Bienvenido, loyal reader. Please come along as Bruce and Mary navigate the waters of INAPAM. Bring your sextant!
If you recognize the water slide fountain in the background you’ll know that we are at the intersection of Av Fluvial (east of here it becomesÂ Av Los Tules) and Av Francisco Villa. Our gym buddy John has been bugging us about getting our INAPAM (old age) cards for awhile and as we are in the mood for a walkabout, this is the day.
After taking a left on Av Prisciliano Sanchez we walk a few blocks to this corner. John had told us it was at the DIF building just off this avenue thatÂ we could apply for our INAPAM cards. Oh, sorry, you’re wondering what the devil INAPAM is. It is this: Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores, which is, essentially, the institute for old people. Holding this card entitles one to a variety of discounts. The one we like is 50% off all first class bus tix which will be pretty handy when we finally get around to exploring Mexico.
When we came of age (60) a few years ago we had some misgivings about the propriety of gringos applying for such a card but then we had a conversation with Rogelio our cigar guy. He asked usÂ ifÂ aÂ retiredÂ legal immigrant in the US getting old age discounts would bother us. We said no but that guy probably paid a lot of taxes, we haven’t paid any Mx taxes. Oh yes you have, Rogelio countered, you’ve paid 16% IVA on virtually every purchase you have made in Mexico. And he was right, we have paid literally thousands of dollars in Mexican taxes. Ok, we feel a lot better, now.
Along the way we come across some SEAPALÂ (the municipal water works)Â street art which gives us a chance to give them a shout out for providing some of the highest quality drinking water in Mexico. We drink it right out of the tap.
We have walked several blocks, asking directions several times and find ourselves here, at the wrong DIF building. A very nice lady gave us rather vague directions having us return back to Prisciliano Sanchez and walking beyond some apartment buildings andÂ it should be right around there.
At the right DIF building. We find out later that there are a number of DIF offices in Vallarta which is not surprising, after all DIF, Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, The Institute of Family Development, would have a pretty broad scope.
Mary is at the front desk. These gals are quite friendly and Mary is enjoying practicing her Spanish with them. She mentions that we are heading out, this coming weekend, to Yelapa to celebrate our aniversario. SheÂ tells them it has mostly been good but, while grinding her fists together, says there have been plenty of fights. The gal on the right, doing an entirely different hand gesture, says but I bet there has been plenty of this, too. The three girls just howl.Â It takes a lot to make me blush, but I’m blushing now. Finally the girls get down to business and they are sad to inform us that we don’t have all the dox we need and they give us…
It’s the following week in June andÂ Mary hasÂ the perfect file. The only problem is, they are physically out of the cards, they make them on the spot. They tell us to call next week. And that is what we do, week after week until…
Finally, this day in September, they have the cards. We are sitting patiently waiting our turn to get processed. Ofelia, the gal at the counterÂ has already reviewed our file and now she is dealing with a persona especial who claims the guy sitting next to us has jumped the queue. After about a 40 minute wait our number comes up and we are processed and presented with our INAPAM cards, they are new, but not shiny new, so…
We stop at a nearby copy shop (ironically, this is where we got the final and correct directions to the right DIF) and have our cards properly laminated, for 7P per.SoÂ where’s the first place we use our INAPAM discount card? At the liquor store, naturally. Cheers!
Thanks for visiting, gentle reader. If you have stories about tramites, processes, or any other subject, please share. Hasta proximo Domingo!