Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Friday, May 28, 2010

You Are Done Here

Buenas dias! The full moon last night was beautiful from our backyard. It was so bright that even the man in the moon needed sunglasses!It is so good to be home after such a miserable trip to Hermosillo. However, we did come home to a huge pile of rubble as Umberto continued to take the roof off the old Hilton Garden Room while we were gone. That is good though, it gets us that much closer to the new roof.We left Alamos on Wednesday around 8am and arrived at the immigration building in Hermosillo at 12:20pm, exactly 20 minutes after they closed their doors for the day.

After talking with the guard and hearing more about the new hours we drove an hour and a half back to San Carlos where we had already reserved a room.

If there is one bright event in this trip we made I would say it is staying in San Carlos at the Tetakawi Best Western. It has such a tropical setting, and is across from the sea, very relaxing, great restaurant and always, soccer on the television.

We left the Tetakawi at 6:30 Thursday morning in order to arrive at immigration at 8am. Before leaving Alamos, I googled 'what it takes to renew an FM3' and scoped out the blogs and sites that had updated information about the changes that went in to effect on April 30th.
I had alot of paperwork to take into immigration even though some of the sites said much of that paperwork would no longer be necessary. I felt very prepared.

First in the door, we were thrilled to find the man at the desk spoke English. We told him what we wanted and he proceeded to start the process. By 9am it was looking good. He had been able to locate Senor's application and pulled up mine, had us sign them and even gave us the statement to take to the bank where we would pay for the renewal. Wow, real good, we thought.

He went around the corner and into the back for some reason and he did not return. A non English speaking young woman came back and took over and everything went to hell.

She wanted this and she wanted that and we had it ALL. The bank statements, the utilities, the SAT tax filing, the letters, the photographs. None of it was good enough for her.
The letters, requesting the renewal and stating nothing had changed since last year, which I printed off of a blogsite, were not right. She refused them. By 10 am, after we had rewritten the letters twice, she sat down and wrote the letters herself on the lobby computer and told us to sign them.

Around 10:30am she told us we did not have enough money in our bank account. She said we had to have 44,500 pesos. We argued....................that is not right..............Senor said................ no, it is only supposed to be 1,500 pesos and it is really even less because we own a home. She changed her mind, gave me back the bank statements and began to look at our visas.

By now, a young woman in the lobby is translating for us. The immigration woman gave us a long speech in Spanish. The translation must give up your FM3 and return to a tourist visa...............

OFF WITH HER HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am almost ready to go ballistic. I could be over that counter in 5 seconds or less!

By now Senor is patting my hand telling me to take deep breaths.

We own a home! We can't have a tourist visa! Look at the utilities we pay! For gods sake we have a friggin' deed here to the casa! We pay Mexican taxes! We already have FM3's! What is wrong with you? Are you crazy? I do not say any of this, deep breathe, deep breathe...........says Senor.

She goes around the corner and into the back room. The translator girl who has been so kind to help us has to leave. OMG, I am going to scream.

Nurse Ratchet, who cannot be more than 25 years old, returns from the back and points to Senor's application. I have accidentally put Washington as Senor's place of birth. She calls me on it and is not happy. Senor says........oh, let's just cross it out, it should be Minnesota. She smiles at him and she leads me to the computer in the lobby and tells me to do it over. So I do that.

It is now 10:45 am.
I tell her the new application is done. Senor has checked it twice now as I have caused the delay in the first place. The building is getting on my nerves. The air is humid. The lobby is filled with people waiting their turn. There is another helper on the scene. Nurse Ratchet takes EVERYTHING we have and goes around the corner.

The English speaking man comes back to the counter! YES!!! I feel great!
You need to go to the bank and pay..........he says...........But all of a sudden she is back, the woman from hell, who is trying to be nice enough, but is really a very deep thorn in my side by now.................photografias............she says, where are they? Of course I have them and pull them out, passport size, very recognizable, nice looking couple, just up for the day, just want to renew their FM3's.

WRONG size, she says.....................they have to be infantile size...................4 fronts and 2, right side only.............................and she looks at me..........................your hair must be completely off your face.
I am going to explode.

We have to go looking for a Kodak shop and get new photos. An American couple has come to the counter for their turn. The man says to the English speaking man that their FM3's expired in June of 2009 and could they just get that new combination FM3/FM2. I am staring at the them in disbelief.

Another American couple has come from Kino Bay to renew their FM3's and did not know they had to file applications online.
Nurse Ratchet asks ME to 'explica' that to them and I want to shove my fist in her face. But I 'explica' because I am a nice person most of the time. The wife begins to fill out the online application, her husband tells us where the Kodak shop is and we blast out of there.

The KODAK shop is absolutely not where the man said it was and by 11:00 I am going to break down, running in to this shop and then that shop to try and find someone who can tell us where it is. Senor turns right and there is the KODAK.
We rush in, get infantile photos, there is a special going on, we get 8 for the price of 6. Just give us the photos please!

Look! There is a bank across the street! We rush in and show them the immigration statements and pay the bank, 2,10.00 pesos each, ask for separate receipts and drive back to immigration.

We walk into immigration at 11:40am.
A new American is sitting in the front row, he have to take a number.
OFF WITH HIS HEAD TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I walk straight up to the counter and shove the photos and bank receipts into the hands of the English speaking man. He stops what he was doing with another person and looks on his computer where he can tell that we did truly pay the bank.

He looks at us and are done here.........come back in 2 weeks.....................


Brenda said...

OMG, what a morning!!!!!! I truly sympathize with you.
We will definitely be doing ours at home here in Guaymas where we always do, at least we know where everything is here.
Hopefully some of the bugs will be out of the system by the time we renew in Aug/Sept.
I think I will go to the office before hand and ask them what they now need; but that doesn't always work either as things change between one person and the next person as you know.
Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Wow. The offices in various parts of the country seem to vary -- a lot.

I renewed my FM3 in Manzanillo. I did not need a letter or new photographs. But I did need a copy of my land lady's identification. Even so, it was ready in a week -- even with my residence change. My friends, who drove me to Manzanillo, renewed their FM3s when I picked mine up. They had their renewed booklets in hand in less than an hour. But I am willing to bet the INS offices in The States vary just as much as the Mexican offices do.

Mike Nickell, Sitka and Cynthia Johnson said...

Linda Lou - I am so sorry, but I cannot help but laugh. I am sooo glad we didn't have to go through the FM3 renewal process - Senor Diaz at the Seattle Mexican Consulate granted our FM3 visas as an exception. We didn't meet either the age or retirement income criteria, yet he let us in based upon our retirement $avings. Who knows what would have happened when we tried to renew in Guaymas?!

But I love the opening paragraph and pic of this blog...very clever!

Hang in there. We love reading about your life in Alamos.

Nikki said...

AAAAHHHHH yes, Mexcian tramites!!!! ICK, you reminded me of my FM3 experience in the San Bernardino California Mexican consulate. The system was still old school 7 years ago. My friend and I had to sit in the parking lot with a typewriter and type out our tamanyo legal formatos. HAHAHA that was craziness, two 19 year old girls that had NEVER typed anything before and trying to figure out what words like cejas and lunares meant. We had to call my Dad in Harbor City to help us out. What a mess!!! But yes, deep breaths and you are almost finished ;)

佩怡 said...

Some people cannot see the wood for the trees.......................................................

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

It is so nice to read everyone's comments. It makes me feel less miserable about the whole thing.
Brenda, we will go to Guaymus next time for certain and Steve, you know they can be as bad in the USA, Cynthia and mike!!! Hey, we know Sr Diaz!! Nikki, what an experience that must have been for you! and to my asian friend, yes, alot of trees are out there, but if this is the worst that happens, and it is truly just a matter of inconvenience, I suppose we are lucky!! Hopefully, we will get the renewal in 2 weeks..............

Perro said...

Just curious, why are you dealing with Mexican Immigration in Hermosillo, rather than Guaymas?

Is there some advantage to doing so?



Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

There USED to be an advantage, one could sometimes get an FM3 renewal in the same day, it happened to us, and it has happened to a few other folks we know, but we think it will happen no longer and next year we will go to Guaymus. LL

偉誠 said...

78論壇 A片,成人影片分享 080視訊聊天室 666成人 視訊交友網 xvideo免費影片 視訊美女ws888 6k聊天室辣妹視訊 A片-免費視訊 視訊美女mybank sex888影音視訊聊天室 影音情人趣味 85cc免費影片 視訊激麻館 禁地論壇成人 情色視訊 成人影片情色網 bt成人論壇 18成人avooo 玩美女人試看片 hilive tv視訊妹 免費聊天firework av999免費影片 avdvd無碼影片成人情色 一葉晴貼影片av127 520聊天室 一夜情視訊聊天室 視訊聊天室交友 免費視訊辣妹avdvd一夜情 1元視訊 網愛聊天 250av女優免費影片 免費影音視訊fm358 sex女優王國情色 嘟嘟情人色網 dvd 台灣18網 視訊交友雙贏論壇 色a金激麻館 性愛故事性愛文學 凹凸情欲網 成人視訊happylife 視訊聊天交友mm358 免費視訊辣妹sex女優王國 情色香港論壇 亞洲情色貼圖區 日本 a 片自拍偷拍網站情色小說 免費avi影片下載 台灣情色視訊網 17358 視訊聊天室 日本a片免費下載 情色影片免費觀賞you tube影片下載

~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

What an awful crazy frustrating experience & I know you are happy that day is over! And after reading your new post tonight, today is a much better day! The MOON is beautiful!

Jacqui said...

It is the official bits that are SO frustrating and yet, you have them to do! THe mass of paperwork seems to keep them happy but woe betides you if you have a piece missing.

Ralph and Chris said...

Okay, I'm having flashbacks to getting our FM3 in Mazatlan!! We were ready with all our paperwork and money and it ended up taking more than three months to process (two of which we ended up being illegal!) What a nightmare!!