Finally! We made a major purchase, licensed and registered it with the State of Nayarit and it WORKED almost perfectly.
You’ll remember that in late July we drove our truck and trailer back to Canada to sell. It wasn’t pretty – the accident, the near arrest, the breakdowns, the late arrival. (Maybe our Worst Trip Yet!) It was ugly, but it was done and since then we have been keeping our eyes open for a replacement truck. A couple of weeks ago we got serious about the search. Grant has a new business idea brewing (stay posted!) and he will need a truck to make it happen. We had expected to buy a vehicle in Guadalajara, but after a LOT of online research, we decided to check what was available locally. Big club cab trucks aren’t all that common here, so it didn’t take us long to check out every used lot in the Bay and to settle on two options. A sleek, shiny black truck and an older bright red one – both Dodge, both heavy enough to haul a lot, and both roomy enough to transport a crowd of little Mexican children. Both in good shape. The red one was considerably cheaper but also considerably older. We test drove them both, had our mechanic give them the once over and chose ….. (insert drum roll) … the black one!
The main hurdle to purchasing anything major here in Mexico is figuring out how to pay for it. The dealer only wanted cash – no cheques, no bank wires, no drafts, no credit cards. Just a lot of cash. We started raiding ATMs and then realized since I would be in Canada for a few days for family business, I would be able to get most of the pesos we needed from our bank there. I called ahead to order the rather larger number of pesos and when I arrived, I was thrilled to be told they had just received a shipment of mostly $1000 and $500 bills. My stack of bills would be manageable. Oh, the irony of going all the way to Canada to find pesos to purchase a truck in Mexico.
The dealer had promised to repaint the truck hood which had peeled a bit under the grueling summer sun and on Thursday we went to pick it up and get the legalities of registration taken care of. We expected the worst. When dealing with bureaucracy we always expect the worst. We’re rarely disappointed. Remember our story of buying my little VW? (Shopping for Wheels) Or registering the trailer? (One Full Year to Get Some Plates) It never goes smoothly, and we didn’t expect it to this time either.
First, we had to get it inspected and the serial number verified – last time that cost me a ladder! But that went smoothly, and we were only there for about 1 ½ hours waiting in line. The next stop was the registration office in the town of Mezcales. It was around noon and they are open until 2:00 so we were confident we could get this done. We knew the next day all government offices would be closed to recognize Mexico’s beloved Day of the Dead – a day to remember and celebrate those loved ones that have passed on – but we still had 2 hours and we really wanted to get those plate before the weekend. But of course, no. They were already closed. “Why are you closed today?” “Well tomorrow is a holiday, so we closed today at 11.” “But the holiday is tomorrow.” “Yes, so we are closed today.”
Well okay. I guess Monday will work. Today we headed back to the office knowing there would be a big lineup after the two-day closure. We arrived at 8:30 and at 9:00 when the doors opened, we were at the front of an already long line. We had brought multiple copies of everything – we’ve been through this drill before – but after the shuffling, stapling, reshuffling, restapling we were sent across the street for more copies. 3 copies of this, 2 copies of the rest. Fine. More copies, more waiting in line, more shuffling, more stapling, many of the copies handed back to us as unnecessary (but you just told me to get them???) and finally, we were handed our new license plates. We also realized that we were supposed to have renewed our registration on Azulita the Volkswagone every year and we hadn’t done that since 2016, so we took care of that too. Oops.
So, Grant is back on the road. We are again a two-vehicle family. Well three if you count our favorite, the little blue golf cart which really has become our main mode of transportation over the rubble and through the potholes. Our lifestyle is so very different here that I know we could get by with just 1 set of wheels, but I am not quite ready to let go of my own sense of independence and identity. My freedom. I really have absolutely nowhere to go that I can’t walk to or bounce to on the golf cart, but I’ve owned a car since I was 16. My powder blue convertible is just one more of those material things that I continue to cling to as some kind of weird crutch to prove that life is normal. That I am okay when so much is uncertain. That I can go….somewhere…. I know that’s not where my comfort lies, but hey I’m just being real here! Besides, who doesn’t want to see a couple of old people and a fluffy white poodle heading to the beach with the roof down and the music blaring. It’s all part of the dream and we’re loving living it!