Mexico City, Mexico Report of what it's like to live there - 02/18/10

Personal Experiences from Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico 02/18/10

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

Panama, Jakarta, Nairobi, Khartoum, Cairo, Skopje, Zagreb, Blantyre, Lilongwe.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

DCA, 5 hours without connection.

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3. How long have you lived here?

We have been here for a year and half.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

US Embassy.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Houses (families with Kids) are very big nice clean, has small back yard, gaurded community in Santa Fe, to the Embassy takes from 20- 30 minutes. Couples stay in Polanco very close to the US Embassy takes 10- 20 minutes .Some other houses and appartments in different areas.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

not bad

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

None

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Name it and you will find it.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

None.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

APO

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

between 500-600$ a month, but be careful how you pick.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

of course, everywhere

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Be careful.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

No, all in Spanish.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

very difficult.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

A lot. It is very rare to find someone who speaks English here.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

It is not prepared for them.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Buses are safe, taxes are not unless you call the taxi companies. Then they will send a tai to pick you up, and don't forget to ask about the taxi number when you call, to be sure is the rigth taxi.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

You will find all kind of cars, spare parts, and dealerships here.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, $80 a month.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

TelCel is the best. 2 more: nextel and MovieStar.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

very good

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Yes, if you speak Spanish and English.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Normal, just like USA, but no shorts.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes, you have to becarful with Taxes, you have to call the taxi companies to ride one, you ca't just flg them down in the street, avoid Zona Rosa this area full of bars and night club, but not safe, aslo pick which area you go to or avoid.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Very good health care here. And they have very good hospitals and doctors.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Very good during the rainny seaon from May-Jan, then Moderate from Feb-April.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Cold but sunny and nice from Nov-Mar, then rainny and cold again the rest of the year, sometimes you we get very nice sunny shiny days during the rainny seaon.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

ASF, Westhill, green gate and the French school. Asf very big a lot of rich Mexicans kids join it, ful of problems,Westhill American system very nice clean small and the teachers are very friendly, you will find alot of Expat kids in this school, they have 3 campus. Green Gate britch system as bad as the Asf(The American School). Education generally not strong in the whole country. My kids are in West Hill we are very happy.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

They will find anything you need.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Lots of day care, $500 a month, I took my kid to one in Sanata Fe (La loma) we have great experince.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

yes, After School activties

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Big.

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2. Morale among expats:

Not bad, you make your bed.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Very good.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Of Course.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Of course.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

I don't think so.

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

It is a great city, for families with kids, couple or sigles, the people are very nice, friendly and helpful, I will miss evreything here after we go back home.

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Night clubs, beaches, Visiting musems, sight seeing ...

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

They have a lot of nice hand crafts.

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

The city full of musuems, parks, and the country rich of a lot of historicals thing to visit, beaches, saving not really, unles you know your way around, they have very good markets every Saturday, for Veggies,Fruits, meat, chickens, and everything cross your mind, ten you will save , but if you use the big supermarkets , you will end up spending more than DC.

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11. Can you save money?

yes

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Yes

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Shorts.

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3. But don't forget your:

running shoes.

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4. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

walk on the clauds

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

Lonly Planet ( Mexico).

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6. Do you have any other comments?

Enjoy the city, it is very pretty, be careful.

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