The last passport

CROOOOSH! squealed the black-haired, buxom, white-skinned, freckle-faced (think glass of goat milk sprinkled with cinnamon) Argentine as she leaned over the railing.

From five stories up, she had spotted the soft-drink truck parked on Calle Norzagaray in Old San Juan.*

It was Orange Crush that excited her 40 years ago. It wasn’t a soft drink that I favored then or now. But that moment seared onto my memory stone, and the memory appeared again this week in San Miguel de Allende.

I was with another young, lovely Latina, but this time sitting in El Comal de Doña Meche on Calle Insurgentes in the Gringo-infested outpost of San Miguel.

El Comal de Doña Meche is a gorditas joint.

Faced with a cooler stocked with varieties of soft drinks, I chose first an apple flavor, and we polished that off. I returned and spotted the Orange Crush, so I pulled that out, popped the top and set it on the table. Croooosh!

I can’t recall important things from last week. Yet I remember this silly thing decades later. I could almost smell the salt surf pounding the playa down at La Perla.

We were in San Miguel to renew my U.S. passport at the Consular Agency. It was a smooth process, and I arrived at 9:30 a.m. to find only one person ahead of me in line.

US-PassportcoverUnlike my Mexican passport, which is delivered on the same day it’s requested, the U.S. passport will be express-mailed to me in a couple of weeks.

Like the Mexican version, which I renewed not long ago, the document is good for 10 years. I will be into my early 80s, so these will, I imagine, be my last passport renewals.

And we celebrated with gorditas and Croooosh!

* * * *

* The photo seen in the link shows the five-story, pink building where I lived on the roof.

17 thoughts on “The last passport

  1. Felicidades Felipe! Come on up and visit us for a spell now!!! You are always welcome here in Colorado!


    1. Thanks again, Mike, but you better be careful with those invites. You may open your door one night, and I’ll be standing there in the rain with a suitcase.


  2. At my tender age of 75 I keep wondering if “xxxx” is my last. I console myself that younger friends have preceded me. But, I treat every moment as my last and enjoy each of them.

    I regret that our paths did not cross in your amazing Patzcuaro, but you were somewhere else. Next year. We loved Rancho la Mesa and could live there for ages.


    1. Guilty as charged. We just got in a Mexico state of mind and dispensed with planning ahead. We’ll be back. We both decided that Patz was our favorite of the many wonderful places we saw.


  3. I like Manzana Liiiiiiiiiift. Don’t anyone sell yourself short. There is an 87-year-old woman Peace Corps volunteer still doing her thing in foreign lands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carole: I’m not the sort who joins the Peace Corps at age 80, or at age 25, for that matter. But you’re quite right, as usual. Lord knows what the future will bring. At least, now I have two up-to-date passports.

      As for Manzana Lift, I am amazed at the huge variety of soft drinks that are available here. Perhaps it is the same above the border, but I don’t recall the extensive variety when I lived there. I was also noticing today the incredible variety of snacks available at a convenience store on the highway. Every sort of dried fruit and nut, all covered in chili powder.


  4. Orange Crush changed quite a few years back. I remember turning the bottle upside-down because it had pulp which settled to the bottom. Then, at some point it changed to being clear. At least that’s what happened in Canada, where you used to be able to go to the passport office and walk out $10 lighter with a passport an hour later. Now it’s $185 for 10 years, and if you apply at the passport office it takes about a month. If you mail it in, even longer.


    1. Kris: I hardly ever, ever drink soft drinks of any sort. The gorditas place was fresh out of “agua de sabor,” which is my preferred choice, so I looked into the cooler for options. I’ve never much liked Orange Crush, so I am not sure why I pulled it out. Probably memories of the Argentine. The apple drink was far better.

      As for the passports, as I mentioned, getting the Mexican one is a one-day deal. I don’t remember what I paid for it, but it was a pretty peso. It doesn’t really matter when they send the U.S. passport because I have no plans to go above the border, probably ever.


      1. I think staying where you are is the best decision. If there is no upside to going somewhere, why put yourself through the pain that travelling has become.


  5. It seems to me that half the people in Mexico are obese because they guzzle Coke, fruit juices and other soft drinks day and night loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup and glyphosate contributing to multiple health problems including diabetes.

    I’m looking forward to returning to Mexico City to renew my passport in 2024.


    1. Andrés: So you’re not a Crooosh fan?

      As far as renewing your passport — assuming you’ll still be kicking in 2024 — it’s a whale of a lot easier to renew it in San Miguel than it is in Mexico City.


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