A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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May 18, 2006 — We realized this week that the old small Singer (as in sewing machines) refrigerator that came with the house just wasn’t getting things cold enough. When I put in the refrigerator thermometer that we had in our fridge in the motorhome, the freezer was fine but the refrigerator couldn’t get below 50, except overnight when nobody was opening the door.

So it was time for a shopping trip. Yesterday we went to Soriana in Chapala. Soriana is a WalMart-like kind of place, a little bit of everything and lots of groceries. This being Mexico, they also have lots of baby stuff! Mexico has a number of different stores like this, (Gigante, Comercial Mexicana, etc.) and they are very handy. Soriana tends to be my favorite, maybe because I had such fun at one in Ciudad Victoria a few years ago. The link takes you to where I tell that story, with a photo of Soriana down the page a little.

In any case, Soriana is the only one in the lakeside area.

UPDATE 2009: We now have a WalMart by Lake Chapala.

We priced new refrigerators. They had a good selection, complete with energy usage charts pretty similar to what you’d see in the US. The ones we liked began at about $500 US. I had never heard of most of the brands, though they did have Samsung. We asked about delivery and it was possible though the woman had no idea what the cost would be. We would just pay the guy who brought it.

While we were there, we took cash out of one of the several ATM machines and got some groceries (it’s much like a regular chain grocery store in the US, though while you can get lots of kinds of salsa, they don’t carry black tea). I also picked up the only model of crock pot they had, a simple Rival with one temperature and a bowl that doesn’t lift out, for about $12 US. Kelly and I picked out a small barbecuing grill, on sale for about $30, and some bags of charcoal too.

In the parking lot a small boy (maybe 7) insisted on helping us put things into Cando, even though I told him no. He was persistent and just kept handing me things so eventually I gave in and let him help, giving him a peso, about 8 cents, for taking the cart back as well. At the same time, Kelly had said yes to a young man who offered to clean our very dusty windows, and he seemed happy with a 5 peso tip for that.

Our next stop was in Riberas de Pilar, a suburban area west of Chapala and east of Ajijic. There’s a store there, Tecnicos Unidos though I’m not sure that’s what’s over their door. (It’s on the mountain side of the highway, going downhill after you’ve passed Clinica Maskaras and Mom’s Restaurant on the lake side.) We have been very happy with the used Maytag washing machine we bought there, so we decided to stop in and see what refrigerators they had. I am not a huge fan of second-hand refrigerators, but I was open.

It didn’t do anything for my skepticism that the first unit I saw was of the Mabe brand. “Maybe it works,” I grumbled. But inside there was a large Whirlpool without that horrible musty smell old fridges can get. It was about $300 US with a one-year warranty and free delivery — the guy groaned good-naturedly as he remembered the long uphill climb to our house from the street — and they could bring it over between 1 and 2 the same day. We agreed, and the deal was done. We also wanted them to take our old one, and they agreed to that, saying at least they could use it for parts.

So we now have the largest refrigerator we’ve had in years. One benefit is that we are keeping all our beer, wine, and packaged juice and milk in it, along with containers of water in the freezer, so that when the electricity in our neighborhood goes out, things will stay cold a lot longer. By bedtime last night it was down to 50 degrees and we commented that all those liquids went in at probably 75 degrees. This morning it’s down to 40.

There are other appliance -shopping choices in Mexico. All over the country, in any small city, you will find stores that sell appliances and furniture and that deliver.

On to the next adventure…

3 Comments from the old blog:

  • Anonymous said…

    Hi Rosana & Kelly,

    Congrats on the new refrigerator. LG (Life is Good ;-) appliances are VERY good. LG in Korea make much of Whirlpool and others
    appliances as an OEM. I know you have done something else this time – just wanted to mention they are an excellent company and stating to appear more and more here in the States.

    About delivery – this is VERY dicey in our part of Mexico. While everyone delivers typically – once they have your peso’s your new appliance may arrive banged up or you may not even get the same model you thought you had bought (if it is new). We were warned by several people to avoid delivery if possible. One should check that the item you think you are getting is in fact the one being delivered. We bought a new LP clothes washer Chedraui (a big grocery chain in our area). We had our truck and thus chose to take it right then and avoid the free delivery. They actually brought a different model out. Also you should have them open the box and make sure it is not scratched or damaged. Check the item before they get it off the truck. If there is a problem the may not be willing to take it back.

    Once you pay the game is not over. The ‘movers’ are often consigned by the store and not actual employees. In this way their bad delivery will not be part of the deal in terms of responsibility of the seller. Perhaps this is more localized than I think – but I thought I would pass this along. You will not have the same buyer protections that you have in the States. Caution is the rule of thumb.
    John Calypso

  • And I said:

    Great advice, John! And one reason we felt more comfortable with the small, locally-owned shop where the guys take a lot of pride in their work. Not to mention that they remembered where we live.

    BTW, I lost the url of your excellent blog when my hard drive crashed a while ago. Would you post it here for all to enjoy?

  • Hi Rosana –
    Our Blog is :
    http://www.vivaveracruz.com/blog/

2 Responses to “Refrigerator Shopping in Mexico”

  • Sjpdmd says:

    I have a home near San Jose del Cabo in the Baja. Looking for a 28 inch wide Refrigerator/freezer that can be hinged on the right. Stateside search is picking up very little and I saw several (LG, Sanyo, Samsung) while down there yet I can’t find them on the websites.

  • Rosana says:

    I thought that many (most? all?) refrigerators could have their hinging changed, so I am not much help.

    As a general rule in Mexico, websites are not the place to shop; local stores are.

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