Jun 29, 2005, 3:39 PM
Post #5 of 27
On the lease, oh that mine were as generous to the tenant as the one in Sinaloa, which sounds to me like a rental agreement, not a lease. My lease requires me to not only forfeit my deposit, which is two months rent of $750 per month, but also pay two months rent in penalty! I must have been -- no, I was -- dreaming when I signed it. Something about plunking myself down somewhere and getting established quick.
Re: [Marlene] breaking a lease
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Which brings me to Esteban's thoughtful suggestion that I share my reasons for not giving Mexico a longer trial. Essentially, I miss friends and family and the place I come from far more than I had expected.
There is also the startling discovery that the job I was so eager to give up had, in fact, become a larger part of my life than I thought because it gave me structure. So there's a void. Pretty typical retirement problem ("About Schmidt"); I guess I didn't think I was typical. Surprise! That issue will continue, but I think I can better invent a new structure in the context of friends and familiar surroundings. Here I feel too isolated. (I am divorced, with two grown children.)
Under that arise some typical irritations of life in Mexico.
Having traveled extensively -- I first visited Mexico in 1959 and I lived in Latin America and Europe for nearly ten years and speak good Spanish -- I thought this would be an pretty easy transition, especially with all the great information that circulates in these forums. I examined this move for some months before making it. I love the Mexican people, and in fact that may have that blinded me a little to my own needs at this stage in life. I have found that in my sixties I have little tolerance for the traffic (street repair had diverted the heavy traffic by my house at the time I rented it -- caveat emptor!), the noise, the dirt, and the barking dog that makes my beautiful rooftop terrace nearly useless at the time I want to be there (twilight).
There is a certain ironic justice in this, since when I was a teenager in Puerto Rico I simply couldn't understand why my Norwegian stepmother got so ticked off about the dirt and noise coming in the open windows and the sand my pals and I tracked in from the beach.
Given the rapid growth of every Mexican locale where gringos are gathering, I would expect similar conditions at other places that offer the gringo-oriented services and gringo companionship that drew me here. Mexico is changing very, very rapidly, producing rising prices and diminishing tranquility. (And better services.) Certainly I found that to be true in booming Puerto Vallarta and north up to San Pancho, where I had looked originally. I expect that one can buy one's way out of the dirt and noise with enough money (fancy house in a gated community and full-time help), but I don't have the money and that's never been my style.
So I'm going back to where I come from for a couple of weeks to think things over. If I do pull up stakes and go home I will have lost a bundle of money (moving expenses plus rent deposit plus appliances), and I have thought about "sticking it out" for the year for that reason and as a matter of principle. But there is a certain virtue in being willing to admit you screwed up and throwing in the towel. Not that I feel very virtuous!
As for me leaving the landlord holding the bag, I don't see that. I'll be walking away from $1,500 USD, a full tank of gas and some beautiful curtains that cost me $270. There's no phone in this place, and, in fact, the landlord owes me for my payment of two months electricity and water billed to the house before I moved in.
I really don't like fleeing the scene like a thief in the night, but I'm afraid if I discuss it with the real estate agency I'll be threatened with that two months' rent penalty (on top of the loss of the deposit.) Then I will really be in it deep. I can hear the cops at the door.
All in all, a cautionary tale, to be sure.
Jesus. This sound like an AA talk, and I don't even have any addictions. Is there a support group for compulsive movers?