In Which I Do Something Really Stupid

The big project I was waiting for this week got postponed to next week and I have a schedule for it, so that was a lot of stress off my plate this week what with my having to make two trips to aduana in Progreso. I did get one of the jobs to be due mid-afternoon today, but I was able to work late last night to do it and then proofed and sent it before leaving for Progreso. I still have other work to do this afternoon, but no deadlines for today, so there was no time pressure. Thank goodness for that…

The drive to the pier took a bit longer as there was more traffic today, plus I had to stop for fuel. I pulled into the guard entrance, presented my license, and stated my business. The guard then threw me for a loop when he asked to see my proof of insurance for my truck. Not a problem, I keep all that in my folder that I always take in the truck with me. So I start to go through the folder to find my policy when I realise that I had taken a bunch of stuff out yesterday to sort it out and… didn’t put the pile back into the folder. First time ever in Mexico being asked for my proof of vehicle insurance and I didn’t have it…

I was told to pull over and wait for a supervisor.

By the time the supervisor came to me, only a few very short minutes later, I had a plan. He greeted me with, “You don’t have insurance on your truck?”

I corrected him. “I don’t have the proof that I have insurance.”

I then presented him with option one of my plan. Option two was to offer to leave him the truck and keys, get in a taxi, go home, get the paperwork on my credenza, and come back in a taxi.

Option one was to show him a contact in my phone for my insurance company, the policy number in the notes, and to suggest that we call them so they can confirm that I do have a policy that is valid until next week. He considered that for a few seconds and said that was good enough, but to never do that again! *sends a thank you to the customs gods*

I hate to leave copies of documents like that in the truck, but I will from now on since the truck is parked 99% of the time in my secure driveway.

I made it to customs at about 9:20 and the lady was obviously waiting for me as I barely had time to sit down. She gave me the expected paperwork, but the unexpected instruction to come back in late May/early June with my new card and photocopies of it. She said it’s not worth asking people to do that for the first year, but it is for the three-year card. So I have one more trip to the end of the pier to do.

Now that I know my truck is legal for the rest of my time here as a temporary resident, I can get to work on scheduling the repairs she needs (*sends prayers to the AC gods that I can get it working again*) and also renew my insurance policy for another year.

I can’t believe it’s not even 11:00 yet. The morning has felt so long since so much happened. But it all worked out and for that, I’m very grateful!

10 thoughts on “In Which I Do Something Really Stupid

  1. Do your research on AC repairs. I got sucked into a used compressor in Florida (to avoid a $1000 charge for a new one) and it only lasted a month. I think Mexico is a lot better for these repairs and I have been told there is a factory in Monterrey that rebuilds air conditioning units that end up being as good as new. No idea of the cost. I will be watching your blog to see how you make out.

    • I trust the mechanic who is going to have a look at it to present me with the best option. I told him that I’d been quoted about a grand in the US and he was appalled, saying that even if like with the clutch he has to go with a higher end US part, it shouldn’t come anywhere near that. He’ll get a number for me once he’s had a proper look. But I have to do a muffler repair first.

      • We either memorize or write down a few key words and just do our best. We have found that many or even most Mexicans know at least a little English and if they see we are trying to communicate in Spanish then they will meet us more than half way or call another person to help. We have even had passersby stop and help us translate. I cannot think of even one time where we found ourselves in real difficulty.

        • I can’t imagine how scary it would be to be in real trouble with almost no language skills! I really thought I was in for a world of hurt today!

          I think what you’re saying about meeting folks halfway is reflected in my visit to customs on Monday. Expats here claim that no one at the pier speaks English and yet, after doing everything in Spanish on Monday, the lady ended by speaking perfect English to me…

          • I believe all younger Federal Police officers speak English as it is now a condition of employment. Some people spread bad rumors about the Federalis but they are the elite of the Mexican police forces. They must have a university degree and are well paid. My (and others) experience says they can generally be trusted and will never have their hand out for a bribe. If I were ever in trouble I would not hesitate to stop a Federali for help.

  2. Once again you came up with a logical solution. Best of all you are legal as is the truck. Now to get on with more planning.

    • It really helps when you have what they want and you just forgot the paperwork. I would have been up s*** without a paddle otherwise!

      I’m still far from done — still have to do fingerprints before I can get my card, so that’s at least two more trips to INM for that. I also have the refund to deal with. Then one final trip to aduana. And once that’s all done, I have to go to Cancún for a day to deal with the passport thing and then spend weeks stressing about whether or not my irreplaceable birth certificate is going to get back to me. Such fun! 😀

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