Legal for the Next 344 Days

Sunday was a pleasant at-home day. I had a bit of work to do in the morning, but then took the rest of the day off even though I had more work in the queue. Of course, that meant I spent the afternoon catching up on my bookkeeping, which I’ve been progressively neglecting. It’s hard to do it paperless and it was great to be able to print off all my statements and highlight and annotate as I went along.  I watched a movie in the evening and started on my Van Gogh puzzle, which, as expected, is going to take ages to do!

First thing this morning, I headed into Progreso to see if my residency card really had arrived already, as per the notice I received on Friday afternoon. En route, I stopped to drop off the trash. Collection at the house is not regular and my hosts find it’s better to hold the trash at home and then deposit it at the “dump” (area by the side of the highway on the way to Chelem) as needed. It’s really not a hassle and there’s a guy at the “dump” who takes the bags out of the truck for me.

I got to INM and, sure enough, my card was there! It was accompanied by a lovely welcome letter from Mexico laying out both my new privileges and my new responsibilities.

“Mexico, a hospitable country… is pleased to issue you this card as proof of your status as a temporary resident… Like for any other resident of Mexico, it allows for free transit across the country as well as access to education, healthcare, and the justice system.”

My responsibilities are to safeguard the card, show it when I need to prove my status, inform them of any changes (like my address), and to renew the card 30 days before it expires — so that’s the end of March since the card expires May 1st, 2018, which feels so soon!

I find it amazing how many expats don’t find getting to this point incredible and worthy of celebration. There is just such a sense of entitlement. 

From INM, I went straight to Aduana. The guy who was so surly last week actually greeted me with a smile and a few kind words! I didn’t have to wait long for the customs officer from last week to come out with some paperwork for me. As it turns out, it takes three to four months to process the extension for the TIP! OMG! What she had for me as a letter saying that I’ve requested an extension. That’s it. There was nothing in it about the request being granted. I asked the lady to confirm that this would be enough to be legal and she said to just hold onto the letter with my other TIP paperwork and that it will be sufficient if I get pulled over and asked to prove Moya’s legal status. Hope she’s right! I was given a website URL and request number so I can track the status of my extension.

When I got back to the pier entrance/exit checkpoint, the guard there told me I’d do well to make a colour photocopy of my license plate, have it laminated, and stick it to the front of my truck so that I don’t look as conspicuous! I’ve heard of other expats with no front plate doing that and getting the same suggestion from someone official cemented it for me. So that’s my next arts and crafts project.

Now, it’s time to get to work. It’s rare for a Monday to be busy, but this one is. I even had a request to take a job waiting in my inbox when I first logged on.

The house cleaner comes on Wednesday, so I’m going to lose most of that day and so I’ll need to work late tonight and tomorrow to make up for that. It was strongly advised that I leave when she’s here so as to not be in her way. So I think I will go to Progreso centro and have a poke around. I accidentally drove through there today looking for the Super Aki grocery store and it reminded me so much of Maz I got a little homesick! Looks like there’s a market to explore as well as, of course, a malecón. I figure doing that will kill the time it will take the cleaner to do my suite and then I can come back to work while she does the rest of the property. Yes, my hosts trust her! She has actually housesat overnight here to take care of the dog. I’m therefore not worried about having her here alone, but I will tell her not to touch my desk since there’s so much on it.

Tonight is the last curry night for a few weeks and so I’ll be heading out in a few hours to pick up supper. One of you lovely readers sent me some funds a few weeks ago for a treat and it exactly covered my three curry nights! So thank you again!