Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's nine months early so of course I'm trying to plan out all the details of the next year of life. Mexico revamped its immigration system just last November, and it seems like no one, including the people who work at the immigration office in Cozumel, really knows exactly what to do with the new system. I've been researching from afar but wasn't finding the answers to my many questions, so I sent Mono to the immigration office in Cozumel this past Monday to see if her could get some answers.

Guau guau
Bless his heart but Mono understands nothing about the immigration process. He always goes with me if he doesn't have to work, but I realized after awhile that it's probably more effective if he doesn't tag along. The office workers tend only to address him when we go together. Actually this happens all over the place; people just assume I won't understand them so they don't try. Normally I'm annoyed by this. Really, for those of you who have never lived in a non-English speaking country, imagine existing in your own little foreigner bubble anytime you're in public. I'm talking down to the baggers at the grocery store, who act surprised when they finally notice I've repeated something three times in 
Spanish before it's caught their attention. There are so many tourists in Cozumel and a good number of expats too that only speak English. I think a number of Cozumeleños just tune out anything that might come from my mouth because they expect it to be a foreign language. Annoying. But also sometimes helpful. One time Manchas poo'd in the plaza where a number of city workers "work" during the day. The plaza was across the street from our old apartment, so I know the work I refer to largely means finding a relatively cool spot on a bench under the shade. Manchas loves that place. There she is, standing guard and looking at the neighborhood pups that would visit the plaza each day. 

Dotted throughout are signs that say dogs must be on a leash or the owner will be fined, but many of them are scratched out and painted over with short phrases to promote civil unity and discourse (caca, poop). I keep Manchas on a leash in the streets but in the plaza I let her go free because we always go at night and the workers aren't there to lay down the law. One time she ate a dead bird. Actually on another occasion she ate a live bird. But on this particular visit to the plaza, daytime, I let her go, she went romping away, and I saw the civil workers look in her direction, stand up from their position of relaxation, and upon looking over at me they sat back down. There was a moment of hesitation, half step - should I say something? shouldn't I? - but in the end they said nothing. Then Manchas poo'd in the bushes and a look of wrinkled eyebrow concern passed over their faces. One of them shifted his weight, but it was a false alarm as he was simply transferring his broom to the other arm as he waited to see what I might do. 

I cleaned it up. Did the stern voice on Manchas to show her who's boss then performed a couple flailing lunges as I tried to get ahold of her and reattach the leash. I was grateful I wouldn't be fined the 1500 pesos mentioned on the sign, despite the bag of poop I was now toting, but the reluctance of the workers to talk to me was something I'd seen before, and it gets a little old after awhile.

As I was saying, immigration. I asked Mono to go to the immigration office this past Monday and after a three hour wait he saw one of the guys from his football team, who it turns out is a law student and is doing his practicum in the immigration office. He advised us to get married sooner versus later, so that we could get the visa for family unit rather than waiting and depending on a job to hire me.

I wasn't thrilled about this news at first. I was not imagining any kind of extravagant wedding; I was thinking more along the lines of skimming over that part and jumping right ahead to an extended honeymoon. No problem with a civil registry wedding, but since we did that same routine when I officially became Mono's concubine (an offical legal status in Mexico), I wanted to at least go to a different city or do something to actually acknowledge the fact that we are now married. My justification before was that we already live together and have the same life as we'll have married, so I don't want it to be just another day of running an errand in the morning and then celebratory drinks (normally celebrating the drinks but in the case of the wedding celebrating with drinks). Since we've been apart for the last lifetime, I also wanted not to have to come back to Minnesota and live apart once we've gotten married.

Some of those things have been sorted and some of them not but right now it looks like we may be going the way of the court house in Michoacán in the spring. There are some disgusting awful horrifying murder pictures when you Google Image search some of the cities in Michoacán, but there are also pictures like the one to the left, which I think is what happens when you poke a hole in a volcano just as it's about to rise. As well we have lots of pictures of beauty queens, which is great because that's really my thing.

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