No Sombrero, No Pancho, No Service

When I packed to come to Mexico, I totally stereotyped what I was going to need.
Mexico is supposed to be hot. RIGHT? Who told me this? Why would I think this? I didn’t bring myself a sweater; although I did bring the kids sweaters, I left their jackets. Every morning, it is sweater wearing weather, EVERY SINGLE MORNING. One of J’s first questions when we started to unpack clothes was “did you bring me a sweater”, to which I responded “why would you need a sweater”? Some nights, especially, nights when it has rained it gets way too cold for just a sweater. Keep in mind its rain season here. I wear a Pancho to beat the cold and I haven’t seen another Pancho. Not one, not even for sale. We are cold.

Speaking of rain season, J asked me to bring the kids plastic rain boots. Did I listen? No. I thought, Mexico was HOT and DRY. Daily, Elaina has her feet wet from playing in water. I am sick and tired of washing shoes, tennis, & sandals for all three of them because of mud. Even the shoes are sick and tired of being washed; they have now started to disintegrate.

When it came to shoes, I only packed sandals for myself. To think I left my heels in clear plastic boxes and I have a little bit more than a few. I didn’t bring one pair because I thought there would be no where to wear them. This is definitely what bothers me most because at every Quincenera, women are dressed up, in heels and I show up, real classy, in sandals.

I now understand, why they say tourist stand out like sore thumbs.

I look more Mexican than J does!

I look more Mexican than J does!

Remember after J got picked up, I immediately stopped combing Elaina’s hair and it looked like a birds nest? Remember that I also stop putting shoes on her feet? I would tell friends and family “she better get used to it because that is going to be her life from now on”.

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Naïve.

The ladies wearing prom dresses at Wal-Mart on a Tuesday night should have given me a clue.


American Passports

I knew one of the first things I had to get the ball rolling on, was passports. The faster I got them, the faster I could leave. Except you need money, which I didn’t have enough of thanks to our spending habits. I got an extra check from hubby’s last job, quickly withdrew the boys out of school, my thoughts were I better do it now that I have the money. You know because a fart would last longer in my hands.

We arrive at the post office only to find out they stop processing passports at 3 pm. We were 5 minutes late. They were testing at school the next day, so I had to grip that money tight for yet another day.

May 1st we finally got it done. Three passports, ball rolling! Yeah I know three; they accepted paperwork only for the kids. They took one look at my birth certificate and didn’t accept it. Apparently, if you have the short form, a specific letter has to be on it. I was told I had to order the long form. *eye roll*

I tried to get it done at the local Pasadena office, but they only print short forms and there was no guarantee that the letter would be on it. *eye roll*

Why did I ask the boys if they wanted to go back to school? Discovery green with my kids the rest of the day.

I ordered my Long Form Birth Certificate on-line the next day. It finally came in on Monday, May, 13. It takes about six weeks for the passports to come in so I am like three weeks behind the kids. I am going Today, to get mine.

You must have: (1) Birth Certificate (get anything you might need your birth certificate for, taken care of before, as they keep it and will mail it back to you by mail), (2) ID, (3) DS-11 form filled out, & (4) DS-3053 Parental Consent Notarized or both parents must be present.

(5) Passport picture (you can’t duck face, be wearing anything in your hair or have glasses on). We took our pictures at the post office $15.00 USD each. You can take them at Walgreens and CVS too but a friend told me she went to Walgreens and the post office did not accept them so she had to retake them. She paid twice.

US Passport Book: Adults $110.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 10 years, used to travel by air, water or land. Minors (16 & under): $80.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 5 years, used to travel by air, water or land.

US Passport Card: Adults $30.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 10 years, used to travel by water or land. Minors (16 & under): $15.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 5 years, used to travel by water or land.

I’m getting the book incase I have to come back for rental properties or other emergencies, but the kids is only good for five years I doubt we will have the income to fly home anytime soon, so got them cards.

Double, Dual, Two, Duo, Dos

Dual Citizenship will be more of a hair pulling, pain in the butt kind of ordeal. It’s hard enough to deal with American Passports, but dealing with the Mexican Consulate will be a task to say the least. I at least speak Spanish and can understand what they are telling me. How Americans deal with them with the language barrier, I think they would have to hire an attorney to get anything done.

Most friends travel into Mexico as a Tourist and they have so many days they can spend there. I don’t know too much about that and I have not researched it.

There is a FM3 Visa: Basically, saying you’re only staying 5 years or less. If you decide to stay longer you can renew.

There is also a FM2: You plan to stay indefinitely. I could go on this but I wouldn’t be able own property or I wouldn’t be considered for any restaurant, secretarial, washing dishes type jobs. Nationals get first dibs on jobs, and employers have to prove to their government officials why a national could not do the job if I were chosen. Not that I actually want some of those jobs but if hard times are ahead of us, then I will take what I can get. Beggars can’t be choosy.

Those are your choices if you want to live in Mexico. You can’t apply for Dual Citizenship till after you have lived there for at least 2-5 years.

In our case, the only break we have gotten is that J is from Mexico so the kids can qualify for this automatically. Like American passport rules, he would have to provide his Birth Certificate but in addition his ID, they will mail those items back. Please don’t take what I have been told, or what I perceive as the truth, written in stone. It feels that every time I call the consulate I am told differently.

As for my Dual Citizenship, it will be a bit complicated but I want to do mine before I leave, unfortunately, I don’t get in because of marriage. I would also have to prove my parents are from Mexico. My mom was born in Durango, except mom died when I was twelve. I am counting on my aunt, who says there is still family there that can go to their local government office and LOOK for it. Nothing is online and they literally have to search for it.

Why do I need a Dual Citizenship? I want the opportunity to buy land in Mexico, get utilities, internet, a phone, all under my name, & get any job I might be qualified for.
Peace! I mean DUECE!