Lake Chapala Successful Living Tips (Part 1 of 2)

November 2, 2013

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Hi Everyone,
I like to check the various websites about retirement options.
I’m always on the look out for some place better to retire than
Lake Chapala. It’s not that I’m unhappy at Lake Chapala.
I love it and can’t imagine any place better all things considered,
but it’s my nature to investigate things. I like to keep my finger on the pulse of retirement options.
One site I monitor is dedicated to retirement in Mexico. Recently this site asked it’s readers to post tips for living in Mexico and to sweeten the pot they offered a $75 Amazon Gift certificate to the person who submitted the most tips in a certain time limit.
I love competition, I love helping and of course since I buy all sorts of things on Amazon it was a no brainer for me to entire the contest. Of course since you’re reading this you know I won the contest, I had eleven tips accepted and have already used up my $75 gift certificate.
I’ve likely shared these tips one at a time over the years here on but thought they would make good article content for you.
So, as the announcer says, “Without further adieu” here’s the best of the tips.
Saving Money on Shoes
In Mexico it’s often not easy to find shoes in smaller towns the right size for gringo feet, Also many modern (even high priced shoes) these days are made where the heel and sole are one piece.
If you’re like me I wear off the heel portion off first and in the USA since they are one piece I would have to replace the entire sole and heel section and the cost would be high and a shop to do the work hard to find.
Not so in Mexico, where my out of country friends come to visit with a sack full of shoes in need of repair.
Here, even when it’s just the heel that needs replacing the repair shops just grind off the remainder of the old heel and nail/glue a new heel in place.
They usually throw in a free shine and the shoes look as good as new for very little money.
Get it Fixed – Try Not to Throw it Away
In the USA when something breaks these days it often seems difficult to fix or even if it looks like it could be fixed it’s likely cheaper to go to the local big box store and buy another. Saves time and money.
In Mexico this is not necessarily true. Mexican people are very inventive and are really good at “making do”. You will see older cars with broken tail light lenses taped together etc. When something small and relativity expensive breaks you may look, and look, and look at the Big Box Stores, small shops and still not find a replacement.
Here’s a potential solution. Ask a Mexican neighbor or your house keeper or your gardener if they know someone that can repair the item or a place to buy a new one.
They are a wonderful source of information; They can often become heroes by helping you and giving the work to a friend in their town or village. They are also good sources for inexpensive plumbers, electricians, appliance repair, electronic repairs and more.
At Lake Chapala buses are usually clean and always inexpensive, but you will not see all that many official bus stops. But no need to walk along way to find an official stop. Just watch for an area as you walk along that would be large enough for a large bus to pull off out of traffic and stop for you.
Then wait for a bus to come along and stand perpendicular to the road facing the oncoming traffic. Extend you right arm straight and upward at a 45 degree angle palm up and looking straight at the bus.
In all probability the driver will stop for you as he get’s a percentage of the fares I’ve been told, so he has an incentive to stop anywhere it’s safe to pick you up.
Waving and jumping up and down unfortunately will not work, even though he would still have the same incentive if he was sure you were a fare and not just waving at a friend. Have change to pay the fare and pull the cord or push the button to get off.
We all are aware that we should be careful not to use ATM machines in public places where a potential thief could be observing us enter our Personal Identify Number (PIN), but some thieves now have become more sophisticated and do not need to look over our shoulder or even see our card.
Some now have small scanners that can fit in a brief case or handbag and all they need do is stand close enough to you to allow their scanner to capture your info even while it’s still in your pocket or purse.
Here’s how to foil their plot, You can buy an expensive woven metal billfold or the like to carry your cards safe from illegal scanning.
A much less expense way is to fashion a credit card size pouch out of tinfoil and plastic tape and slide your cards in this pouch and place in pocket or purse safe from scanner thieves.
We all know there’s usually safety in numbers. So best to stay around where others are walking and use common sense. As the evening draws on you’ll find that fewer and fewer people are on the street.
At Lake Chapala, Mexico the ladies feel safe to walk (even alone) in our towns and villages (even after dark). Caveat (Warning). Even though face to face personal crime is very rare in our area the general words to the wise are.
When you notice the local people are no longer out and about neither should you be. Really this one is just common sense.
A lot of great expat areas will have street food vendors offering tempting foods right on the street. Some will have a couple of small tables to sit at.
You will not see running tap water and while tempted you probably should move on and eat at a regular restaurant.
But if you do want to give it a go, here’s some tips. Does the person dishing up the food also take the money. Filthy stuff money. If it’s the same person hopefully they slip on a plastic glove before touching the money and making change.
Is there some sort of hand sanitizer liquid in use? Do they have a way to wash the plates or do they use paper plates?
Some places in Mexico slip a fresh clean plastic sleeve over a regular plate and put the food on top of the plastic sleeve.
Do they have lots of business?
Are there any North Americans eating there? All good signs. Good eating and Good Luck.

Want more than a few tips, then you should consider buying “How to Live a Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension at Safe, Beautiful & Affordable Lake Chapala Mexico”.

Here what one happy fan had to say

5.0 out of 5 stars How to live a Caviar lifestyle on a tunafish pension, July 22, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: How to Live A Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension At Safe, Beautiful & Affordable Lake Chapala, Mexico (Paperback)

Have read Sid’s blog for about a year. To refind info we had to flip thru posts to glean info we had seen or to find new info.
In this book it was laid out in a organized order. Also it was a good read.
I have been looking for a year at Chapala and the wife and mother-in-law a lot longer.
We bought other books, but this is the best.
We are leaving next week to go to Chapala, to see if we fit there.
See you Sid.
P.S. Loved the embedded QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Codes) with the info about different places and data. Thanks again.

Click this sentence to order now.

All for now, Tu amigo, Sid
  • Willie

    We are planning our move in December and need a forwarding address…Would someone please send us a mailbox service for Lake Chapala? Another question for expats is …we are driving our van & pulling a trailer down loaded with our belongings and motor cycle. Will that be a problem?
    Thank you for any response to my questions…..Sincerely,
    Willie Price

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