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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. 16 points
    Poor you, any other homophobic advice you might have for us? Have you found a new bar complete with hookers for your pleasure?
  3. 16 points
    Hud; I was starting to provide a well thought out answer to you about human/animal behavior and stealing. But, then I thought I might look at your post history and discovered you seem to have a negative troll like answer to just about everything. At this point I feel logic would fall on deaf ears. People might think your posts have to do with the areas you list you have lived: Oklahoma and Texas as both are known to produce more than it's share of narrow/negative minded people. But I was born and raised in Oklahoma and moved here after 20 years in Texas so I know the states can also produce those with positive attitudes. And for the record, every town I lived in in OK and in TX had more than it's share of thieves. The only explanation for you not having any problem because you "didn''t pick a bad place to live" was that you lived in the Eastern Oklahoma hills as a hermit. Or that you were that one crazy angry man in town whom no one talked to or got near. Thieves and bitter people are a fact of life - everywhere.
  4. 14 points
    Pets are pets. Beloved most often, yes. But they are pets, not people. They will not die of loneliness when left at home for a couple of hours. They will not bother anyone when left at home. They will bother many people when brought into a restaurant. Pets stay at home millions of times a day, all around the world. There are reasons for laws forbidding pets in restaurants. Some here seem to believe that Mexican laws are not like real laws, and don't apply to gringos and expats. What BS.
  5. 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!
  6. 13 points
    No need for this cynical behaviour. In 2005, when I had a restaurant here and suffered union extortion, it was the press and the press only that helped me and made me win the case. Let us see how many of them would like to see their picture in the newspaper while texting. It is reactions like yours that make people turn away from this forum. Instead of spitting poison, how about some positive input by bringing up a better solution. Rony
  7. 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.
  8. 13 points
    Some years back, all the restaurants started hiring musicians to play during supper, then lunch. And lost a lot of customers. Salvadore's restaurant came close to going under after he started playing music at lunch. Tony's became the place to avoid while he was singing at 8pm. I will never go to a restaurant that plays anything more than background piano, or quiet jazz records, during mealtime. A singer-songwriter duet, such as recently advertised locally for 6pm? Forget it. Dinner out is the perfect place to chat with friends and renew old acquaintances, not to shout over your food.
  9. 12 points
    What's up with the personal attacks? Not funny!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 11 points
    My opinion as well is that Dr. S. Hernandez is not as knowledgeable as he thinks he is. I was put off by his superior attitude and condescendence to my concerns and questions. Yes, his English is fluent but his attitude is too demeaning. I want a doctor who is knowledgeable but sincere in his concern for my well being. I didn't perceive this in Dr. Hernandez.
  13. 11 points
    You are kidding, right? He started this on his own and has worked tirelessly toward an admirable goal. And it is not the first time he has tried. All because he wants better Internet lakeside. Meanwhile, he takes all the criticism and abuse such a VOLUNTEER position comes with. "Not willing"? He has done everything he can to provide as much information as he can, ON TOP OF keeping the whole thing going. What have you done?
  14. 11 points
    And once more he is allowed free advertising on this board.
  15. 10 points
    I am quite bored with all the pontification about smoking and pets in restaurants. JUST DON'T GO! We are blessed with an abundance of restaurants here. Personally I do not smoke and MY dogs would rather stay home where they have a lovely large yard and plenty of food and water. GET OVER IT!!!
  16. 10 points
    One I do not recommend, based on my own personal experience, is Santiago Hernandez.
  17. 10 points
    A recently opened bar in Ajijic is gay owned and draws a mix of customers. I can't remember the name, but maybe someone else will. If by "gay scene" you mean "gays only", that doesn't exist in lakeside, you'll have to go to GDL or Vallarta. Lakeside friendships seem to be more all inclusive than separatist and one's sexuality is seldom a factor in determining friendship here.
  18. 10 points
    Has anyone had experience in getting the authorities to respond to a violation of the Federal Noise control NOM-081-SEMARNAT-1994 which sets noise limits as 55dB between 6 am and 22 pm, 50 dB between 22 pm and 6.00 am. Can anyone recommend a lawyer with experience in this field.?
  19. 10 points
    Hi, Gerry. I have been posting the same questions and received some helpful suggestions, as well as some snide comments. Ignore the nasties and be grateful that there are some nice people on this forum. PM me, as I have some info that may helpful.
  20. 10 points
    Pleeese!!! All the usual suspects running on trying to prove they are smarter and more sophisticated than others. I am tired of these rational posts being hijacked by the same $%&/()s (lets call if for what it is). I happen to live 2 blocks from this facility and know Antonio (and also was a good friend of Nanette, his deceased wife). The noise has been minimal at my home and I have been there for a few events and enjoyed the music and companionship of the Canadians and Gringos (and also Mexicans) who are attracted there (I also happen to be half Canadian). As far as I am concerned this is a very well run facility that is adding to this area of San Antonio and I am sure that they will take the neighbors concerns into consideration and make adjustments to minimize it. I live here and intimately know the situation and am tired of the same small group on this board that seem to think that that they can weigh in on all subjects, most of which they know nothing about.
  21. 10 points
  22. 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...
  23. 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 .
  24. 9 points
    I am the OP. I DID speak with Catherine regarding the noise. I informed her of the Federal Law noise ordinance. I assumed she was unaware of it, and as a newcomer, she would welcome the information. I told her the Mexican neighbors, working-class families with children, were also affected by the loud music (I speak decent Spanish). She answered: "the mayor of Chapala gave me permission to play music until midnight." What the mayor of Chapala did not give her was permission to knowingly continue to violate the law and disrespect her neighbors and the community. I used 2 different apps on my cell phone on multiple occasions to test the decibel level of the music at the open entrance, back, and sides, where there are no walls. As you know, this venue has a raised platform from which the sound reverberates into open air. The levels have ranged from 47 to 76. I returned to the bar another morning and left a copy of the ley (law) with the 50 db levels circled for a residential neighborhood (which this is) with an employee. Fast forward several weeks. The music is now louder than before. I know others have complained about this recently. I brought this to the attention of Antonio, who was there. Antonio replied that "there is no Federal noise law." I told him I would be happy to print out a copy, if he desired, and the noise level is measured on the edge of the property. Antonio said he would consider this. But the overly loud music continues. The issue is not the music itself. The issue is the volume of the music, and the disregard for the law and the local community. If I live 2 blocks away and I can hear the music through closed windows, with an air-conditioner running, and a TV blaring, what of those people who live closer and cannot afford air-conditioning and must keep their windows open? Those people who have to wake early and go to work, or children who go to school? Adelita's owners are able to respect the law and the community. If the owner(s) of Funky Finn's don't want to lower the volume to comply with the law--never mind respecting the neighbors--they should do as other bars, such as El Bar Co. have done, and enclose the venue with walls. I don't want to believe Catherine is callous and uncaring enough that she has zero concern for the colonia. I can only hope it is innocent ignorance on her part.
  25. 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.
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