Mojitos and Other Muddles

Have I mentioned lately that I’m not only happy to be having this new adventure in Spain but I’m especially elated to be having another adventure (in Spain or anywhere else) WITH JERRY?


We signed Monday on the dotted line.  Well, more exactly, we signed — in triplicate — in the margin of every page and then at the bottom of the last page of our apartment contract. We then rushed to the bank to meet with our English-speaking banker, Rosario, who turned out to be our English-speaking banker, Amin, although no one told us it wasn’t Rosario until the next day.  We signed about 90 pieces of paper at the bank and we now have a Spanish bank account.  We are waiting for the building owners to sign our lease paperwork, so we can take that to the appropriate offices to make our first (and, we hope, only) pass at obtaining our resident cards.  We still have to get the utilities turned on.  It took us the better part of a day to figure out the names of the two utility companies.  Even the simplest task becomes a major learning opportunity. So many new chances to feel like complete idiots.



Our new security blankets are our mojitos at Carmela.  We tried Mojitos at San Marco Restaurant the other night but they were so bad that we actually sent them back.  Carmela’s are consistently good.  So are Carmela’s tapas.  We had “comfort” tapas last night — light servings of meat and potatoes.


Except for the five pieces of furniture and miscellaneous items we shipped from California that will be here soon, we don’t have enough furniture to fill our new three-bedroom apartment.  And since we don’t want to use our entire retirement budget to furnish it in grand style, we headed over to IKEA this afternoon to see how we can fill in cheaply.  We had a very successful first look at IKEA and will soon take on the challenge of ordering everything and arranging for delivery (all in Spanish), and then putting it all together, which can be comical in any language.  In addition to the antiques I included in earlier posts (the grandfather’s clock, the antique coat rack, the antique cabinet), we’ve got my old Mission-style desk, our English pub table, some antique family portraits, Jerry’s grandmother’s mantel clock, my mother’s sculpture (and needleworks and paintings), antique mirrors, and lots of wall art. 


These items and our “brilliant sense of design,” should enable us to make the place homey, classy and not completely IKEA-like.  I mention our brilliant sense of design since we are afterall a couple of gay men and it has been said — repeatedly and absurdly — that we ALL have a brilliant sense of design.


So, as I mentioned, we await more paperwork that we can take to register for our resident cards.  The lawyer offered today to try and turn on our utilities (since he represents the entire building) without requiring us to go in-person to the utility offices (the names of which, and addresses, we finally now have).  We hope he’s successful.  And we’ll need to make another trip to the bank because, although we have an account, we were unsuccessful yesterday setting up our online banking.  The number we were given in a sealed envelope turned out to be unreadable.  Very secure.


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

21 thoughts on “Mojitos and Other Muddles”

  1. Hello Mitch:
    Small steps for Man……giant leaps for Mankind! Slowly but surely things are taking shape. We can readily identify with all the bureaucracy entailed in living in a foreign country but eventually light dawns and the sense of achievement is so wonderful.

    You must by now be able to grade the Mojitos in every bar in town. Cheers to you both!

  2. Oh now the fun part starts, Gosh I wish I could help decorate…its my fav thing to do, and that magical apartment of yours would be a dream…

    enjoy the journey my friend (and the mojitos) 🙂

  3. Oh God I remember trying to get the electric and gas organized in France… but it does eventually happen so rest peacefully!
    I think that IKEA have a service where you can have them assemble as well as deliver (for an extra fee of course). Given IKEA's incomprehensible instructions, it could be money well spent!

  4. As Craig said the Ikea guys will assemble the furniture if you pay for it.Be ready for dealing with Telefonica company, patience my friend.
    And about you N.I.E numbers (in fact your resident cards) try to find a good "gestor", or you can handle it on your own… if you prefer, but you are gonna spend a lot of hours at the police station.

    Good luck!. Was a pleasure read another of your posts.

    PD: By the way, i felt in love with your mission style desk.

  5. J&L: Believe it or not, Jerry and I are not big drinkers. One mojito is our limit. My experience has been that it's not easy to find a place that makes them well. So, I think we'll stick with Carmela! We're now celebrating each little accomplishment. Bank account. Check. Apartment. Check. Furniture selection. Check.

    David: We're having such a good time imagining the apartments… colors, furniture. Hope it meets with your approval when we're done! And the mojitos… well, we may have to slow down on those… well, maybe not.

    Craig: Wow. I didn't know about IKEA's assembly service. But, we should buck up and do it ourselves. (We have a little experience, having furnished a temporary apartment in Irvine for Jerry in 2009.) Anyway, it's not like we've got a lot of pressing obligations.

    Jazintosh: Argh. The phone companies. I just was forced to jump through hoops simply to cancel my mobile phone service with AT&T in California. Regarding the NIE: We've been debating the gestor route or bringing a book while we stand in line at the police station. We'll see. Isn't that Mission desk wonderful? That was the first piece of furniture I bought for myself; I found it in a barn/antique shop in upstate New York in the 1970s. Cut-outs for inkwells, brass candle holders… I've never seen another one like it.

  6. It's hard not to be envious of your new adventures with Jerry. Apartment – amazing. Desk – amazing. The photo of your 'things – amazing [is there a story behind the oval photo?]
    Once you are settled, what will you do with your days?

  7. Linda: The oval photo is of "Flora," Jerry's paternal grandfather's cousin. She was from South Dakota but got a bachelor's degree from Stamford around 1908 and a master's from Barnard around 1913. Her life was fascinating. Jerry knew her well when he was growing up. Regarding what we'll do with our days: That question comes up often. We don't even know how to begin to answer it. We both have so many individual and shared interests; there's so much to do all the time. I'll be sure to share it all here!

  8. Peter: Wow. Will check out IKEAHACKERS later today. Just fixed the time setting. I hadn't even noticed. Thanks!

    Kisatrtle: Thanks. Is it time for a mojito?

  9. Nubian: Mojitos were slow to make it to Spain, I think. We had some really good ones in the states, but they really do have to be made by someone who knows how or they're awful. Your job is to find the perfect mojito.

  10. May I trouble you for a bit of information? What sort of proof did the consulate require as far as a lease is concerned? Did you have to have a signed lease to get your visa, or some other sort of documentation? I have read the requirements, and it would seem really expensive to pay rent for all the months one is waiting to receive the residency visa. Thanks, and have fun in your new adventure.


  11. Jay: We did need a signed lease to apply for our visas. But there are ways around having to pay for 3 months (or more) while you wait in the US for your visa (arrangements with the landlord, etc.). If you want to send me email, I'd be happy to share the different ways people deal with that. Also, if you want clear steps on what to do to apply, let me know.

  12. How sweet that you mention Jerry right off the bat! Mojitos or no Mojitos! You two will have a ball there.

  13. Jim: Yep, I'm always mentioning Jerry. Two more mojitos tonight. Hoping to make progress on everything else tomorrow. Thanks so much for visiting!

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