Having been told by the powers that be on my first trip (See Getting Legal–Trip 1) to San Miguel de Allende that I could not turn in my paperwork until the 2nd of the following month, the day that my Mexican identification expired, I had to make a second trip, a mere 7 days later. We filled up the tank and checked the truck for problems that might cause delays. Our battery in the truck was causing us some worry. There were times when it would start just fine and other times when we would have to give the truck a good push down a hill to get it going. Well, there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a new battery this trip, so it would have to behave or else.
We also bought the inspection sticker whose lack thereof was the reason we were stopped twice by transitos (traffic police) in Celaya on the previous trip. We didn’t get the truck inspected–no one does. We just paid the inspection center mechanic and he gave us the sticker and we put it on the truck window. It cost $250 pesos and has to be replaced in August, but it would do for this trip.
So we started out not quite as early in the morning since we would need to stop at the bank before we went to the immigration office. We were not stopped in Celaya either coming or going although we saw the same transitos that stopped us for the mordida the week before. I wanted to wave and blow kisses, but then we might have been stopped on some other pretext and we were really short of cash. So I restrained myself.
We stopped at Banamex and I jumped out, leaving the truck running in case the truck battery decided to go on strike. I went in with the paper I had been given by the office next to immigration and paid my $1000 pesos and got a receipt. Then we headed to immigration. We parked on the small incline near the office and hoped that no one would park in front of us, just in case we needed a running start.
I was number 8, so I was pretty sure we’d be out of there by 12:00, but you never can tell. While waiting, we watched the parade of men in the holding room being given their bathroom breaks. There were about 8 of them. My husband determined on the basis of their dark coloring and short statue that they were probably from Guatemala and had been picked up trying to cross México for the U.S. The immigration officer carried no weapons but a billy club and there seemed little risk of the detainees making a break for it.
While we waited, one elderly British lady marched up to the desk and even though the clerk told her she had to take a number, went ahead with her problem anyway. I suppose he figured it would take less time to answer her question than to try to get her to take a number, so he told her that since she had lost her CURP (an identification number given to residents and citizens of México) she could go to the web site and print a new one herself. She was content with that answer and breezed out.
Then it was my turn. I had neglected to make a copy of my receipt from the bank, but the clerk was feeling agreeable that morning and made a copy for me in the office. That was nice of her. Then I had to wait a bit because she didn’t know the password to the computer, but it wasn’t long. I was given a sheet that registered that I had a tramite (open case file) and could check via internet en 8 días (a week) to see if it had returned from D.F. (México City) with approval or not. If my application was missing some sort of documentation, I would have to return to SMA to present the missing documentation. If everything was hunky dory, then I would have to return to SMA to put my fingerprints on the application form.
Much to our relief, the truck started right up. We headed towards home with the hope that we would have enough cash left to eat in San Pedro, a small town with numerous buffet options, even a Chinese restaurant. We had just enough for some yummy beans, cactus, rice and taquitos and two bottles of water. We drank one and saved the second for after the grass cutting–it’s thirsty work that!
Disaster free, we arrived home just in time for my son to get changed and head to school for the afternoon. Qué alivio!