Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > Spain
Reload this Page >

Are you living the life you moved for?

Are you living the life you moved for?

Old Mar 23rd 2011, 9:26 am
  #46  
HBG
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Alicante province
Posts: 5,753
HBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by JLFS View Post
A couple we met about a year ago did, they bought out in a little village, not too far from the coast, they got what they signed up for at the time........Spanish neighbours, fiestas, country walks and so on.

They were not British, they were Danish, I met them their English was really good and their Spanish was exceptional, judging by other expats that I have met in Spain. and they were very well settled, and had lived there for a lot of years.

The hubby became ill, some kidney problem or other, Their neighbours in the village (clump of houses really) rallied round and helped with doctors appointments etc, as the wife did not drive, and is seemed very unlikely that the hubby would be able to drive again.

The woman who shouldered most of the burden, told us she was happy to do it "mientras".
The friend we were with asked what "mientras" meant, and she said "mientras they make arrangements to go home".
That is the absolute reality of integrating fully.

My wife is at the moment trying to get a British Alzheimer patient into a suitable Spanish care home, of which there are very few, and it is extremely difficult. The facilities are there, but the patient needs a high command of the Spanish language and even after years of integration in this case, it isn’t enough, complicated by the illness itself.

Mientras . . .making arrangements to go home is no longer an option.
HBG is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 9:47 am
  #47  
Banned
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 5,008
JLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond reputeJLFS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by HBG View Post
That is the absolute reality of integrating fully.

My wife is at the moment trying to get a British Alzheimer patient into a suitable Spanish care home, of which there are very few, and it is extremely difficult. The facilities are there, but the patient needs a high command of the Spanish language and even after years of integration in this case, it isn’t enough, complicated by the illness itself.

Mientras . . .making arrangements to go home is no longer an option.
Tough, and a nightmare situation, but the reality is, even though your Spanish neighbours will be willing to help out in times of emergencies and short term, that is no solution, it is advisable to stay in contact with some British, because you may need help in the future, through voluntary services etc.

I suppose there must be loads of cases of British who chose to not associate with other Brits, who now find themselves needing help, ie some sort of care in the community, hospital visits, translators and such, but have lost contact with the people who could help out, through "intergrating fully" into the Spanish way of life.

Just because you may have burnt all your bridges in the UK, does not mean that you should do the same with British friends in Spain
would it not be better to cultivate a friendship with others in a similar situation, to be able to give and get some support and remain in contact with the British community, who would be more able to help out in the worst case senario, through the various voluntary schemes were are set up, with this very situation in mind

Most of the Spanish neighbours will be ageing too, and not be so mobile and up to helping on an ongoing basis.

And most of them would expecting the "incomers" be making arrangements to be with "their own" for want of a better phrase.

Just some food for thought.
JLFS is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 9:49 am
  #48  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Alhaurin el Grande
Posts: 582
licinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond reputelicinius has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by JLFS View Post
I think your post is a bit unfair too, not everyone who wants to be sucessful will be, life gets in the way, illness, family problems, etc.

Dont forget Spanish business fail too, so to put that all Brits who put their mind to it will come out winning, is pie in the sky.
Ok yes that was a bit of a sweeping statement. What I'm trying to say is most people move to Spain with the sole intention of bumming around, very few bring any career ambition with them. Those that do & want to develop generally enjoy some success, even if it is just being able to tick over & make ends meet. Unless of course as you rightly point out, circumstances beyond their control prevent them from doing so.
licinius is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 10:30 am
  #49  
On the road again.
 
Dick Dasterdly's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: On Top of the World
Posts: 17,507
Dick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond reputeDick Dasterdly has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Actually, today I am most definitely NOT.
The rain is quite pissistant,the wind is blowing,its bloody brass monkey weather and I'm sitting here in all my winter woolies trying to keep warm.
My son says it's quite a nice day back at my UK home.
Dick Dasterdly is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 10:31 am
  #50  
MODERATOR
 
Rosemary's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Costa Valencia
Posts: 14,455
Rosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by HBG View Post
That is the absolute reality of integrating fully.

My wife is at the moment trying to get a British Alzheimer patient into a suitable Spanish care home, of which there are very few, and it is extremely difficult. The facilities are there, but the patient needs a high command of the Spanish language and even after years of integration in this case, it isn’t enough, complicated by the illness itself.

Mientras . . .making arrangements to go home is no longer an option.
Your post has highlighted one of the concerns that I have always had regarding anyone becoming unable to understand the normal everyday realities of life such as Alzheimers or a stroke leaving a person incapable of cohesive thought. This sort of condition would be difficult enough in your first language but in a second language I would have thought that it would be too confusing, but as you say it is too late once it has occurred.

My OH stressed himself out a lot when he was first ill because he desperately wanted me to go back to the UK if anything happened to him because he felt that is where I would have support. I explained to him that apart from the family (who all have busy lives) I would be a new returnee to the UK, living in a different area to my existing UK friends so no support system. Whereas if I stayed in Spain (my preference) I already have a good support system within our town. He did not become fully aware of what I meant until he began to go outside the door again and had his hand shook by people that he did not know and then discovered that it was the husbands of people that I knew from my ladies group. Neighbours were absolurely brilliant and I know that I could not have got through the last 16 months without their support and caring attitude.

Rosemary
Rosemary is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 10:33 am
  #51  
MODERATOR
 
Rosemary's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Costa Valencia
Posts: 14,455
Rosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by Dick Dasterdly View Post
Actually, today I am most definitely NOT.
The rain is quite pissistant,the wind is blowing,its bloody brass monkey weather and I'm sitting here in all my winter woolies trying to keep warm.
My son says it's quite a nice day back at my UK home.
Totally agree with you. It is soooo miserable today. Dark, dismal and wet.

I find it hard to do any tasks when it is like this, I tend to lose all my motivation.

Rosemary
Rosemary is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 11:18 am
  #52  
Banned
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Living in a good place
Posts: 8,824
jackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Wherever you live in the world you take personal baggage and things settle into more or less the same routine. If you like walking the dogs like I do then maybe the times will vary. July and August in South of Spain it will be too hot to walk them anytime after 9am and before sunset. Likewise all the BBQ's, not my idea of pleasure in the hot sun until after dark. So your mealtimes will change...for most people. I do know some ex-pats who have lived in Spain for years and still have dinner at 6-7pm

Lot of talk about fiestas and ferrias...most pueblos only have a couple of days a year, the spanish work hard and don't party all the time contrary to estate agents brochures. Personally I hate ferrias and fiestas, seen one seen them all, even many spanish dislike them and the local paper are always full of them complaining about the noise and disruption.

Socialising with spanish, depends what your idea of socialising is. If you like to spend a few evenings drinking in a bar or going out for restaurant meals then you will be lonely. The spanish usually socialise with extended family at weekends or special occasions. When we lived inland the local bar/restaurant closed at 10pm as everyone went home for dinner. Even before that time there were only a few old blokes playing dominos etc. If you are the type that likes to eat dinner and hang around with friends putting the world to right with a bottle it isn't going to happen. In any case it will take a few years to be fluent enough to do this.

Lets not forget the winters, we had only lived in Spain for 2 winters when we decided we had to get away for some winter sun so we started taking holidays again. Last year cádiz had more rain than manchester We arranged to meet friends for dinner on the coast two weeks ago, they couldn't make it, road blocked by landslides and they only live in Istan!
jackytoo is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 11:29 am
  #53  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 7,749
cricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by jackytoo View Post

The spanish usually socialise with extended family at weekends or special occasions. When we lived inland the local bar/restaurant closed at 10pm as everyone went home for dinner.
Absolutely. Sunday is the big socialiasing day, but most of it only includes the extended family and the odd close friend (maybe someone known since school)

There is not a culture of adults going for drinks at the pub at the end of the day unless they dont have children or the children and grandkids have left home (thats why there are only old men in a lot of bars)

I married into a Spanish family so have it easy, but even if you are fluent in Spanish dont expect to spend a lot of proper socialising time with Spaniards. Spanish people are very polite and friendly but to get an invitation home is a completely different matter.

There are some exceptions where it easier to make Spanish friends, e.g. people in their 20s in the big cities or the small villages where everyone knows everyone.
cricketman is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 12:38 pm
  #54  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Velez-Malaga
Posts: 4,197
Lynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond reputeLynn R has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Yes, my life in Spain so far has turned out to be exactly as I thought it would be.

I gave up work (gratefully) at the age of 50 and have never missed it. I knew that apart from that I wouldn't be living in Spain as though I was on holiday every day - apart from anything else, as I would have 10 years to wait until I start collecting my occupational pensions, the budget would not permit that!

I get up when I feel like it, have a leisurely breakfast, walk down to the shops in town every morning (5 minutes away) instead of doing one big shop a week) and back up again, sometimes stopping for a coffee on the way. I spend 2 afternoons a week at the gym, swimming and doing fitness classes, I read a lot and do an intercambio for a couple of hours a week with a Spanish woman who lives nearby, for language practice. She and her husband have become friends, we are invited to her house regularly and I have met her children when they come to visit, likewise her mother, brother and his family. We have also been invited into other Spanish neighbours' houses for drinks and tapas, usually on an impromptu basis which is nice.

Over the last year we have been taking part in a series of public consultation meetings about a major regeneration project taking place in our area, and we now get invitations from our local councillor to things like receptions which the Ayuntamiento is putting on - nice to get a few free glasses of wine and nibbles on the rates, occasionally!

We go out for meals 2 or 3 times a month, to concerts and art exhibitions both locally and in Malaga. I don't go out to drink in bars as it's not something I enjoy and I didn't do it in the UK either. We go away for 4 or 5 short breaks each year, a couple back to the UK to visit family and friends, and the others to different destinations in Spain. I always wanted to explore this huge country as much as I could, and that's what we are doing. We intend to do more long haul travel in 5 years' time when we will have a lot more income than we do now, once the pensions have kicked in. But before coming to Spain we travelled a lot as my OH worked for a travel company and we could do so very cheaply, so I have already seen quite a bit of the world.

I also intended to learn Spanish when I came out here, and I went to lessons for 18 months and did another intercambio before my present one. Although by no means fluent, I get by very well although I struggle to understand the local Andaluz spoken by my neighbours!

We do have a few British friends here, but to be honest I don't find the company of the majority of British people living around here very congenial. Their political views are diametrically opposed to mine, most of them do very little with their time except drinking in bars or each others' houses and gossiping. They never seem to go anywhere or do anything and as a consequence have very little of interest to talk about. I would not have socialised with them in the UK and see no need to do so here, either.

I did have a few concerns about how I would cope with the Spanish summer heat but so far I haven't found it a problem, and we don't have aircon. I had spent a fair few Christmas holidays in Spain before moving here so I knew quite well that it could be chilly and wet here, so the winters came as no surprise.

So all in all, life is much what I thought it would be - just fine!
Lynn R is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 1:01 pm
  #55  
bil
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Vejer de la Fra., Cadiz
Posts: 7,653
bil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond reputebil has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by The Oddities View Post
Totally agree with you. It is soooo miserable today. Dark, dismal and wet.

I find it hard to do any tasks when it is like this, I tend to lose all my motivation.

Rosemary
The difference being that in Spain you know that the grey weather will come to an end, and the glorious summer will be guaranteed. I have sat thru many grey, wet winters in the UK, only to be rewarded with - yep, grey, wet summers. We have had to light fires IN AUGUST in the UK because it was so wet, grey and cold.

As for one parner becoming ill, whatever. So what should you do? Stay home in the UK and never emigrate, because something bad might happen?

"Remember to hold on tight to Nurse, for fear of finding something worse?"

Nope. I am happier here, far happier than I was in the UK. Should anything happen to Jan, I will fight on here, and should anything happen to me, I would rather die here than linger on in the uK.
bil is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 2:16 pm
  #56  
MODERATOR
 
Rosemary's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Costa Valencia
Posts: 14,455
Rosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Great post Lynn.

I think that quite often Brits are thrown together just because they live near to each other and many do not have the sense to do as you have done and realise that they would not have mixed with them in the UK so why here in Spain. When I stated that we were not looking for somewhere that would give us the forever holiday one of my fears was ending up in the drinking culture purely because that was all there was. We opted for our town in order to keep our lives "normal", that is normal for us, no pretentions, no change of lifestyle apart from what the country itself changed for us. Never regretted our choice apart from wishing that they spoke Spanish not Valenciano.

When OH had his two very long operations our Spanish friends were there with me, when I tried to send them home I was told that we are an important part of their family so they did not want to go home and would stay to support me. Brit friends who were told that he was in hospital did not ask even the very basic questions "what is wrong" or "why is he in hospital" and never made any further contact to enquire as to his progress until he wrote of his experiences on here. Makes us very wary of becoming involved outside of our own little area.

Rosemary
Rosemary is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 2:30 pm
  #57  
Banned
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Living in a good place
Posts: 8,824
jackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond reputejackytoo has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

I have met some awful British people in Spain but I have also met some wonderful ones who we have been friends with for years. Same as Spanish friends. We had excellent spanish neighbours in some places and in one place they were awful, downright unfriendly. It is naive to think one nationality is better than another, people are the same the world over. I do agree though that over the last decade Spain has attracted more than it's fair share of the "wrong type" of ex-pat.
jackytoo is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 3:26 pm
  #58  
HBG
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Alicante province
Posts: 5,753
HBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

I don’t want to emphasize the point about becoming ill in a foreign country, but once you get to a certain age it’s something you should consider and not isolate yourself to the extent where the facilities you may need are simply too far away and too inaccessible.

My wife was trying to help an elderly couple today, mostly by just interpreting for them at a health clinic, the couple having already received help and advice from two other local expat agencies set up for that purpose.

Once her business at the health centre was concluded my wife phoned me up panic stricken. On my arrival at the clinic I found two elderly British people, exceedingly confused and totally unable to get home, one had latter stage Alzheimers and the other one was too physically frail to help himself or his partner, and was clearly at the end of his tether.

We drove them home and helped them indoors. The Alzheimer sufferer should be placed in a care home in around four weeks time, at a cost of 2,100 Euros a month. Apart from thanking us, the frail partner didn’t even know what to do next. We telephoned the other agencies so that they could arrange home visits and help with the shopping and a million other things. In the UK, both of them would be in some sort of care home or perhaps looked after by family.

That help is not available in a foreign country, certainly not to the same extent, and both have lived in Spain for over 30 years.
HBG is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 3:30 pm
  #59  
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,590
anonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond reputeanonimouse has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Life in Spain is great, hardest thing for me to get used to is the siesta, I find that by the time I get anywhere everywhere is shut, I admit they open again at about 5pm but it can be time to set off for home then, if you have travelled. I still enjoy my evenings at home watching the box, I have a sender unit and can watch it outside in the cool.

Saturday afternoon is weird, it's the busiest day of the week in the UK, in Spain towns are like ghost towns until Monday.

I think it's far too hot for BBQ's in July and August though.

One thing I find poor, when out and about, it's not so easy to get a decent snack to eat out without sitting, like we might buy a pie for instance in the UK. Wanting the loo is a pain, I feel awful going into a bar without spending, although I am told they have to allow you.

We get the same problems here as every one anywhere, at least we have a nice day to sort them out.

When I get fed up, I try to remember the UK on a wet Sunday afternoon, that usually bucks me up.

Last edited by anonimouse; Mar 23rd 2011 at 3:38 pm.
anonimouse is offline  
Old Mar 23rd 2011, 3:45 pm
  #60  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 7,749
cricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond reputecricketman has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Are you living the life you moved for?

Originally Posted by anonimouse View Post

One thing I find poor, when out and about, it's not so easy to get a decent snack to eat out without sitting, like we might buy a pie for instance in the UK. .
If you don't want to sit down then go to a panaderia, you can usually get empanadas or empanadillas (pretty much like pies, usually of tuna, but can get meat ones). And you have all the sweet things too.

I often get a "surtido de salados" on a Saturday morning, these are a selection a savoury snacks in pastry, such as little sausage coissants, tortilla ones, bacon ones etc. Quite a lot of panaderias do them.
cricketman is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.