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A few questions, heading out in a few weeks
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El Jefe



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny that the explosions are so common here, it didn't even sound like real fireworks, more like shotgun blasts. I couldn't find San Hipolito on my map but it was raucous madness after Sunday morning, had a lot of trouble sleeping. The guy at the front desk said it was the holiday BBB mentioned; I had to go down and ask at a certain point.

Stopped by Banamex earlier and was told that I could open an account but I'd need to show them an electric bill to prove I was living here. And that might take a while. They also said that they would charge 5% on withdrawals from my citibank card, so that's not very good. I have had plenty of banking problems abroad and know that the first answer isn't always right, so I'll probably stop by another branch or two during the week.

I signed up for a PayPal debit card and I was looking into the HSBC expat banking account, but is that the right one? Where you have to maintain a $5,000/10,000 balance? I have the funds I'm just not sure if it's worth it, though it could quite possibly be, I don't know enough yet.

Aside from that, everything is going great. New hotel is nice, I'm loving the food and the atmosphere, happy about how well my Spanish has held up after being dormant for nearly 3 years, can't believe how cheap everything is, and am about to take a stroll over to the Zona Rosa area to check things out. It's still a little bizarre living in a borgish Asian country for so long then coming to a place like Mexico, but the variety comparison alone is like finding a well at the end of a desert. And 12 oz of ice cream doesn't cost $18!
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1082
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say 75% of the fireworks set off in my town are just bangs, just about the sound, nothing visual to them, they do sound like gun shots, so much so that I'm sure no one in my town would react to actual gun shots. Razz There are some really cool visual ones that are attached to tower-like structures and spin and make pictures that move and change slowly from one image to another.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 781
Location: Juan Aldama, Zacatecas, Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To make things a little strange, the church that is generally considered to be that of San Judas Tadeo actually isn't at all, though if you asked 10 people 9 of them would refer to the church as such. The Saint Jude Shrine is actually to the north of the city, and not even very frequently visited. Ask someone where the St. Jude church is, that that is the one that is really St. Hipolito. Sounds like you are off to a good start, glad you are liking your new digs, hopefully you can get the bank account thing figured out soon.
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El Jefe



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, sorry for trying to extend the help too much but I've decided to skip the beach for now. I haven't worked in over a month and there's no reason to waste nearly two grand on hotels when I'm already in a good position to set up shop.

I have to admit, after visiting the Zona Rosa area, I pretty much settled on living as close to there as I can. I saw little of condessa and roma, but I spent a few days walking from centro historico to zona rosa and up and down Reforma, with not too much range through the various neighborhoods. I'm obviously speaking from a limited viewpoint since I've only been here a week, but I like the area a lot.

Clearly, as was previously stated, that's a really expensive area to live in. I've been walking around pretty haphazardly looking for apartments during the day, and checking CL, metros cubicos and segundamano in the evening. There are a lot of cheap listings for shared housing, but I can't go back to that. I'll list my questions...

1) I wish I understood the neighborhoods better, it's confusing. I'm going to wander into the Cuauhtemoc area this week; I was told that would be a good bet. Haven't seen many bienes raices places around either, mostly apartment buildings self advertising. Any other neighborhood/apartment finding tips?

2) Private lessons were mildly risky and a highly contentious issue in Korea; as well as inconsistent, as I assume they are in any country. But I'm wondering how much hustling I'll have to do in order to maintain basic living expenses, if, say, renting a 400-600p apartment. If the greater central area is too saturated and competitive, I'd consider other areas. I know there are plenty of nice neighborhoods around the city that I'm open to, but just not familiar with yet. How/where should I go about self advertising?

3) Notamiss mentioned prolonged stay apartment hotels. I'd like to know how to find one of these in a safe neighborhood somewhere near the general area I mentioned. Can someone tell me if there's a specific Spanish term for that? Habitaciones...? I can't figure that one out. Thanks again for any input you guys may have.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1815
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a place called San Marino Suites in Río Po, between Río Pánuco and Río Lerma in the Colonia Cuauhtémoc. It is a quiet narrow street, and a stone's throw away from the US Embassy, so very close to Reforma. There is another similar place nearly opposite, whose name I can't remember.
I believe Isla Guapa, of this forum, lives very close, so she'd probably be able to give you a better opinion.
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 848
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Jefe wrote:

Any other neighborhood/apartment finding tips?
For cheap accommodations, the best ways are (1) walking around and looking for signs. You’ve started the process, but barely scratched the surface; keep doing it, and visit many more areas of the city; and (2) connections – word of mouth. In your situation, one way it could happen (as a hypothetical example) is when you’ve settled into a temporary place, you go to your neighbourhood mom-and-pop store for some supplies, they ask you where you’re from, a conversation starts, you mention you’re looking for a cheap apartment, and the next thing you know, they’re telling you about their cousin’s sister-in-law who is looking for a tenant.

El Jefe wrote:

3) Notamiss mentioned prolonged stay apartment hotels. I'd like to know how to find one of these in a safe neighborhood somewhere near the general area I mentioned. Can someone tell me if there's a specific Spanish term for that? Habitaciones...? I can't figure that one out. Thanks again for any input you guys may have.
Suites, apartamento hotel, departamentos amueblados tipo hotel are some examples. Also, on hotel aggregator websites, look for searches limited by hotel type; for instance on “apart-hotel” on hotels.com.
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will agree you have to talk to some locals to find out whats available in certain areas you like.
If theres an area you like go to some 'mom and pop' stores around there and start conversation that your very interested in finding an apartment.
Also, my fiance is hit up a great deal for this kind of assistance as a waiter.
The interesting thing is if you do ask for help from a waiter tipping for help goes a long way and waiters always have other staff they can ask if they don't know.
People will usually be motivated to help more if money is offered.
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1514
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil_K wrote:
There is a place called San Marino Suites in Río Po, between Río Pánuco and Río Lerma in the Colonia Cuauhtémoc. It is a quiet narrow street, and a stone's throw away from the US Embassy, so very close to Reforma. There is another similar place nearly opposite, whose name I can't remember.
I believe Isla Guapa, of this forum, lives very close, so she'd probably be able to give you a better opinion.


I live on RĂ­o Po, a block from the San Marino Suites. I have no idea how much they charge, but since they cater to traveling business people and possibly people connected to the nearby US Embassy, I'm sure it isn't cheap.

In my area, I sometimes see signs in windows of private homes offering furnished rooms for rent. You might try walking around my neighborhood and checking some of them out.
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El Jefe



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I called San Marino Suites yesterday and it's fairly pricey. I spent most of today walking around Roma, Condessa and Cuauhtemoc and found zero hotel options that compared to where I'm staying now, which is close enough.

I did find some good leads, though. Around hospital general and a place a couple blocks NW of the Revolucion station (according to my maps), as well as a few other places. Not sure how nice those neighborhoods really are, but I wasn't able to get much information walking around; most of it came from calling the numbers on 'se renta' signs. There are some really beautiful neighborhoods in those areas, I hope I can get lucky, but I'm still pretty uninformed about how much money I'll actually be able to make here going solo. Breaking even after a few months would suffice. And what little I've seen of the city, I've thoroughly enjoyed. Great atmosphere in general.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 781
Location: Juan Aldama, Zacatecas, Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Jefe wrote:
I called San Marino Suites yesterday and it's fairly pricey. I spent most of today walking around Roma, Condessa and Cuauhtemoc and found zero hotel options that compared to where I'm staying now, which is close enough.



If you like Roma, Condessa, etc. in general, move one Colonia over, say Noche Buena,P iedad Navarte, Obrero, Doctores, Escandon - while not being in the thick of things, you are still close to those areas, that are, as you have realized very pricey (and also among those with the highest crime rates, no matter how nice they might look).
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El Jefe



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those colonia recommendations are extremely helpful. I'm loosely beginning to understand the grid. If you stay a little south near Insurgentes or Reforma and a metro station, many of the neighborhoods are alright. I drifted into at least one of those areas yesterday but the colonia names aren't on any maps I've come across so I can only figure that out in Google maps on my phone, which I should utilize more. I probably walked for 8 hours yesterday (which is fine, I'm not really in any rush) and I tried talking to a lot of people; but I got mostly 'they aren't here, come back tomorrow' through intercoms and a couple 'why the hell are you asking me' gestures from some random people living/working in areas where I inquired. I've talked to a few people who have let me know about the neighborhoods and which areas are nicer, because I don't feel unsafe at all anywhere I've been during the day, so it's hard to tell. I'll start taking the metro more as well. I took the Seoul child proof metro twice a day for two years but this one is a bit of a beast. Have to hustle sometimes. Took a smaller bus home last night and realized how futile that was since it took an hour to go a couple of miles. I see how essential that metro bus is to living "downtown", though. Thanks again for the feedback.
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