Código Postal! Our first week in review.

28 Apr

We’ve been in Barcelona for a week now — its been an amazing week too. We’d set out a plan to get a pile of things done in the first week — some worked out as planned and others are spilling over into the next week. All things involving US banks are moving painfully slow. Much to our surprise, things in Barcelona move at a decent pace — we’d seen this video and watched it repeatedly preparing ourselves for our battles here, but so far we’ve been able to avoid too much trouble. But, the real bureaucracy starts tomorrow. :)

In any case, this week we:

  1. Opened a bank account and ordered a wire transfer to fund the account from the US.
  2. Ordered Fiber Optic internet service and had it installed in 5 days time.
  3. Got local SIM cards, which means we have local phone numbers. Pre-paid for now, so our numbers will change again soon. Once we have final numbers, we’ll share.
  4. Found great local coffee beans and had lots of good coffee at home.
  5. Sampled Espresso at lots of little cafes on our walks.
  6. Took a trip to Ikea, only to run out of time and leave defeated. Ikea with Swedish, Catalan and some Castillian was a real challenge
  7. Went back to Ikea and returned triumphantly with mostly the correct stuff. We’ll only have to go exchange the guest bed mattress, which will be fun via public transport.
  8. Managed to restrain ourselves and eat a meal at home. This is harder than it sounds, since we’re surrounded by good resturants and have very few kitchen tools and dishes.
  9. Became registered residents of Barcelona!
  10. Started organizing and cleaning our apartment (it wasn’t exactly clean when we got it)
  11. Took two baths in our amazing tub.
  12. Assembled a shit ton of furniture.
  13. Had painters come and finish a paint-job.
  14. Drank lots of wine, ate amazing food.
  15. Checked out many many shops near us.
  16. Walked a block to our trash cans. Walked two blocks to recycling.
  17. Went grocery shopping at the amazing Santa Catarina market.
  18. Went on countless walks to explore the city.
  19. Started doing work again — I managed to work almost 3 days this week!
  20. Did laundry and learned how to line-dry.
  21. Skyped with family.
  22. Slept quite a bit. After we got a nice mattress, we’ve been catching up on sleep.
  23. Countless trips to department stores and hardware stores, setting up our apartment.

There is undoubtedly stuff I left out, but as you can see it was a busy week. Oh, our favorite word of the week: Código Postal — which means postal code! :)

2 Responses to “Código Postal! Our first week in review.”

  1. Alexander Dupuy 2013/05/27 at 20:14 #

    Congrats on your first weeks in BCN! Hopefully you’ll be able to get through the Catch-22s pretty quickly. One tip you might find useful if you need to be wiring substantial funds from USD to EUR (or vice versa) on a regular basis: check out CurrencyFair.com – very capable and helpful customer service and probably best exchange+transfer rates you can get for transfers in the $1000-$10,000 range. They do need some ID scanned and so forth, but your US passport and docs should suffice (they are super helpful and no doubt will fully understand your situation, as many of their customers are expats). Our family B&B has used them for payments from European & Australian customers for a while now and they are totally legit and above board, nothing fly-by-night at all, and will save you $100s in exchange fees & rates.

    BTW, would love to get tips on shipping container service you used, could be helpful for our move NYC->Berlin in two months.

    • Aleta 2013/07/18 at 09:03 #

      I’m finally in the process of opening a bank account here and am giving CurrencyFair.com a try. Just sent in my docs for verification. We’ll see how it goes!

      How is your move going?