Permit Number A38

All this admin will be the death of me. It’s by far the most difficult task of the entire Year Abroad and I’ve hardly even started. Throw into the mix that I’ll be out of the country in five days’ time and it just gets even more needlessly complicated. Erasmus, ICPC and Placement Agreement forms… They’re all well and good, but it’s the little complications they entail that screw over the whole business. Scanned copies of hand-signed signatures, for one. Only one file allowed per application, for another. Try a passport-sized photograph that must be signed by a relevant public official from a list of possible professions, excluding teachers, lecturers or just about any other convenient notary. My parents are both music teachers. Whilst our family scope is (in this case alone) fortunately minimal, the rest of the social circle I’ve grown up in is filled almost entirely with musicians, artists and other ‘vagrants’ of that nature; those not deemed in a ‘reliable’ position for affirming my identity. That, and they must have known you for at least two years in order to confirm you are who you say you are.

Then you need a chequebook to pay for the whole shebang which, unfortunately, I have not had in my possession for almost five years now. Another unnecessary complication. Admin just makes me go to pieces. As I said, it’s not the idea of it, but the little tasks that make the whole thing nearly impossible. And because there’s that shred of possibility, it makes it all the more exhausting. Oh, and did I mention a deadline? I didn’t need to. It was obvious. Never mind the fact that my application gave details and addresses of two previous teaching positions, the government still needs proof that I’m safe around children. Which is fair enough, I suppose, but it doesn’t half drive me up the wall in frustration. Oh, I’m going to look back on all of this in a few years’ time and laugh, I guess, but right now I’m screaming.

There’s worse: this is only the beginning. At the end of the day, all this is British administration. Spanish administration is notoriously impossible to navigate. It’s almost as bad as the French passion for paperwork, and of course, it’ll all be in Spanish. And I’ve all of this to look forward to! Asterix and Obelix, I feel your pain… BB x

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