Renewal of Auxiliares Grant for 2012-2013

The renewal process for the Auxiliares de Conversación in Spain 2012-2013 is now open, and I have a dilemma.

No doubt I want to stay! I would LOVE it if I could go to a different (major) city like Valencia, Barcelona or Sevilla. I like Madrid, as well, but I have been to Madrid way too many times and I want to experience something new, preferably by the coasts.

I’ve been enjoying my life here and my job as a language-assistant-turned teacher here in Ciudad Real. Even though I expected my role to be different (I thought I’d be assisting, not fully teaching), it turned out to be a great experience for me and it has helped me look at Education from a different perspective, among many other things.

I’ve met all of those children—whom I can already tell you I will miss when this ends—and the rest of the staff. Everybody has been so incredibly nice…I really don’t want to leave this.

However, Spain’s bureaucracy is making my head spin. Everything is so difficult in their eyes. Nothing gets done in a timely manner. Example #120: the other day I had to pay a bill and so I walked over the office, since it is within walking distance. Before that, I had tried paying it online because, that’s how I handle my EVERYTHING back home in the US. I do everything electronically and have never had a problem with that. Well, my card was not accepted online, they don’t take payments over the phone, and that’s why I decided to personally go to the office.

Once there, the agent tells me that her system doesn’t accept Mastercard. I then handed her my Visa card from my US bank. She said international cards don’t work either. My last resource was to go to Correos (post office) and make the payment in cash there. Correos is right on the way home, so I thought it was no big deal.

It was 2 o’clock now, Siesta time, we all know what happens: town shuts down. So I went home, had lunch and got a few things done while Spain slept. Around 5:30pm I headed back out again. I walked to Correos and there must have been over 50 customers at the payments section…all to be assisted by just one employee. You can imagine how long I waited just to make a payment.

These are the little things that frustrate me about this country. I don’t care if I have no dishwasher here, or a dryer, or that the refrigerator and  the microwave suck. That’s not a big deal, I can work it. I grew up washing dishes manually anyway (for instance). But the way administrations work? I just don’t know how they do it, honestly. Good for them, I guess, if they’re happy that way, but I just can’t.

I also have more personal reasons for potentially not staying, such as missing my family, especially my nieces and nephews, my mom’s food and a lot of the Latino / American customs that are non-existent over here. If given the opportunity, I could work on the personal part; visit my family in the summer, come back here and stay. But, the bureaucracy will still stay the same and that’s what’s driving me a little bit over the edge.

Sometimes I think that maybe being in smaller city — like I am now — doesn’t help much. The other Auxiliares in Madrid don’t seem to have as many complaints (keyword: as many. They still complain) because things are a little bit easier there since it is such a big diverse city and they’re used to seeing things smaller towns don’t. So, I don’t know! I would love to try Valencia or Sevilla and compare my experience here now and then. But, again, what if I face the same issues again? It is quite a dilemma I have here, I tell ya…

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