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Sunday, March 4, 2012


The time has come for us to get visa extensions. When we arrived in Mexico, and were being cleared at customs, we asked for a 180 day tourist visa. More than enough time to cover our stay. We were told we could only have 30 days. "Before the 30 days are up, go to the local immigration office and request an extension for your stay". " No problema" (no problem). Over the years I have found that the true meaning of the phrase "no problema", is that there is sure to be a problem!

The immigration office is located in the big city, and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.. This is a small window of time to handle matters that involve waiting in lines. Time moves slow in Mexico, and everything takes time. General reception is an outdoor seating area. It took the arrival of 3 more people before we caught on that you need to sign in to receive a badge so you can enter through the big door! Only to find ourselves in line for another reception area!

Moving right along, we are greeted, and eloquently make known our request by holding up our visas and saying word "new". We are handed a form for completion, which we stumble through, answering as best as we can. Our identification and required papers are then assembled. With everything in order, we are given a number and told to go through another set of doors. We are now in the offices of immigration. There are no lines to speak of, only a gallery of seats. Mark the clock, we are in for a serious wait.. At least we will be comfortable!

Within an hour, our number is called. We hand over our identification and papers. "Why you wait so long after expiration to come in". You speak English! No, no we are not late. We have 30 day visas and we have been here for only 25 days. "Your visas good for 3 days". What! She shows us the visas. Sure enough, the number 3 is followed by a long line. There is no sign of a zero, not even a slight rise in the script. But who would get a visa for 3 days?  "I need to talk with my boss". "You wait". Anxiety sets in quickly and brings a hot flash along for the ride! Sweating profusely within a government office is sure to be a sign of guilt. I need to calm down. Being guilty of someone else's  poor penmanship couldn't possibly be cause for deportation. Could it? I had a feeling we should of packed an overnight bag. Oh, oh, here she comes. Good, she is alone! She hands us a typed 2 paragraph document and proceeds to translate its contents. "Sign; we make it good". "We give you extension". Unable to read and understand the full contents of the document, the what ifs start rolling through my head. This must be fine. We are being granted extensions. Right? Throwing caution to the wind, we sign. Sometimes you just need to trust in others.........

La Senora

1 comment:

  1. The wheels of government grind slowly in whatever country you are in, La Senora!
    We know this to be true...
    Heather y Norm