Posts tagged Spain
Lake lessons

Last week I went to an area of Spain that I really love: Lagunas de la Ruidera, a national park area out in the middle of farmland in central Spain. It’s a collection of tiny lakes that stretch out over several miles...and nothing else. I actually love this area for that reason—it’s empty.  Peaceful. Quiet.   On my last day there I remembered to get a few rocks for my collection: I have some stones from most of my travels around Spain. In the clear water, I searched for some nice rocks, but I was disappointed to discover that all the rocks were ugly.  They were sharp and misshapen, instead of rounded and polished by the water, as I expected. I was sure with so much water, there would have to be more attractive rocks SOMEWHERE. The shoreline and the shallows of the lake were nothing BUT rocks.   But then it hit me; I realized why all the rocks were ugly. 

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As a resident alien in Spain I have an identification card (NIE- photo) that goes everywhere with me. It has my photo, address, valid dates, and of course my NIE number. This is a number specific to me, which begins and ends with a letter, and has 7 digits in between. I memorized it before I even learned my Spanish phone number or address, because it’s connected to literally EVERYTHING I do in Spain. I’m required to show it everyone —from the Amazon guy who drops off my packages to any bank or business establishment. It’s part of my contracts for my apartment, my bills, and my internet service. It’s basically my SSN in Spain. In fact, in three weeks when I go to the airport, I’ll be required to show it at the check-in desk before I even leave America! It goes right with my American passport, to prove that I am both an American citizen and a Spanish resident. 

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