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A Big Bump on the Road to the Mexico

I should have been well on my way to the interior of Mexico today, but it didn't happen. Although I had assiduously prepared all the necessary documentation--multiple copies of the vehicle registration, the title, the permission letter from the lender, the Mexico auto insurance--I got a rude surprise when I went today to Mexican customs to get my auto permit. According to the Mexican records, when I brought a vehicle here in 2004, I left without it. (The Mexicans are concerned that people are taking vehicles into the country and selling them.) That, of course, is not true. I handed in the proper papers to some soldiers and customs agents at a lonely highway checkpoint on the Mexican side of Douglas, Arizona, as I made my way north back then, and drove that pickup for another two years until I traded it in in Spokane, Washington, in the fall of 2006. But that's not what the Mexicans' records show. I was first told that I would have to send proof of all this to Mexico City, and then, after a few weeks or months, it would all be straightened out. That prompted a heated exchange with the poor young woman who was trying to tell me this. Eventually, she relented and said if I could come up with proof that that vehicle had indeed left Mexico, she could let me in for two or three weeks. So, after wandering around in a shocked daze for a few minutes, I parked my pick-up in a secure lot in Reynosa and headed back across the border to try to find the proper documents and arrange for them to be faxed to me in McAllen, Texas. Sadly for me, the dealer in Spokane who took the old pick-up in trade and sold me my current one, went out of business in December. Eventually, after burning through about $30 worth of pay-by-the-minute cell phone time, I was able to contact another Ford dealer in Spokane who was willing to send me documentation showing that the vehicle had indeed been traded in up there. Then it was a $50 round trip cab ride from the border bridge to downtown McAllen to pick up the faxed documents, then back over the bridge to Reynosa, then back to Mexican customs. But by the time I got back there Thursday evening, the woman who had made the agreement with me had left (earlier than she said she would), and the man who took her place was implacable, immovable. So, here I sit in Reynosa on a Thursday night, waiting to try again in the morning. From many years of dealing with government officials all over the world, I have learned to expect the worst and hope to be pleasantly surprised, so I am know harboring serious doubts that things are going to work out in the morning. Is the Mexico trip dead? I see three possibilities right now: 1) I get the necessary permit tomorrow, and all this becomes just another headache I can laugh about later. 2) I do not get the necessary permit, and I turn around and drive 1200 miles back to the Great White North, aborting this expedition for the time being. 3) I do not get the necessary permit, and subsequently turn the trip into the Mexican interior into an extended journey along the US-Mexican border. I can pop into the Mexican border cities without having to have the permit for the interior, and I could survey the border from here to Tijuana. God, I fricking hate borders. Stay tuned. As soon as I know where this trip is going, I'll let you know.
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Why didn't you drive back

Why didn't you drive back across the Rio and to downtown McAllen?

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