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Hound Dog

Nov 3, 2009, 8:18 AM

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You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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To tell which way the wind is blowing:

We retired to Mexico in early 2001 moving to the popular retirement community loosely called Lakeside on Lake Chapalaīs north shore and then in 2006 we bought a second home in Highland Chiapas and since then we have split living at Lakeside and in Chiapas each year and to say that these are contrasting communities would be the understatement of the decade but thatīs OK since, in retirement, one can use a bit of contrast in oneīs life but thatīs not what Iīm writing about. Jalisco is one of Mexicoīs wealthier states and Chiapas is hands down the poorest state in the nation and has a very high crime rate. Oddly enough, however, we feel more secure in our home in Chiapas than we do in Jalisco and that has to do with the stalwart commitment neighbors have with one another in our neighborhood down there to watch for each otherīs residences to try to prevent residential invasions and burglaries as well as occasional street assaults. In Chiapas all of our neighbors are Mexican and mostly indigenous folks and they long ago gave up on the local police so have years of understanding that they are on their own. They even recently ran off the prostitutes and their sleezy johns even though those whores worked that corner for years by paying off the cops and utilizing a two bit no-tell hotel on the street. In contrast, until recenly on our street at Lakeside which is a mixed Mexican/foreign community, neighbors pretty much went their own ways and crime was relatively rare. However, with the recent spike in crime, especally residential burglaries, the attitude at Lakeside is rapidly changing and our neighbors at Lakeside are becoming far more vigilant and have begun to show a commitment to each other to try and prevent neighborhood theft. Street assaults are still pretty rare at Lakeside but who knows what is awaiting us down the pike.

Some writing on these forums tend to pooh pooh the notion that there has been a substantial increase in criminal activities at Lakeside although nobody we know in Chiapas makes light of criminal activities in both urban and rural environments.

So, hereīs my point. In our nearly nine years down here we had no home alarm systems and felt safe leaving each house empty while resident at the other but all that has changed in the last three months and now we have installed highly sophisticated, constantly monitored, movement and intrusion sensitive alarm systems with auxiliary floodlights in each house that bring the alarm company and cops running in short order whether we are there or not and, in Chiapas at least, neighbors ready to administer justice to thieves who, once confronted by irate neighbors ready to serve up intantanteous Chiapas-style punishmnent to miscreants, loudly pray for the arrival of the police.

Now, get this. since we installed the Lakeside alarm system about two months ago we have experienced two home invasions while in bed ; one at 3:00AM and one a week later at 4:00AM. In the first instance, the movement detector sounded as the thief was approaching our front door and in the second an alarmed kitchen door was opened setting off the system. In both cases we turned on garden lights but the thugs escaped over our eight foot stone walls before we or the police were able to apprehend them. In both invasions, the alarm company responded immediately and were there with the cops in tow within minutes. These burglars are obviously young and athletic as it is not easy to scale that wall surrounding our property and that loud, insistent alarm must have scared the crap out of those buntbrains. We are now irritated that these punks are so adept at escaping at Lakeside because of the configuration of the neighborhood so now we are going to install cameras strategically about both properties as we have learned from the cops that photographs are critically important if we wish to prosecute thieves. We want to nail those bastards.

Have things changed at Lakeside? You bet. Keep in mind that we live in a modest home surrounded by substantial stone walls from eight to 12 feet high and all windows and skylights are fully barred. We live in a village environment at Lakeside in one of the poorest neighborhoods in our town. In the past, these burglaries and burglary attempts took place mainly in those high falutin hillside fraccionamientos with inadequate security but the criminals, in these hard times, have shown that they can be downwardly mobile and thatīs the noticeable change. AS an aside, if you think this crime wave is aimed at foreign retirees think again. Our housekeeper who has not a pot to pee in was burglarized recently during mid-day when the family went shopping. Get over your feelings of exclusivity.

Now, thatīs not all. I also had my wallet lifted from the right hand front pocket of my blue jeans by a pickpocket in the Ajijic WalMart parking lot a few weeks ago and boy was I surprised that my wallet could be lifted from what is generally called "the safe" so slickly that I didnīt even know it was gone until it was too late. But, Iīm just throwing that in to lament publicly my own stupidity at being so careless in a big box store parking lot. Pickpockets have long worked big box store parking lots in greater Guadalajara so thst incident at WalMart is not indicative of the increased criminal activity I am discussing here since that has been going on since big box store parking lots were invented.

Donīt tell the Dawg the times have not changed. Now we not only have top-of-the-line constantly monitored home alarm systems - something we would not have dreamed of installing a year ago - but we now plan to hire house sitters for homes that used to sit vacant for months. Just for the record, things are also going downhill as far as criminal activity is concerned, in France and the U.S. since the financial debacle that just landed on us all. Not only that; if one is not involved with stuff such as drug smuggling, one is far less likely to be slain during the commission of a crime against oneself here in Mexico than in the U.S. Donīt think you can move there to protect your butt.

By the way; we have very little of value to protect except our declining asses and the alarm systems cost far more than anything any burglar could steal from us so keep in mind we are talking butt protection here. What a shame to have to live like that but at least we are not freezing our tails off in France watching out for gypsy kids climbing the walls.

OOPS! Did I just say "gypsy" kids? How politically incorrect can I be. I meant "the children of the people of the voyage".* Whew!

* Official correct French ethnic designation. There are also no longer any "Arabs" in France but "People of the
maghreb". Get it straight or keep out. The French are not known for their tolerance mealy mouthed Yankee Dawg.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 3, 2009, 8:50 AM)



Brian

Nov 3, 2009, 8:51 AM

Post #2 of 23 (11212 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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"Donīt tell the Dawg the times have not changed."

I think what might have changed is your perception of public safety in Mexico over the years you have been there. "Seguridad" has always been the prime topic of concern for the Mexican readers in response to polls. Property crimes, which is the main issue you seem to be addressing, have been a worry long before you or I moved down at about the same time. Those barred windows and walls topped with broken glass shards are the old way of protecting one's home. Maybe you are right, though and times have changed. Better technology in the form of electronic alarm systems. Just sayin'

Brian


(This post was edited by Brian on Nov 3, 2009, 8:53 AM)


husker

Nov 3, 2009, 8:55 AM

Post #3 of 23 (11208 views)

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Wonderful Houston

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Ever think of going back?

Dr. Stephanie Wuest, a first-year medical resident at Baylor College of Medicine, is recovering in the hospital after being shot multiple times during an apparent robbery last night. Friday morning, she was alert and stable. Houston Police reported this morning that they have arrested a 40-year-old man and he has been charged with attempted capital murder. The incident occurred outside a grocery store at Old Spanish Trail and Cambridge. Dr. Wuest is a resident in the family medicine program. Her husband, Dr. Matthew Rose, also is a Baylor resident. He is in the radiology program.


Hound Dog

Nov 3, 2009, 9:04 AM

Post #4 of 23 (11193 views)

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Re: [husker] Wonderful Houston

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Good points Brian and Husker. I wanted to stimulate a discussion of this topic to encourage other perspectives.

I particularly found Huskerīs comment cogent. In our married lives we have lived in some pretty dangerous towns from Mobile to Oakland to San Francisco. Criminal activity in those three urban zones in two different and disparate regions of the U.S. was often hideous in nature and it seems things got worse with "three strikes youīre out" laws. Now things are becoming a bit hairy in France which, when I first visited there in the 1960s, was considered comparatively safe.

Well, what the hell. The weather is nice here and the culture stimulating but they could improve the guacamole. Ainīt freezinī my butt off in France thank you Jesus.


Hound Dog

Nov 3, 2009, 2:00 PM

Post #5 of 23 (11137 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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I am disappointed. Not in any of you but in myself for muttering stupidly about increased criminal behavior and moronic steps I have taken to mitigate home invasions in Jalisco and Chiapas. I am such a dolt. Far more popular subjects on this forum today subsequent to my naive post about crime in Mexico have been:
* How to adjust oneīs oven to an appropriate temperature to overcome altitude biases when baking.
* How to overcome bureaucratic inertia in acquiring a CURP.
* How to live in Mexico in an RV.
* How to acquire a "wallet sized" FM-2 Visa

Now, who here is out of touch. Clearly it is I.

I have obviously been here too long. Maybe our tentatively planned trip to Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu next year will clear the air except, as I understand it, there is very little of what we fondly refer to as air in Cuzco at 12,000 feet and in fact I am feeling queasy just thinking about going there even though our home in San Cristóbal is already at 7,000 feet and now Iīm beginning to worry about that as well.


See if Dawg tries to make any more socially responsible posts. You guys are on your own.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 3, 2009, 2:18 PM)


Manuel Dexterity

Nov 3, 2009, 3:48 PM

Post #6 of 23 (11110 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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So mutt, how did they manage to open the alarmed kitchen door?

1. It has a cheap lock that could easily be picked?

or

2. It was left unlocked?


Hound Dog

Nov 3, 2009, 4:02 PM

Post #7 of 23 (11103 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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A fine and well-put message, Manuel and one that identifies a mystery as yet unresolved. Although you are clearly a prick which you must not interpret as a pejorative statement, it is good to know that someone discerning is actually reading these boards and may actually have something to contribute to the discourse. Now, perhaps you and I and others concerned with real issues can come up with ways to resolve societal problems over and above methods required to grease the skids to acquire a CURP. That, however, may be a vain hope.

Thank you for your attentiveness.

By the way. If I ever need to hire a carpenter, I will request your recommendation. Except for your disdain for The Dawg, I like the way you think but that doesnīt mean that I like you personally which, of course, has nothing to do with anything.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 3, 2009, 4:07 PM)


tashby


Nov 3, 2009, 4:13 PM

Post #8 of 23 (11095 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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"the children of the people of the voyage"

Seriously? This is the official French ethnic designation? That's super.

As to the other 99.7% of your post, I got nothing. We rent, we lock our doors when we leave, we hope for the best.


gpkgto

Nov 3, 2009, 4:22 PM

Post #9 of 23 (11090 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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Things have changed--the US-based out-of-control capitalist system has destroyed the world's economies. What choice do the poor, unemployed, uneducated people have other than to turn to crime? This is happening in many places all over the world.


Hound Dog

Nov 3, 2009, 4:49 PM

Post #10 of 23 (11078 views)

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Re: [tashby] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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"the children of the people of the voyage"

I kid you not, Tashby. The overwhelmingly racist French are the most politcally correct people on the planet and, boy, does that tell us something about human nature because no one hates the gypsies (Romees - my spelling) more then the French as the kids work the cities in packs and steal from all.

SCENE IN WEST AFRICA CIRCA 1965:

West African freedom fighter addressing American bleeding heart liberal:

AFRICAN: We hate you Americans. You support the French colonialist thugs that took over and exploited our country and allied themselves with local despots for generations.
AMERICAN: Why are you bitching at me. We Americans are not colonialists and had nothing to do with European colonial exploitation. Why donīt you complain to the French?
AFRICAN: Because they donīt listen.

One thing about the French. If you donīt like them or what they do, always remember that they do not give a damn what you think.

I love that about them and thank God every day I married into a French family. Alabama de damned.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 3, 2009, 5:02 PM)


Hound Dog

Nov 3, 2009, 5:25 PM

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Re: [gpkisner] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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Things have changed--the US-based out-of-control capitalist system has destroyed the world's economies. What choice do the poor, unemployed, uneducated people have other than to turn to crime? This is happening in many places all over the world.

GP:

The Gordon Ghekko quote from the 1980s that greed was good came to a head in 2008/09 and we all paid the price while Wall Street thieves walked off with and will continue to walk off with the spoils of unfettered capitalism with the sanction of both the Bush and Obama administrations while American taxpayers foot the bill. These criminals should be hanged but they remain fat with belly as blood-suckers at the gates.

And what is amazing is that Americans call Mexico corrupt.

I am sickened by the disgusting decline of the United States and those clowns still march around proclaiming themselves the moral arbiters of the planet. There is no longer any moral compass.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 3, 2009, 5:27 PM)


frito

Nov 3, 2009, 6:02 PM

Post #12 of 23 (11050 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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Actually your writings of San Cristobal got me interested in Chiapas. Sounds like a fascinating place. But I do have a little bit of "gypsy" in me, or maybe just nomadic. I'd like to experience many areas of Mexico, and a RV seems a good way to do that. Regards.


Hound Dog

Nov 3, 2009, 6:21 PM

Post #13 of 23 (11042 views)

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Re: [frito] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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I do have a little bit of "gypsy" in me, or maybe just nomadic. I'd like to experience many areas of Mexico, and a RV seems a good way to do that. Regards.

Sounds like fun to me.

Bon voyage, mi amigo.


Zorba

Nov 4, 2009, 1:55 AM

Post #14 of 23 (10995 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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Im not in Mexico at the moment. However, in the past when I asked my Mexican friends about the situation
they said they didnt feel any less safe. That has changed now in the last year or so. My Mexican friends are
now concerned, and that says a lot.

It's all a crapshoot in the end anyways. I could pack up and move back to Canada where it is "safe" and get
hit by a donut truck.

Personally, Dawg, I think you could solve your problem by selling that house up north. It doesnt sound like you stay
there much or even enjoy it as much as Cristobal. So, why bother with the hassle? Just stay in a cheap hotel when
you want to visit friends. I lived in Puebla for a long time and love the place, but decided against a second home there because I figured it wasnt necessary. Plenty of cheap hotels to stay in. Without an empty house in Ajijic
you wouldnt have to worry so much about security.

Personally, I dont worry about security because I'm on a ranch with three big dogs and guns. I worry more when I step out of the safe confines of my kingdom, unarmed.

I see things getting worse not better. Poverty breeds crime. And it seems people will be poorer for the next
few years. There are fewer jobs in Mexico and the U.S. for Mexicans. Perhaps it will reach a tipping point
and the people will have to self-police more. I'd lynch those scumbag kidnappers myself if I could.


(This post was edited by Zorba on Nov 4, 2009, 2:04 AM)


Gringal

Nov 4, 2009, 7:43 AM

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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You'd have to have your head in a barrel of molassis not to notice that crime has increased along with poverty, job losses and all the other plagues. So where's the "socially responsible" point of jawing about it? As someone else pointed out, there was a reason for those barred entrances and razor wire, long before you or I set foot in Mexico. Plus alarm systems and an unreachable wallet.

Back in the good old USA, we had security system pads next to our doors in quiet suburbs. Most cars were alarmed, and what a pain in the patootie that was. "The yuppie mating call", as everyone ignored the noise. My favorite ripoff was the time they broke into my truck and removed the front seats so I had to drive on couch cushions to the insurance office.

It may well be more useful to pass along information about dealing with bureaucracy and the quality of the local butcher shops. There's not a lot we can do about the larger social problems, anywhere, except some personal acts of kindness.

The question does remain Dawg: Why haven't you sold out and moved off to Chiapas yet, since you don't have many good words for the Lakeside expats and eateries? On the other hand, you seem to be thrilled with your other location. It couldn't just be about Superlake.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Nov 4, 2009, 8:15 AM)


arbon

Nov 4, 2009, 10:01 AM

Post #16 of 23 (10908 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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There must be more ways to say "I don't care" in French than any other language.

How many ways in Spanish/Mexican?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



gpkgto

Nov 4, 2009, 10:24 AM

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Re: [frito] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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I would suggest that you always park in a "safe" place or your RV will be gutted like a pig very quickly.


Hound Dog

Nov 4, 2009, 11:19 AM

Post #18 of 23 (10881 views)

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Re: [Gringal] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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The question does remain Dawg: Why haven't you sold out and moved off to Chiapas yet, since you don't have many good words for the Lakeside expats and eateries? On the other hand, you seem to be thrilled with your other location. It couldn't just be about Superlake.

Well, Gringal, I guess itīs because the housing market at Lakeside is in the toilet and, YES!, Superlake. We donīt really need the money at the present time so why sell in a down market? Not only that, the citrus trees are beginning to bear fruit and the new General Leeīs hamburgers and tequila just opened and there is always the fresh fish at Tabarka and vacio steaks at Hacienda Ajijic but on the other hand we went to Hacienda Ajijic two nights ago and the place was full of old goobers and they had dreadful live music from the corners of Lawrence Welk hell and I might add that you, Gringal, informed us that you had unacceptable fish at Tabarka the other day and inconsistency is the curse of the Lakeside restaurant scene so if you want to buy a house in the $6,000,000 Peso range, give me a call. Such a deal Iīll give you but only because I like you.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 4, 2009, 11:20 AM)


Maritsa


Nov 4, 2009, 12:22 PM

Post #19 of 23 (10859 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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Senor Sabueso:

You seem to know yourself well, and everyone else better. I guess the old saying, "There are no stupid questions", doesn't apply here and you have proclaimed yourself the judge of what is important and what is not.

I enjoy reading and participating in these forums because there are so many people who are much more knowledgable and experienced than I am, and are willing to share and teach, without judgement.

You, however, with your vast knowledge, experience and ability to write 2,000 word sentences (and repeat the same stories)
apparently have proclaimed that what is of interest to you, should be the same for everyone - that you should decide.

I am so sorry that you are feeling queasy about going to Cuzco. And how in the world do you endure the trials and tribulations of trying to secure two homes, travel the world and also educate the people who only ask stupid questions?

Maybe instead of going on and on about having your wallet stolen, for example, you could just make sure you keep your hand in your pocket, since that is probably where it resides most of the time anyway.

......"If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself'..... (Desiderata


Gringal

Nov 4, 2009, 12:25 PM

Post #20 of 23 (10853 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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Yeah, yeah. That's your story and you're sticking to it.

Now, a serious question: as a smart old ex-banker goober, when do you predict the housing market is going to "turn around"? And go where? I think, from a lifetime of being involved in real estate ventures, that we'll be lucky to see it happen in our lifetimes....and this is assuming we'll hang out aboveground for more than ten more years.

That offer of yours is real tempting.......but I like my neighborhood bettah.


Zarcero

Nov 4, 2009, 12:30 PM

Post #21 of 23 (10850 views)

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You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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Dawg you are fairly entertaining dude. I predict this thread is headed for locking, but interesting topic and philosophy.


Hound Dog

Nov 4, 2009, 2:44 PM

Post #22 of 23 (10817 views)

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Re: [Gringal] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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when do you predict the housing market is going to "turn around"?

My guess, Gringal is that I have no idea nor does anyone else.


zzRider

Nov 5, 2009, 4:21 AM

Post #23 of 23 (10736 views)

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Re: [Maritsa] You Donīt Need a Weatherman

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In Reply To
Senor Sabueso:
You seem to know yourself well, and everyone else better. I guess the old saying, "There are no stupid questions", doesn't apply here and you have proclaimed yourself the judge of what is important and what is not.
I enjoy reading and participating in these forums because there are so many people who are much more knowledgable and experienced than I am, and are willing to share and teach, without judgement.
You, however, with your vast knowledge, experience and ability to write 2,000 word sentences (and repeat the same stories)
apparently have proclaimed that what is of interest to you, should be the same for everyone - that you should decide.
I am so sorry that you are feeling queasy about going to Cuzco. And how in the world do you endure the trials and tribulations of trying to secure two homes, travel the world and also educate the people who only ask stupid questions?
Maybe instead of going on and on about having your wallet stolen, for example, you could just make sure you keep your hand in your pocket, since that is probably where it resides most of the time anyway.
......"If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself'..... (Desiderata


I think you are dead on in your assessment. It's very confusing here for a newbie.
 
 
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