Too much Spanish bureaucracy, too little time.

Since my last post I have moved into my flat, finished my first week at school, sorted my NIE, opened a bank account and got a Spanish number. Busy little week.

I moved into my flat on Saturday morning and quite swiftly unpacked before heading to the shop for some essentials (cava) and began settling into my new home. Katie made us all tea because, as I said on my Instagram, she’s adorable, and we watched Strictly. It turned out a lot of the auxiliares were heading out on Saturday evening so after we were all ready we headed to someone’s flat where I met a load of other people, still can’t remember most of their names – sorry guys.

This was just the beginning of the night, which carried on till 6 in the morning, and after the flat we went to a few bars before I walked home deciding that going to a club till 8 was not going to happen. Sunday, unsurprisingly, was mostly spent in bed watching TV and trying to stay awake so I could sleep on Sunday evening. We all went to bed at about 9 o’clock knowing that we would have to be up early for our first day on Monday.

On Monday morning I walked to the petrol station at the end of our street where I was going to be meeting a teacher who would take me to school.

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Sunrise over Vigo

At 8.30 I met Andrea the bilingual coordinator at the school and we drove to Panxón. The route there is down the coast and the views are absolutely beautiful as the sun is rising over the islands on the horizon. Once I arrived at school I met the head teacher and was taken on a tour of the school, the school itself seems bigger than San Agustin but the classes are much smaller with between 10 and 15 students in each. The other teachers were all very welcoming and the students seem keen to learn. I also had my first few classes on Monday and received my timetable for the rest of the week; off on Fridays and not working any later than 13.40 – excellent. On Monday evening we met Leyre our other flatmate who is lovely and chatted for a while before all heading to bed drained from our respective days. Tuesday was similar in that I met another teacher who drove me to school and I had my first “full” day of classes – only 4 hours- before I got the bus back to Vigo, more pretty views from the window.

On Wednesday all the auxiliares had to travel to Santiago with their co-ordinators for an orientation for Galicia. Cue 3 hours of different people doing talks in Spanish that could have been covered in a 15 minute presentation by our co-ordinators. ¡Qué coñazo! We travelled back to Vigo where I met up with Sienna and Sofia, one of the other auxiliares, and we went for crepes and wine

before I headed back to the flat to start making a presentation about myself for some of my classes, basically just simple sentences and pictures of my family looking cute – standard about me presentation. Thursday was more of the same, introduction classes and trying to differentiate between my vowels – my A sounds exactly like E and vice versa, I’m sorry Spanish people it’s just my accent. I also managed to get a picture from the window of the school overlooking the sea, so beautiful.

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The view from my school in Panxon

My cousin commented on the picture saying she would struggle to concentrate if that was the view and honestly so would I but I think it’s probably going to be raining and dull by next week so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Friday is my day off but as it was my first day off I had to spend it getting everything sorted. I had a NIE – like a NINO but for foreigners – from when I taught in Calahorra but as my card had my Riojan address on I wasn’t sure what to do about it. Katie and I went to the police station where Katie was hoping to pick up her NIE and I just wanted to know what I had to next. Turns out the number itself will stay the same but I needed another card and to register to work in the region. After getting the correct forms I had to go to the bank to pay for it, then get another photocopy of my passport and then go back to police station to hand it all in and pick up my card but at least it was done. We then needed to open our bank accounts which I managed to do as I had the NIE card but Katie was unable to do as it turned out she had to register to work in the region as well as apply for the NIE. As I waited while they set up the bank account Katie set off again for the police station where she finally managed to get the card but by then it was 2.30 which meant all the banks were closed.  After too much faffing about with it all we headed back to the flat where Katie watched Poldark and I watched Cold Feet then decided we deserved a drink – Katie went for tea and biscuits whereas I felt like I had earned a glass of wine.

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Post NIE+Banking tea and biscuits

We then headed to the shopping centre – it’s just on the other side of Gran Via to where we are living and has loads of clothes shops, phone shops and a supermarket – so I could finally sort out a Spanish sim. Managed to get one sorted paid for it, mooched around the shops for a bit before heading back to try and actually put it in my phone. My phone actually takes 2 sim cards but one of the holders is a different shape and I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to put it in. Quick skype to my parents where my dad located the manual – thanks Dad – and it turns out it goes in sideways – who knew. A lot of the other auxiliaries were heading out for drinks but I was exhausted from a busy day dealing with more bureaucracy than a person should have to deal with and decided to stay in. Katie decided the same and is saving herself for this evening when everyone is planning to go out again so we watched Victoria because we both love a good period drama. Jury is still out on whether I’ll be out tonight or whether it’ll just be strictly and bed for me.

Next post is likely to be duller than this – if that’s possible – as it will be back to regular scheduling for a while.

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