Bueno, back to the gestiones. On this occasion, these involved queueing for 15 minutes to send a registered letter at Correos, nipping into the Town Hall to sign an application for a home improvement subsidy, popping into my bank to ask for yet another debit card replacement on account of the magnetic band’s every-decreasing half life, dropping in at the insurance company where I have a plan de jubilación (pension scheme) to see how many millions (ha,ha) I’m due in the unlikely event that both of us are still around in 20 years’ time – and, a trip all the way into Málaga to hand in my three-monthly tax returns to the person who does gestiones for a living: the gestor, the sorter outer of all the bits of running around I haven’t got the time, energy or grey matter to do myself.
A gestión, in case you didn’t know / hadn’t guessed is a sorting out, an administrative or bureaucratic errand, a bit of business. To quote from our book In the Garlic, “Hacer gestiones can range from solving a minor problem with a bank to major negotiations like pulling troops out of Iraq.”
The gestor, on the other hand, is mostly concerned with running around or sending his/her minions to run around on your behalf to obtain official documents, permits, licenses and authorisations. He/She costs good money, but may save you from stress-induced heart attacks in the long run.
Though not necessarily – should your gestor’s office be located in the busiest part of town, where the nearest extortion racket, sorry, municipal car park, is always full, and the adjacent side streets are a mess of one-way, wing mirror-clipping madness.
Luckily, on this particular day, someone actually pulled out of a prime parking space less than 200 metres from the Gestoría. The sun was shining, the pavements were buzzing, and when I handed over my paperwork, it seemed that absolutely all my papeles were in present and correct – that for once, La Ley de ‘falta uno’, The Law of ‘One Missing’ did not apply.
A reward was in order. A nice sunny table on a sidewalk cafe, a copy of that day’s El País newspaper, and a leisurely breakfast – consisting of a sombra doble (large, not-too-strong coffee) and a pitufo (large toasted roll) smothered in fresh tomato pulp and garlic-steeped olive oil. Oh, and a small glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice thrown in for good measure. And all for €2.10.
Well worth a morning’s gestiones.