It’s the middle of May already. Despite the fact that I’ve been primarily self-isolating for over two months now, time is going by quickly.
I’ve always loved learning. Now I have the opportunity to delve into areas of knowledge I had no time for in the past.
A course I’m taking from Berkeley on EdX deals with the science of happiness. Today’s topic was forgiveness, forgiving ourselves as well as others. The health benefits of practicing forgiveness are phenomenal. It is encouraging that it is never too late to learn to forgive. Holding grudges and exacting revenge are definitely detriments to experiencing happiness.
Another course I’m taking on Coursera is offered by University of Edinburgh and deals with how to become more active and less sedentary. Because I’m self-isolating I am not nearly as active as I was. So setting new fitness goals to improve my lifestyle is quite important to me now.
Yesterday marked my final visit to Immigration. The extension of my FMM had been processed and I returned home with my renewed visa. I am now once again living legally in Mexico and am grateful that this country has allowed me to remain here at this time.
WestJet announced that international flights to Canada will not resume until at least July. The American airlines are flying to the USA but the borders are still closed to foreigners. I have an additional 180 days thanks to my new visa. Maybe in July I’ll figure out what comes next.
April may only have 30 days but it’s been a very stressful 30 days. May has begun, looks more promising and is most welcome in my life.
I made the decision to remain here in Mexico. I have been bombarded with emails from ROCA in Canada urging me to change my mind. For the most part the communications have been misleading and have contained inaccurate information. Nonetheless it has been stressful to receive these emails. I actually was already in the process of renewing my FMM when ROCA sent me an email stating that I would be in Mexico illegally if I didn’t return to Canada immediately.
I am grateful that Mexico is allowing me to renew my FMM. But the process is tedious with a numerous documents and necessitated three visits to INM. Thank God my friend Raul came with me to translate as nobody speaks English in the immigration office. It’s enough of a challenge to try to understand Spanish as native speakers talk fast. And now their words are being muffled by masks.
Earlier in April one of my credit cards was compromised. Liverpool used to be my favorite department store here in Mexico. But not anymore.
My debit card expired in April as well. At least when my son couriers it to me the envelope will include the replacement credit card as well. Will get my money’s worth out of that envelope.
My son also forwarded my tax return that necessitates an electronic signature. Of course my phone was being ornery and wouldn’t allow me to sign. But I was able to do it on my laptop.
Mexico then moved to Phase 3 from Phase 2 due to COVID-19. The icing on the cake.
Farewell April! You will not be missed.
I have faced a few challenges this past year. And four of them have something in common. They all begin with the letter “I”.
First came INM. Mounds of paperwork and unnecessary photocopies, redundant photos and fingerprints, and several visits to Migracion here in Guadalajara as well as a visit to the Mexican Consulate in McAllen, Texas.
Several months later, I was the proud recipient of a residente temporal tarjeta. But that was only the beginning!
Next it was time to apply for health insurance. What? That long complicated number on the tarjeta is not my CURP number? I need another number? Of course! More photocopies and photos! And then I magically receive this number on the internet days later.
On to IMSS. CURP number, documents translated from English into Spanish, photocopies, photos, malfunctioning computers in government offices…….. I think that about covers it.
If you want to read more about these experiences, check some of my past blog posts. The “It’s Complicated” series address the health insurance issue. “Finally” deals with the visa process.
In Mexico you can apply for an INAPAM card when you reach the age of sixty. This card entitles you to a variety of discounts, the main one being transportation for me. And they even gave me a new name on this card! And it has a lovely (not) photo of me as well as a fingerprint. By the way Kyle, your name and phone number appear on this card as an emergency contact. Please don’t change your number. I don’t want to go through this ordeal again either anytime soon. Too much paperwork and translated documentation. Oh, and thank you for being my number one son!
The fourth hurdle is the IRS in the USA. I have published two books with an American company. But I am a Canadian, a foreign author. Changes in legislation necessitate that I apply for a tax number or my publisher will withhold a ridiculously high percentage of royalties. A nuisance, but no problem. The form is completed and then submitted.
Weeks later I receive a letter informing me that they require additional information confirming my identity as a Canadian citizen. The two pieces of identification must contain photos. And they request original documents. No photocopies for this country. And the documents are my passport and my driver’s license.
So here I am living in Guadalajara and they expect me to forward these original documents to them. Anyone who lives in Mexico will clearly understand how ludicrous an idea this is!
The letter also provided a phone number in the contact info. But it’s Friday! Apparently the weekend starts early in Austin, Texas. Oh well, there’s always Monday………..