Dialing landlines and cell phones can be confusing because the area codes change depending on whether or not you are calling a landline or cell phone and whether it is with the same company or not. In general, these are the rules:
When calling cell phone to cell phone, put (33) in front. Most people include this in their phone number when they give it to you. (Ex: 331-256-5656; 33 is actually the area code for Guadalajara.)
When calling cell to landline, you can just use the eight digit landline number. (Ex: 3673-7565)
When calling long distance from cell to landline, you need to put 01 in front of the area code and number. The same goes for long distance from landline to landline.
When calling landline to cell, you need to put the state area code (044) in front of the number.
When calling landline to landline, just use the eight digit landline number.
Remember you are at a higher altitude (about a mile high) and may need to make adjustments in your recipes.
It is illegal to talk on cell phones while you are driving.
If you are involved in a car accident, do not move your car to the side of the road. Leave it exactly as it was during the time of the accident. Call your car insurance company immediately (not the police), and they will send a representative to your location to handle everything.
You can find a housekeeper by talking to neighbors or go to the nearest coto (gated community) security gate and ask them. Cleaning ladies always leave their name and numbers with the security guards. Depending on the area you live in and how big your house is, housekeepers usually cost 200-250 pesos daily.
The Guia Roji is the best map for getting around the city. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be bought at Sandi’s (the English bookstore on Tepeyac), aGuia Roji store, and at some convenient stores like Oxxo.
Addresses are usually listed with the street first (designated as an avenida, calle, orcalzada), then the building number. After this is the name of the neighborhood (acolonia or fraccionamiento) followed by town/city, state, and zip code. Many people in cities live in cotos, gated communities, and these have their own names as well but are not usually written in addresses.
A lot of landlords ask for a fiador, which is someone who will cosign. For students it is often difficult to find one, so offer to rent for 6-12 month increments. This can also be used as a bargaining tool.
Theft is a big problem here. Never leave your laptop or any electronics in a car, and don’t leave any bags sitting on the seats. If you have to leave a bag in a car, put it in the trunk.
Be careful travelling around the city during or after rain. The streets do not drain well and cause flooding in many places, including tunnels. Sometimes heavy rains and the water they produce lift manhole covers creating serious hazards for cars and pedestrians.