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What did you underestimate when moving FT to Mexico?

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Post by Trailrunner on Tue May 07, 2019 8:18 am

Rosa Venus wrote:
I underestimated how much time and effort it would take to reach even a halfway decent level of Spanish.

I also underestimated the depth of some cultural differences.

And I vastly underestimated the number of foreigners who haven't spent much time in Mexico and still decide to move here.

(Great question.)
Yes, agree with all that, Rosa.

I also underestimated expats as a whole. I thought they would be a more interesting adventurous type of people.

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Post by CanuckBob on Tue May 07, 2019 8:30 am

Most of us are were until the political/financially strapped expats started arriving a couple of years ago.

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Post by Carry Bean on Tue May 07, 2019 9:31 am

Trailrunner wrote:
Rosa Venus wrote:
I underestimated how much time and effort it would take to reach even a halfway decent level of Spanish.

I also underestimated the depth of some cultural differences.

And I vastly underestimated the number of foreigners who haven't spent much time in Mexico and still decide to move here.

(Great question.)
Yes, agree with all that, Rosa.

I also underestimated expats as a whole. I thought they would be a more interesting adventurous type of people.

Ain’t that the truth! I mentioned to a friend the other day about how the pioneering spirit seems to have disappeared in the last 100 years and I read of newbies wanting to buy guns when the latest crimes happened. I wanted to say, “You haven’t seen anything yet.” Hell, I’m older than most of them, live alone and I’m not scared. Why should a strapping 6 footer need a damn gun?

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Post by Trailrunner on Tue May 07, 2019 9:43 am

Fear. Probably never been anywhere before, never traveled, never had to live by their own wits, never been a minority before . . .
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Post by Jreboll on Tue May 07, 2019 10:03 am

I left home when I was 17, lived in several big cities, had my share of scary experiences. I don’t think carrying a gun would have made me safer.

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Post by gringal on Tue May 07, 2019 10:10 am

Lets' face it, TR:  As people age and their bodies refuse to perform the way they did decades ago, their actual adventurousness diminishes to suit their condition, and remains only as a state of mind.  Interesting is another matter.  It's a challenge.
 lol!

I think Bob nailed it about the arrival of the financially strapped changing the flavor of the place and then, there's the fearful and gun wanting types.  One of the other problems in this area is all the hype floating around social media about what a great retirement destination this is.  I suppose that "retirement" means different things to different people, but I, for one, have no intention of doing so!

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Post by brigitte on Tue May 07, 2019 10:27 am

rosa. I did not research before moving to Mexico.. We had not thought about Mexico.. We thought about many places in the States and could not get excited about any..One day the couple that was taking care of our house in the wine country went to Oaxaca and came back with the idea of moving to Mexico, they were from Guatemala and Nicaragua THey made me curious and I decided to go to Oaxaca , and see San Miguel where we had visited before and on my way out the door my husband told me to check Chapala. I had never heard of Chapala but I decided to fly to Guadalajara first, stayed a week, bought a house and have been here ever since.. So I am one of those who did not research, bought a house on the first week and who is still in Mexico 19 years later with no intention to leave. You never know , everyone is different.  Five years after moving here , I decided we needed to change once in a while so we got a house in Chiapas.. without doing any research either..  Thirty years before in went to Alabama for a year on my way to Japan, stay there 2 years and 28 years in California..never went to Japan.
Life is to short to study and study about where you are going to go.. just go , find out, if you like it stay, if not move on, that is my philosophy in life and it has worked out fine.

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Post by CHILLIN on Tue May 07, 2019 11:21 am

What I underestimated was the level of traffic and trucks in Mexico. When I first visited in 1974, the roads were sparsely populated, even in Guadalajara. Then in Puerto Vallarta, the rise in traffic caused by a major highway right through the town. They eventually "twinned" the bypass tunnel, but that took many years, and one year after completion, the new tunnel needed a rebuild. Now of course there is a network of fine roads and highways - but the increased ease of driving, and the easy access to modern, high speed, autos, just drove everything faster and more reckless.
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Post by Trailrunner on Tue May 07, 2019 11:58 am

Brigitte, you and the Bubster are high on my Interesting and Adventurous list! 😄
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Post by brigitte on Tue May 07, 2019 1:04 pm

ha ha .. no we just figure it out as we need to..

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Post by Carry Bean on Tue May 07, 2019 2:46 pm

But don’t forget, some of these people are watching years old YouTube videos that say you can rent a 2BR/2BA house for $300.00 and these same folks don’t financially qualify so they redeposit the same $1500.00 each month so their bank statements show they have enough income.

These people just want cheap and bitch about every rental price and greedy landlords. They aren’t adventurous, they’re just cheap.

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Post by brigitte on Tue May 07, 2019 6:54 pm

They are cheap and move to an expensive part of Mexico and their brains are just not working. No matter where they live they will not be happy.

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Post by Trailrunner on Tue May 07, 2019 7:08 pm

Agree. 

I also underestimated the amount of DUST/POLVO I would learn to live with!
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Post by ferret on Tue May 07, 2019 7:38 pm

Adapt. My car (now 12 years old) is the colour of dust. Perfect. I do kinda regret painting my dining table black because it shows the dust more than wood stain but I love the look... when it's not got a layer of dust on it. I can go to bed with a clean table and, in the morning, it's got a layer of dust on it. Sigh. Adapt.
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Post by Frijoles on Tue May 07, 2019 8:49 pm

Trailrunner wrote:
I also underestimated the amount of DUST/POLVO I would learn to live with!
And spiders.
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Post by Rosa Venus on Tue May 07, 2019 11:26 pm

brigitte wrote:rosa. I did not research before moving to Mexico..

brigitte, you and your husband are among the exceptions. You're both well traveled and you had already lived in a foreign country. You're different than the type of people who I was trying to describe. I didn't do a good job of it because I was trying to be diplomatic. Very Happy
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Post by brigitte on Wed May 08, 2019 10:01 am

Maybe we are not that different, we are not into research Very Happy
We know we can adapt and they have not learned how to do that, I think that is the difference..the idea is that if milions of people live here , it must be ok,,

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Post by Carry Bean on Wed May 08, 2019 10:18 am

There’s quite a bit of difference between non-researchers who are well traveled and can afford a mistake and those having to lie about their income to become residents and had never been out of the borders of their country before. It’s just stupid for those folks because they can’t afford a goof.

Plus if you’ve traveled and lived in different cultures, you can instantly know if a location is right for you. But back to the original question, I underestimated the time doctors spend with you and how easily they can be reached if need be. I also wasn’t aware of how clever Mexicans are in reuse, reduce, recycle. Reminds me of my Depression era mother and shows how wasteful I am.

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Post by gringal on Wed May 08, 2019 10:44 am

Whether one is well traveled or not, I believe that research is a good first step before trying to start life in a foreign country. It is especially true if you can't afford a major "goof".

We joined Mexconnect well before moving and avidly followed Rolly's blog on the various aspects of life here. So many questions were answered. I'm glad we did have the advantage of hearing from various posters, since we were originally thinking of going to Mazatlan.  Happily, someone who had lived there pointed out the downsides that caused them to move here instead.  Unfortunately, nobody pointed out the downsides of living in SMA. Rolling Eyes We had to discover those the hard way. Right now, with the prospect of a move to the coast looming over life, we are doing all the long distance research on that area to discover the topes on that road. Some have been expected (hot and humid; clear title issues in real estate) but others have been less obvious. All in all, I believe in the value of research before commitment.

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Post by CanuckBob on Wed May 08, 2019 11:11 am

Yep, especially if you are coming "all in" (selling everything, quitting good jobs, etc.).

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Post by MexicoPete on Wed May 08, 2019 11:19 am

On the opposite side of the coin, what did you over estimate? In my case I had learned from watching all of the James Bond movies that a scorpion sting was deadly, in fact there was a whole film on how the bad guys used scorpions for killing.

So what happened when I was stung by a scorpion? I had to be rushed to the hospital, and placed in bed where I was treated, not for the sting, but for a panic attack, Really. :)

Looking back at this, what joke :)
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Post by ferret on Wed May 08, 2019 11:22 am

There was very little available on the internet when we were making the move in May of '96. There was very little internet content period.
We had a paperback called "Choose Mexico" (John Howell author I think). Not being totally convinced, we rented a storage unit in Toronto and stashed the equivalent of a 1 bedroom apartment just in case. After three months, we got our FM3's and have been here ever since. The storage unit? Gave it all to a friend whose cottage burned to the ground in a lightening strike on our way down here. Win/win
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Post by Jreboll on Wed May 08, 2019 11:35 am

I was raised in the Mexican-American(mostly Mexican) culture of south Texas. My parents were uneducated and never learned English. We came over when I was 5 years old. I graduated HS at 17 and left home for California. We had been migrant workers and I followed the same route my parents did. However, because of an old friends prodding I started working in a hospital as a maintenance helper and started saving for college. I remember starting to stutter because my English was very accented. I spent the next 4 years, going from a fundamentalist religious college to Cal State LA where I got indoctrinated into the hippy movement. Years later while working in a hospital in Gary, Indiana I met my wife who is from Michoacan. I went deep Mexico for the first time and found out that Mexican culture is very different from Mexican-american culture. Family get together means everyone from grandma to to grandkids get together. Adults all drink together. Everyone is accepted irregardless of sexual orientation. A lot of cussing goes around, but diplomacy is never forgotten. The friends you make will be your friends forever.

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Post by gringal on Wed May 08, 2019 11:42 am

In 2004, there was much more info for us to see than in '96. Now, the 'net is better than having a full library next door! I love it. For one thing, you can look up medications and find out all the good reasons you probably shouldn't take them.
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Post by Trailrunner on Wed May 08, 2019 12:11 pm

Great stories, Ferret and Jreboll! Thank you for sharing them.
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Post by court0503 on Wed May 08, 2019 7:15 pm

I underestimated the relentlessness of thefts....anything not nailed down! (Actually even things nailed down are susceptible)

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