El Jardinero Juan, Trusted Advisor

May 13, 2016

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Hi Everyone,
Today, I’m going to tell you about Juan, our gardener, our handy man, our advisor and yes, our friend.
Now the common wisdom is not to get “too close” to your domestic employees. That’s probably good advice, but not easy to follow.
Juan came, so to speak, with our home, which we bought here at Lake Chapala now about 10 years or so ago.
Time flies when you’re having fun they say, so we must be having  a lot of  fun, since it doesn’t seem like nearly that long ago.
Juan is a family man and of course has children. Sometimes his youngest son comes along with him. He’s very polite, but a little bashful.
We’ve also met his lovely wife who speaks no English, so I got a chance to tell her  in Spanish what a good man she was married to and how much we enjoyed working with him.
She understood my basic Spanish and gave Juan a BIG smile as if to say, she was very proud of him, while he smiled on.
I’ve made an effort to get to at least what I call, survival level in Spanish.
I define “survival level” as being able to make simple conversation, make your needs known to shop keepers and store clerks.  I very highly recommend that you do the same, if you decide to move here.
Here’s several reasons to learn Spanish: It’s good for your brain, builds your self esteem, makes your life in a Spanish speaking country a lot easier, and of course saves you money because you can shop where the locals shop, where prices are much lower than places that cater to English only speakers.
But, I’m wandering off my subject, “Juan el Jardinero”.
Juan is my trusted advisor for almost anything dealing with minor repairs to my home,  or car repairs. He usually can change hats easily from his normal “gardener ‘s hat”, to his “painter’s hat” to his “handy man’s hat” so we don’t have to look far for these services.
And, he’s also introduced us to two competent, and less expensive mechanics, to two local body shop guys,  and a vet for our family dog. The mechanics just speak a few words of English, but speak a lot of good “mechanic”, at very reasonable prices.
They’ve all done excellent work at very reasonable prices saving me a boatload of money over the last decade.
Juan’s latest service for us is, he is now our “water delivery man”. I used to have to load up my car with empty 5 gallon plastic jugs and drive to the closest convenience store about 3 miles away, where I had to man handle several of the heavy water bottles into and out of my car so we’d have good drinking water.
Juan offered to take over this job for me. He pointed out that he goes right by an Oxxo convenience store (like a 7 – 11) on his way from his house to ours where he could buy bottled water for us.
So now, he’s our water delivery man as well.  Of course I give him a reasonable tip each time he provides this service.
I’ve also heartily recommended him as a gardener/handy man to friends who all feel fortunate to have such a good gardener/handyman.
Well, Thanks for reading. I look forward to helping you discover if Lake Chapala , Mexico would be a good fit for you as your trusted “Buyer’s Only Realtor”. I never represent sellers. They have their representative, to look after their interests in selling their property.
You should have a Buyer’s Only Realtor to look after your best interests as the prospective buyer. I’d like to audition for that job. All for now.
Siempre tu amigo, Sid Grosvenor (Buyer’s Only Exclusive Realtor)

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