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.”
“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?”
“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.