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!


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.


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..

48 thoughts on “Feeling Renewed”

  1. 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!!!

  2. 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,


    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Blessings from La Rubia. 🙂 Mark the calendar!

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

    Grinning at you from Minneapolis,


    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).

  5. 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:!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. ¡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


  9. 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!

  10. 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!)

    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.

  11. 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.

    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!

  12. 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!)

    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!

  13. 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…

    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.

  14. 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?

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