It has been an astonishing two days. Whereas in the past the amount of readership averaged about 500 people a day, yesterday it was 1,499 and today it is almost to that number again! Holy moly, there are a lot of you out there that are interested in either moving to Mexico or possibly moving to San Miguel or are curious to see what I'm going to write.
Thanks to ALL that have contributed information and/or corrected my mistaken information. It takes a village to do a whole lot of things in this world. One of those things is keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. Mil gracias.
In the last post I said I would talk about "Why people leave" along with "What can't you find here that you HAVE to have"and a "Few ways to save money". Here we go.
Some of the reasons people leave:
Altitude - 6400 ft.
Cold weather for two months a year
Hot weather for two months a year
Difficult to make a living as an expat
It wasn't what they expected
No single men interested in marrying
No single women interested in marrying
(Hey, I just report what I'm told)
Thought it would be more like the USA
(thankfully it is what the USA was 50 years ago)
Can't meet the new income requirements of $2400 a month
Can meet the income requirements, don't want to sell US plated car
Don't like the people
Been here, done this, time to move on
Marriage broke up
Want to move to someplace else in Mexico
What can't you find HERE that you HAVE to have:
I realize that each time I return to the USA that it is definitely the Land of Plenty. Recently in the grocery store in Houston, I marveled at the entire row of cereals followed by an entire row of cookies and crackers. We learn to compromise here if we can't find "it" whatever that might be at the local grocery stores or specialty stores or Costco or Sam's, 45 miles away.
Here are some of the things:
Okra and yellow neck squash
Pre-prepared frozen foods - like Bertolli's skillet dinners, etc
High thread count sheets
Good fabric, especially printed cottons
Having things mailed to you without it costing an arm and a leg
Shipping things to others without it costing an arm and a leg
Beautiful lamp shades at a reasonable price
Well made bedding
Appliances that are reasonably priced
Clothing at reasonable prices
Large size men's shoes
Large size women's shoes
Makeup for lighter skinned women
Specialty foods - without paying a premium
And, the list goes on and on but not nearly as much as it used to be.
Now many people move here and are astounded at what they can't find. We who have
been here for a long time are astounded at what we can find.
Electronics are almost double the price of the USA as well as toys!
Toys are outrageously expensive.
Now when I drive to the USA, I bring less and less back with me.
Usually it includes toys, sewing items, fabric, some food items and that's about it. I realize that men would probably have an entirely different list.
A few ways to save money:
Once you have your immigrante and/or permanent visa, you can apply for an INAPAM card (if you are over 60) to give you discounts on amusement fees, medicines, water bill and a host of other items.
Shopping at the tianguis (the traveling Tuesday market) for clothes, food, tools, and what have you is a great way to save money.
I was horrified when I moved here at the thought of buying used clothing to wear. I quickly got over that when I saw that everything that was sold was required to be clean and the brands were glorious.
Brands such as Chico's, Lord and Taylor, Coldwater Creek, Tommy Bahama, OshKosh, to name a few. Now we all take pride in being complimented and then sharing the fact that our entire outfit (which would have cost over $100USD in the USA) cost about $10 or less here.
Many of us shop at the organic market, go to organic farms and save mucho on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Mega, our local grocery store owned by the Costco franchise I've been told, has the most amazing deals on fresh fruits and vegetables on Wednesday. It turns into a free-for-all shopping frenzy that day. Much fun! I've written about this in the past.
All of us were raised with the phrase, "You get what you pay for!" meaning that if you don't pay much it can't be of good quality or worth much. Set that aside. It's not what the presentation looks like of the tienda or the mechanic's yard or the seamstresses house, it's about the finished product.
There are people still who if it doesn't look like a place in the USA, don't shop there and they pay for it. Another example, having your ink cartridges for your printer refilled. There is a little, tiny place in a colonia where I take them to be refilled for almost nothing. Others prefer to go to Office Depot and pay close to $50USD for a new cartridge. I don't get it.
Instead of ordering the latest books from Amazon or wherever, most of us share and pass on books or have a library card! Novel idea.
Many people shop at garage sales and the Alma sale once a month. Alma is the home for the elderly where the people live without having to pay. The money paid by their once-a-month sale helps to maintain the facility.
ALL of it is an adventure! It's learning to live a different way.
'Whether you want to or not, you will have to compromise and adapt. If you're not willing to do that, being an expat might not be for you!
I find it invigorating. I also find that it keeps me on my toes along with keeping my brain and body active.