How To Survive In Merida
How to survive in Merida: Things no one tells you about living in Merida
Before you think about moving to Mexico, there are a lot of things to consider. Do you speak Spanish? Do you need a visa for Mexico? What kind of food will you eat? What is the cost of living in Mexico? There are plenty of other things no one tells you about living in Mexico that you should really know and consider before you decide to move there.
Mexicans are friendly and helpful
Not all Mexicans are drug dealers or bad people! Whenever my wife and I say we have a property in Mexico the first thing most people say is, “It’s so dangerous!” Every city in every state in every country has their dangerous areas. Most people in the world are good. In fact, most Mexicans will go out of their way to help you with whatever compromising situation you find yourself in, whether it’s just asking for directly s or swapping change with you at the bus stop. And…Merida is the safest city in Mexico. Forbes magazine also declared Merida the place to live, work, and invest. They weren’t kidding!
Your driver’s license is not valid identification
Don’t bother taking your driver’s license with you to be used as ID because it simply won’t be accepted. Instead, use your visa or passport and it needs to be the original not a copy.
Mexican Spanish is very polite, sometimes in excess and you will often hear words like “mande” instead of “que.” Politeness also extends into the culture as well. You will find them fighting to decide who sits down on the bus. They will spend a good 30 seconds in a battle of wills with the other person offering them the seat before one of them reluctantly backs down and takes it. If you’re waiting for an Uber, strangers will say Hola, Buenos Dias, Buenas Tardes and other greetings that make it such a warm and friendly place to live or vacation.
Be wary of the antibiotics
Don’t always take antibiotics in Mexico if you are prescribed them. They will hand them out like candy to treat something as a simple cough and cold.
General Practice exists but…
Instead, go to the pharmacy. If you get sick (cold or belly ache) rather than go to a general practice go get a consultation with a pharmacy. Most pharmacies keep a doctor on staff and it’s FREE in most cases. They’ll ask you some questions and then they’ll write a prescription if necessary. It’s odd but you don’t have to wait weeks to see a trained medical professional. General Practitioners also make house calls! Average price of a doctor making a house call is about $500MX.
Center of attention
If you are tall, black, white, blonde, Asian or redheaded, prepare to be stared at a lot. The truth about living in Mexico is that you’ll become the center of attention in most places, especially buses and metros. Some expats decide to blend into the Mexican society by assimilation; dressing like locals (jeans and t-shirts), shopping at local markets, learning conversational Spanish and just being mindful of respect.
Don’t drink the water
While some people may drink the tap water without boiling it or filtering it, it’s not advisable. If your stomach is used to it, then you are unlikely to get sick but if you are new to Mexico, stick to bottled water. 5 Gallon jugs of water are very inexpensive and are the way people live.
Carry loose change at all times
It’s a commodity to have a ton of one and two peso coins jingling around in your pocket. You need to pay with exact coins on the buses, for tipping toilet attendants and bag packers at the supermarket.
You won’t want to live anywhere else again
This may be one of the most dangerous things no one tells you about living in Mexico, you will never want to leave! You will fall head over heels in love with the country and the people and probably won’t want to live anywhere else again!