It is time that I renew my FM 3 visa for another year, so I have again had occassion to visit the immigration office here in Xalapa. An FM 3 visa, as you may remember, permits me to reside in Mexico for one year periods and is renewable for four additional years. So last Friday it was off the immigration office, a ten minute walk from the apartment.
I arrived at the immigration office at about 9:30, and signed in with the security guard who remembers me from my first visit and always greets me warmly. In the office I found one fellow seated with the one staffperson present and a woman waiting. Soon six more folks arrived and another staffperson arrived to attend to the crowd.
At any rate within 15 minutes I was seated at the desk with the same very kind woman who had processed my change of address request. She looked over the paperwork I had submitted, filled out a form, presented me with a copy of the form, and told me return in a week to pick up my renewed visa.
In and out in less than a half hour.
By the way. Anyone who can demonstrate that they have lived in Mexico legally for a period of five years can apply for citiizenship. As I understand, there is no test, simply file the application, pay the fee, and attend the annual ceremony in Mexico City where the president confers citizenship.
I find it truly amazing that Diebold, one of the leading producers of touch screen voting machines, has such lax security standards.
The Brad Blog, which has broken a number of stories of Dielbold’s deficiencies over the last few years, has the story.
I think everyone should vote on a paper ballot. The system I have used for years is a paper ballot upon which one fills in a little circle with a pencil and which is read by an optical scanning machine. It is simple and reliable. Please write your congressperson to demand legislation that requires paper ballots for all elections. A paper ballot would at least require crooks to steal elections in the old fashion manner.
Some time back Dan left the following comment to my Teoceolo post:
” How about some photos of those coffee plants? It would be interesting to follow a bean from plant to pot.”
OK. Though I’m a bit tardy, here you go Dan.
To the right you can see the coffee berries on a coffee bush in Xixo. The coffee beans with which you are familiar are the pit of the berry.
I asked a Cuban friend how she processes the coffee beans from the plants that grow in her yard. She told me that they pick the berries, spread them on the roof for drying, remove the husks, and toast the beans in a pan on the stove.
To the left you may see the berries, beans, and the pulp and skin that was removed from one berry. The raw beans, as you can see, are white.
The white beans are roasted in a machine such as you may see below, which is in my friend Federico’s shop in Merida. The darkness of the beans you buy in the market are determined by the duration of their roasting in the machine.
Federico told me that in producing the Espresso and French roasts the beans lose ten percent more of their weight than with the lighter roasts, thus the higher price for the darker roasts.
Around here coffee plants grow wild and are ubiquitous. Here in Xalapa, as well as in Cootapec, Xico and other towns in the area one can detect the aroma of roasting coffee when walking the streets.
Today during the hour I spent in a camera store here in town I was treated to the aroma of roasting coffee and live marimba band music from the fellows on the sidewalk outside.
Life is tough.