Letters from Madrid – Residency

While searching through my archived files recently, I found letters I’d written home from when we moved to Spain in January 1996. The letters are compiled from the daily journals I kept at the time. I did very little photography when we lived in Spain, so you have to form mental images from my descriptions of people and events. 

I am going to publish the letters in pieces as they where very long and detailed.


18 April 1996

Madrid, Spain
Warning this is a form letter. Sorry I have had to resort to this, but this seems to be the only way I’m am going to be able to share some of the experiences, and observations of Spain, Madrid currently, with everyone I want to. Since I record my observations, impressions and experiences on a daily basis, this letter contains very detailed descriptions of them. If you don’t like to read or don’t have time, I won’t be offended, just pass it on to someone else. I am not inclined to photograph much of anything while I am here, so you will have to form your own images from the words on these pages. I am including what I think are the more interesting aspects of Madrid, and my experiences, thus far, taken from my journal and edited from letters I have sent to mainly family. The letter is long, so I am labelling the broad subjects with headings so you can easily skip any part you may not be interested in. I hope you enjoy it, and you can at least feel somewhat relieved to know that it will be months before I compile another form letter.

General Welfare of the Vagabond Price Family
We are all well. We got our paperwork completed and in the hands of the authorities during our first six weeks in Madrid. This was very trying on our patience as we made our way through the seemingly never ending gauntlet of bureaucratic inconsistencies, misinformation, and off-the-cuff rule making. We patiently filled out forms, walked here, waited in line there, got an address, opened accounts, bought insurance, got more photos, more copies, got official letters, got official inscriptions, got everything stamped by the right stamper, dated with current dates, and signed by ourselves and official parties, and, after five weeks of it, turned the bundle over to the authorities. The not so pleasant lawyer, who had the final say before the papers could be shipped off for processing, got it in his head that we had not suffered enough. He looked at the date from the letter from the bank on the status of the accounts we opened, and said “this date is ten days old! You will have to get another letter.” We were to say the least shocked at this, but he would not have anything less. We had already walked back and forth about 10 kilometers that morning tying up the final details of the paper work, and were a little out of patience; however, we walked 3 kms. to the bank and requested another letter (the bank officials were, I think, more surprised then we were at this request) and went home. We got the letter the next day from the bank, delivered it, got the final approval, and now we wait up to six months for our residency cards.

To be continued…