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Is it only Sun, Sea & Sand?

Is it only Sun, Sea & Sand?

Old Oct 16th 2005, 12:03 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Is it only Sun, Sea & Sand?

All the property programmes dwell on the sunshine and weather advantages in buying abroad and whilst that is certainly true it is not to be followed blindly. Also highlighted is the better property values and how much extra you can buy for your pound.
Well forget all that its not the priority at all.
The first priority must be the English community in the area you've chosen to settle in, because despite dreams of speaking the local lingo, you will not be able to count your neighbours as buddies to socialize with.
We lived for a year in a lovely, friendly Spanish community and although making the effort to learn the language, failed miserably. You find that the only true coleagues are other expats that have done the same as you. There's no doubt that you can "Get by", but sign language and pigeon Spanish loses its comedy after a while and imagine yourself amongst a chatty bus full of locals and you don't know what they are taking about. I wanted to take my neighbour out for a drink but how long would that last, 10 minutes?
We admired the Spanish for their dress standards and better quality of living than we have in the UK, but after a year we began to feel isolated.
So......check out the expat community before you buy.
We "scoffed" at Torreleminos as the "concrete jungle" but actually it may have been the better option to stay in.
A Spanish couple from Malaga we heard were moving out because of all the expats!
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Old Oct 16th 2005, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Is it only Sun, Sea & Sand?

I found this a while ago

A SHORT STORY FROM THE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE

One day a young man was travelling along a road between two villages, half way along the road he met an old Wiseman coming in the opposite direction, he asked the Wiseman what the next village is like, the Wiseman replied ‘what was the last one like’?
The young man told him it was awful, all the people are rude and ignorant and they are very unsociable.
‘Well’ said the Wiseman ‘the next one will be the same’!
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Old Oct 29th 2005, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Is it only Sun, Sea & Sand?

We live in a small town in Spain where there are perhaps only 200 Brits plus a sprinkling of other non Spanish Europeans.
The last thing that we wanted when moving here was to live in a mini England enclave. We wanted to be able to integrate with the local native population and that it what we have done. Learning to speak Spanish is not difficult although it does require some effort.
The important thing for anyone planning to move out here and to live here permanently is to do plenty of research first, to spend plenty of time visiting the country and learning about its customs and people.
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 7:31 am
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Default Re: Is it only Sun, Sea & Sand?

Like the prvious post, we have a very small expat community and have been forced to learn the language, even our "pigeon" Spanish is now good enough to speak to everyone we need to and also listen in, onto conversation. Also we have been fortunate enough in our neighbours to be invited to their Fiesta'a on the birth of children etc.
Being here in the UK house sitting for four weeks has made me realise just how sociable they are and not one day or evening goes by without one of them in for a chat about something. Unlike sitting here not seeing a soul from day to day.

I cannot say it has not been hard, but being forced into using the language has seen our skills go up in leaps and bounds. I did think initially that maybe we should have gone somewhere with more expats but now I am quite happy with our Spanish neighbours. As the say "Horses for courses"
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Old Oct 30th 2005, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Is it only Sun, Sea & Sand?

Originally Posted by sunnydays
The first priority must be the English community in the area you've chosen to settle in, because despite dreams of speaking the local lingo, you will not be able to count your neighbours as buddies to socialize with.
What English community? We live on the edge of Madrid. Even when our children were in one of the British schools, there were few all-English families and > 60% of the families in our children's classes were wholly non-British. Maybe it's because the ex-pats here are scattered over a wide area and are mainly here to work (or came for a partner, and still need to work) that they don't stick together in enclaves.

Sure we have English friends we see occasionally, we have Spanish/English couple friends, we have English-speaking Spanish friends and we have Spanish friends who can speak no more than a few words. We socialise with our Spanish neighbours, the retired couple from whom we bought our house and other Spanish friends, though it is a struggle for me to follow conversation (and no doubt painful for them when I do join in! ). I've not seen the ex pat community causing problems nor coming in for bad press.

But then we're 500 km from the sea and sand and it's been raining for 2 weeks prior to the temperature dropping for winter.
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