Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quite the night...

Yesterday afternoon, Mayra and I accompanied Aurora to visit her cousin, Elba, who was just diagnosed with cancer. She is interned in a hospital in northern Mexico City, the PEMEX hospital for that area of the city. Mayra and I were able to read portion of the Bible with Elba, and pray for her. We also met two of her daughters.

Around 6 p.m. we left the hospital to return the hour and a half or so to our homes. Or so we thought. We rounded the corner...and our car was gone! We had parked in a no-parking zone. A nearby store owner told us where the car pound (what's the name for this in English?) was, and so Aurora called her cousin's daughters, and our adventure began.

Eva, who helped us out incredibly over the next two hours, took us to where the car was impounded. You have to understand, before I go on, how complicated any sort of process like this is. To get it back, we needed to present the following documents:

1. The original bill of sale of the vehicle and two copies
2. Registration, two copies
3. Two official photo IDs, one of which is your license, the other could be a passport or voters card. Two copies of each.
4. About $80 for the fine itself.

Now, first of all, no one ever carries the original bill of sale in their car, for obvious reasons. If the car were stolen (something that happens quite a bit here!), you'd have no way to prove the car was yours.

Second (and this is huge) in our case we never formally changed title names for the vehicle, i.e., the title was still in Laura Rodriguez's name (Martín´s wife). So even if Mayra would have had all of the other documents (which she didn't), the registration was still in Laura's name.

So...well, we knew that they had us, and that we would have to work on getting all of these documents, and we'd have to go home in public transportation and go back today, etc... Except that we didn't. And that is nothing short of supernatural!

Everyone else was denied, the people in front of us, the people behind us...but the man who attended Mayra gave her an opening. If you get your documents sent via email, and print them out clearly, I'll accept the former owner's documents.

So we jumped in Eva's car at 7:05 p.m., and the place closed at 7:45 p.m., frantically searching for an Internet cafe. Instead, she went directly to one of her friend´s homes nearby, and I invaded a teenager's personal space by using her computer to download and print documents that Martín sent me via email. It was 7:30 by the time we rushed out of that house, trying our best to politely excuse our home invasion. We arrived back out where our car was impounded at 7:42. The gate was shut, but someone opened up, and Mayra went in.

Did I mention that I was totally without funds in my wallet? Eva gave Aurora 1000 pesos to once again bail us out. That's about $90.

The quality of two of the IDs was pretty horrendous. They didn't except them. But then, miraculously, the policeman said to Mayra, "Do you have a friend who has two photo IDs? Once again, Eva saved the day, and around 8:10 p.m., Mayra drove the car out the open blue gate.

Now, this story might not seem to warrant the description "supernatural." But to anyone who has lived in Latin America, or at least Mexico, you know that it most certainly was!

1 comment:

Jim said...


Praise the LORD!