Monday, January 15, 2007

Passport Oddessy

My niece Cassandra's pink bed. Same bed I slept on.

I've always been proud to be an American. I embrace my Texan roots deeply. Specially making use of a sexy Texan accent. I cross the border and automatically feel safe and at home.

Sometimes, my dual nationality had been complicated. Mexican laws are a bit more care free than American ones. Last fall it became official that all American citizens needed a passport to enter the country from Mexico.

I made all the necesary paperwork. Had my pictures taken and paid the fee. Takes about 6 weeks for the passport to arrive. When the time came, I had mom call a cousin to check if they had. My kid sister also requested hers.

I got home and mom was concerned. So was Yazmin. One of the passports hadn't arrived. I was almost sure it was mine. I was right. They had sent me a biographical statement to fill out. I was ok with that. I was concerned on the timeframe. It had to be returned on December 18th and it was January 1st.

Fights began on the homefront. Mom and Dad had their opinion on what to do. I wanted to do something else. I ended up calling my cousin Sandra. She got me an appointment at the Houston Passport Agency.

I asked my boss for a two day permit. He said it was ok. On Saturday we left for McAllen. I went shopping for some basic things. Jeans and shoes. The next morning we set out for Houston. Six hours later we were there.

We arrived to my Uncle Oziel's house. Happens to be the house I spent many summers and were we lived when I began school. The nostalgia was inebitable. Ozzie was making dinner. We called Sandra. There was another argument about the appointment the following day.

We spent the night at Sandra's, since she would be the one taking me to the Agency. I slept in a pink room. In the morning, I did my hair and got dressed. I had vanilla waifers and milk for brakfast.

Once we arrived at the agency, only Sandra and I went up. I got in line and waited my turn. They told me my issue didn't need an appointment. Oh boy. Minutes later, they called my name. I went to the window and there they had my original passport request. The girl at the window requested basic documents. I handed over my school diplomas. There was a $60 same day expedition fee. I paid up.

We went to lunch. Two hours later I returned to the agency. After a short line, I was at the pick up window and had my passport in my hands. We went back home, I had the munchies. I snacked on something. Later Ozzie took mom and me shopping.

We had pizza for dinner and I got online. Even though I felt so safe and at home at the house, I felt something was missing. I started talking with Mike and Rogelio. I realized that I was missing my other life. I wanted to get back to Monterrey just to be with them. It's not the place, it's the people.

The next morning we drove back to Monterrey. Dad got lost while getting off the road to McAllen and went to Laredo. He didn't like the highway. Hope he learned his lesson. I did some last minute shopping.

We got to Monterrey around six. I immediately called the office to let them know I was home. It gets complicated for me. Home is where the heart is. My heart is definetly back in the States, but my people are the ones that keep me in Mexico.

I hope I can one day have both.

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