I’m a hater-And I’m not talking about the Donald

Politics aside, I’ve become a Mexico hater…at least for the past three or four days. I know that most of my posts have been about how much we love this country and about how much we are digging this adventure, but for the past several days,  I’ve been feeling a bit down. Lest you think everything is always rosy, here’s what’s making my glass half empty these days.

The first thing that has got me in a dither is crappy Mexico housing construction. We’re living in a fairly new apartment complex, paying over $700 USD a month and while our apartment is nice, we’re having all sorts of  problems. We’ve lived in enough places to know that these problems are very typical problems of living in Mexico, but that doesn’t make them any easier for me to deal with.  Here are just a few of the issues we are facing apartment wise.

  1. A leaky (very fancy) fridge that drips water onto the shelves and onto the floor. We can’t figure out why it’s leaking.
  2. Two bathrooms that smell of sewage. When we asked the property manager about the horrible stench he told us the following:  a) All of Guanjuanto smells of sewage.  b) We must keep our toilet bowls closed, our shower drains covered, and our sink vents closed at all times. This will help the smell. And while the apartment manager did have someone come in and clean the pipes out, (it helped) we still smell sewage now and again and it’s disgusting.
  3. A washing machine (also new looking) that drips water on the floor whenever we run it. Luckily it’s not in our apartment.

But for me, the cake topper happened a few days ago during a very scary thunder and lightening storm. We were in our bedroom (around 1 AM) watching the lightening light up the night sky when water started gushing from our bedroom window onto our floor. It started dripping onto our bedroom wall and it made a big puddle by our bed. In fact, we had to use our clean, good bathroom towels (which we just washed a few hours prior) to soak up all the water. During the storm, Andy didn’t seem so freaked out, but I was not a happy camper.


This is the start of the storm when our bedroom window started leaking.

The next day I brought in the property manager and showed him what happened. He shook his head in agreement and said, “Si, mucho agua aqui, window malo” Which translates to “yeah, the storm brought in a lot of water and this window is bad”.

Yes folks, this is Mexico. No real urgency to fix anything, just an acknowledgement that yes, the windows in our apartment do indeed leak. While he did say he would look at them, he blamed the leaking on crappy construction in the first place.  I’ m fairly confident that we will be mopping up water again in the foreseeable future.

Then there are the electrical outlets. The face plates are always not attached to the walls properly. There are huge gaps. This is a very typical problem in many of the places we’ve stayed.  It’s maddening.


This is one of the outlets in our kitchen.



This is a second outlet in our kitchen.

And the shoddy workmanship in this apartment in general.  Look at how they sealed the sink in the spare bathroom. It’s full of gloopy glue.


All this gloppy sealant is gross! Those are not bugs, it’s dirt.

Every single day there’s some major mishap  such as bedroom flooding or minor  mishap, (last night I had an epic fish cooking fail) to deal with and frankly it’s got my spirits a bit down. Andy seems to be faring a bit better than I am. He doesn’t get annoyed as much as I seem to.

Yes, I know this is the challenge of living in a foreign country and I should embrace it and be able to laugh it off.  And most days I can laugh it off.  But sometimes I just want to be back in Oakland, and not smell sewer odors like I am smelling as I write this blog. I want to not be afriad of what will happen when it rains, or not worry about handles constantly falling off things.

More venting…we still have no lease or contract for this rental.  We’ve lived here since Sunday and while we haven’t paid a penny, we have no paperwork. We’ve been told repeatedly that “it’s coming” but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of it. And that makes me nervous. We have already been told that we can’t stay here six-week like we originally agreed to with management  (maybe 5 and a half) and the coveted parking spot we were promised hasn’t materialized yet (maybe Sunday).

Then there is our Spanish classes where I’m lost a great deal of the time, and the fact that my enjoyment of the Olympics has been diminished because we only get it in Spanish. I miss hearing the stories about the athletes. And the fact that I bought the wrong kind of hummus (extra, extra spicy) this week and we won’t get back to the store for several more days because the store is far away and we don’t want to risk giving up the parking spot we currently have.

I know you are all thinking that I sound like a spoiled American brat, and that sucks because I’ve been doing such a pretty good job of rolling with the punches each and every day. I so love Mexico and I know we are so lucky to be here. But its week 13 or maybe even week  14 and I just want things to WORK. Some of you might be asking why we don’t just move to another place. Truthfully this is one of the nicest places we’ve seen.  It really is!

I was telling my mom this story a few days ago and she said I need an attitude adjustment and she’s so right. Thanks, mom!  Nothing works right in her condo in Zihuatanejo. She’s got lists miles long of things that are broken and she’s pays way more than we pay. It’s just different here and the sooner I can accept these differences, the happier I will be. That’s what makes a successful accalamation to a new place. Lowering expectations and not sweating the small stuff.

So now it’s time for this pity party to come to a close.  I hope you have a relaxing weekend. We don’t really have any major plans, but tomorrow there is a music festival we want to check out. And on Wednesday an American friend from Patzcuaro is coming to visit.  Fun times ahead.

Adios for now.




7 thoughts on “I’m a hater-And I’m not talking about the Donald

  1. You are a brat! you state a MAJOR MISHAP when water runs onto your floor? You are in a “rented” apartment, get over or get out. You are what make the word Gringo so appropriate!


  2. Oh, Stacey! I do understand and you are not too winey! I remember walking home in Zehua in June after the rains started. All the air smelled like septic and I was hot and we had the water shortage and I just wanted NORMAL! I wanted things to WORK. Normally we would say just take deep slow breaths…..ha, not in this case! Your wonderful adaptability and great attitude will prevail. Maybe a margarita would assist! Hugs from my recliner so far away where things work more often!


  3. You used to tell me not to sweat the small stuff. I try not to. Takes time to adjust our attitudes, but at least you acknowledge that and are working on it! Hang in there and enjoy the weekend.


  4. Oh boy, did this post ever take me back to our apartment in Playa del Carmen, which had many of the same problems, including leaking windows (water all over the floor when it rained hard), sewer smells in the bathrooms (UGH), etc. etc. I got frustrated too, so I do feel your pain. You are now officially out of the “Mexico honeymoon” period, and this is where it all gets very real.

    For the TV issue, check out USTVNow.com, if you haven’t. It’s a service aimed at Expats and will allow you to stream network TV in English. A godsend at times. And be thankful you are paying “only” $700/mo. We were paying $1300 for our apartment (by no means luxury digs but in a touristy area) and had many of the same problems, including several days with no water at all, and occasional time without hot water or electricity or internet. It was frustrating, but there was so much good about life in Mexico that I was able to work my attitude to deal with all this fairly well. What finally drove us back to the US, however, was the many construction projects all around us. On a daily basis, we were surrounded by jack-hammering, pounding, etc. As the many new condo buildings went up, our mental health just went down the tubes. We may well return one day, but we will not live in Centro. In addition to construction, there were many late-night parties and lots of loud music. We like to go to bed around 10pm, which is when things are just getting started in Playa!


  5. Albert’s opinion aside, it is good to hear other than “life is perfect” stories. Your real life observations balance out the its all happy hours, beaches, and fiestas perceptions.

    I’m sure Albert is a trooper, everyone is on the Internet; but for those who aren’t, you have given them something to ponder.

    Thanks for the insight. Here’s to the good times!


    • HA! Our country (USA) is not like every other country, and in many, many, many ways isn’t as good as others. So to go to another country and expect (demand) that it operate like you are used to “back home” is very narrow minded. Do you see the natives (Mexicans) complaining about eh water trickle on the floor or the noise, NO, you don’t, because that is how it IS in that particular country. If you plan to in filter yourself in Rome, do as the Romans do!


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