Thursday, December 11, 2008

Laredo Trip - Some Thoughts and Photos

Some day, be it 50 or 100 years, this will be a national park and monument. Isn't it beautiful!

Now that I am back home, I have had time to collect some of my stuff that was stolen and think about what has happened. First off, some great pics of the trip. I love the drive from Laredo to Monterrey. I have watched it change considerable and yet remain the same over the last 25 years. Man, how time flies. That was almost half of my life. BTW, I used to drive this route every weekend for more than three years. I convinced my boss at the time to let me use my vacation time in increments of three-day weekends.

This guy doesn't seem to need papers to cross the border!

Crossing Mamulique

Today I recouped my driver's license, tax ID card and my CostCo pass. Amazing how things change. When I got my ID in Texas it was a depressing experience. The office was small (there are only three in San Antonio), old and dirty. Lots of papers stacked on people's desks. No order of any kind and lots of cell phones ringing. In contrast, our Tesoreria is located in a mall. We have more than 15 offices around town. The mall office is all glass, clean, modern and the best part is, you get your license in less than 15 minutes. I had my electric bill as proof of residence, my Tax ID number, and a copy of my passport. I got in line with more than 35 people at 10 a.m. and had my picture and finger prints taken, the eye test, and signed as an organ donor. They have printers that print your chip embedded license and I was out of ther at exactly 10:21 a.m. Above and beyond all that, I was treated like royalty.

I then went over to the SAT office, Hacienda or Lolita, the Mexican version of ole Uncle Sugar. I thought for sure this would be a burocratic experience for sure. I walked in, talked to the information desk and was directed to the second floor. I walked into an internet cafe of sorts and waited 5 minutes. A clerk called my number and I told him my story. He checked my passport and driver's license and in less than 2 minutes I walked out with my new tax ID so that I can pay my taxes in the bank next week. No waiting, no "you'll receive it in three or four weeks". Instant gratification.
I also believe it was easier for me in Mexico than the U.S. because I know this system and I know my way around. Unfortunately, in the U.S. I feel a bit out of place and not very knowledable.

I had a great time in San Antonio and my friend Sam was a huge help. I didn't want to drive my car without a license and he was happy to be my chofer. We go back a long way and spent most of the weekend laughing our tails off. I did feel a bit depressed as it is hard to talk to people in public. People seem distant versus here in Mexico. Here I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. At the jury duty on Monday, there were 400 people in the room. No one said a word. At first I was excited to be there and see what this was all about, but after 15 minutes I asked to be dismissed. I knew I couldn't sit there and not talk to anyone. I tried but to my left and right there wasn't much response. Excellent opportunity to take a sourpuss survey!

I bought a new Acer laptop at Best Buy. I thought it was a bargain and I love the keyboard. It is curved and the keys are very soft to the touch, more like a typewriter for those that can relate. I grew up on a manual typewriter. First order of business is to get rid of the McAfee software. Boy that stuff is a pain in the ass. I also hate my laptop dictating to me what I should or shouldn't do. Next order of business is to turn off all that stuff too!


  1. Beautiful! I hope one day soon you may meet us at the board and escort us to Monterrey. We would be truly greatful and enjoy your company also! Glad you are home!
    Bethie & Jesus

  2. I got called for Jury Duty last Summer and the Defense "excused" everyone who was over 60 with gray hair. Works for me!