- I went to go open a bank account. I go in, take a number, and wait my turn to talk to someone just like everyone else. I tell the lady I'd like to open an account, and tell her which kind specifically because I've read about them beforehand. Great! She's friendly, seems eager to gain a new client, all is going well. Until I start pulling out all my paperwork. She takes one look at my passport. Oh, you're American. I thought you were German (which I seem to get a lot here). That complicates things. You have this long list of hoops to jump through. Oh look! You're missing one little thing. Too bad. Sorry, but I can't help you.
- This weekend I went to go chat with a lady about taking on some classes at a private academy. She was fantastic, incredibly organized, had an entire curriculum for me to follow, and it all sounded great. Then she tells me about pay. It will be X number of euros after deductions. Deductions? What? I sadly informed her that I'm here on a student visa because my job is technically a grant. Spain makes this differentiation for non-Europeans in this program because it's a hell of a lot easier getting a student visa than a work visa. This also means that technically I'm not authorized to work, meaning I can't be on the payroll for this very official academy. She and I are both shattered when we make this discovery. She wanted to hire me. I'm a native English speaker, and that's all she cares about. But one little word on some paperwork is preventing that.
|Documents that send up red flags. Warning! American!|
But then I remember that it's the middle of October and I just spent a whole weekend on the beach, sipping cervezas and eating at chiringuitos, and I love Spain. Then I remember that my first language being English (whether or not from Europe) is what makes my life possible, and being American isn't so bad either.