November 15, 2020
We’ve had an incredibly busy week getting settled into our new apartment in Nerja. It’s why I’ve been so quiet on the blog (I hope to write more regularly starting sometime later this week)
Last Saturday the truck arrived from Zagreb with all our belongings. The driver’s name was Dragan and he’s actually from northern Bosnia. He and I spent 3 hours emptying the truck including a couple of enormous libraries and leather couches. I finished the day with cuts, bruises and a sore back. I did a lot of swearing that day and no doubt impressed all our new neighbors with my descriptive use of body parts and some of their uses. We’ve decided we’re never going through a move like this again. At what point do you stop lugging your stuff around the world with you? It’s something we still debate (I’ll write more on that soon).
The week has been spent sorting through it all and putting the apartment in “live in” shape. That included getting the owner to send in a plumber. The shower wasn’t getting any hot water which makes you question if the previous owners ever bothered bathing. The problem? Calcium deposit in the pipes which the plumber cleared out. Calcification is a big problem along the Costa del Sol.
Our stuff has been in storage since early 2018 so there’s been a lot of cleaning and maintenance to do: moisturizing the leather couches, treating our furniture with wood cleaner, and having all our clothes, towels and linens cleaned (we spent an entire day at the laundromat).
So it’s been a ton of work but now, a week later, we’re almost done. I found my basketball and have pumped it (there’s a basketball court nearby), I’m getting my bike tuned up, and I found some hiking boots (can’t wait to do some hiking). I’m looking forward to “normal” life – the biggest obstacles to all that however are new Covid restrictions…
New Covid Restrictions in Spain
New restrictions were imposed last week in Andalusia. You can no longer go between different municipalities if you don’t have a valid reason. So we can’t go to Malaga or even to Frigiliana (which is only 6 km away). Non-essential businesses (including bars and restaurants) also have to close at 6pm. So since last Sunday the siesta has been put on hold as most businesses have adjusted their working hours to 8 pm – 6 pm (siestas are important in Spain and business hours are usually 8 am – 2 pm and then 5 pm – 9 pm). So Covid has really had a major effect on life here.
Also new starting November 23: travellers coming to Spain will require a negative PCR (Covid) test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure for people coming from high coronavirus risk zones (which include the USA and UK but not Canada as of right now).
It’s really feeling like lockdown, albeit a scaled-down version of the full lockdown we went through March to May.
Our TIE (Identity card) appointments
I’ve mentioned previously that the 1st step in the Non-lucrative Visa process takes place in your home country. I documented the Spanish non-lucrative Visa process here. The 2nd step happens when you get to Spain and entails filling out forms and getting an appointment at a police station to get your fingerprints done. The rule is that you need to make your appointment within 30 days of arriving in Spain.
With Covid the whole process has been thrown into disarray. Forget about logging into the government website and trying to book an appointment. There’s nothing.
What we did was hire a gestor through our lawyer. They get an appointment for you.
It worked out for us but it wasn’t simple – both our appointments were in Antequera which is a 75 minute drive away from us by car (or 3 hours by bus). And the scarcity of available appointments meant that you most likely won’t be able to have 2 appointments together: in our case Lissette had hers on the 5th of November and I had mine on the 12th. So it meant two, 3-hour round trips to Antequera to get to our appointments (the procedure itself takes about 10 minutes).
We’ve now had both our fingerprints done and have been told that our Spanish Residency Cards will be available in 40 days. So we’ll have to go back to Antequera to pick up the cards and will require appointments. We can only hope we can get appointments to pick up our cards for the same day.
I’ll have a whole post coming up detailing how to get your Spanish Residency Card.
So that’s what we’ve been up to the last week.
There’s a feeling that things are only getting worse as far as Covid goes. I’ve mentioned the increased restrictions…well, we won’t be surprised if a full lockdown is imposed within the new few weeks. There’s been talk of it. It all depends on how effective the new restrictions are in decreasing the infection and hospitalization rates of the virus. So we’re preparing for the worst.