Guanajuato or San Miguel-- your thoughts?
04-16-2018, 10:15 PM,
#1
Guanajuato or San Miguel-- your thoughts?
Hello GTO listers

I'm writing an article designed to help aspiring expats decide which is a better fit for them--SMA or Guanajuato? Though I've visited SMA many times, I have lived in GTO part-time for 12 years. I'm posting a notice on the SMA Civil list and on gtolist.com: did you consider living in the other town? What do you consider the pros and cons of living in Guanajuato, especially as related to quality of life, cost of living, getting around town, interactions with Mexicans, and anything else? Please email responses to [email protected] --Thanks, Louisa
07-22-2018, 03:47 PM,
#2
RE: Guanajuato or San Miguel-- your thoughts?
Both cities are over tourist-ed and exploited enough as it is. I would write an article instead on the ice cream shops in the US now offering their new dog-bowl sized servings. It will draw more traffic to your blog because in the US there are more people interested in dogs than moving to Mexico. And speaking of traffic, there is obviously more dog poop in Guanajuato but perhaps that is only an illusion because the flatness of the callejones show it up more, where in San Miguel de Allende the teeth jarring and frame bending cobblestones streets hide it better.

Otherwise if you insist ...

Guanajuato: You believe your language should be Spanish, Mexicans should be your friends and great food and shopping is not that important to you, plus the neighbors don't care anything for your new Ferrari other than if it's blocking them backing out or not. Otherwise you like wearing a baseball cap.

San Miguel de Allende: You want to stick with English and have cheap maid service, while still finding the right neighborhood along with the correct meat, cheese or food item you enjoyed back home, plus where the neighbors are "with it" enough to realize you have out-classed them. Otherwise you're dying for a place to wear your new bonnet or Panama hat.
07-22-2018, 04:53 PM,
#3
RE: Guanajuato or San Miguel-- your thoughts?
Don Juane, you have eloquently and humorously stated some of the main differences between SMA and Guanajuato. When I first moved to Mexico several years ago, I stayed in SMA for about half a year. I didn’t know Spanish very much, but wanted to learn. After 6 weeks of school, I met a woman who had been there for 6 years and I spoke more Spanish than her. I started to realize that if you’re into learning the language, SMA may be a good place to jump off, but it’s not a destination.

I’ve been in Guanajuato since that half year and I enjoy it much more. But I would encourage the OP to either write about something else, or if you must, draw interest to SMA. It’s already overrun and I’d like to see Guanajuato remain more diluted when it comes to the ex-pat population.

Still, if you’re thinking of Guanajuato, you need to have a desire to learn Spanish. And a desire to leave the pretentiousness that you can find more readily in SMA behind you.

Funny aside: I was at a dinner party in SMA during my short stay and one of the guests announced to all: “Oh friends! Can you help me? I have a fleet of 24 Mercedes Benz back in the states and I’m not sure what to do with them. Any suggestions?” Braggarts don’t impress me and I almost spit out my soup laughing. I wish I was making this up, but unfortunately I ran into this “gotta show off my wealth” attitude on several other occasions.

Anyway, SMA is very beautiful, but there’s a sadness there for me at least. A Mexican woman that I knew once told me - in a matter of fact tone - that she couldn’t afford to live anywhere near her job. The gringos had pushed up the price of rental / buying so much that a typical worker – even with a decent job like she had – could no longer afford it.

Overall, I would encourage people to stay in the states. As Don Juane has pointed out, there’s more ice cream and less chance of stepping in dog shit. Okay, maybe I’m being a little cynical and selfish, I admit, but seriously, if you’re thinking of moving to Mexico and bringing all your stateside expectations with you, you’re going about it in the wrong way. Best go to SMA where you’ll fit in better. If on the other hand, you’re willing to dive into the language and the culture as much as possible because you admire them or find them enjoyable or desirable, then you would likely be happier outside of a Gringo enclave.
07-23-2018, 11:31 AM,
#4
RE: Guanajuato or San Miguel-- your thoughts?
I think that DonJuane's response was great (Victor David's, too), except I disagree about the food. I think that that the food here is great, especially when compared to the food in SMA.


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