The story of how I quit my job and went to play in Madrid


Visa and residency madness Part 2. (Part 1 was everything up to this point.)

Now that we both have our visas, it’s required that we complete some more paperwork and go to some more offices and wait some more in order to get the GOLD: Residency Cards. Our residency cards are like green cards, they allow us to stay here legally for a year, and can be renewed. The Visa is just entry into the country and permission to apply for a residency card.

Anyway, this morning, we go to the Office of Citizen Attention to register where we live. Margaux says it’s like a census, I say it’s like changing your address at the DMV. Either way, it’s a pointless step that’s crucial to getting our cards. In order to “register” we need our passports and our lease, and we have to show up together since we live together and only Margaux’s name is on the lease. After making a brief stop into the copy store, the lady shuffles through our paperwork, types something into her computer and frowns.

Margaux goes, “What did she say?”

Me, “Nothing.”

The lady informs us that our apartment isn’t showing up in her “system” and there’s no way to enter us into the computer if she can’t find our address. So….? She types some more things and says that her computer system is very confusing and complicated. So…?  And then looks at our lease again and says, “You live on the third floor? Are you sure?”

Uh…. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that every time I get in the elevator, I press ‘3’ and arrive at my apartment.

Then she tells us that no one has ever registered from our apartment in the history of time. She can locate apartment #1, and apartment #3, but she can’t find ours, #2.  “You are sure you live in apartment #2 on the third floor?” she asks again.

Lady, seriously. We live in a black hole? Yes, it exists. And we are sure that this is where we live.

“You’ll have to come back on Monday, I have to ask my boss what to do about this. Oh, but don’t come back to this office, there’s another one on the other side of town. I’ll be there.” She writes the address and tells me how to get there. We exchange numbers so she can call us to tell us if her boss can find our apartment in “the system,” and either way, she says, “Come on Monday.”

Saturday morning accomplishments: 0

Reasons to love hate Spanish bureaucracy: 247

Margaux has an appointment for her residency card on Tuesday (may or may not require proof of registration).


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