Operation: Devolución – No News Is Good News?

Well, unless I missed a holiday in there somewhere, the initial 20-business-day waiting period for my INM refund has passed. I was told if I got through it without any contact by SAT, I’m in the clear and can expect my refund within a further 20 business days (end of June).

I’m no more optimistic than I was a month ago that I’m going to be getting this refund, but I’m hanging in there. I don’t feel there’s any point in going to SAT right now to ask for a status update since I’m only halfway through the 40-day window, but I will go the first week of July just to clear my mind that I did everything I could to get back the 7,518 pesos that INM “borrowed” from me.

At this time, I’m in the process of gathering all the paperwork to go to Cancún to replace my passport. I cannot believe the incredible amount of extra fees Passport Canada is tacking on beyond a reasonable $25 out of country processing fee. Add in that they’re making me go through extra hoops by making me completely reapply, including having to send in my irreplaceable birth certificate, and I’ve got a better outlet for venting my anger than the government of my host country. This whole process that could have been avoided by having an actually water resistant (not proof — I have low standards when it comes to the Canadian government and technology) plastified page is going to end up costing me, between fees and the trip, about 500CAD — the amount of the refund that I’m waiting for. 🙁

That said, I’ve got a sitter lined up for Bonita so I’m going to try to make limonada out of the passport fiasco. The plan at this point is to rent a car (Better gas mileage! Air conditioning!) so I have freedom to do some tooling around and take a few days of vacation at the end of this month. Croft, I’m planning on going to Chichen Itzá and Valladolid. If you can think of anything else between Mérida and Cancún that I need to see, speak now or forever hold your travel advice. 😉

I’m trying to remember what else I wanted to update you all on, but memories of last week have been lost to the melody of keystrokes. I took it rather easy at the end of May, but June came in like a lion and I’ve done about seven days’ worth of work in the last four.

This morning, the gardener came to do some yard cleanup and now that we’ve agreed to make this a monthly thing, we came up with a plan of attack for the weeds for him and a shopping list for me. We want to get to a point where he’s not spending a whole day working on weeds so he can do exterior cleaning, paint touchups, maintenance, etc. While he was here, I had him confirm that I have a termite infestation in the exterior kitchen door and that I should keep doing what I’m doing (ignore it so the termites don’t move to my furniture) and the answer was yes and yes. But he’ll talk to the landlady to see what she wants done as she may choose to have the house treated just in case. I hope not — termite treatment is extremely poisonous, which is why I had my landlady in Maz wait until until I moved out (her preferred choice as well) before treating the house there.

Even with the gardener here (we chat!), I finished much earlier than expected tonight and decided to dress for town and go enjoy the last few hours of Mérida en domingo, when there is always a lot of activity around Plaza Grande. I posted a video to Instagram that did not get posted here and that for some reason has no sound. 🙁 So you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was very lively!

I bought a banderilla for a quick supper. That’s what in my culture we call a “pogo” and is also known as a “corn dog,” a hot dog on a stick covered in a deep fried corn meal batter. Not a bad treat, especially since French’s mustard is readily available here, and it’s what just about everyone was eating.

For my second course, I decided it was high time I tried a marquesita, Yucatán’s unique in all of Mexico answer to the crêpe. It is a very thin dough that is rolled around a filling and becomes crispy I don’t have four hands to juggle food and a camera, so go visit this page to see a picture of what a marquesita looks like.

There were a lot of carts offering them and I went for this one that had a sign explaining the history of the marquesita and the origin of its name (mar for the ocean, the appearance of the dough, and quesita from the word queso, cheese). I also liked that I could see what the different combinations are.

Click to embiggen and make the sign legible!

I asked what is traditional and was told just with the “queso de bola” as a filling. That’s Edam Dutch cheese. It is very popular here in Yucatán and you will find it in varying degrees of quality from authentic to sad rip-off. Read your labels before buying this cheese, but when you find a good one, it’s like a treasure because it’s so much more flavourful than the fresh Mexican cheeses (which are all delicious, but sometimes you want a cheese with a smell that’ll knock your socks off — if you wore socks, that is, which you don’t since you live in the tropics, but I digress).

Here’s a closeup of the two-sided griddle, rather similar to a waffle iron.

So I had my first marquesita with just queso de bola, even though I knew that queso de bola with Nutella is very popular, and I was so happy with my choice. I got to really taste the slightly sweet dough and how it contrasted with the sharp salty cheese (browned and crisped up with the crêpe inside, then a generous pinch of it fresh added into the top opening). I can see how this treat could get very addictive if one were to go on a mission to try different fillings and combinations! I love that McCormick’s strawberry jam you can see above to the left of the Nutella and that with queso de bola will probably be my next pick. But Nutella and queso de bola has definitely got to happen some day as I can imagine the salty-sweet combo would work well.

I did a final tour of all the vendors before heading home and was very amused when a very proper looking jewellery seller made sure to out a selection of nose studs! I’m not fussy about what material my earrings are made of, but I only wear surgical steel in my nose and since I couldn’t confirm the material these studs were made of, I passed. But the encounter made me realise that I’m overdue for a change. 🙂

Tomorrow morning, I’m going to Progreso to file with Aduana the copy of my new residency card. I was hoping to have the rest of the day off after typing 28 hours in the last 72, but ha ha ha ha ha. Anyway, I’m getting time off in a few weeks!

Bonita sends a snore. She’s worn out from all the excitement of having a new two-legged friend who fawns over her. <3

8 thoughts on “Operation: Devolución – No News Is Good News?

  1. I think you have the tourist thing covered with Chichen Itzá and Valladolid, although we never seemed to find the time to stop in Valladolid, Always in a rush to get to or from Cancun. It will be a nice break for you even if a little expensive.

  2. Just renewed my US Passport for $110.00US and had to send my almost-expired Passport with the renewal application and a new Passport photo. I was complaining about the increase in the renewal fee for a 10-year Passport. You have convinced me not to complain anymore after reading about your Canadian problem.

    • I’m at the point where I’m calling a spade a spade and saying it’s robbery. Remember that my government also takes more than a third of my income in taxes as well. I have no idea where that money is going to because I’ve never had adequate healthcare access, never got help with school, never got approved for unemployment insurance I paid into and asked for for a valid reason, and more. People wonder why I’m bitter.

  3. I received my new Canadian passport yesterday. The cover & binding seem sturdier than my US one, and the photo & personal information page are well-fortified and sealed. Here’s hoping you have better luck with your new one!

    • Well, that describes my passport that I got two years ago that still had eight years left on it and still needs to be renewed: 🙁 🙁 🙁

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