Travel diary: Work and sport in A Coruña

It’s been a sporty week, full of the Olympic Games and horses. Plus there was a public holiday that failed to affect us at all.

Monday 23/7: It was a glorious day, so spent the morning working and rewarded ourselves with a trip to the beach after lunch. The water was quite pleasant, although the tide was out, and we played frisbee for half an hour or so.

Later, I met Oliva and Laura on a different beach, then headed across town for my evening class.

Tuesday 24/7: Both of us had to work all day, though at least I got to leave the house for part of my workday, and head to school. After lunch we went for a walk through the old town, but otherwise it was just a bit of a boring one.

Wednesday 25/7: Although the rest of Galicia was on holiday celebrating the day of St James, our life continued as normal. I don’t have any classes on Wednesdays so there were none to miss, and we spent the day working on Indie Travel Podcast.

Sunset on my way home from work.

In the evening I watched The 12 Trials of Asterix, which Oliva had recommended to me because one of the trials is very similar to my experience with Spanish bureaucracy, while Craig made a few phone calls.

Thursday 26/7: Thursday is my busiest day for teaching (6.5 hours), but there’s a nice long lunch break in the middle. We made use of this time to visit a restaurant one of my students had recommended, which has a menu del día for only €6.30. We were pleasantly surprised by it — not only was the food tasty, we also had excellent sea views. The only problem is that the restaurant isn’t open on the weekend.

Friday 27/7: Ah, bureaucracy — it wouldn’t be a week in Spain without you. In the late morning we went to the police station to hand over the documents we’d been told we needed to register Craig as a resident, and after waiting 45 minutes we were told they weren’t valid. Apparently our travel insurance certificate doesn’t prove that we have health insurance, and our proof of funds didn’t have the right stamp on it. We decided to give up and withdraw the application, since we’ll only be in Spain for another month or so before we head north to visit a bit of the rest of Europe.

On the way home I decided to see if my bank account had been unblocked by using my debit card in an ATM; it got eaten. The clerk in the bank where I’d used the ATM (near our house) told me I’d have to go to my branch of the bank to find out why it had been withheld. This happened at 2pm, on a Friday, and since the banks close at 2.30, I had to head to my bank straight away to sort it out, if I wanted to be sure of being able to have my pay deposited in my account at the end of the month.

At the bank I was told that my account had been unblocked but had a zero balance; the money had been transferred to a holding account when mine was put on hold. The woman I was speaking to was able to get it all up and running again — though why this hadn’t already been done I have no idea. She also told me that my card had been cancelled and that I’d have to apply for a new one. This was surprisingly painless; I just had to explain my predicament to another friendly clerk and sign the 20 pages she gave me. And now I get to wait for the card to arrive by post.

Bangers and mash.

In the evening, Oliva and Guille came over for dinner and to watch the Olympics opening ceremony. In an attempt to keep the theme, we cooked a British meal of bangers and mash with onion gravy — they seemed to like it, though the portions might have been a bit large.

Saturday 28/7: After a long sleep in and breakfast in bed, I talked to Oscar on Skype for a while then spent most of the rest of the day watching the Olympics and planning our life after A Coruña, while Craig chipped in when he could look up from his game. In the evening we watched Rushmore, which we both thought was quite good.

Sunday 29/7: We got up quite late, but still managed to have lunch before meeting Oliva, Guille and Alba and heading out of town to the show jumping. It was a beautiful afternoon and the competition was quite interesting, though none of us knew anything about it and we had to guess the rules while we were watching.

Show jumping.

We spent the evening watching the Olympics before dinner and bed.

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