Sunday, June 05, 2005

And the answer is............?

Or maybe the title should be....How many answers can you get to the same question? Here in Mexico it seems to be as many different answers as the number of times you ask the question.

Last night at a dinner party, one of the guests had just gotten his FM2 which gives you immigrant status. It is a step up from an FM3 which is resident status. The FM2 is for 5 years and the question about how long you can be out of Mexico during that 5 year period is one that us gringos are always trying to figure out. Even asking at the immigration office seems to vary with who you talk to. We have gotten answers from no more than 180 days during the 5 years to 1-1/2 years during the 5 year period. And for those of us who drive in and out of the country, we aren't sure what difference it makes because no one checks your visa when you cross the border. If you are flying in and out, the airlines take up the visa or send you over to immigration to have your FM2 or FM3 and passport stamped. But then there is the question of does any of this get into their computers. But the bottom line is, the more you ask about it, the more answers you have and the more confused you are.

Another example of multiple answers is from a couple of years ago although it is just another one of many examples. We had heard that on Good Friday in Atotonilco a town close to San Miguel, they had a procession and reinactment of Jesus being nailed to the cross and that we needed to be there by 10 AM to see it. We decided to go. When we got there, vendors were beginning to set up their booths and the streets were fairly deserted. We started asking when the procession would take place and where it would start and in which direction it would go. We asked a policeman, a nun and someone who seemed to have a roll in organizing the event. We heard it will come up this street, down this street. It will start at 11, at 12, at 1. As it turned out, it started about 1:30 and came down the street and to a hill by the road.

We like to keep up with the religious processions and events here in San Miguel so I can photograph them. What is published in the local newpaper isn't right most of the time or else it isn't in the paper at all. So Ned has started going to each of the churches when he is in town and checking their calendar of events. Yesterday was suppose to be confirmations at 10, 11 and 12 at the Parroquia. I was there with my camera at 10. Not a single girl in a white dress with relatives in tow.

We like the parade of the Locos in June but so far this year we have heard it will be on June 11th, 12th or the 19th.

I guess I just need to be prepared at all times with the camera and keep asking questions. I'd keep a list of all the answers and put a tick mark beside each answer when I heard it then maybe I could go with the one that has the most tick marks..............
Still I'd never be sure that I had THE RIGHT ANSWER.


Ann McDonald said...

Billie, for whatever reason, this is the first chance I've had to read all of this and see the photographs. You are so ambitious 1) to keep a journal like this and 2) to do the remodeling. Your "hit the wall" emotions are very familiar to everyone who has had to live with the mess. But I agree with the other comment: it WILL be even more beautiful than it was when we saw it 2 years ago!

BillieS said...

Ann, thanks. We WILL be glad when the room is done. Now, when are you coming back to SMA so you can see it.