Monday, January 10, 2011

Gay People Live There and Other Inanities... Plus More Progress & Possibilities

You may remember that our original plan (decided about a year ago and shared with you in November) had been to move to Spain after Jerry retired in four or five years... two years... one year... six months.  Well, we're sticking to our original (sixth or seventh) plan.   We still expect to move in the spring (we're hoping to have our visas in May).  However, Jerry has decided to call it quits another month sooner.

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA — BACK ON THE MAP

We head to Spain this week for our three-week "have some fun while we find an apartment" trip.  When we get back in early February, Jerry will have only 15 days of work remaining.  Not bad.

CÁDIZ — SOUNDS KIND OF LIKE KÁH-DEETH — AND KIND OF DIFFICULT TO RETHITHT.

Jerez de la Frontera is back in the running as a possible place to live.  We've made some nice connections there as well as in Sevilla and, being smaller than Sevilla and closer to the ocean, it offers some different options.  And the city gets points for flying the rainbow flag from City Hall every year for Gay Pride.

The plan is to train the 60 minutes down to Jerez in the first few days to check things out before we start focusing on specific neighborhoods in Sevilla.  Cadiz is only about 10 minutes south of Jerez, so maybe another side (south) trip.  And, on the way, we pass right through El Puerto de Santa Maria.  Who knows what we'll discover.

WHO'S DECISION IS THIS?
CHARMING.  COLD.  NOT WHERE WE CHOOSE TO LIVE.
So, watch for that change-of-address announcement in the spring.  You never know (nor do we) where we might end up.  I can assure you, however, that despite some backroom plotting by a few members of my extended family, we will not move instead to a mountain town in Upstate New York.  I don't care if it's near where my extended family have their vacation homes.  And I don't care that "there are a lot of gay people there."  And I've decided to not defend or justify our choices.  HowEVER (yes another however), Spain is not a "conservative Catholic backwater"; we've done our homework.  And, when we choose where to live, it is not for us simply a matter of "there are a lot of gay people there."  Unlike the USA, Spain legalized gay marriage years ago. We, as a couple, are legally recognized and protected in Spain.  We are not legally recognized and protected in the USA.

So, OK, I obviously do feel the need to defend our choices; old family habits die hard.  We have done our homework.  The country of Spain is not perfect (nowhere is), but it is a wonderful country and has done a good job of separating church from state... better I might add than the USA (another imperfect and wonderful place).  By living in Spain, we will be able to travel cheaply and easily around Europe — something we definitely want to do.  Upstate New York is not "us" and it's cold in winter.  Spain, for us, is an adventure.  Upstate New York is not.  So, thanks, extended family, for your concern.  But we will continue to make our own choices and we will continue to own responsibility for their outcome.  And I promise myself, and you kind readers, to not in the future try and justify or defend our decisions.

SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET... WITH HEALTHY BONES
We head to the Irvine Police Department tomorrow to get fingerprint cards that we'll then send to the FBI.  Once the FBI returns reports of no criminal records for either of us (Jerry?  Is there anything you need to tell me about?), we will send the reports to the State Department for the apostille.  That will cover the visa requirement for a "certification of absence of police records."

CHOLERA IN LOVELY VIOLET HUES
We've made our appointments to see our doctor in February.  We need letters stating that we don't "... suffer from any illness that would pose a threat to public health according to the International Health Regulations of 2005," (i.e., we don't have cholera, plague, or yellow fever.) We'll send those right away to the State Department for the apostille and will have more items to check off our list.

THE TRIP
The next time I post it will be from Spain.  Hasta luego!

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