Well, miracles do happen. After waiting for the US State Department to regain some semblance of normal operations, I finally surrendered my expired passport to the local post office and prayed for quick renewal. Although I travel frequently, I had no imminent trip and no time to go downtown for a personal appointment. I decided to take them on their word that expedited processing, ($143 dollars plus an extra twenty for the overnight mail return,) would get it back within three weeks.
I dropped it off a week ago Saturday, the 15th. My expired passport has enormous sentimental value. It’s the one I obtained at the US Embassy in Mexico City on August 25th 1997, at the end of a two month sabbatical in Chiapas, Mexico training with the Zapatistas and before I took on a top secret mission for JP Morgan to save their Latin American operations from the Year 2000 bug.
I accumulated almost 2,000,000 miles on American Airlines, traveling mostly first class between New York, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, with long weekends in South Beach (Miami). What a gig! There were side trips to Cartagena, Colombia for a Interamerican Development Bank conference where one of my colleagues was speaking, working trips and a wedding in Curacao, weekends in Salvador, and much time spent trying to develop business later, when I returned to BearingPoint, in Caracas and Bogota.
So it was also a huge relief when my new passport arrived yesterday along with the old one in an express envelope. One week! Someone at the State Department is cracking the whip! Since I know I have readers from the State Department, here’s a shout out to say thank you.
Now I can plan some new trips. I have a wedding in Ixtapa, Mexico on the 1st of December. One of my former staff from BearingPoint is getting married. He was just out of university when we worked together but he’s a big boy now…
And I will be traveling for my current client to Monterrey, Mexico soon. It’s just as well. They are potentially affected by this UAW strike. This daughter of a man who belongs to three labor unions is not anxious to have to cross any picket lines at our Chicago area office. So I will be leaving town, staying perdida, desaparecida, una gitana, until the dust settles here.