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Some random thoughts:

Walked to the sports complex to pay my property tax of about $95 US.  Pleasant spring-like weather, 79F.  No clouds.  Light breeze.  Walked down Azueta (the local street of a thousand shops).  That’s always enjoyable.  Passed a new bakery and couldn't resist a chocolate donut.  Bought some veggies for chicken stock.  Passed a decrepit ex house of ill repute where 100 or so expat men were meeting for beens and beer.

I walked because I don’t drive in Mexico anymore.  I live on the edge of the historic district where almost everything is within walking distance.  When I need something from Home Depot or Walmart, I take a bus (45 cents) and hire a pickup-taxi to bring things home for about $4.75.  The municipal market is 3 blocks away.  Ley’s supermarket is 5 blocks.  The opera house and the best sidewalk cafes are 6 blocks, and the beach and museums another 4 blocks or so.  I paid $80,000 for a three bedroom two bath house with a great courtyard.  I got quite a deal.

Violence:  The horrific news stories have given many people the wrong idea.  This is an urban area and there are the usual petty crime problems.  I caught a copper thief on my roof.  A thug rang my door bell after midnight and hid against the wall so I couldn’t see him.  I anticipated the trick and sent him on his way.  I was walking a deserted street and two men positioned themselves so I would have to walk between them.  I’ve seen that trick before in the US and stared them down.  I should have walked into the street.  Drug related crime is rare and directed against other criminals.  Occasionally tourists driving SUVs on the interstate are carjacked.  I understand there is a problem with extortion in some areas, but know of nothing directed at expats.  I walk all over even late at night and do not feel threatened.

There are three basic life styles available to expats in Mazatlan.  The Golden Zone expats live in a very upscale Americanized area.  You can be as involved or as distant from Mexican society there as you wish.  The Historic Zone expats tend to engage a little more with Mexican society especially cultural activities.  The third zone expats live within middle class Mexican neighborhoods where apartments 10 blocks from the beach start in the low$200 US.  Some expats from all these areas involve themselves is charitable activities.

I do a lot of woodworking and pay $2 a board foot for beautiful walnut like hardwood.  I do some work on the internet and pay $30 for unlimited internet.  I dine out once a week.  The expats here are old like me.  I miss young people a lot.

Hope you find this informative.

Originally posted to oldmancoyote1 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Mexican Kossacks.

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