We've been in Guadalajara for about 6 months now and it's been lovely. It's also gone pretty much the way I expected, both the positives and negatives.
The food is one of the best parts about being here and I've loved being able to shop in the street markets rather than having to rely on grocery stores. I might miss eating apples, but they've been replaced with mangoes and I can never complain about 25-cent mangoes. Never. Learning all the different things I can do with masa has been great and it's always an adventure trying to cook ethnic food in different countries. It's so much easier to cook Burmese food here than it was to cook Thai food in Kyrgyzstan.
The weather has been mostly pleasant. We're at the beginning of the hot and dry season, but as long as it doesn't get unusually hot, I think we'll be okay. The forecasts for a strong El Nino make me nervous though since that can make the rainy season here a lot less rainy and therefore hotter. It does get too hot in the late morning and the afternoons, but there is plenty of time for a walk in the morning before the sun gets too intense and it cools off quickly in the evening. And it's breezy a lot so having the windows open makes a difference.
Our neighborhood is as walkable as I could have hoped for. There are much more interesting neighborhoods that I would choose if we were renting our own place, but walkability is one of the most important things to me.
We have a very nice church congregation, although not everyone in the family feels comfortable there. I didn't have high expectations for church though.
I probably should be speaking more Spanish than I am. I am seriously lacking motivation though. At least people think I'm not a total slacker when I tell them I can speak Arabic and Russian. We'll hopefully know where we're going next in a few months and if it's Spanish again, that would help. I would be delighted for Russian though.
You know I think our house is too big. If I could I'd get rid of three of the 6 bathrooms, shrink my bedroom/bathroom/closet by more than half, get rid of another room, and cut off half the family/dining area. It would still be one of the largest places we've ever lived. The kitchen is just right for me though.
I also didn't expect to fit in with the expats I would be meeting and I haven't really. This might be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I don't care anymore. I have online friends all over the world and that works for me. And let me clarify that it is me who is weird. Everyone here, Mexican or expat, has been unfailingly pleasant.