A Tale of Spanish Bureaucracy

Rafael A. Sarmiento
10 min readSep 16, 2021
“Red tape” is named such because the color is reminiscent of the fires of hell.

The Spanish bureaucracy in Spain is the worst thing to come out of the country, and this is the country that gave us the 9/11 liar, the Paralympics fakers, a long-lived fascist reign, and most offensively, the dreaded Macarena. So yeah, you have to imagine how horrendous Spain’s bureaucracy is if it’s worse than the dance that makes flossing look like ballet. And yes, my government-hating “America is going straight to hell” touting ass wanted to bang a bald eagle and drown my tears in bourbon upon discovery that the bureaucracy in Spain was somehow worse than I anticipated.

Ever hated your printer? Me too. But you know, you can only blame a machine so much. It’s not capable of wiggle room, empathy, or thought. You would expect different from a human being. And especially from a country as old, educated, and respectable as Spain, right?

Haha, get fucked.

I needed to get a document concerning my visa in Spain, since I moved to Santiago de Compostela (Galicia) for my Master’s degree. In order to do so, I gathered all of my paperwork and materials, had them stamped and ready to go, thinking I was being preemptive of the notorious Spanish bureaucracy. There was no way they would find any issue for my responsible and work-savvy American ways, right? I even had a great lawyer look over all of my documentation and he gave me the walkthrough for what I would have to do. So, I walked over to the office of foreigners and plop down on a chair to wait. I had an appointment, and I came half an hour early in case they decided to play any games or call me early and then say I failed to show up. Like I said, I was ahead of the curb. I noticed a sign on the wall that said “no interpreters are present, you will have to provide your own.” Joke’s on them, I’m fluent in Spanish. Once again, way ahead of them. After some time, they call me in.

I’ve come to despise this stupid seal.

The woman in charge of the office sits me down and looks over my documents. I had everything up to snuff. Photos and backup photos the exact dimensions they wanted, with a neutral face from multiple angles. My passport, with my driver’s license from the United States, just in case. They took my fingerprints, and…

Rafael A. Sarmiento

I hold a BA in film and in history from UNM and MA in iMAES from USC. I’m not a pessimist, I’m correct. Follow me for troglodyte slaying 101.