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Sayin hola

 
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Wolfpelt



Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 12:17 pm    Post subject: Sayin hola Reply with quote

Hi all

The Mrs and I are coming to Mexico end of June. Can't wait. We have a million questions but maybe a couple of innocuous ones to start?

Mrs Wolfpelt drinks wine; don't hold it against her please. What's the Mexican wine like and can one buy it cheapish in, say, San Luis Potesi?

Is Nytol available? (These two questions aren't necessarily connected) Laughing

And third: can a chap get a phone line and internet connection for a Christian price?

Thanks in anticipation

Wolfpelt (hairy newbie)
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Sayin hola Reply with quote

Wolfpelt wrote:

Mrs Wolfpelt drinks wine; don't hold it against her please. What's the Mexican wine like and can one buy it cheapish in, say, San Luis Potesi?

Is Nytol available? (These two questions aren't necessarily connected) Laughing

And third: can a chap get a phone line and internet connection for a Christian price?



Here's my take on your questions:

1) Mexican wine, made in baja, is damm cheap, but if she is an honest to god wine drinker, she probably won't drink the stuff. The good news is Chilean wine is good and inexpensive and you won't have any problem finding it in any place that could be called a city.

2)Nytol is available in both it's tradional (chemical) and in it's new "herbal" variety. There are cheaper local brands, but who knows how they compare.

3) depends on where you live. When I first arrived in my town it was impossible to get a phone line put in because there simply weren't any more lines available. But if an apartment had a phone line, the land lord didn't disconnect it when tennats changed. But, I live in the south of Mexico, which might as well be a different country. Now the phone company has been busy laying lines--to some areas--if you live in one of those areas, no problem, I think it costs like 1500 pesos to get the phone installed. But if you live somewhere else, you have to convince 24 of your neighbors that they also need phones because the phone company won't lay less than 25 lines at a time. Once you have a phone, internet is no problem. Prices vary as do speed of connection so you'll want to shop around. I personally enjoy being "disconnected" at home, but I have unlimited internet in my office and there is a phone calling station just around the corner from my house.

Best of luck,
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Wolfpelt



Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, appreciate the input, Melee. Most kind!

Mrs W is delighted to learn about the cheapness and availability of the Chilean which is her fav tipple. Me, in my wine-drinking days I was never bothered with country of origin and such niceties -- no, I judged a wine by its percentage of alcohol. Do not scoff; there are worse benchmarks Laughing

About the Nytol: I came across a post you made concerning noise in México (sobering stuff) and it looks like we'll both need those funky medicines...

Good news though about the net. We're heading to either San Luis Potosí or Zacatecas so I imagine they'd be sorta wired in big places like that? I've been looking on the net for info about the actual cables you use there, but no luck. Are they the same as the US ones?

Mrs W is looking over my furry shoulder as I type this and wants to know something about teaching. What are her chances of teaching children as opposed to adults? Are schools hiring?

Thanks so far. Keep the faith.

Wolfpelt
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 8:51 pm    Post subject: Phone stories Reply with quote

Quote:
And third: can a chap get a phone line and internet connection for a Christian price?
- Wolfpelt


Regarding phones, in Mexico one is at the mercy of Telmex.

In this city, Telmex asks for a 2,000-peso deposit (about USD$200) to install a working line on streets where phone cables are already installed. In rural areas, one must pay by the kilometer to connect to the nearest existing phone cable, which can become quite costly.

Internet service via phone lines runs a little less than 20 bucks locally with unlimited access time. In this city, there are 5 or 6 different servers to choose from, some providing better service than others, and all cost about the same. Cable internet access is still quite expensive, at least in the part of the country where I am, but it is available.

I've heard lots of horror stories about Telmex and getting a phone line installed in the city where I live. I've also told a few horror stories on the topic.

The first place I rented already had a phone line installed. However, the previous tenants skipped out leaving a huge phone bill. Telmex wouldn't install a new phone line or reactivate the current one at that address until the outstanding phone bill had been paid off. I certainly wasn't going to pay it, nor was my landlord, so I had no phone while living there.

The second place I rented had a working phone in it in the landlady's name. I gave her a photocopy of the phone bill each month showing that I'd paid it when I paid my rent, and it all worked fine.

When I moved into my own house, I went to Telmex to arrange to have a phone line installed. I had a working phone line within one week. However, in some of the more recently developing areas of the city where there are no existing phone cables yet, people have been waiting over a year to get service.

Three months after I had my phone service installed, I received a phone bill in an amount that almost gave me a heart attack. What had happened was that the person who had had my number previously (phone numbers are recycled,) discovered that once "our" phone number had been reactivated, his remote-access phone card worked again. He must've spent almost every waking minute making long distance phone calls all over the country! Fortunately, when I had arranged to have phone service, I had declined the remote-access card, so obviously, I hadn't made any of those remote-access card calls. Telmex very cordially removed those charges from my bill.

Phone bill delivery is sometimes hit and miss here. Even when it is delivered in a timely fashion (instead of 5 days after payment was due,) I sometimes find it in the street, under my car, or in the front flower bed, even though I have a mailbox out front. One must remember which day of the month his phone bill is due. If the bill hasn't arrived by that date, it's necessary to go to one of the Telmex offices, get a duplicate, and pay the bill. Telmex is exceptionally prompt about cutting off one's service if the bill isn't paid on time.

To answer another of your questions, yes, phone cords to connect phones and computers to phone jacks are the same here as in the U.S.
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Wolfpelt



Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 10:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Phone stories Reply with quote

Ben Round de Bloc wrote:
Three months after I had my phone service installed, I received a phone bill in an amount that almost gave me a heart attack. What had happened was that the person who had had my number previously (phone numbers are recycled,) discovered that once "our" phone number had been reactivated, his remote-access phone card worked again. He must've spent almost every waking minute making long distance phone calls all over the country!

Yikes. Reminds me of the chap I know whose place was burgled while he was away. He arrived home to find his phone off the hook and a mechanical voice telling the time every five seconds with an Australian accent -- he lives tens of thousands of miles from the land of Oz Shocked

But thank you, Monsieur de Bloc, for these interesting insights into life south of the Rio Grande. They'd faze a couple who weren't used to travel, but Mrs W and I have also been round the block once or twice. I suppose every country has its little idiosyncrasies (Jeeze, I can't believe I wrote that without even glancing at a dictionary) and we gotta be prepared for them.

Neither of us has been to México before however, so it's all hearsay and secondhand accounts. I guess we have to experience the place for ourselves. It sounds like a lotta fun though. We're Irish by the way so we should feel right at home there.

But tell me this if you can. I'm trying to form a picture of Mexican society and general daily life. What would you say is its most salient feature? In other words, what sets it most apart from your own patria? In my experience every place has its own peculiar atmosphere, a thing you sense right away. Is the Mexican one a good one? Does it feel lawless, or dangerous, or placid, or exciting, friendly or unfriendly, or what?

And what's life like north of DF?

Wolfpelt
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2003 1:31 am    Post subject: All those things and more Reply with quote

Quote:
Does it feel lawless, or dangerous, or placid, or exciting, friendly or unfriendly, or what?
- Wolfpelt


How does it feel here? The first thing that comes to mind is hot. For the past several weeks, day-time highs have been 100°-105° F. with lots of humidity.

I've been in some rather remote villages during celebrations when it definitely felt lawless and dangerous. There are some parts of the city that are best avoided at night, but for the most part, the city is safe. I'm not sure about placid. If placid involves quiet in any way, then, no, this isn't a placid city. However, it is a pretty calm, laid-back place to live. I don't find the people here particularly friendly or unfriendly. I mean, it's a city of over a million people, so people aren't particularly concerned about people they don't know, often to the point of being rude and inconsiderate. However, once you've established contact with people such as co-workers, students, shop owners, neighbors, etc., they're usually quite friendly.

Probably the five biggest adjustments I've had to make have been those regarding noise levels, being told the truth (or lack thereof,) punctuality (or lack thereof again,) how long it takes to get things done (hours for things that should take a few minutes,) and the way people drive (offensively in at least two senses of the word.)

A final note about truth and punctuality: I'd estimate that people here will do what they say they'll do about 50% of the time, and they'll do it when they say they'll do it about 0% of the time.
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wereva



Joined: 26 May 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Guanajuato, GTO Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2003 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been living in the city Guanajuato for about a year now, and worked this last semester in a small town called San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato (travelling to guanajuato on the weekends). San Luis is about an hour in car (if you drive Mexican style) to San Luis Potosi. San Luis Potosi is a really nice city, and very big. It is the biggest city in the state, and has a really nice colonial downtown. I would imagine that you won't have too much trouble finding all the necessary grigo accomadations.

The weather there is actually pretty nice. In San Luis it was very cold this winter. I'm from Oregon, which get's wet and cold in the winter, and the temperatures were comprable....but the commodity was not. In Mexico, unless you live in the far north, or are ridiculously rich, in-home heating is a concept that most people haven't even heard of...so I reccommend buying a heater and sweaters if you are going to be there through the winter. The summer is nice, it has been pretty warm lately, but nothing like the down South temps from our compañeros in the Yucatan.

In San Luis de la Paz when I asked about a telephone line for my apartment people laughed. Telmex is a huge monopoly and basically just doesn't care about your request. But, in San Luis Potosi, I imagine that it would be easier.

I'm back in the city of Guanajuato now (which is a lovely city, by the way, to spend a weekend), and I actually really learned to love the small towns, but it was an adjustment. The style of life is really dependant on the size of the city you are in, and obviously the part of the country. The great thing about a small town is that it is very different from our Mother Patria. Things are quiet, people are friendly (although sorta nosey and gossipy), and the pace slows down a lot - which can work both for and against you. I feel like living in a big city in Mexico is not very different from living in the states...you've got your Walmart, movies, malls, etc. But in the 'country' life is a refreshing change and very non-american.

I guess I'm going on and on, I love living in Mexico, and would be happy to answer any questions or anything, just e-mail me. davidsondarcy@hotmail.com

Good luck!
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Wolfpelt



Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wereva wrote:
just e-mail me. davidsondarcy@hotmail.com

Did you get my email? Seems like weeks since I sent it. Maybe that addy isn't correct? Rolling Eyes

Love to hear from you -- and from anybody else in the area for that matter. The countdown has started; any morning now Mrs W and I are going to wake up in Mexico and wonder how we got there....

Wolfpelt
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