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jennifershipp

On Getting Scammed: Construction in Mexico – Part 1000 — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

On Getting Scammed: Construction in Mexico – Part 1000 — By Jennifer Shipp

I wish I could be cynical about things right now. Cynical would be a step up from where I’m at emotionally at the moment. I’m working toward cynicism. If I could pick one tarot card to describe my current life situation it would be the 9 of Swords, Lord of Cruelty card. It’s not because I’m being cruel but because I’m feeling the effects of other people’s cruelty. But let me explain. When I say “cruelty”, ...
Accidental Weight Loss and Other Magic Tricks – By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Accidental Weight Loss and Other Magic Tricks – By Jennifer Shipp

When I was in high school and even junior high, I compulsively worried about my weight. Realistically, I had an “eating disorder”, but let’s not be dramatic. In retrospect, I would say that most Americans have an “eating disorder” in that they wish they could lose weight, they try to diet, starve themselves for a day, and then binge for three days to make up for the lost time. For me, the problem was ...
A Flood of Mud, a Flood of Crud…a Flood of Goobledy-Gobbledy-Gud: More on Construction in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

A Flood of Mud, a Flood of Crud…a Flood of Goobledy-Gobbledy-Gud: More on Construction in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp



Around 9:00 PM last night, John said, “I’m so tired…I hate to do this, but I’m going to bed.” The weeks have been long. There are so many decisions to make all the time. And he bears the brunt of it right now so he’s tired.

What color should the cracks between the tile be? Do you want the grout to be shiny or dull?

Do you want the windows to be 30” ...
San Cristobal de las Casas vs. Guanajuato vs. San Miguel de Allende in Mexico
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

San Cristobal de las Casas vs. Guanajuato vs. San Miguel de Allende in Mexico

A lot of people compare San Cristobal de las Casas to Guanajuato and there are strong opinions on both sides. Until last week, I’d never been to San Cristobal so I couldn’t weigh in, but now that I have I can say that I’m very glad that Guanajuato is my home. That’s not to say that San Cristobal isn’t a really cool place. It is. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of the higher altitudes in Colorado. But ...
No Reservations Along the Breadcrumb Trail — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

No Reservations Along the Breadcrumb Trail — By Jennifer Shipp

I love to write, but I struggle to accept that I’m a writer. Or that I’m anything. I want to be more than a writer. Or not just a writer. I love to travel. So I guess I'm also a traveler. Sometimes I've been other things too, I suppose. Movement and transition is a form of stability for me. I want to live everywhere and try everything I can. I want to live out a whole lifetime in every country or at least ...
Loneliness in the United States: A Blog Post That’s Too Long, Too Opinionated, and Too Complex — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Loneliness in the United States: A Blog Post That’s Too Long, Too Opinionated, and Too Complex — By Jennifer Shipp

Many years ago, in China, I stumbled across a Japanese woman who’d evacuated her home country due to the nuclear meltdown that was going on there at that time. She was sitting in a park with her daughter when we crossed paths and she and I sat while her daughter taught my daughter how to use a Chinese yo-yo. This woman and I shared very few common words but I had a pad of paper and somehow, I don’t remember ...
Luggage Filled with a Lighter Lifestyle — By Jennifer Shipp
ChiapasMexicoNorth AmericaTrips

Luggage Filled with a Lighter Lifestyle — By Jennifer Shipp

We’re not jungle people. Yes, there was a time when I cultivated fantasies of building a tree house in an extremely isolated place like a rainforest, that was before I’d actually been to a rainforest. Now, having racked up at several months of my life in various jungles in different parts of the world, I know better than to think that I could live with the ants, the mosquitos, and the general sense of chaos ...
Four Stories — By Jennifer Shipp
ChiapasMexicoNorth America

Four Stories — By Jennifer Shipp



I’m not sure what this story is about. Is it about the drive between Guanajuato and San Cristobal de las Casas? Or is it about biomagnetism and how to cure a disease with a couple of magnets? Or is it about how workshops in Mexico suck a little in terms of interactivity and hands-on learning?

I could talk about Julian, the fellow who sat in front of us, giddy to chat about ...
Construction in Mexico UPDATE—By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Construction in Mexico UPDATE—By Jennifer Shipp

There’s a mirror on our bathroom door and I can see the reflection of our kitchen in it. Sometimes it helps to look at things turned backward because it’s easier to see what’s really there. The backwardness makes me look harder and study the parts that I otherwise ignore. Backwardness has that kind of effect on things. Today, when I saw our kitchen reflected back at me, I noticed that there’s a cadence ...
Weather Metaphors Matter — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Weather Metaphors Matter — By Jennifer Shipp

Today I woke up in a bad mood. I’m not sure why exactly although I have a few guesses. For one, it’s been really rainy here in Guanajuato…more rainy than usual in fact. Rainy might be an understatement. There have been landslides and torrents, overflowing flood gates. That kind of thing.

I thought last week that we would be moving into our second floor this week, but the rain has ...
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Roman’s Bloody Thumb and the Homemade Table Saw

Felipe made a table saw out of my circular saw. He used a piece of plywood and cut a little slit in it so that the saw blade stuck up far enough to make cuts. Then, he took scrap wood and screwed it onto the ply as a “guide” for cuts. It was clever. I congratulated Felipe for the idea and Felipe smiled and was proud of it. The make-shift stuff our workers concoct to get a job done never ceases to amaze and ...
My Pixelated Life – By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

My Pixelated Life – By Jennifer Shipp

Two days ago, we moved into an apartment in our new building that we’re constructing here in Guanajuato, Mexico. We moved everything we have in and/or on our little FJ Cruiser. It took 8 trips back and forth from the rental in Marfil. A part of me is impressed that we have so little. Another part of me is pissed off with myself for having burdensome things like furniture. John put our living room ...
A Worm In My Mexican Lettuce — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

A Worm In My Mexican Lettuce — By Jennifer Shipp

There was a worm in our lettuce that we bought at the veggie vendor today. John said, “You’d never see something like that in the states and…if you did…” I finished his sentence, “…you’d take it back to the grocery store and ask for a new head of lettuce.” But rather than being upset about the worm, John and I celebrated his presence. First of all, our head of lettuce cost us less than a dollar. So whatever ...
UPDATE: Building a House in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

UPDATE: Building a House in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

When John and I lived in the United States, we built everything ourselves. As a rule, I did the carpentry and he did the plumbing and the electrical work. When we had to build really heavy things that had to be structurally supportive, we worked together. We had quite a synchrony and both of us were good at working with wood. But here in Mexico, the wood is so hard and so heavy that I could burn through one ...
How to Buy Property in Mexico and Build or Renovate a Home
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

How to Buy Property in Mexico and Build or Renovate a Home

I’m not an expert on real estate in Mexico. But my husband and I have purchased property in Guanajuato, Mexico, so we’ve been through the process. In comparison with our experiences buying property in the United States, buying a house in Mexico is easy—at least the administrative part of it. But that’s not to say that it’s without risk or that it didn’t make us nervous. A lot of things can wrong when buying ...
Curing Cancer: A Work in Progress…
GuanajuatoMexicoTips

Curing Cancer: A Work in Progress…

I don’t talk very much about the work I’ve done as a professional writer, mostly because people don’t ask, but also because it’s complicated. I’ve ghost-written everything from tech-oriented white papers about anti-virus software to ebooks about raw food diets. I’ve written what I call “corporate poetry”—meaningless emotive blips about products that are often placed on the home pages of web sites to inspire ...
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

How to Get a Mexican Driver’s License as an Expat in Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

John and I have U.S. driver’s licenses, but because we moved here before Lydian turned 18, she didn’t have a “valid” Mexican driver’s license that she could use here. So last week, we made it our mission to figure out how to get a new Mexico driver's license in Mexico, or at least here in Guanajuato. Below is a summary of the experience which was easy and painless (except for the blood draw):
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Mexico Real Estate Scams: What to Know Before You Buy Property in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Mexico Real Estate Scams: What to Know Before You Buy Property in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

Buying Mexico real estate as an expat isn't for the feint of heart! We bought a property in Guanajuato, Mexico by searching for interesting houses in the Chopper magazine and on Facebook groups where locals were selling things. We contacted real estate agents ourselves and went out and looked at about 15 to 20 different properties to get a feel for the market before we ever made an offer on one. In ...
Mexico Construction: How We Got Scammed and Still Survived — By Jennifer Shipp
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth AmericaTips

Mexico Construction: How We Got Scammed and Still Survived — By Jennifer Shipp

Someday, when I have time to reflect on things, I’m going to look back on the past five months of my life and say, “Wow. That’s was fucking hard.” When that day comes, sometime in the future—maybe a decade or so from now, I’ll feel it and I’ll probably think that I handled things okay under the circumstances. But right now, and for the past year and three months, I’ve felt mostly stupid, vulnerable, ...
Jace Talks about His First Bus Trip and More
GuanajuatoMexicoNorth America

Jace Talks about His First Bus Trip and More

In this video, Jace talks about his experience riding the bus down to Embajadoras from Marfil for his Spanish classes that day.

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Bruised Banana