Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three Top Picks For Living In Mexico

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rummage Sale

When you've made the decision to move, you get rid of stuff that is silly to move 3,000 miles away to a new climate. Jennifer Maier, who lives in Seattle, wrote thisand just feels right.

Rummage Sale By Jennifer Maier

Forgive me, Aunt Phyllis, for rejecting the cut
glass dishes—the odd set you gathered piece
by piece from thirteen boxes of Lux laundry soap.

Pardon me, eggbeater, for preferring the whisk;
and you, small ship in a bottle, for the diminutive
size of your ocean. Please don’t tell my mother,

hideous lamp, that the light you provided
was never enough. Domestic deities, do not be angry
that my counters are not white with flour;

no one is sorrier than I, iron skillet, for the heavy
longing for lightness directing my mortal hand.
And my apologies, to you, above all,

forsaken dresses, that sway from a rod between
ladders behind me, clicking your plastic tongues
at the girl you once made beautiful,

and the woman, with a hard heart and
softening body, who stands in the driveway
making change.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Transitioning to a Life in Sayulita

El Sayulero By Stacey Elkins

"Moving from one country to another country can be a challenge, particularly due to differences in culture. However, Gabriel Jones, Sales Director & Contributing Writer of Mexi-Go!, and his wife, Wendy, did just did that when they made the leap from Vancouver, British Columbia to Sayulita three and a half years ago.

"At the time, Gabriel’s employer Mexi-Go!, a Canadian publication, was transitioning to become a Mexican company. Wendy was employed by a Canadian company and was working remotely from home. When the opportunity arose to move to Sayulita, Wendy got approval from her employer to continue to work remotely from Mexico.

"This required a home with solid internet connection and a phone line, as Wendy’s job required numerous teleconferences. Through SayulitaLife.com 
they found a long-term rental and made arrangements to rent the house.

"Nick Sherman, former President of Pro Sayulita, was their property manager and became their first Sayulita friend. He provided invaluable information to this couple. “He made our transition so much easier. He showed us how Mexican houses differ from Canadian ones, helped us roll with the punches during our first rainy season and a million little things like how to pay our CFE bill and Telmex bill. He really helped us in so many ways,” the couple says.

"Gabriel and Wendy also relied on SayulitaLife.com
 forums and other social forums for information about transitioning to life in Sayulita. “So many people, both Mexicans and foreigners, are willing to help. They share their experiences with what works and what doesn’t. They offer suggestions as simple as where to purchase things or as complex as how to change over car titles and plates from Jalisco to Nayarit. Some foreigners believe there isn’t a lot of health care here, but there is on a lot of levels, which we have found through the referrals of others,” says Wendy.

"Networking in the community was another immense source of helping this couple transition to their life here in Sayulita. Gabriel and Wendy have found that volunteering has been a great way to get involved with the community and meet a lot of great friends.Through SayulitAnimals, fundraisers at Costa Verde International School and river clean-ups through Eco Sayulita, they have met some of their closest friends.

“In Sayulita, locals are likely to have friends in various age categories. There is no border on age when it comes to friendship here. We have friends that range in age from 20 years old to 70 years old. Even the neighborhood children regularly stop by the house,” says Gabriel and Wendy.

"While a lot of people do speak English in Sayulita, language can still be a barrier. Wendy is currently taking the intensive Spanish course at Experiencia Sayulita Spanish School and is very excited to be improving her Spanish and ability to communicate. Both Gabriel and Wendy have been able to pick up some key Spanish by spending time with Mexican neighbors, shopping and getting out in the community.

"The couple feels that it is important to try to communicate in the native language and learning new Spanish words can be very rewarding. “After several months of ordering bacon a kilo at a time it was a big day for me when I mastered the word medio and could order just half a kilo of bacon” joked Gabriel.

"Gabriel and Wendy have made Sayulita their home and have no regrets about their decision to move here. “This was the best decision that we have ever made. That is why we are still here and we are so happy to be here.”

Chilies and Chocolates

Aylin Öney Tan writing in the Daily News informs us about the origins of moles and Mexican cooking:

"Exactly 18 years ago, I was at the National Day of Mexico reception at Singapore Raffles Hotel. Finally, I would be able to taste the legendary mole poblano, wild turkey smothered in the scary dark bitter chocolate-chili sauce with a zillion spices. I fell in love the moment I tasted it, but ours would be a love of separation and longing. My instant decision to go to Mexico as soon as possible was never realized and I seldom had the chance to taste real authentic Mexican food again.

"I was always amazed by the diversity of Mexican food, and I thought we had much to share between the two countries. So many tastes and dishes seemed to be so similar. Years later, about eight years ago, I met a culinary historian friend living in Mexico who opened up a whole new world in my perception of Mexican food. Rachel Laudan, the author of the recent colossal book “Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in Word History,” has lived in Mexico City for many years. I met Rachel at the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery, where she was immensely supportive of my first paper delivered to an audience of crème de la crème of food researchers. Rachel has a very interesting theory on how Spanish-influenced-Mexican food had its roots in Middle East, going as far as India. I could not agree more. When I was doing my research on Turkish-Sephardic cookery, I traced similar links between the cuisines of Andalusia and medieval Arab cooking, which sometimes explains why we find some Mexican tastes so very much like ours.

"The cookery of the Iberian Peninsula before Columbus discovered the Americas carried strong traces from the early Medieval Arabic cuisine from the Middle East. The same was very true for the Ottoman court. Two cookbooks, 13th century Iberian Al-Andalus and 15th century Ottoman Şirvani, were both greatly based on the early 13th century Baghdad text Kitab al-Tabikh, also known as al-Baghdadi. Many Muslims and Jews living in medieval Spain were originally from eastern Mediterranean countries, still maintaining their eating habits. Ziryab, a freed slave from Baghdad, brought over the latest fashions in the Abbasid capital to al-Andalus in the 9th century and introduced the practice of dining in courses to the West. The eastern tastes were synthesized in Spain to an even greater sophistication where people of all creeds intermingled. These cooking traditions were carried to Mexico by the first Spanish conquistadors, followed later by many Middle Eastern immigrants after the break of the Ottoman Empire. The latter is more responsible with el Pastor being a popular street food in Mexico, just like the Döner Kebab in Turkey, Souvlaki in Greece or Shawarma (from Turkish çevirme-to rotate) in Syria or Lebanon. The former influence however, may well be the reason for today’s mole dishes in Mexico. Laudan suggests the Mexican mole has roots deep in these historical connections, stretching the influences as far as Indian curry. Well, the result is a delightful combination of indigenous ingredients like cocoa or Mexican bitter chocolate & red hot chilies with a plethora of old-world spices on the only truly native American bird, that is the turkey!"
Further reading: https://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/2004/the.mexican.kitchen.s.islamic.connection.htm

Market in Mexico

AARP: Best Places to Retire Abroad - Mexico

With its profoundly rich Indian and Spanish culture, its spectacular beaches and charming colonial hill towns, its real estate bargains and its proximity to the United States, Mexico is the undisputed number one destination for American retirees. It boasts thriving expat communities in Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara; San Miguel de Allende, in Guanajuato; Baja California; and Cancún, in the Yucatan. They all have their attractions, including a low-cost, laid-back lifestyle, but our choice in Mexico is the Puerto Vallarta region, located on the Pacific Coast in the state of Nayarit. Its combination of first-class urban amenities and charming palm-fringed villages have made it an appealing retiree draw as well as a popular tourist destination, without the serious crime that blights some other parts of the country.

(A quick word about crime and safety in Mexico: Yes, it's extremely dangerous in the cities bordering the United States and a few places elsewhere. Mexico, however, is also nearly three times the size of Texas, and most of the country is reasonably safe and secure, especially resort areas and tourist destinations.)

Puerto Vallarta's handsome beachfront promenade can be overcrowded with tourists, but venture a few blocks back from the bars and curio shops, and the town's Mexican charms are on display—whitewashed houses bedecked with flowers, and plazas where locals and expats alike greet, eat, and seat themselves on benches to watch the passing parade. In Nuevo Vallarta, the newer luxury area, you’ll find U.S.-style condo complexes and even a mall. You’d think you're back in the States, but at a steep discount.

Forty minutes north of  PV, the seaside village of  Sayulita is a lively place, with a colorful mix of tourists, retirees, and surfer dudes that keeps things hopping. Rollie Dick, 70, and his wife, Jeanne, 65, both former teachers from California, own and operate the town’s most popular restaurant—Rollie’s—known for its delicious quesadillas and a chef who dances his guests around the tables. "We love the plaza life," Dick says. "It reminds me of the States in the ’50s."

The one thing expats most appreciate about life here: the traditional Mexican friendliness. Peter Glass, 65, a former Procter & Gamble executive, lives with his wife, Charlotte, in a charming small house in Sayulita. An African American from Washington, D.C., he says that "Mexico is the only country I’ve experienced where I haven’t felt that I was being judged one way or the other by the color of my skin. It is a breath of the proverbial fresh air."

Check out our traveler's guide to Puerto Vallarta.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Auto manufacturers move to Mexico

Mexico has become a superpower in cars

Automotive News estimates that just-opened and newly announced plants in Mexico from 2014 will add more than 1.5 million units of vehicle capacity there through 2019, much of it aimed at U.S. consumers. That will give Mexico the factory muscle to turn out 4.5 million cars and trucks -- roughly a 50 percent increase over the 2,934,049 units built in Mexico in 2013.

The investment in Mexico likely will turn up the competitive heat on automakers who are not moving small vehicles into Mexico -- notably General Motors, which produces its subcompact Chevrolet Sonic in Orion Township, Mich., and its compact Chevrolet Cruze in Lordstown, Ohio.

There are many factors that makes Mexico so attractive to automotive manufacturers. There are the EPA laws, OSHA laws, EEOC laws, legal liability laws and municipal zoning laws that make the US less attractive. Mexico also has much lower electricity and natural gas costs that the manufacturing plants consume in enormous quantities. 

Wake up America and get your foot off the necks of manufacturers and you will see U.S. manufacturing flourish.

President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico

President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.
Credit Jason Szenes/European Pressphoto Agency
President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico is expected to promote a series of steps to modernize and remake the Mexican economy and raise the standard of living when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday morning.

He has won approval to let foreign companies and investors hold a stake in Mexico’s national oil company, raising the prospect to vastly increase slackening production. He has rewritten the telecommunications law with a goal to break up the near monopoly of a few private telephone and television companies. And he has undertaken changes in the education system to lessen the grip unions hold in schools, and to improve education in Mexico, where students are far behind those in countries of similar size and levels of development. But Mr. Peña Nieto remains more popular abroad than at home, as polls show sinking approval numbers and growing impatience with the much-promoted reforms that have yet to meaningfully raise wages or the standard of living of ordinary Mexicans.

All worthy goals in my mind.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

La Cuenta, Por Favor

The difference between factura, cuenta and recibo from...in Focus monthly newsletter
The difference between factura, cuenta and reciboWe thought this was an excellent explanation of the difference between factura, cuenta and recibo. Hope it helps you also.
Factura (invoice) is the proof of payment with tariff schedule; this is used among companies to know what they spent and taxes they payed.
Example: If Coca-Cola buys a truck, it requires the invoice to prove ownership and payment of government taxes.
Other example: When companies send you out of town, you are required to ask for the invoice to prove the expenses you made with the company's budget.
Cuenta (bill) is also a proof of payment, but is more related to a restaurant environment.
Example: if you go to a restaurant, you ask for the bill to know how much you'll pay as a total, NOT how much tax is charged.
Recibo (receipt) is also a proof of payment, but, in this case, it is usually used by small businesses when you make a purchase.
Example: When you buy something in GAP, ZARA, Bath and Body works, Steren, etc
Source: wordreference. com

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ex-pats Living in Baja

Video by Horacio Jones 

"Last week I had to travel to Rosarito for a video gig, so I took the opportunity to pay a visit to a couple of friends who had moved to Baja a few of years ago. I decided it would also be a good idea to do some kind of story about ex-pats living in Baja while I was there. So I paid Shari and Fernando a visit to see what it was like for them now that they live along the Baja coast.

"During the trip we also met another Shari and an artist named Gretchen who has opened up a place called Art House Rosarito, where she lives, creates art and plans for sustainable communities. She also opens up her home to other artists to stay and work at.

"In this report they discuss what it’s like to live in baja, as well as the differences between the U.S. and Mexico. This is an expansive subject and you could certainly make a feature documentary about it, and I hope in the future to be able to make a more comprehensive report on the subject. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make the move…"