So one of the more fun (read: scary as hell) parts of moving to Spain has been navigating the million layers of bureaucracy and getting legal. Now, I have it much easier than Dandann, as I am a UK citizen and she’s American. For all that Americans threaten to leave the country every presidential election, I think that very few of them know how much of a giant pain in the ass it is to emigrate. But even with my European Union citizenship, navigating Spanish governmental red tape is next to impossible to do when you can barely say a sentence in Spanish (and only in present tense at that.)
Knowing that it’s important to finally get this ball rolling, and perhaps having put it off for the last 3 weeks, we finally hired a relocation specialist to help us with all this. She’s French and has an impossibly thin and stylish aura, and I suspect she might not know what she’s doing 100% of the time, but she has already offered to help us break the law a few times so I think she’s solid. We politely declined the rule-breaking, but it’s nice to know she’ll go to any lengths to get the job done.
Anyway, this morning the three of us went to a nearby village to try and get our NIE (basically the Spanish version of a social security number, you need it for everything from bank accounts to rental agreements.) Apparently, it’s easier to get the NIE outside of the city, and of course that is not what we found. Technically, you’re supposed to live in the area you’re applying to, and we emphatically did not, so the head dude-in-charge at the first place angrily told us to go back to Valencia. Or maybe he wasn’t angry at all, but I don’t understand Spanish well enough to follow and he sounded a little pissed off, at least.
So off we went to the next village over, only to be told (by a much less pissed-off sounding) lady that they only process NIE applications from 8-10am on Wednesdays. To be honest, we should have expected that we would run into that.. Spanish business hours remain a mystery to me, and I’m about 92% sure that they just close whenever the fuck they want, which I do support, in general. I would love to just say ‘fuck it’ and close up shop to get drunk at 2 in the afternoon. Lord knows I’ve done it before, and enjoyed it thoroughly.
All of this is to say that we’re still on the path to long-term legality, and certainly learning a lot on the way. I don’t really have a great picture to illustrate Spanish business hours or red tape, so here’s a picture of an awesome mural I saw.