Are you familiar with Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day? I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t comment on it, but I’m talking about the book. This book. It was one of my favorites growing up, because sometimes we all feel like Alexander, grumpy that nothing at all seems to be going our way. Today I felt like Alexander. Nothing serious went wrong, but none of the little things seemed to go right either.
Last night I was supposed to go out with some people from my program, but ended up getting a migraine and had to stay home because I couldn’t see peripherally. All this week, I haven’t been sleeping properly, and last night was no different. I think my body clock is still set to Eastern Standard Time, and again last night I couldn’t fall asleep until almost 3am Palma time. Which meant I overslept until 11am Palma time. Which meant I got a late start schlepping down to get my NIE – Numero de Identidad para los Extranjeros, which I can best describe as a Spanish “green card,” or whatever the step before a green card is in the States. I stopped at the copy shop across the street from my apartment to get copies of my passport – because they need a copy of every single page of your passport – and set up my destination in Google Maps. Except Google Maps was so off their game today.
The office where one goes is called in Spanish the “Extranjeria”. If you look that up on Google Maps, they take you to a place that is actually a museum for Kristian Krekovic. If you don’t know who he was, and I didn’t, Wikipedia is kind enough to provide that he was a Bosnian Croat painter who died in Mallorca in 1985. If you were going there to get your NIE, don’t. You need what Google calls the Oficina de Extranjeros. It’s only 4 blocks away in the middle of nowhere. I stumbled around for what felt like hours in 80 degrees F looking for this place, and when I finally found it they gave me the forms I needed and the specific bank I had to go to (there’s a different one for each day of the week) to pay the fee to get my NIE. On the way to the bank I got the pictures that I needed for my NIE application taken – if someone needs a 1×1 picture of me, I have five extras because the smallest quantity the photo place would make was six.
Pictures done and bank done, I was finally going to get to meet up with people at the beach. My first time at the beach! I love the beach! On the way to the beach, when I saw the ocean, I thought about how I could write about how my day was crappy but the beach made it all better. The beach was gorgeous. The water was clear, the sand was clean, and there was so much sea glass! Apparently it’s the least beautiful beach on the island, but I thought it was gorgeous! However, not 10 minutes after I got to the beach, it started to rain.
I’m sure you can see how I’m Alexander today.
But lemonade out of lemons, right? We escaped the storm with some cafe con leche, and then headed back into the city center. There was a free concert at the Es Baluard museum, which was neat. I went on a mission for croquetas, which failed, but I had some tortilla española which was pretty decent, and met a bunch of new people. And speaking of lemonade, some lemon flavored gin from Menorca, another of the Balearic Islands.
What’s my point in all of this? I’m not sure. I’m in a new city in a different country across a major ocean from my home. I haven’t fully adjusted. I’m trying to do something towards that every day. Tuesday I got here. Wednesday I got my phone number. Thursday I had orientation, and today I tried to get my NIE. I’ll have to go back Wednesday, stand in line again, and have them approve my form, but my physical part for that is done, and that’s all I can hope for.
Maybe tomorrow the sun will stay out long enough for me to spend time at the beach…
How’s your day going? Is it a TGIF kind of day? Were you Alexander just today, or all week long?