Official Approval of My Request for Temporary Residence in Mexico

One of the really complicated things about bringing a vehicle into Mexico on a temporary residency visa is preserving your deposit with Aduana (customs) and Banjercito. I am going to write in greater length about that once I’ve been through the process. But at any rate, I decided that I should start the ball rolling on that tomorrow, so I went back to the INM website tonight to print out the page that shows that I’m approved for temporary residency.

There, I found quite a surprise.

There was a notice for me to download a PDF. I did so and was startled to get a scan of a very formal letter complete with stamps, seals, and signatures, confirming the approval of my request to transfer my 30-day entry into a 1-year temporary residency card.

The following happened when I opened the PDF:

  1. The text swam before my eyes after I saw the header that my case was approved.
  2. I took a deep breath and started to read.
  3. I burst into tears when I realised that I  not only understood what I was reading, but that this was Good News.
  4. I cried for a bit,then went outside and did a happy dance with the dog.

I hadn’t even realised that I’d been thinking of the possibility of a worst case scenario of my application being denied at this stage!

At this point, the hard work from an immigration standpoint is done. Next year, I need to renew my card for a further three years and then I’m done with INM except for an address change until I convert to permanent residency. After a year of permanent residency, I can choose to begin the process of naturalisation (acquiring citizenship).

This felt suspiciously easy…

I think that several things worked in my favour:

  1. I was able to exceed the requirements for acquiring a residente temporal visa.
  2. I speak Spanish, so I was able to do my own research as to requirements and procedures (I think those who don’t speak Spanish are mad to try to do this alone and should pay for a “fixer” to help them as that will save them so much time!).
  3. I was able to do the final steps at a small immigration office (I hear things move much more slowly at the Mérida office).

I should have the residency card itself in the next couple of weeks, at which point I am going to open a bank account. I also want a Mexican driver’s license at some point, but as long as I’m driving a Canadian-plated car, I’m not in a rush to do that. The final thing I will do and what reader Peter is giddy to hear about is getting Mexican health insurance. All will be revealed in due time! 😀

A Lot of Little Things Happened Today

Today started with initial contact with a potential new client. Business is officially back to normal! 🙂

But, again, I need a proper office. I had a long typing day yesterday and am paying for it in pain. But there is hope on the horizon. I posted a wanted ad for some office furniture and someone who just bought a furnished house and currently has doubles and triples of a lot of things responded. She’s putting together a price for me for my dream desk, a chair that will tide me over, a few bookcases, and the exact type of armchair and ottoman combo I was hoping to find for my house! She knows my budget, so let’s hope I can pay for it all!

It’s been a week since I went to INM in Progreso, so I checked the status of my application this morning and nothing had changed. But when I looked back in the afternoon, there was an update! I was told things move very quickly after that first update, so I kept checking back. Well, I can go back to immigration tomorrow to give them photos for my card and to get fingerprinted. This is really happening!

Monday is curry night in Chelem thanks to the Chelem Curry Club. Two British expats nearby make curry for takeaway on Monday nights! I had it last week and it was fantastic, so I put in an order for tonight to pick up at 5:30. They are just a few blocks away, so I can walk.

Here’s my filthy Moya who needs a good bath inside and out. I park her outside the compound because dealing with the gate and the dog is way too much.

Looking down my street:

Turning towards the beach. Can you see how turquoise the ocean is?

This is Calle 17 or the Beach Road. I can walk down it all the way into Chelem.

Monday night curry is a set menu for just $150. This is what you get, a container full of the main and sides, plus a piece of hot and buttery garlic naan.

Going clockwise from the bottom right:

-chicken Mumbai (creamy, coconutty chicken curry)

-served with pilau rice (ie. cooked in turmeric)

-onion bhajia (like a fritter) with mint yogurt

-saag paneer (spinach with cheese)

“all smeared with our own mango chutney and garnished with fresh cilantro”

Last week was similar, except I had a samosa-type thing instead of the bhajia and the chicken had a tikka masala sauce.

This meal is a real bargain at $150. It’s just a bit too much for one meal, but not quite enough for two. I would pay $15 to $20 in Canada for this meal and feel that I got my money’s worth, but it would be an occasional treat. At about $10, it’s something I plan to do every Monday that it’s offered. That’ll be next Monday, but then there will be a hiatus for three weeks. I am really impressed, to be honest. You can tell this food is made by Brits who are passionate about their curry!

After dinner, I played with the dog for a bit since he was being a brat, which I know means that he just wanted some attention. I wore him out! Now, I have to get back to work since I’m going to immigration tomorrow. I’m regretting take it so slow this morning since I’ll now be slammed tomorrow! But, hey, this really does beat the famine days! 🙂

Mexican Spanish Peculiarities: Tomate and Jitomate

My first year in Mexico, I never questioned the difference between “tomate” and “jitomate” when it came to the red sphere of deliciousness, the tomato. Everyone knew what I meant when I said tomate and I understood jitomate if I saw it in a recipe.

Last night, my curiosity finally overtook me and I did some research. I was surprised by what I discovered.

In most of the Spanish-speaking world and about half of Mexico (northern and Baja), this is a tomate:

Well, in the other half (central and southern), that fruit above is a jitomate and this is a tomate:

Got that? In a very small part of the Spanish-speaking world, a red tomato is a jitomate and a green tomato is a tomate.

I found a map that shows which Mexican states use only tomate (they include Sinaloa) and which use tomate and jitomate (they include Yucatán). Follow that link to learn more about the difference between tomate and jitomate.

Fun fact: both tomate and jitomate come from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word xiltomatl. I am learning that just as Canadian English has incorporated Native American words, so has Mexican Spanish. I expect to start picking up Maya and Maya-infused Spanish now that I live in Yucatán!