Friday, March 06, 2009

Forma Migratoria 3

The trip to Manzanillo on Tuesday went (almost) without a hitch. It took more patience than the Patient usually has, and some logistical rethinking, but after a mere 3 hours, we got done as much as we could.

The Instructions: Turn right at ISTI. It's in a big green building at the end of the street.
The Truth: It's white.
The Instructions: Park as soon as you get onto that street. There's never anyplace to park.
The Truth: We parked in front.
The Instructions: You need three months' worth of bank statements - originals.
The Truth:: They accept copies.
The Instructions: Oh no, just a copy of the first page of your passport is necessary.
The Truth: We needed all the pages of the passport, blank and stamped.
The Instructions: Yeah, those pictures are fine.
The Truth: The photos must be 4X4 cm., four front, three right side profile, no jewelry, no hair across the forehead (aka "bangs") or along the side of the face. It all has to be swept behind the ears. I'm talking about mine, of course. Ours photos were 3X3 cm., not accepted BUT we can have them retaken and hand them in when we return to get the final FM3.
The Instructions: Get there early so you'll be first in line. It shouldn't take long.
The Truth: We were there early, when it opened. But we were 6th in line. It took, as I said, three hours. But that included having to walk quite a distance to pay the fees and to get the passport pages copied. We returned with receipts and pages, and then it was more waiting. By 11:30 we were back in line to sign the papers to cancel our visas and pick up our temporary documents.
The Instructions: You go back in 2 weeks to get your permanent document and you're finished for a year.
The Truth: According to Srta. Monserrat, "It will be ready in 4 weeks. Come back on March 31, with photos."

The wheels of the bureaucracy grind mighty fine here.

By noon we were in the car headed for lunch at La Posada, our favorite watering hole/restaurant down in Las Brisas. The food isn't the greatest, but you can't beat the view and comfort of the dining room. (I know this is not a new photo. I posted it a couple of years ago. But I didn't take a new one.) A bit of shopping, and finally home.

We drove into to Manzanillo on the 2-lane free road, through the jungle and groves of limes, papaya, mangoes (the trees are loaded with ripening fruit that should hit the market in about 2 weeks), bananas and coconuts. It's a beautiful drive, if slow because of truck traffic. But coming home we drove on the toll road along the shore. It, too, is a pretty drive if less interesting. But by that time, I was all about speed and was too uncomfortable to be interested in anything except the prospect of a nice siesta. I have been having a bit of the "jippy tummy" and was in no mood or condition to linger. Indeed, I did take a nice long nap, had a light supper, and was in bed early.

As for the rest of this week, it has gone by at its usual leisurely pace; walks on the beach, hammock time, reading, dominoes, breakfast with friends in Paraiso, swimming, marveling at and enjoying the delicious weather. I'm gearing up to plow into some heavy reading: Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine," passed to me by one of our group. But before I open it I will read the profile of her by Larissa MacFarquhar that was in The New Yorker on December 8, 2008. You can tell how I ration my New Yorker reading; I have nothing more current than January 26, 2009. I have to make them last another 2 months.

Puccini fills the opera air tomorrow with Madam Butterfly. It's another one of those operas that doesn't end well for the soprano. But tonight is steamed fish al Veracruzana at Dago's. I'll worry about Cio-Cio San tomorrow.


At 9:06 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Loved your Instructions/Truth piece here and I always well up in M. Butterfly. Oh, he is such a cad!
Tummy back to normal I hope.


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