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  1. 22 points
    Back where we lived in the states we had trash pickup once a week but paid 70 USD a month for it. Our home taxes were approx 12,000USD. School taxes were about 4,000. Internet about 100 per month for fibre but you purchased it in increments as in one price for 20 mbps and another price for 50, etc. Gas and electric averaged about 400 a month The potholes on state roads through our town that were fixed were not done correctly thus they were fine for a few months and would reopen and be worse. Our town used to have a big crew fix pot holes and to maintenance and was flush in monies until corruption took over hence all but 2 were laid off and tey made the crew boss with no financial training town manger. I used to say that we didn't own our tires but rented them. Our state is in a fiscal free fall and even had to take bonds out on state liquor stores to help shore up the budget. A portion of state revenues were always set aside to give to school districts and they have dropped significantly and as a result school infrastructures are in bad repair. Our district was ranked 3rd in the state and yet the buildings had become full of mold and in disrepair and will take tens of millions to fix so I hear taxes will be going up again. The state university system over the last 10 years has lost so much funding that it has become a nightmare for parents and students. State schools were designed to teach the poor to middle class. Now room and board is about 40,000 and you can get a better scholarship at a private school. That's a 300 percent increase from when my son graduated about 6 years ago. He lives iN San Francisco now , one of the most beautiful cities in The USA and yet so many streets are riddled with hypodermic needles and human feces and people sleeping on the streets in front of companies like twitter and Pinterest and the homeless population has grown by leaps and bounds. Yet some of the largest tech companies are right on the corner and do nothing to help. The traffic is beyond nightmarish and a recent poll showed that if they could, 75% of the population would leave. The largest outdoor encampment of homeless in all of the US was right by the San Jose airport smack in the middle of Silicon Valley . You could see google and the other high tech companies from this encampment that was destroyed and the homeless dispersed and yet in this homeless encampment were people with jobs and advanced degrees who couldn't afford rent because the area has a 96% occupancy rate and rents would go up and up and up. Leases were 10 months with minimum 20 percent increases. They were based on the markets prices. Many so called wealthy tech hackers live 4 and 5 in a 2 bedroom apartment and the parking lots of google and other high tech companies have hundreds of vans or winnebagos in their parking lots where employees sleep. They wash and eat in their company facilities and these companies know whats going on. Los Angeles and its beautiful suburbs are being overrun by homeless. Venice Beach , the American version of a Pueblo magico is getting so bad that blocks and blocks of businesses and citizens now have guards protecting them. I say this because it isn't much brighter NOB from my perspective. If everyone here wants trash picked up on schedule and the local roads to be taken care of far better infrastructure and a fully functional fleet of what we call garbage trucks here , and faster internet service, etc. are you willing to pay the extra monies in the form of taxes and internet bills? Look at your tax bill. It is ridiculously cheap beyond imagination. Your yearly real estate taxes could not get you a meal for 2 at a white tablecloth restaurant in a major city. I am new here having purchased in October but I see the US going downhill as Mexico is going up hill. Our taxes , HOA fees, water and propane and 24 hour manned security and a crew of 10 or so people to maintain the development is 2200 a year. Our transition apt in the states after we sold our home was more than that and it want anything spectacular. I call it back to the eighties here. Yes , it has changed here but there will be adjustments made and if its so bad why are prices going through the roof into bubble territory. How many have come here because they have realized they can no longer afford to retire in America or Canada and places in Europe and can still live a good life on social security and or pensions and there is no way in hell they could do that back home. Is it getting worse? Depends on what you mean by worse. It can be much better from an infrastructure point of view but are we all willing to have our taxes increase five or ten fold (and that would still be cheap). Speaking of corruption, our town back in the states was corrupt as ever. Borrowed 50 million in the form of bonds to give large landowners (gentleman farmers) monies to have easements put on their properties so that developers couldn't buy and build luxury homes (that no one wants anymore)and the town also froze the taxes on these parcels. Corruption comes in many forms. At least here they are open about it. I would assume many people here cannot leave because their finances dictate that they cannot go back home. If I went back home I could not afford to buy the house I sold 1 1/2 years ago , let alone pay close to 25,000 a year for lousy health insurance (1 1/2 years away from getting full social security benefits at 65 1/2) and perhaps get an appointment with a doctor in 3 months if I am lucky. I believe the latest statistics are that a couple retiring today will need 275,00 USD just for medical expenses in their future years and 3 years ago when I looked the estimate was 235,00. Assisted living median price is 10,000 per month in the states and the facilities are basically owned by private equity firms. You want an extra slice of bread, that will be 50 cents and pharma companies use these places as testing grounds for new drugs. How much is it lakeside? 1500 a month?.Or you can have a live in caretaker for less. Perhaps there is a price to pay for having a roof over your head here in the form of bad roads and internet services and sub par utilities and garbage strewn streets but one has to look at the whole picture. A retired couple can live out the rest of their lives here easily and comfortably with far less in assets if one is prudent. You wouldn't be able to do that NOB where a couple would need at least 2- 3 million or have rock solid pensions and I believe no pension is rock solid anymore. I say the price for the inconvenience is worth it. Many of you have the finances to have multiple homes. I can only afford to have one. Back home we had to get in the car to go for a bottle of milk. Here many expats are getting healthier because we walk so much more and eat healthier food (if we choose to). I know of 5 people who have rented here who are freaked out because their landlords see the crazy prices being offered and have sold their properties and now these people will have to move somewhere even cheaper because of the difficulty in getting suitable living quarters at the price they can afford to pay and they cant afford to buy anymore because they have been told to "rent for 6 months or more to see if you like the place" and they really do but in taking that advice they have been priced out. We looked into buying in Mazatlan and SMA and the real estate agents called the properties investments. The light went off in my head. A house for me is only an investment if its an income producing property. Now the real estate agents here (some who could never be one NOB) are doing the same thing. Calling homes investments. We are competing with the educated middle class Mexicans who don't exactly trust their banks and have always seen real estate/land as a solid investment. GDL is being known as the High tech capital of Mexico with close to 20 billion in revenues. Microsoft and intel and other high tech companies are there and quite a few of their executives live Lakeside which is not considered in any way an exclusive area compared to some in GDL. Many expats here are crying behind closed doors because they know they are in trouble. I would assume whats driving these prices much higher is that the boomers are retiring in droves and are looking for an affordable places to live and are not doing the appropriate due diligence but rather watching some stupid you tube videos on how to retire In Chapala for 1,000 a month or read that god awful International Living magazine that reprints the same article on the area every 6 months, and they flock here and buy andn many get burned in the process. Medicare and Medicaid in the states are at risk, even social security because how do you run a country that in a couple of years will have a 30 trillion dollar deficit. The cut backs will kill many people, especially the elderly and poor and disabled. And its not going to get any better. I cant speak about Canada and its issues but only about the states. It is scary what may happen. The stock market is going up but everything is cyclical and over 50 percent of the population aren't in the markets. Technology is moving at light speed and estimates are that one third of the workforce will be without jobs unless they educate themselves real quick . My 28 year old son can go through the turmoil but people my age with limited resources cannot. I will gladly deal with all the bad things here than back in the states where if either my wife or I got very ill and required to go to a private institution it would most likely bankrupt our family and my son who makes 200k a year at 28 living in silicon valley is barely considered to be middle class (pays close to 50 percent in taxes between federal, state and local and now they are thinking about taxing you based on how many miles you drive.). He cant afford to buy a home and rents a 120 sq foot room in a person's home for 1,000 per month and still drives a 1996 Subaru. He sees the future and it is not bright. I doubt if he will live there in 5 years. The nature of his work is one that he can work from anywhere in the world and connect to his ofice. He came down to visit and was enthralled with our place (One third the size of our home we sold) He saw what so many who have been here a long time do not see anymore. He saw possibility. He saw happy people. He ate some of the best food he ever has eaten. Machima was his favorite place for breakfast and lunch and he made sure he was there almost every day. Its only 3 hours by plane from where he lives to GDL and I have this feeling that he will be coming down every few months to work and play and learn about this wonderful culture. Sorry for the length of this post but I believe being new here I come with a different perspective. Many of us don't have pensions to fall back on. We lost a sizable amount of our hard earned money or lost businesses in the tech collapse of 2,000 and then the real estate banking crisis of 2008. And pensions although guaranteed by law to be paid are in trouble. All we need is one supreme court ruling that will allow states to go bankrupt and it will be a house of cards. How does New Jersey pay pensions to its workers with a ballooning pension deficit closing in on 100 billion (better a bit now than 2 years ago because of higher stock market returns but that's only fleeting). Or how about Illinois where the state cops had to buy their own bullets and Chicago couldn't even afford to pay for its toilet paper in City Hall and the outflow of people from that state is huge.The ex mayor Of Los Angeles said that All City Hall basically did all day was cut pension checks for hundreds of thousands of people. That is unsustainable. Perhaps instead of focusing on whats wrong here we should focus on what is right. Its all a matter of perspective. For me , this will be my year round home. Am I willing to put up with what we all believe to be worsening conditions? Yes I am, because I know that I really can never return to the states to live. Here in this culture, family is so important. We have no family but for one child. I intend to have family here be it with the local folk or like minded expats. To me there is no energy in complaining. The energy is in taking action and doing something about it. When one only lives here but for 6 or 8 months per year , I assume that is different than being here full time. Hopefully I can help make changes. I may be off my rocker but I will give it a darn good try. You won't see me hanging out all day and buying trinkets in Ajijic and then boozing it up and having dinner out 6 nights a week. I plan to be doing lots of volunteering in places west of Chapla on the lake where children are dying because they have kidney disease and can get a kidney only if their parents can show the means to pay 50 dollars a month for medication and they cant. But I have to believe that in order to live out my life here I need to be respectful of the fact that this gvt has allowed my wife and I entry based on fairly minimum requirements which many NOB cannot even meet while my country up north is kicking out fathers and mothers who have lived there for decades and will leave behind children who they will probably never see again. Pretty sobering. I assume I will get pretty nasty responses as I have been called a troll, etc but I am a newbie and am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to learn much from all of you. To me some of you are like family. I love reading some of the posts and banter I have gained so much information from many of you and that has helped me tremendously even though I still cant figure out this whole private health insurance craziness. With all its foibles this is a wonderful forum. All I ask is that you look into your hearts and ask yourselves why you are here? I told you most of the reasons why I am here. I am probably the only one who has never been in a Costco since I found out that the Kirkland brand toilet paper (the number 1 selling item at Costco is terrible for flushing in my development (seriously) Life could be far worse. We are still 6 feet above ground rather than 6 feet below. Its all about perspective. Each and everyone of you is special.There are so many people who read this forum and don't participate for fear of being attacked, etc. My wife and a good friend are two of them. Heck, I would like to ask more questions and participate but I have trepidation . You represent a wealth of knowledge that people like me are looking for. That is something special that you have. In 10 years If I am still here I will make it my point to answer any questions from newbies ( all of you know who we are just by looking at our names) with courtesy knowing I am helping someone who was like me. Confused, a bit scared and don't know who else to turn to. Yes, Some of you , the elders of this forum wield power that you do not know you have. The power to give people like me information in 3 sentences that if not for you would take me 3 weeks or months or more to figure out. I wish all of you a magnificent day and thank you for allowing me to have posted this.
  2. 14 points
    After 17 years here we are in our 70s. Dec/ Jan we are using our rolling propane heaters more. Fans keep April and may comfortable and the backup AC only gets used a few afternoons. The cobblestones and the lack of enforcement of sidewalk repair has cut way down on our walking which is now pretty much limited to the malecon. What keeps us here is the mexican people. They are happy, generous, mostly honest, etc. I have a friend who lives in a sun city in jacksonville FL and loves it. She has her golf cart a cute house and fun activities. But, I'm assuming all she sees are old people? I love the children, the young men who help me, the maid who sings through her daily chores, the flowers we grow, the gardener who comes instantly if I have an emergency. And yet we can't to seem to spend all of our SS. Our pensions go to investments for our future bequests. We do have medical coverage , so don't worry about that. Viva Mexico!
  3. 13 points
    I'd agree with your observation Lakeside7. IMHO there are two primary causes: 1. Mexican car ownership has skyrocketed. In Jalisco for example car sales are increasing annually at a rate around 20 percent or higher. Put that with the renewed popularity of a newly mobile of the city of 6 million we live very close to and that translates to a lot more visitors. I note people observing similar impacts in places like Mazamitla, Tapalpa, Puerto Vallarta and other popular recreational destinations. The Tapatios have wheels and money in their pocket and they like to get out of town. 2. Unfortunately this influx has not been met with increased and better services and management locally. Quite the contrary. Whether it be trash removal, road repair, addressing traffic issues outside of Chapala the local government is AWOL. It is noteworthy the Pueblo Magico visitation committee commented on the general trashiness and obvious failure to manage solid wastes and other environmental issues. And they've been handing out building and business permits for ugly and damaging projects like candy not to mention the ear shattering concerts. Look at the broken benches and the rotting bridges on our Malecon. Together with the trash and the potholes the overall presentation of this town has gone down. Way down. When we moved here 10 years ago, street repair was systematic and consistent. Yes we had cobblestones but those were kept in far better repair. As for trash removal you could set your watch by it. Major streets like the carretera and around the plaza were swept regularly. No more. Jalisco in general has gone backwards in environmental protection and road maintenance. Let's face it Chapala highway is a bone jarring, car wrecking nightmare. Just about every road in this state is nearly as bad or getting so other than those pricey toll roads. The current Jalisco government cut road maintenance nearly 30 percent and it shows. It shows locally too since they are responsible for the maintenance of the carretera and there basically isn't any at all. After two years of failure to provide reliable and consistent trash service Ajijic is a lot trashier than it used to be. The Pueblo Magico people noticed it, my visitors notice it and we notice it. It is a regular occurrence to have to bring the trash back in on missed pick up days. Unfortunately not everyone does that so the stuff gets scattered all over the place. No, if we came today for the first time and saw this we probably would have looked elsewhere. The situation is manageable IMO but this local government isn't going to do it. Given the reformers can't seem to understand that running 5 candidates is a sure bet for reelecting the current regime I don't see a lot of hope for a better municipal future here.
  4. 12 points
    I have lived in Ajijic full time for almost 13 years - visited here for the first time about 20 years ago. I started coming to Mexico and Central America in the mid 60's - even drove to the Panama Canal and back one time. I have definitely seen quite a bit of change in Ajijic over the 20 years I have known about the place. Traffic is definitely heavier and some other things have changed - some for the better and some not so great. I am actually in the U.S. right now visiting grand kids but can't wait to get "home" next week. Mexico and Ajijic are far from perfect but I've never had one day when I thought about leaving. We have friends that are REALLY frustrated by lost of things - most notably the traffic. I'm never in a hurry so I just refuse to let the traffic bother me. I never give a moments thought to things I want to change and hope I never do. If that ever happens I'll just have a margarita and I'm sure that those thoughts will pass. As one of my great work friends used to say "It's 10% how you make it and 90% how you take it". I don't care if the glass if half full or half empty - I just LOVE the glass. I feel truly blessed.
  5. 12 points
    Do not worry michel 2595, the town never was clean or in tip top shape so there is no danger we go back to the original town. We I came in in 2001, there was more sewer lines broken and raw sewage going into the lake. there was more garbage at the lake because the lake was way out. The gardners burned the debris and some garbage on the bank of the lake, now they cannot because people took over the federal zone, there was more horse and cow poop all over because there was cattle grazing at the lake and moving around the streets, more dogs in distress .. street lights would go out for ever... so there is no perfect time, it is just that with time we forget things.. Once thing we did not have is the traffic back up, caused by the lights because there were no lights., nor did we have a Soriana or a Walmart. The restaurants would close at 8 and went out of business like clock work during the low season.. It never was paradise.. nor was it ever magical, charming yes but clean and magical , I do not think so.
  6. 11 points
    And once more he is allowed free advertising on this board.
  7. 10 points
    After living in central Ajijic for 10.5 years now, I finally started traveling around various colonial cities in MX with guided tour groups. I've loved all of them - San Cristobal, San Miguel, and Zacatecas as well as Mexico City so far. Coming home put me into the culture shock of realizing that I was sick of the dirty streets here, traffic congestion on the ever-tacky carretera, too much loud and low quality amplified music - as well as walking on cobblestones which is harder as you age. I enjoyed the cooler temps and cleaner air at the higher altitudes. Of course, relocating definitely crossed my mind. On these tours, I, a single woman, enjoyed the free time in the evenings, going off alone to explore different areas while walking at a healthy clip. I taught myself Spanish before coming here and have used it often since Day One. I have never inhabited the gringo self segregated all-English parallel universe bubble here. I'm able to break the ice socially with Mexicans as well as handle routine business and daily transactions. I chat at length with my maid in Spanish. Still I am not completely fluent and wonder if I would really thrive where not so many people spoke English outside of the businesses that cater to tourists. I am returning to one of those lovely places soon to test my meddle - alone. When considering where else one might live in MX, many seem to ignore the necessity of speaking the language and knowing the culture. How well would you function up north if you didn't speak English? Many gringos here are married and take for granted that they always have someone to talk to at home. Single people find it essential to get out and meet people, but you could only do that in Spanish in these other locations. And the Mexicans are not spending their lives looking for New Best Friends - they have their extended families around them. Simply, a few points to consider...
  8. 10 points
    The developers of Puerto Arroyo have no obligation to obtain phone lines for the houses they build. The realtor has a moral but no legal obligation to disclose that phone lines are not available currently. Buyer beware everywhere in North America; but especially in Mexico where there are few consumer laws. IMHO the OP did not perform due diligence before moving to Mexico as he should have understood that phone lines are problematic at Lakeside and the non-existent legal obligations of realtors to disclose potential problems .
  9. 9 points
    Every time I feel frustrated driving East into the village I am still appalled watching most;y local vehicles throwing trash out the window. When I feel very frustrated I take a trip back to the US. I am terrified of driving on 4-8 lane highways. I cringe at restaurant prices. I quake at housing prices. After four days I long for Ajijic again with all its faults.
  10. 9 points
    Why blame others because you didn't do your due diligence... If Internet was that important to me that would have been the first thing I would have checked out... There is a lack of Telmex telephone NUMBERS and INTERNET service everywhere in Ajijic.
  11. 9 points
    Regardless of living or moving to Mexico, I am surprised if your work depends on good internet you did not ask that question and if there was service to check its speed etc
  12. 9 points
    The OP is looking for someone who can clean and look after him should the need arise. "Pretty and obliging" was not the prerequisite. And yours was an ignorant and misogynistic comment.
  13. 9 points
  14. 9 points
    Seriously, instead of applying for a status that it has no legitimate chance of earning - and which has already been achieved by innumerable places with real depth of culture and ambiance - why not apply for something more unique and appropriate? "Pueblo Geriatrico" - now that's a slam dunk (though there will be protests from the jewelry-rattling set in San Miguel de Allende but we'll just give them "Pueblo Disneylandico" status as a consolation prize). As for Chapala, land of endless (and endlessly incompetent) street construction and even more endless promotion of totally out-of-scale Tapatio tourism (witness the recent two week shutdown with 120,000 drunken Tapatios for carneval - a mere 400% of the town's population), Pueblo de Polvo y Ruido has just the right ring. Let other villages have their Magico status. We have plenty of Tragico to go around.
  15. 9 points
    My first three years in Mexico were spent in San Miguel Allende. When you are sitting in the main plaza with the church bells ringing in that amazing building; when the first class parades are happening; when the colonial buildings dominate the downtown....you know why it was designated a "Pueblo Magico". It's well deserved. I moved here for its lower altitude because of health problems ten years ago, but never, ever saw a potential "Pueblo Magico" surrounding me. It's just a town that happens to border a lake, but although the lake is a great asset, it's not what the town is about. It's a nice place to live except for the neglected streets and a few other problems, but "magico"?.....whoever came up with that idea was a real dreamer.
  16. 8 points
    I love it! I can finally ride my bike into town and leave my car at home. That must benefit more than myself? One less car taking up a parking space on the carretera, for sure. Plus, by parking my bike in centro and walking through the village, I get healthier. I can see how this won't work unless the numbers subscribe to it, but, if they do, it will give us all a healthier experience. Most of us don't really need to drive and then park as close as we can to where we want to go. No one can do that anymore, anywhere, really - so it's time to give it up, let it go and understand what the future is bringing us. If you are incapacitated and can't ride a bike, take Uber that will drop you off right in front of where you need to be - these are the times we live in and thank goodness the Chapala government has recognized this
  17. 8 points
    Agreed. I`ve never understood the chronic complainers. Why would you choose to stay unhappy about things you can`t change? We`re just here for a little while and have no real right to anything. So, if the sun is shining, you have good clean food, air and water, the weather is perfect most of the year, people greet you all day with good will in their hearts, you have the largest fresh water lake mere blocks away, and a teeth cleaning costs $15, and your response is not to practically melt with happiness, perhaps the problem is looking at you in the mirror!
  18. 8 points
    I did, moved back to Mexico two weeks after the election. Realizing he was elected by the people of the US made me not wish to return, even in a box.
  19. 8 points
    We're in Chapala centro ourselves and I'm partially in agreement with gringal's thoughts. Double-parking everywhere and the traffic spots being full on the malecon even on weekdays is the new normal here, but the carretera traffic and overall crowdedness is nowhere near as awful as Ajijic. Here if you drive you're pretty much captive (or have to park many blocks away) only on weekends, whereas in Ajijic it's 7 days a week and woe unto you if you live west of town and need to head east at any time. Those spendy gated communities are now often 45 minutes from, say, LCS even on good days and far be it from the "I don't eat Mexican food" set that often chooses such housing to head west to Joco where birria is one of their few options with nary a Thai meal or a Panino's meatloaf special to be found. Sadly (and despite the earnest efforts of local "facilitators," LCS staff and of course every realtor in town to promote Ajijic as the epicenter of all that is noble about Lakeside) the virus has certainly spread to Chapala and all points in between. Rents here aren't a whole lot cheaper anymore, there are nearly 700 people on an utterly asinine newly-minted Facebook group called "Chapala Town" (because none of their target audience would known the meaning of "Ciudad de Chapala"?) and the city's idea of making life livable here is inviting 120,000 people for Carnival for 2+ weeks while making sure that more than half the streets in town are torn up, reeking of sewer and of course unusable for transport or parking. Ajijic may well be "Pueblo Tragico" as Mainecoons suggests, but here in Chapala we're "Pueblo de Polvo y Ruido." The south side of the lake may not be anywhere near far enough away.
  20. 8 points
    I am a relative newbie, going on 2 years here. I am mainly a reader of this forum. I do not write very often. But this discussion has neglected mentioning something that I am aware of every day. I have 4 caregivers who take care of my spouse who is severely handicapped. That is why we are here. We could not afford private care in the US, or even a nursing home, heaven forbid if it came to that. Most of my friends here in Ajijic are those caregivers and their families which we have been adopted into. One of them came in very sad last week. His family has to move, their home (very near 6 corners) has been sold to a “gringo”. Small apartments will be built- but of course not affordable for him and his family. He is having a very difficult time finding a place to live for him and his wife and 2 teenage daughters. He grew up here and most of his family is still here. [A 5-6 unit complex just went up on Hidalgo. Over $500 US for a one bedroom tiny place. For Mexicans? What do you think?] Another caregiver asked me, ‘Is our house next?’ She and her husband and 3 boys live a block from 6 corners. Rent 2000 pesos per month. Not in great shape, but a nice property for someone from NOB looking to make some money. Her comments: “If we could only buy something and pay per month we could do it”, “Why don’t they keep the Mexican areas off-limits for foreigners to buy?” She is educated and she and her husband are so dedicated to their son’s education. Will Ajijic become a town of expats with the Mexicans commuting from somewhere they can afford? Not able to live in the town their families have lived for generations? Most of us rent/buy homes not affordable to the average Mexican here. But what happens when their homes are being taken for our needs? Is there anything that can be done? It breaks my heart. I was on Isla Mujeres last month. The same happened to the people there and they squatted on a piece of land and the government actually deeded 200 families each a piece of land so they would not have to move from their island. Thanks for listening. I needed to get that off my chest.
  21. 8 points
    Seren: " Ajijic is romanticized by reading webboards like this . " HUH? Most of the posts are those complaining about it; more dissing than compliments. I'm here for the long haul and have no rose colored glasses about anything I've found in Mexico. If it's "paradise" you're seeking, it's best if you're a believer in an Afterlife. You won't find it anywhere on Planet Earth. One person mentioned the obvious: the population explosion happened and the results were inevitable. One other poster was referring to the good old days before the "economic refugees" started arriving and ruining paradise. Reality check: an ongoing economic disaster has befallen most people from NOB reaching retirement age. It's a combination of inflation overcoming earnings, lack of reliable company pensions, sometimes their own lack of good judgment in allowing themselves to live beyond their means due to easy mortgages and credit availability. We must also take into account the deluge of advertising which permeates the culture and led people astray. So let's be a bit more generous-spirited towards those baby boomers arriving with less than buckets full of money. Previous generations didn't have the same circumstances. People had to pay cash for cars. They had to put 20% down on a home. The wife's earnings weren't counted when applying for credit (as in home mortgages). The consumer culture wasn't as firmly ingrained. So, many of our newbies were huckstered. That doesn't make them unworthy people. There are just TOO MANY PEOPLE looking for a place to survive on what they have. Period.
  22. 8 points
    I do not care where anybody finds their happiness, even NOB. To me "trash" are trash talkers here. The highways go north too.
  23. 8 points
    You are correct, Jim. It did not take long for you to attack. Whether you agree with or like what mudgirl said does not change the validity of it. I doubt she cares what you think she can or can not say in her comments. I am sure she appreciates you mansplaining misogyny to her though.
  24. 8 points
    I think this is hilarious. I always wanted to write a short story about a couple who moves from the U.K. to Chicago. They don't want to live in the suburbs, in a "MacMansion" - they want to live in the "real" Chicago. So they buy a brick town house, in an urban neighbourhood, for a very low price. They start blogging about their experiences. About the interesting murals which seem to spring up every where, on anything. They hear the kids letting off firecrackers in the night. They get hostile glares, but believe that will change once people get to know them and appreciate pouring their wealth back into the local community. Homeless people, sleeping in abandoned cars is considered "innovative". Finally someone sets them straight "You are living in a GHETTO, man, a freaking GHETTO!".
  25. 7 points
    Maybe it is not the project that some people are negative about but the people behind it?
  26. 7 points
    Look on the bright side. At least the controversial, dangerous, potentially catastrophic "bike lane project" has replaced the truly bloody and divisive "Dogs in Restaurants?" debate. For now anyway.
  27. 7 points
    Look in the mirror, Angus.
  28. 7 points
    If anybody, newbie or not ,needs to be given a list of questions to ask real estate agents they really shouldnt be leaving their home country. What ever happened to common sense?
  29. 7 points
    Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification It is pretty obvious that the use of the word "pretty" and "obliging" together represents sexism, which is sexual objectification, as it implies "something more", and it also smacks resoundingly of "male privilege". Androcentrism (ancient Greek, ἀνήρ, "man, male") is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing a masculine point of view at the center of one's world view, culture, and history, thereby culturally marginalizing femininity. I don't think barcelonaman was being intentionally unpleasant, but his comment needed to be challenged. And attacking those challenges is just typical.
  30. 7 points
    How is grocery shopping in the RaquetClub?
  31. 6 points
    If they quote me 600 pesos, I pay them 600.
  32. 6 points
    Maybe I'm the only one who won't miss it. Underwhelming food and cranky clientele. Table of Knowledge? LOL, almost as bad as the folks who fancy themselves the "A list"
  33. 6 points
    Hope everyone has a blessed day and you all are invited to meet and greet the founders of the hospital and the members of the current city hall administration whom have helped make this possible.
  34. 6 points
    I hear they need more funds to continue the lane past Juarez. It is in their plans. Hopefully for the cyclists
  35. 6 points
    A good doctor who is not bleeding the insurance company using your body as the extraction device. A good doctor who does not use his team of specialists to frighten you into unnecessary and expensive procedures. A good doctor whose patients don’t die during a procedure that may or may not have been necessary. Yeah. That kind of good doctor.
  36. 6 points
    Certainly are happy. Will be laughing all the way to the bank.
  37. 6 points
    I, apparently, am one of those few who enjoy driving to Costco and choosing my purchases while checking out the new items in stock and having lunch at a restaurant in GDL with maybe a stop at Home Depot before heading home with my stomach, backseat and trunk full. I enjoy the drive and time spent. Waiting home for hot dogs to be delivered just doesn't work for me.
  38. 6 points
    I'd rather have a good doctor than good insurance.
  39. 6 points
    I agree, this area is far from perfect or paradise. The carretera is in a horrendous shape and the highway to Guadalajara is worse. Jalisco is notorious for having the worst roads in Mexico. Trash collection is not so great. We need those compacting new trash trucks Sonia was talking about. Mexico is a large country with many amazing cities and towns. Many are far cleaner and nicer than this area. This area has a heavy concentration of expats for some reason or another. But I don't see this area as being so terrible as some on this board has suggested. Has it changed over 20 years, yes! What area hasn't? The sky isn't falling here. Things will work themselves out. This area will continue being one of the best expat havens in the world. Life here is still great and getting better for many people here!
  40. 6 points
    I have been following this thread for awhile now and admit that life at Lake Chapala is far from perfect. But what place isn't, really? One must come to terms with the reality that Mexico is still a developing country and at this time in its history it cannot be compared to the level of modernity and high standards that is enjoyed in parts of Canada, US, and Europe, not yet anyways. I see Mexico progressing in many ways, poco a poquito, but I prefer to focus on the positives. Many of the complainers, I have noticed, tend to live in the environs of in and around Ajijic. Us that live in Chapala, I've found, tend to be more complacent and accepting of the changes. I realize that mobility can be an issue for many people, but if you are still able to walk, the double parked cars on Madero Ave or on the malecon are rarely an issue for us. In Chapala we can walk everywhere and on mostly flat, mostly smooth, and wide-ish sidewalks. We rarely drive to Ajijic, just perhaps once a week to stock up at Walmart. But most of the basic needs can be met at our many aborrotes grocery stores and markets. Kevin mentioned the smell of raw sewage and the roads being torn up and resurfaced. That is only temporary, Chapala is resurfacing many of its central streets and placing in new piping and wiring. Placing in nice smooth, wheel chair friendly cross walks. I see that as a temporary inconveniance but in the long run, Chapala is making many neccesary improvements to our local infrastructure, which is a wonderful thing. In Chapala, some money is being wasted on bad ideas (like the bridge to the Fisherman Statue) and some things have been poorly built like Cristiana ave in front of the park. But as a whole, I think Chapala is really starting to shine, and we count each day here as a true blessing. And to top it off, the lake is now fuller, cleaner, and looking better than ever! And another nice thing about Chapala that I really like is that they are starting to add more parisian style outdoor seating on the avenues at the many restaurants. Several near the San Francisco Church and also on Ramon Corona facing the malecon. Things here are starting to look really nice here in my opinion.
  41. 6 points
    A friend of mine got Rolfed by two guys last week about 2 AM outside of el camaléon.
  42. 6 points
    If everyone stuck to that 20% rule of thumb, as well as the 20% down payment we both remember, everyone would be a lot more financially secure. But hey, instant gratification has been the way of the world for many years now. Imagine what home prices would be (much lower) if the builders couldn't jam people in with 2% down and let them pay 40% of what their "anticipated" income in 5 years will be? OK, I exaggerate slightly but not too much. When we subsidize person A's housing costs we have to take money away from B, C, and D to do that. Since we all know "the government" doesn't have any money of it's own, only that which it forces others to hand over, there will always be winners and losers in that system. Call me crazy but I don't resent Bezos or Gates or any other wealthy people. They created things that people willingly fork over money for. I've never heard them accused of being bank robbers, etc. The fact that they were smarter than I am, probably worked a lot harder at pleasing people with a product or service that everyone wants does not tick me off one iota. If you took all the wealth in any country, divided it evenly between all the citizens, in 5 years you would probably have the very same rich and poor people. Equality of opportunity is my idea of fair, not equality of outcome. God made us all a little different and that suits me just fine.
  43. 6 points
    I can't for the life of me understand why any one would post a 'haha' meme after reading MOPSY'S posting! Geez!
  44. 6 points
    Lots of thoughtful posts here, from newbie MIchael's epic rant to much-valued insight from the likes of reliable stalwarts such as gringal and Mainecoons (and RV - we miss you!). We started visiting this area in 2004 and have logged a cumulative 4+ years here as full-timers since 2009 albeit with way too many moves back and forth to the U.S. We never wanted to be here year-round but pre-Obamacare were health care and insurance refugees, and being early (honestly - premature) retirees such access is still the #1 factor in us being here since we are a long way from Medicare eligibiity. We were happily ensconced in Tucson ourselves last year and enjoying spending summers in Mexico but post-election realized that writing was on the wall in the very "red" state of Arizona that our access to health insurance would likely go away. I don't want to drag this fine thread into a discussion of NOB politics but suffice it to say that I'm quite sure that a large percentage of the newbie invasion Lakeside has been experiencing over the past 18-24 months is from people fleeing the U.S. without a very clear idea of what awaits them here. They know what they are fleeing from, but aren't aware that joining a few Facebook groups, spending an hour or two perusing forums like this and maybe poking around on rental web sites and "International Living" may not be sufficient grounds to move down here lock, stock and barrel. As Mainecoons wisely points out Tapatios are far more of a factor in life here than we gringos will ever be but both groups drive up prices and increase congestion. Traffic in low season now is worse than it was during high season last year, while high season traffic is so bad that many friends who live in close-in West Ajijic commonly spend the better part of an hour getting from, say, the Waffle House to Wal Mart at off-peak weekday times. Far from thinking about investing in new buses, maybe requiring taxis to work something beyond banker's hours, etc. the local government's response to the infrastructure crisis is the Ajijic bike lane boondoggle, Chapala's "Waiting for Godot" street repair project and handing out a few more building permits for massive projects that will exponentially magnify existing problems. I know people who have lived here for 30 years who are throwing in the towel - some moving to other parts of Mexico, some headed to Spain, others moving back to the U.S. simply because the quality and pace of life they came here for is gone. In just the past year we have seen rents - and not just for gringo-owned places but also for peso-priced places in Chapala that used to be only for locals - increase by 30-40% or more, while the inventory of homes for sale under 200K has pretty much vanished. With the peso being so weak during this time frame food both at the mercados and at local (Mexican) restaurants is amazingly cheap for those lucky enough to be buying their pesos with U.S. dollars (and ditto with out-of-pocket medical and dental care) but otherwise it is very easy to live well in many desirable places in the U.S. (albeit NOT the coasts) for the same or less than things now cost here. People rightly celebrate Lake Chapala weather but northern Baja's near Ensenada is arguably as good or better while real estate and rentals are cheaper and it's a 2 hour drive on a 4 lane highway to the border. Who knows how long this will last but I mention it by way of pointing out that the relentless publicity for Lakeside and San Miguel don't mean that everyplace in Mexico is going down the tubes at the same rate as we are. If I were looking for a place in México to move to now I'd make sure to choose one with significant barriers to entry for those who just want to be down here for weather and lower costs - meaning a place where decent Spanish is required, the expat community is small and there are weather and/or cultural barriers that limit the influence expats can have. Pátzcuaro and Colima come to mind immediately but there are many others (the names of which I ain't sharing ). Rick did a good job of talking about Fort Collins but it, too, is yet another one of those places that has been endlessly touted by the likes of AARP and Kiplinger's as an ideal retirement location, driving prices through the roof. There are other places in the Soutwest (Cañon City, Colorado, Silver City or Las Cruces, New Mexico, Tucson [provided you have a summer escape plan] come to mind - where one can easily live on the same or less money than we do as budget retirees here, and while the weather year-round isn't as good there is hiking (dangerous and limited here) biking (suicidal), much cleaner air and water, infinitely superior infrastructure and actual rule of law - as well as the magical ability to deal with climate issues by flipping a little switch on the wall (which need not be a whole lot more expensive than fleeing NOB in the hot months or heading to the beach in the cold ones as many do here at Lakeside). The only problem with living in a place like that and then snowbirding or sunbirding down here is that the demand for rentals locally is such that finding a short-term place has become nearly impossible. Good friends of ours who lived here for decades but had to move back to Portland OR now winter in Thailand because it's so much cheaper than Lakeside - even with ~$1000 roundtrip airfare. My crystal ball is at least as hazy as anyone else's but my guess given what is happening in the U.S. is that the intense newbie invasion Lakeside has been experiencing the past couple of years is probably still in its early stages. Surely a significant number of those who have simply fled the U.S. without really knowing what they were fleeing to will return NOB, but I think it's likely each one who does will be replaced by two or three others, and that in any case the off-the-charts rental and real estate prices, traffic gridlock and filth will get much worse before they get better - unless of course the real estate and financial market bubbled NOB burst, which seems quite likely. We can't afford to buy anything here and are now priced out of the rental market too so we will be letting our temporal visas expire and moving back to New Mexico (where we have a 2 bedroom casita awaiting us at $200 less a month than we are paying in Chapala). We'll still be close enough to a walk-across border crossing to get our dental work done in Mexico. We will miss a great deal about Lakeside - the amazing expat community, the weather, the kind and dignified locals, great fruits and veggies and (last not least) affordable, accessible medical care, and we also know that further erosion of the health care and insurance system NOB may force us down to Mexico for good. When and If that happens we'll make sure to get permanente visas from the get-go and move to a city far off the gringo and International Living magazine radar.
  45. 6 points
  46. 6 points
    And just where would anyone go to find a "better" place? NOB? And I'm curious, Angus: which expats would you consider "trash"?
  47. 6 points
    I think the OP might be smart to tell his brother that the brother just rented himself a lovely home to use when he visits, and go back to his original idea of a small place for himself and his cat. Life would be much less complicated.
  48. 6 points
    I already covered that. "Pueblo Trashico" is obviously the one which our Chapala government has worked long and hard to prepare us for. Trashico covers all the attributes of noise, dust, litter, sporadically collected trash, pot holes, mega watt rave style concerts at the bull ring, drunken Tapatios bused in to attend same, towering pawnshops, illegal lakeside high rises, and the like all bestowed on us by our "friends" in city hall. More seriously though, after having visited several dozen of these places now I can assure you a clean and well run Ajijic would certainly be a contender. Fortunately for those who oppose this designation we are in no danger of having that happen. So Trashico is the sure winner and no doubt the most profitable. The same guy who can't manage to get the trash picked up after two long years is the dreamer. Pueblos Magicos get some significant extra funding from the state and federal levels. The dream is obviously one of still more money to divert and pocket. The trash still wouldn't get picked up. For them, business as usual. For us, more like a nightmare.
  49. 6 points
    I love it: the "old Love and Fishes place". As if it lasted there longer than a toot in the wind.
  50. 6 points
    Well it certainly surprises me! I mean, all those well thought out posts I read here, ideas expressed after deep thought and introspection, proper use of sentence structure and grammar, I mean could stoners actually crank out such profound stuff? Frankly, I'm shocked to read that!