Saturday, July 4, 2009

What an experience!

First of all, thanks to everyone for their well wishes and patience with my lack of communication over the last little while. The move, getting things fixed in the house, buying furniture, contractors, etc has been far more work than I every anticipated. Then being bed-ridden for several days did not help matters. I have discovered that getting simple jobs done always seem to take much longer than planned. My "to d"o list seems to get longer every day, not shorter! I have come to realize that if I knock off 2-3 things off my list, it has been a VERY successful day. I have learned alot through this experience and come to realize that if you sweat the small stuff, you will drive yourself crazy in no time.

In the midst of all this, I have also been working on my FM-3 visa. This visa will allow me to stay in the country past the 6 month period you are given as a tourist. Getting an FM-3 is not a complex or difficult process, it just seems that the simple jobs seem to turn into days of work. One of the requirements for an FM-3 visa is that you need to submit a utility bill at your current address in your name. This is not difficult stuff however, since I just moved, I do not have a utility bill in my name. As a result, I have to get a letter from the owner of the house along with a copy of his identification. Unfortunately, the owner lives in the US and has proved to be a little difficult to get a hold of.

Good news-I just got my telephone line and internet line installed a few days ago! What a good feeling to have internet again - I was feeling pretty out of touch and disconnected from my friends and family back home. From all the stories I had heard about getting a phone line installed, I figured it would be some time before this got completed. What a pleasant surprise!

Bad news - my friend Victor was here and had his truck parked in front of my house. When he went out to leave, he discovered that someone had crashed into his car and left the scene of the crime. He cannot even open his car door. I live directly across the street from a little convenience store so we went over there to ask if anyone saw or heard anything. Apparently, no one saw or heard a thing........Hmmmmmm

A few days after I moved in to the new house, I was leaving to take the dogs for a walk with Victor. As I was locking my front gate, two women came up and told me they were with the government and were performing a census. They had government ID and Victor told me they were with a branch of the government (cannot remember the name). They asked if they could ask me the census questions before I left on my walk and I said yes, no problem, thinking it would take under a minute and then we could be on our way. To my surprise, she pulled out a large booklet and 30 minutes later, we were finally done! Well, here is an excerpt of the many questions I was asked.........and YES, this is a true story.

1. How many people live here?
2. What is your marital status and age?
3. How many bedrooms do you have?
4. Do you sleep in your bedroom? - I had to clarify this question because I thought I misunderstood it.
5. Does anyone sleep in your kitchen? - again, I said that I think I heard wrong or did not understand and could they repeat the question.
6. What is your marital status? Again, I replied single. 30 something, single and living alone is pretty rare in this country. I was asked this question 3 times in total, I think
7. Have you ever been pregnant?
8. Do you want children?
9. If so, when would you like to have them? They also wanted specifics, in one year, two years, etc.
10. Have you ever had an abortion?
11. Are you sexually active and if so, do you use birth control? If so, what types do you use?
12. What age were you when you first had sexual relations? Did you use birth control? If so, what types did you use?
13. What is your religion?

Throughout this entire process, I kept saying in Spanish that I thought I misunderstood the question and could they repeat it. Victor kept reassuring me that I had heard correctly. When we finally finished the questionnaire, I was completely dumbfounded and speechless. Victor and I looked at each other and could do nothing but laugh. I asked him if he was sure that was a census questionnaire and not something else. He assured me that it was a census and I had understood everything correctly. He certainly got to learn a whole lot of personal information about me! I explained to him that the census in Canada is much different - basically 2 questions.

Has anyone else here in Manzanillo completed the census? I am curious to know your experience?

4 comments:

American Mommy in Mexico said...

OMG - that is quite the list of questions ...

daniel said...

wow....and to think I refuse to answer the "long" census in Canada
because it's none of "their" business. Does the law require you to respond to a census in Mexico?

mcm said...

This is strange -- it's not the year for the Federal census here in Mexico. Also, those questions (at least those regarding children/sexual history) were NOT on the last federal census.
Just wondering....

New Beginnings said...

Yes, very strange indeed. Perhaps it was a state thing?