Thursday, April 28, 2011

viva visa -- part 3

Life in Mexico can be practically perfect.

As long as you realize that any plan is subject to the whim of circumstances and bureaucrats -- two factors that are sometimes indistinguishable.

Today was the day my new visa card was supposed to be ready.  You have already read how I planned to go to Manzanillo to start the FM3 renewal process (are your papers in order?)  and how I had to plead to have the card issued before I left on my cruise (following the paper).

When we left off, the very nice clerk (after giving me the mother eye for waiting so long on renewing my FM3), told me to return on 27 April for my card -- two days before I was to fly off to Florida.  That was yesterday.

I wanted to get to Manzanillo as early as I could.  The vestiges of the semana santa traffic have been slowing the drive between here and there.  So, I was on the road just before 8 to get in and out as soon as I could.  Or to plan on driving down again on Wednesday -- if things were not quite as promised.

I checked on line to determine the status of my card.  That was of no help.  The last entry was on 21 April and indicated the card had received the approval of the Colima office.  Not being in a worrying mood, I just assumed the data entry clerk had enjoyed the Easter holiday on the beach and did not have time to update any stinkin' web page.

Traffic was a bit heavy, but not bad.  Just enough to keep me from getting to the immigration office at 9 -- when it opened.  It was 9:10 when I walked through the door.  I expected to see a large group of early birds.  Instead, there was one Mexican couple being served.

As I reached for a Baskin-Robbins ticket, the clerk at the next window called me over.  I told her (in infant Spanish) that I was there to pick up my card and handed her the receipt from earlier in the month.

She looked through the file cabinet.  Then a pile of papers.  Then another.  On her fourth search, she looked on the computer screen and entered some information I had provided two weeks prior, but was not yet posted.

Of course, the first thought that went through my mind was that the application had not gone any further from where I had left it at my last visit.  There are days when I could easily play the role of the disciple Thomas.

But my pessimism was not to be rewarded.  She walked away and came back with four papers for me to sign and two copies of what looked like jail booking forms for my thumb prints.

Completing my presidential impression and having been printed, I waited for a couple of minutes, and she was back with my new card in hand.

And that was it.  I looked at my mobile telephone.  The whole process at the window had taken less than 15 minutes.  Try that at any DMV north of the border.

My walk back to the shiftless Escape was one of my most pleasant I have made in Mexico.  The day was warm.  The birds were singing.  And a pretty girl smiled at me and treated me to a musical laugh.

What could have been better?

A practically perfect day.


John Calypso said...

Not to say I told you so - but this was my comment way back then, "I think they will come through (forever the optimist)..." Optimism is a wonderful thing ;-)

Felipe Zapata said...

Over Semana Santa? Freaking miracle. Congrats.

tancho said...

Don't get use to that kind of result..... Have a nice trip! When you return it will be nice a soggy warm for you!

Nw said...

córcholis not semana Santa, I was definitely betting against that one. Any visions while there, possibly The Virgin. Wow, congratulations and have a wonderful trip.

PM said...

Congrats. Steve! Do hope you have a wonderful trip and that you will be taking us along.

Steve Cotton said...

And I had no true doubts. That office has always provided very good service -- with a couple of eccentric requests.

Steve Cotton said...

I am a happy camper -- or should that be cruiser?

Steve Cotton said...

Just before I get back, I will be staying in Reno for a bit. The change from oven to sauna should be a bit startling.

Steve Cotton said...

I am going to try to post on the cruise. But my experience is that I simply will not have time on the road. We shall see.

Steve Cotton said...

No Virgin, but I think I can make out the apparition of Thomas on my visa.

Al said...

And your shiftless Escape must have got you back home without problem. Practically perfect in every way. Have a great cruise.

Steve Cotton said...

It will be good to see Rome again.

NW said...

AHH HA HA I love that one, touche' mon ami

Steve Cotton said...


ANM said...

A pretty girl and a musical laugh? I hate to tell you this, Old Sport, but your fly was obviously undone.


Steve Cotton said...

Even in senility, my bubble bursts.

LeslieLimon said...

Mexico is full of happy surprises! :)

Bon voyage, my friend! I hope you have a wonderful time on your cruise. :)

Steve Cotton said...

I'm not certain there is such a thing as a bad cruise.

Thank you. I intend to enjoy.

Don Cuevas said...

Oh, that's encouraging. We'll have a very tight time frame for our renewal the 3rd of August. We have a flight to the U.S. the 10th.

We have already consulted with the kind and helpful people at the Morelia delegacíon of INM, and We Have A Plan.

Don Cuevas

A cruise to Rome? I'm looking forward to how you like it, and how much time you'll have for terra firma touring.