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Old 19th August 2014, 04:26   #1
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Default Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

Its been a long time that I have been thinking to start a thread on this topic and finally was able to do it.
I was packed and shipped to Mexico on an assignment and I probably would be staying here for an year.I would be sharing my experiences & challenges of living in this country.I plan to capture the details of the city that we are living in and the occasional weekend getaways of-course I will have the pictures do most of the talking.

The first major challenge is the language you can hardly find people who can talk English in the streets or any place you visit.This makes it extremely challenging to communicate (even the signboards can not be understood) , buying stuff from grocery stores (the labels are all printed in Spanish) , ordering food in restaurant ( you got it right the Menu is all in Spanish) and you will have a tough time explaining the waiter what you need. That being said I will take a pause here and we will discuss the other challenges that I have encountered when I narrate my experiences.

Before we step forward lets take a look a basic lesson in Spanish so that you can get the pronunciation of the words in this thread right , as and when we move forward I will give you folks more inputs so that you understand the pronunciations and its get easier & a little interesting.

Always replace J with H , LL with y , If we have single L it stays L. You will get more clarity on what Iam talking about below.

The City Iam presently living is Guadalajara (recall the lesson j=h so pronounced as GuadalaHara). This is the capital city of the state Jalisco (Halisco , good you are getting a hang of it now). This City has lot of history and the IT industry is picking up from the last 3 years.I was here in 2011 for 40 days to set up a new project and returned in April 2014.Three years back when I was here I hardly found any Indians , however its different now.We have plenty of folks here now from all parts of our country (any Team Bhpians ? please pm me ) and I hope this thread will help the folks who are coming to this city.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-guadalajara.jpg
Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-guadalajara_mxico.jpg

Its been 5 months that we have been living here and I should admit that people are very nice and approachable , language is a barrier however if you ask them for information they will take time to explain what they understand or know in all possible ways. They definitely put in effort and yes it helps as you do partially understand what they are trying to convey. Thankfully at work everyone can speak English and I depend on my colleagues for everything and anything here.
Iam the only person from India working in this location for my organization , however if anyone is working for the giant TATA and if they are being asked to relocate to this city then its just like working in another campus. 99% of our beloved desi folks work with TATA which has a huge setup here , and I head that the ratio is 60% Indians and 40% Mexican nationals.

I will be writing more about the city with some good pics in the coming days for now I would be sharing the details of my recent weekend trip.
Its been 5 months that Iam stationed here and we work in a 24X7 environment so it is an agreement that I get to take my holidays as per the calender in India and I work on the Mexican Holidays so that some of my colleagues can take the day off.

Aug 10 Sunday around 3 PM local time

I checking the usual stuff and was connected from home and saw a friend of mine on the internal chat interface so causally pinged him.

Me : Hey Rich how is the day
Rich : Nothing much the usual stuff , how are things on your side
Me : Pretty ok its a very quite and no issues so far , but you never know
Me : I have another 4 days to work and I will off from work on Friday
Rich : aah nice , I took a day off as well planning to goto the beach
Me : wow , all set to have fun
Rich : Do you guys want to join us , it will be good & there is place in the car.
Me : Are you sure we are 3.
Rich : Yes ofcourse
Me : Why not , give me 5 min ( I turn around have a quick chat with my wife and she liked the plan)
Me : Rich we are on, so whats the plan
Rich : Excellent , I will make the arrangements and will let you know
Me : Thanks a lot , talk to you later.

Aug 11 Monday

Rich informed me that the hotel is booked on his credit card , I paid him by cash and he said all set I will pick you guys at 530 AM on Friday.I was shocked and asked in the same tone " really !!!! are you sure , I mean do you get up so early". An affirmative yes from his end and I did not ask any more questions but I was somehow sure that 530 is too early and he will not be there , the rest of the week passes by.

Aug 14 Thursday

Towards the end of the day I walked to his desk for a confirmation before I could say something he said " Hey !! you ready to roll tomorrow , 530 AM iam there at your place " , I gave a doubtful nod and closed the day and went home. I informed my wife that Rich confirmed it as 530 AM and we decided to make sure we are ready by the agreed time.

Aug 15 - Independence day

The melodious alarm started at 4 AM , the excitement did not allow us to snooze so we were up while my 4 year old was still in bed. Took shower checked things got some breakfast packed for the kid woke him up at 445 AM and we were all set getting some final things in place and at 5:10 AM the phone rigs and its Rich ( he blew me off ) in his husky tone he says " Hey you ready Iam in the car will be at your place in 10 min " , I said yes we are and we have some hot coffee waiting for you as well. He was on time we finished the coffee quickly and we are in the car by 535 AM ( honestly I did not expect this , may be from all the trips planned with friends the usually start time is always 1 hour later to the planned time IST you see :-)). The other reason that I did not expect this could be because of my 3 years experience working with Mexicans closely and I noticed that they are mostly on similar lines with us .

Destination - Puerto Vallarta
(back to the lesson pronounced as Puerto VaYarta)

Distance : 300+ KM
Time Required : 4 hours approx.

Our first road trip in Mexico and it is just about to get exiting and the below picture sets the stage.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-car-op.jpg

After a couple of stops to pick a few more friends the car zoomed out of the city around 7 AM , taking advantage of almost zero traffic and we were on the outskirts passing by the industries and the sun was slowly coming up. Just before we hit the free way we stopped for fuel. PEMEX is the only brand in Mexico unlike the multiple brands that we have back home.

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The ride on the freeway was very pleasant , the roads were very nice and the surroundings were scenic. Rich stuck to standard speeds of 100 to 120 Km in-spite of the enormous power he had in the store and I appreciate his sensible driving.

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The freeway has 4 lanes for about half the distance and the rest is 2 lanes.
Most of the travel is through ghat section however thankfully we did not encounter any traffic zams and the car did an average of 80 /90 KMPH because of the curves.

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The first place we stopped on the way was Platanitos it had a beautiful beach and almost deserted.We took a short break here and then moved forward.

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On the way we saw the amazing red crab migration and the crabs were on the roads. Long ago I saw a documentary on the NGC and it was an wonderful experience to see the same in real.

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Hoo-haa , We had a chance to see some real Cowboys with their dogs.

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An old VW bug in the cobbled village streets.

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The next stop was Sayulita.

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It was close to 11:30 AM by now and hunger strikes the bell , so time for some brunch. After the long wait the breakfast was delightful, I was told that this is place served the best brunch in the town.

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Sayulita is a small place, however it was crowded and beaming with people.We can find many American tourists here, the boards and the menu in most of the restaurants is in English.

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The sea here is ideal for surfing. They have a 30 min crash course as well for armatures :-).

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We can rent golf carts here to go around the surrounding places & beaches.
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The pacific coast.

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Apna Ice tella , anywhere & any day the best.

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Where the sea meets the sky.

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The best drink

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After spending sometime we headed towards the main destination.

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Last edited by pdma : 20th August 2014 at 08:04. Reason: correction
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Old 20th August 2014, 01:22   #2
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It was 3 PM by the time we hit the City we were not tired but yes the journey felt long , remember we started at 530 AM.
The City is divided into Nuevo (new) Vallarta & Old Vallarta. The new city is plush and you can find every big name in the hotel industry here.
We passed by the main avenue and reached our hotel , its not the best in the city however was clean had all the necessary amenities & had some amazing views.

A view from the balcony and sit-out area.

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It was decided that we spend the rest of the day at the hotel pool and then go for an early dinner as it was a long day.

A few pics of the beautiful sunset.

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After a few hours in the pool and a good shower we proceeded for dinner. The place was Josephino's Pizza as they had a buffet for $ 99 peso. On reaching the place we checked the spread and it was a little disappointing as we did not have any chicken / veg pizza on the offer. We 3 decided to go for ala carte while the rest of the folks went for the buffet.The food was just ok not very good.

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It was around 9:30 PM when we walked out of the restaurant & most of them decided to go for a walk to Malecom which is the most famous sea side of the city , however the kid was cranky as he was too tired so we retired to our room and the rest of the folks went for the pleasant sea side walk.

16 August Saturday


It was 7 AM and I woke up to the pleasant sound of the waves hitting the shore went out and stood for a while watching the morning sea and a few minutes later I was joined by my son and wife in the balcony.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-morning-2.jpg

We decided to take a walk to Malecon to catch up with what we missed the previous night. It was just 3 blocks away from the hotel. I dropped a text message to others and we went for the walk.

Pelecons looking for some breakfast

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Sand Art

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Some Clicks from the walk

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I found a dog on the roof ;-) ( we usually find monkeys back home)

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I was told that there was a lot spent on the beautification of this part of the beach and I should admit that it shows.

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Aliens

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My son too wanted to leave with them.

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We managed to convince him and in bargain allowed him to chase some pigeons

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-ansh-chasing-birds.jpg

The sun started coming up
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Some clubs taking rest after the hectic night.

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Beach Cops

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An ATM to dispense USD

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Early Tourists at the sea.

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It was 930 AM and we returned to the hotel for breakfast and to plan for the rest of the day.

Last edited by pdma : 20th August 2014 at 01:48. Reason: adding pics
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Old 20th August 2014, 03:04   #3
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Default re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

The Plan for the rest of the day was to see a few places in the city and then reach Punta De Mita which is another nice beach and spend time till there till evening.

The beautiful cathedral
Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-chappel-morn.jpg

We can see whales in the sea in November and in December and we have a symbol representing the same in the City.

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We saw some of the most colorful markets

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The markets accept both USD and Mx Peso you can see the prices mentioned in both currencies.

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Some very colorful paintings on the walls.

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The vibrant colors of the ceramics

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We reached punta de mita around lunch time , however none of were hungry and decided to hit the sea.
The Place & waves were perfect for surfing and we saw some people managing the waves like pros.

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For lunch the food and the location was perfect.

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The view and the experience of waves tickling your feet when having lunch was unique and definitely unforgettable. The food was great and the price was very affordable.

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We can take a boat to the near by islands from here and experience snorkeling the trip would last for 4 hours , however we did not take it as we did not have that time. Anyways we have plans to return in December to see the whales so will cover this as well during the second visit.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-boats.jpg

We returned to the hotel by this time my son was behaving like a fish and just did not want to be out of water , so took him to the pool again for a while and then we went to a lovely evening stroll.

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Malecon looked beautiful in the lights

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A view of the cathedral at the night.

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Some delicious street food which we resorted to instead of going to a restaurant.

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There is a ride in the sea on a pirate ship and we saw that from a distance as the ride was too expensive .

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The ship and the fireworks.

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Amazing view of the coastline at the night.

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Day 2 was over in a flash and everyone retired to get some rest for the next morning which was the final day of the trip.

Last edited by pdma : 20th August 2014 at 08:09. Reason: correction
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Old 20th August 2014, 04:08   #4
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Aug 17 Sunday

We woke up at 730 AM and went for a stroll on the beach , and then breakfast at the hotel. My son again wanted to goto the pool and we did not have much to do and the check out was at 12 noon , so I took him to the pool returned to pack up things and left the hotel as 12. The plan for the remaining day was to goto Marina , have lunch by the docks and then proceed back home.

Marina

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-m-opening.jpg

So this is where all the rich park their plump rides.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-m1.jpg

The water towards the edges was clear enough to spot a school of fish.

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Oh yes the warning sign even caught us by a surprise.

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Some million $$$$ rides

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Aah wait , if you thought the warning sign shown earlier was just to scare away people , we found a crocodile ( it was too far and before I could get a shot it disappeared ) however I managed to get some alligators pose for me.

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The walk way

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So we looked out for some restaurants to have lunch and you guessed it right they were all extremely expensive, we were in no mood to burn our pockets and hence proceeded towards Sayulita ( the same town which we stopped for breakfast on day 1). We went to a beach side shack had some delicious fish took a small walk around and resumed our return journey around 4 PM .

I have captured some signboards that caught my attention during the trip hope you like them too and will bring you a smile.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-senor-frogs.jpg
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How may of us remember speedy Gonzalez

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-espiri-gonzalaz.jpg

Some well thought Names and boards

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Some attention grabbing posters

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We finally reached home at 8 PM and our first weekend drive came to an end.A big thank you to my friend & colleague Rich for making all the arrangements and having us on-board. The entire trip was comfortable and our friends took care of everything for us right from the word go.The entire trip worked out very economical as all the expenses were equally shared.It was a wonderful experience , Rich said that more of these short runs would be coming up soon and we are desperately looking forward as well.

I would request you all to excuse the quality of the pictures if any. In the era of SLR's I used my humble 6 year old camera (IMO it did a decent job) for most of the pictures posted here with some exceptions where the pics are borrowed from friends who had bigger and better lens at hand.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-camera.jpg

And yes I posted only one pic of the car at the start and I know most of you are waiting to see a few more of same so here we go.

Some opening pics clicked early in the morning for your guesses.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-c-open.jpg

Another view

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-c.jpg

Its a 2006 Chrysler Cirrus. This car is a direct import from the US of A.It has six cylinders with high output, it also has a special high out put badge at the rear along with Magna high performance exhaust.The car was sold as Dodge Stratus in Mexico
The sound of the exhaust is a bliss to any enthusiast ears and its in direct correlation with the well known American muscle fantasy.
It has abundant space and easily accommodated 5 adults with 3 in the rear and a child as well and still had loads of leg space.

There were absolutely no cabin noises it was a surprise for a 8 year old car shows that the owner took very good care of it.Its currently running on 4th set of tyres and easily took the corners at 90+ speeds.Body roll was well controlled and the 16 inch wheels stuck well to all terrains.

The turbo starts spooling after 2500 rpm and the kicks in from 2800-3000 rpm and you can feel the sheer power when the car pulls forward and the sound from the performance exhaust doubles the cloud 9 feeling.The ABS came into play once during the trip and the shudder was evident and felt.

The suspension was soft and hence the corners were gobbled with ease however since it is a very long and a low sling car the bottom scraped at some of the speed breakers as it was loaded to the maximum capacity of 5 people & a half as well :-) plus luggage in the boot.
Rich started taking a careful approach after the initial scrapping & used the standard angled approach as well where ever possible.

Unfortunately I do not have a license nor any experience in driving left hand so did not get a chance to take the wheel but i loved seeing the Rich's eyes widen up followed by a smile every time the turbo kicked in, it was an amazing feel.

Th interiors are all black it has a nice dark faux wood strip running across the dashboard. I was not able to manage to get the pics from the interiors will try to capture some during the next trip.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-c-end.jpg
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Thank you for reading folks and I will be updating more details about the city Guadalajara and all my short trips in the coming months.

PS : If any of your friends / colleagues are relocating to this City please pm me, I can share my personal details and help where ever needed.

cheers,
pdma.

Last edited by Aditya : 23rd August 2014 at 15:43. Reason: correction
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Old 23rd August 2014, 12:59   #5
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogue Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd August 2014, 14:03   #6
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

Good to read about places that are not so commonly written about.
Nice write-up and pictures, enjoyed reading your Guadalajara travelogue. Thanks for sharing
I've visited places close to the Mexican border (on the US side) few times but never had a chance to visit Mexico, must do this sometime when I get a chance.
Look forward to reading more of your exploratory visits there
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Old 24th August 2014, 05:27   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
I've visited places close to the Mexican border (on the US side) few times but never had a chance to visit Mexico, must do this sometime when I get a chance.
Look forward to reading more of your exploratory visits there
Thank you NPV . The best thing is you would not need a separate visa for Mexico if you are holding a valid US visa.Mexico is one of favourite holiday destinations of US citizens as it 12 times cheaper
;-). Much has been spoken about safety in this country however IMO which part of the world is safe.In the coming days i will be including the detailed visa process and I also intend to create an email address to support or guide folks who are relocating here as I see the numbers are going up and unfortunately no much information available for expats from India.

Cheers,
pdma.
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Old 25th August 2014, 15:35   #8
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

As NPV mentioned, it is always good to read about places which are not so commonly written about. Nice write up and you have done a great job capturing the sights of your trip .

I'm just curious, do those crocs actually make their way on the walkway? How on earth do they manage to co-exist with humans ?

The Chrysler Cirrus bears a lot of resemblance with the 2009 Linea albeit looks a lot more grown up, but definitely looks a part of the same family.
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Old 25th August 2014, 19:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
I'm just curious, do those crocs actually make their way on the walkway? How on earth do they manage to co-exist with humans ?

The Chrysler Cirrus bears a lot of resemblance with the 2009 Linea albeit looks a lot more grown up, but definitely looks a part of the same family.
Thank You S2. Iam not sure if the corcs come up the walk way for sure we found some alligators as captured in the pictures . I know it definitively seems risky however there might be a way they are managing.

Yes the car has a resemblance with the Linea and honestly it did not cross my mind until you pointed it out also I was not aware that Chrysler and Fiat belong to the same group my poor GK .


Hello All ,

As mentioned in my previous posts I have created this email id : infogdl8@gmail.com . Kindly drop in any queries related to the place and assistance needed in relocation and I will assist where ever possible.

The thread has caught attention of 2K+ folks both members & non members and I hope the email address will also be helpful to non members.

Thank You,
pdma.
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Old 25th August 2014, 20:38   #10
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

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Hello All ,

As mentioned in my previous posts I have created this email id : infogdl8@gmail.com . Kindly drop in any queries related to the place and assistance needed in relocation and I will assist where ever possible.

The thread has caught attention of 2K+ folks both members & non members and I hope the email address will also be helpful to non members.

Thank You,
pdma.
Hey Thanks for enlightening Mexican culture. I suppose you are working for one of indian IT giant. Few of my close buddies are also in Guadalajara!
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Old 26th August 2014, 02:28   #11
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Hey Thanks for enlightening Mexican culture. I suppose you are working for one of indian IT giant. Few of my close buddies are also in Guadalajara!
Thank You zalaps. If you are referring to Tata , no buddy Iam not with them . Its not that I cannot disclose my Org before I do that a small riddle to make things a little interesting I work with the company which is innovating & selling solutions to make our planet a smarter plant ;-) and as mentioned in my first post Iam the only person from our homeland working for this organization in this location.

Iam adding here some useful general details on the visa process nothing related to documentation as the corporates take good care of the required documentation and In my 3 visits to this embassy I have only seen visa's issued to people approaching through an organization and none so far when approached individually.

The Embassy of Mexico is located in New Delhi at C-8 Anand Niketan,New Delhi, 110021, India. Kindly note that this is not located in the usual area where other embassies are located and its not a very familiar place for cab drivers so good to have your navigation on.

Obtaining the visa is a 2 day process and the documentation is very strict and as mentioned above since all the visa's are through reputed companies for its employees none of them are usual rejected so nothing to worry.

The embassy issues 2 kinds of Visa's for people who are traveling on work

a) Multiple entry Visa - Valid for 6 Months

b) Single entry Visa - valid for 6 months

People traveling short term for business purposes are issued the multiple entry visa.
For people who are relocating temporarily the single entry visa is issued , however once you reach your destination you need to report to the authorities within 15 days about your arrival so that the processing of temporary resident card can be initiated which takes about 6 -8 weeks post your arrival and you need to visit the immigration office twice once for finger prints and the second time for collecting your temporary resident cards which is valid for 1 year from the date of your entry.
Again not much of a hassle as all the documentation and process is well coordinated via 3rd party vendors hired by the corporates so nothing to worry at all.

Important points to remember when you goto to New Delhi for the Visa

1) If you have a valid visa for US of A then you would not need a separate visa for Mexico

2) If your flight is booked via USA you are expected to hold a valid transit visa for US before you apply for the Mexican visa ( this will be validated by the embassy as part of checking your documents which should include a copy of booked itinerary for your travel)

3) The Embassy only accepts cash and that too only in denominations of Rs 100 .No credit cards or other denominations are accepted. The Visa is around 2400 INR and so kindly have Rs 100 currency bills with you handy , you travel agent usually arranges for the same however its better to carry a handful just in case.


4) If you want to pick your passport personally please make appropriate arrangements to stay for an additional day as the passports after stamping are returned usual the next working day at 5 PM IST.Else you can provide an authorization letter to the embassy with the name of your travel agent to pick it up on your behalf.

5) Embassy works Mon to Friday and allows only 40 visitors per day and there is no online registration for the same. Its based on first come first serve basis by manually entering your name in the registry available in the security cabin outside.The embassy is closed on all Indian & Mexican holidays.

6) If you are planning to get the visa done for your dependents along with yours then plan for staying 4 working days because the visa application for your dependents will only be accepted with a copy of your visa attached.Ideally 2 days for your visa and on the 3rd day you can visit the embassy with a copy of your visa attached to the application & supporting documents, you are allowed to accompany your dependents into the embassy. Subsequently on the 4th day at 5 PM IST you can collect their passports.

5) Tip the office opens at 930 AM but its advisable to reach the place by 8 AM so that your slot is ensured as remember only 40 visitors allowed per day.

In my case I reached on Monday took an early morning flight and reached Delhi at 8 AM but reached the embassy only at 9 AM and I was late as all the slots were closed , so had to return on Tuesday this time I was there by 8AM ( lesson learn't). I got my visa on Wednesday 5 PM IST and I was back again at 8 AM on Thursday to submit the applications for my wife and child.We received their passports at 5 PM on Friday and I had my return flight at 830 PM.The drive to the Airport is just 30-45 min. Kindly note I had a bad experience with Meeru on the day of my return. I booked a cab to the Airport cab on Thursday (a day in advance) to pick us up at 5 PM from the embassy on Friday and received the conformation details , I was informed that the driver details will be shared 30 min prior to the pick which is standard. I did not receive any details at 4:40 PM and after multiple calls and promises no information till 5:30 PM. I was skeptical and I walked to the main street at 5:45 PM and asked a few auto rickshaws as no cabs were in vicinity and none were ready to come as they are not allowed inside the airport perimeter (we were not aware of this) , thankfully I managed to get a cab who might have dropped someone in the area and was returning empty and we just hopped in without even bargaining the ask as we did not want to miss the flight which will cause more damage.I paid Rs 400 for a distance of 7-8 KM which is worth given the situation I was in and we reached the airport at 7 PM and guess what meeru calls me at 730 PM they apologize and gave the driver details , I politely denied even though was irate held my nerve and did not loose any words and during all my 4 follow up calls with them along with the initial booking call made the previous day I have been informing them that I need need the cab at 5 PM to reach the airport on time.These operators find it externally difficult to arrange a cab for short distances as the commute does not earn them a good margin comparatively to the longer routes , so to be safe I suggest to use the hotel cab when in similar situations even if it is a little higher on the price its better that way because you will definitely avoid rescheduling your flight which is even more heavier.

The Journey

Our actual travel date was 3 weeks post the day we received the Visa. All arrangements were made and our flight was via Amsterdam.I had the choice to take the connection via Mumbai / Delhi as we dont have anything direct to AMS from HYB. I choose Delhi again as we have KLM flying from Delhi and I really like their service which is much better than Delta from Mumbai which was my second option.

The journey was extremely long with 4 connections Hyderabad - New Delhi - Amsterdam (AMS) - Mexico City (MEX) - Guadalajara (GDL) and the total time amounting to 38 hours including stopovers. We started at 8 PM IST on Wednesday & reached at 10 AM IST Friday.

Reached AMS at 730 AM local time. after an almost sleepless flight as it departed Delhi at 3 AM.

A few snaps of Schipol

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We had a 7 hour stop over here and so I pre booked Hotel Mercure at the Schipol Terminal in Amsterdam.The hotel is way better than Yotel which I used in the past and this was my second visit to Mercure and Iam extremely satisfied and will recommend this to anyone over yotel.The charge for 2 adults & 1 child was 124 EUR for a 12 hour window. They take bookings for 2 windows 8 AM to 8 PM and 8 PM to 8 AM and since our flight was scheduled to reach AMS at 730 AM and the next flight was at 3 PM I made the booking for the first slot 8 AM to 8 PM. After a good hot shower we went to bed with alarms set for 1 PM. Woke up took another quick shower had a quick bite at Mc D and proceeded towards the gate which was just 10 min walk.

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The nap helped us to feel better and made us ready for the longer cross Atlantic journey. The ride was the bigger 747-400 and a look at this massive bird makes you even more exited.The choice of meal and the seat preference were all in place , the food and inflight entertainment was pretty good.

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-747400.jpg
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We reached MEX at 730 PM Local time and our last connection was at 900 PM which was definitely tight as we had to clear immigration & customs here that means we had to pick our bags and personally pass them through the customs check.Please note that if you are carrying pulses / pickles and all our regular ingredients (without which we presume that we would starve to death), ensure that you pack them properly with solid polythene ( not the transparent bags ) as the customs will simply throw out your priced possessions and yes after the Xray scan they check the bags manually by opening them in your presence.If you are with children you can try to negotiate(provided the customs officer understands any English) by putting up a pity face showing you child and if you are lucky you may get through.In my case I was lucky as I was literally running to make my connection and they were considerate to let me off post a formal check after me showing the boarding pass & the time printed on the same (we got all the boarding passes & the bags were checked in till the final destination GDL at New Delhi). Post this we had to transfer only our checked in bags to another conveyor which took the bags to the connecting flight.

Now the fun part we had to literally run with the hand baggage to a floor above and then take an airport train to a different terminal for the domestic connection , we managed to reach the gate after some hassle at 830 PM and thankfully the boarding started at 845 PM. We reached GDL at 1030 PM as the flight was delayed and only took off at 930 PM. Just outside the airport we hired a prepaid taxi and they accepted USD it was a relief as I did not have time to exchange currency at the MEX airport.

This is my third visit to this country and earlier 2 were in 2010 & 2011 on short business trips and I am very well versed with the MEX airport, hence was able to manage my connection as I knew exactly which way to go, for anyone coming to MEX for the first time be prepared for some hiccups if you have a tight connection as unfortunately the signboards are not very clear and very few people can speak English & guide which makes things even more challenging.


So it was 1130 PM by the time we reached our Hotel totally beaten out , the jet lag just made things worse for us. Well the city had a surprise in store for the next morning.

After a bad sleep we were jolted out of the bed at 8 AM the next day and it took at least 10 - 15 sec to understand what was happening , we experienced an earthquake for the first time in our life's and it was very evident the furniture was shaking and me and my wife started feeling dizzy.The hotel's hazard alarm went active and we took the stairs and going down the staircase seemed never ending as we were on the 7th floor.

The City just wished us a warm bienvenidos & buenos dias (welcome & good morning) with a twist and of course with a bang , leading to an expression on my wife's sleepy face " Kaha leke aaya yaar hum dono ko " .

Well , the journey has just begun , keep watching this space for more .

I will be adding the details of the hotels which have the option of a small kitchen for Initial / long stays in the City in my next post.

cheers,
pdma.

For any queries write to : infogdl8@gmail.com

Last edited by pdma : 26th August 2014 at 02:33. Reason: correction
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Old 27th August 2014, 05:15   #12
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

Great job on starting this thread. A friend of mine working there had great trouble initially getting settled due to lack of information. You thread should surely help

I guess safety is a major concern only around the US border cities for obvious illegal trades.
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Old 28th August 2014, 01:37   #13
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

Adding more information as mentioned in my previous post.

Hotels for Initial / Long term stay

I would recommend 2 hotels primarily for the reason that both of them are located in a good neighborhood and the best part is both of them come equipped with a small kitchen & an electric stove which is best suitable for all the vegetarians.

1) Staybridge Suites - http://www.ihg.com/staybridge/hotels...vi/hoteldetail

2) Suites Futura - http://www.suitesfutura.com/Inicio.html

Out of the two Staybridge is way head in terms of quality and service. The hotel is comparatively new than suites Futura where the age shows.

Staybridge charges you approx 1100 Pesos (INR 5000 approx) per night and Suites futura a few hundreds less I guess around 700 Pesos (INR 3500 approx).
Staybridge is more like a modern hotel unit and its definitely more comfortable , I have spent 4 months (overall in my 3 visits) in this hotel and never had any issues with the service or the staff.
The hotel has all the basic facilities along with a fully equipped laundry with sufficient washing & drying machines and the guests can use this facility without any additional cost. The facilities include central air conditioning, gym , library & a decent pool as well to relax over the weekends if you don't want to step out. The wifi speeds are good too.

Few Pics of a typical room at Staybridge along with a kitchen

Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico-stay1.jpg
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Accommodation for Rent

The most popular area where you can find 99% of all the Indian expats is around the Plaza Del Sol. The reason for this is because TATA opened its first office around this place and since then we have see a good influx of Indians flowing into this city.

So as the Plaza as center of the radius , draw a circle with a diameter of 2 KM and you will find sufficient number of neighborhoods where you can find decent accommodation.

Map of the area around Plaza Del Sol showing suitable areas to reside.

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By the way Plaza Del Sol is a shopping mall one of the oldest and well known places in the city and I will give a detailed write up about this place when I cover the topic on Malls and places affordable for shopping.

Finding a house & settling down

The best way is to take a walk around the area and look for boards put up on properties that read " Se Renta " or " En Renta " and call the numbers listed on these boards. Please have a colleague or someone from the local community when you can call as language is an issue.

You can also check the below Facebook group as there are many folks who keep positing information on Apartments / houses available in their neighborhood.

Facebook Group - MEXPAT Guadalajara


Type of accommodation ,Rent
range & process


Well the type of accommodation is standard across we can rent an apartment ( its called condominio) or a house.

For folks who are willing to share space and save , you can keep a watch on the Facebook group mentioned above where people post the details of shared accommodation.

Its suggested that you rent an apartment as it is safer and lot easier to find.

Most of the accommodations come in with standard gas stove / oven & a water heater however very few can be found which are fully furnished.

Furnished apartments range between 6000 - 8000 Pesos

Where as Non Furnished Apartments range between 3500 - 6500 Pesos.

The above prices include only the rent and does not include utilities.

However not all of these non furnished apartments are well maintained so if you are looking for a decent place then as we all know they come with a price and they start from 4500 upwards.

There is no need to get stressed about buying furniture and spending too much to settle down , keep yourself hooked to that Facebook group and you can find a lot of folks (going back home post their assignment ) selling their furniture for a very affordable price .

The process is pretty straight forward once you like the place talk to the landlord & finalize the agreement (the rent quoted is usually non negotiable). You will need a local guarantor which is a mandate requirement for most of the landlords talk to colleagues who usually come to your rescue in these situations and they can sign the agreement as a guarantor.

The deposit is usually 1 / 2 months of rent and this depends on the landlord.The agreement is all in Spanish so have somebody whom you trust read and understand what is written on your behalf. The agreement is for 1 year and if we opt out of the same then the deposit will not be returned. So plan well be cautious when choosing the place and make sure that it is comfortable & meets all your requirements before you sign on that dotted line.

In my case I managed to find with the help of my colleagues a fully furnished 2 bedroom flat in a very nice secured gated community and I pay 7100 per month. Iam paying a little on the higher side as I was very particular about the security and the community because Iam leave at 6:30 AM for work only to return around 9 PM which leaves my family alone all day , and I did not want to take any chance on a different land.

Yes for folks reading the last line and laughing looking at my signature line , I know the reason I have that line in my signature is to remind /ask myself of what am I doing , anyways slaves don't have much of a say so my life goes on.


Utilities

Utilities like water , electricity , domestic gas and monthly maintenance are not a part of the rent.

Water & Electricity are metered and we need to pay the same based on the regular bills received . Note that all these bills are dropped in the common mail box and make sure you check the mail boxes on a regular basis to avoid trouble later.
You can pay these bills online or pay them at any neighborhood store OXXO found in every corner of the city (usually open 24X7) and they charge a nominal amount as a service charge.

Domestic Gas is more like on demand. Usually there is a tank in the apartment ( individual) / house and we need to call the gas agency who will send a small truck to top up the gas tank as per your requirement you can inform them the quantity that you need and the same will be pumped in through a meter and bill would be provided on the spot.You can pay the amount in cash to the truck driver or via online bank transaction or at OXXO later.
The service is pretty quick, they arrive within 1 hour of your call and they work on all 7 days a week from 9 AM to 6PM.

Drinking Water

Like most of the cities back home we need to buy bottled water here as well and we have multiple vendors available. Everyday in the morning there are small trucks of these vendors which pass by the neighborhood and they shout out loud "Agua" (water) and you can walk out of the door or wave from your window and they will drop the bottle at your door step. You need to pay cash 25-30 pesos per bottle.

Tip : Its advisable to have 2 bottles at home each from a different vendor so that its easier to rotate and moreover we will not be dependent on one vendor.

Getting a Mobile Connection

The process is very easy for a prepaid connection. You can walk to the outlet of any vendor , pay the price for the SIM card top it up with needed currency and that's it you are good to go.Absolutely no documentation / address proof and all of that jazz you have to go through back home is shelved here so no hassles.
Iam not sure on the requirement of a post paid connection but I can find out if anyone is interested.

Here is a list of some vendors available, the prices are more or less the same and the reception is good as well.

1) Telcel
2) Movistar
3) IUSA Cell

Coming up next is information on schools , availability of ingredients for Indian food & restaurants.

Thank you for reading.

cheers,
pdma.

For any queries write to : infogdl8@gmail.com

Last edited by pdma : 28th August 2014 at 01:47. Reason: correction
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Old 28th August 2014, 09:30   #14
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

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Its not that I cannot disclose my Org before I do that a small riddle to make things a little interesting I work with the company which is innovating & selling solutions to make our planet a smarter plant ;-) and as mentioned in my first post Iam the only person from our homeland working for this organization in this location.
I kind of know your organization , and hope I am not talking to the one heading it for the Indian Wing!!
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Old 28th August 2014, 20:29   #15
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Default Re: Let's know about Guadalajara! Living & working in Mexico

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Thank You zalaps. If you are referring to Tata , no buddy Iam not with them . Its not that I cannot disclose my Org before I do that a small riddle to make things a little interesting I work with the company which is innovating & selling solutions to make our planet a smarter plant ;-) and as mentioned in my first post I
[/email]

Hey
Thats a nice post! Good luck in your Mexico sojourn.
Are you with IBM? Smarter planet and all?
Ok, let me ask a simple question. If one has a valid US Visa like an L1 or similar, then does one require a valid Mexico Visa to visit for a few days?
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