Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No taxes without drains

As a follow up to the last post (not the haunting melody but my last entry on this blog) I wrote out my appeal against the new drainage charge using the official form downloaded from the SUMA website.

On Tuesdays I meet with a Spanish bloke called Carlos to do a language exchange. I fail to speak Spanish and he talks some English. I asked him to check the grammar and what not of my appeal. "No problems," he said, "all the right boxes filled in and the explanation is simple but clear and accurate." The last item asked me to list any supporting documentation I was sending and as I had none that's what I'd written.

"You should send a copy of your DNI," said Carlos.

The DNI is the Identity Card that all Spaniards carry. I have an equivalent but it would never have struck me to send a copy. Thinking about it though I knew that Carlos was right. Everyone, but everyone wants to check your identity here and it has become so routine for Spaniards to show their ID that it never crosses their mind that it's an intrusive and overly bureaucratic measure.

Lots of faff to post the letter too. "Better not to fold the documents, get a big envelope," was what Carlos had advised. So I bought an envelope. I'd filled in the Certificated letter form at the Post Office and handed it across the counter with the unsealed envelope. "Just one small detail and you'll be there," said the friendly chappie at the Post Office, "You need to complete a Registered mail certificate as well as a sort of receipt."

It's away now. Just a simple form and an item to post but it feels like a small scale triumph whether SUMA finally accept the appeal or not.

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