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John Shrall

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John Shrall last won the day on July 25 2015

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About John Shrall

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Ajijic - Full Time 16 years
  • Interests
    Photography, computers, tennis

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  1. Be thankful that Mexico doesn't widen roads like Guatemala. About 10 years ago we drove to Antigua crossing at La Mesilla which dumps out onto the Pan American Highway. The one side backup occurred every few miles because the country decided to widen the entire highway at the same time. There however, the road is cluttered with chicken buses that jump the stopped lane to get to the front of the queue. One of them actually tried to pass on the right but tipped over right next to us into a culvert. These were old Blue Bell school buses from the US painted and chromed up to haul people and animals.
  2. Ajiic to Guayabitos has been consistently a little under 4 hours although as that widening construction south of Las Varas ramps up there could be new delays. It normally takes about 75 minutes or so to get from Guayabitos to the PV airport although the same caveat applies to the cuota construction between Sayulita and Bucerias continues. In both areas, traffic is often stopped to allow trucks and heavy machinery to move across the highway. At times one lane is closed for a stretch so there can be delays when traffic alternates on the one open lane. There's less chance of getting caught in either of these situations on the weekend.
  3. The Jala-Compostela bypass is open. It's the next section that is not finished.
  4. And unfortunately there is no discernible progress on the cuota from Mazatan to Las Varas and points south. You still have to exit toward Compostela and head south on Hwy 200. There are traffic slowdowns as you approach La Peñita, more specifically from the entrance to Costa Canuva 10km north where there is a massive effort to widen the road to 4 lanes. Bridge abutments are being constructed and there's not much between the existing 2 lane road and the 4 foot drop-off into the excavation that will be the new 2 lanes. Careful. Fortunately the tropical storm didn't cause any damage on Hwy 200 even through there were reports of sections of the road being washed out. PV got hit harder with massive rainfall as the storm passed through yesterday. There are also possible slow parts of Hwy 200 between Sayulita and Bucerias where many bridges are being constructed for the new cuota that cross Hwy 200 over and over again. From a neighbor in Guayabitos that is working at Costa Canuva, the Fairmount Hotel has broken ground, lots for new houses have been sold, the marina is under construction and the new golf course is moving toward completion. The new development of homes, condos and the hotel are attracting a lot of interest from people in Guadalajara.
  5. The first wave just passed through Guayabitos. Heavy rain, and some wind but just enough to slam some windows. Just as the first wave passes here comes #2, Hugh lightning strikes in the ocean. Hope the power stays on because it’s still hot and humid.
  6. On a trip to the US last week I stopped at the Global Entry kiosk in DFW. Instead of being prompted to insert my passport for a scan. the machine wanted a photo. The system identified me from the photo and knew the flight number of the plane I had arrived on. One more touch and out popped the receipt for exit. Fast but kind of eerie especially because the photo was really bad and yet they found me. I passed through DFW in January where the passport scan was still in effect so this is new.
  7. In an unscientific test, cell to land line seems to be OK, only cell to cell calls fail regularly.
  8. Thanks anyway but two different iPhones have the same problem when making a call to the US using the Telcel network. Removing the battery is not an option either on these phones. I
  9. For the last week or so we have been able to make a cell connection to a phone in the US. After dialing there is silence on my end but the other side rings, picks up and can hear me. This end is total silence. Incoming calls are hit and miss too. Anyone else have the same problem?
  10. Jorge Ramirez 33-3563-9259, cell 33-1320-7508 jorgartstar@gmail.com Av Chapultapec #120 He's the photographer for the Guadalajara Country Club, at least at the tennis tournaments. His card says he does events too.
  11. I have some nice and heavy double hung windows in my kitchen. The spring assist lift mechanism is shot making it almost impossible to raise the window to the open position. I've had several carpenters come by and they all said they have never seen these types of windows, not wanting to even consider looking at possible solutions. I'm looking for a person who might be able to assist trying to replace the existing metal spring with something that will allow me to open the windows without the need for a ladder to provide leverage. I am also looking for a carpenter to replace a couple of boards around a door frame damaged by termites. Those that have come out either say the job is too small or just leave and never come back.
  12. The Bancomer site posts these requirements (translated). The subjective issues are most likely proof of income and the Mexican equivalent of a credit report. Most likely any report an expat might have might include CFE, Telmex or other utility payments. With no knowledge of credit history outside of Mexico, you're like a teenager trying to get credit only you're a lot older. Cards here carry a fee too although points like those offered by Bancomer can more than offset them, assuming you charge a lot. For example, the platinum card costs about $2,500 pesos per year. Official ID in force. If you are a foreigner, a copy of your immigration form. Proof of address dated no more than three months ago (such as electricity, telephone or water bill). Proof of income. Completed and signed application and approval for credit bureau consultation. Subject to credit approval.
  13. You may need to visit each of the major players in town that actually offer credit cards to see if you can qualify for one. Banks like Bancomer have multiple choices from basic blue to platinum but each require a certain level of "monthly income" and ceilings of lines of credit. If you do not have any checking/savings/investment relationship with a bank it can get tough. Credit is a fairly new concept in Mexico and only recently have cards been readily accepted. Not too long ago pretty much everything in Ajijic was limited to cash. Only the big stores in Guadalajara accepted credit cards. That has changed but without system like FICO, the banks are skeptical of offering credit to anyone walking in the door. You may be able to get a card with a reasonable limit by opening a deposit or investment account at the bank and maintaining a balance large enough to cover the card credit limit. The corporate bank office sets up rules for acquiring a card but often more restrictions are added by the local branch. After acquiring a card it can take a long time to get a credit limit high enough to be usable for major purchases. It can take months of charges to the limit and then paying off the balance before more credit is offered.
  14. Years ago we had to take our hand delivered bills to the Prisa store in Ajijic to make payment. The girl that walked the bills to each home was sitting in an open window on the street with a cash register stuffed with pesos right next to her. As one would expect, that didn't turn out too well. Now with the phone app or online access it's very easy to make a payment no matter where you are. Autopay by credit card is even easier. It can be turned on using the online portal.
  15. It was still running on Gonzalez Gallo in front of Parque Cristinia this past Monday. It's a real mess if you're trying to play tennis at the park.
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