Not getting into the very personal stuff on here. On the red tape though, what happens is that if you're freelance, the authorities set a minimal earnings threshold and want proof of medical insurance, income, savings, bills, the lot. Proof you're not some Moroccan who jumped the fence. Yes I know.. but that's how it works in Spain. In the old days, you just turned up, got a padron which is like local residence and that was it, in you go. There's also an assumption that it's a bit sus if you're not married, so good luck explaining that one at the border... "Well the bastard never actually proposed" to stony faces. The machine right there in their dangling lanyards who've heard it all a zillion times before. Then they will really try to nail you, so they'll ask to go through your emails. You're knackered after a delayed flight and go What? as some fat whopper of a border guard asks to go through your yahoo history to prove that you actually know that fcker in arrivals. Yes, this happens too. You're then interrogated about your level of Spanish, but because you're freaked out, you can't get the words out. More ammo. Deportation looms ever closer. You then start crying cos you're at their mercy and you hope the senior supervisor is in a good mood or that his football team didn't take a hiding earlier that day... Now she was one of the lucky ones that time and they let her back in for the 90 day rule, but you can't play the system or expect any favours and don't think you can wing it cos everything really has changed... maybe there will eventually be a deal but this is the real world, right now.