|Now a Resident of El Masnou!
||[ Tuesday, 01 Feb 05 | 18:27 ]
Saturday I purchased electrodomesticos or appliances for my home. I’ve mentioned before that in Europe the dish and clothes washers have built-in heaters and you can “dial in” the temperature depending on the type of dishes or clothes being washed. Now I’m going to have to start paying attention to all those symbols that appear on cleaning labels. :-)
Another interesting thing is my clothes dryer. My piso doesn’t have an outside vent so I had to get a dryer that has a condensor for the water that is extracted from the clothes. It will be interesting to see how dry the clothes come out of the washer after having been spun-up to 1200 rpm. I was told that it will take only a few minutes to dry. The dish washer, clothes washer, and dryer are all made in Germany by AEG.
And finally, I bought a refrigerator that is “no frost”. The store recommended a model by LG, which is made in Korea. No frost refrigerators are not that common here, despite the fact that it is humid in the summer. Nearly all the models have the freezer on the bottom, which Consumer Reports says is more efficient. That style is rare in the US and more expensive because of it.
Sunday I had a chance to look around the neighborhood a bit. Within 100 meters of my piso is the Renfe station for El Masnou, a mini market and a cafe/bar. The closeness of the train station is one of the primary reasons that I picked this particular place. It’s great to step off the train and within a few steps be at the front door of the building.
I was surprised to see that the mini market, tucked away on a side street, was open on Sunday. Nearly all stores in Spain are closed on Sunday. One of the staff at the hotel suggested that the market may be owned by Moslems who don’t have a problem with being open on Sunday.
I have eaten at the cafe/bar a few times and they have a nice menú (fixed-price meal) for 6,30 €. I haven’t had a beer there yet to know how their drink prices are.
When you go out to about 200 meters you encounter a very nice restaurant, a bakery, and trash collection/recycling. The real-estate agent first told me about the restaurant called Les Caves or The Caves. She said that the whole office goes there to eat a couple of times of year. I noticed that they were doing a brisk business on Sunday afternoon.
I was very happy to see that there was a bakery nearby where I could pick up a fresh croissant and an occasional baguette. I was even happier to see that they open at 7am during the week and 8am on the weekend, including Sunday. Today I noticed a sign saying that they offer café con leche and croissant for 1,65 €. Can someone remind how much Starbucks charges for a latte and croissant? :-)
The city has trash and recycle bins similar to Barcelona. You’re supposed to bag your trash and drop it in the trash bin in the early evening for pick up. They have separate containers for paper, glass, and plastic/aluminum. You pay a yearly fee to the city for this service. Fortunately mine has already been paid for this year by the real-estate company, which actually owned my piso.
Between my place and the Renfe station called Ocata about a kilometer away is a branch of my bank and the equivalent of “City Hall”.
Now a Resident of El Masnou!
This morning the real-estate office secretary accompanied me to the Casa de la Villa (City Hall) to pay taxes and register as a resident of El Masnou. It was a good thing she was there as the forms were in catalán and not in castellano. She had to look through the copia simple for a lot information. I would have no idea what the form was asking for. And the clerk checked each one of the entries for accuracy. [The legal term for property ownership in California is fee simple. Here in Spain it is similar and the copia I have is a temporary copy. When the paperwork is finalized in a couple of months, I will receive the real thing. This is like getting the deed from the county clerk in California.]
After getting the form stamped that I had paid the city taxes we went upstairs and I received another form that indicated that I was a resident of the city. The clerk signed it with a flourish and stamped it as well. I was told that when I renew my passport tomorrow to show them the document. I will also need to show it when I buy a car. I should probably take it to the bank and change my address there too.