It's Christmas Eve 2018 and i am in Queretaro, Mexico. My wife and I are just back from a trip to the close Juriquilla. We have heard that it is a place for the upper middle class or something like that. The houses are a bit fancier than the ones in our urbanization. We went to a coffee shop called Zurich. It kind of reminded me about the coffee shops in Switzerland. Great pastry and good coffee. I lived in Switzerland 1970-71. Not that long time as such. But enough to obtain some memories.
After the visit to Zurich we went to Antea lifestyle center. I wanted to see what it was like on a busy day. I will, after all, show my art there at a prime spot between January 31st and February 17th. My goal is to sell for US$ 10k plus. We shall see. As if I do, I want to use about $3000 to promote my website www.Art2wear.com
On the way out from the center, Claudia - my Mexican wife wanted me to have a Mexican phone number. So, we went to Movistar and inquired about that. It is amazing a plan with all bells and ding ding and free everything within Mexico, USA, and Canada the plan cost $20 per month. In the USA the similar for a person 55+ cost $55. WHY?!
I know, most everything is cheaper cross the border. The only exemption I have seen so far is the gas prices which are double that of USA
Today I spent 14 hours in my car. No, I was not sleeping. Driving from Matehuala five hours north of Queretaro and 7 and a half from Mexico City to San Antonio.
Driving is one thing, but the stops in the middle of nowhere are worse. Today three stops like that added two hours on my trip Ok. the roads are mostly great. But as the human factor is not, delays occur.
Then I arrived at the outskirts of San Antonio in the dusk. By the way, a trip to Mexico will teach you one or two things. Maybe more. Things you were not aware of before.
I have realized that YOU DO NOT NEED TO SPEED as most of the time you will only gain a minute or two. That said, nowadays I am pretty comfortable driving max 60 miles per hour
So, here I come in the dusk to San Antonio. Four lanes, general speed 60 - 70 miles per hour.
I only conclude, for my fellow travelers and myself. We managed to stay alive one more dayType your paragraph here.
I went through the border between Mexico and Texas at the Colombia international bridge on April 4th. There is another Colombia bridge and that is the commercial bridge.
I expected some queues due to Mr. Trump's relocating of trained customs agents to deal with immigrants at other ports along the border. That move created the worst line of trucks I have seen at any port of entry. The queues of double, some times triple lanes filled with trucks going north. The thing is, however - that those queues started 20 km at least from the actual normal waiting zone which contains maybe 500 trucks or more. WHAT A MESS!
I stayed in my queue of solidarity for an hour, while it slowly moved forward. I was waiting for the road going to the international bridge to come up. But in the end, I went out on the ramp and passed a lot of trucks and zigzagged in between others. I found the exit and went on. When I arrived there, more trucks, a lot of more trucks. But here a lane was free for cars, so it took me less than five minutes to cross. Later I read in the paper that the truckers on "my" bridge were sitting there 12 hours... I was thinking on my return to Mexico... but who wants to go to Mexico...? Apart from the 1,5 million Americans who already live there. And sure enough after a hectic and successful show, I went back to Queretaro on the following Tuesday.
Maybe I told you before, but to make a living on my art, the same way as I managed to do in San Antonio, THAT will not happen here. So, my idea is to introduce prints to my fellow Mexican artists. And for that to work, I have become a distributor for a Texas paper company. And then I have also become a distributor for a Swedish newly invented product for concrete and wood walls. And why can that be good? Well, while the American building companies are building everything for show and when the wind blows.....
In Mexico, they build in concrete. Those buildings go nowhere. PERIOD. But there is a problem and that is how are they going to hang my art on concrete walls...well it is here the Swedish invention comes in... we shall see
Then, I wrote an ebook for those of you who want to make a better pizza than most
professionals using your own oven. That is available on Kindle for $7.99
I prove the point on the third line in the book showing you how I make
THE BEST CALZONE YOU EVER HAVE SEEN IN YOUR LIFE using an ordinary oven...
August 11, 2019
I have now lived in Mexico a year. And the first year has been filled with challenges. I have traveled back and forth about 8-10 times. moving my studio etc from San Antonio here to Queretaro.
If you have an American or Canadian registered car, you need to have an import visa for your car. That visa has the same longevity as your personal visa. And you HAVE to get the car out before the car visa expires. As if you don't you will lose the deposit you paid to obtain the import visa. The newer the car the more expensive it is.
It can become complicated. Due to lack of common sense, the bureaucratic mismanagement can cost you a LOT of hardship and money. Something I have come to understand all foreigners experience.
To try to educate yourself before by going online for information is more or less a waste of time. Because most of the information, there is inaccurate.
I learned online that my cat needed a health certificate from the local vet, That cost $170. I showed that at the border. They had zero interest. I even asked them. They, the customs had no clue.
Then this with art, as after all I made my living for 7 years in Texas selling my art. No other income, well a small pension from Sweden paid the rent.
So here in Mexico, there is generally speaking zero interest for art among the middle-class population living in at least the city where I live. Which is a fast-paced, progressive industrial hub... the second fastest-growing city in Mexico and that I had not expected.
Afterall there are Porsche, Audi, Maserati, Ferrari, Mercedes dealers so there should be some educated people somewhere...
But I believe there is an explanation, and that is that there is a LOT of people here. And there is not enough work for everybody. For many people, it can be that they want more than they can afford. Just like in the USA.
I live in a nice urbanization 20 minutes from downtown Queretaro. There are 180 houses in this gated community. All the houses look the same. But everything is well kept and maintained.
There are a great number of similar communities around. In some of them, not gated the owner of the house build a storefront and sell the same as their neighbor, who sells the same as his neighbor on the other side. It is very common, that there are a LOT of the same stores. That seems to be a really bad idea... and that ONLY benefits the companies selling the building materials and the equipment and supplies.
My exhibition at Antea LifeStyle Center is over for this time. It was a great experience to be close up to a part of the Mexican lifestyle and its people. I would have had to spend a couple of years in Queretaro to learn what I now learned in just a month. And for that reason alone, I am Antea Lifestyle Center and its management team immensely grateful
This chapter starts where the book ended or something like that. The book I refer to is my biography
" A Swede's adventurers" available on Amazon or if you prefer Barnes & Noble - if someone wants to check it out. The book covers my life from my first years including my first serious adventure at the age of four or five - when I escaped from kindergarten. And it goes on to include most of my life till November 2016
And with the chapter above, I refer to this part of my life starting with my move to Queretaro, in central Mexico in August 2018
I will, however, include experiences from my life as a pizza maker. As those experiences can be of great help if any of my readers plan to incorporate pizza in any shape or form in their lifestyle. Either as a business or building a pizza oven in your garden.
I have had some problems here with opening a bank account. You have to have a water bill or gas/electricity bill. I thought you needed to have that to prove your address as that makes sense.
However here it is different I have come to understand. You can take another person's bill, a person not even living on the same address and use that as a "proof" of WHAT??
Another really stupid thing. I went to SAT to register myself/business as a taxpayer. No, you can not do that was the answer. Why I ask. You have to have been a resident for two years before you can register for paying tax...
I informed them, that Immigration, which is the ONLY institution which issues work visas has no problem with giving me a work visa on my temporary resident visa.
OK. I will follow their stupid rule and don't pay tax.
Next week, which will be the first week in April 2019, I am going to San Antonio, Texas.
Last time I was there was in November. I am looking forward to seeing some friends and I will also take part in an event next weekend. I will also meet up with Phillip and Ricardo, owners of Gallery Vetro on Houston Street in San Antonio. Gallery Vetro has represented me since 2014. It was then, at the King William Fiesta Festival they asked me if I wanted to have my art in their gallery. As I am picky about quality, I told Phillip that I was going to check it out and let him know. Gallery Vetro is an exclusive glass gallery in downtown. They represent 100 artists from around the globe. I became their first and only painter. And I still am.
My TEXAS COLLECTION, a series of six paintings all created in Texas are much appreciated and reaches buyers from all over the USA and beyond. The edition is available in different sizes so there is something for everyone. You can see them here. There might still be an original left when you read this.
My wife was away in Mexico (Mexicans call their capital for Mexico), so I decided to go and register my business with the authorities on my own. It was a good day! It kind of reminded me about the old days. When nothing was predictable. I went to the tax people. Got myself and my business registered.
Though they want me back in a week for more questions.
I then went to a cafe, in the Centro of Queretaro - where my wife and I had been before. Then...
Then, I set out to find a bus taking me back to my urbanization. Here they don't have clearly marked bus stops... But at the end of the day, I came home. Even if that included in total three hours spent in a bus. I got to see all parts of Queretaro...
... and I just finished my only can of real beer STEEL RESERVE 211...
the kind of beer separating boys from men
I have a suggestion for those of you who want to start a business or become an artist of whatever kind. DO NOT TAKE A CLASS. If your idea is sound or if you have a talent and if you are curious.. the rest will come by itself
And for those of you who are insecure, but still want to show your friends and family..that you can paint by the numbers.. take the class. Drink wine. mingle and enjoy
Living in Mexico and not speaking any Spanish...it is kind of difficult when you are running a business. Yeah, I am a painter, but not as a hobby - as I think most of the ones showing their art/creations on social media are. I run it as a business with one employee, me.
I have worked with teaching myself Spanish for 2 1/2 years on Duolingo. And sure I
know some 1000+ words as to Duo. But with my Mexican wife spending most of her time in Mexico City, the talking part is hard to master.
But, for the Spanish speaking people of Mexico interested to learn more about me and my art, I have now added a Spanish part to my website. That is especially important at this point, as in two weeks I will be showing my art at Antea Lifestyle center here in Queretaro, Mexico. It all starts on February 1st and goes on to February 17th. It is open Antea's business hours 11 am - 8 pm. Welcome!
Yesterday, I managed with something I think few people have managed before. I proved the largest cable company in Queretaro wrong. And instead of paying them about 3500 pesos they claimed I owed them, I paid 529 pesos. It took about an hour to get through their "we cannot do anything wrong attitude" And I did it using my Spanish to get their interest. As that is no good and you have really to listen. That together with their limited English knowledge made it possible for me to make my case
Then later I bought a new phone with a Mexican number. I also bought an unlimited plan with 20 GB and free calls in Mexico and to the USA and Canada. Price for the plan?? 20 US Dollar. The brand new Moto e5 was about 150 US $$.
My phone in the US I canceled