Mexico: Debit card compromised:
I had my credit card compromised at Telcel in Puerto Vallarta. The gal opening my cell phone account told me my information was locked up for the night but I think it was just put in a drawer. The only other charge on my card then was for Alaska Airlines. I've used that site for years and it's been completely safe.
I also got my debt card scammed from withdrawing money in a Banamex ATM in Tijuana. There was a guy in there when I went in and maybe he had a card reader in his pocket. Now I don't use my card here in TJ, since it's much safer for me to use it across the border. Too bad jerks spoil it for the rest of us.
Mexico: Life in Colima:
I'm a 59 year old female ex-pat. I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Puerto Vallarta in 2009. I (we) lived there 3 years then moved to Tijuana, (long story) where we've lived for 4 years. I am a legal permanent resident of Mexico. I cross the border (to US) every day for work. My husband is a Mexican citizen. I am about 65% fluent in Spanish.
Enough about me. I'd like to pick the brains of those of you who live in Colima (the city).
How is life there? I know "how" to live in Mexico but what I'm looking for is the "ease" of living there, e.g. Is there a Costco/WalMart close?
Are there a variety of restaurants, supermarkets, car repair shops, hospitals, banks/ATM's?
Anything to do during off time?
What's the crime rate?
Any employment opportunities (FT/PT/occasional) for hubby or me?
The reason I ask is that we have the option to purchase a home in the Villa de Alvarez area (2 blocks from the cathedral) from my mother-in-law and I don't want to pass it up if we'd like it there. I know about the heat and humidity in the summer, having suffered through it in PV. I can get used to it again. Thank God that menopause is over.
Are there any gringo groups? Not that I'd have to have that but usually they are connected with humanitarian efforts that I'd like to support.
How far of a drive to the beach?
We are looking to retire in about 6 years. My husband has seen the house a few years ago but doesn't remember much about it. Family will be going there in a month and will send pictures on I phone. I know it's best to see it in person, but, having just started 2 new jobs, that might not be possible for awhile. Any input you could give me would be great.
Thanks in advance and looking forward to getting to know ya'll better.
Mexico: Electricity Bill Living in Puerto Vallarta:
Electricity is expensive in Mexico, more than in the US. We had a 2 bedroom apt. on the bottom floor in Colonia Arboledas (near Wal-Mart) with an old, used a/c unit in the bedroom window, sealed up real well. The air was on only in the bedroom, running all night, with the door shut. The bill was about 1000 pesos ($65.US) for 2 months. We had a refrigerator, lamp, flat screen TV and fan plus the a/c. Unfortunately, that was 4 years ago.
Mexico: Best gay friendly towns?:
Definitely, Puerto Vallarta. The southern end of the beach is dedicated to the gay culture, called "Blue Chairs". There are a couple of gay-only hotels and generally, all gays are accepted there. Large ex-pat population also. There is a large lesbian community a few miles south of PV (by boat) in Yelapa. Many are permanent residents.
They made antibiotics "prescription only" in 2011. I was living in Puerto Vallarta at the time. There HAS to be a paper trail, so the pharmacies contract with 'medics' to write them or just sell it and give it to a doc to sign. (Everyone gets a cut!) That's why you were able to buy them without being examined by a doctor. It's not right but it's a way around the law.
The REASON behind making them prescription is that people are not informed and take antibiotics for viruses (which don't work-they only work on bacteria.). People become resistant (immune) to antibiotics (which means they don't work anymore to kill the bacteria) and then they really have troubles when they need them.
As far as "pot" is concerned, it is easily available, but there is no such thing here in Mexico as "medical marijuana". I would not suggest going through any border crossing, airport or public transportation or military checkpoint with cannabis nor transport it on the street. Be careful who you buy from and where you are at the time. Find someone who smokes it and ask them who they buy from.
I was a tourist in Mazatlan many years ago and the cab driver wanted to know if we wanted to buy "mota". I told him, no it was illegal.
There are "stings" (set-ups) where the taxi guy sells you some 'weed" then drives you around the corner to a waiting policeman, who promises to arrest you if you don't pay a "mordida." (bribe). You're stuck!