Saturday, December 6, 2008

Admin Day in Cancun - Part 1

Thursday I had an appointment at 12:15 with Immigration. We also were to meet our insurance agent, and go to the bank to pay my yearly property trust (Fideicomiso).

We had told Luis we would be coming to Cancun but didn't know exactly what time. We tried calling him from the island while waiting for the ferry. We tried calling him from the ferry. We tried calling him as we approached Puerto Juarez. Three strikes and out - no answer.

We had about 30 minutes before we needed to be at Immigration, so we called our insurance agent and told him where we were, where we were going, and should we come to his office? No, he would meet us at Immigration. Ok - so we hailed a cab from the street and went to Immigration.

The Immigration office was packed, as usual, and there was no sign of my lawyer, so we sat outside on a wall and waited. Miguel called Luis again, and this time he answered and we told him we would be calling him when we were done at Immigration. And then Rufino showed up with the house insurance policy, and we exchanged vital information for payment, shook hands, and off he went.

So in four months we have successfully completed insurance transactions for: health, life, and home. Much easier than just about any other paper-based transaction I've ever tried to complete here, and just one problem - Miguel's birthdate was wrong on the health insurance policy. So we gave Rufino a copy of Miguel's credentials, and he will get that fixed.

As we were finishing up with Rufino, along came Zina and her cab driver, Carlos. You can read Zina's story as to why she was there. And about then Mauricio, my lawyer, showed up too. Busy place!

We went inside and Mauricio told me that the computer system had crashed that morning and so they were running late with appointments - I would be about an hour later than my 12:15 appointment. The heavy feeling in my chest started then...I'd believe it when I saw it. But at 1 pm my name was called, and I went into the little room with the Immigration agent (all by myself!). I laid my little envelope with the worst possible pictures of me on the table. He asked my height, my eye color, do I have a tattoo or scar, and what are the full names of my parents? He then printed up a form and I dipped both thumbs into the ink pad and thumb-stamped the papers and the future FM3 booklet. He then told me to put one thumb on my forehead and one on my nose. I do not usually rebel against authority but I looked at his serious face and decided he was pulling my leg. We both laughed and he told me to pick up my stuff and my FM3 would be ready in 10 days.

As relieved as I was to be through this part, I have a short trip to Canada planned before the 10 days will be up. So I need Mauricio to prepare a letter to be granted special permission to leave prior to getting my FM3. A little extra cash to get that done, but good to know you can do it if you need to. Ok, Mauricio, I will see you again on Tuesday to sign the papers for the request to travel, and then I guess I will see you again on Friday to pick up the papers. Two more trips to Cancun in my near future. Oh well...I will shop for something else while I'm there. I don't mind going to Cancun any more - I know where to go to get what I want (usually).

We called Luis and he told us he'd be there to pick us up in 5 minutes. It was a little longer than that, but not much, and we hopped into his cab and headed to the bank to pay my trust. Or should I say...try to pay my trust.

This is getting long and I have to hang out laundry, so will publish this and come back later for Part 2 - The Cancun Frustration!


IslaZina said...

I bet your agent's name was Salvador Ponce! He did the same with me. Levity. Or was it the gringo IQ test?

Islagringo said...

Is he still pulling that old trick! He did that to us in September 2003! And yes, it was Salvador.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

You get appointments! We have to just show up and wait our turn, but I doubt that our immigration office is anywhere as busy!