A few days ago, my college friend Kim (who also studied abroad with me when I was in Malaga) posted the following video to my Facebook wall. I think the video is meant to be an over exaggeration of the way bureaucracy works in Spain and the bad rep that civil servants get in this country. However, I can say from experience that while this type of showdown wouldn’t occur in a police station or government office, it’s not that far from the truth!
One quick example: It took my roommate five months, from the day she handed in all her paper work to renew her residency card, to receive her new one. In the meantime, her current residency card expired and when my roommate left Spain to go back to the USA for Christmas, she had to go wait in lines, fill out forms, pay administrative fees… all for some stupid document called a “permiso de regreso” which gave her permission to leave and enter Spain with her expired residency card. After five months passed, she still hadn’t received the official letter of notification that her residency card was ready. She finally went to the police station and lo and behold, it was finally ready! And of course, she had to get a note from the police station to justify her absence from missing school (she is also an English language assistant).
(I am exempt to all this ridiculousness over renewing residency cards because I have dual French-American citizenship. As in I’m a member of the European Union. Hehe.)
Did reading all of that make your head hurt? It hurt mine just writing it!
Basically, bureaucracy is very slow and complicated in Spain and they are constantly changing the rules. So nobody ever knows what is going on at any given time. In the following video, the woman beats the civil servant at his own game and (I am just going to go ahead and use a very college word) it is EPIC. She struts out of that place, putting all the civil servants in their place. You can literally hear her thinking “BOOYAH!”
Oh and the video is in Spanish but there are English subtitles. Watch it. It is amazing and if you are an expatriate living in Spain, I’m sure you will agree it is not completely inaccurate.