“It’s fair to say that I can’t exit Mexico without entering it, right?”

I have mixed feelings about visiting Belize. I don’t know where to go, it adds 200 miles onto my 600 mile detour to Tikal, and it is an English speaking nation which may threaten the progress I made in my weeks of Spanish lessons. I go anyways because I want to find a beach to snorkle on. When am I going to be around here again?

The immigration officer furrows her brow when I speak Spanish to her.
“Sir, we speak English here” she scowled.
She studies my passport.
“Sir, where are you coming from?”
“Sir of course you are. It is right over there. Where is the origin of your travel?”
“Oh, America through Mexico and then Guatemala by motorcycle.”
She studies my passport some more.
“Sir, there is no entrance stamp for Mexico.”
“Really sir.”
“They must not have stamped it.”
“Well how did you get here sir?”
I point at my motorcycle, “…by motorcycle.”
“Sir you did not enter Mexico. Did you ship your motorcycle at any point?”
I ask to see my passport.
“Ok so there is no entrance stamp for Mexico, but here is the exit stamp. It’s fair to say that I can’t exit Mexico without entering it, right?”
She moves on.
“Sir, where are you staying?”
“Belize City.”
“Sir, where in Belize City are you staying?”
“Oh, I don’t know.”
“You don’t know sir?”
“I haven’t made any reservations. I plan on finding a hotel when I get there.”
“Sir, we can’t let you into our country if we don’t have an address of where you are going.”
This was never a problem in other border crossings.
“You mean to tell me that I need to make hotel reservations before I enter your country?”
“Sir, we need an address.”
“I understand…I can only give you an address if I made a reservation. Are hotel reservations normally a part of your immigration procedures?”
She places my paperwork and passport in a drawer.
“Please have a seat over there sir.”

Shit…my snarky replies pissed her off. Fifteen long minutes pass. She stomps my passport with that sweet sweet visa stamp. It is the most satisfying sound I hear at a border crossing. I continue to customs where I import Jenny. She has to be sprayed with pesticides. I think it’s just a way for them to collect four dollars from me.

  • http://www.freeranging.net Anna

    Haha, I love your border patrol story … I always get yelled at for one reason or another, particularly at U.S. borders (Yay for being a German national with a Green Card!). Coming back from a bike trip to Newfoundland last month, the U.S. customs guy in Maine got mad at me for having both my own and my boyfriend’s passport (who is a U.S. citizen) on me …
    – Mam, who’s passport is this?
    – The German is mine and the American passport is his (pointing back at Chris who stayed behind after some wild gestures by the border patrol guy).
    – Why do you have a U.S. citizen’s passport on you?
    – Sir, I don’t have “a U.S. citizen’s passport”, I have my boyfriend’s passport, he’s right behind me (I point back again). He doesn’t have a tank bag so he keeps his passport in mine. Also, we thought we were going to be processed together. We were just trying to make your life easier, Sir.
    – NEVER EVER have a U.S. citizen’s passport with you again! Understood?!
    – ???
    Oh well …

  • http://www.atlasrider.com Atlas

    @Anna Ha, yea I’ve heard more stories like that about US border agents than other countries. They gotta put up a “tough guy” attitude with you.

  • mengtx

    Not uncommon at all to have to provide an address for entry to a country. Most European countries require it and some even register you with police when you arrive at that address (i.e.-Italy). I totally understand due to the abusive immigration that can happen when you have limited border control (like the US).

  • Meme

    It´s the same for all of us when we´re traveling to USA…they ask to us an US ADDRESS…it doesn´t matter if we have a reservation. Even when we go to the US Embassy to request the VISA, we have to give an address and a travel date. There´s no way to say: “I have no trip ahead….”
    Trust me…the story that you are sharing, is more than kind as your US Border officers at MEX-USA entry ports…..
    Good Luck!

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