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What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Old Feb 8th 2020, 7:08 pm
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Default What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Husband is US Citizen, I'm dual UK/US (OK and Canadian). There is a possibility he could be transferred to Madrid for his job. This would likely be a short term assignment (1 year) and not a permanent move and is not imminent. Considering we have lived in three countries, I can't even think about what we should be thinking about, hence thread title.

Also, anything we should take into account would be appreciated.
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Old Feb 8th 2020, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?


That I would be so happy <LOL>

Last edited by Rosemary; Feb 8th 2020 at 10:50 pm. Reason: corrected quote
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Old Feb 8th 2020, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Originally Posted by gad33 View Post
Husband is US Citizen, I'm dual UK/US (OK and Canadian). There is a possibility he could be transferred to Madrid for his job. This would likely be a short term assignment (1 year) and not a permanent move and is not imminent. Considering we have lived in three countries, I can't even think about what we should be thinking about, hence thread title.

Also, anything we should take into account would be appreciated.
Location?
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 8:24 am
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

How cold the houses are in winter without central heating even if it's warm and sunny outside
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 8:32 am
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

I hope the company will pick up the tab for accommodation. Rental prices have gone through the roof in Madrid. Yes very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer but a beautiful city with lots to see and do. You will need some Spanish to get the best out of it.
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Originally Posted by missile View Post
That I would be so happy <LOL>
That's a good thing.

Originally Posted by Opinion View Post
Location?
Currently California

Originally Posted by el collado kid View Post
How cold the houses are in winter without central heating even if it's warm and sunny outside
Thanks, that's the sort of thing that I wouldn't even think about.

Originally Posted by spainrico View Post
I hope the company will pick up the tab for accommodation. Rental prices have gone through the roof in Madrid. Yes very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer but a beautiful city with lots to see and do. You will need some Spanish to get the best out of it.
I hope so too. (Accommodation.) It is one of the questions we will have for HR if we decide to pursue this. Cold in the winter? How cold usually?
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Originally Posted by gad33 View Post
Cold in the winter? How cold usually?
You can see the temperature gradient on the internet - but the measured temperature and "how it feels" depends much on the climate and how well built your house is. I recall the climate in Madrid being described as "nine months of Purgatory and three months of Hell"..... so the latter seems to be very important! In looking to back up that statement I found a link to an old (1901) book - https://chestofbooks.com/travel/spai...in-Part-3.html which says "The climate of Madrid is far from healthful. It has been called "nine months hibernal and three months infernal." Built on the highest point of the great table-land, which forms the centre of the peninsula, it lies two thousand four hundred feet above the sea. There are no forests near, to break the force of the piercing winds from the neighboring snow-capped mountains; and though in summer the sun is often as scorching as a blast from a fiery furnace, by crossing to the shady side of the street one may feel cool enough for an overcoat or shawl. The difference between sun and shade is sometimes twenty degrees."

I have a house in the hills in Portugal, nowhere near 2,400 feet up - more like 800. In the summer, temperature can top 40c, in the winter we get frost in the morning (but it can hit 20+ later in the day). I agree with the thing about shade - the temperature can plummet in the winter as soon as the sun goes in and it feels cold, even though the thermometer says 10-12c.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by macliam View Post
You can see the temperature gradient on the internet - but the measured temperature and "how it feels" depends much on the climate and how well built your house is. I recall the climate in Madrid being described as "nine months of Purgatory and three months of Hell"..... so the latter seems to be very important! In looking to back up that statement I found a link to an old (1901) book - https://chestofbooks.com/travel/spai...in-Part-3.html which says "The climate of Madrid is far from healthful. It has been called "nine months hibernal and three months infernal." Built on the highest point of the great table-land, which forms the centre of the peninsula, it lies two thousand four hundred feet above the sea. There are no forests near, to break the force of the piercing winds from the neighboring snow-capped mountains; and though in summer the sun is often as scorching as a blast from a fiery furnace, by crossing to the shady side of the street one may feel cool enough for an overcoat or shawl. The difference between sun and shade is sometimes twenty degrees."

I have a house in the hills in Portugal, nowhere near 2,400 feet up - more like 800. In the summer, temperature can top 40c, in the winter we get frost in the morning (but it can hit 20+ later in the day). I agree with the thing about shade - the temperature can plummet in the winter as soon as the sun goes in and it feels cold, even though the thermometer says 10-12c.
Well said in a nutshell.We did not even think of this before moving to spain.The sun and shade very true i call it the oven and the fridge.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
You can see the temperature gradient on the internet - but the measured temperature and "how it feels" depends much on the climate and how well built your house is. I recall the climate in Madrid being described as "nine months of Purgatory and three months of Hell"..... so the latter seems to be very important! In looking to back up that statement I found a link to an old (1901) book - https://chestofbooks.com/travel/spai...in-Part-3.html which says "The climate of Madrid is far from healthful. It has been called "nine months hibernal and three months infernal." Built on the highest point of the great table-land, which forms the centre of the peninsula, it lies two thousand four hundred feet above the sea. There are no forests near, to break the force of the piercing winds from the neighboring snow-capped mountains; and though in summer the sun is often as scorching as a blast from a fiery furnace, by crossing to the shady side of the street one may feel cool enough for an overcoat or shawl. The difference between sun and shade is sometimes twenty degrees."

I have a house in the hills in Portugal, nowhere near 2,400 feet up - more like 800. In the summer, temperature can top 40c, in the winter we get frost in the morning (but it can hit 20+ later in the day). I agree with the thing about shade - the temperature can plummet in the winter as soon as the sun goes in and it feels cold, even though the thermometer says 10-12c.
What you can find on the internet does not necessarily reflect reality.

I think the sun/shade thing is true in many places especially in the winter so it is interesting that you have found a piece specifically written about Madrid. I wonder if it is a surprise to people because they are thinking, "oh, it's Spain, it has to be warmer than the UK (or whatever country)."
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Americans, even Californians, are used to dinnner at 6pm to 7pm. Think more like 9pm+++ in Madrid. 10pm+ if you want to see any locals.

Get underfloor heating if you want to feel cosy in winter.

Accept that anything in spain requires bureacracy and endless stamping of forms in triplicate. And then more bureaucracy...
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Originally Posted by gad33 View Post
What you can find on the internet does not necessarily reflect reality.

I think the sun/shade thing is true in many places especially in the winter so it is interesting that you have found a piece specifically written about Madrid. I wonder if it is a surprise to people because they are thinking, "oh, it's Spain, it has to be warmer than the UK (or whatever country)."
I think it's likely that recorded temperatures and climatic conditions would be accurate. Before I settled on Portugal, I studied Castillian and travelled quite widely in Spain, from Cantabria and the Basque country in the north to Andalucia in the south, so I knew the expression I quoted. But the whole point about Madrid is its position and altitude, that's what makes it remarkable. The Spanish themselves say that the King who made Madrid the capital is not yet out of purgatory!

Originally Posted by frigilianafreddy View Post
Americans, even Californians, are used to dinnner at 6pm to 7pm. Think more like 9pm+++ in Madrid. 10pm+ if you want to see any locals.

Get underfloor heating if you want to feel cosy in winter.

Accept that anything in spain requires bureacracy and endless stamping of forms in triplicate. And then more bureaucracy...
..... and don't forget lunch! I still can't get used to my local supermarket (alentejo), closes at 1300, reopens at 1530!
For Spain https://www.anepiceducation.com/span...-eat-in-spain/

I'd definitely agree on the heating - and insulation - and double glazing.

Bureaucracy! When you need to fill out a form to get the form you need, then take a ticket to queue to hand in the form and do it all again to hand in the final form.... but it's now too late for today. The life just drains out of you......
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 12:08 am
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Originally Posted by frigilianafreddy View Post
Americans, even Californians, are used to dinnner at 6pm to 7pm. Think more like 9pm+++ in Madrid. 10pm+ if you want to see any locals.
I've never got into that early dinner except when we had a young child. I have an English friend here and they eat at 5.30. I've wondered, do Spanish people eat late in their own homes. If, and it still is a very big if, we do move our lifestyle would change (not a bad thing) as we are mostly early morning people.

Get underfloor heating if you want to feel cosy in winter.

Originally Posted by frigilianafreddy View Post
Accept that anything in spain requires bureacracy and endless stamping of forms in triplicate. And then more bureaucracy...
The thought of all the paperwork again is off putting and add in layers of bureaucracy. - Ugh.

I'm loving all these small but important things.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Traditional building techniques in (Franco and pre Franco) Spain never considered things like air conditioning or heating. A fireplace was the heating system. To keep cool, houses were made of stone. Thick stone. It takes a long time to heat up, and lasts forever. That's another problem; the sun destroys most things. Especially wood and plastic. Stone is the only thing that survives over 30 years or more.

And that's why houses feel cold in winter, even when it's warm outside. They're made to stay cool, and last for centuries.

New houses use newer techniques, but many homebuyers have a preference for traditional stone construction.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Re: eating times, yes they eat late at home. I started meeting a Spanish lady for conversation - a bit of Spanish-only for me and some English-only for her. In the end we found that 8pm was the best time: I could eat at 7 and she could eat at 10 or 11. Going to bed on full stomachs it's a wonder they're not all fat.

Sometimes my Mum comes to visit. As an *ahem* older person she likes to eat early, and when we go to the restaurants at 6 they obviously find it funny that the English people are eating dinner in the afternoon. Indeed there are still people finishing off their lunch.

But as the song says we ain't nothing but mammals and as such have body clocks governed by the sun. Whilst in London the sun is overhead at noon or 1pm during BST, in Madrid (to the west of Greenwhich but an hour forward) the sun is overhead at about 2:15 for 8 months per year. So it's no wonder they do everything later than in the UK.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before You Moved?

Originally Posted by Lagoo View Post
Re: eating times, yes they eat late at home. I started meeting a Spanish lady for conversation - a bit of Spanish-only for me and some English-only for her. In the end we found that 8pm was the best time: I could eat at 7 and she could eat at 10 or 11. Going to bed on full stomachs it's a wonder they're not all fat.

Sometimes my Mum comes to visit. As an *ahem* older person she likes to eat early, and when we go to the restaurants at 6 they obviously find it funny that the English people are eating dinner in the afternoon. Indeed there are still people finishing off their lunch.

But as the song says we ain't nothing but mammals and as such have body clocks governed by the sun. Whilst in London the sun is overhead at noon or 1pm during BST, in Madrid (to the west of Greenwhich but an hour forward) the sun is overhead at about 2:15 for 8 months per year. So it's no wonder they do everything later than in the UK.
It really depends though and things are changing in Spain too. But many people don't have any other choice and because working hours are longer, it doesn't make sense to eat at 6 when you are still in the office until 8. In cities like Madrid it's also so hot during summer that people are just glad when the sun goes down. A lot of companies actually shut down during August and many locals head to the coast or cooler parts of the country.

Last edited by Moses2013; Feb 11th 2020 at 2:22 pm.
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