Larga Duración, Long Beautiful Hair

1973: A HEAD WITH HAIR.

After nearly five years living in (and loving) Spain, San Geraldo and I have been approved for our first “larga duración” (long duration) residency cards.

When we first arrived, we obtained “residencia temporal” (temporary residency). We renewed those cards in 2012, and again in 2014.

Our “larga duración” cards will give us the right to “work and live indefinitely in Spain with the same rights as Spaniards.”

So, this week we’ll head back to the Foreigners Office with new photos and we’ll then wait a few weeks for our new-and-improved cards to arrive.

WHAT APPEARED WHEN I GOOGLED “LARGA DURACIÓN.”
“LONG-TERM” HAIR REMOVAL.

Let the celebrations begin!

THIS IS NOT US CELEBRATING.

Give me a head of larga duración!

Unrenewed. Next Stop, Columbus.

Our experience at the Foreigners Office this morning was a pleasure. But we needed copies of our passports that expired last year and the US consulate did not return them when they sent us our new passports. So, now, in lieu of those passports, we have to go back within 10 days with documentation that shows we were living here for the seven months not covered between the last copy of our old passports and the start of our current passports — utility bills, monthly payments, etc. If we had our old passports, this would be a breeze. Now it’s just a bit of searching, downloading, and copying. The requirement is that, in our first 5 years here, we may not have been out of the country for more than 3 months at any one time or for a total of 10 months over the entire 5 years. We haven’t. Now we just have to document what’s missing. Still, I have tremendous appreciation for Málaga’s Oficina de Extranjeros! Even the security guards were kind and professional.

THE TOMB OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
IN SEVILLA CATHEDRAL.

Colomares Castle in Benalmádena was begun in 1987 and completed in 1994. It was built by a retired American, Esteban Martín Martín, to honor Christopher Columbus.

Martín claimed to be disappointed by the lack of homage paid to Columbus.

I wonder, did he not read his history books?

I had never heard of the castle and discovered it (kind of like Columbus discovered America), when admiring the view from up above in Benalmádena Pueblo. It wasn’t until I got home that I learned what it actually was.

Promoters of the castle claim that it contains the Guinness Book of World Records’ smallest church. The church is said to be 1.96 square meters (6.43 square feet). However, I cannot substantiate their claim anywhere other than in information provided by the promoters of Colomares Castle.

Alongside what is probably not the world’s smallest church is an empty mausoleum in which, I’ve read, Martín hoped Columbus’s remains would one day be re-laid to rest. Not likely.

In addition to his apparent adoration of Columbus, Martín was a huge admirer of the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. I don’t think I’ll be investing my 2 euros to visit this castle (of which you can only see the exterior).

MY FIRST SIGHTING. WHAT IS THAT?
WORKING MY WAY AROUND FOR A MORE COMPLETE VIEW. 
THIS IS PROBABLY AS CLOSE AS I’LL EVER GET.
(UNLESS I GET A BETTER ZOOM LENS.)

A Sense Of Renewal

In the more than 34 years San Geraldo and I have been together, we have moved nearly 20 times. (That’s why I called my blog, Mitchell Is Moving; it seemed like a safe bet.)

We lived in Connecticut (two different homes) for a total of 7 years.

We lived in San Diego (two different homes) for a total of 5-1/2 years.

Those were our record stays. We spent no longer than 3 years in any other place.

In July, we will have been in Spain 5 years — nearly 1-1/2 years in Sevilla and, now, 3-1/2 years here in Fuengirola. Long enough to graduate from a temporary residency card to a long-duration residency card. The new cards won’t need to be renewed for another five years. To review our renewal history, click here.

The Málaga Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) has been phenomenal, responding kindly and completely to my three emails within minutes of their being sent. The last email was to request our appointment. I sent it Friday afternoon, received a response Friday evening, and we already have our appointments — on Monday!

Here’s hoping the in-person experience is as exceptional.

APRIL 2011: WE EACH HAD OUR OWN ACCORDION FILE WHEN WE APPLIED
AT SPAIN’S LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, CONSULATE FOR OUR VISAS
JUNE 2011: SAN GERALDO SHOWING OFF HIS VISA AT THE CONSULATE.
THIS WOULD SIMPLY ALLOW US TO APPLY FOR RESIDENCY CARDS IN SPAIN!
AUGUST 2011: DOCUMENTS FOR OUR FIRST
TEMPORARY RESIDENCY CARDS IN SEVILLA. 
OCTOBER 2011: THERE WAS A PARADE IN SEVILLA AFTER WE RECEIVED
OUR FIRST RESIDENCY CARDS (GOOD FOR 1 YEAR).
NOVEMBER 2012: AFTER RENEWING FOR THE FIRST TIME (GOOD FOR 2 YEARS),
OUTSIDE THE OFICINA DE EXTRANJEROS, PLAZA DE ESPAÑA, SEVILLA.
SEPTEMBER 2014: AFTER WE RECEIVED OUR 2ND RENEWAL (GOOD FOR 2 MORE YEARS),
FUENGIROLA CELEBRATED BY CLEANING THE STREETS. NO PARADE.