So sorry for no pics in this post…my laptop is in the repair shop!
After almost 5 months of getting the runaround in Spain regarding my paperwork process to stay in Spain legally, I was finally informed in October that they would not be reviewing my application until May 2012 (even though I turned it in June 2011) because they are just that backlogged. Got to love immigration offices! I then talked to the Spanish consulate in Houston, TX and they told me they could complete my application in 2-3 months, but…I had to apply in person. So after a few more weeks, I hopped on a plane back to the USA, loaded up the car with my sister, niece and nephew and took a road trip to Houston where she and I both applied to reclaim our Spanish nationality. Yay!
Once that excitement was over, I kind of turned into a hermit. I just hung out with my family through the holidays and didn’t let many people know that I was in town. No offense anyone. I just needed some time to decompress and catch up with my family after 6 months away.
I also had to make some money while I’ve been home so that I can get back to Spain. And yes, that is the plan: head back to Spain, this time with my paperwork so that I can actually look for a real paying job. Until then though, I needed to replenish my savings. Thanks to my sister, I was able to jump into a temporary job doing secret shopper phone calls. Basically, I called tire stores all over the US pretending to need tires and rating the workers on their answers. This was a very fortunate opportunity for me, but not going to lie, I wanted to bang my head on the wall after about the 50th tire call each week. I filled the rest of my time doing random side jobs doing anything from interpreting for a Hispanic family therapy session in a children’s psych unit, to helping my dad prepare his taxes, to child care for the transitional living program affiliated with my former employer (definitely nothing like working in the kid’s club at the resort last summer).
I did finally emerge from my cave and re-connected with old friends, soaked up as much Argentine Tango dancing as I could, and went on “vacation” to Louisiana. Oh and I helped some Spaniards do market research on whether or not to open a Spanish tapas restaurant in Tulsa; at one point I was helping cook for 130 people and felt like I was on an episode of Top Chef!
So it’s been an eventful time home; I’ve loved being at home with family and friends, but I also love living in Spain, so I am excited to get back. I’m now in crunch time trying to tie up loose ends and prepare to head back on Feb. 10th. Granted, I still haven’t received the paperwork I’ve been waiting for, despite them re-assuring me many times I’d have it by the end of January (shocker!). SOOOOO, I may or may not have to delay my return to Spain. Your guess is as good as mine. I’m just going to end this post before I start venting about how much I love red-tape and lack of efficiency and customer service. To be continued…