NIE — Take Two

NIE — Take Two

I was really starting to get worried about the NIEs because they hadn’t shown up yet. Lucas, our lawyer in Spain said that he would be at the foreigners office in Almeria  and would check on them for us. It turns out that they had been issued, which was a good thing; but more time passed and they STILL didn’t show up, which was a bad thing.

I decided that I should call the Spanish Consulate in Houston and see if they had any information for me. This turned out to be quite an interesting conversation.

First, the lady who answered the phone simply said, “Diga me.” which threw me off because I guess I was expecting “hello” but this is a normal phone answering phrase. It struck me as “Yo, talk to me!” but like I said, I’ve come to realize that this is quite normal. I figured I’d better be sweet and polite because whoever was on the other end of the line could have lots of control over our much needed NIEs, and even if her gruff voice sounded a lot like she just snuffed out her cigarette butt into her desktop, she was probably super nice.

“Hello,” I started sweetly. “I called in mid October about getting my N.I. E. and –”

“Yeah,” she said, cutting me off. “And it was probably ME you talk to when you called, so… what about it??”


“Uhhhh… no, I don’t believe it was you, I spoke to before…” (Mainly because the woman I spoke to before was nice and sweet and YOU are mean and scary!)

So I go through the whole story about sending in the paperwork and not hearing anything and being concerned because we were purchasing property and knew that was impossible without the numbers, but that I know the numbers have been issued–

“WHO?!?” she cut me off again. “Who TOLD you the numbers have been issue? WHO?”

“My lawyer in Spain went to the foreigners office and saw that the numbers had–”

“WHEN?!?” you see the pattern here. “WHEN.  Were. The. Numbers. ISSUE??”

If possible to cower via telephone, I was cowering. I told her the date, and then it was as if she had been sprinkled with magic fairy dust and all of a sudden her temperament changed into this syrupy sweet person with a cooing voice. “Well then hunnnny, don’ worrrry. It’s fiiiiine. You have nothing to worry about darrrling.” and then quite simply: “It will come in the next Deeeplomatic Pouch.”

“Oh. When will that arrive?”

“Who knows?? One week? TWO weeks?? It depends. Maybe they have something to send, maybe not. But don’ worrrry, hunnny. I will call you when it comes.”

And that was pretty much it. I spent the majority of the time on the phone covering my mouth because as scary as she was I was afraid that I might laugh out loud at the craziness of this conversation. You know when something bad is happening and you laugh out of nervousness? That’s how I was on the phone, but I was worried that she would hear me laugh and find our NIE paperwork in the next “Diplomatic Pouch” and tear it to shreds “by accident.”

I breathed a small sigh of relief and we continued the wait for the NIEs.


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