Yesterday was a good day. We’ve had more than our share (our assessment) of stress over the past couple of months. We need to celebrate the wins instead of always focusing on the negative things. Easier said than done but we still try. Each day.
Having finally received my Irish passport we had reached out to our abogado (lawyer) to get my residency completed here. Of course, I received it in August which is vacation time here so the Chief Inspector was not available. A couple of weeks ago Emma, our abogado, told us that we had an appointment for 10 October. With the current political climate here, she advised that we should take the appointment at any time they have available. We agreed. We started pulling the required paperwork together and forwarding it to Emma. As we have found here, there seems to be different documentation needed depending on each person. Not sure why but that is how it is. So, I needed to show different documents than what Bob did. We gathered the documents, made copies, and then triple checked everything about ten times.
On Wednesday the 4th Emma emails to tell us that our appointment can happen on Friday the 6th and again we should make every effort to take it. No problem. We want this taken care of as soon as possible. She asks for a few more details. For example, they needed my parent’s first names and where they were born. Why would they possibly need this? Bob didn’t need to give this information for his residency but like I said…different documentation for each person.
We agree to meet at the Market in Vilanova at 1pm on Friday. Before we leave the house we again triple check the documents ten times. We will need to get 100€ from the ATM for the stamp duties. Even this makes me nervous considering what happened when Bob got his residency. Even though since then we have received our debit cards and have accessed the ATM many times. I didn’t want anything to go wrong.
We decide to go early and wander around a bit. But shortly after we get there I don’t want to move anywhere. Even though we had 45 minutes until we were to meet I didn’t want to leave our meeting place. People watching and reminiscing about Bob’s residency and how far we’ve come since then made the time go fast. Emma arrives. Phew. The first thing she asks is to see the Irish passport as she was unable to see where it stated I was born on the copy we emailed to her. We compare it to the United States passport. The Irish just states I was born in the U.S.A. and the United States passport states Connecticut, U.S.A. Something so simple and we can’t see how this will make a difference but you never know.
We walk around the corner to the police station where our appointment is to take place. In complete contrast to the time we went there for Bob’s residency the place is EMPTY! If you recall in that post I told you how people start queuing up at 6am just in the hopes of getting in to get residency. We’ve heard the horror stories and saw first-hand what it was like last time. This time…there is one person waiting. I’ll explain why shortly.
We take a seat and I review all of the documentation (originals and copies) with Emma. When the Chief Inspector is ready only Emma goes to her desk. Bob and I sit and wait and watch. Oh…and we try not to read their lips or the body language as it all looks bad to us. Of course, we actually are trying to read their lips and body language. As time ticks away this is not making us feel very good. So, we decide that they are just getting caught up on what has been going on with each other’s lives and heck maybe even sharing some recipes. Yes, that must be it. That’s why it is taking so long.
Emma finally comes over to me with a document and tells me that they had to redo my NIE paperwork as that was obtained with my U.S. passport and now it needed to be completed with my Irish passport. She just needs my signature on the document. Phew. She goes back to the desk and once again they start sharing recipes. Lol. So nerve-wracking. Finally, we see the C.I. hand Emma my little green residency card and we are done.
As we walk out Emma tells us why the station is so empty and what took place there on Tuesday 3 October. The police station is the national police. The Cuerpo Nacional de Policía. If you have seen the news, social media or read my blog you will know that the national police are not very popular here after Sunday’s #CatalanReferendum vote and the violence that they inflicted on the people trying to vote. On Tuesday Catalunya called a general strike to denounce the violence and the people took to the streets in protest. Well, evidently about 300 people showed up at the police station where we had our appointment and not to get residency! They were ugly and abusive but not violent. It escalated to the point that the Catalan Police, Mossos d’Esquadra, stood guard outside to protect the office and create a barrier between the crowd and the national police. Much the same as they did on Sunday between the voters and the national police to protect the voters from violence. So, obviously the station is empty as no one wants to go near the national police.
We say goodbye to Emma and wander around a bit and do some shopping. The weather is spectacular and we want to get some beach time in to relax. We decide to stop at SuperPollo in Vilanova for lunch and a glass of cava to celebrate. This will be quicker than driving home and making lunch before we head to the beach.
We arrive at the beach around 3:30pm and once again it is almost empty. Time to relax, unwind from the stress and renew. We had a long swim. If this is how October is…we will take it.
Oh yes, I forgot to tell you how our day started. While we were making breakfast, we noticed some strange activity outside our kitchen window. It started with a person pushing a wheelbarrow of plastic grapes from one point to another and then repeating. We guessed that there was a commercial or something being filmed. Pretty soon this was the scene out of our window. We would find out later from our neighbor, Gloria, that it was a movie about an young man from Australia that comes to Spain to learn about his family history. Hmmmm.
Like I said. It was a good day.