Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Not To Move To Mexico

Hello from Reynosa, Mexico. I finally moved in just before August 10 and I started my new job on August 10. However, it took me until September 5 to get internet and a couple more days to get the wireless working. I am back online!!!!

It took me 7 trips with my mini-van to move all the "stuff" I wanted to bring with me to live a comfortable existence here in Reynosa. In short, the necessities include my queen size bed, love chair and seat, coffee table, TV and entertainment center, clothers, dishes and other kitchen utensils, computer (duh, of course), printer and a folding table for the computer stuff. Oh, yeah, my dog and cat and all their related paraphernalia. I didn't need dressers because my apartment is not short on closets and shelving. In fact, the apartment is large and has 3 bedrooms. I do not share the apartment with anyone.

The proper process for moving to Mexico is to get a "Menaje de Casa". Basically, it is a paper on which you list every single possession you are taking to Mexico and the boxes you bring to Mexico also must list every single item. To get a Menaje de Casa, you must have an appropriate visa. Well, I don't have my FM3 visa yet so I am still here on a tourist visa. And with a tourist visa, you are not allowed to bring in a desktop computer, TV and most anything else. In fact, with a tourist visa you are only allowed to bring your clothes, laptop computer and some personal items. I decided to take a chance of not getting caught 7 times since I was not going past the next checkpoint which is about 25 miles beyond Reynosa. When crossing the bridge into Mexico, the first that happens is the Red Light/Green Light game. If you get a Green Light, it's a go. If you get a Red Light, you have to pull over and be inspected by customs. On my 3rd trip, I got a Red Light and I was carrying the computer, laserjet printer and flat screen TV with a mattress covering the stuff. Uh, oh! Electronics are a no-no! The reason is electronic stuff is typically cheaper in the United States and can be sold for a profit in Mexico. I pulled over and the Mexican customs agent looked in the back of my car, pulled up the mattress and then asked me if I spoke Spanish. I looked him in the eye and said, "Sorry, I don't not speak Spanish." Yes, my pants are burning because they are on fire. The agent then asked me, "Where you go?" I answered truthfully this time and said I am starting a new job as a teacher in Reynosa. "Adelante", he replied. I couldn't believe it. He let me go. So now I am living fairly comfortable in my own apartment and sleeping in my OWN bed. Life is great.

Next post: The apartment


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