A two-nation man

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2005: Typing citizenship application on my 1923 Royal.

THE MOVEMENT of time fascinates me — calendars, watches, wall clocks, birthdays, anniversaries. You name it, I’m on it.

What is it today? My Mexican citizenship, 15 years now. I applied in January 2005*, and the papers were delivered in December of that same year.

Within a month, I had a Mexican passport. Citizenship does not come with a passport. You do that separately. Or not. I remain an American citizen, of course, and I renewed my U.S. passport two years ago at the consulate in San Miguel de Allende, a useless act. I don’t need it anymore, and not renewing it would not affect my U.S. citizenship. It was a waste of time and money. I have no intention of crossing the border again.

It was a knee-jerk action on my part.

Becoming a Mexican citizen was easy. I filled out a form that was similar to the form to renew my visa. I paid a fee (about $100 U.S. if memory serves), and I waited. That was it. The process is more complicated now, I’m told. A language test, a Mexican history and culture test, some other hurdles, none of which did I have to do.

I did speak briefly to the clerk in Spanish. Perhaps that was a language test, but there was no written requirement of anything. Piece of cake.

On just two occasions in the past 15 years have I had to salute the Mexican flag, and I’ll tell you the truth. It feels odd. Nationality is in your genes. Putting on a coat of another color, especially late in life, is strange. But I am very glad Mexico took me in, especially now that the United States is imploding.

Trump is only slowing that down. He cannot stop it.

Many Gringos move down here, stay for years, and never become citizens. They just renew temporary visas interminably or get a permanent resident visa, which is almost like being a citizen, but you cannot vote.

I vote in elections on both sides of the Rio Bravo.

I like being a two-nation man.

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* Coincidentally, it was also January 2005 when I started the blog.

Gimme a hand, por favor

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What I want. A new Kia Soul.
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What I have. A 2009 Honda CR-V.

I AM ON THE horns of a dilemma. Feel free to chime in.

I’ve been thinking of buying a new car, but I can’t come up with a very good reason to do so other than it would be nice to have a new car. Does that justify the financial outlay? Not really.

The 2009 Honda CR-V we have owned for almost a decade runs great. It’s never given me a lick of serious trouble. Honda makes wonderful cars.

In the last year or so, two large plastic covers have come loose beneath the car. They were easily and cheaply reconnected, but is that a hint of more serious trouble ahead?

I’m concerned about the airbags that have been packed tightly in there somewhere for 10 years. Will they still deploy correctly if needed? Mexicans drive like lunatics, so airbags are wise south of the border. It was the primary reason I bought the Honda in 2009. Our previous Chevrolet Meriva lacked airbags.

There is the matter of the Honda depreciating every year, and a new car increasing in price every year. Would it be cheaper to switch now? Most likely.

The Blue Book value of the Honda currently sits at 125,000 pesos. The price of the car we would buy, a 2018 Kia Soul EX TA, is 332,000 pesos. The difference between those two at today’s exchange rate is a bit over $10,000 in U.S. bucks. I would use dollars from above the Rio Bravo.

The exchange rate is very favorable now due to Trump and AMLO, and may it continue that way at least until January.

I would have to wait till January to make a purchase due to Gringo tax issues. The 2019 Kias would be available then, one supposes. Maybe I can get a deal on a leftover 2018.

What would you do in my spot, and why? Gracias in advance.

Come on home!

I’M GETTING a kick out of watching the Mexican government’s reacting on Twitter to Trump’s new reality.

mexico-flagIt’s publicizing lots of support for illegals (of course, we don’t call them that. They are, ahem, “migrants.”) who return to Mexico.

Free food, free transport from the Mexico City airport — which is where the U.S. often deposits illegals — to bus stations, bus tickets, phone cards with 30 pesos of free time.

From the Mexico City bus stations, the miscreants can return to their homes elsewhere in Mexico.

And they can call their wives, their girlfriends, their 12 children, their abuelas, abuelos, tios, tias, primos, primas, sobrinas, sobrinos, the parish priest, everyone with the free phone* to advise of their imminent arrival.

Here comes Papi!

The Mexican government also is promoting guidelines on how to act if you’re nabbed by U.S. immigration.

This is all new stuff.

The Mexican government has also announced plans to widen trade with other nations so not to be so economically tied to the United States. This is good for Mexico, lessening somewhat our dependency on the American tit.

Also on Twitter, Mexico’s federal government is promoting products made in Mexico, “Hecho en México.”

And we do make dang fine products.

These are just some of the many positive effects of Trumpism. I send a tip of the sombrero to The Donald.

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* Like one of those freebie Obama Phones, one imagines, but with fringe hanging off the bottom.