Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Maybe we ARE turning it around...
Where's Merida? It's in the state of Yucatan, the peninsula area just off the Gulf of Mexico...the closest resort city would be Cancun, a place we avoided like the plague. About the closest we came to sunglass wearing, Birkenstock clad tourists was at Chichen-Itza, the Mayan ruins, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We attempted to get there early, but soon the tour buses rolled (in).
We also went to Uxmal, another set of Mayan ruins, where you could actually walk among the ruins and not just among a bunch of tourists behind roped off partitions. We were lucky to go there because in a few years, I fear it will be much like Chichen Itza and overrun by tourists. The rest of our trip was exploring small towns and villages, including the Yellow City (Izamal) and beach communities, Celestun and Campeche, the latter being located in the adjacent state/province of the same name.
We rented vehicles to explores these towns and countryside...and yes, we DID look like a bunch of tourists and therefore were soon singled out by any number of "law enforcement professionals." The Mexican government doesn't mess around...they "mad dog" every passing vehicle for any sign of "non-native" passengers or content and if you don't "appear" to belong, or fit the, ahem, "profile," you are soon "encountered." Their weapons are a bit intimidating, however, for the most part, if you're cooperative and happen to have a few thousand pesos, you're soon on your way.
Like I said, they don't mess around...we DID have to get our wallets out a few times and only came close to being turned back (Campeche) once, but overall you've got to believe, if this is what our own (US) government wants; that is, to be just like and certainly no better than any other country, well, it might not be such a bad thing. For instance, here's what you NEED to apply for a temporary resident visa in Mexico:
Original and copy of statements as proof of investments or statements of bank accounts with a monthly average balance equivalent to twenty thousand days of general minimum wage in Mexico City (67.29 MXP for 2014), approximately $103,500 USD for the past twelve months
Original and copy of bank statements with a monthly income or pension (free of liens) greater than the equivalent of four hundred days of general minimum wage in Mexico City (67.29 MXP for 2014), approximately $2,100 USD for the past six months.
Like I said, THEY don't mess around...
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