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Monday, June 14, 2021

Travelling with pets these days isn’t an easy task

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Flying Dutchman
For detailed biographical information, please check the very first article of this blog. Thanks!

Theoretically I have only three months left in Valencia, as from April 11th, 2021 I’m allowed to take my two cats back to Taiwan, where they were born eleven and five years ago. Well, I still need to apply for an import permit, a task at which I failed twice this week.

First it was probably only a technical problem, as I most likely blocked the system myself by copying and pasting some information that I should have keyed in directly.

Then the process was stalled by what I thought was the requirement of providing proof that I already booked a flight, which I haven’t as the Arab airline Emirates currently refuses to accept cats on routes that take longer than 17 hours.

Lately, Turkish Airlines seems to have lost its mind completely and only allows reservations through its website, ignoring third parts completely. I’m not surprised, as months ago they had started making completely weird demands, not only regarding travelling with animals.

The most absurd was definitely the suggestion from their well-known Taipei representative office last July to buy a ticket from Spain to Taiwan at their premises.

I remember that when I decided in late 2017 to use them, mostly because the price during Chinese New Year 2018 was very reasonable, they insisted that the pet carrier for my female cat was one centimeter too high. Finally, when I showed up for the fourth time, they gave in and the size was never mentioned again.

So from Valencia, there’s only KLM left for a trip to Taipei that wouldn’t stress out my two furry friends even more as it implies just one stopover in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, since Thursday I have been waiting for the Dutch company to answer my Madrid travel agent’s request.

In consequence, I haven’t tried again to get the needed permission from the pertinent Taiwanese authorities. They are strict, though also helpful and forthcoming. Usually, when I write a message in the evening, Spanish peninsular time, I have the answer in my mail the next morning. I’m very grateful for that.

I just don’t want to imagine how much worse this painful situation could be if I had to deal with the dreadful Spanish bureaucracy. Two days ago I received a notification from a debt collecting agency, as my lovely old gas provider Naturgy threatened me again with legal action for not paying around twelve euros, of which actually only six would be my part.

The funny thing is that in October/November 2019 I tried five times to solve the problem in person, which originated when they charged me for services they never provided, as I had already cancelled my contract and the meter wasn’t functioning anymore.

God willing I will be out of Spain in mid-April, as I can’t take much more of this crap. I will miss the beautiful sunrise from my balcony and the panoramic harbor view as well as some good friends, but that’s about it!

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