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Mexico FAQ

11 September 2009
Dave Clingman

It has been a busy two weeks since I last wrote.  We are still working on getting our long term FM3 visas.  It seems that every week they want more forms or more information.  One day we sat in their office for about four hours waiting for them to take us to the next step, but they didn't finish that day.  So, we returned two days later, only to find that we had to fill out another copy of the same form we filled out when we started this process.  Talk about red tape!  It appears now, though, that I will finally have my FM3 next week, and Andrew needs only to get his tax I.D. number from Hacienda before getting his.  I will also have to get a tax I.D., of course, but supposedly after I get my visa.  We hope this is the last hurdle.

We've decided that for now, we'll continue living here in our van in this RV (
San Jose del Tajo) park in Guadalajara.  We are still moving forward on buying the property in Mazamitla, but we probably won't actually live there for awhile.  We are trying to buy it for its profit potential.  I would like to live there, but with all the hours and clients Andrew is getting here in GDL, we'll probably stay here for at least the rest of this school year (until June 2010).  After that, we'll see.

Andrew now works every weekday at least from 4pm to 8:30, plus three hours on Saturday mornings.  Some days he works even longer than that, and a couple times a week, he attends further training, as well.  He enjoys the work, especially the conversation classes, in which his job is to facilitate the students talking about all kinds of things.  From this Andrew has learned a bit about Russia, since one of his clients is Russian.  He also hears stories about cities around the world from one of his clients who is an airline pilot.  After he receives his FM3 visa, he'll also be able to work at the Catholic university
UNIVA .  UNIVA pays more than Mundo Bilingue, but he also will have a commute of about an hour and half through rush hour traffic, which lowers the pay per hour to not much more than he makes at the local school, Mundo Bilingue.  Perhaps he'll simply work more hours at the local school.

Two weeks ago was the
International Mariachi Festival here in Guadalajara.  We attended the opening parade in which there were hundreds of bands playing as they moved along the route.  It was fun to hear the many different styles.  The rain began when the parade was a bit more than halfway through, and so we headed home.  That whole week, various mariachi bands played all over the city, but we did not attend any other events.  A world record was set for the largest number of mariachis playing in one place.

Andrew purchased a pair of rollerblades.  He had shopped around a bit and the lowest price he could find was one thousand pesos (about seventy two dollars US).  On the way to the mariachi parade, though, we stopped at one more Walmart, and there he found a very nice pair for less than half that price.  Such a deal!  He now enjoys skating along the closed streets on Sunday's, and at parks.  It is good exercise, too.

Speaking of exercise, we finally
joined a gym.  With the decision to stay here where we are for awhile also came the freedom to join.  We priced several of them and finally settled on the closest one to our home.  It is located about halfway between Andrew's work and here, and it is close enough that I can ride the scooter there.  It is tough getting back into working out, but we're making progress.

One Sunday we visited
El Baratillo (translated web page), the second largest flea market in the world.  Yep, it's pretty big.  We did not walk all of it, but we did walk for a couple of hours.  They have whole blocks closed off to traffic with entire sections devoted just to motorcycles, animals, produce, and all kinds of things.  Someday we might buy our motorcycle from there.

With the economy improving in New Zealand, more people are showing interest in Andrew's flat there.  The present tenant is not taking good care of it, and so he gave her notice yesterday.  In NZ, evicting a tenant requires ninety days' notice.  yikes.  The realtors sound hopeful that we'll get a buyer for the flat soon.  Please pray.  Thanks.

Until next week.

Read update 28 August 2009

Read update 17 September 2009

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