El Departamento De Extranjería

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We did not sleep well Monday night either because we were afraid we would not be up in time to make our 9:00 AM appointment at the Departemento de Extranjería or because we were concerned that there might be another foul-up like the one that resulted in a ten-month delay in getting our visa. As a result, we were up a good ninety minutes before we had to leave.  We had a leisurely breakfast, got dressed and headed off in a cab at 8:30.

The office is located far from the center of town and it was a good twenty minutes before we got there.  There was already a line outside the building when we arrived and we had a ten-minute wait before the doors were opened.  Everybody lined up in order of his or her arrival and even though people were standing all over the place they lined where they should have.  Nobody tried to break the line or improve his or her position.  Since we had a 9:00 o’clock appointment I approached the guard at the door to ask what we should do.  We were told that since we had an appointment we did not have to wait in line and that we should enter the building.

After going through security I mentioned to someone that we had an appointment with Juan Luis and we were told to wait by the door that leads to all the offices.  Two minutes later we were ushered into our office and after a bit of friendly banter, we got down to the task.  He had photocopies of our passport made, checked our application, verified our medical coverage and accepted our letter from the Banco Popular as proof of our economic sustainability while in Spain.  I had brought other documents and other statements, but he said they were not necessary.  Go figure!  That was the hang-up last year.  He then did a computer background check to make sure that our name did not appear in any police file.  That was easy.  He then told us that we will get a call in a few weeks to tell us that our document is ready at which point we will need to go to Patraix to hand in the document, our photos and be fingerprinted.  Thirty days after our visit to Patraix our new visa will be ready and we will have to return to pick it up.  The wheels of immigration grind oh so slowly here in Spain.

Our appointment took all of twenty minutes and we were back home a little before 10:00.  A little later we went in search of a paper shredder and along the way stopped for a drink and a tapa at one of the many outdoor cafés near the Corte Inglés.  It turned out that we had to go to another store, Abacus, to find what we were looking for, but the good news is we found what we were looking for.  Since we were so close to The Ginger Loft we decided to stop in and have lunch with Mike.

As is always the case, Mike fed us well.  We started of with some caponata and some mini-toasts.  Our appetizer was some ceviche and that was followed by a bowl of corn chowder.  I like to think of myself as someone who does not like soup, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every soup that Mike has set before us.  Next came a minced lamb dish enlivened with some heat from a habanero pepper and a dash of mint.  It was served along with some white rice.  The dish was fantastic and the interplay between the heat of the pepper and the coolness of the mint was amazing.  We had ordered another dish, a chicken curry, but we were stuffed.  We asked Mike if we could take it to go and he willingly obliged us.  We toddled off a little after four with a goodly number of plastic bags.

The rest of our day was uneventful.  We watched some TV, we read for a while and I did a bit more translation.  We warmed up the curry for supper and that turned out to be enough to fill us up.  We were in bed a bit before midnight hopeful of getting a good night’s sleep.

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