This morning I woke up at 6am to catch an early flight to Madrid in order to (supposedly) finalize my work permit paperwork. My flight was delayed, so I was late getting to the office in Madrid, but fortunately everything worked out okay. I squared away all my papers and went to some building which is one part police headquarters and two parts bureaucracy central. A huge line had already formed outside... and it was 10 degrees Celcius today.
Fortunately a woman was there to meet me. A lawyer! Hooray! She convinced the police that we should be allowed to skip the queue and after my shortest-ever wait in line, I was fingerprinted and stamped and apparently ready to go. Of course, while we were waiting, she noticed a few discrepancies in my paperwork... The company put Madrid as my residence on one document, but of course I empadronamiento'd myself in Barcelona, where I live. But, lucky me, she is friends with everyone in that building and managed to convince the woman wielding the stamp to start processing my paperwork and promised she'd be back with an updated version of that document saying I live in BOTH Barcelona and Madrid. Proof that I'm in two places at once. How cool is that?
And now the catch. I'm due in London a week from Friday for meetings. And in Munich with the Calatrava Guapos in 2 weeks for my birthday. But, contrary to what I requested, the Spanish consul in NYC only gave me a single entry visa. So I can leave Spain, but I can't get back in. And apparently it could take TWO MONTHS before I can go anywhere. Um, hello? If nothing else, Christmas is only 6 weeks away, and of course we're going to a non-EU country... Switzerland.
I think it was around when I momentarily stopped breathing that she hastily mentioned, "but I'm sure it'll be fine. You'll probably have it by Friday." Hmm. Two days is very different from two months. Don't you love how Spaniards seem to enjoy toying with your emotions?