SO I turn up at the office for the padron in the Ayuntamiento at 12 noon. It was part of my cunning plan to avoid the long queue that I was convinced would be there if I arrived at the opening time of 9am.
I was wrong.
A friend had advised me with an all knowing wink and nudge, that before 9am was when everyone went in order to steal a march on everybody else, and the numbers would be of mob proportions.
He supported this by relating his own experience a few weeks before, when he was able to march straight in at midday.
This made sense, but I hadn’t reckoned on my friend also telling the same thing to the world and his brother and thus, like me, everyone had turned up later in the morning.
I suffer from an extreme case of queuephobia and get very bad tempered, but I figured, hey, what the heck, the office closes at 1.30pm for the day and although there are perhaps fifteen or sixteen people in front of me, quite a few are probably couples, so try and relax.
Because these thoughts were coursing through my mind I forgot the need to extract a numbered ticket from the machine on the wall, until a large lady waiting on a bench indicated brusquely that I should do so.
Having taken my ticket, the large lady exchanged a few words in French to a man standing in front of me and they laughed uproariously in my direction.
What they didn’t realise is that I understood exactly what was said and my resultant glare at the large lady was met with a nervous grin. I say grin but it could have been wind.
It’s just that I take great exception to the suggestion that I have an appendage other than my nose extending from my head.
The clock ticked on in Spanish, meaning very quickly indeed, whilst the queue decreased in length also in Spanish, which is exceedingly slow.
There was the usual banter between our gallant but dwindling band and eventually my turn arrived, although by now it was almost 2pm.
But bless her, the lady dealing single handedly with the padrons and renewals, greeted me with a smile and attended to me quickly and efficiently.
It’s not all bad news when dealing with officialdom. Just make sure you take along a packed lunch and your funeral plan details.