Stop And Smell

After our morning coffee, we hopped on the train and headed to the Foreigner’s Office in Málaga for our first pass at our second renewal (of our Spanish residency cards). We walked. A lot. Once we got off the train, I led us the long way instead of the short way. I do that often. I learned it from my sister Dale. Although Dale did it on purpose and I… Well, I just screw up.

Dale and I used to take the subway in Manhattan and, no matter where we were going, she told me we had to get off at 34th Street. Dale’s favorite store at the time, Azuma, was located right there. It wasn’t until I was out of university and working on 56th Street and Park Avenue that I discovered the subway actually went beyond Azuma.

But I digress (which should be no surprise to anyone who’s been here before).

WAITING FOR THE TRAIN TO MÁLAGA.
SWIFTLY FLYING SWIFTS AND SWALLOWS.

After a long walk in the hot sun, San Geraldo and I arrived at the office. There was a friendly guard at the outside gate who asked what we were there for, checked our residency cards, and told us to head through the courtyard. We were met at the door by another guard who was also very friendly. Our conversation with him was a little confusing, but we all laughed and he gave us our ticket numbers and we went and sat down… for an hour and a half. Oh well. The woman who helped us looked tired. But, when she asked if we had any children, San Geraldo said, “no” and I told her he was mine. She flashed a beautiful smile and we were friends. She was exceptionally competent and knowledgeable.

Success! Once the paperwork is filed in Madrid, we’ll receive a letter in the mail telling us when to go back with our new photos, and then we’ll wait about another 30 days for the new cards. I am, so far, very impressed with the staff and process in Málaga’s Foreigner’s Office.

We left the office tired, hungry, and happy, and walked back to the center of town for lunch… and just a little shopping. A couple of blocks away from the office was a beautiful church with rose gardens.

The church turned out to be Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Parish of Our Lady of the Angels), which seemed appropriate given that our process of becoming residents of Spain began with a first application (click here) in 2011 at the Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles, California. The rose gardens reminded me that San Geraldo once told me to “wake up and smell the roses.” I had to explain to him that it was “STOP and smell the roses” and “WAKE UP and smell the coffee.” I don’t think he understood.

CITY TREES…
IN THE BAOBOB FAMILY?
AN APARTMENT BUILDING IN MÁLAGA.
SAN GERALDO MUTTERED, “THEY OBVIOUSLY DON’T HAVE CYCLONIC WINDS!”

Anyway, we did stop and smell the roses. We also stopped to admire the lush and unusual plantings along the way. Then we had lunch, shopped, and stopped to smell the coffee (and drink it, too) before coming home.

HAVING LUNCH WITH THE PASTRY COUNTER IN VIEW.
NONE FOR SLIMMING SAN GERALDO — DISPLAYING HIS GRUÑON (GRUMPY) FACE.

I wore a fairly new pair of shoes today. I bought them a few months ago and have only worn them a few times. They have now been retired. They were cheap — 9.99 euros. And they ARE cheap. The most uncomfortable shoes I’ve ever worn.

As my sister Dale used to say, “You pay for what you get.” (She and San Geraldo would have gotten along swimmingly.)

YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET AND YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses … or the coffee.

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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