We’ve all heard the saying ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’. Well, in this case it should be ‘Which came first, the permanent address or the bank account?’. Today I got the news. Pretty much everything in Spain is done using something called a ‘Bank Transfer’. Huh? What’s that, you ask? Well, sit down boys and girls and let me tell you a tale of how to chase your tail.
Once upon a time, there was a girl trying to get medical insurance in Spain so she could get a residence visa. To get Spanish Medical Insurance, a person needs to have a Spanish banque account, from which payment can be debited monthly. To get a Spanish banque account, a person must have a permanent address. And finally, to get a permanent address, like even a mail box, one must have a banque account, from which they can initiate a ‘Bank transfer’ to pay for either the mail box rental, or a monthly lease on an apartment, or their medical insurance premium.
Following so far? It’s kind of like when you break into the movies. You need to be in a movie before you can get your Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card. But you can’t act in a movie without a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card.
Google translate and I are becoming fast friends. As am I with a girl who works at a Mail box store in Spain. I’m not above begging and pleading. This seems perfectly acceptable, under the current circumstances. The fate of my Spanish Banque account now resides with a girl I have never met, and her willingness to help me find a work around.
When I complained a little to the very helpful insurance fellow I chatted with this morning he summed it up. ‘It’s Spain. You just gotta take a deep breath and roll with it.’