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Everything posted by mudgirl

  1. I don't have one, but would like to get one. I know a couple of people who use them and they are very happy with them. And yes, the filters supposedly last for a long time, it's not something you have to replace every six months.
  2. Christmas bonuses are due to construction workers just like for any other employee. However, if you are using a contractor, the workers are his employees and he is responsible to pay them their bonuses. He should have factored this into your contract, but the bottom line is that you will be charged for it one way or another. As far as the party at the end of the construction, this is a traditional thing to do. I only had 4 workers when I built my house, and no contractor. So I told the guys, during the last week, that I was going to throw them a little party and asked if they would prefer to do it on Saturday and bring their families, or whether they wanted to do it on Friday afternoon. There was a bit of an uncomfortable silence where they all looked at each other and there was some unspoken dialogue taking place, then my head maestro spoke up and said if they brought their wives, they couldn't get drunk 🙂 So Friday it was. I didn't make a big deal of it- just bought a couple of roast chickens, some sides and some dessert and beer (and don't forget the Coca-cola- they don't all necessarily drink alcohol). They were all happy.
  3. I wasn't referring to walking into your NOB bank with US dollars to deposit. I was referring to walking in with a foreign curency to deposit, as you did when you went to deposit $1000US in a Mexican bank account. As for the bank not trusting its tellers, well, this a country rife with corruption. It's no different than having to go to the bank to pay for your residency permit or your yearly car registration here, rather than handing the $ to the office agent. It's an added level of security and while it can be frustrating, I'm grateful for it. But I do agree that some of it seems ridiculously elaborate. I can never figure out, for instance, why it seems to take no shorter than at least 10 minutes for a transaction at the teller, no matter how simple. Once I get to the head of the line in Canada, a simple withdrawal or deposit is effected in about 2 minutes.
  4. My bank accepts my permanent resident card as ID. And I don't understand why you think it's weird, Harry, to have to let them know your account number, if you didn't go in with your bank card. When I do a deposit or withdrawal at my Mexican bank, I have to just put my debit card in the little card reader at the tellers window and show my ID. It's no big deal. And if you walked into your NOB bank with 20,000 Mexican pesos in cash to deposit would it really just end up being a quick and easy operation?
  5. I drove many times with my car full of personal, used stuff. As a tourist, as a temporary resident, and then as a permanent resident. I never made any lists, they took a cursory look and just waved me on. Take any new items out of the box, and the messier it all looks, the better.
  6. I once found a baby rattlesnake curled up under the dog bowl on the terrace.
  7. I wasn't referring to their value to society, but to their position on the wage scale. I worked several seasons as a fruit picker in Canada, which included crawling around in the hot sun picking tomatoes. It's not just a job for Mexicans. It's hard work, and greatly undervalued.
  8. That's not my experience. When I first started living in Sayulita, 17 years ago, the going rate for a gardener or a cleaner or a general laborer was 50 pesos/hr. That slowly increased to 60, then 70, and now it's $100. Personally, I have no complaints about that- it costs them just as much to gas up their car, pay their electric bills, and buy basic foodstuffs as it costs us. Wages likely haven't increased that dramatically though in areas of the country which aren't touristy or ex-pat draws. I wouldn't imagine a lowly tomato picker gets paid more than the mandated Mexican minimum daily wage.
  9. For sure the cell phone deals are amazing. My Canadian friends are blown away that I pay the equivalent of about $10 Canadian for 3 weeks of unlimited calling and texting to anywhere in North America. I call my friends and family and yak for an hour but they can't even receive a text from me without being charged for it.
  10. The saying that you get what you pay for is generally true. But you can tell a well-made brick or block from a poorly-made one. Just scrape it with a rock, or throw it- the poorly made stuff crumbles easily, the strong ones have a harder surface. When I built my house, I paid a peso or two more per block from a local block-making yard becuase he uses more cement in his blocks than he ones I could have bought from elsewhere that were cheaper. The difference was evident when the guys throw them to each other or are stacking them when they come off the truck- the ones that hit the ground or a rock didn't break, the few cheaper ones I had instantly chipped or broke on whatever side they hit something.
  11. You're right, there. I guess I wasn't thinking about just asking any old Joe Blow with a trowel and a hod to build a brick wall. I would always want to see someone's work before hiring them. The guy who built the messy one you pictured, though, probably could have done a better job, he just didn't care or the person he was building for was being a cheapskate as far as labor and didn't care either. Your wall looks really nice. But they still use too thick a mortar joint for my taste. I like the look of the bricks closer together, but you hardly ever see that in Mexico. They all seem to want to make these 1" thick mortar joints.
  12. Any masonry contractor or builder can build a block or brick wall. It's a very basic thing and doesn't require any specialty skills.
  13. Orygun Duck- I'm old, too, but I wasn't always 🙂 Been driving for about 55 years, so at some point, I realized that jumper cables were a smart thing to have in the car. Maybe the old folks you know have always had nice, new cars and never needed such a thing, but for those of us who had our share of old beaters, they were handy to have.
  14. I've always considered jumper cables to be just as essential an item to carry in the car as a jack. Most people I know have them.
  15. I'm not in the market for a house, either. But I am sometimes interested and curious about things which don't affect me directly 🙂
  16. Dd you read the link? It is all recycled plastics-pop and water bottles, milk bottles, plastic chairs. But I would want to see some studies regarding the off-gassing before wanting to live in a plastic house, recycled or not.
  17. You could try sprinkling a good amount of baking powder over the area, which does neutralize odors. Leave it overnight and vacuum it up in the morning and see if that works. Cheap and non-toxic.
  18. Actually,. I misspoke- I have gotten the Old Roy before, but the one she likes best, which is also from Walmart, is the Ganador Premium. It has a high protein content, which my dog needs. I haven't checked the ratings, though.
  19. I tend to change up the dog food once in awhile and try to pay attention to what she likes best and what she seems to do best on. For a long time I bought the Kirkland Chicken/rice (she wouldn't touch the lamb one and neither would my neighbors' dogs) . Then it was Purina Dog Chow for awhile, which she doesn't seem to like much. She really likes the Old Roy Premium from Walmart. The latest bag I bought is Nature's Domain grain-free- pricey, but I thought I'd give it a try. In any case, my dog is about 12 years old and she's never ever been sick at all- the only time I've ever had to take her to the vet is for her shots. So I figure she knows what food is better than others and let her call the shots.
  20. It's not an asinine comment at all. I had a friend and neighbor who died last year when she was up in Canada. Her daughters notified her close friends here but asked that we not make it public- they really didn't want it to be the talk of the town, bandied about by a bunch of people who hardly knew her. It's up to the relatives whether they want things like that posted on a public forum.
  21. Of course if you are looking to relocate, you would look at all the factors in the cost of living in those places and decide which place would suit you best for your budget. But it still makes no sense to say something is cheap or expensive as some statement of fact. It's relative. Someone moving to Lakeside from India or Thailand might think the same rent you consider "ridiculously low", is ridiculously expensive.
  22. Well, a bunch of responders seemed not to actually read the OP they were responding to. The OP's maid normally works Wed., not Monday. Wed. isn't an official holiday. If the maid wants to take Wed off she does it without pay. If she wants to trade Wed for a day agreeable to both of them, she gets paid normal pay for the day she chooses. if she chooses Monday, she doesn't get paid double or triple- she's trading the day for the Wed. An employee can't decide to trade a normal work day they want off for a holiday for which they'd get paid double or triple.
  23. Mexican roosters crow every hour all night long. And contrary to what some people told me when I moved to Mexico 17 years ago, I never "got used to them and sleep right through it". Instead I moved to an area where there aren't any roosters.
  24. Comparing rents between countries and calling one cheap in comparison makes no sense at all. That's like saying that rents Lakeside are super expensive because you could get a comparable place in India for a third the price. What is reasonable rent anywhere has to do with the general cost of living in a place, and what other comparable accomodations go for in that area, not what rents are in other countries. When discussing rents Lakeside, comparing them to other areas of Mexico which have a large ex-pat presence would be more applicable than comparing them to US rents. If your Mexican housekeeper wanted to charge you 150pesos/hr. when the going rate for housekepers was 70pesos/hr. , would you call the 150 pesos cheap just because the same housekeeping would cost you $25/hr. in California?
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