Nov 15, 2009, 3:45 PM
Post #15 of 19
I've been to Chapala/Ajijic a couple times though I don't recall where the store is located but $70 mx sounds about double the price as here in Morelia where the usual ride is about $25 and $35 will get you just about anywhere in the city more distant. The driver might ask for more and circumstances as traffic, distance, etc., may justify it but a cab ride is always negotiable with the aforementioned as a general guideline, and a very short ride costing less, making shopping by taxi relatively painless here.
Right now I am only aware of two higher-end shopping plazas that charge for parking, one has a super-sized Soriana though there are other Soriana stores located around the city, making that place less desireable for my shopping needs as there are many supermarkets here, Chedraui, Mega, Bodega Aurrera, Merza, Superama, Sam's, Wal-Mart, Costco, and others many of which have several locations in the city and none that charge for parking other than the aforementioned.
My compact SUV and I make make frequent excursions to several of these markets as no one place has all the items I regularly buy. Costco is the only place that I am aware of that carries Bisquik, cans of Hormel chili in Superama and also is a good source for asparagus and Italian sausage. Sam's Club has canned cranberry sauce since fresh berries are something I have not yet found and they also have a reasonably-priced store-brand knockoff of Taster's Choice instant coffee as well as the higher priced name brand. I could go on with a list of gringo food items I can certainly live without but will buy them because I can but it requires shopping around different stores.
I go to the cinema in the pay-parking mall from time to time. Although your parking is discounted when you validate at a store you are shopping at I don't think a ticket to the cinema buys you free parking, that is one place I go where it is simply more convenient to grab the combi that passes down my street and takes me to that mall. 5 pesos for the combi and there are around 30 combi routes in Morelia with several more large buses that service the city and beyond. Each combi route covers a large area of town and takes about an hour to travel the entire route one-way, leaving no place in the city much more than two or three blocks from a combi of some stripe or color. They inter-weave so much there are likely few destinations that could not be reached for 10 pesos or less. I frequently use the combi instead of driving if my day's outing is casual, and return by taxi if I become heavily-laden with some extra-curricular shopping.
My car now is about three-years-old and has less than 11k miles to give you the idea how much I drive, and much of that is for my longer excursions out to the coast, tierra caliente, or the occasional trip out to Pátzcuaro and neighboring communities like the serene little German restaurant along lakeside of Lago de Pátzcuaro near Erongarícuaro. Though it's possible to make that trip by bus and combi I have not done so. Large buses leave out of Morelia to Pátzcuaro or Quiroga every ten minutes from 5am to 8pm for under 30 pesos, less frequent outside those hours. Public transportation is better developed here than any place I know of in my native California.
Everyone's experience of Mexico is different and much depends on where you live. It probably is a good thing that many people start out around Chapala, SMA, or some of the beach-resort gringo havens before they venture off to find their personal piece of paradise after they have become more experienced and Mexicanized, if they ever do. I think that works better for all of us that way. It costs much more to live in those ex-pat havens but that is perhaps how it should be also, pay for the education, it is better learned that way. Even in the most anglicized Gringo Gulch one can take one look around and understate the stark realization that we ain't in Kansas anymore, Toto.