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Kevin K

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Kevin K last won the day on November 23 2018

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About Kevin K

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    http://eatinglocalatlakeside.blogspot.mx
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    kevinmknox

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    Tucson, AZ & San Antonio Tlayacapán

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  1. Thanks everyone for the very helpful feedback. I'll pass it along to my friend. Costa Rica would definitely be too bland for me, culturally and culinarily. And I have a feeling their tourism-dependent economy is going to suffer as much or more than Mexico's from the pandemic. But one has to admire the many things they do right as a country, wish them well and dream of other countries learning from their efforts to preserve nature (and democracy). Thanks again!
  2. I have friends who are seriously considering moving to Costa Rica and as it's been quite a few years since I last spent time there thought there might be folks here with more up-to-date perspective. l I did a lot of business travel in CR (since I was a coffee buyer) and mostly remember lovely people, bland food, lots of natural beauty and a pretty "white bread" culture compared to, say, Guatemala or Mexico. But I do know they have a vibrant democracy (maybe the healthiest in the Americas) and good quality of life. My sense is that cost of llving in the highland cities near San José where
  3. Thank-you as always More Liana for the education. I actually did know that but lazily repeated the pre-Hispanic characterization of the food from another Lakeside author. I corrected the mistake on the blog post . I look forward to a return visit to El Zapote, though I must say El Rinconito is just as enjoyable. To have two places that good just kitty corner from one another and the plaza restaurants AND Cenaduria Elba just a stone's throw away made living in Chapala centro pretty amazing. I miss it everyday.
  4. Thumb's up to everything already recommended and a few more choices here. Mario's in San Antonio and the cenadurias in Chapala are especially good. http://eatinglocalatlakeside.blogspot.com
  5. As not just a coffee roaster but a buyer and taster who's worked at the highest levels of the specialty coffee industry for 30 years (and as author of a highly-regarded book on coffee, "Coffee Basics:) I do feel obliged to correct some of the well-intentioned misinformation here. Coffee in whole bean form stays fresh for up to 2 weeks from roast at room temperature. That freshness can be extended by packaging the coffee in special multilayer bags (foil must be among the layers) with one-way valves on them to allow CO2 to escape, drawing a full vacuum on the coffee, back-flushing the bag
  6. A good thread. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the sharp increase in real estate and rental prices in the past ~2 years, aided and abetted of course by scads of newbie groups on Facebook, dubious Youtube videos and so on. Affordable rentals (even if one knows the ropes and has "boots on the ground") are hard to come by everywhere and buying, if you have less than 200K to spend and don't want to be out in the boonies, is also challenging. Those realities are what drove us back N.O.B. - along with the overcrowding and traffic gridlock. The established expat community is still great (newb
  7. Recommendations from an actual coffee professional, in case of interest. http://eatinglocalatlakeside.blogspot.com/2012/06/buying-brewing-good-coffee-at-lake.html
  8. The first suggestion is a good one. And hey, the way things are going maybe California will actually do what Texas merely threatens to do (with many of us so very disappointed that they don't have the courage of their convictions): secede from the union. The second....not so much, as Austin is just a tiny oasis of sanity in an ocean of redneck crazy. A happy medium for gypsyken might be New Mexico: deep blue politics, lots of places to practice his Spanish and a sweet border crossing at Santa Teresa if he can get the vehicle situation figured out.
  9. Sorry gringal if my comments came across as saying you were somehow "living the lifestyle of the rich and famous" when as you say that's far from being the case. What I meant to say - and I ought to have worded it better! - is that the kind of choice central Ajijic location you and many others posting here enjoy now comes at a seriously high price. Indeed that wasn't always the case; when I first started checking out this area in the early 2000's the lake was in bad shape and you couldn't give away properties here. Since then we've been through a big real estate boom in mid 2000's, a major
  10. So a bit of additional perspective for the few hanging on this late into what has become one of the more epic threads in forum history. Just the fact that that we're closing in on 200 posts here says a great deal about just how volatile the scene here has become, though I am certainly not drawing any conclusions. Bisbee Gal and gringal are both people I greatly admire, and as I respect and admire them both I have to point out that they have the wherewithal to live in a very small and exclusive area of central Ajijic that is indeed entirely negotiable on foot, reasonably quiet and very c
  11. Not only have I heard of it, I have it and...unless you have fluent Spanish, a partner (or bilingual nurse on retainer), a strong relationship with a bilingual doctor who knows the strengths and weaknesses of both the IMS and SP hospital system and the private hospitals in Guad then all you have in enrolling in SP is a wish-and-a-prayer. I'm glad it's there but between the triage and the facilities...well, let's just remember that SP is what it is intended to be: a very thin safety net for Mexico's poorest. Equating it in some way with even the most basic U.S. coverage is foolish.
  12. There was a time - a very long 18-24 months ago - when I'd have agreed with you gringal but folks fleeing the U.S. for Lakeside for purely economic reasons are in for a rude awakening at this point. Rents in any part of Lakeside that are realistic choices for a car-free existence (say roughly Villa Nova to San Antonio and then Chapala centro) for places that a newbie expat would be looking for (i.e. not for a supply-your-own-everything-including-all-applicances) peso-priced fixer-upper in Las Redes are higher than any number of sunny, affordable retirement locales in the U.S. we have lived
  13. 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
  14. Great post ezpz, though I would qualify it a bit by saying that there are places where there are small but still visible expat communities where some Spanish is most definitely required but fluency isn't required. Off-hand Pátzcuaro, Oaxaca city, Guanajuato and Colima come to mind. Even my expat friends with fluent Spanish mostly have gringo friends, and that's because (a) that's where the common history and interests are; (b) their Mexican friends are very busy working long hours and attending to their many family obligations. Very few people are really in a position to "go native" 100% a
  15. And that is very high praise indeed coming from Rony, one of the best "goodwill ambassadors" and role models for how to be an expat I have met anywhere. And I concur - one of the most outstanding posts on these forums.
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