Life in the jungle: I slept like crap last night again. It rained all through the night and was still raining when I woke up. I didn’t even bother bringing my city footwear, I was going to the city in rainboots. Most of my road was a river of water.
Thanks to my uncommunicative paralegal I had no idea if my issues at the tax department were resolved. I had to walk to the tax office in the rain. Luckily the same lady I dealt with on Monday was there. She said my paralegal never came by. I proceeded to vent about my passport stamp being due today and how much time my paralegal had wasted and how frustrated my life had been since arriving in Belize. Then all of a sudden in a hushed voice she said she would print my letter of approval. I just shut up from there. As she was about to hand me the letter, she said that it would be $25 USD. I said, pay you? Knowing full well the cashier booth was directly behind me. She replied yes. It’s been a few years since I paid a bribe in Belize; but whatever gets the job done.
From there I headed to Social Security. You are still required to wear a mask here; unless of course, you work here (SMH). Social Security was a complete waste of time. In fact, the whole work permit process and application has been a complete waste of time. Social Security won’t issue me a social security card as a caretaker of my own farm because I am the owner. Which on the one hand makes sense. Except a work permit as a foreign business owner is $1,500 USD. Why would I pay $1,500 USD when the regular immigration stamps are $1,200 USD for a year? And why was my work permit approved for a farm caretaker if Social Security won’t issue me a card? I am pretty much at my wit’s end.
I then went to Belize immigration for my stamp. That’s when all hell broke loose. They somehow know about my work permit application. They insisted I show them a work permit but they are the department that submits work permits. I told them and proved that technically the Airbnb is in Jill’s name (still) with an image of the business license off my phone and that I am still waiting for my corporation papers. They then insisted on seeing some kind of receipt that my corporation papers had been submitted. Which I can’t do because it wasn’t me who submitted the papers. Then kicked me out at 12 PM for their lunch break. Which means that I missed my bus and of course, I can’t get a hold of my useless paralegal.
After making me wait until after 1 PM they tried to tell me to come back on Monday with proof of my corporation. I said my current passport stamp would be expired. The lady walked away. I just sat there for 5+ minutes. Then a guy came over and said “she said come back on Monday.” And I said how do I prove I was here for an extension today when my passport stamp is legal, but will be expired on Monday? He just walked away. Finally, after another 5 minutes the head supervisor came out. I explained everything to him. I proved the business was in someone else’s name. I showed him the Labor Department approved me for the wrong permit. Why would I leave the immigration office and jeopardize my stay here in Belize? He knew as well as I did that the Labor Department can’t change an application overnight. I asked him how did coming back on Monday help? So, they granted me another stamp. With a note in my passport to grant me no more extensions without my work permit in order. This month’s stamp wasted 3 frigging hours.
At Belize Immigration – how did my life become this?
From Belize Immigration I headed to the Labor Department about changing my application to self-employed. They gave me a supervisor’s email address. Today is going to cost me $1,5000 USD for nothing. The next bus out of the city was a very crowded and loud 4 PM bus. What a fucking shit show this day and my life here has become. I may love my day-to-day life here, but this country sucks. I ended up having to bike home in the dark.
Life in the jungle: I went to bed early last night because I was so mentally exhausted from everything that happened. But of course, I couldn’t sleep. While I anticipate everything with Belize Customs to work out on my next visit it’s hard not to wonder “What next” or if I will get kicked out of Belize. Will I lose everything? So, considering my options kept me awake for a long time. I figure I have 3 main options if I get sent back to Canada. #1 Renew my AZ truck driving license and get back in a truck. #2 Fly to Mexico taking advantage of their 6 month VISA’s. But it would make way more sense to bike to Mexico. #3 Bike tour back and forth across Canada repeatedly. I realistically see biking back and forth across Canada as my only viable option if get kicked out of Belize.
I didn’t really think too much about getting back into a truck. While I really liked the job; since the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices the laws have taken all the fun out of the job. It has also made the job way more dangerous. And ELD’s makes it very difficult to find parking at night and it doesn’t help that cities, provinces and states are only making parking even more difficult.
The option that I couldn’t stop thinking about was bike touring back and forth across Canada. I would really like to see Newfoundland in the summer. And I would like to bike another winter in Atlantic Canada. And I think it would be kind of neat to be the guy who bikes back and forth across Canada for a few years.
These 3 options would still be my only options if I didn’t get kicked out of Belize but ultimately ran out of money and had to go back to Canada someday anyway. Except I suppose I might have to more strongly consider the truck driving option as a way to get financially back on my feet. I don’t really consider continuing my original bike ride south at this stage for financial reasons.
I slept in a bit; can anyone blame me? But not long enough. I am not really motivated to do work. Can anyone blame me? All might be lost to me in Belize next month. I actually needed to get groceries. And I discovered my water pump wasn’t pumping water and hadn’t been pumping for a few days now. So, I got my water pump back running. I just needed to reprime the line. After a late breakfast, I headed to the village. I got my haircut. Only my second haircut in Belize in the last 10 months. I got soaked in the rain getting groceries. And I got really soaked by a rain shower heading back on my road. This rain has been crazy.
I ended up in the hammock until I said enough is enough and forced myself out. I wrote blog posts Belize Part 36, 37, 38 and 39.
This evening I spent a couple of hours writing Chapter 2 of my book. I now sit at 15,900 words typed for my first draft of that chapter. I suspect tomorrow will be a writing day with how wet everything is.
Life in the jungle: This morning I finished Chapter 2. Chapter 2’s first draft is 18,000 words. Chapter 1 is currently at 7,500 words. I have started Chapter 3 – Quebec, Ottawa and the First Day of Spring. I got 1,600 words and up to the province of Quebec completed. That has me at 27,100 words.
They were calling for a 100% chance of rain today. Except for the briefest of showers first thing there was finally no rain today. I caught a cat-eyed snake in the washing machine room.
A cat-eyed snakes
Life in the jungle: I reached out to the Labor Department. They are making me re-apply all over for my work permit. The bull shit just keeps piling on. Of course, I don’t have the internet strength to upload the same files from my last application. I biked out on my flooded road to try to get a stronger internet signal in the village. It still wasn’t strong enough. I will have to go to the city to finish the application. Basically, my day was completely wasted. And I will waste another day in the city. I can’t let them kick me out of this country if I can stop them. But I so much want them to kick me out so the misery is over. I don’t sleep anymore; I waste time and money and eat bull shit their every day.
Returning home, I took a very long nap until dark. What else am I supposed to do?
It’s currently 10:15 PM and I am lying in my hammock. I have no clue what to do right now. I have no clue what to do tomorrow. I am not upset about “poor me.” I just don’t know what to do. Is my mental fatigue unreasonable? Everything about my life is in someone else’s hands and I have no idea what they plan to do. And I couldn’t care less what they decide to do. I just want them to do it and be done with it already.
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of words or people that may or may not be part of this blog post. This glossary will be at the bottom of every blog post for Belize.
Jack & Jill – These are my ex-property managers (names changed). They are Canadian, they introduced me to Belize in 1997, sold me their house in Belize in 2003, and rebuilt my house from 2014 to 2018. I have known them for over 30 years. After almost 20 years of me supporting their life here in Belize Jack decided quite unexpectedly to declare “war” on me right before Christmas 2021. They would end up stealing my business license and causing me a lot of grief. They live on the farm, but not on my land.
Wayne – He is the son of the original owners of the farm (both owners are deceased). The original farm was 2 – 30 acre pieces minus 2 – ¾ acre parcels for my house and 2 – ¾ acre parcels that Jack & Jill own which were all originally purchased from the original owners. In 2017 Wayne sold me 40 acres of land from the original 60 acres (30 acres plus 10 acres). Wayne lives in his parent’s house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.
The ponds – I have 2 large (300ft long x 50ft wide x 10ft deep) ponds on my 30 acre parcel of land which is basically jungle. I have about 60 coconut trees (mostly mature) around the ponds. I have plans to plant a few hundred papaya trees here plus other fruit-bearing trees around the ponds.
The coconut field – I have about 400 coconut trees planted (various growth states) on about 3 acres of cleared land of the 10 acre parcel. I plan to add various fruit trees to the same field as soon as I can.
The river lot – my house sits on an ¾ acre lot. I have a second joining ¾ acre lot that allows me river frontage on the Belize River. I call that my river lot.
The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons. The rainy season and the dry (no rain). The wet is obviously the rainy season.
Chopping – using my machete to clear brush, vines, weeds and unwanted trees.