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So, You're Thinking Of Moving Here To Paradise. eh?


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15 minutes ago, AngusMactavish said:

Here is an interesting article from Focus On Mexico that I think was ghostwritten by MC:

http://www.focusonmexico.com/noisy-dirty-dangerous-lakeside/

Good article:  points out the warts and topes, but ends this way:

"Although this is not paradise, life is rich here and you may find that the advantages of Lakeside living far outweigh the disadvantages"

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I agree that the article is pretty much spot-on. 

I found this statement in the article to be especially true:  " (We northerners could learn something about what it means to be discreet, which has a slightly different meaning in Spanish, roughly translating into not saying everything that’s on your mind, and wrapping every discourse in courtesy regardless of how angry or justified you may think you are.)"

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2 hours ago, AngusMactavish said:

Here is an interesting article from Focus On Mexico that I think was ghostwritten by MC:

http://www.focusonmexico.com/noisy-dirty-dangerous-lakeside/

You think wrong.  :)

Everything negative discussed there has members of the Mexican community striving to improve it.  This community also has quite a number of expats doing the same and we should be proud of and encouraging to both groups.  Unfortunately there is this mentality among some opposite members of both groups to confuse these negatives with Mexican culture or just to give up and hide behind the walls and hence be part of the problems instead of part of the solutions.

Since you referred to me personally Angus, I'll suggest you take a look at which description fits yourself.

 

 

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Lakeside is what it is.  What it is to YOU depends on what you want ( or think you do), what you see (or think you see) and what you expect from it (or think you do).  It is all things and it is totally different things, depending on the person asking the questions.

As a rule of thumb, some last 2 - 4 years, others 7.  Then there are those of us that embrace it and are here "forever" (unforeseen circumstances not included).

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Lakeside, or any other community for that matter, is what the members of that community chose it to be and back up with their actions or lack thereof. 

The eyes don't lie.  When you look at a Mazamitla or a Tapalpa for example you see communities whose members have clearly chosen to have them clean, in good repair and graffiti free even though they have the same heavy weekend Tapatio presence we do. 

A visitor can't know by just looking around these places if they have governmental corruption or not but he/she can see whether or not the things normally expected of government relating to trash, maintenance and other municipal functions are being done.

In general I have found in traveling much of Mexico in the last 10 years to see many more examples of that than not.  And I've been in some places of limited means that still manage to do a pretty good job with a lot less resources than Lakeside.  These places also essentially have no expat presence so the credit for a job well done goes exclusively to the Mexican people who live in those places.

I applaud the many, many Mexicans and expats here who care enough about this community and country to strive to better both instead of just throwing up their hands and saying , "It is what it is."

 

 

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 i thought this was an excellent introductory article to relocating to Mexico, all points well taken.  Most important to integrating your self is to learn Spanish before you actually move here as I did years ago and have used my Spanish in necessary as well as social/community situations since Day One.  Married couples might not realized the necessity of being able to communicate with your Mexican neighbors, shop owners, hired help, etc. Without speaking Spanish, you relegate yourself to the self-segregated all-English parallel-universe gringo-bubble world which pretty much leaves out the true Mexican culture unless you are in a paid audience.

Many gringos here still have one foot firmly planted up north, and so don't seem to feel the necessity to acculturate to that level.  I've lived here completely full time for 11 years now, and my perspective on and experience with life here is quite different from most of the gringos I have met who seem to be perpetual tourists as far as their comprehension of local cultures and activities.

Traveling around MX has broadened my scope of life in MX, it is not all like it is here.  But English-only speakers would not survive away in those other areas without speaking at least strong intermediate Spanish.  Besides speaking the language, it is important, as the author mentioned, to be able to come across as polite and cheerful at all times and genuinely connect with people, which is a stretch for many Northerners :)

Speaking Spanish also enables you to connect with younger people which I did a lot of in San Cristobal recently. - a small city with a much younger tourist base - lots of bohemian European backpacker types staying in youth hostels - as well as other locals.  I would feel very frustrated if I confined myself to the gringo retirement demographic here, although I am technically a part of it.  

I agree with Natasha above, many don't make it past few years of the honeymoon period heavily filtered by rose-colored glasses.  I have witnessed an incredible turnover of gringos here with hordes of newbies arriving this past year much more than in the past.  (I wonder why...)  For me, that makes it hard to make friends in this seemingly transient community.

BTW, an author's credit was given for the article, no it was not MC.

You might like my video of the Night Life of San Cristobal, 2018, I have a 2017 version as well.

 

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1 hour ago, Mainecoons said:

Since you referred to me personally Angus, I'll suggest you take a look at which description fits yourself.

 

OK. I am a, it's the culture kinda guy. I do not complain about the bars and neighbors with loud music, don't paint others walls, and I walk around the trash piles and dog poop. My only complaint about Lakeside is the percentage of grumpy old white people that are constantly trying to make Mexico like their home country.

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23 minutes ago, AngusMactavish said:

OK. I am a, it's the culture kinda guy. I do not complain about the bars and neighbors with loud music, don't paint others walls, and I walk around the trash piles and dog poop. My only complaint about Lakeside is the percentage of grumpy old white people that are constantly trying to make Mexico like their home country.

As far as "painting others walls" is concerned, those "others" painted their walls according to their preference in the first place and graffiti perps covered that. They are probably pleased that somebody took the trouble to paint over it.  Sure is easier on the eyes.

 

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10 minutes ago, gringal said:

As far as "painting others walls" is concerned, those "others" painted their walls according to their preference in the first place and graffiti perps covered that. They are probably pleased that somebody took the trouble to paint over it.  Sure is easier on the eyes.

 

I said I do not paint other's walls. I don't care who paints them, it just won't be me. Not to be the contrarian, but one may call it graffiti while another sees it as street art. With or without the street art, it don't matter to me.

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3 hours ago, AngusMactavish said:

...My only complaint about Lakeside is the percentage of grumpy old white people that are constantly trying to make Mexico like their home country...

I've lived in Ajijic for 2 years now and have often wondered whether some (certainly not all...) of the, "old white people", as you refer to them, are really happy living or visiting here!

So many gringos appear to scowl at me when I try and say hello or hola.  I understand when we get older our faces may tend to sag a little and adopt a more grim look and our memory fades and we may forget we met a passing person at some gathering a week ago and we should know each other well enough to beam big smiles at each other.  I learned on day one that saying, "Buenos dias" to a passing Mexican stranger can ignite the same response of meeting a old, long lost childhood friend.

I like this place more than anywhere I have lived in Europe or North America, and it's because of the local people who have never wronged me, but I have to side with AngusMactavish and his only complaint as stated above.

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According to the article, some see "lawless, chaotic, messy, noisy, dirty and dangerous" and others see the "warmth and generosity of the Mexican people, the sense of community in the village where every Sunday afternoon is a spontaneous gathering with the park benches full and children of all ages playing in the plaza". It`s amazing we`re actually the same species.  The article reported that at least some of those who see only "lawless, chaotic, messy, noisy, dirty and dangerous" have returned to the land where, supposedly, it is not those things. Wonder where that is?  In any event, I`m awfully glad they didn`t stay! 

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6 hours ago, RickS said:

I agree that the article is pretty much spot-on. 

I found this statement in the article to be especially true:  " (We northerners could learn something about what it means to be discreet, which has a slightly different meaning in Spanish, roughly translating into not saying everything that’s on your mind, and wrapping every discourse in courtesy regardless of how angry or justified you may think you are.)"

so true.  I was in walmart several months ago, a tall gringo was in front of us paying and when they handed him his change, he said in a loud obnoxious voice "dont you have any bigger damn bills?!!  Both the register lady and the sacker lady just looked down and smiled and he arrogantly walked away.  It was obvious they knew he was angry but with such maturity they just smiled pleasantly.  I was so embarrased for him and apologized for him.  The bible says "a fool speaks all him mind"  

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11 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

Lakeside, or any other community for that matter, is what the members of that community chose it to be and back up with their actions or lack thereof. 

The eyes don't lie.  When you look at a Mazamitla or a Tapalpa for example you see communities whose members have clearly chosen to have them clean, in good repair and graffiti free even though they have the same heavy weekend Tapatio presence we do. 

A visitor can't know by just looking around these places if they have governmental corruption or not but he/she can see whether or not the things normally expected of government relating to trash, maintenance and other municipal functions are being done.

In general I have found in traveling much of Mexico in the last 10 years to see many more examples of that than not.  And I've been in some places of limited means that still manage to do a pretty good job with a lot less resources than Lakeside.  These places also essentially have no expat presence so the credit for a job well done goes exclusively to the Mexican people who live in those places.

I applaud the many, many Mexicans and expats here who care enough about this community and country to strive to better both instead of just throwing up their hands and saying , "It is what it is."

 

 

We were in Mazamitla today . We were utterly impressed by the cleanliness of the towns streets and they were packed with people. I can see why it is a Pueblo Magico for so many reasons. My wife asked me why would Ajijic even be considered for Pueblo Magico compared to what Mazamitla had to offer. We seemed to be the only gringos there and felt so comfortable and relaxed. We plan to spend more time during the week rather than the weekend. What would you suggest as a place place to stay for a few nights for 3 of us. So much to choose from? 

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Yes Mazamitla quite belies this notion the depiction of Lakeside in the reference cited in the OP is representative of Mexican culture.  

As for where to stay you could either stay outside of town in one of the mountain cabins or if in town I'd take a look at that nice little hotel opposite the church on the square.  It has an excellent restaurant attached.  Order the Mazamitla desayuno with arrachera and you won't be disappointed.  You are wise to go up during the week, the town is packed at this time of year with Tapatios escaping the heat, as is Tapalpa.

Perhaps others here can offer suggestions for accommodations there?

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5 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

Yes Mazamitla quite belies this notion the depiction of Lakeside in the reference cited in the OP is representative of Mexican culture.  

As for where to stay you could either stay outside of town in one of the mountain cabins or if in town I'd take a look at that nice little hotel opposite the church on the square.  It has an excellent restaurant attached.  Order the Mazamitla desayuno with arrachera and you won't be disappointed.  You are wise to go up during the week, the town is packed at this time of year with Tapatios escaping the heat, as is Tapalpa.

Perhaps others here can offer suggestions for accommodations there?

Thank you kindly for the response. We really enjoyed the place. We will definitely look into the hotel across from the church. The square was so lovely. We have seen the mountain cabin areaa , some very beautiful. Is there one that you think would be best suited for my family. We did notice many signs for Montevideo but also saw others.

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12 hours ago, michael2595 said:

We were in Mazamitla today . We were utterly impressed by the cleanliness of the towns streets and they were packed with people. I can see why it is a Pueblo Magico for so many reasons. My wife asked me why would Ajijic even be considered for Pueblo Magico compared to what Mazamitla had to offer. We seemed to be the only gringos there and felt so comfortable and relaxed. We plan to spend more time during the week rather than the weekend. What would you suggest as a place place to stay for a few nights for 3 of us. So much to choose from? 

Mazamitla sounds like a Mexican run town for tourists instead of expats changing an area to their likes.

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17 minutes ago, Tiny said:

Mazamitla sounds like a Mexican run town for tourists instead of expats changing an area to their likes.

It's like saying that Disney World is the way Florida's culture should be.

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20 hours ago, sputnik said:

so true.  I was in walmart several months ago, a tall gringo was in front of us paying and when they handed him his change, he said in a loud obnoxious voice "dont you have any bigger damn bills?!!  Both the register lady and the sacker lady just looked down and smiled and he arrogantly walked away.  It was obvious they knew he was angry but with such maturity they just smiled pleasantly.  I was so embarrased for him and apologized for him.  The bible says "a fool speaks all him mind"  

It is impossible and meaningless to "apologize" for anyone's actions but your own. But it does make some people feel more righteous and sophisticated than the mere transgressor.

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I think some folks need to get out and see more of non expat Mexico.  Pueblo Trashico is the exception, not the norm out there and particularly in relatively affluent Central Mexico.

I fail to see the difference between this tourist town run by and for a mixture of expats and mainly Tapatios versus other tourist towns run mainly for Mexicans by Mexicans.  Are you equating the latter with Disney World Angus?

However there's a big difference between tourist towns run well like those examples (and I could list several dozen more just as easily) and tourist towns run badly like this one or at least the unfavored parts of this one.

 

 

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The FOM article presented the Lakeside situation  pretty accurately. I personally could live with all of that and agree with what Natasha said, except for one main issue. omitted. in the article. ....there is no Law enforcement and no functioning judicial system.(very corrupted) Therefore the petty crime is rampant and people almost have to barricade themselves in their homes to avoid it. So if you have any valuable possessions you want to keep do not move to Mexico. If your enjoyment is to sit on the plaza (or on the beach) and drink cheap beer with nothing else to lose then Mexico is pretty good place to live. Nothing wrong with that in an old age. We are not quite there yet.

We used to love Lakeside but it has changed dramatically in the past few years. The biggest problem is the attitude and behavior of so many Northeners who are attracted to Lakeside by already build gringo infrastructure and lower cost of living. . One does not have to speak a word of English to do well here. Lots of doctors  and service people are moving to Lakeside from Guadalajara (and from up north too) to get in the action. Good and bad.  .Lots of "illegals" form US are coming down too and some picked up pretty bad habits .  We encountered one Taxi driver from NYC who was the most unpleasant (rude) person we have ever met. Most Mexicans are very gracious and patient and just smile and roll their eyes when they meet with the 'temper tantrum' 

I do not  believe that all the people who claim that they moved down for the culture . They moved down for many other reasons and found the culture delightful and embraced it.

All the articles and promotions are describing the place  as it was  in the past (they are copied from one to another) . Even the descriptions on vebsites like VRBO sound like a broken record.

So for the people who consider to move down for retirement .....come and live for a while and do not cut all the ties with your former life....you might love it or hate it. It may seem charming for a week or two holiday.   If one speaks Spanish....there are much more options of living in Mexico without the 'Sun City" feeling.

 

 

 

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I couldn't have said it better than Islander. There are so many nuggets of wisdom in there but it's impossible for someone who has not lived there for any amount of time to understand them. It doesn't mean nobody should move/stay right there. On the contrary, many can relate to what he said but still think on balance they can live/embrace it. Everyone has a different take on things but the broader perspective you can look at before you decide seems like a better idea. We would never not look back on our time in Ajijic as anything other than fun, educational in so many ways, one of the best decisions we ever made (2002-2008), the many friends and acquaintances we made and the exposure to the culture. At the same time we would never think of returning other than to visit, for many of Islander's points. For us, Puerto Vallarta makes more sense on almost every level and the weather is not a negative for us but rather a big plus. That's why Baskin-Robbins has 31 flavors.  

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1 hour ago, pappysmarket said:

It is impossible and meaningless to "apologize" for anyone's actions but your own. But it does make some people feel more righteous and sophisticated than the mere transgressor.

yes, that is so true.  I just felt so sorry for the workers, but maybe my own pride got in the way.....

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