04 January 2007

Living in Monterrey Mexico - 1

So this starts a slew of posts that intend to give a fair idea of how life is in Monterrey Mexico.

So let us start off:

1. Weather. The lesser said, the better. Since it borders a desert and is surrounded by mountains (the name Monterrey in local language means the place surrounded by mountains), you can get some amazing vagaries of weather. Supposedly, on a particular day at around 9.00am it was hot and sunny with a temperature of 20 degrees centigrade and by 10.00am it was raining and the temperature dropped to 5 degrees centigrade. In general, the days are extremely hot and nights are cold. Summer days (May to August) can see temperatures of about 40 degrees centigrade. So in case you want to travel to this place, better pack your bags with both warm and cold clothing.

2. Groceries. There is a local super market chain called "Soriana". They stock practically everything. From clothes to groceries to liquor to what not. Groceries are pretty cheap in a sense that a gallon of milk is about 20 pesos. The local currency is pesos and is equivalent to 1/10 USD (10 Pesos is 1USD). Note that almost all shops use the $ symbol to denote pesos. So do not get confused with the American Dollar.

3. Living. Monterrey is an affluent part of Mexico and hence, apartments here are on the higher side. In fact, Monterrey houses about 25% of Mexico's computer usage. A typical three bedroom apartment will cost you around 10,000 pesos with furnishing. Note that the apartments are built using hollow bricks and concrete and are not carpeted. Hence, when it is cold the insides of the apartment get extremely cold and when it is hot outside, the apartment gets hot. One definitely needs an air conditioner cum heater to ward of the extremities of weather.

4. Food. If you are a vegetarian, it should not be much of a problem for you ! Though Mexico is a predominant meat eating country, the current fad is to be a vegan or vegetarian. Hence, Enchiladas and Tortilas are easy to get and can be had along with Mashed potatoes or Jalapeno Sauces. It is not easy to get the food courts that you typically see in USA. Hence, one would need to know some bit of cooking or depend on junk foods like burgers etc.

5. Internet. TelMex is the main provider of Internet services and for about 300 Pesos a month, one can get a 1Mbps internet connection. Telephone (Landline) services will cost another 300 Pesos a month. I am not aware of the costs involved in CellPhone connections and will post about that sometime later.

6. Transportation. Public transportation is available in the form of Buses which are extremely cheap. The charges are in the range of 5 pesos or so for a distance of a few kilometers. However, the buses are few and far in between and hence if you do not have time to spare, buses are not the right option. One would however need a car if one does not want to waste time. Used cars typically cost 30,000 Pesos and if one is careful one can get some wonderful bargains on SUV's. Petrol here is typically quite cheap and costs around 6 Pesos a litre.

All in all, if one has around 20,000 Pesos per month, one can lead a pretty comfortable life with a saving of around 5,000 or so Pesos. However, this would mean that the house is paid for by the company and one cooks for himself with a once a while eating out.
Tags: Monterrey, Mexico

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:57 PM


  1. Blogger Altman Blog posted at Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 5:35:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    cool site...nice monterrey commentary...check out my blog at http://altmansinmonterrey.blogspot.com/
  2. Blogger bathmate posted at Monday, December 28, 2009 at 3:23:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    Happy new year.
    nice link i like it so much. this link is very useful to every body. very nice posting

  3. Blogger Christopher posted at Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 5:52:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    Hey! Is Monterrey cool to live?
    I'm working in a hotel in Paraguay, but I think it's only good for tourists.

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