Work and Live in Mexico

By: Douglas Bower

To be honest with you, I don't see why more Gringos in Guanajuato aren't getting ripped off when trying to rent, or God forbid, buy a house on their own. It never occurred to us to move here without as much Spanish under our belts as possible. We had a high degree of fluency BEFORE coming. I find it miraculous that those who move here without any Spanish are able to find housing. Yet, they do come and they aren't speaking Spanish.

Tell me what you would have done in this circumstance:

With little-to-no linguistic ability you find a landlord with whom you manage to communicate. She shows you the apartment she has for rent. You love it and have to rent it. She tells you if you pay for six months in advance, she will give you a discount. It's cheaper per month if you pay in advance. You jump at that deal!

I can only imagine this deal was completed through a series of grunts and wild hand gestures but it was done and sealed. The lady had your money and you had a leased apartment, complete with a written contract.

Two months into your rental nirvana, there is a knock on the door. You answer it, only to discover the REAL landlord standing there demanding to know who you are, where his rent is, and where the lady you thought owned the place is!

This land-shark-lady passed herself off as the owner of the property, took the money, and is probably still in Argentina laughing her head off at the stupid gringo she ripped off.

Had this guy been able to speak Spanish, he could have asked the neighbors who the real owner of the house was and saved a few thousand dollars.

Uncommon? No sir. Stay tuned!

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