A third-culture kid (TCK / 3CK) or trans-culture kid is "someone who, as a child, has spent a significant period of time in one or more cultures other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture."


Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Art of Bureaucracy

Regardless of where you live on this orb purposefully floating around the endless universe, there is one constant truth: you may not want to do it, you may dream of a better one or you may be struggling to find one. Yes, a job. Love does not pay the bills (sorry Jackie Moon) and España is no different.

When I returned to my country of birth, the Ontario government made me jump through several loops it terms of acquiring a driver’s license (which I understand, since I had never driven before) and public health coverage. Ontario still has primarily a social health system funded by taxpayers. In order for those public doors to “free healthcare” swing open for you, you need to prove something like 6 months residency. Until then, don’t get injured or sick. It’s expensive!

My roommate in Barcelona had advised me that before heading out to look for work and to open a bank account in Barcelona, I would need a NIE (Foreigner Identification Number). This identification number is pretty much necessary to be a regular citizen in Spain. I would need to head out of my home to line-up at 6:00 AM at the entrance of the Extranjería building as they only let people in before noon.

The United Kingdom is probably the master of queuing, but Canada is not far from matching the production of excessive and pointless paperwork. Getting people to line-up is a skill we Canadians have that cannot be matched even by the most populated countries in the globe. From coffee at Tim Horton’s to the Dollar Store, we do it. I was definitely ready to wait although I was not excited to do so.

Surprisingly enough, if you are early enough, the NIE process can take less than a whole day. Get ready to line-up for 2 hours before the office even opens its doors as many people are on the same boat, looking to be able to start making the big bucks. Should you require more on this process, this article may be helpful.

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