Wednesday, May 02, 2012


9AM - FM3
We are in the City of Querétaro for our appointment with Felipe The Fixer. This morning we receive our FM3 [Forma Migritoria 3], a permit to live in Mexico for a non-immigrant.

You may recall that the first time that Tioga and I came to see The Fixer, we followed the directions of our Garmin Nuvi GPS. That was a disaster! Garmin led us up a street that should have been called an alley. It was Avenida 15 de Mayo. When the width of this street shrunk to almost nothing, poor MsTioga got a nasty scrape.

This time when we got close to Felipe's, we turned off that Garmin guy, and made our way to a nice parking place within walking distance of The Fixer's office.

3PM - Quite a day!
Wanna hear a story? Hmmmm? MsTioga is Lunch Camped on the hill behind DHL. I had to fix lunch before I could sit down and write to you. Lunch: Teriyaki pork sandwich w/mayonnaise, lettuce and a goodly amount of garlic salt, baby carrots with a ranch dip, and a glass of milk. Now I am at our computer workstation with a glass of ice water with a whole lime squeezed in.

When I went into Felipe's office, he appeared to be anxiously looking thru all of the many file folders that are stashed in odd places. Actually, it is a stretch to call his place an office. More like a medium sized closet.

I figured that he was looking for something that he needed for me, and I asked him if something is lost. He answered, No, and kept on looking. Felipe does not have a file cabinet in his office. Maybe not having a file cabinet so that his files may be alphabetized, is the reason it took him 20 minutes to find the "mislaid" paper that he needed. The paper was a receipt from immigration that needed to be presented by me when we went to immigration this morning.

Everything went fine with the processing of my FM3, until the very end. The immigration officer, a lady who took her time doing her work told me, "The machine is broken". She was holding my FM3 in her hand, only inches away from my hand. But the FM3 had to be sealed in plastic, and the sealing machine was broken. "Come back in the morning", she said. "The machine should be fixed my then!"

So, I walked back to where Tioga was parked and prepared to go to the DHL terminal to pick up our shipment. We had already plugged in the coordinates for DHL into Garmin Nuvi, having gotten those coordinates from Google Maps.

When we arrived at the place where Google Maps thought DHL was, we could not see it! So we asked many people that we came across, "Where is DHL?" Some people knew where DHL was located. And they told us various things. "Around the corner". "Go to the signal, go right and then two blocks more". Tioga and I searched and searched.

Finally, I parked Tioga in an illegal parking place in front of somebody's garage, and walked the neighborhood on foot. [There are no legal parking places in this neighborhood for Tioga]. In the middle of that walk, I began to ask taxi guys if they knew DHL? None of the taxi guys knew!!

Then we decided to drive to the exact spot that Google Maps said DHL was located. We parked in the driveway of a gated parking lot and asked two guard standing at an entrance gate if they knew where DHL is located. "No, DHL here. I never even heard of DHL." As Tioga and I tried to make a "Y" turn, one of the guards guided me when I backed up.....right into pole! Another scrape for MsTioga. Only in the bumper though!

After that, Tioga and I drove into a very large dirt private parking area where several trucks were parked. Three guys were there, chewing the fat. I asked them if they knew where DHL is located? And I showed them the address that I had received yesterday from Bongo. One of the guys told me, "That address is not around here. That place is way outside of Queretaro!"

I invited all three guys inside MsTioga, and cranked up MacBook to get online and look at Google Maps. One of the guys told me where to look on the map. Soon, he was pointing maybe 15 kilometers away. And then, suddenly I saw it. DHL's street!

Tioga and decided to give these guys 100 pesos for soda pop. Without their help, we would never have found where DHL is located!

In about 1/2 hour, we found DHL. We asked a group of drivers in the warehouse, why one of their drivers would not deliver our shipment to FedEx? One of those drivers said to me, "Oh, are you the guy with the shipment that FedEx would not accept. The driver that tried to deliver your shipment told me about that". [Until that moment, I thought that it was DHL that refused to deliver to FedEx, not the other way around]

I paid the duty for the shipment. 2,418 pesos. That is exactly 20% of the cost of goods plus shipping. So, the total cost to ship to Mexico, including the duty that I paid today is: $186 duty + $218 shipping [USA to Mexico] = $404US.

As I wrote at the beginning of this post: "Quite a day!"