Monday, August 15, 2011

Pros and Cons of Mazatlan

Retirement has always meant a time to take it easy, slow down and not have the day to day worries we had for 30+ working years. Well, with Canadian politicians, their promises, ever increasing taxes and the continuing practise of sending CEO’s and elected officials off into their retirement with HUGE packages (that we the regular people couldn’t even imagine) was enough for this couple to pack it in!

So upon our retirement, hubby and I knew nothing was going to change in Canada so we would have to...and we did. We moved to Mazatlan, SIN. Mexico. We’re not saying taxes and politicians are any better here, but we feel more in control and it doesn’t hurt that there’s an ocean right outside our door.

In Maz, Nationals, Expats and Tourists all co-exist daily, enjoying the Maz way of life. Some of differences take a while to get used to but it’s sooo worth it.

For example...

1.  Time is irrelevant here. Waiting is the norm and manana doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow, it just means...not right now. So when you learn this and understand it, life runs more smoothly.

2.  For three months we endured major construction on our casa. Six days a week from 7.30am to 5pm we had anywhere from 4 – 20 men working at one time and not once did we hear then complaining about their job!!!! When was the last time you can say that? They're thankful for the work even though they receive just a fraction of what any Canadian welfare recipient receives for doing nothing. They go about their day with a smile and singing! 

3.  You may wait 45 minutes to get the dinner you ordered but if you see a doctor, no appointment is required.

4.  You may wait in a line to pay your taxes for a couple of hours once a year but you can get a cab, bus or Pulmonia with just a wave of your hand.

5.  You may get rain, thunderstorms and hurricanes on and off for three months a year, but then you have hot, humid, sun filled days for the other nine months.

6.  Streets maybe in disrepair and sometimes flooded, but you have over 15 miles of beautiful beach and the “malecon” an ocean front walkway to enjoy.

7.  The heat may kill the grass but so what? Just concrete it over and you don’t have to spend all your time cutting it.

8.  Bugs come and go in Maz. Yes bugs come in all shapes and sizes, but just one call to your local “bug guy” and within 20 minutes he’s rid your home of those pesky critters for another two months.

9.  Rust! It's a fact of life in Mazatlan due to all the sale in the air, as we live so close to the ocean, but then again we have the cool salty breezes of the ocean to enjoy all year round.

10. Hours can be spent in Canada just waiting in the doctor’s office for a scheduled appointment, but here almost everything is ‘over the counter’.
11. Temperatures are actually the same in Maz as in Ontario...summers filled with hot, humid days and nights...but here you have a variety of beaches to enjoy as well as the ocean breezes to cool you down.

12. In Mazatlan there’s always a reason for a bar, restaurant or even a home to have karaoke played at extreme volumes day and night but, you can always take in a movie, see a show or even enjoy an evening at the opera or ballet.

13. If you find the Golden Zone or tourist area too packed with Nationals, expat’s and tourists, just make your way down to Historico Centro and enjoy long winding streets filled with colourful architecture, flowers in full bloom and hundreds of small restaurants and cafes to enjoy.

There are a few similarities here too... like a Home Depot, large and small grocery stores, cafes for your latte or cappuccino fix, as well as modern Health facilities with top notch professionals working day in and day out taking care of you.  Yes, you can pay for your health care and many do but in most cases it’s soooo much less than the cost in Canada. The result is are no longer just a number!

Families are very important here too.
In fact, just yesterday we saw a family with an inflatable pool for three young the beach! It’s absolutely brilliant when you think about it....this way the kids can still go to the beach with the whole family and enjoy the water while parents aren’t stressing over the lil’ ones in the ocean. Now that is smart!

Yes many things are different in Mexico and ‘viva la difference’!
Just a few thoughts from 2 Canadians living and loving it in Mazatlan.
Linda and Hub