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

BureauCRAZY, The Sequel, Part One

I had to take a nap before I wrote this, to release the tension in my shoulders and behind my eyes. Loyal reader, I present BureauCRAZY, The Sequel, Part One:

Margaux’s appointment the Tuesday before last was a bust. This appointment was the one she had scheduled way back in August, and waited nearly three months to have.  This was the appointment that was going to get her, the GOLD (Residency Card), supposedly.

No gold…….

That day, I receive Margaux’s call as she and her boss, leave the appointment to tell me it was a worthless waste of time. Mind you, we had stayed up the nights before frantically and obsessively checking the requirements, mapping the location, and trying to decipher the Spanish government’s website(s) for clues about anything we might have missed.  It was all in vain, apparently.

They had arrived at some office on the other side of the city with everything in hand. The woman who met with them looked at them and said, “Why are you guys here? This is not the right office for you, no. No, I don’t know where you should go, I just know that it’s not here. Sorry.” And after a brief exchange, they left. With nothing.

Here’s the problem, though. Margaux’s visa is only good until November 13.  After that, she has to start all over again with the visa process, or live illegally in Spain, jeopardizing her career and her company’s reputation. Neither of these options work for us. After we realized that she had waited for months for the wrong appointment, we were in a crunch for time.

After scrambling for about a week, many faxes and emails were sent around in cyberspace containing Margaux’s work documents, hoping that they would land on the right person’s desk or inbox. We didn’t hear back from anyone in the “main office.” Meanwhile, I am at home panicking and generally feeling helpless, so I start my own internet search for the correct next step in this process. I found a phone number to the police station here in Pozuelo, where someone gave me three, THREE, numbers that were disconnected for the Office of Foreigners. Then I googled the name of the office that he had given me the wrong number for, called that office, and got another website for the Office of Information for Foreigners.

Ok, now here’s the kicker.  This Information Office says that we can just show up with all of our documents and get processed at the Brigada Provincial de Extranjeros, an immigration office, I guess.  Here’s the for real address and directions to this place: Ave. de Los Poblados, no address number. Near the metro stop. It’s a yellow building. Get there early, before they open or else you won’t get in.  Great.

This fine architectural achievement is the no-name, no-address immigration place that we have to find.

We had planned to spend the weekend in Barcelona celebrating the end of this mess, but instead we had to cancel our trip so we could go to this no address place bright and early Monday morning. There’s no vacation in the world that would be worth messing this all up at the last second. So, no harm no foul. Next time, we’ll book a refundable ticket.

Part Two coming soon. Did we get our GOLD? Will we ever go on vacation? Did we make it to the no address place? Will Margaux get deported? Find out tomorrow on ESCRAZY!


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2 thoughts on “BureauCRAZY, The Sequel, Part One

  1. Brilliant. Spain’s bureaucracy is so awful that it is almost a thing of beauty. I have a friend from the US who – after literally months of running around – recently obtained her residency card only to find that it had…already expired.

    Perhaps the worst thing about Spanish bureaucracy is that many officials here are both incompetent and honest. It’s the curse of the Mediterranean and a combination you don’t see in many places around the world. Usually you will encounter either 1) officials who know their job or 2) officials who don’t but are quite happy to expedite/simplify things with the odd dollar or two!

  2. Pingback: BureauCRAZY, The Sequel, Part Two « EsCrazy

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