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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: A Funny Comment   Wed 07 Sep 2011, 17:54

The day we left Patzcuaro heading for San Miguel de Allende, we stopped for "motion lotion" and a couple of donuts at a combination PEMEX/OXXO on the Patzcuaro-Morelia Highway. I was over at the pumps when a Gringo couple came out of the OXXO. The guy was eyeballing our rental car and yelled across the parking lot: "where are you from in Jalisco". I responded: Älbuquerque, New Mexico". He then explained that they lived at Lake Chapala for seven years and now they lived in Michoacan and were seeing THE REAL MEXICO!
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Wed 07 Sep 2011, 21:42

There are some gradients to it. I took Tere to Ajijic the first time and she knew instantly that was not "Mexico" as she knew it. She loves visiting Chapala and was blown-away that there was a little American town in her home country. She felt like a foreigner there. Michoacan is the Mexico she knows.

So if gringos don't feel Chapala is the real Mexico, neither do Mexicans.

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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Wed 07 Sep 2011, 21:49

You should read the justifications and comments being made on CanuckBob's forum with a similar thread that I started!
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Hound Dog
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Thu 08 Sep 2011, 10:57

I´m glad you guys have figured out where the real Mexico is located. My guess is that neither Jalisco nor Michoacan is the real Mexico but I can say with absolute certainty that Chiapas, where Dawg maintains a winter residence, is definitely not the real Mexico but the real Guatemala which Mexico stole from Guatemala in a rigged election in the 19th Century when only a few landed gentry had a vote and the indigenous inhabitants, who vastly outnumbered them, were too busy in the fields to get to the polling places. We only live there because it is a place where my darlin´ wife, who is 5 ft., 1 in. in height is actually tall and can gaze at face level or down on others passing by.

I suspect that the "real" Mexico was in Neil´s New Mexico before the U.S. stole the place from Mexico for reasons no longer clear.


Last edited by Hound Dog on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 12:03; edited 3 times in total
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Thu 08 Sep 2011, 11:01

Dawg:

Please take note that on neither forum did I express whether or not I agreed with the comment since it wasn't mine in the first place. Since I posted the comment on both forums, I was looking for the difference in reactions by parties who lived in each place. So far, the Lake Chapala residents are tending to be much more defensive.
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Hound Dog
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Thu 08 Sep 2011, 11:47

cheenagringo wrote:
Dawg:

Please take note that on neither forum did I express whether or not I agreed with the comment since it wasn't mine in the first place. Since I posted the comment on both forums, I was looking for the difference in reactions by parties who lived in each place. So far, the Lake Chapala residents are tending to be much more defensive.

You think they are defensive with you, Neil? At least you didn´t dub Lakeside "Peoria Upon Sump" as did Dawg. That´s why we bought the house in San Cristóbal in case we needed to escape quickly. Better to deal with rebellious Zapatistas than self-conscious midwesterners who think they are exotic for leaving Moline and retiring in Del Webb´s Boca Del Vista South on Lake Chapala.

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry was visiting his retired parents in Florida and refused their invitation to go out for an early steak dinner at 5:00PM at a local restaurant catering to retirees with the "early-bird" discounted menu before 6:00PM? He told then there was no way he was going to eat a steak dinner at 5:00PM so they relented and, despite the higher price, took him to dinner at 6:30PM just as the usual crowd of "codo" retirees was leaving after enjoying their "early-bird" meals. "Well", their leader exclaimed to Jerry´s father who was, at the time, the president of the condo association, "you think you are too good to lower yourself to our level and take advantage of the early-bird discount, eh? Been stealing from the association´s till have we? I think we´d better have an audit of the books and maybe a special election."

That´s Lakeside, folks. Wonderful climate, though and a great place for solitary walks along the lake and in leafy neighborhoods with one´s dogs who never question when you choose to chow down.

That Seinfeld story reminds me of the time Jerry gave his father a calculator with a feature for calculating tips due in restaurants and his father made a mistake and overtipped the waiter by a few pennies which nearly killed him. Who needs Seinfeld in Ajijic. Just go out to dinner at one of the numerous restaurants catering to foreign retirees and observe the crowd. Priceless stuff.
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raqueteer
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Thu 08 Sep 2011, 13:08

Peoria Upon Sump? Good lord Dawg, do they know where you live? I'm surprised a lynch mob hasn't been sent out. Laughing
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Hound Dog
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Fri 09 Sep 2011, 09:24

raqueteer wrote:
Peoria Upon Sump? Good lord Dawg, do they know where you live? I'm surprised a lynch mob hasn't been sent out. Laughing


That´s why we have ten foot walls topped with concertina wire and a constantly monitored alarm system. Oh, and five dogs without whom I never venture out into enemy territory.

Lakeside Alarm Company Advice:

If the alarm sounds and you don´t call us off we will show up shortly and then, if things look amiss, call the cops. However, don´t let the cops into your property without accompanying them at all times or at all if you can help it. The neighbors are mostly foreigners from the U.S. who cannot be depended upon in the event of trouble but the alarm company reps are really diligent and dependable.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas Security Advice:

We also have a constantly monitored alarm system there but by the time the alarm company rep shows up the neighbors (all Mexicans) are already there and ready to whip any miscreant´s ass. Any miscreants in the area pray for arrival of the cops before summary justice is administered by said neighbors. Every barrio in San Cristóbal has a barrio council with a president and, shortly after our moving there, our barrio president stopped by and told us that if we saw any city cops in the barrio without his permission we should let him know and he would have a talk with city hall.

On second thought, I guess San Cristóbal is the real Mexico. Lakeside is more like Father Knows Best with Dad, Mom, Bud and Kathy but with no friendly beat cop or friendly neighbors across the famous 50s fence to add a helping hand.
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Sat 10 Sep 2011, 07:59

I had a Real Mexico Experience yesterday when I was headed back home to Rancho Las Cuevas on the combi. There are only a few combis that come out to our somewhat isolated valley. So when one stops at la parada on la Plaza Chica in Pátzcuaro, you grab it.

The good part today was that I had to wait only 10 minutes before it arrived.
The bad part if any, was that it was full of shoppers returning with full boxes and bags from the mercado and elsewhere in town. There were at times 11 or 12 adults and 6 niños aboard. A lovely older lady across from me smiled as she told us that she had a live duck in a costal at her feet.

You had to tread carefully in order not to step on anyone's purchases. Or on their feet.
By the smell, the duck made a duck doo-doo in the costal.

I'd found half a seat on the bench, with my left foot wedged for 15 minutes next to a huge egg box on the floor. It was an experience of truly getting to know your neighbors, up close. It was uncomfortable, but it was fun. People looked at me strangely when I laughed out loud several times. Better to laugh than to be pissed off. What good would that have done?

Getting out at my stop was tricky, as I had to negotiate the short aisle crabwise, pass my two loaded shopping bags to an old gent standing outside, and step down, get out my monedera, and pay the driver through the front passenger window.

In all, it was kind of exhilarating. I hope though, I never have to do it again with so many passengers aboard.
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Sat 10 Sep 2011, 09:14

Sounds like there's a few rutas that need more combis in Pátzcuaro. Second mention in the past few days of infrequent combis and a long wait. I have been in many a packed sardine can combi in Morelia but they all still come about every 5 minutes. Most of the smaller VW's have been retired from most rutas and the larger Nissan Urvans mostly in service now. It takes more than 20 passengers now to fully crowd one of them.

Never rode on one with a duck though. NOB friends expect chickens on Mexicans buses as a matter of routine. They are completely floored when I describe the accomodations on a typical executive bus.

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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Sat 10 Sep 2011, 10:30

Mike:

That is a great story! Though I have never doubted your immersion into the local culture. After watching the apparent efficiency of the combis in both Patzcuaro and Morelia for a number of days, we drove to San Miguel de Allende. Our immediate comment or question was: "why don't these use the same to relieve some of the congestion on their narrow one way streets?" Those MB buses do nothing but compound the congestion!

Going back to the original topic, I mentioned that there was somewhat of an uproar on one of the Lake Chapala because of the inference to the original statement. I made the following post:
"Firstly, the term "Real Mexico" is a misused broad generalization but it was "HIS" choice of words and not mine.

For many, if not most of us, where we live has been controlled for years starting with where our parents raised us and then dictated by our occupations during our working years. Come retirement time, the choice becomes our own for the very first time providing we can ignore those adult children who want to control us or our friends or extended family looking out for our best interests. We all naturally feel that our choice is well researched and that we have made the very best choice. Once that decision and commitment has been made, it is human nature to defend that choice. Furthermore, many competitive types often look down their noses at those whose choice may differ since they must feel that their choice is best.

Hell, none of us are cut from the same mold and our particular choices need only satisfy ourselves and no one else, since we live with our choice!"

That said, I cannot see most of them having an enjoyable tale to tell if they had to ride in a vehicle with that many people packed in along with the critters!
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Sat 10 Sep 2011, 14:46

cheenagringo wrote:

Come retirement time, the choice becomes our own for the very first time providing we can ignore those adult children who want to control us or our friends or extended family looking out for our best interests. We all naturally feel that our choice is well researched and that we have made the very best choice. Once that decision and commitment has been made, it is human nature to defend that choice. Furthermore, many competitive types often look down their noses at those whose choice may differ since they must feel that their choice is best.


You may be overlooking that some of us viewed some of those options as a matter of gradients and made choices based on what we considered may be necessary at the time.

When coming here for the first time I was well aware that Chapala was a gringo ghetto and adjustment would be easy there whereas other places would take a greater deal of effort but would have different rewards. My first trip here was made with a friend in California that had grown-up in Morelia. Coming from Los Angeles I was well-aware that we could catch a direct flight into Morelia. Instead, though, I suggested we fly into GDL and rent a car to drive to Morelia so that we could stop by Chapala on both legs and have a look at it as well as see some other parts of the country we would encounter along the way. I had done quite a bit of internet homework and had some ideas of the differences to expect.

We had spent only about three hours or so exploring Chapala/Ajijic at each leg, on arrival in the morning time there and on departure in the evening and somewhat longer than the thrre hours of the first leg. I found it enjoyable enough.

We spent more than a week in Morelia but in that time also visited Pátzcuaro for most of a day, an overnight in Uruapan with a visit to the parque nacional, and made other stops such as Paracho due to my interest in stringed instruments, and at least a brief visit to several other places. At the end of that 9/10 day trip I had some substance of experience to add to my online research, and indeed I had caught the Mexico bug so was interested in further exploration from a more practical standpoint as to what it would take to settle-in and what I might expect living there to be like.

I was more impressed with Morelia but knew it would take a much greater effort to get by. It would be worth that effort if I has some assurrance I could function there, and as I was alone that necessary adjustment could easily exceed my efforts. I knew Chapala would allow me to jump in and manage with English and what little Spanish I knew. If I went that route it would be a stepping-stone and with a likelihood that I may become settled there and not leave. Chapala was not my first choice but may have been a necessary one if the situation had turned out differently.

I discussed these options with my friend, invited him to another trip there just four weeks later with a different strategy and focus for the trip, and if he could not make it I would instead focus my exploration on Lakeside. He was rater shocked at the prospect of making such a rapid return but knew my wheels were in motion to find a retirement spot outside the US but he was ready for a return visit then. He introduced me to friends and family that could be my guides here and so that I would not be entirely on my own.

If I had chosen to start out, and possibly end up, in Chapala it would be because I was doing as I felt necessary and well-aware that my experience of Mexico would be markedly different. Mexicans neither consider Lakeside a typical Mexican town and culture, and any gringo who does is either not being honest or has completely fooled himself. You can get hung on or use to twist the tale some semantical gymnastics because, yes, Lakeside IS in Mexico, it REALLY is in Mexico complete with Mexicans, pesos, margaritas, and many people that speak Spanish. You can successfully argue it is the REAL Mexico because politically and geographically it is. But is it indicative of Mexican culture throughout the country? Not hardly, though it is not entirely like the US either, just enough different to know you're no in Kansas anymore. Maybe for many it is as Mexican as they dare to live. But we also know there are many brave, adventurous and independent souls who wander off from there in search of the REAL Mexican experience. Some make it as far as SMA, and some beyond that to Oaxaca, Michoacán, and even Chiapas.

Quote :
Hell, none of us are cut from the same mold and our particular choices need only satisfy ourselves and no one else, since we live with our choice!"

You may state that and be completely correct. Where were you born? Where have you lived before? Your experiences are rather unique in that regard. I am sure a number of Lakesiders have spent some time overseas in the military, made a few foreign ports, and some may be true world travellers, but I doubt that applies to the majority there. They are quite adventurous to have made it out of Peoria and no doubt take some pride in having done so. They've faced up to Mexican bureaucracy, gotten a taste of Moctezuma's Revenge, and many have made strident efforts to learn and use Spanish. It would be belittling to them to downplay the adversity they've faced and the bravery they've shown to stand up to those challenges. We do ourselves or them no credit to deny them of that. They are truly pioneers.

But Americans are very America-centric in their thinking, their habits, and their worldview. Largely they are indeed cut from the same mold. But even cookies made in that manner are not all exactly the same, there are variances even coming from the same mold. The American upbringing is very much designed to make their cookies fit the same box. In a very large way, they do.


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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Sat 10 Sep 2011, 17:49

Our Story. Six Years In Michoacán

It was the early morning hours of September 14, 2005, that we pulled our cargo trailer across the border into México. It took us three days to reach Morelia but our transmission blew out in the hills just above Cuitzeo. We were brought into Morelia on a grua, and we stayed up in Santa María for two weeks at the home of an American lawyer.

While there, we learned via MoreliaConnect of a 2-bdr "house"—really more a cabin, up in the frigid heights above Pátzcuaro. We took a look, and decided to move in, with a 6 month contract. After spending the umpteenth Anniversary of the founding of Pátzcuaro at the Hotel Posada de La Salud, and immersing ourselves in a fireworks display on the Plaza Grande, we moved in on or around the first of October.

We had our cargo trailer hauled on a grua again, as we did not want to subject our Windstar to the strains again.

We passed a winter there, but it was a trial by cold. The people were nice but we wanted out. Our chance came in April, 2006, when we moved down close to Tzurumútaro to housesit for an American friend. After 4 months there in our friend's house, he returned from the U.S. And we were fortunate to be shown our next home, out in el campo. We have been there more than 5 years now, so it shows we must like it. Actually, we love it.
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: A Funny Comment   Sat 10 Sep 2011, 22:39

Mike:

That is a great story and explains why you have done such a great job of embedding yourself into the culture, history and wondeful things that Mexico and Michoacan, in particular, have to offer!

Peter:

Well thought out and comprehensive response! Since you know my history, most of your conclusions are correct about me and may give an insight into just how my "pea brain" works.

For many years, I used TripAdvisor to glean info on places in Mexico and back in 2009, I decided that I should be "giving back" by writing reviews on some places we visit. This trip, I committed to attempting to writing a review of any place of significance. One of the exercises they ask you to perform is indicate on a world map where you have been and where you would like to visit. While I have found it tedious, it has been an interesting exercise that I have almost completed. Current status - 1142 places visited:
[img][/img]

Since this is a snipit, the zoom function won't work. I knew I could figure out how to post a picture sooner or later! Now I won't have to bother Peter with modifying my posts!
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