3.13.2009

"It's complicated"


Perhaps it's a side effect of all the Vitamin D that I am soaking up through glorious Spanish sun exposure, but I actually have the urge to write.

All is well in Barcelona. I am enjoying a semblance of normal life as part of a couple again--waking up next to someone other than Charlie, preparing a real dinner as opposed to microwaving a Weight Watchers entree, and snuggling on the couch with my favorite fellow while watching a movie downloaded through iTunes. But I'm not only here to keep the home fires burning. There is actually a purpose to my brief Catalan adventure.

I had to be fingerprinted.

I sort of wish I had a tawdry tale to go along with with act of being escorted down to the police station and having all 10 fingers literally blacked with ink, because the worst thing I've ever done in all my life was to skip school one time with my mother's full knowledge and permission.

But sad to say, my time visiting the slammer, sitting in the waiting area with unsavory characters, and being escorted into a small CSI-like laboratory was for "official government purposes" only. It's part of what Max and I both have to do in order to get our visas to live in Spain permanently. Don't ask me why.

Getting through the maze of governmental requirements and documentation would be impossible without the help of a skilled professional. And after months and months of waiting, Max and I finally met with Alvero, a third-party contractor assigned to help us get moved permanently.

We had hoped Alvero might be able to shed light on what paperwork would need to be completed and, more importantly, how long the process would take, but this was not to be. With every question we posed, our skilled professional had only one response:

"It's complicated," he said.

It sure is. In addition to being finger printed, we also had to sign documents in the presence of a notary giving our permissions to have FBI background checks completed. While I attempted to sign the permissions with my best, most readable, John Hancock, I couldn't help but wonder if the time I skipped school would possibly show up on my profile.

This is not unfounded paranoia. I feel as though the slightest problem could cause a delay in this already painfully slow process. For instance, my name changes because of marriage and divorce have generated extra paperwork. And even though I've provided copies of expired passports, which document my series of failed marriages and ever-evolving name, I've been told that the U.S. consulate will be called to verify that name changes can and do happen because of marriage and divorce. This call, alone, will probably set us back a week or two--at least that is what it feels like.

But for now, I'll try not to worry about what is or is not happening and how long it will take before Max and I can truly get on to the business of life as normal. I'm here, enjoying time with my husband, and cooking a little fresh cod for dinner this evening.

It's better than nothing.

11 comments:

Hilly said...

Wow, that *is* really complicated! I hope you can indeed just sit back and let things take their course....sister, you live in Barcelona! How awesome!

kenju said...

I understand a country wanting to verify your fingerprints before admitting you, but checking about divorces and name changes? Maybe it is because Spain is largely a Catholic country and divorce is not so prevalent.

Sue Jacquette said...

Complicated for sure... Do you have any plural husbands we're not aware of? Maybe you should have just given them your blog site to check on you?

AmyB said...

Yay! Enjoy that sunshine named Max! Your paperwork will eventually come through and you will be in Barcelona with your love sooner than you probably think. At least, that's what I'm hoping for you!

seplowingermany said...

I am so sorry that you are hearing "it is complicated" When we first moved to Germany ever situation we encountered we go a "Das is nicht normal". Got to the point where I hated that expression.
Glad that you are Max are at least going through it together. In a few months it will be a humorous part of the story and the never ending adventure that you are on.
Enjoy the rest of the visit.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I've been fingerprinted a zillion times too. Once in the cells in New York City. All for green card purposes. I must be on every damn FBI database known to mankind. I can NEVER commit a crime, EVER. :)

Connie said...

I've had to be printed for various employment reasons and I found that showing up to get printed, when you do not have prints, makes people very very suspicious. I had been swimming daily and working with my hands a lot, etc... my fingertips were very smooth and they couldn't print me well. The looks I got... I didn't do anything!! geez!

Glad you are with Max :D

oreneta said...

It seems bizarre and totally excessive. SO nice to meet you today, and I hope your rice noodles roll ups turned out well.

fiona said...

I'm right there with "The Vegetable Assassin" Our green card debacle took forever and was Stress personified!
Have to say though that the good old USA have digital image fingerprint thingies so no black ink was involved.lol
Hang in there sweetie and enjoy your husband. Try not to worry...too much
xxxxxxxxxxxxx

swenglishexpat said...

Nudge nudge, wink,wink, it's complicated. How Spanish! LOL :-)

Have faith, you'll be settled eventually, if not mañana, then übermañana!

Outnumbered2to1 said...

I saw you twitter that you were getting fingerprinted and this was the first chance I had to get the story.

I hate to say I was envisioning worse case scenarios. Glad it's just bureaucratic BS;)