Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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.

30 comments:

  1. LOL! Love the twisted phrases. Of course, it does make sense that you must pay for what you get. :)

    I'd have a grunon face, too, if I were on a diet and sitting in front of such goodies. On second thought, I will be - on a diet, that is. Not sure how I'm going to avoid all the goodies, but I must. I will probably suffer - but not in silence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo:
      Jerry doesn't usually have a problem in front of a pastry case. But we were tired and really, really hungry. By the way, Jerry always says there's no point in suffering if you're going to do it silently.

      Delete
  2. You can see our house in the first shot! (well almost)

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    1. Tynan:
      I thought of that! But, your comment is shades of Sarah Palin... "I can see Russia from my house!"

      Delete
  3. Such exotic trees and plants! What else?!
    Happy to hear that 'so far, so good' as far as papers go. That must be a relief!
    Poor San Geraldo! I know what that feeling is like when you want to 'try' out something you ought not. Good for him though for resisting! They say that once you beat that sugar craving/addiction (and it can be difficult), you wonder what all the fuss was about.
    Your sister Dale was right Mitchell....chuck those shoes!

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    1. Jim:
      The light had become a very glaring haze during the walk back, which didn't do much for photo quality. One of the main streets is filled with 20-ft-tall yuccas. Gorgeous plantings! I mentioned in a comment above that San Geraldo usually feels no draw to the sweets now. But we were both so hungry at that point. He did hold off for a healthy salad. Such a saint. (Dale was right about a lot of things... and NOT about a lot of others. Very entertaining.)

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  4. Some very beautiful photos, what a beautiful place! I spend my time between the UK and Spain as I'm British but my boyfriend is Spanish so I have a place in my heart for a beautiful Spanish building!

    Also, I just wanted to say as I haven't yet, thank you for your kind words on my guest post on Jim's blog, I'm finally getting round to reading everyone's blogs who commented and I'm really enjoying yours! Consider me a new reader!
    All the best, Hayley-Eszti

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    Replies
    1. Hayley-Eszti:
      Thanks so much for visiting and saying "hi." Where in Spain do you travel? We have explored so little of it at this point, but really love it here.

      Delete
  5. I'm glad this process isn't the nightmare it was in times past. By the way, San Geraldo looks great in the tiny bit I can see of him.

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    1. Steven:
      San Geraldo is really doing great and looks so much better than that funny photo would have you think. What a sport!

      Delete
  6. Oh, what an appreciation you have given me for España through the enjoyment of your blog, Mitchell :) I'm smelling roses, coffee, and everything in the case of that gorgeous-looking pastelería. It's a shame that most of our Spanish classes in schools in the U.S. seem to focus so much on Mexico. Nothing wrong with it, but I'm a great admirer of European countries, so I'd love to share more of Spain with my kids.
    Glad your experience is going well!
    (p.s. The shoes look nice... too bad they weren't a success!)

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    1. Judy:
      If there's every any way I can contribute to your students' experience, let me know. I have been so grateful for your participation on my blog. It's always a joy to see a comment from you. As for the shoes, they DO look nice. Too bad they're crap! My feet are so bruised and battered that I can't even get other shoes on. Thankfully, my sandals don't hit the same spots.

      Delete
  7. Success! So glad everything went smoothly today. And that your world has lots of roses to smell and beautiful trees, flowers, beaches to enjoy and friends to enjoy them with.

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    1. Kristi:
      I am so grateful for this life we're able to live right now. And my miserable allergy demons are always grateful for the trees and flowers!

      Delete
  8. Wow, congratulations. Now you can sing stop and smell the roses.

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    1. Gosia:
      I love to stop and smell the roses (but I have to be really careful about bees... I'm allergic).

      Delete
  9. Mac Davis? Now that makes me feel old. Luckily, I never got "hooked" on him.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I wonder how many people got the "hooked." I never was a big fan either. But we saw him starring on Broadway in "The Will Rogers Follies" in the early '90s and he definitely earned my respect. He was perfect.

      Delete
  10. So far so good - and may it continue to be so!
    Those purple-ish trees in one of the photos - are they jacaranda trees? They look just like the ones they have growing all over the place in Barcelona.
    Bye for now
    Kirk

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    1. Kirk:
      The area is filled with jacaranda trees. It's a spectacular time of year. They're native to India; we had them in Southern California, too.

      Delete
  11. That 90 mins wait turned out to be well worth the minor inconvenience when it could all have turned out so ghastly again - but praise be! Hope the pussies were happy for you - and for themselves too.

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    1. Raybeard:
      The "pussies" as you call them (and I will just this once) were only happy because I finally got home to give them their daily treat an hour late. Moose was waiting at the window and Dudo was at the door.

      Delete
  12. If it had to be Mac Davis I'm glad it wasn't that gem... "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast."

    So glad things were easier this time around; and I'm sure I'd be just as charmed by you (in person) as your helpful office worker was. Wow about San Geraldo's grunon face...I have that exact same expression; particularly when faced with pastries I can't have!
    Beautiful photos; someday I'll see the places in person!

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    1. Jacquelineand....
      I wasn't really ecstatic about using the Mac Davis song, but I couldn't find another version that was better. "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" would just make me run in other direction... FAST. Not a chance!

      Delete
  13. While dealing with bureaucracies is always a bit of a pain, and waiting seems to be part of the package, it is always better when the people you are dealing with are pleasant. Glad that was your experience.

    This thing wants me to type a number to prove I am not a robot. What would Sheldon Cooper do?

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    1. Damien:
      I really do have to give lots of credit to Málaga's Foreigner's Office. The process couldn't possibly be wonderful... paperwork, banks, phone calls, waiting rooms... but they are unbelievably nice and they do their jobs well. Could you imagine Sheldon Cooper in THAT situation?

      Delete
  14. Loved seeing the swifts flitting above because it reminded me of my youth in my hometown where the swifts would arrive in the summer every evening and dive into a mammoth chimney on the university property. The chimney is long gone now, so I don't know if the ritual continues elsewhere.
    Those pastries, omg, that's all I can utter. Jerry I feel for you brother, but you know what's best just as I do know too.
    Off to get the residency cards again. Looks like things will be less eventful this time around ~~ Hooray ~~ !!!!
    Ron

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  15. OMG. And yes, this is one time when i will use that acronym.
    Carlos says, "Wake up and smell the roses" all the time.
    I nearly fell out of my chair when I read that.
    Maybe Carlos and San Geraldo are somehow related?

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    Replies
    1. Bob:
      LOL (as long as we're using acronyms)! I finally have Carlos's language idiomatic challenges figured out: His English teachers were all from South Dakota!

      Delete
  16. Ron:
    We didn't experience swifts until our first summer in Sevilla (outside our hotel room window every morning and evening). I love the sound.
    I've even been passing those pastries windows right by. Truth is, Jerry really has no craving. Impressive.

    ReplyDelete

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