So, it is a Friday night and I have decided I am staying in this evening with my computer, some books and my heater and blankets for company. As you may have already deduced, it is very cold here at the moment. By my standards at least. And with similar conditions predicted for the rest of the weekend, there will be no new stories of gallivanting about the region this weekend I fear.
This morning I was most cruelly dragged out of bed at the hour of 7.45 AM in order to be at a 9 AM appointment. I was not pleased to be forced out of bed so early on a Friday, a day off, and even less pleased to get outside to find it was about 4 degrees Celsius. And I still had wet hair. But this is the price one pays for moving to the Northern Hemisphere in mid-winter and I survived. I suppose it must be considered a bonus that the sun was shining, even though it didn’t bring a shred of warmth but rather a very crisp feel to the air. Still, nice to see the sun considering how often it is cloudy and rainy here.
This offending appointment this morning was with the Oficina de Extranjería (essentially an Immigration Office) to be registered as a foreign resident in Spain and assigned my Número de Identificación de Extranjero (Foreigner Identification Number). This NIE is apparently essential for all things in Spain such as being paid and purchasing a SIM card for my phone. Welcome to Spain, please hand over your identity in exchange for a number!
Fortunately, the meeting was brief. However the process towards finalising my residency status is only half completed. I now have my NIE but I have to go back in one month to apply for a card that will show my status as a foreign student in the country, entitled to stay for one year. And then, all of the paperwork should be finished and I will be nearly halfway through my stay.
I decided to make the most of my early start by using the rest of my morning to walk around a bit of Oviedo I had not previously explored. I should say to walk very very fast around Oviedo, as it remained about 7 degrees and as clear-skied and bitingly fresh as the morning all day. Fortunately (?), Oviedo is very hilly so I warmed up quite quickly, but not enough to remove my gloves or scarf or to wish I had not worn so many layers of thermals!
At this stage my plans for the weekend are exceedingly dull – hating, as I do, the cold weather – but I will take the opportunity to add a few new stories for you and to upload some photos, as I know that’s what you really all care about!!