We all know our way to the ‘Strangers Office,’ called many things by different people. These days it is situated just behind Portixol and the beginning of a fine beach experience. Today’s day out was a combination of a bit of Spanish paperwork, the Bay of Palma and then a little tax in Soller.
We are all seeking the TIE card and use the two tier process to obtain it. The first part is long done and now its time to collect the card and breathe a sigh of relief. No long queue as we arrive and everything appears to be going smoothly. 17-year-old granddaughter was collecting hers and then came the request to view her birth certificate. All fine, no problem as it was shown three months ago on the first application. But no, the rules have changed, and now the ‘computer says no’.
The issue was that this was an English birth certificate. This 17-year-old was a few months old when she arrived here having been born in the UK. In the last three months the rules now state that an English birth certificate has to be translated and stamped with the wonderful apostle stamp before the TIE can be passed over the desk.
So near and yet so far in the wonderful world of the TIE application. Having lived her whole life here this made no sense to our teenager. But, she has also lived here long enough to understand the pleasure of another bit of paper and another carefully positioned stamp.
Frustration melted as we wandered across the road to the sea front. The delights of Palma Bay from that end cannot be underestimated on a glorious day. To walk until you can walk no more is easy here as the bay winds round via Ca’n Pastilla to Arenal. Cala Gamba in the middle is always an oasis and the dogs enjoy one of the few dog beaches of Mallorca at that point.
We know that 50% of the population of Mallorca live in Palma and the surrounds. This makes this area among the most accessible of seafronts and is so Californian in its approach. Palm trees, cycle lanes, roller blades and electric scooters are so reminiscent of the Santa Monica sea front in LA. The aquarium and Crazy Golf are among the family delights and all along the strip new openings every week. Hotels and the new Conference Centre is all in this corner and showcases our Capital City in all its vibrancy.
The fact that administrative offices we all get to know so well lie on the second line of the area is a little bizarre. I am showing my age when I say that my fingerprints were taken originally in an office near the Majorca Daily Bulletin. None of us have good memories of that building, its endless queues and police patrolling with gun in case the ‘strangers’ got out of hand. Life has moved on since then and the almost sea front location, is a vast improvement.
Then it was back to Soller to see the Tax Man. The ground floor office of Soller Town Hall has been given over to the Tax Office to collect money on the town’s behalf. These days you talk to them about rubbish collection bills, car tax and IBI payments. I started there with my queries and met blank looks and a computer shouting no. I then went upstairs to the next office who had the same problem. Then my very boring stuff was dealt with by a third office who gave me the following advice.
‘We are just rearranging our files so that the Tax Office can access our local files. Come back in November or December to ask your questions. The system might be updated by then’.
I knew then that I was back in my home town where we march to the beat of our own drum. I will put a note in my diary to call again in the winter.
So Nan’s Day Out this week was mixing the practical stuff with the glorious places we have en route to anywhere.
In fact, I must tell you of one of my favourite museums in Mallorca which is The Krekovic Museum, situated in Ciutat de Querétaro street, in front of the Krekovic Park and in the vicinity of the Congress Palace. This is a showcase for the Peruvian-inspired paintings of 20th century Slavic artist Kristian Kreković.
So next time a bit of form filling takes you to the Strangers Office or to Traffico you have a choice of a visit afterwards to the beach on one side or a fascinating museum on the other.
Hope you enjoy your adventures...