Tuesday, March 18, 2014

how big will the costco be?

Small Mexican towns thrive on rumors the same way that cats live on snakes.

Melaque is no exception.  In the seven years I have been reading our local message board, we have had some doozies. 

A good rumor is usually based on something coming to town that everyone would like to use, but there is very little possibility of it ever occurring.  Costco coming to Melaque is a perfect example.  (costoco is coming)

The most persistent rumor has been that the immigration folks (INM) would open an office in town.  You can see the allure.  It would cut out the 1-hour trip to Manzanillo for those of us who have dealings with immigration.

Replacing lost tourist visas.  Applying for and renewing long-term visa cards.  Reporting changes of address.  All of that could be done right here in town.  Of course, the desire made little sense when weighed against the relative convenience of driving to Manzanillo.

All of that changed on 1 January.  Manzanillo is in the state of Colima.  INM decided that because we Melaque folk are residents of Jalisco, we would need to make the 4-hour drive to either Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara to worship at the altar of bureaucracy.

Apparently, that was enough for the local Mexican political figures to put some lead in their collective pencils.  And, as of yesterday, we now have an INM office in Melaque.  And not a part-time office.  It will be open Monday through Friday from 9 until 4 staffed by two young and enthusiastic clerks.

Even though yesterday was a federal holiday, the grand opening was held in the street in front of the new office in what I have come to know as the style of Mexican officialdom.  A large awning.  Folding chairs.  And a table of dignitaries (including local expatriate and Mexpatriate-reader, Murray Smith, who represented the expatriate community) from throughout Mexico -- all of whom had their say, with the obligatory shaking of hands at the head table after each speech.

But this was not only a matter of form.  As part of the ceremony, a stack of permanent resident cards were distributed to expatriates -- one of them to the owner of the house Darrel and I will be looking at later this week.

It just goes to prove that if you wait long enough changing circumstances can make the most outlandish rumor a reality.

Now, I wonder when that new Costco is going to open here in town?

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