He Said / She Said

I tried that phone number I was given yesterday by the man at the National Police station in Fuengirola. Success! My call was answered by an absolutely wonderful woman at Málaga’s National Police station. We spoke entirely in Spanish. Without a problem.

Well, there was one problem. She said I needed to go to the station in Fuengirola, not in Málaga. I told her I had done so and was told just the opposite. The man here was unusually pleasant yesterday; in the past he has been very un-pleasant. How was I supposed to go back and tell him he was wrong?

After coffee this morning, I took the 2.5-km walk back to the station. Today was even more beautiful than yesterday, so I had another uplifting vigorous 35-minute walk in the sunshine (and back again). Both days, I got to see a sand sculptor at work on a scenic view of the Alhambra (Granada’s palace/fortress). On my way Thursday, he was almost finished building the base. By the time I headed home, he had already begun adding the details. Today, the progress was a wonder. He said he should be finished tomorrow.


I stood in line at the station and stepped up to the same man who helped me yesterday. He did a double-take as if to say, “What are you doing here?”

I didn’t give him the chance. “Thanks so much for your help yesterday,” I began. “I used the phone number you gave me and spoke with a wonderful woman in Málaga. She told me I hadn’t asked you for the right thing. She said I should come back here and tell you I need a duplicate card.”

He grimaced and I took a breath. I thought he was about to start arguing and then where was I? To my surprise, he quietly said, “I’m so sorry I wasted your time.”

Maybe you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

I quickly responded, “Absolutely no need to apologize. You got me the help I needed and I’m back to get things done. I should be apologizing anyway. I’m the one who lost the card.”

He had no idea what to do, but a nearby manager did. I’ll go to the bank Monday to pay a small fee; I need to make a copy of my passport; and I need to get a new photo. I have an appointment Tuesday morning back at the national police (in Fuengirola) and then will wait 30–45 days for my new card.

Unfortunately, a month after I receive my new card, I’ll have to start all over. We’re almost due for our third renewal, which will last another two years… unless I do something stupid.

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..

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