Monday, June 9, 2008


OK...I was going to post photos of the paintings I am working on, and ones I have finished but I have been overwhelmed by the Forces Of Bureaucracy...I am not a happy camper here, so.....

Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen....I am pissed(off). (sorry Mom I know you hate that word, but sometimes....)

The paperwork and bureaucracy in this country are un-frickin'-believable.

I went into town today to look for the Europe-wide health card. I carefully checked the website for the information I needed and then brought in more. I am learning. (what I really need to do is drag the entire f'ing apartment in.)

I couldn't get the man's card, because I needed a photocopy of his DNI, national ID card, which he has to carry everywhere. SO his O.R.G.I.N.A.L. Spanish passport won't no no, has to be a frickin' fotocopìa of his DNI.

I did get mine.

The girls, nononononononononoNO....they need a NIE, the number I have, but they are ineligible for a NIE as they are Canadian, and I have a European passport. So in order to get them this STUPID health card that extends the care they ALREADY HAVE to the rest of Spain and Europe I have to go through the entire application process for residency permission as if they had just got off the boat from Senegal, or flown in from Ecuador, despite the fact that their frickin' father is SPANISH, and they already have HEALTHCARE HERE.

Then I have to go upstairs for a piece of paper, because our real health card number is not actually the number on our health card, and the number on our health card we cannot actually use for anything but the doctors and pharmacies, we need this other number for I don't know what else. Making stupid foreign people go mad I suppose; and horrors, I don't actually know what my real health card number is, which is not the number on my health card, THAT is another number; nor does the rest of my family, nor most Spaniards either.

*breathing deeply*


*snorting smoke out my frickin' nose*

I'm cool with this.

Then I go to the accountant for the Spanish taxes, get a whole new list of required items, my bank book with our entire banking history for the year (feels a mite invasive that), photocopies of the inevitable DNI and NIE (see above), some bank certificate (???), some other certificate from our bosses (probably a T4 for Canadians), our rent receipts, the children's name and birth date. Not too bad, the bank provided their form with their usual delightful speed and charm (no irony there, they really are the nicest bank I have ever dealt with and then even nicer than that); I spent an hour sorting files and getting the information collated, ordered, and stapled in like groups...good to go.

We apparently don't have to declare our Canadian income. Sounds like a "trampa", which is Catalan for a cheat or lie. Yes, I think that word sounds like something a little different too.

We can do our own taxes it turns out if we don't have to declare the Canadian stuff,(like I want more on the to do list, but I don't want to pay an accountant if I don't have to). A friend is going to phone the help line for me and find out if this is true or not. Taxes introduce a whole new world of vocab my friends, and I don't know much of it.

OK, I'm still cool, groovin' with the paperwork...then I go off to gather the papers required to enroll Eldest in the next school (we still don't know which one, and I am not sure what to do, as this week is the week to sign them up and we don't find out till next week if she got into the school we're hoping for. Kind of weird, huh?) (((I am luvin' these brackets today aren't I.)))

For this, I am armed with a new form with a list of forms, which states that I need:

You guessed it..... DNI and NIE, originals and photocopies,
Original and photocopy of birth and marriage certificate (both of which are doing a grand tour of offices in Ottawa as they swim through the glacial process of pursuing citizenship here for the kids. Then they get to go to Madrid for translation, back here for submission, back to Madrid for scrutinisation and god know what else)

Fortunately, I have two copies! WHAT FORESIGHT!!!

This is even better, the Man and I even had the foresight to get married twice! If you ever plan on going expat, this is a VERY GOOD IDEA. Then you can have papers in two different offices at once! (We had a Baha'í and civic ceremony)

I also have translations of said items (originals and photocopies) which I will take with me on the principle of bringing more than they ask for, then you have a fighting chance of having what they WILL spring on you.

A copy of the form we filled in to apply. (Thank god I kept THAT) Why do they want it, they lost their original????

Original and photocopy of the kids Passport, DNI, whatever.

Certificate issued by the town hall that we do live where we say we do. I am doing so much of this paper chasing that I actually have a copy of this for all of us that is still valid in the house. They expire after three months so you keep having to go back again and again and again.

A contract from work, unspecified whose ????WTF?????? (original and photocopy) The line that asks for the contract (original and photocopy) names the requirement then after a comma says, "if this is what makes you happy". Sooooo, do I not bring it if I hate my job??? Oh the joy of forms in a language you don't completely understand.

Sorry this is getting long, it looks like my day.

Then there are five other forms that I don't need to bring,

Finally this, which I realise at this second I don't have orginised: a photocopy of her last report card (like the freaking school isn't going to forward it anyway) where DID I put that???? (it is six pages long!)


then then then then THEN

At 11pm, in Eldest's room, I discover, languishing, another form from the SAME school asking for this....

-The form we filled in when we applied (I don't have the original, hope they like the photocopy)

-Photocopy of the vaccine records

-Photocopy of her health card

-Our bank info so they can, and I quote, in translation, so that they can do withdraws for things (fancier word) over the length of the course.


Hello, when have you heard of a public school that can just DIVE into your account when it needs to pay for something.





53 Euros.

Remember what the plumber cost? That was 13.

53 Euros is closing in on 70 bucks. To sign up for public school.


Welcome to sunny Communist Russia Spain.

Have you noticed that the two seperate lists, from the same school issued for the same child, only duplicate one item? Can we get the left hand chatting with the freakin' right hand here so we can get ONE list with, say, all the items on it at once????

OH, and the title of the post? I love this. Tinc means "I have"...and if you're really really really frickin' angry, indeed enraged, you use the word rabia, as in rabies...

I have rabies.

Not far off.

A little head twitching?


Some staggering?


Foaming at the mouth?

Batting 1000 here Tex.


PS. I also managed to stop off at the beach...can I tell you how lovely it is? Look what else I found there...look look look!!!!


Beth said...

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.
Lesson learned - keep every official or even semi-official or non-official (but might be important) scrap of paper you ever touch.
Lots of justified cursing - I would have been close to tears.

Nice find on the beach though!

mmichele said...

Wow. I am all formed out and i just read about it.

I like the beach though. Almost makes it worth it?

How the heck does the plumber afford to send his kid to public school?

hulagirlatheart said...

That made me tired just thinking about it. And I thought healthcare paperwork in the U.S. was a pain in the patootie. As least the day was redeemed by your find at the beach. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed that things go well! GM

Nomad said...

I am SO sorry for your frustration level...but there are 2 things I must say

1) I am so tired I just promptly forgot number pathetic, Ooh wait yes I just remembered, how eloquently you rant, however did you keep all of that straight in your mind AND you type like a BANSHEE!!!

2) I DO love it when you rant...

elPadawan said...

Hopefully it holds the key to your questons about how it is possible that Spain and Canada avoid double taxation...

What a hassle you have to go through, though! Doesn't seem that bad anymore in Canada... :D

Beth said...

I can't belive it!!!! You need a vacation!!! and I can't believe how much sea glass you find!!! Lucky Dog!!!

oreneta said...

Beth, it was down right bizarre honestly...anyway, the beach was nice.

Mmichele, a very solid question about the plumbers kids....I just don't know. We have to buy all the books too. They ain't cheap.

Hula, I think the US healthcare stuff is probably worse.

GM, better still, take a deep breath and shove some government types and their f*cking fotocopíes screaming into the surf, much more satisfying.

Nomad, i enjoy reading a good rant from time to time...they can be so so so so ....honest.

elPadawan, I have actually been thinking of you as I run this paper chase, I know everyplace has it's hassles and you end up doing ten years of paperwork in one, but I really don't think it is quite so bad in you?

Beth, I do indeed need a vacation, unfortunately I am heading into my heaviest work period...deep one, but NO one picks up sea glass here, but little old me!

Terrie said...

Sounds like you might be missing home/boat schooling!

oreneta said...

Terrie...there are days, let me tell you, there are days.....I try not to think about it too much honestly.

elPadawan said...

french income tax was like, the simplest thing ever, it's been like that for 2-3 years now. Online filing, free, secure, they already have the income your employer declared about you, you just have to correct if they're wrong, add the self employment stuff, and all the credits you can claim (donations and stuff), I was done in 15min. Took me three hours for the canadian declaration, had to be paper if I didn't want to pay, etc...

oreneta said...

elPadawan, the Canadian is onerous...but we don't really like the idea of them looking at us....checking up...OK fair enough, but doing it first...mmmmm....bad taste in the mouth.

The second language thing is tricky too, however good you are, it is still a very specialised vocabulary. Then the questions of what you can and can't deduct etc etc etc...