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 Perception is All

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Hound Dog
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PostSubject: Perception is All   Fri 01 Jul 2011, 13:22

So, we bought this ruin in admittedly, a really nice part of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and our reason was that this is a sort of bohemian area with characteristics in infancy of an artistic and hip part of the city reminiscent of places like Paris´ Left Bank or San Francisco´s North Beach but, anyway, the purchase price of the ruin was within reason and we rebuilt there in the style of the Spanish colonial city typical of San Cristóbal but this was not an inexpensive proposition although, in the end, a worthy endeavor if, for no other reason than it gave us and our neighbors pleasure and continued the theme of close to 500 years.

We were very proud of this project and, while we have no intention of ever selling this property unless circumstances dictate that necessity, in the case we need sell it we think it has probably been a fine investment. To put matters in perspective, however, we paid $800,000 Pesos just for the ruin and invested a great deal more in reconstructing the delapidated property.

We have local (to Chiapas) indigenous friends who, upon walking into the house for the first time, were so impressed by the new construction, they exclaimed in absolute innocence, "What a wonderful job you have done. Why, you could probably sell this place for $700,000 Pesos."

Life is too funny and sad at the same time.
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JimRP
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Fri 01 Jul 2011, 13:43

Dawg, your place sounds wonderful. We are in a Spanish colonial house in downtown Morelia that has lots of history, high ceilings, stone walls, etc. Most of our Mexican friends think it is a bit crazy to buy such a house, because for the same money, they would prefer new, shiny, modern, lots of glass, and the suburbs.

We hope to live here the rest of our days, and never plan to sell it unless forced to do so. But whenever it is sold, I suspect it will be a foreigner who will see the value in it.

Jim
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Fri 01 Jul 2011, 15:17

JimRP wrote:
Dawg, your place sounds wonderful. We are in a Spanish colonial house in downtown Morelia that has lots of history, high ceilings, stone walls, etc. Most of our Mexican friends think it is a bit crazy to buy such a house, because for the same money, they would prefer new, shiny, modern, lots of glass, and the suburbs.

We hope to live here the rest of our days, and never plan to sell it unless forced to do so. But whenever it is sold, I suspect it will be a foreigner who will see the value in it.

Jim

Jim:

Downtown Morelia, Downtown San Cristóbal, Downtown San Luis Potosí, Downtown Mérida, Downtown Oaxaca or a dozen other centros that attract morons like us as flies to honey. The locals are fleeing to the burbs and abandoning these treasured neighborhoods. They had reached a point where they never imagined they could unload these family treasures that reach back to the old henequen plantations or whereever for less than pennies on the peso. Then, in came the naive but also prescient foreigners and the rest is history.

We went through the same thing in Mobile in the 1970s. Then, locals left for the tacky, air conditioned suburbs of West Mobile that could have been "anytown, U.S.A"in some midwestern craphole deserting the ancient envirions of the old and classy city just as the Meridianos have been doing lately while selling off the old family estates to transient foreigners. The selling out of old central Mobile and Mérida and the desecration of Guadalajara Centro in the 1960s speaks poorly of the generation of humans left in charge when their antecedents died and presumed they would continue tradition.

I´m with you, Jim. Let them have their suburbs and adjacent WalMarts. We´ll repaint and kill off the termites and say thank you for the shortsightedness.
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JimRP
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 02 Jul 2011, 09:27

Dawg,

The beat goes on. Morelia now has Altozano--also called "the new Morelia"--a huge new complex on the hills above the city with shopping centers, golf course, condos, houses, a university, and plans for a whole suburban community with offices, hospitals, schools, et. al. Oh--and a new stand-along WalMart.

Jim
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Hound Dog
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Fri 08 Jul 2011, 11:18

Here we are on the road in Santa Fe, NM, a place we once considered as a town in which to retire and damn if they aren't doing a good job of ruining this place as well with the downtown around the main plaza devoted to ripping off new rich Texans and the successful stores stretching forever out Cerrillos Road with every imaginable lookalike retail store and junk food drive through joint selling burgers and dogs and tacos and beer and booze and you name it. Meanwhile, any serious retail store serving the local trade in the old center of town is going bust with empty and forlorn store fronts interspersed with cheesy gas stations where, for God's sake, you have to pump your own gas and it still costs you over $3.00US per gallon. Excuse me, while I'd like to continue this lamentation, it's about time for the Sonic Burger out on Cerrillos Road to open so those chicks on the roller skates can bring me a triple cheese burger with fries and a chocolate malted without my having to leave the car and then I'm off to Billy Bob's Bar for the afternoon relaxing libation but I can't drive there because they are really serious about punishing one for even one small drink before getting behind the wheel and free food at the Santa Fe County lockup is not worth what it costs .

Damn has the U.S. become an expensive place to acquire sustenance to say nothing of a hotel room. I could buy a city block in San Cristobal de Las Casas for the price of a steak dinner here in this tourist trap. Glad we retired to Mexico and not New Mexico.
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Fri 08 Jul 2011, 14:45

Just one word (well, maybe two): Tecolote Cafe.
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Fri 08 Jul 2011, 15:40

Well, OK, Don Cuevas, I'm staying at a hotel near that place so I'll give it a try. The Tecolote gets some pretty good reviews from local yokels , especially for breakfast but I must say that the food in Santa Fe is generally fairly unimpressive and the locals don't seem to know their asses from holes in the ground when it comes to other than New Mexican style pozole . I'll have to try breakfast there and will report back tomorrow.

Too late for today as Dawg was sucked into trying a locally highly praised "Memphis Style" BBQ joint near the Tecolote and, as an Alabama boy I had to try it. It's called, appropriately for a purported southern BBQ joint , The Whole Hog . After eating there and dousing the pulled pork sammitch with what was falsely deemed to be Carolina style spicy vingar based BBQ sauce, I would guess the closest these folks have been to Memphis or the Carolinas is Kathmandu. Let's hope the Tecolote gets its "Yucatecan" eggs a bit closer to what one would expect in Merida rather than Kansas City.
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Fri 08 Jul 2011, 16:57

Try the Carne Adovada (sic) breakfast. Don't expect Mexican food. You are in NEW Mexico.
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Fri 08 Jul 2011, 17:07

BubbaDawg:

Since you don't pay attention to your email, I can only assume that you didn't receive mine. Take a hike up to the Inn of the Governors and hit the Del Charro Saloon. Have one of their house Margaritas served in a martini shaker (2 full glasses). One of their tricks is to marinate their lime quarters in Tequila for a minimum of 24 hours. During our last visit, the bartender was prepping a bucket of limes. Probably 50 limes cut into quarters and placed in an acrylic tub with 4l of Tequila. IN our opinion, the only passable margarita found NOB. The bar menu is quite reasonable and good:
http://www.innofthegovernors.com/del-charro-saloon/Del%20Charro%20Food%20Menu.pdf

The Whole Hawg and all the rest of the so called BBQ restaurants in NM are horrible!
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 08:50

Neil:

For some reason I cannot fathom, my Yahoo e-mail is not functioning here on the road so I am resigned to await our return to Ajijic to read any messages if even then. The Del Charro Saloon sounds like my kind of place so, finally, a tourist attraction worthy of the effort.

We seem to agree that Santa Fe is not the destination for even remotely decent BBQ. However, both the Whole Hawg and the Cowgirl BBQ joints are very popular among the less than informed locals who think Memphis was an ancient Egyptian city. Last night I tried the local steak house everyone raves about and paid a fortune for a tiny, tough steak advertised as made of kobe beef and a miniscule, flavorless lobster tail. OK, OK, I know ordering lobster tail and kobe beef in Santa Fe was a foolish decision but after ten years of tough, tasteless Mexican beef, I was desperate. The place was called the Rio Chama I believe. Avoid it like the plague.

I don't know how you can stand living in fussbudget New Mexico. They have more rules governing behavior here than God. Here I am 69 years old and I can't buy liquor without showing an ID which in my case is a Mexican Inmigrado card which seems to stir up the store clerks who like to exclaim, "Mexico? This here is New Mexico! What y'all be doin' heah?"

I don't smoke, thank God, but if I did I would not only be required to step outside of the hotel lobby to light up but, BY GOD, to be at least 25 feet distant from the lobby door to be in compliance with a local ordinance. I can just conjure up an image of Deputy Barney Fife scolding, "Suh! Do you realize you are smoking and only 24 feet from the lobby door? That will cost you $500. Here in New Mexico, U.S.A., we do not tolerate scofflaws from Mexico who have no sense of decency!"

Any more hints on places to see in NM & AZ since we have a few fays here after the World Artists' Fair and a rental car? The only e-mails I can read here are on bordoquy@hotmail.com. Send me a PM including any shopping hints for what you guys call ABQ.

God, it will be good to get back to Old Mexico where even when there are rules, everyone ignores them.
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 09:03

Welcome to New Mexico and especially the City Different. To be quite honest, we may go for lunch on occasion but the food is far too good at home instead of tolerating mediocre food at places that have the audacity to call themselves fine dining restaurants! Never been to the Rio Chama in Santa Fe but did try the one here in Albuquerque without an great success.

We are headed for the Folk Art Festival in less than an hour. No doubt we will run into Brigitte if she is on duty. Rather than attempt to consume something up on Museum Hill, we will probably take the shuttle and make our mandatory visit to Del Charro for some lunch.

And yes, most liquor stores and even stores selling cigarettes still card this 64 year old Gringo!
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 10:27

cheenagringo wrote:
Welcome to New Mexico and especially the City Different. To be quite honest, we may go for lunch on occasion but the food is far too good at home instead of tolerating mediocre food at places that have the audacity to call themselves fine dining restaurants! Never been to the Rio Chama in Santa Fe but did try the one here in Albuquerque without an great success.

We are headed for the Folk Art Festival in less than an hour. No doubt we will run into Brigitte if she is on duty. Rather than attempt to consume something up on Museum Hill, we will probably take the shuttle and make our mandatory visit to Del Charro for some lunch.

And yes, most liquor stores and even stores selling cigarettes still card this 64 year old Gringo!

Well, Neil:

In case you haven't left for the Folk Art Festival as of yet, Brigitte will be with our Chiapas friend Guadalupe Hermosillo Escobar, the accomplished metallurgist and designer of San Cristobal roof crosses at Booth 83. She'll be there all day so be sure to stop by and visit with her. I was going to attend for a while as well but, of course, Brigitte lost her free pass and stole mine which is typical of old married farts and I shall not pay to get in because that violates several dearly held personal principles. If, however, you plan to have lunch at the Del Charro, maybe I'll see you there if I can find it.

As for the City Different (a more unbelievably pretentious civic slogan than which has never been regurgitated), the only thing different about Santa Fe than the equally pretentious Ajijic Village is that Ajijic sits on a large lake. Both places seem to exist as precious gifts of God as perceived mainly in the heads of local resident escapees who all seem to be from Peoria. The French have a saying about this false Self-pride which I presume will pass muster here with our rather liberal censor: They tend to fart higher than their assholes.
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 12:09

I should give you moderator control over this forum as well, since you can't seem to find you way back to your own forums, among other reasons.

I have that "This Isn't Kansas Anymore" forum which seemed like a good idea at the time, but really it is far easier to make the adjustments to living here in the Old Mexico than it would be to go back to the New "cleaned and sanitized for your protection" Mexico, I'm sure. I believe it would be good to create an new forum - perhaps in your Regional category - about all the shocks that await those who dare venture back to the "Otro Lado". It has been four years since I have experienced that "other side" with no plans to do so, ever, for many reasons along with those that you mention.

Never really understood the stuffiness over there before you (or the French) put it quite so eloquently. Most all I run into over there tend to fart higher than their assholes.

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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 16:31

BubbaDawg:

A heck of a way to have to communicate. Just tried to call you at the motel but no answer. Brigitte left your badge at will call so that you wouldn't have to pay. She tried from my phone when we were up there and left you a message at the room!
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 16:47

6:55AM at the local 7/11 Convenience Store in Santa Fe that is open around the clock 24/7:

DAWG: I'd like to buy a half pint of rum and a Coke and, perhaps a lime and a cheap plastic knife and glass please.".
CLERK: I'm sorry sir but it is not yet 7:00AM and, while I can sell you the Coke and the other crap you wish to buy, I cannot sell you the rum until 7:00AM."
DAWG: But (sputter) it's 6:55 going on 6:56. Have you lost all touch with reason?"
CLERK:" Sir, we have our rules and it is illegal to sell alcoholic beverages of any kind in New Mexico between midnight and 7:00AM."
DAWG: Well, what value has a Coke without rum and a lime?"
CLERK: (Figuratively speaking() " Go f*ck yosef!"
DAWG: "See you in four minutes."
DAWG: Returing at 7:01AM: I'll take that rum now.
CLERK: Do you have an ID?
DAWG: I was born 30 years before your mother's genitals were invaded by your father's penis in the act that resulted in your conception.
CLERK: Do you or do you not have an ID asshole?
DAWG: Do you accept AARP membership cards?

This negotiation was setttled five minutes later to everyone's satisfaction and Dawg became once again blissful but Dawg thinks a return to the southern precincts is an efficacious undertaking.

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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 17:29

After this becomes an old thread I am going to move it into a new forum especially for such homecomings. You can never go home again. You get reminded why you left in the first place, many times over. Hasta la vista, baby!

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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 17:32

"They tend to fart higher than their assholes. "

A more perfect description for Santa Fe has never been uttered! We have lived here for 7 years and thought we were remiss in not having attended the Folk Art Market. We have done it once and never again. Our evaluation is that it was a total "cluster _ _ _ _". As one can see from the brief slideshow that follows, it was absolutely jammed with people without consideration for others. Moving between booths and actually being able to view the products was a real jostling match. The irony to the entire event was that here are these people from Santa Fe who actually think they know what good product is and they were clamoring to pay absolutely crazy prices for often mediocre product.

We stopped in the booth of a well known Michoacan artisan that specializes in "pina pottery". Even accounting for the shipping costs, his prices were really out of line and it appeared to us that he had brought seconds that wouldn't stand up to a more knowledgeable customer base in Mexico. I entered into a conversation with one of his crew that tried to convince me that the prices were the same charged in Patzcuaro or San Miguel de Allende. Almost told him about the turnip truck but then decided it wasn't worth it.

Kathy spotted a product from Haiti (metal art made from oil barrels) that she sells in her stores. Exactly the same designs and for example, one small piece that she buys from a wholesaler for $4 and sells for too much at $12 was priced to the unsuspecting for $20.

It didn't take long to figure out that we had experienced enough! On the positive side, we did meet Brigitte for the first time and had a very pleasant conversation with this wonderful lady. What she is doing with the BubbaDawg is unanswered as we still haven't met him!

Slideshow: https://picasaweb.google.com/Chinagringo/SANTAFEFOLKARTMARKET?authkey=Gv1sRgCLrUuu7WyaOW4QE#slideshow/5627471146877611842
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sat 09 Jul 2011, 21:12

cheenagringo wrote:
[b]"d to the unsuspecting for $20.

On the positive side, we did meet Brigitte for the first time and had a very pleasant conversation with this wonderful lady. What she is doing with the BubbaDawg is unanswered as we still haven't met him!

Slideshow: https://picasaweb.google.com/Chinagringo/SANTAFEFOLKARTMARKET?authkey=Gv1sRgCLrUuu7WyaOW4QE#slideshow/5627471146877611842

I've been married to Brigitte, a native of Paris, for forty years and I still have no idea what she sees in BubbaDawg.

In 1971, while we both lived in Mobile, I tricked her into marrying me and then, a couple of years later, moving from Mobile to San Francisco. Shortly after we moved there we were at this cocktail party on Nob Hill attended by British snots working, as was I, for Barclays Bank and one of those insufferable Brits asked my darlin' wife how she came to be a resident of the United States.She informed him that she had moved from Paris to Mobile to teach French at a private girl's school there and had decided to stay in Mobile rather than return to Paris for personal reasons before moving on to San Francisco. The twit responded, " How could you possibly have lived in Mobile? The place is full of rednecks!" To which my darlin' bride responded,

" Tell me, I married one."

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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Sun 10 Jul 2011, 14:47

Here in Santa Fe, "The City Different" weekends are not permitted unless those interludes between constructive endeavors are spent doing something worthwhile as defined by local worms dedicated to making sure your personal life is devoted to improving the planet, which includes New Mexico but not Mississippi, if you get my drift.

Precious, endearing, sugar-coated, nauseatingly praised backwater Santa Fe, a a self-identified "ancient" western North American settlement that sprang up some 100 years after the Spanish invaded Chiapas' Jovel Valley and built their notion of a town there, is chock-a-block with "Rules for Living decently Among Fellow Human Beings Needing Guidance on What is Correct Behavior Defining Civility."

Since Dawg lives in the Jovel Valley, I find it difficult to get excited about 18th Century pioneer structures along the relatively recent Santa Fe Trail but that is not the point of this post.

Dawg would like to know, after ten years living outside the United States, why it seems necessary here in the Nannyland U.S., especially Western Outback Holier-Then-Thou Desert Refuge Retard Compounds why these morons feel the need to regulate everything a human being does including farting in pillows but I must leave now as there must be some ordinance in Santa Fe regarding time on computer as there is an ordinance here for everything one does.

Thank God I live in Mexico.
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Mon 11 Jul 2011, 12:30

cheenagringo wrote:
Welcome to New Mexico and especially the City Different.

The more things change the more they remain the same here in NannyTown:

The daily column entitled PAST 100 YEARS in the Santa Fe New Mexican for July 11, 2011 reports the following article from July 11, 1911:

The territorial law wisely prohibits women from entering a saloon and yet, right in New Mexico, women are permitted to run places in which intoxicating beverages are served to the degenerates that frequent them. The New Mexico law is not consistent or not broad enough.

Today the "degenerates" smoke withing 25 feet from the nearest building entrance catering to the public or try to buy liquor before noon on Sundays when all proper folks are supposed to be in church or act in other socially unacceptable ways not in keeping with appropriate behavioral patterns expected of properly righteous humans allowed to reside here.

I cannot believe I actually once considered retiring to this hellhole.
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Mon 11 Jul 2011, 13:14

It would appear what constitutes a "degenerate" nowadays has degenerated. I expect there still exists those saloons or their modern-day equivalents and that the same primary activity still takes place in them, which is not considered degenerate behavior but even encouraged now.

Drinking and smoking were once such integrated activities to separate them was as unimaginable as pancakes without syrup. It still is in my opinion and I have not entered an American bar since California began enforcing their non-smoking policies. Fortunately Mexico still allows one to do both so I still continue those activities on occasion here.

There doesn't appear any longer to be a ban on women in saloons, or maybe that is why they are no longer called "saloons" per se.

So drinking and women in saloons are no longer considered degenerate activities, but smoking is. What an enlightened world NOB!

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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Mon 11 Jul 2011, 17:48

Actually, the liquor laws in NM used to be quite liberal and sane. Back in the late 60's and early 70's, parents were allowed to bring their minor children into a bar or restaurant and these minors were allowed to consume alcohol as long as the parents were present. Then too, NM allowed drive up liquor sales (package and by the drink) up until 1998.

With respect to smoking, a few years prior to the politically correct nanny generation takeover, the State allowed bars and restaurants the option of enclosing smoking areas and installing separate air filtration systems for these areas. Not wanting to lose wither customer base, many went through the expense of doing so and it worked out well. After all of these establishments added to the employment rate and construction industry, they changed the rules shortly thereafter. No smoking period! This was followed by no smoking in or on Government property and the 25 foot rule in Santa Fe. The City of Albuquerque has gone so far as to include city parks in the edict.

No wonder we enjoy have drinks and smokes on our outside patio! We do refrain from smoking in the house but that is our choice.
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Mon 11 Jul 2011, 20:00

I don't think California has ever been that liberal, I would be taken to some restaurant bars but not drink. My step-father allowed me to drink at home. Sometimes dinner consisted of some bakery-bought bread, ball of gouda cheese, and wine. He frequently had me trying out various liquors, cocktails, and such. He was more liberal about drinking than I am about pot. Probably why my attitude about alcohol is so... disinterested??


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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Tue 12 Jul 2011, 13:05

Well my friends, I am liberal on all subjects. Smoking, drinking and pot. Looks like maybe I hit the right forum.

Peter, your step-father and I would have been best buddies.

Introduction here:
We are very interested in Morelia, and have visited many, many times. We're looking to move out of the Lake Chapala area, for a variety of reasons, and looking to buy something over in your neck of the woods.
We are both retired, and have lived in Mexico for 12 years. My spoken Spanish is reasonably fluent, I'm not real thrilled about writing it, however do manage.

We are city mice, and Morelia is our favorite city in all of Mexico. We have traveled around most of the country.

We also love the downtown area, and are not really interested in the suburbs.

Can anyone recommend a good realtor?
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Perception is All   Tue 12 Jul 2011, 13:30

Welcome to the board. I am liberal on all topics and most of us here fairly much so as well.

I have been here in Morelia six years or so and think it is a great place to live and with easy access and close distances to great attractions in surrounding towns. It seems fairly common for many to wander off into the "real" Mexico after living some time around Chapala. That would have been my route had I not had connections with Mexican friends here in Morelia to help ease into the culture. It takes some adjustment but worth it.

My Mexicana wife loves Chapala's lakeside after I took her there a couple years ago. She was really amazed there was a little American village right here in her own country. Not speaking English it is a real adventure for her and her favorite spot for a few days getaway.

I will let someone else recommend realtors. Most people in Morelia might suggest scouting out a place available and use a Notario to close the deal with the owner. I won't dare try to suggest what may actually be the best course of action. This ain't Kansas.

Anyways, hope you do well settling in here. Rent first - I can suggest a place or two perhaps - scout around for the best place for you. Come and visit with us "gringos" at Club Campestre for one of our get-togethers on the patio held every 2nd Wednesday each month at 3pm. Not so many of us here as at Lakeside, you might even enjoy running into an English-speaker once in a while. Once a month is usually enough for us.

_________________
"There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it because it is alive. "
— Philip K. Dick (VALIS)
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