Why does everything always come down to the wire? Why? But it’s Murphy s Law, isn’t it? I should have been ready for it.
I had today mapped out. I am baking today. That’s pretty much all I needed to do. I had driven into Santiago yesterday and applied for the final CASH supplier (food wholesalers). These are all over the place. I starred with the one in Melide. It took three trips to become a member allowed to shop there. Every time they wanted more and more documents. And horn of a unicirn. I’ve submitted less paperwork to attend University.
Then I went to the one in Lugo. Apparently they needed a set of different documents- and leprechaun tears. My gestor just shook his head every time I came to his office. ‘I need Modelo blah blah blah, now.’
Finally, he made me four full copies of my entire business file. ‘Just in case you want to shop at another place.’ Ruben has a dry sense of humor.
I had to go to the Mercadona in Santiago, anyway. So I could relieve them of their entire stock of frozen berries. Smoothies. 🙄 So I decided to go to the new Cash Galicia up the street. I had my four copies in my plastic folder. I was ready.
The entrance was festooned with yellow Camino arrows so I took it as a good sign. I waited in line for the checker to apply for permission before I shopped. I had a pen at the ready. I’m no newbie to this wholesale food supply business. But I would be thoroughly disappointed.
The guy nodded. asked me my business name, my NIF #, and my address. Then, just my first name. That was it. He didn’t ask for leprechaun tears (I had those too). Nor the molting of the rare, almost mythical, Asturian yak. It was a completely verbal transaction. My mouth hung agape. I wanted to yell at him. ‘Do you know where we are right now!!! This is Spain, for godsake! At least do me the courtesy of miming me some bureaucracy. I went to some effort here. Frown at my documents. Act like I’m not worthy. Make me sweat a little. Take my papers to your supervisor and act exasperated. Come on, man. Make an effort!’ But no. Afterwards, I wandered away, a little lost. I don’t know if I can shop in a place that doesn’t put their back into some good pointless bureaucracy.
And Then I Woke Up Today
We are stocked with food to get us through the weekend. Unless this enterprise is crazy busy. I took a conservative approach. I can always bake more tomorrow afternoon.
Then I checked the credit card reader. I should charge it so it’s ready tomorrow. But, it turns out, they gave me the wrong cord to charge it and we don’t have the right cord here. Never mind. I had to go to the bank anyway. I need cash to fill the cash drawer.
On the way to the car, we had some Pilgrims from California waiting. They had heard us on a podcast and stopped to say ‘Hi.’ So nice of them. Then three young Spanish kids walked in. Tired and hungry. I explained that we are not open, but I felt bad so I gave them a loaf of zucchini bread and some bananas. Hugged the Americans. They all wanted photos. Then Jeff and I hopped in the car towards town.
Yesterday was a holiday in Galicia. San Pedro. Saint Peter. So the bank today had a line of 100 people. I kid you not. And ONE teller. The rest are on vacation. Here, there is no merchant window for businesses. You just go and take a number. You have a big sack of cash to deposit? So, what! You will stand there with every one else.
After I sent Jeff to a cafe to get a Coke and warned him he might have to apply for retirement by the time I got out of the bank, I sat down and waited. And waited. Finally, my turn came. And you know what I learned? You have to order your cash the day before! But the day before was a bank holiday. I needed to go on Tuesday.
I begged, I pleaded. I threw myself on the mercy of the court. Actually, I explained that I’m a dumb American with a new business, have no idea how this all works, and tomorrow I am opening. She nodded. She’s seen this movie before. She went to the bank manager, who couldn’t be bothered to emerge from his office to help her with the 100 customers in line. He knows us. He gave us umbrellas when we git our business loan. He looked out of his office and nodded. Then he approved my extraordinary receipt of non-preordered cash from my account.
Louis Vuitton was not happy carrying such a heavy load. Then I told her I needed a charger for my bank card machine. But she shook her head. It must be ordered. They will telephone in 10 days when it comes in. I could feel the pulse throbbing in the vein in my forehead. I looked back. The angry bank mob would eat me for second breakfast if I dallied further. The teller was at the end with me.
I slung my bag over my shoulder. Then found Jeff at the cafe. He looked older since the last time I had seen him. We drove home. I texted Diego, our contractor. I need water and power. He texted back with a frowny face. No no no. No frowny faces today!. ‘I come to you so we can talk.’ I didn’t take it ask a good sign.
We pulled up and we had another American Pilgrim, Maggie, waiting to say ‘Hi.’ Just then, Diego pulled in with his guys. So I left Maggie to deal with our power and water frowny face. It turns out that the frowny face isn’t so much about the power and water. And more about the bureaucracy of our solar panels and the patromonio. And Diego wanted to supply me with paperwork from the regulations for the Xunta de Galicia, so that when the police come – and they will come – we can show them the regulations that say we don’t need anyone to certify us because we are a mobile business. Not such a frowny face. I signed a bunch of things and now the plumber and electrician are here working. Whew!
Our liability insurance was finally issued today. The certificate arrives within the hour.
The coffee machine didn’t show. But the guy is coming at 4pm to give me a loaner until next Tuesday, when it arrives from Italy. Apparently, the delay was the world coffee making championships in Italy last week. Of course it was. He is throwing in some cups and saucers as a ‘lo siento.’ Which is fine.
I started baking and making some waffles. Jeff is eating my mistakes.
It was then that I realized I still had the number of the bankcard machine guy in my WhatApp history from when he dropped it off. So I pinged him with a photo and a ‘por favor…’ He just knocked on the kitchen window scaring me to death as I am baking things for tomorrow. Now I have the charger and, voila! My bankcard machine is working.
We still have our list of things to do before I fall into bed at midnight, exhausted after a day of a million little heart attacks. But tomorrow, it will all be worth it.