Archive for June, 2007

No Passport

June 26, 2007

I’ve been on hold with the state department for the last 30 minutes.

Someday I’ll look back on this and fondly recall how I was so stressed out, and how it’s all so much better now. That day is not today.

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Nostalgia

June 22, 2007

Yesterday, I was walking to the subway and I noticed the plums have started dropping from the neighborhood trees. I immediately had a flash of remembering what was happening last year this time.

Last year, the plums ripened while we were in Guadalajara for the first time. We left for Guadalajara on the 1st of July, just like this year. When we came back, 2 weeks later, the plums were just past their prime. I did manage to scrape together a bowl to have with some pancakes. However, I thought to myself, next year I’ll have to remember to make some plum freezer jam in the first weeks of July.

Well, no plum freezer jam this year. I’ll have to content myself with the knowledge that the mangoes will be ripe when we get to Guadalajara and the avocados will be following along shortly thereafter. Maybe Mapau will let me steal some fruit from her neighborhood trees. I already know she has access to an avocado tree.

10 more days

June 20, 2007

I was finally able to talk to the State Department yesterday and was informed that my passport will arrive next Tuesday. This gives me just enough time to apply for a visa at the Mexican Consulate.

It will be great if I can get this visa. If not, I can enter the country on a tourist visa, but it may complicate things with my car. Since the car is legally mine, it will also be tied to my immigration status. If I need to leave the country, the car needs to leave the country also. At least, that’s the rumor on the tourist visa status. I’m going to apply for a visa that is a bit more serious than a tourist visa (FM-T or FM-3) and will only need to be renewed annually and I can leave the country without my car.

The packing is going well. I’m making lots of phone calls to cancel various services and subscriptions. The yard sale is on Sunday and we have dinners with friends scheduled for
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights!

June 18, 2007

I think I called the State Department about 10 times today. Still no passport. I cannot get an actual person on the phone. After making my way through the telephone recording (about 5 minutes) I am told that all the agents are busy and they cannot answer my call, thank you, and good-bye.

On Friday, however, I was able to talk to an actual person. And, I was able to find out the my passport is in….. New Hampshire! great.

Also, today I woke up with a sore throat. I’m tired of being here (packing) and I’m ready to leave now. But, I have this week off from work and I’m here packing and getting all the errands done. After this, there is one more week of work and we are out the door.

To the Other Side

June 12, 2007

I’m not sure if I can accurately describe the title of the Blog, but I can try to give some context to the creation. Since we first decided to try to make this move I’ve been recalling my previous international moving and living experience. It was brief and I was much more naive. However, I also don’t have a lot of the e-mails from that time. I can only now, exactly 10 years later, recall some of the major emotions and moments. I’ve lost all the nuance. I had a few other moments of recollection and I also have been told by many friends and colleagues: You should write about this experience so you can reflect upon it later. I’m terrible about keeping a journal and I decided this is probably a better way to write mass e-mails.

In addition, I attended a conference workshop in which the presenters discussed the U-curve or W-curve. The emotional ups and downs the expat, or study abroad student, or other long-term traveler is told they will experience. The presenters were debunking the theory. One of their points was that the studies have mostly been based on people’s recollection of their emotional well-being. A sort of, well I felt pretty good, and then I felt kind of bad and sad and now I’m feeling better than ever! But, blogging, like journal writing, can record some (almost) honest emotional reactions in the moment.

For example, right now I’m a little freaked out about my passport.

Also, I wanted to write about this because I’m moving closer to ‘home’. I feel like I’m moving farther away, because I’ll be on the other side of the border, but I’m actually moving into the same time zone as my parents (and most of my family). What a strange feeling!

Right now, the other side is Guadalajara, but I’m also hoping that at some point the other side becomes the US.

Tying things together

June 9, 2007

I’m posting Adolfo’s Flickr site to this blog so people can see the photos and read the stories (more or less) together.

June 8, 2007

So, lucky me, I’m caught up in the waiting game for my passport to be renewed. I’m starting to get antsy and finally sent off an electronic request for the State Department to let me know where I stand. I was nervous about sending it out to be renewed before it even left my hands, but I did it as soon as we returned from our last trip to Mexico, and now the delays in passport processing times are national news. Fantastic!

June 4, 2007
I am back from the conference and all went very well. I was able to talk to about six different directors of offices in Guadalajara. I hope to grow these relationships and be able to use them to gain a foothold in my field in there. I gave out about 3/4 of the business cards. And, people seemed to like them. I received many positive reactions when I handed my card to people and I hope this also means I will be memorable.API and I worked on packing over the weekend and had previously survived the family invasion and the pillaging of furniture and other household items. We purchased a trailer for the car and I am working on getting the registration worked out so we have titles for the car and the trailer. We hashed out a driving plan and are still discussing with his mother if El Paso is the right place to cross.

Now I need to book a hotel in Vegas, send follow up e-mails to the people I met with last week and tag the kitchen with tape on the things that go into the yard sale.