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Mistakes expats make in Mexico

CasaColibri :

Yes, alleycat.  Mexicans are North Americans,too,  Just passing on what some Mexican friends told me years ago.  Have heard savvy gringos just say "soy de (name your state)  That can spark interest and continue a discussion, too. "Oh yes, I have a cousin there!..."

Sounds like your Mexican friends years ago were playing with you.   ;)

CasaColibri :

Know this is an old thread, but I  have found that family members who visit me here in Guanajuato  (high desert), are sometimes bothered by the low humidity.  I advise them to bring a saline nose spray.  Helps a lot.   Also, to make a transition or while travelling, eat yogurt daily, drink beer instead of water if in doubt and chew a Pepto tablet once-a-day. Dehydration can be a real problem, too, so drink LOTS of water (bottled if you're not sure about it....the drink beer, not water could be a problem in quantity!  Also the alcohol in it won't hydrate you.)

  RE: mountain visits.  Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness.  It's not uncommon to experience a lack of energy, headache for the first few days at higher altitudes.  Take it easy! Your body needs to adjust.

I've seen a number of tourists take a tumble while trying to step back and focus for that perfect photo. Sidewalks and stairways are often uneven.  So I tell guests to observe the "Walk or Gawk" rule.  STOP to look around but watch where you're walking when you move.

Ok, as a medical person, you got my attention,
I would not advise you to take your advice except for the water.  Pepto bismol is not something I would advise using prophetically, it does have side effects including making any symptoms worse , hearing loss and of course black tongue and stools. Yogurt is not a probiotic its too processed and full of sugar. Beer does dehydrate you  and then there is the inebriated part. I would stick to bottled water and believe it or not fruit as in berries, watermelon , oranges. All veggies and fruit contain the best type of water. Studies have shown one of the best ways to clean the fruit is mostly water right before you eat it, but if you have a particular concern rise with baking soda and water.

Thanks, medical person.  I make no claims to be one. These are just suggestion from locals.  The Pepto effects you describe sound pretty icky!!  Re: fruits (and especially leafy veggies) Mexicans have long used iodine drops to mix with water and soak produce because they are often fertilized with "black water" and can carry some pretty nasty bacteria.  Will water and baking soda remove that kind of stuff? Have  even heard from some gringos here that melons can be especially problematical because they can absorb these bacteria while they're growing on the vine., and that you can't fully clean strawberries because the bacteria can become lodged under the seeds. (You can't soak strawberries or they turn to mush anyway.)  Will slide on over to google  to check fact or myth.  Opinions?  BTW, I do the 20-minute iodine soak just for veggies I'm going to be eating raw.  Rinse after soaking to remove any iodine residuals.  Have followed this local practice 25 years and very rarely had any intestinal disruptions.

to Travellight

You don't agree with staying hydrated, being aware of altitude symptoms and taking it easy first few days at a higher altitude,  relieving a dry nose with saline, and not walking while gawking??

Alleycat,

Maybe, maybe not.  Have heard from more than one Mexican friend that they prefer hearing Norteamericano (even though that technically includes Canada and Mexico). Maybe it's just here, just older generation in smaller towns and villages.   Anyway, not to go round and round on a discussion that linguists, geographers and travelers have beat to death without ever deciding on correct terminology even in English, my permanent resident card and other official documents lists my nationality  as estadounidense. When I say "Soy ALASKANA", the eyes grow large and the questions tumble out!

My Mexican husband lectures me often on this subject. He basically uses the same logic that you have used. I may start using “Gringo”, as that seems to put most folks at ease.

Thanks for your opinion on this sensitive topic.

Jeff

CasaColibri :

to Travellight

You don't agree with staying hydrated, being aware of altitude symptoms and taking it easy first few days at a higher altitude,  relieving a dry nose with saline, and not walking while gawking??

I didn't say don't be hydrated , if you reread my post you will see that. I am also aware of what the locals do.
I am just pointing out that some of your suggestions may not be the right  thing for others to do..

travellight :

No of course not, kidding Ja Ja Ja.

The biggest one was the car. Yes it was fine for awhile , then the street got flooded, my car was tough and sailed through snow , but didn't do well with feet of water. the engine stalled, feet of water can do that, I had to open the door to get out so I then had water in the car. the electrical failed, and the car could not be locked, so someone took everything they could from the car, The insurance thought about what to do for 2 weeks . The car sat in a lot untouched .

Yet it was a truly valiant well designed car, it survived and I drove it back to the US after it lost 1/2 of its value and sold it. It was mechanically sound despite the mechanics the insurance company insisted on.

Wow! Sorry you had all that happen! I saw in a different post that you purchased a different car in Mexico that can handle the environment better. Do you mind telling us the make/model? We will need to do the same,  and are interested in a new/used vehicle,  although we have heard there are pitfalls with the used variety. Any advice on that process will be appreciated!

Hi Jan.

I bought a Mazda M3 and have had no problems with it . It has some of the more advanced features my Audi had so it makes me feel more at home and it is very good on gas.

What I can say about used cars is be very careful. There are a lot of problems you can have going down that road. I knew someone who bought an SUV on the advice of a friend at one of the car auctions in Merida. Her car was more in the shop than not.

Private party sales can get you into a situation where the title isn't quite clear so I personally would avoid those. Like some people in the U.S. some people in Mexico feel it's good to rev the engine to fix the car and they do it a lot. What that does is shorten the life of the car. It's a old, rather fixed idea based on old classic cars that were cold blooded , so they required help to keep the engine actually running. Those cars are long gone, but the belief still exists, and is still handed down father to son in the U.S. and here. Modern cars do not do well with the idea.

So , what would I do ? well I bought a new car, but if that was not an option I would have dealt with a dealer I trusted to find a used possibly under warranty , clear titled car. They would also be very helpful getting your plate and title all set up. I saw two cars I briefly considered, one at VW and one at Audi. I had heard good things about the Mazda from people I knew so I checked there, really liked the looks of the car and that was that. The dealer did all the running around and they have been very good about servicing.

Thank you,  that is very helpful! We want to avoid as many problems as we can up front and the dealer route seems like the best option,  especially for newbies like us. We find that avoiding problems whenever possible is far easier than trying to solve them later! Ounce of prevention,  ha ha.

Your car story reminds me of a "joke" about a young woman who always cut both ends off of a pot roast before cooking because her mother always did it, no other reason. Come to find out her mother's cooking pot was too small for the roasts to fit. Lol!

MikeGB :

I am currently living in San Miguel de Allende (and this is my starting point in living in Mexico). One thing I have found that I have not made a decision about yet is that starting in mid-March the air becomes quite dry which irritates my nose. I have been told this will last for several months. I have a small humidifier but it doesn't help that much. Perhaps using more humidifiers might be a solution. Which also means consuming more electricity.

In actuality the cost of electricity here is much less than what it cost me in Canada so relatively not a huge problem. My electricity bills in Canada (in a 2 bedroom house) were always over $100 for 2 months (even in the summer) and reaching just under $200 in mid-winter. Here they have been typically $60 cdn for 2 months and that is running an air conditioner for half the day and a humidifier almost all day.

It might be that I will find an alternate place to live where the humidity is higher. I am considering Mazatlan, for one.

Running the A/C will really dry out (dehumidify) the air in your house (no matter where you live). You might consider cooling with some older technology. A swamp cooler would probably allow you to get rid of the humidifier altogether.

does anyone live in a small village?

I could write a book on this.  But I'll spare y'all the verbiage.

I had all the advantages, grew up in East LA, spoke Spanish from an early age, studied for a masters in Southern Mexico, read a hundred books on the subject.  What I missed was just how desperate many people are, how poverty rots the brain.  What you know means nothing, your income means everything.  Friendships only go so far. 

Just about every transaction is a ripoff.  If you buy a liter on gasoline it's not a liter.   Cheap crap coffee comes in beautiful presentation wrapping.

The people have no concept of a product's quality nor respect for engenuity.   Everything gets mistreated.  Never loan anything.  If you're lucky enough to get it back you won't recognize it.

If a pair of Florsheim shoes are sitting on a shelf next to a pair of Chinese crud and if the price differential is 5 Pesos they'll buy the Chinese.  Same when you try to sell something.  If it isn't dirt cheap nobody's interested.

These are all criticisms that I make daily about the US population though, Jonny.

Anthony Held :

These are all criticisms that I make daily about the US population though, Jonny.

I hear ya.  But in the case of Internet mine was so fast it scared me.  Here I pay for 6 megas and get 1.7. 

Three days ago I ran out of gas on my motor scooter.  I pushed it into the gas station .. that is to say it was bone dry.  The attendant filled the tank with 7 liters.  The tank holds 6.  So I went back with a gasoline container which has a line up top that says 8 gallons.  I asked for 8 liters.  The level was well below the line when in fact the gas should have been running all over the pavement.

jonny danger :

I could write a book on this.  But I'll spare y'all the verbiage.

I had all the advantages, grew up in East LA, spoke Spanish from an early age, studied for a masters in Southern Mexico, read a hundred books on the subject.  What I missed was just how desperate many people are, how poverty rots the brain.  What you know means nothing, your income means everything.  Friendships only go so far. 

Just about every transaction is a ripoff.  If you buy a liter on gasoline it's not a liter.   Cheap crap coffee comes in beautiful presentation wrapping.

The people have no concept of a product's quality nor respect for engenuity.   Everything gets mistreated.  Never loan anything.  If you're lucky enough to get it back you won't recognize it.

If a pair of Florsheim shoes are sitting on a shelf next to a pair of Chinese crud and if the price differential is 5 Pesos they'll buy the Chinese.  Same when you try to sell something.  If it isn't dirt cheap nobody's interested.

Wow, very dark indeed.  Perhaps you need to look at the area you are in, and your friendships. Your experience outside of some gas companies  cheating, has not been my experience at all.

My neighbors are scrupulously honest , kind, and reliable, My house keeper goes out of her way to do a very good, above expectations job. My neighbor cosigned for my car loan than encouraged seeing a notary to make it clear the car would be mine. Yes, I've been robbed when new construction was done nearby.  The workers were not local. The owner of the house I rent doubled the security of the house after that. I have had people point out quality issues with a product, and suggest a different product.

I am not some gullible victim. I watch, but I also give people a chance to be their best selves. They usually do not disappoint me, I treat them with respect, keep their rights and living issues uppermost in my mind. I have good friends here, and I have found total strangers who have pointed out I dropped money or in one case called to me when I left something in the bathroom. When my kindle fell out of my car some stranger turned it into the information desk in the mall.

Sadly this is all behavior I very rarely see in the U.S., In the U.S. I have no doubt the kindle, and money would be long gone. Are there places in Mexico where what you say is more or less true, sure, you can always find places where people are working a con to make a living. Isla Mall in Cancun is one of them, but it is a major tourist city so you have to up your security game there. Yet in Cancun you can also fine very honest kind people, who will be honest and fair.

@ Light
Yes, Mexicans are indeed swell folks.  If they weren't I would have left 37 years ago. 

Much of the time my complaining is due to the fact I like them and want to help them .. in my way.  It's the teacher in me.

Well I think I know and have lived in more parts of Mexico than 95% of y'all.  And it goes without mention we all are wired differently.  If I think of all the close friends I have after three years in this ville they have something in common, they are all owners and employees of local business'.  To me if it's a motive that adheres a friendship it's not really a friendship.  I drop 1000 Pesos a month in these restaurants and abarrotes.   They like me just fine.

Something else to consider is how they'd view me if suddenly I had no money.  In other words, would a down and out Gringo get a break?  Mexicans say, you meet your best friends in a hospital bed and between the bars of a jail.  I have yet to test that theory, thank God.

Something more to consider is if their favors and kindness' are kept in their mind's recorded black book tallys.  If that's the case that as well isn't friendship.

My long-time pal, my mechanic, ripped me off last week.  When his daughter had her baby I went to the hospital and since have gone to the house with gifts and have taken about a hundred photos of the lil tike.  So I got charged 2000P for an engine part that cost 700.   He could have asked me to spot him 1300P and I'd have given it to him.

The difference between you and I could be that I live in the trenches.

kerryinmexico :

Here's an unusual one. Be able to do a currency exchange cold. When you can't do the math quickly you (in this case me) might be more suspicious of the charge and convey that suspicion, which is an unattractive behavior when it's not justified.

I'm sorry if it offends anyone, but I think I can do it by being humble and letting them know I am having problems by saying "disculpa" or "parden". 

For me, right now, just getting started, I divide by 1/2 and move the decimal pt. over.  It is fast for me and I get close, but I have to stop and think -- I'm old -- new learning is not as easy as it once was.  In my head; 100 pesos, divided by half = 50 pesos; move the decimal point over one, $5.00 USD.  100 pesos is $5.30 in "real" money exchange rates, but rounding off helps me to do it quickly in my head.  Please give me any tips, or correct any misconceptions I have.  I need all the help I can get.  That method gets me close enough for smaller purchases.  When I lived in Europe, before the "euro", I got used to exchange rates; E. Marks, W. Marks, Francs, Lira, etc. etc.   I'm older now, it will take me awhile to do it without having to "translate" slowly in my head.  If I'm spending big money, out comes my smart phone; :unsure disculpa

I have yet to understand the obsession about exchange rates. They are not fixed, everytime DT tweets they change. I decided it was a waste of my time. I have an exchange rate calculator app if I want to know exactly what the rate is this instant, also the bank posts it. So why would I be taking up time figuring it out only to have it change . 

My family member who died, was a CPA level accountant, and he watched it religiously going to the bank only when it was favorable, which meant he went to the bank 3-4 times a week incurring interest each time. I go once a week and it is what it is at that moment. I take out the max, and I am on my way.

CasaColibri :

Alleycat,

Maybe, maybe not.  Have heard from more than one Mexican friend that they prefer hearing Norteamericano (even though that technically includes Canada and Mexico). Maybe it's just here, just older generation in smaller towns and villages.   Anyway, not to go round and round on a discussion that linguists, geographers and travelers have beat to death without ever deciding on correct terminology even in English, my permanent resident card and other official documents lists my nationality  as estadounidense. When I say "Soy ALASKANA", the eyes grow large and the questions tumble out!

Good one.

Just like the difference between weather and climate there's a difference between geographical and cultural, logically.   I'm sure Mexicans prefer not to be North Americans.  Even Central America has a glitch.  Go to your local post office with a letter addressed to Costa Rica, Central America and he/she will correct you.  It's not PC.

And we're all Americans of the continent, tip to tip.  Just look at a map.  :proud

Estadounidense is the word for Americans, just in case you didn't know.   I don't know why that passes cause Mexico is united states as well.   And all the political baggage that comes with a name!  Since California was stolen, in fact if you look up a map of old Mexico you'll see about 1/3 of the USA was once Mexico, to many people should still be part of Mexico.  .Norte Americano doesn't work for me as it includes Canadians, of whom I'd rather not affiliate myself. 

Another way is to say you are hijo(a) de (then your president's or PM's name). I don't use that one any more.  But if you think about it it's the perfect solution.  No geography,to worry about. 

Since Mexico also means Mexico DF that too is problematic.  Stop this World, I wanna get off.

Think of the originals, The native people how should they feel?
None of the land mass belonged to many of the people who now occupy it ,  the aztecs had their areas as did the maya and Inca; and the natives to the north had their tribes in what some now call the U.S.

Most forget the original peoples. The originals didn't ask to be invaded by Europe, Scandinavia , asia, or Spain. So who dominated the stolen land  before europe invaded seems almost a moot point.

The indigenous are dirt here as they are in the USA.  Hang out at the border crossing south of Tapachulae Chiapas for a spell.  It's sad.  Begging kids who won't take no gracias for an answer.  They'll follow you around for an hour with their little for-sale trinkets shoved in your face.   Boy if it's one thing a Mestizo Mexican doesn't want it's to be dark or darker, to have a mop of hair that looks like a paint brush.  The newsboy kicks the dog, eh?

One of THE big mistakes here for a Gringo is to allude in any way the possibility your "opponent" has anything at all in common with native folk.  They are proud of their drops of European blood.   And I'll never understand why.  Maybe the great anthropologist Margaret Mead was right .. The vanquished always imitate the victors.

Jonny, you are generalizing way too much.   Many Mexican people you can talk to easily enough about their  portion of indigenous blood within themselves and the nation.

thanks for the quick translate from pesos to $

Anthony Held :

Jonny, you are generalizing way too much.   Many Mexican people you can talk to easily enough about their  portion of indigenous blood within themselves and the nation.

Yeah, I do like to generalize a lot.  But something I learned in uni drives me .. 51% is a majority.

Consider this:  The person with Euro blood is probably proud of that fact.  At best it tells the World he/she's not a savage Indio.

The person who is Indio top to bottom is proud of the fact he is the pure unadulterated founding father of which books written about his race outnumber 10 to 1 over those written about the common 80% of the Mestizo population.

The too common Mestizo is the one who might "suffer" from an identity crisis and is attracted to dogs who have the look of a German Sheppard/Lab mix but with just a tinge of Poodle and Schnauzer/Cocker.

It all too silly and all too common.   But here in the big city it's alive and well. 

I avoid talking about race, always have, always will.  No need to, mine is superior!  :whistle:

In fact I personally am left with the conclusion the majority of Mexicans I meet show signs my race IS superior and treat me as if that's my credo and live by it.  And to overcome that assessment I have to go out of my way to tell them my default rap .. If you were born after 1981 I arrived before you, wey. 

But to tell the truth I like the attention.  Love me, hate me, but don't ignore me!   :proud

travellight :

I have yet to understand the obsession about exchange rates. They are not fixed, everytime DT tweets they change. I decided it was a waste of my time. I have an exchange rate calculator app if I want to know exactly what the rate is this instant, also the bank posts it. So why would I be taking up time figuring it out only to have it change . 

My family member who died, was a CPA level accountant, and he watched it religiously going to the bank only when it was favorable, which meant he went to the bank 3-4 times a week incurring interest each time. I go once a week and it is what it is at that moment. I take out the max, and I am on my way.

People keep an eye on the strength of the dollar for various reasons -- I'm not a world economics major so most it goes over my head.

This is not "off-topic", just an example of exchange rates and their impact on the economy as well as local customs in host countries. Recently there was a big after Christmas sale at a premium outlet mall not far from me.  Bus loads of Asians arrive daily and buy large quantities from stores like Dolce & Cabbana, Coach, Prada, etc.  In the 70's while living in Europe it was the other way around, bus loads of American's buying large quantities overseas due to the favorable exchange rate.  I do not buy overpriced BS that I can make an identical copy of for 1/1,000th of the price.  I was in Sketchers buying a comfy pair of shoes.  There were so many people in there, practically shoulder to shoulder and maybe 75% were Asian.  All of the American's were getting very upset because none of the Asians were respecting our customs -- they kept pushing there way to the front of the line.  After about 20 min. I got hot (figuratively).  I did my best to respect their customs when I visited their country and my blood pressure was rising  :sick  .  Of course the store personnel were American's and didn't like it either.  It was loud and noisy, so in my "school teacher" very firm voice I loudly proclaimed: "[i]the line starts back there, and you had better get back there NOW!  I respected your customs when I was in your country, you need to respect our customs and get in line"[/i].  My firm, and projecting school teacher voice brought the manager out and she told them to move to the back of the line.  A few minutes later the American's thanked me, the store personnel thanked me, and there was clapping -- too funny!!!  Anyway, respecting customs in your host country is important -- I've been on both sides of that.

I'm no economist either but I think the exchange rate is driven by the faith-based value of your nation's currency.  And that no doubt has to do with the investors/speculator"s read.

No doubt the MXN value is tied to the USA, at least in part, maybe entirely. 

For me the exchange rate is no biggie unless I were to exchange large sums, of which I'll never have the pleasure.

I do offer a suggestion tho:  If while shopping you are looking at prices and converting that figure to dollars .. get over it.

jonny danger :

I'm no economist either but I think the exchange rate is driven by the faith-based value of your nation's currency.  And that no doubt has to do with the investors/speculator"s read.

No doubt the MXN value is tied to the USA, at least in part, maybe entirely. 

For me the exchange rate is no biggie unless I were to exchange large sums, of which I'll never have the pleasure.

I do offer a suggestion tho:  If while shopping you are looking at prices and converting that figure to dollars .. get over it.

:o It's the Dutch/German genetics; I can't help it.  I was raised with expressions like: watch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves; a fool and his money are soon parted.  I could go on but you get the picture.  My brain will translate it eventually, without giving it much thought.  I will know if it's fair, good, too much or a bargain.  Paying twice as much is not my style.  If the custom of a country is to negotiate the price, that means paying sticker price is paying too much. There are plenty of people everywhere around the globe who will gladly take my money if I'm stupid enough to give it to them.  I'm fair, and reasonably generous, but I do watch my pennies, so to speak.  I don't have the luxury of throwing money at everyone who needs it -- in fact, if anyone wants to throw money my way, I sure can use it to care for my family  :proud

jonny danger :
Anthony Held :

Jonny, you are generalizing way too much.   Many Mexican people you can talk to easily enough about their  portion of indigenous blood within themselves and the nation.

Yeah, I do like to generalize a lot.  But something I learned in uni drives me .. 51% is a majority.

Consider this:  The person with Euro blood is probably proud of that fact.  At best it tells the World he/she's not a savage Indio.

The person who is Indio top to bottom is proud of the fact he is the pure unadulterated founding father of which books written about his race outnumber 10 to 1 over those written about the common 80% of the Mestizo population.

The too common Mestizo is the one who might "suffer" from an identity crisis and is attracted to dogs who have the look of a German Sheppard/Lab mix but with just a tinge of Poodle and Schnauzer/Cocker.

It all too silly and all too common.   But here in the big city it's alive and well. 

I avoid talking about race, always have, always will.  No need to, mine is superior!  :whistle:

In fact I personally am left with the conclusion the majority of Mexicans I meet show signs my race IS superior and treat me as if that's my credo and live by it.  And to overcome that assessment I have to go out of my way to tell them my default rap .. If you were born after 1981 I arrived before you, wey. 

But to tell the truth I like the attention.  Love me, hate me, but don't ignore me!   :proud

Lately, being an American doesn't make me as proud as it once did.  At times, I'm somewhat embarrassed by the way our government governs, and the arguments among people affiliated with different political parties.  IMHO we have more in common than not, and we should focus on what's good for the whole; stop blaming each other for things that all of us need to take some responsibility for -- sounds like a '60's argument: "focus on the issues" hehehe.  I need my bell bottoms and long hair back, hahaha.  I hope that this is politically neutral enough for everyone and doesn't start any political "flames".  We sink together or swim together, like it or not.

Damn how the political divide has divided me.  I am the poster boy for GOP hatred.

4theloveofsun :
jonny danger :

I'm no economist either but I think the exchange rate is driven by the faith-based value of your nation's currency.  And that no doubt has to do with the investors/speculator"s read.

No doubt the MXN value is tied to the USA, at least in part, maybe entirely. 

For me the exchange rate is no biggie unless I were to exchange large sums, of which I'll never have the pleasure.

I do offer a suggestion tho:  If while shopping you are looking at prices and converting that figure to dollars .. get over it.

:o It's the Dutch/German genetics; I can't help it.  I was raised with expressions like: watch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves; a fool and his money are soon parted.  I could go on but you get the picture.  My brain will translate it eventually, without giving it much thought.  I will know if it's fair, good, too much or a bargain.  Paying twice as much is not my style.  If the custom of a country is to negotiate the price, that means paying sticker price is paying too much. There are plenty of people everywhere around the globe who will gladly take my money if I'm stupid enough to give it to them.  I'm fair, and reasonably generous, but I do watch my pennies, so to speak.  I don't have the luxury of throwing money at everyone who needs it -- in fact, if anyone wants to throw money my way, I sure can use it to care for my family  :proud

To each his own.  But please help me understand this scenario:   I'm in an abarrotes, a couple walks in and right away start asking .. estos a como?  Y los bolillos a como los da?  Y los chocolates, cuánto cuestan?  Y estas caramelos son muy caros a 2 pesos cada uno no?  Okay, dame dos cajetillas de Marlboros, Thres six de Modelo,  Y un saldo Movie Star de 200 pesos.

To me if you want to save money you have to go all the way.  You're asking prices for penny candies then throw 500 pesos at crap.  Why is that?

Interesting, but getting back to the exchange rates, I believe it is a sort of compulsive control behavior. Trying to get the sales price is also, I worked in a department store while in college, so I am well aware that prices are jacked before a sale then brought down to normal for the sale. The only real sale is when they are moving the item to make room for the new line.  Trying to jump on the exchange rate is a similar issue.

I figure my time in as part of the cost . If I have to go to the bank three times to take advantage of the exchange rate that is an hour and half of my time, perhaps more, so what exactly am I saving ? Going to the bank once no matter what the rate is saves me money. Skipping the combate sales saves me money also as well as a possible injury. I buy quality items that I am familiar with or researched, and that I need. I buy when the store is not full ( the bored clerk is looking for a sale so will be very glad to help you).  In an empty shoe store recently,I got the full attention of two clerks. I save time, money and stress.

jonny danger :
4theloveofsun :
jonny danger :

I'm no economist either but I think the exchange rate is driven by the faith-based value of your nation's currency.  And that no doubt has to do with the investors/speculator"s read.

No doubt the MXN value is tied to the USA, at least in part, maybe entirely. 

For me the exchange rate is no biggie unless I were to exchange large sums, of which I'll never have the pleasure.

I do offer a suggestion tho:  If while shopping you are looking at prices and converting that figure to dollars .. get over it.

:o It's the Dutch/German genetics; I can't help it.  I was raised with expressions like: watch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves; a fool and his money are soon parted.  I could go on but you get the picture.  My brain will translate it eventually, without giving it much thought.  I will know if it's fair, good, too much or a bargain.  Paying twice as much is not my style.  If the custom of a country is to negotiate the price, that means paying sticker price is paying too much. There are plenty of people everywhere around the globe who will gladly take my money if I'm stupid enough to give it to them.  I'm fair, and reasonably generous, but I do watch my pennies, so to speak.  I don't have the luxury of throwing money at everyone who needs it -- in fact, if anyone wants to throw money my way, I sure can use it to care for my family  :proud

To each his own.  But please help me understand this scenario:   I'm in an abarrotes, a couple walks in and right away start asking .. estos a como?  Y los bolillos a como los da?  Y los chocolates, cuánto cuestan?  Y estas caramelos son muy caros a 2 pesos cada uno no?  Okay, dame dos cajetillas de Marlboros, Thres six de Modelo,  Y un saldo Movie Star de 200 pesos.

To me if you want to save money you have to go all the way.  You're asking prices for penny candies then throw 500 pesos at crap.  Why is that?

Your theoretical situation is beyond me; it's not something I would do so giving my opinion wouldn't advance this discussion one bit.  I'm not trying to be rude, and I hope it doesn't sound rude.  My mind is in the "buying a house and spending my life savings" mode right now.  Please accept my apologies for not giving this more thought; my brain is full; I need to archive and clean out some space  :lol:

travellight :

Interesting, but getting back to the exchange rates, I believe it is a sort of compulsive control behavior. Trying to get the sales price is also, I worked in a department store while in college, so I am well aware that prices are jacked before a sale then brought down to normal for the sale. The only real sale is when they are moving the item to make room for the new line.  Trying to jump on the exchange rate is a similar issue.

I figure my time in as part of the cost . If I have to go to the bank three times to take advantage of the exchange rate that is an hour and half of my time, perhaps more, so what exactly am I saving ? Going to the bank once no matter what the rate is saves me money. Skipping the combate sales saves me money also as well as a possible injury. I buy quality items that I am familiar with or researched, and that I need. I buy when the store is not full ( the bored clerk is looking for a sale so will be very glad to help you).  In an empty shoe store recently,I got the full attention of two clerks. I save time, money and stress.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  It was a beautiful sunny day, it's a very nice outside outlet mall, and for the first time in months (literally) I had time to do something I wanted to do.  If I had it to do over...  A movie, nice dinner, maybe the spa and a massage, lol  Any place but where I found myself, hehehe.

@4theloveofsun

My post doesn't really suggest a theory, just common sense.  Beer, chocolate and Fritos are not among your life's sustainable nutrients.  People concerned over the price of cheap crap, worried they are being over-changed a half a Peso don't seem so thrifty when it comes to freakin Beer and ciggies.  They never asked the price of the beer, nor the cigarettes.  Why is that?  Because those two items are needed for survival.  Doesn't matter what they cost.  That's f**ked up.

You are never going to fix that for the most part Jonny, but I find some of the people I talk to are listening. Perhaps they think about those 4 liters of coke Given that morbid obesity is through the roof in the U.S. and going there in Mexico, I hope so.

I know the people in the market look at my cart seriously, I try to not look at their cart.

There are only so many escalators you can cause to come to a sudden stop before you must have to wonder why that happens a lot to you.

My friend and I were almost thrown off of an escalator when three members of a very large family got on the bottom stairs. Fortunately we were on the top two stairs. They got on and we were thrown forward when the escalator froze. Both of us are fit, and slim so we were able to save ourselves and step off. Now if a number of very large people are getting on, I don't.

jonny danger :

@4theloveofsun

My post doesn't really suggest a theory, just common sense.  Beer, chocolate and Fritos are not among your life's sustainable nutrients.  People concerned over the price of cheap crap, worried they are being over-changed a half a Peso don't seem so thrifty when it comes to freakin Beer and ciggies.  They never asked the price of the beer, nor the cigarettes.  Why is that?  Because those two items are needed for survival.  Doesn't matter what they cost.  That's f**ked up.

Common sense isn't really all that common hahaha

You're right.  In fact there is no such thing as common sense.  But there is logic.  We were talking about saving money.  I'm saying if you really are serious about saving it isn't about walking up the street to a store where those chocolates are 50c cheaper per dozen.  You can buy a lot of Hersey's Kisses for the cost of one can of beer.  We humans like to fool ourselves, and it's easy to slip into denial.   So if one side of your brain tells you you have to save money, and the other side commands your need for a can of beer, and if the beer wins .. it very possible you're f**ked up.

So the solution might be to simply confess to yourself you NEED alcohol more than your need discipline  and a healthy diet, and a bit of self respect, and your resolve to save money was another one of your pipe dreams. 

For me saving $ has less to do with arithmetic and more to do with doing without, cause if you can't do without and if you're past 16 years old you are frozen in your childhood..  I have lots of experiences with heavy drinkers.  I watch them .. I try to make sense of what they're saying .. I learn from them.  What I have learned over the years is just that I wouldn't want to be one.

What guides me is a vision of myself in a hospital bed with tubes shoved down my nose and a tube coming out my ass, and an oxygen tank handcuffed around my neck and answering the questions from my ward mates, Why are you here? with, "I smoked too much and never found the strength to quit."  Or to take a shit and flush down what's left of my liver and tell those ward mates .. I couldn't control my need for a beer.

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