…so as we walk into a very sterile and quiet white room, I sit down at a desk with two secretaries, explain my situation with the now worn out copy of my Fm3 – lol, an they make a call. Within minutes a man comes in, I explain my whole, “I had an Fm3, no idea where it went before my trip (skipping over the fact that I was able to board without it by feigning ignorance) – I made a copy of it – but I am scheduled to create a new one when I return to Mexico- can I just sign in as a tourist until I obtain the new card and I can carry my copy id with me?” – Okay well up to this point, I figured I was pretty um, screwed? lol…but – mysteriously it turned out I could obtain a FM3 here ( I think only because I had proof that I had one before 🙂 strange, huh?
I was asked for 5 pictures of myself, as luck would have it, I had photos (extra) of myself taken when I had my initial FM3 taken – so I pulled these out, but I was shy 2 photos…:( Sooooo, I was drawn a map and shown where to go a few blocks away to retake some photos specifically for my FM3. I figured, I am going to do this quickly, because Bill had left already and was on his way and I did not want to be here until midnight! 🙂
I followed his directions, came to a photographer’s studio, and it seems this was a very professional and formal studio. However, they did not do quick/instant photos, they did just formals and you order later, etc, so they pointed to a photographer a block away that did. I went there, and yep! No prob! 100 pesos, and I had by 5 photos for the FM3!
I raced back to the immigration office at the border, presented these, and then was told the difficult part would be needed ( the difficult part?! What?! LOL). I needed to have an affadavit created, and signed of/stamped by the local police station stating that I in fact did lose my Visa – um wow. Generously, the guy across from me found an old stamped statement, and he retyped the whole thing for me – then I signed and inked my thumbs to the affadavit and now – I was put into a taxi and taken to the police department about 10 minutes away. Surprisingly, the taxi driver walked up with me, but could not go farther than the front gate, then I went on, found where I needed to go on the second floor, a police representative named Uri! (reminded me of Uri Rebolledo!) and went into her office I explained my situation again, ( I was getting good at this! and we chatted about how I had a former student named Uri, etc. She was awesome as she signed/stamped it within 5 minutes, I left and headed back to the immigration office, and the whole process cost about 300 pesos and 30 minutes by the time you added in taxi, photos, etc.
I made it back again, we worked on the FM3, and despite closing at 1:00, the representative stayed until we had a FM3 created. Now 3:00 PM, I would try my luck back at the original stations I had been at – thanking the office profusely for their life saving tactic to get me an FM3! 🙂
Back at the original station – I went through station, 1, 2, and now 3 again. They recognized me at this point at station 3 (I was trying to hide) and we decided I had all the paperwork necessary – processed all the info, and when we went to swipe my U.S. debit card for the 284.00 for the permit cost for my vehicle the teller was surprised when I gave her my FM3, she thought I had found it, but I explained it was was new one! This was not y problem with this transaction THIS time though. of course, the card came through denied. SO close, yet, what?! I figured, I would just call the bank and see what they said, and I was told when I talked to the bank, just jump back into the same teller, not at the end of the line, 🙂
I called my U.S. bank, all the while wondering, and thinking, “You know, if I would have received my income tax funds back as I had back in March – then scraping the barrel would not be an option, lol” and the other thoughts of “Where am I going to sleep, in my car, that is safe in Laredo?!”
In talking to the bank, I realized that I did have an overdraft protection allotted, and could go over by 350.00. In doing so, I would be charged a feee, but would have that funding there. However, I DID have money in my account, it just was the upper admin did not receive my permission to use in Mexico m somehow the email was overlooked I had sent them. Stephanie told me to wait 5 minutes, the card would be cleared, and then all would be well!
Not wanting to draw more attention to myself, I got into the back of the line, station 3, and waited. Oh this would not do, lol – I was spotted by the teller next to mine! – waved up to the front and we started over again…:) 10 minutes later, ba bing! Can you believe it – it went through! LOL –
I grabbed my decal, thanked them profusely after telling them they would have nightmares of me from being here so many times, and got into my vehicle as fast as I could, lol.
I had talked through this process several times with Bill as he was now outside Monterrey by 20 minutes, but felt confident that after this, anything would be possible 🙂 I had this excitement as I left Laredo that I was actually driving in Mexico! KWAZY! 🙂 As I believe you know the rest – the 103 degrees in Monterrey as I left, the first for me of ordering at a McDonalds in Spanish – (they have no SWEET TEA in the McDonald’s here, AGH!) – and just the amazing scenery – along the drive, again, take away the wonderment of how I was going to get home after funds disappeared mysteriously, and the FM3 dilemma, you had a pretty cool adventure, take into consideration those two elements, Batman overcoming the odds would be a little more appropriate, lol.
Oh, so, get this – I enter Mexico on Friday about 10:00 AM – not even in the Observatorio area for 5 MINUTES and police pull me over – I show them every paper I have and explain I JUST arrived here, and I need to go for my emissions testing next, and then I will have all despite my DE plate. They let me go, no bribe forced on their part – super excited and surprised!
That honestly wasn’t the major event I am referring to though, I was referring to the call to Moct, who had been watching my apartment (“Man! Guess what?! I found your FM3 slid in between the cabinets in the kitchen?!) The rest of the conversation was like a Charlie Brown teacher conversation…