Toledo At First Glance

Today I took the bus from Madrid to Toledo to obtain a social security number in order to work and to start the flat hunt. I am lucky enough to be staying in Madrid with a family who now live mainly in Lincoln, until I find my new home. They have been so helpful, they helped me get my Spanish mobile number and their local knowledge in general is invaluable! This being my first full day in Spain and with only 6 days before I begin work in the Hilton Buenavista Toledo, I set off, naively believing that everything would go quite smoothly and very excited to get my first glance of my new city.

Toledo is as it appears on Google- which is that it is absolutely stunning. I am so happy that I have ended up here, of all the Spanish places I could have gone! Take a look for yourself on street view, which is what I did, and then found myself looking at the exact view in real life that I had seen virtually. Think castles, cobbles, a river, quaint streets contrasted with grand museums. I walked to my destination (the social security office) upon the exposed hill where not a single cloud was in the sky.

Of course, everything didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. I knew in the back of my mind that there may be a few niggles with getting permission to work in a different country, especially as the hotel’s human relations manager had given me his number and said to call if there were problems. The inevitable problem was that I needed Spain’s equivalent of the national insurance number to get my social security number, the NIE. It seemed that this had never been necessary before and it took three separate employees and a lot of ‘discussion’ (not argumentation) on the phone to confirm that the NIE was definitely what I needed. I was sat in the middle of all this, just wanting someone to confirm what the rules actually were, so that I could do what was necessary. I think they mistook me for also being irate and aimed a lot of heated explanation of the rules towards me.The office to obtain this NIE was a bus ride away, and conveniently all governmental workplaces close at 2pm. It was half past one and definitely not worth the hassle. I am getting up early tomorrow in the hope that I can get the permission I need to start work on Monday!

Before I got the bus back to Madrid, I wanted to begin the flat hunt, however I soon realised that my phone battery was diminishing quickly. After bashing out some Google searches on the free wifi at Burger King (with bottomless Fanta!), it was not long before the power was gone and alas I could not phone anyone to find a room (plus there were loads of noisy kids in BK). I went to the public library and got a free hour on their computers to check out more websites advertising rooms to let. It had a very old version of Internet Explorer so I immediately downloaded Google Chrome, don’t know what I would do without multiple tabs! Soon after this I was back on the bus and fell asleep after much sun exposure and lost wandering on cobbled streets. I will try again tomorrow and I can’t wait to call Toledo my home for 6 months!

The view I got to see in real life

The view I got to see in real life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>