I obviously underestimated bureaucrazy. Why ? I really did think that it was all over, no more government paperwork and then a letter arrived 10 days ago from one of my UK state pensions. A pension which knew everything about me, because I informed them of all my details as soon as I arrived in Austria a year ago. All the letter asked for was for me to confirm my name, address, phone number and sign it. Simple. No problem. Pages of explanations leading into getting a witness for everything I said on the form. I had to fill the form in or I may lose my pension.
Of course there are conditions. The witness must be impeccable, have known me for 12 years and had a stamp. The Austrian Post Mistress was out of the question as I have only been here a year. Donald Trump failed on all accounts. Sonic, my cat, volunteered to be the witness, but he is family and doesn’t count.
The only way I could find around it was to go to a local Notary to act as my witness. A week later Natascha and I visited the Notary who said yes, but doing it in his own Austrian way, not using Sonic’s form, but creating one of his own for legal reasons. It didn’t take long and we walked out with a folder with signatures plus stamps all over it and €50 poorer. Natascha then informed me that it was not all over. We had to go to an important Austrian government office and have an apostille applied to the document. More stamps ! I didn’t believe it, but it was true ! On entering the building we had to go through “airport” security and the lady in the office stuck stamps on everything (it took ages to get one off of my forehead). So we left with a folder weighed down with more stamps and €14 the poorer. Over last weekend we scanned everything (we always do that), wrote a covering letter and Monday morning Natascha mailed the document off to the UK and came home €4 poorer.
Will the UK government office accept my filled in form ? Will I still have a pension ?
What a week ! I don’t believe it !
Images of flooding last week in the Spanish village where my apartment is.
Woman rescued by helicopter from the riverside mill opposite the Tabac in Estacion Cortes de la Frontera, Andalucia.
Thank you Toñi for sending us these pics.
Ralph xox ❤
Natascha shot the Murli pics.