Paperwork….and police

They sure love their paperwork here in Spain. From obtaining residencia, library cards to traffico.

There is pretty much not an aspect of the Spanish lifestyle that is touched by the paper trail!

My keys to success 
1. It’s all about keeping calm,using the little Spanish you have

2. Making squillions of photocopies of every piece of paper you’ve ever obtained.

3. And a big smile.
This morning I had to renew my husbands NIE. The paper that the NIE is printed on is valid for three months. The numbers,information including the identification number do not change. Almost all institutions that require a copy are happy to take the paper originally given to you,even if it’s past the three month mark. Except of course the body of government that you are trying to sort anything out with at the time. For us this time was traffico.

No big deal,you just have to wait in line outside the police station. It’s guarded by a police man with a pump action shotgun. Until he says,you must wait go in. 
Do not expect his door policy to follow any pattern. There are lawyers rushing a client,a lady with a baby. They may take precedence over you,or not,who knows.

Then you move into a loosely based line up system.
There are no forms on display. I’m not sure where you’d get them if you weren’t as ballsy/stupid as myself to barge up to the policewoman at her desk. I am sure she did understand what I needed and chose not to. Then ask in poco Espanol for the duplicato forms and fill them in.

Mr E then has to run to the Banco,pay the 7 euros for the paperwork fee and then wait for the loosely based line up system to give our paperwork to the paperwork goddesses, if only they looked like goddesses!

If you live here,I’d suggest you set aside whole mornings,most government bodies skip working in the afternoons.

You can’t pay at anything at the desk within the police station. I’m not really sure why,maybe they don’t trust the government officials. 

Spain has so many wonderful contradictions. We have Full rights to same sex couples and Prius taxis then a completely archaic paper and registration system.

I think I’ll be needing one beautiful extra large filing cabinets to store all the copies and paperwork! 

Love and loquats.

Lea. X


Hair. Part Two.

I spoke of a hair photo once I had had my here you go, phpto at the bottom along with a little post. Want some tips on dying your hair at home? look here:

The hairdresser I visited this time last year in rural Spain was a little snip happy,and not the pleasurable experience Ive grown accustomed to. No wine,no long gossipy chats with my hairdresser. There was a Bonus of no sales pitch at the end but I was in such a daze with having been shawn like a sheep I’d don’t think I could have said yes to purchasing anything anyway.

The best haircut I ever had was Belgium when I was 16. I was feeling brave,went to a hairdressers,armed with not much more than bonjour.
It was mid afternoon so he washed and then cut my hair himself. The salon empty so it was heavenly. My hairdresser Bar had been set pretty high!
When I was little,My grandmother cut my hair occasionally. I once convinced her to perm it. (I have naturally curly hair)
When the perm was complete I asked my brother what he thought and in exchange for his very honest opinion he copped a lecture in tact from my parents!
I adore having my hair touched,brushed,in fact it’s always a good indication to Mr E that I’m having a rough day if I present him with my hairbrush,to brush my hair just for a few minutes. It has the most calming effect on me. You know,for someone with no hair my husband does a lovely job.
So, in February I was treated to a lovely hairdresser by a friend whilst on a little trip to Hamburg. The hairdresser was very polite and although he said he was sorry for his English, I ended up with a beautiful,long lasting cut.

Hamburg Haircut
Straight and V Hamburg!

Again, my hair was washed and cut by the hairdresser,it’s a very relaxing experience as they can see what your hair is like. Dry/oily/ damaged . I think you get to see what kind of hairdresser they are like too. Keeping control of the water temperature,not getting soap in your eyes or my pet hate-water in your ears!
So although I had a great cut, it was now July and I am pregnant,which meant that my hair was growing at a speed I’ve never known. Time for a haircut. Living in Spain,I felt it rather decadent to fly all the way back to Hamburg just for a haircut. Granted I could have spent a lovely few days,hanging out with friends,eating franzbrütchen,etc.
It was time to find a new Spanish hairdresser.
I did the usual,feeling out with friends-try here,I like here etc. I took a card from one and called them up. I asked to see the man who spoke English,only he wasn’t available until Saturday. When I want to cut my hair,I want to cut my hair,it was Tuesday,too long to wait. So I said yes to an appointment offered in the afternoon with a Spanish hairdresser.
I arrived early,sat and tried to relax into reading a Spanish Vogue. I was ushered to a basin and had the most wonderful hair wash. No wet ears,no
soap in my eyes. My hairdresser has hair similar to my own,but I showed her about 30 photos I’d saved of the style I wanted. We spoke our rudimentary versions of each other with questions and little statements,all whilst she snipped away.
I was then blow dried straight,no cheating here and when I saw what she had done-wow!
It was even better than I had hoped. Neat,cool,bouncy and even on both sides,perfect.
I think she’d was a tad embarrassed with my reaction but I was so pleased that I had a haircut I was pretty!
The hairdressers here,don’t tend to fuss or chat too much. No wine either but I suppose in my current condition I don’t really need a glass to relax me anyway.
Plus with the much cheaper cost of a haircut here, I can go to the posh supermarket downstairs and purchase a bottle of bubbles and still not feel guilty. That is once the baby is born.

Spanish haircut

Tell me about your worst/best haircuts,include photos if you have them.
Love and Lipstick