspect there is a financial consideration that drives that decision. We opted to be conservative, to buy something small and affordable and keep a foot in both worlds.


hunteradvisor


Apr 29, 2008, 2:46 PM

Post #38 of 50 (3705 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Good or bad news the former owner sold the goats while we were away, so that responsibility is gone for now. I relate to your feelings about your community and I know Sayulita well. Wishing you the best of luck in your venture.
Holly
Isabel
www.RanchoSolyMar.com


jl1

Apr 29, 2008, 2:47 PM

Post #39 of 50 (3704 views)

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Re: [margretmaker] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Yes, that is what I meant. And we also will keep our feet in both worlds. But I think it would not be a bad idea to spend most of the first year in Sayulita. The reason is, to experience it in low and high season--there are pros and cons to both--and to, in a way, force ourselves out of that comfort zone of knowing that we can dash back to Berkeley if we start getting antsy. We're considering renting our house to a visiting professor (easy to do) for the school year. I didn't mean to get too abstract or psychological here. Just looking for anecdotal responses. Moderator: maybe this needs to be a new thread, something along the lines of: What were the most difficult emotional/psychological adjustments that people experienced after making the move?


sioux4noff

Apr 29, 2008, 4:52 PM

Post #40 of 50 (3679 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Quote
There are no elected politicians, school board, street lights, paved roads, town police, firemen, ambulance...none of that stuff.


I hate to burst your bubble, but Sayulita does have elected politicians. You are part of the muncipio of Bahia de Banderas, citizens vote for residente and are also represented by representatives and there are delegados.
Don't know about street lights since I've never been to Sayulita at night, but I'd be surprised if there aren't any. One thing that amazes us about small towns in this area is the number of street lights. They are better lit than anywhere I have lived before.
You do have paved streets, who are you trying to kid?
You also have police,fire and ambulance service provided by the Municipio. My husband and I both volunteer with the fire and ambulance crews and have responded to both types of calls in Sayulita. Park in one of the no-parking zones, and those non-existant police will ticket you.
Either you are trying for some reason to mislead people, or you really know very little about your town.
Signed, your neighbor in Bucerias.

Sorry to everyone else for going off topic, but those statements were off-base enough to merit comment.


tashby


Apr 29, 2008, 5:06 PM

Post #41 of 50 (3676 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I agree. It doesn't sound anything like the Sayulita I've visited.

But whatever. Hope you love it there, jl1!


(This post was edited by tashby on Apr 29, 2008, 5:30 PM)


dhwebber

Apr 29, 2008, 8:44 PM

Post #42 of 50 (3642 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I am hardly any authority on living in Mexico but did buy a home in Todos Santos BCS about a month ago. My sense of the area I am going to is that like any place you go, it will depend on where you go and who you hang with. I found (granted I am male) both San Jose del Cabo and Todos Sandos very secure and much like home (Whitehorse, Yukon Territory) At 2 am at a bar, well ....
Seriously, I never saw any woman being treated any differently in Baja than in Vancouver. You should have no more problems in Mexico than in any Canadian or American city.

In Reply To


jl1

Apr 30, 2008, 11:54 AM

Post #43 of 50 (3588 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I really resent your nasty comments about me and my observations about Sayulita. I fully understand that the "municipal" government in Mexico is what we would call County government in the U.S. As a contributor to the committee that worked toward upgrading the sewage treatment plant and the cobblestoning of some of the central village streets, and as a member of Grupo Pro Sayulita, I find your comments laughable and misinformed. I'm going to show a copy of your post to the members at our next meeting. It should get a good laugh. As someone who has damaged an axle or two while negotiating our dirt roads over the years (as have most of my friends), I also resent your assinine comment about the roads in Sayulita being "paved." It is true that the road leading into the village from the highway is paved, but that is it. The cobblestones that were laid last year in a few of the streets are already coming up and the plan to cobble a few more streets has been delayed indefinitely, according to our last meeting. The village does have an "honorary mayor" who has no political power, and the only "government" is the Ejido, which has a rotating membership. My comments about the lack of local bureacracy were meant to point out the difference between a township or other small muncipality in the U.S. and that of a village in Mexico. We have an elementary school in the village that has one broken toilet for over two hundred students. The kids have to take turns "flushing" with a bucket of water. Since you know so much about Sayulita, would you kindly provide me with the number of the school board so we can have that problem addressed? Actually, I think we'll just go ahead with the present plan of paying for a plumber to put in a modern toilet. Members of the Gringo community recently created a fund the pay for medical bills of a village woman who was beaten so severely by her husband that she is in danger of losing her sight. Since she is the sole support of her large family, we have also been making sure that the family is fed until such time that she can go back to work. Those are the kinds of things that we, the extranjero community of Sayulita do with our spare time.


jl1

Apr 30, 2008, 12:15 PM

Post #44 of 50 (3577 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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One more thing. Regarding the streetlights in Sayulita. I meant to say that there are no traffic lights. mea culpa.


kwschopf


Apr 30, 2008, 9:55 PM

Post #45 of 50 (3519 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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As another "extrajanero" who lives in Bucerias and spends some time in Sayulita, I have to chime in here in defense of my friend, Sioux4noff. I think her point was that you seemed to be painting a somewhat romanticized picture of Sayulita. In the four years we have been periodically traveling to Sayulita, the character of the little town has changed completely. The first time we visited Sayulita, it was a charming, small village, as you describe it. Every time someone visits us from the US, they want to see it, as it has acquired some fame. The last time I sat in the plaza (a few months ago), almost everyone within my field of vision was a gringo. I couldn't help but wonder where all the Mexicans went? Most of the tourists were very young surfers with lots of money to spend, and the local prices now reflect that. I am so very glad that we decided to settle in Bucerias instead.

And one more comment. It has been my own observation, from living in a town where most of the gringo population are snowbirds, that people who live with their feet in two worlds seem to have a hard time feeling completely at home in either. In our little town, the most pervasive social division among the expat population is not economic: it is, rather, between those who are here part time and those of us that are here full time. There aren't many of us full-timers, but we are the ones who work very hard on community projects year-round. It is important to have continuity when dealing with local government officials and business people. You can't just leave in April and then show up again in November and pick up where you left off. So those who are considering whether you should settle here full time or part time may want to take that into consideration. When the community really becomes your HOME, you can relax, settle in, look around, meet people from the community and maintain those relationships and friendships. It is very rewarding.


jl1

May 1, 2008, 1:07 PM

Post #46 of 50 (3473 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I understand what you are saying. Yes, the community has changed and there are times, when sitting in the square, that it seems the village is inhabited by tourists. But there is a whole other community of people, gringos and Mexicans alike, who don't necessarily inhabit the square. We are all concerned about the rapid development and are trying to make some grassroot changes. I want to reiterate that our friendships are not in any way limited to the Gringo community. We have developed friendships with many people, young and old and have very little contact with the tourist scene. Although our house won't be completed until August of his year, we are down every month, checking on construction and staying with friends. We will be a permanent part of the community, only going NOB for a month or two a year. My perhaps overreaction to your friend's post was due to her direct attack on my credibility. To say that Sayulita's roads are paved, to someone who has friends on practically every road in the village--I should say dirt road--is just kind of wacky. I don't get it. But I'm frankly out of here and off this thread.


sioux4noff

May 1, 2008, 8:09 PM

Post #47 of 50 (3442 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Quote
To say that Sayulita's roads are paved...



To clarify, I said Sayulita has paved streets. You said Sayulita has no paved roads, and I pointed out that there are. I never said, nor meant to imply, that all the streets are paved.
Bucerias has a pretty good number of unpaved streets. Puerto Vallarta has unpaved streets. Hewitt, Texas has unpaved streets.
I did say that services do exist which you said don't. As if you didn't know.
I did not attack your credibility. (Nor did I send you a private message calling you names.)


(This post was edited by sioux4noff on May 1, 2008, 8:18 PM)


Oscar2

May 2, 2008, 11:43 AM

Post #48 of 50 (3396 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Quote
I hate to burst your bubble,
You do have paved streets, who are you trying to kid?
Either you are trying for some reason to mislead people, or you really know very little about your town.
Sorry to everyone else for going off topic, but those statements were off-base enough to merit comment.





Quote
To clarify, I said Sayulita has paved streets. You said Sayulita has no paved roads, and I pointed out that there are. I never said, nor meant to imply, that all the streets are paved.
Bucerias has a pretty good number of unpaved streets. Puerto Vallarta has unpaved streets. Hewitt, Texas has unpaved streets.
I did say that services do exist which you said don't. As if you didn't know.
I did not attack your credibility. (Nor did I send you a private message calling you names.)



The purpose of posting both posts on this thread is in some way to demonstrate how others, including myself, at times, invite negativity by falling into the polarizing grips of the right/wrong syndrome. The importance and emphases given to the content of what is said can be either in kind, suggestive in manner or accusatory, which the latter breeds reactivity.

The initial comments suggest the latter, making them reactive in nature thus, a sort of polarizing, negativity, can give rise to distress you or others may feel as part and parcel of the ego’s need to exist within ourselves continuously soliciting to keep us in its gnawing grip. The second paragraph somewhat demonstrates this and it is not uncommon amongst so many of us who “must be right,” but in doing so, most always, indict or “has to make someone else wrong”…. Ego’s love to play on this for survival.

I do apologize for using your post as a sample and was not done out of malice but the opposite would be closer to the truth. So many of us who post on forums invariably fall into this category, yours truly not excluded, that sometimes I wonder perhaps this is the nature of the beast and a kind of dysfunctional quarreling is designed by the flames of this right/wrong syndrome……. Dos Centavos..

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on May 2, 2008, 11:45 AM)


sioux4noff

May 2, 2008, 11:59 AM

Post #49 of 50 (3385 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I'll have to find an English-to-English interpreter to figure out all what you said. But I can figure out on my own that you are saying I messed up.
Sorry to everyone (except the guy who says my comments were nasty) that I hijacked this thread by getting sidetracked about the details of the Sayulita thing.
And to the guy who said my comments were nasty, I'm sorry you took them as nasty.


tonyburton / Moderator


May 2, 2008, 1:45 PM

Post #50 of 50 (3363 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I believe this thread has now exceeded its original expectations so I'm locking it - but feel free to start up a new thread on this or any related subject! Tony
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