Monday, November 12, 2012

Feeling Renewed

San Geraldo and I don't just feel renewed, we are renewed! After four months and several visits to the Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros), we finally have our new residency cards. Since it took 4 months for our renewals to be completed, our 2-year cards are good for 20 months. But, that's more than the 9 months we had on our 1-year cards. And it all makes sense. After about 19 months, we can renew again for another 2 years (or 20 months, I'm not sure). At least we don't have to worry about this again until 2014.

La Rubia (remember our unpleasant blonde friend?) was at the desk again today. We each took a deep breath when we queued up and saw her. When it was our turn, we walked up to the desk, I flashed a broad smile and said (in Spanish), "Good afternoon. How are you today?," as I handed her our receipts from last month and told her we were there to pick up our cards. She smiled warmly. La Rubia smiled! And she said, of course, she remembered us. She took the receipts and our passports, pronounced both our names, found our cards in the box on her desk, and handed them to us with another warm smile. I thanked her. She smiled again and wished us a good afternoon. I wished her the same. La Rubia  wished us a good afternoon!

OUTSIDE THE OFFICE AT PLAZA DE ESPAÑA WITH MY NEW CARD AND A NEW FONDNESS FOR LA RUBIA..

On the way home, we decided to follow our annual tradition. We've only done it once before but, in San Geraldo's world, that often makes a tradition. We stopped at Starbuck's near the University. We each had a mango and passion fruit Frapuccino. Per our routine at Catalina, of a jumbo gin/tonic for me and a mini for San Geraldo, I ordered one jumbo and one mini chocolate/chocolate chip muffin. However, in this case, San Geraldo got the jumbo and I got the mini.

SAN GERALDO'S JUMBO ON THE LEFT.
(THERE'S NO REAL WORD FOR "MUFFIN" IN SPANISH. SO, I JUST ASK FOR A "MOO-FEEN.")

48 comments:

  1. Congrats on the renewal and great photo!

    Those muffins are making me hungry and look delish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debora:
      And, unusually, the Starbucks muffins actually tasted fresh this time!

      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Hello Mitch:
    You did it! Amazing what some words of Spanish and a smile will do. Clearly La Rubia is putty in your hands from now on so anything might be possible on a return visit. Indeed, offer her a mega muffin and the world, never mind Spain,may be your oyster!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane and Lance:
      Oh, I've been working that smile on La Rubia for more than a year now. So nice to get one in return.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations! And you looked gorgeous while doing it. Salute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victor:
      Thanks! I have all these sarcastic and self-depracating comments about "gorgeous" but I'm behaving myself. So, thanks a second time!

      Delete
  4. Dear Mitch,

    I have just started reading your blog and I am enjoying it. I knew it was quality when I saw the Hattatts were reading it too. ;-)

    Congratulations on your residency cards. I know how that feels - or rather my partner does. Being an EU citizens living in another part of Europe does have some perks because residency cards are not required whereas for chaps from Australia it is different.

    I must say that it looks the perfect place to celebrate too - and so sunny!! I am jealous because here in our part of Europe it is already grey, grey, grey. . .

    Bye for now,

    Kirk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirk:
      What a pleasure to meet you here! Thanks for your comment. I just quickly stopped by your blog and am already fascinated. Can't wait to get caught up.

      As for the sunshine, we do have a lot of it here, but we've had our share of gray and rain lately. And when I saw our share, it's a much smaller share than your part of Europe (but we complain anyway).

      And, yes, EU citizenship would make life so much easier right now. But we've made it through yet another low hurdle.

      Delete
  5. Of course la rubia smiled...she was relieved to see that you had renewed and took out all the rust and cobwebs...they must have been unsightly to her.
    Over here on this side of "el charco" we have been breathing a great sigh of relief and also feel somewhat renewed although our country still has a lot of rust and cobwebs that only time and the change of demographics will correct.
    saludos,
    raulito

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raulito:
      The election brought so much good news. I'm working hard this week to ignore the voices of the idiots. Secession from the Union? Argh!

      Delete
  6. Blessings from La Rubia. :-) Mark the calendar!

    And YOU! Look at you, all handsome and buff!

    Grinning at you from Minneapolis,

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pearl:
      Thanks so much for taking off your glasses before viewing the photo!

      Delete
  7. There may not be a word for "muffin" in Spanish, but those look pretty good. I'm sure having those cards is a weight off of your shoulders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      I had no idea how much those cards weighed on my mind until we had them in our hands! Jerry and I love those muffins. They've been stale here most often, but not yesterday.

      Delete
  8. WoooHoooo! You're legal! That looks suspiciously like my driver's license. Do you have to carry it all the time... is it "good" for ID info?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd Essay:
      It does look very much like a drivers license. And, yes, we do carry it at all times and it is our best form of ID here. It's much more convenient than having to carry our passports (which always made me nervous anyway).

      Delete
  9. So HAPPY for you both to have that under your belts for a couple years. La Rubia must have taken an extensive course in customer relations since last you saw her ....just teasing....time does change things though. Those muffins need to be devoured...they wouldn't last long around us...we are choco:nuts:!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron:
      You should be here Sunday. San Geraldo is baking a chocolate-chocolate-chocolate cake!

      Delete
  10. Now you are LEGAL for 20 months!!! And La Rubia deserves a big hug!!!

    Now to those muffins! M-m-m good! OK, you look good too! You inspire me Mitch.....maybe next time I get my #3 (haircut) I'll go for a #1!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      The photo makes it look like I've completely shaved my head. I haven't (although I used to). I think the sun shining off the white makes it disappear (just what I need)!

      Delete
  11. Congrats Mitch & Jerry! Can only imagine how good you feel not to have to worry about this for a while. What a relief! Most definitely reason to celebrate with moofeens delicioso.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Siri:
      And now that THAT's settled, we can start planning our next move!

      Delete
  12. ¡Viva la Rubia! How wonderful that she finally warmed up to you guys :)
    I love San Geraldo's notion of annual traditions-- it's great to have traditions, even if you just start them the year before!
    ¡Felicidades! por your newly official status :0

    Judy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judeet:
      I've heard San Geraldo so many times over the years say that on such and such a day we "always" do this or we "always" do that. I never knew "always" meant "once"!

      ¡Gracias!

      Delete
  13. I want to join the conga line of congratulations ! Hurray for our side !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spo:
      And I've now got a conga beat playing in my head!

      Delete
  14. Maybe she was smiling because she knew you wouldn't be back for two years? Nah... that's not it. :) Congratulations! It's always a good feeling to have successfully navigated the bureaucracy in another country. Speaking of which, we have a little business with the national health service this morning... I hope we get smiles, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I think we're two of the very few people who smile at HER. Good luck with the National Health! We need to make appointments this afternoon to get our flu shots!

      Delete
  15. So, your 'encantador' got through to her and melted that heart of ice this time. But well done to you for getting the card which will enable to you to live without that particular concern for some time longer.
    Btw: Your beard is getting almost as grizzled as mine is. I have to keep changing my blogger portrait to keep up with it. (Just saying!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      Well something got through to her! I hope we have a friend in the future, although in two years, we'll probably be living on a beach in Spain and dealing with an entirely different bureaucracy.

      Hmmm... I just looked at that photo. Didn't realize how much the salt & pepper had changed to grizzle in 3-1.2 years. I guess it's time to update the photo.

      Delete
  16. Mitch, I want to apologise for the 'Btw' bit of my remark above. (I can never get the 'reply to a reply' on your blog to work.) It was tactless of me to say what I did, particularly in view of my being so much more advanced in age than you are, and for that reason don't deserve the luxury of pulling other people's looks to pieces when my own are so crumbly. Lo siento.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      No apology needed. Don't give it another thought. I suppose I'd much rather be grizzled than dead, but even the Dowager Duchess is not thrilled that her little boy has a face-full of grizzle!

      Delete
  17. Congratulations, my Spanglish friend! I'm glad that you can relax and enjoy your hacienda & gatos por dos annos! (Pardon my pathetic attempt at your native language!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      You did fairly well with your Spanish (you and San Geraldo would be great together). The correct word is "años." With one "n" instead of the "ñ," the word means "anus." I have no idea what it means with two "n"s but the pronunciation would still be embarrassing! Uf dah!

      Delete
  18. All manner of well-earned success! And which was the hardest to achieve? Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristi:
      The smile was the hardest to achieve... and the most rewarding.

      Delete
  19. Congratulations on the new cards and the continuation of your happy lives in Spain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will:
      Thanks! It's hard to believe we've already been here more than 16 months.

      Delete
  20. Your cuteness made me come out of hiding.
    Congratulations on your new card(s)!
    You stud "moo-feen" you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark:
      Aw, what a sweetheart. I'm honored by your presence! With love (and thanks) from the Stud Moo-FEEN!

      Delete
  21. Congratulations! You look great. Spain must agree with you.
    Hugs from New Jersey,
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stan:
      You're way too kind. (But Spain does definitely agree with me.)

      Delete
  22. Congrats on the newest chapter! You won out with kindness apparently, with the blonde robot. Some people don't expect it when people aren't snarky in response to their snakiness. That Starbucks looks wicked. I have to forego those kinds of goodies and let me tell you I miss it! My favorite drink was Starbucks venti green tea-lemonade, lightly sweetened....sigh....And yes, because of my new kidney I have all sorts of skills...speaking Mandarin now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I Wonder Wye:
      But can you play the violin?

      I can't imagine having to do the job day after day that La Rubia has to do. Maybe we made her day a little bit better. She sure brightened ours.

      Delete
  23. Sounds like your latest adventure in bureaucracy went quite well! I read about your first encounter with La Rubia... perhaps she has since had a lobotomy? ;) Or a hot date?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knatolee:
      A hot date is more like it. She had less personality last year (which might have suggested a lobotomy). Whatever the reason, I hope it continues... for her sake.

      Delete
  24. Glad you are renewed … and have attained the impossible -- a smile from Rubia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenners:
      I hope it's not like the Quadrennial Dia de San Geraldo. Would hate to think we won't see another one from La Rubia for four years.

      Delete

It's always great to hear from you...