December 5, 2008

Sue was so right!

After breakfast at Lenora's, Anne-Marie and Pascal took the ferry to "the other side" with me. Carlos, my driver, was waiting to take me on my governmental errands and I offered that he could take them to a car rental place on the way.
The cabbie mafia in Puerto Juarez had other ideas, saying he had permission only to take me. Being helpful, he had driven into the garage rather that meet on the street, so the union was sticking to its bully tactics.
Carlos engaged in heated debate with union officials on his cell phone and the thugs in the garage. "Si, they are her guests, it's a last minute thing," he tells the union. The fat guys kept heckling us and Anne-Marie and Pascal said it's OK, we'll walk across the street! To appease the hecklers, I said, perhaps you know a car rental agency they can use. Well, there are many car rental agencies. Oh, si. I thought you might know someone who would give you a commission! ha! Pascal had led the charge across the street and Anna-Marie was already wheeling and dealing!
Carlos and I were off. We had daunting tasks and hopes to visit Walmart.
When we got to Cancun's Palacio Municipal annexes, call the Tents, he was surprised I knew my way around, saving us time! And he saw he could pay his property tax early at a 20 percent discount, so he left me at the Civil Registry to get me CURP, unique personal ID. But then, even though he had a receipt, the computer showed he was in arrears from July...
Back to my issues...The man in charge, after sitting down to HIT SEND, noticed my f'ing document had a typo in one of three uses of my name!
No CURP for you. Migracion must fix its error! Carlos and I quickly thought out loud, it was nearing lunchtime. Carlos said, let's try his house, but I knew my lawyer's work habits. He might have a client at Migracion. Carlos also has a friend who works there, so we tossed the dice.
When we got there, Sue and Miguel were setting on a wall, waiting for their health insurance agent and Mauricio. I forgot it was Sue's finger print day!
Just to cover our bets, Carlos went in to see if his friend could fix it. Nope, need a letter petitioning Migracion to fix their typo.
Then Mauricio arrived and basically said the same thing. OK, if the government wants to forfeit my rental taxes for another month...
Mauricio took my passport and f'ing document as he escorted Sue to her fingerprinting.
He came back in minutes with a smile on his face! By then, I had bought two miniature live, decorated Christmas trees for 20 pesos less than Soriana's had them(50 pesos!) from a street merchant as gifts for Carmen and Deborah, and we had watched a show of force as a drug lord was appearing in court nearby. It was like a lights and siren parade of all the agents who had a part in arresting El Huevo, brother of the killed El Vacco. Being Mexico in a drug war, the agents all had stocking masks and helmets on too!
With the excitement over, we knew we had limited time to get back to the Palapas of City Hall...and there was tension: Would the man ever think an error could be fixed to quickly by Migracion?
He bought it! By now it was 1pm. Time was running out for the Hacienda, the equivalent of the IRS, to activate my RFC, taxpayer ID. We decided to go for it rather than break and chance me needing another Cancun trip.
The Hacienda is like a bureaucratic oasis in Mexico. Pleasant, clean, piped in music. But the wait would be an estimated hour and a half. Here's a ticket with your turn printed on it. Late in the day, all the appointments and walk ins stack up and the computer displays who is next. But it's like a lottery. New out of sequence number pop up along with the old as the office tries to service everyone who came in for the day, including those who walked out. You have to stare at the scoreboard or lose your turn. I am number 9044.
Carlos was antsy and I asked if he could go to the drug store and buy a syringe of a light cortisone Dr. Salas uses to take inflammation down in my back when my feet start dragging like they were, so off he went, leaving me to enjoy the ambiance. No, it is really nice except you have to stay awake.
He came back with the betamethasone and I was called within 20 minutes of the office closing.
Got everything in order, ready to hand to my accountant! A miracle! Quick conference and we decide to count our blessings and get me home before I collapse. So with my two miniature Christmas trees in one hand and my brief case over the shoulder, I head for the ferry. Margaret says hi, she's going to her accountant. Mary Ann's husband says,"let me take your plants." Rosemary says, sit with me, but I have to go to the front or I get nauseous.
And we launch into Mexican inflation and the gringos who want her to sell ice cream at a loss! She has hand made sugar cones and this is not a milk producing region, she has rent, electricity, spices, etc. and people get ugly when confronted with a cone that is 5 pesos more than a dish. Well, then Eberhard called - he forgot a set of stainless steel trays somewhere near the docks.
She goes up to the captain, who can't locate them, which produced a heat cell phone exchange. My neighbor Oaxaco, the tire guy, and his wife are behind us and totally amused!
I disembark and head right for my golf cart as the Special State Police are staging in the lot for an apparent drug sweep. Thank you Jesus, I am home!
I drive by the house, hand Eriso Deborah's tree, and head for La Bruja, since I could die of hunger at any time and doggie dog can wait.
Had a quick pollo en mole and made my way back past the park, when I see all kinds of poinsettias and palms. Got a red one in fairly good shape and head home!
I communized a couple tortilla's from La Bruja for Lora and she just can't believe I am home! She has her orders - a quick out and chew her bone. We will run today!
I take my shot and fall into a 9 hour nap! My legs are already stronger, my back doesn't hurt, thank you Carlos!
On November 28, Sue wrote in Dentro del Jardin to "not cheat on your cabbie." She was so right! I couldn't have moved mountains without him! Yes, I overtipped him!
He in turn gave me more business cards, promising tours, rides to the airport or shopping at a discount for my guests at Zina's Guest House. Be assured, I will not cheat on him!
Oh, I'll post the pictures another day! I need to sleep before Carmen gets here!


Sue said...

Geez - we missed all the action at the Immigration. We saw nothing while we sat on the wall, it all must have taken place while we were inside?

And we called Luis and if not for him, my day would have been less successful. I need to blog about it, too long to write here. But yes - never cheat! A cabbie such as Carlos or Luis is a gift.

Hope you feel better!

IslaZina said...

Yes, it did take place while you were inside. It was funny, with Carlos starting to explain what was going on. Then I named the drug lord. I read the paper. I'm a former reporter and this is all so interesting! He was impressed.
I guess the action on the muelle here was not drugs, but a Cuban round up. Lots of folks!
Carlos is worth his weight in gold. Good he is a skinny guy!
And me, I am strong and eating well. 150 pesos of laundry at the lavenderia and fresh veggies and beans to try out the concentrated veggie broth bought at Soriana's the other day. It's from Canada!