Wednesday I finally became legally documented in Spain after countless appointments to various offices and numerous copies of all my documents. I can say that I am here legally which is a breath of fresh air. I must say that moving to another country, regardless of the country, is one of the hardest things to do because there are always numerous bureaucratic events that must be accomplished that for a foreigner seem strange and at times stupid. For example, in Spain you do not pay the office who requires the money, but instead have to go to a bank where you deposit the money, they run your paper through a machine that proves you have paid, then you return to the office. I did not understand this and so last Friday the 14th I was waiting in line when someone mentioned the tasa. I replied that I had mine in hand and they all said, “run to a bank”. At first I didn’t really understand the run concept, nor did I have any idea where a bank was since I was a 30 minute metro ride away from my house and all places that I normally frequent. However, what I quickly learned is that most of the banks in this area only accepted tasa’s until 10:30 in the morning and it was 10:45 and so I was not served. I was getting desperate because I had to appear on the day of appointment and finally found a bank that would be willing to accept my 15 euro fee. Then I was able to get back into line and wait again. It all seems ridiculous to an outsider, but to a Spaniard this is their system and so it just is what it is.
I have been so fortunate to have some incredibly nice people to work with, which is a huge upside of the process. For example, when I first tried to give my huellas, I was missing a document, and my woman (who was ecstatic that I was from California) not only told me how to get such document but that she would help me when I came back with it. Unfortunately I did not get it that day, but the woman at the Junta helped me get an appointment with the other office for last Wednesday when it said everywhere that the only available appointment was for January 3rd. The moral is that there are upsides of every bad process if you look for them and I do not necessarily want to do this again, but I think this is just part of the wild adventure that is moving to another country.
PS. The best part about all of this is that all will change again when I decide to move and in June when my card expires. My theory is that they love having the californian come into the office and want me to come in as often as possible.