I Hate Spain – I Hate Living in Spain & I’m Leaving

I Hate Spain (by Nick Anders, disillusioned expat)

Maybe hate is too strong a word but ok then I dislike Spain, I’ve had enough, get me out of here – whatever your choice, the end result if the same. I’m leaving Spain to go back to the UK.

I’m not the only one who now hates Spain. It’s a bit like the thin line between love and hate.

I moved to Spain four years ago to start a new life and at first I loved it but now I hate Spain and can’t wait to get out.

There are lots of downsides to living in Spain and I just didn’t know about these when I moved to Spain.

I’ve been living in Nerja which is a coastal town with nice sandy beach on the Costa del Sol of Spain, I won’t bore you with my tales of woe but I wanted to write this to let off some steam but also to warn anyone thinking of moving to Spain to be very careful.

At least move to Spain with your eyes wide open – aware of all the negatives about living in Spain.

An expats life in Spain can be really hard, a constant struggle, make sure you are prepared for all of this because you haven’t seen anything like this on A Place In The Sun and nobody involved in the property/estate agent business will ever warn you of the downsides and disadvantages to moving and living in Spain.

Reasons I Now Hate Spain and Want To Move Back

Crime in Spain

I felt safe in Spain when I first moved here. I didn’t see any crime, people were friendly, I thought crime didn’t hardly exist here.

Until I found out that often when people are burgled in Spain they are bound and gagged.

The luckier ones are gassed. Even houses with dogs – and have you noticed how many people have big dogs – yeah now I get it – get hit because they poison the dogs.

No, I don’t like living in fear and I’m sure the recession will only increase crime in Spain.

Trouble is Spain is very close to some very poor African countries and there are lots of poor immigrants, mostly illegal, who will do anything to survive.

Work and Jobs in Spain

I moved to Spain for a better life. I hate how I now work harder in Spain than I ever did in the UK. I moved to Spain with savings of £15,000, now I have pretty much nothing but the shirt on my back.

I figured that with so many expats living in Spain that there must be a bundle of potential new business opportunities or companies looking for staff. I was so wrong!

I soon found out that jobs and opportunities in Spain were few and far between apart from the obvious ones.

Fact – I hate villa cleaning, I hate cleaning pools, I hate working in bars until 2 am waiting for the last drunken expat to leave, I hate building work in the baking midday sun. I hate Spain!

The Word Manana

Like everyone else I thought this was a funny joke at first. Every time a person in Spain – whether Spanish or British let me down I would grin and say manana like it was ok or normal. When I’m paying for a job I want it done as promised – and on time – or am I mad for expecting this?

Customer Service in Spain

What I hate in Spain is when I go into a shop and stand waiting while the assistant chats away to their friend or relative totally ignoring me and everyone else.

In this global economy you just can’t see the Spanish having a chance against the likes of American, British or Indian companies who are hungry and put customer service first.

There is NO customer service in Spain. Much of the time you are served when people feel like it, you get little help and assistance and often you are not even greeted at the counter – you greet them. It is like you are doing them a favour by shopping there!

I hate getting anything done in Spain. Often I end up going to the local town hall and being sent from one department to another where I am told conflicting advice. The paperwork and bureaucracy is horrendous. If you are coming to live in Spain bring a photocopier!

Getting Ripped Off in Spain

I hate that people prey on each other in Spain. Everyone seems so desperate that getting cheated is a story every expat I know can tell. I personally put a €8,000 deposit down on an apartment and the estate agent did a runner with my cash. God knows where they are now but I won’t stop looking until I find them.

Other common expat stories are ones such as being sold a property that was actually illegal, didn’t have planning permissions etc and often the people had a Spanish lawyer so they were not cutting corners and they still have lost their life savings.

Corruption is a problem in Spain and often there are stories in the newspapers about local town hall officials being involved in shady/illegal deals. Anything and I mean anything, can happen in Spain.

When I first moved to Spain the currency was the Peseta. The cost of living in Spain was low as most food and drink was cheap compared to northern Europe. Then the Euro came in and it seemed everyone took the opportunity to raise their prices – typical – now I think it could actually be possible – no I’m sure it is – that the cost of living is now higher than the UK!

When I go back to the UK I notice sales, discounts. When I go shopping in Spain, despite a so called recession I don’t see shops dropping the prices, I don’t see special offers, I don’t see much evidence of competition between retailers. In my local supermarket when food goes out of date they don’t slash the price, instead it stays on the shelf and so you have to be careful what you are buying.

Poor Roads/Facilities in Spain

I hate the lack of infrastructure in Spain. The motorways/auto routes are superb as a lot of EU money has been given to Spain but locally our roads are terrible. The amount of tyres we go through because of holes in the road is ridiculous.

There is no drainage so when it rains heavily places get flooded and roads are washed away. Areas that used to soak up the water have been built on due to pure greed. The councils just don’t seem to invest back into the community, instead the money collected from me in taxes is blown up – literally – by stunning firework displays that even Disney would be proud of.

I wish I had never moved to Spain and I urge anyone else thinking of Spain seriously to consider my story, especially any young families who I see writing on the expat forums about how they can’t wait to move to Spain, how they are fed up with life in the United Kingdom etc – you don’t realise how lucky you have it!

What they don’t read about are the thousands of young families who have moved to Spain and who would love to move back to the UK, if they only could afford to as they have no money. Or the ones who have moved back already having realised their mistake in moving to Spain in the first place.

Response From Shirley Who Does NOT hate Spain!

Below we have a response to the ‘I Hate Spain’ article from Shirley who has a house in Ontinyent:

“After reading your article from Nick from Nerja, I would expect that you received many emails in reply.

I realise that life has become more difficult for many during this recession, and Britain is no different from Spain. I don’t know when Nick was in the UK last, but around half the shops in our town in South Wales have closed down, and many families are struggling to get by after being made redundant. I work as an estate agent, and we are getting several repossessions every week and house prices are not increasing, as a lot of people believe.

I wonder if Nick learned to speak Spanish before he moved out to Spain, as I would imagine it is quite difficult to get work anywhere that you don’t speak the language. He didn’t say what work he did in the UK or in Spain.

I have been learning Spanish for a few years now and wouldn’t expect to get work in Spain, other than by working for Brits, doing things like cleaning apartments and pools. How would a Spaniard fare in Britain getting work if he didn’t speak English?

I feel that the Costa del Sol is probably a much different place to live than the Costa Blanca in many ways and I’m not sure Nick is qualified to comment on the Costa Blanca uncovered newsletter! One of the reasons we avoided the South of Spain was that it’s closer to Africa and has more crime. I wonder how much research Nick did before choosing an area to live in Spain.

We don’t know any Brits in our area, although we don’t live there, and I don’t kid myself that we could move out and make a good living, certainly not in this economic climate. I also think that moving out with just 15k savings is a very risky thing to do!

We have had no bad experiences of being cheated by anyone, and have made some wonderful friends. I am always happy with the service I get in local shops and restaurants, although I do agree that certain things are more complicated, like dealing with the council etc.

But then there is no litter in our town, no discarded chewing gum stuck all over the pavements, and NO drunken louts fighting in town on a Saturday night out. My 21 year old daughter was recently assaulted on a night out in our home town in Wales, and head-butted in the face, by a complete stranger, another girl, completely unprovoked while walking down the street with some friends.

As for Manana, when we went to buy some air conditioning in July from a small retailers, they turned up, as agreed, the following day, and worked until late until the job was finished, which wasn’t what we expected after all the stories we heard!

We recently had a problem with our internet in the UK, and were told by our supplier that we needed a new modem, would arrange an appointment for their technician to call to replace it. We asked if they could send a replacement by post but were told no. They couldn’t give a specific time, but booked a morning appointment between 8am and 12 noon.

My partner took a morning off work to be there. No one turned up, and when he rang them, they said that there had been a fault in our area at the time of our complaint, so they had cancelled the appointment (without bothering to tell us!) When he pointed out that it still wasn’t working, they said they would send us a new one, which was what we originally asked for but were refused!

I might also mention that our fuel bills at present are £60 a month for electricity, £80 a month for gas (due to increase again soon), and £45 a month for water. My council tax bill here £120 a month compared to 189 euros a YEAR in Spain.”

Regards

Shirley



Linda Whitehead is Also Moving Back to the UK

“Hello, I am just commenting on the above writer’s online report on his life in Spain. I think he is so correct and it is not at all uncommon amongst Expats.

I myself had once dreamed about sunny Spain and couldn’t believe it when my mum who already lived there told me its difficult to get jobs. Which is even worse now what with the recession.

Us Brits generally get the feeling that the Spanish do not want us here. Very often we hear them calling foreigners ‘Giddies’ and push through in the supermarkets.

Like so many people from the UK, I was bored of the climate back home and wanted something exciting. I didn’t want to hear negative stories of Spain back then. But now I appreciate what the UK has to offer. It may not have the climate but it is a country that can stand on its own two feet, economically. It has politically correctness and is generally more of a ‘forward’ thinking country than Spain.

Needless to say, I am going back home to England for good this summer and it can’t come quick enough.

Thanks for listening – Adios Espana.”

Strong Response From Rachel

I have been living in Spain for 8 years, within the first 9 months of living here our house was robbed we had a Doberman at the time they threw tiles at him and kept him at bay with a pitch fork.

They do call us “guiris” but we call them “spiks” and we are a easy target to be ripped off. They think that the girls are all drunken slags and a easy lay and English men do nothing but cause trouble>

They believe we eat fried eggs, bacon and sausages for breakfast everyday and they swear down that our food is crap,

We also got ripped off by the estate agents and lawyers being over-charged on the house price, deeds being lost and being charged twice for the same thing, then she buggered off to get a boob job and we never saw her again.

Electric bill is around 100 Euros a month and sometimes can reach 160 a month to “Shirley Who Does NOT hate Spain!”

I speak fluent Spanish and I have no English friends in Spain, I moved to a small Spanish town with my parents when I was 20, my parents even call me a plastic spik because my outlook on life and the way I live is not that of a English person, I have no job, there is no work at all, there are no opportunities to climb any ladder within any company in Spain…

Most Spanish have moved out of Spain. The only good thing about knowing Spanish is that they know they can’t rip you off… that you have been here for a while and you have some contacts up your sleeves, but then again it’s not only the Spanish that rip you off, it is the English who rip each other off which is even worse.

The customer service in Spain is non-existent. When I was younger in the UK I did a NVQ in customer service and I found it very hard at first to adapt to the way you are treated here and I still find it frustrating.

It was only two days ago I was forced to turn around and say to the shop assistant “Can you chat to your little mate after and serve me I’ve got things to do!” and the other thing that Spanish don’t know what to do is queue in the correct manner.

They are all over the place, you have to guess who is last or they will tell you if they think your pushing in, they don’t open doors, most of the time you can see a mother with a pram struggling to get in or out of a door and they just stand and stare. Or if you do help them you get no thank you for it.

It is hard to adapt to a culture that isn’t familiar to that of your own. As the years have passed I have adapted in a way to not take any notice to these faults which in my eyes they are faults, but to a Spanish person they are not, it’s just the way they are. The town hall are time wasting, table humping thieving pen pushers.

Jay is Also Depressed in Spain

Nick Anders & Linda & Rachel you are spot on, I have lived in Spain since 2007 on and off and then permanently since 2009. We bought a place in Costa del Sol and since left that to rent another, as crime scary and was a bit remote and felt unsafe.

We had the bogus forceful gas men trying to gain entry to rip us off, etc etc so we rented to be nearer people and feel somewhat safer, I agree with Nick, just today as every day, in shops the Spanish seem to chatter to their colleagues, not even look at you, while you stand with your shopping, they do it to other Spanish too though not just us Guirres.

Spanish are nice though, if you can speak some Spanish it does make a difference, but everything is such hard work, everything is done the slowest, longest, way possible, costing time and money, no wonder it is in a state, not saying other countries are any better, I can’t say, but what Nick, Linda and Rachel put is so spot on!

It’s not a bed of roses, it’s a flaming headache at times, new laws all the time, anyway they can get money out of you they will, I am told today if you drive a Spanish car and have a UK licence you are fined?? A solicitor here, a UK chap, told my son, apparently you need a medical and have to apply for a Spanish licence and if checked you could pay a fine and if you don’t have the cash you can be frog marched to the cash point.

It’s all stuff like this all the time, you get to a point you can’t be bothered to go out in the car as you don’t know what’s going on next.

It was also my dream to move here and I have never been so lonely in all my life, I am so depressed and I try and snap out of it and it just doesn’t get better, it’s hard to make new friends unless you go to bars every night and drink like a fish and I just don’t want to do that, so it’s a dismal existence…

Sammy From Murcia Writes In…

I can see both Nick and Shirly’s point of view, but I’m afraid I have to agree with Nick on this one, Spain is going downhill and fast, much faster than England, I know the recession has hit both countries badly but there is no doubt that it has really taken it’s toll on Spain.

I live in Murcia and have done for 10 years with my parents and younger brother. I’m 20  almost 21 and my brother is 19 we both went to school here as children at the ages of  10 and 11 and both speak Spanish fluently now most people think that I am Spanish unless I inform them otherwise.

It took me 3 years to speak fluent Spanish and in this time I was bullied badly by the Spanish just for being British, they would shout guiri as I walked by and insult me and tell me to go back to my own country, my brother had a hard time coping with this and disliked school so much that he dropped out early. I stuck it out and left at 18, got a job as a teacher in the city teaching English at an academy.

Not bad, my employer is English too. What I didn’t know is whether you speak Spanish or not, makes no difference once you apply for a job working with Spanish people and they see your documentation and discover you are actually English, the job is then passed to anyone else providing they are Spanish.

Being almost Spanish , having lived here 10 years i will always be a foreigner to them, no matter how good my Spanish and how Spanish I may look, the job will always be given to Spanish first.

So I studied my whole teenage years (with a few English friends at school who later left as they didn’t like living here and being classed as a foreigner and picked on constantly, while their parents struggled to find work to keep them going)

I find myself alone most nights in or at work with the few friends I have their, who are English as the Spanish don’t tend to mix with the English too much not unless you are willing to pretend to be Spanish, dress like them, eat their food, socialize only with Spanish, then they might accept you more or less, but never completely.

My parents have both struggled for work, since we arrived here my dad is a builder and my mum worked in England as a secretary to a doctor, here we have tried cleaning jobs, private teaching in my area for little money and unreliable students who do not even bother to ring when they decide not to even show up most days.

There is no doubt about it, if you are deciding to move to Spain, DO NOT EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN HERE. The bullying drove most of my friends into a depression and breakdown before leaving. I have to say it was not an easy time, the only time it improved was when I was fluent in Spanish then my classmates would actually acknowledge me, yet I was still the outsider, and was always treated as “dumb” or a “stupid english guiri” or as they like to say extranjera.

If you move to Spain and have young children be prepared for all of this as it will be a very very difficult time for your kids no matter what age they start school they will more than likely be bullied.

At the end of the day Spain is a lovely country with the sun and the laid back way of life, but once you scratch the surface, it is a holiday resort , that puts their own people first regardless of what any other person may have to offer, and life is definitely a lot more tougher than England here.

But hey, it’s been an experience, mostly bad times but some good, I’ m off to England soon to try and finally fit in!

Also may I add we came to Spain with A LOT of money,  and all of it has now gone. The Spanish should be grateful for the amount of English people that plowed their money into their economy. But no …

And Shirley, what is your plan, to stay in Spain and retire possibly  without a pension ? or survive on little money? Who will look after you in your old age?  What happens if the Euro crashes?

All I can say is good luck Shirley..

And I have read the other messages and am glad that you all agree more or less that Spain is not the place to be..

I Hate Spain Page Summary: This page features the story of Nick Anders who has become fed up and unhappy living in Spain and intends to return back to the UK. Nick’s story is good reading for anyone thinking of moving to Spain.

We love living in Spain ourselves but we have agreed to post his article in the interests of fairness as most of his points have a degree of truth in them and at least they provide an antidote to the people who have a vested interest in telling you that moving to Spain is a bed of roses.

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Comments

  1. Sammy, its good you share how schooling was for you, I am just sorry it was so difficult for you and your brother…
    Look at it like this, its their loss, and they could of learned some English from you if been more accepting, my heart really dropped reading this, my kids are grown up now thank goodness. I am near Malaga in Spain now, 20 mins from Marbella, not sure what schooling is like for English kids in this area, be good to know if anyone wants to share like you have, all the best to you all.

  2. Adrian Porter says:

    I have just read ‘I hate Spain’ and what a breath of fresh air to see that someone with guts has placed this in the public domain. I wish Nick Anders all the luck in the world for the future and I am certain that he is doing the right thing by trying to get ‘home’. Spain, to the ex-pat, will never be home. It will be the sentence until we all wake up and realise that the Spanish will do everything it their power to relieve you of all your money, possessions and in my case, my health as well. There is crime everywhere, especially the ones you try to employ. I know of so many people broken and running home with a lot less, or absolutely nothing at all!! I ask that people who read Nicks comments believe them and tell everyone who thinks a place in Spain would be a good idea, then beg them not to do it.

    • I don’t blame them for hating Spain. We moved to Spain in 1970 when the people were innocent, friendly, happy, humble, & genuine. Their humility was due to their poverty.

      We have seen the gradual change so much so it is hardly believable. Their wealth has made them arrogant, uncaring, & greedy.

      We speak the language fluently & hear ‘different prices’ for the Spanish & the English on markets/bars/offices/restaurants & have pointed it out many times to the owners/sellers/officials who just laugh & think it a joke.

      It got so annoying we spoke to our long-term friend the Mayor and asked why the Spanish were obviously turning against the British. He said they hold a grudge against them, how they bought property for next to nothing when Spain was nothing & now feel they should try & get some of it back however they can.

      Spain is also totally unpredictable. They can & will do anything to ‘your’ property any time they want – but not to the Spanish! And if you don’t speak the language if needing the doctors or hospital, some can almost despise you, depending on who it is, which can be scary if you are about to be put into their hands!

      I now don’t even trust the restuarants anymore who prepare a meal so I choose only to eat at home now. If you didn’t leave a big enough tip last time, they will remember!

      Don’t think you have close Spanish friends. You are never in their own clique and if you think you are and want to be, they will want to own you as they are possessive and will not want you to have a close friendship with another Spaniard. If it goes wrong you can be ostracised.

      Everybody has cultural traits & the Spanish trait is slyness. Even when they were poor & liked the English, they were still sly… and admitted this to us; also, saying how the British think we are their friend, but that really are just nosey for something to gossip about (their other trait – gossip), or want to come to UK.

      If you want to come to Spain come with the intention of living within an English infastructure and forget trying to ‘integrate’ like they all say when coming to Spain. The English are far better to live with in Spain. You know your own culture.

      Come to Spain by all means, but please don’t let another person come & tell us they only want to come (an illusion) to be one of them, and then come to us a year later to say how hurt & disppointed they are. They may be kind and courtious to your face, but it is false. If you have money to spend there is no attention and kindness like it!

      Sad, but now true.

      Even the many Spanish ‘friends’ we have in Spain, (having been here for so long), would say how correct all this is. We have been been told by a very influencial person in Spain when we asked why are they demolishing expat houses causing them to live in fear, not dealing with crime gangs, that they simply don’t want us here anymore, and are glad we are going back to UK.

      And it isn’t because the English have misbehaved. There are nice, kind, polite retirees, so confused why they are being teated so badly, when a good trait of the Spaniard is to treat their elderly with much dignity & respect.

      The expats are not moaners like people say they are – we see full well how there is one rule for them & one for the Spanish. They simply do not care one tiny bit for a British expat – unless they have money to spend that is. British expats have had their lives completely ruined through no fault of their own.

      • andrew moore says:

        In response to Kris’s comments about life in Spain… It seems to me that the Spanish treat their foreigners in the the same way as the British treat theirs!! Fair play to them!!

        • Spot on! I can just imagine the sort of comments some of the contributors on here would make about immigrants in the UK, who are demonised daily in our newspapes and in the streets for apparently causing all the crime and economic hardship, etc. in the UK.

        • Hi! I’m Pablo and I’m Spanish. Let me tell you that you will find all kind of people either in Spain and in England. I travel to Ireland and UK every single summer to practice English and I’ve been cheated as well and I’ve found many things I didn’t like, but the things I did like paid off. There’s obviously a matter of culture differences but there are good and bad people everywhere. Just think people are living their lives and they’re not going to welcome you with “pancartas”.

          Greetings.

      • It’s sad to read some of this comments by some misfits, complainers on here. I have never had any bad experiences in the 8 years I have been living in Spain. Don’t expect for the country to accommodate to you, but you need to accommodate to the country. We come from a different culture, language and can’t expect for a smooth transition. Try to learn Spanish, enough at least to get by (it’s their country), go out there and try to make new friends, try get to know their culture and customs, Spanish people are very friendly and welcoming! When in Rome do like the Romans!

  3. neil metcalf says:

    Regarding Nick Anders article,the sooner he goes back to GB the better off Spain will be!!.
    He says that he did not know about many simple! things that anyone with half a brain would
    have known,I myself researched all aspects of living in Spain over a five year period,took the
    trouble to learn the basics of the spanish language before I moved,and being able to get by
    in spanish I have found the spanish people to be nothing but kind and courteous in my dealings
    with them.No doubt Mr Anders will be no different when back in GB, he is obviously a person who
    wants everything his way or it will not suit him.Living on the Costa Blanca is great.
    Neil.
    As for Adrian Porters comment re. crime is everywhere has he not read the GB crime figures over
    the last ten or so years?.

  4. Nick is so right & everything he said about Spain is true, I could say so much more about living in this S++t hole place. I would move back (GB) this minute if my children were not here. No one hates living here more than me. The Spanish are rude, unreliable, selfish people & as for the driving, I would feel safer if it was monkeys driving the cars.

    • William Dulford says:

      You obviously are a thickie (I use this word so as not to use a more accurate, but embarrasing, one).
      The Spanish are NOT rude, not like the arrogant Brits who come to live here. I bet you haven’t even tried to integrate with them, or even to learn their language. I have lived in Spain for the past forty years and if I need a plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc, I always choose a Spanish one, never a Brit, because the Spanish are not out for a quick buck like the Brits who live here. Yes, go back to Britain. It’s Brits like you who get the British here a bad name.

      • francisco b says:

        I’m Spanish but I grew up in the UK, I have been living in Spain for 8 years & I cant wait to go back to the UK. I have plenty of Spanish friends but I totally agree with Nick & Cris, The Spanish are rude, unreliable & selfish people amongst others inc. racist. I dont know what part of Spain you are living in William Dulford but it certainly is not the Spain I know. Oh & I know about 10 Spanish individuals who have had enough of not finding work in Spain & has moved to the UK. All of them are working now & none of them speak English, so thats how they fare Shirley. I will be going back to the UK & I will never look back or come back except to visit family, I will never holiday here again. I should have never left the UK in the first place. This country is a Shi%t hole & I hate living here. I should of just seen it as a place to holiday instead of my home. I love Britain, I hate Spain. Spain should be flushed down the toilet !!!!!!, that where it belongs

        • You are not Spanish, you are an impostor! No Spanish would speak of their country and people in that manner unless he is an ungrateful SOB! Go back to the U.K. and stay there, Spain is a much better place without likes of you. You are one of those that will sell their mother for a handful of pounds! Shame on YOU!

          • Then you are the one not living in spain (I don’t respect this country enough to use capitals). Have you seen how are things nowadays? I think no.
            I’m spanish, one that like many others is trying to find a job, far away from home. That said, I have to say something in favor, not only for this country, but for all of them. You are the one who need to get use to how things are done instead of the other way aorund.
            It is true that we have many good cualities, but the downside is we have many more that gives us a bad name, and we have history books that proof our stupidity time and time again.
            Sincerely, a spaniard that wants to get out of here.

    • Adrian Porter says:

      Chris, you are so right! Mr Dulford has had a blessed existance here in Spain and I wish him well, but he should know that he is in the minority amungst ex-pats. I know two families that have been forced, through corruption, lies and pure stubborness of the Spanish they ‘trusted’, to run home. Both a lot poorer, both of a similar opinion to many on this site. These are just two of many, many more I know, hear and read about. It is a social disease and there is no will to correct it in Spain.
      It is interesting, is it not, that when you call up ‘I Love Spain’ on the web searches, no one has generated a blog page to that.
      Mr Metcalf obviously does not notice the back-handers, the two tear pricing structure for Spanish against ex-pats, the Police doing jobs other than serve and protect to keep the ex-pats in there place and if there crime figures weren’t massaged beyond recognition, then the story would be very different.

  5. I have lived in spain for 10 years and loved it. I am however going back to Uk purely because there is no work for me here (yes I speak Spanish). I am and have been willing to do anything, roofing, tiling, bar work, cleaning, you name it I have had a go but this year there is a real drought on work.
    You think Spain is hard with paperwork etc, try UK!!! because I have been away for 10 years, trying to rent a house is nigh on impossible, e.g. Can’t get a bank account unless I can give 5+ years of addresses, can’t rent without my life history and about £2000 to line the pockets of agents. Need proof of every breathe I take in 3 times over at a huge cost per breath, then double it. Can’t get a job without history of every move I make. Get the picture? I have worked hard, paid my rent and bills on time for 10 years but it counts for nothing in Uk, It’s like being punished for having the cheek to leave in the first place!!!!

  6. What really gets on my nerves about British expats is just how fixated they are on the weather. To them if it’s sunny it’s better. That’s a bit like say ‘well South Africa may have the highest murder rate in the world and whites are discrimnated against and young women are more likely to be raped than get an education but it’s sunny so it must be better than the Lake District. I’m sorry but it just doesn’t work like that. Scandanavia has cold weather but their countries work like clockwork while Africa has hot weather but it’s the complete opposite,it’s just irrelevant. Spain may be hot but the jobs are scarce,the shopping is terrible,young people have no hope,the education system us awful,it’s expensive,it’s overdeveloped and Its corrupt. After
    Irving in Murcia for 5 years we hope to relocate to Northumberland. Yes it’s cold but it’s beautiful,unspoilt and peaceful,I’ll leave you snobs to Spain!!!

  7. Neil Metcalf,what on earth are you talking about??? The crime in Spain is Absolutley awful. Muggings,buglaries and fraud are hot at the moment. I live in Madrid and its awful. It’s dirty,sweaty,poorly maintained and just down in the dumps. My 18 daughter is going to in the U.K and I don’t blame her. The education system here is awful. I hope to go back to Durham ASAP,moving to Spain was the worst move I’ve ever made and I think people who slate the U.K purely because of weather need to open their eyes and look at countries like Canada for coldness but perfection!!!!

    • neil metcalf says:

      It obviously has not occurred to you that Spain is a hot country!!
      you are bound to sweat!!
      By the way I did not leave England because of the weather,
      it was because of the very high rate of crime also the amount
      of rubbish thrown down in the streets and elsewhere,you do
      not find rubbish lying around in Spain except when the boozed
      up brits are here,when they have gone it gets a deep clean and
      stays that way until the next year.

      • neil metcalf, what planet (or part of Spain) are you on? You say that one of the reasons you left England was the amount of rubbish. You also say that you do not find rubbish in Spain, except that which is caused by drunken Brits.
        I take it that you have not seen much of Spain then. The country is, endemically, full of litterbugs. A Spaniard could be stood next to a litter bin yet their litter, 99 times out of a hundred, goes on the floor. This is true of both adults and children and happens both in the street and inside bars, restaurants, etc.
        Fly tipping is a major problem and for anybody living in Spain not to have witnessed it they must be either blind or stupid.
        Many villages and towns move their large communal bins every now and then. Sort of shares it about a bit. I have witnessed Spaniards going to where the bin used to be, prior to being moved (possibly only across the road or 15 yards further up the road), and just dump their rubbish on the road/ pavement. All because they cant be bothered to walk that tiny bit further!
        As for the boozed up Brits you talk of. The Spanish can be far, far worse. Where I live, and in many other parts of Spain, I have seen far more pee, poo and vomit deposited in the street by drunks, both male and female, (Spaniards) than I ever have in a similar sized town/ village (approx 4500 population) in the UK. As for drugs, dont even get me started on that one. Suffice to say, I have never witnessed such ‘open’ drug use by both young and old.

    • pilurini says:

      totally agree there on the weather, for a northern european country it’s not THAT cold! Spanish don’t integrate well here either- on the whole they start whingeing- shame because they have to come as there is nothing for them in the desert.
      I did love Spain, then thought it was -ok good enough , then since being back have to put it all down to 30 years experience. It’s not that good at all in my opinion, I stsrted to fall out of love with it way back when my children started school- the most BORING system in the world- and regimented

    • Don’t like your host country, go back to the U.K., no one is holding anyone back! I have lived in many parts of the world, and when I didn’t like a place, or got tired of where I lived, I simply left. There’s no need to bad mouth a country which let you in and open it’s arms to you. Only an ungrateful person would do that!

  8. Derek Shields says:

    I can only assume that the folk who don’t like Spain are living in the wrong place, didn’t do adequate research before coming, haven’t made enough effort to integrate, or are just expat minded. I have been in Spain for a number of years and find it a pleasant and friendly country. I have Spanish, British and Irish friends with a smattering of folk from other countries and by and large we get on well. It would appear from the mails already in this column that most of the folk having a bad time are on the Costa del Sol, we certainly don’t appear to have the same problems on the Costa Blanca. I find the Spanish people courteous, friendly, hard working, efficient and honest and the only folk I’ve had problems with have been Brits. Go back to UK? Not bloody likely, thanks!

    • Dr David Ashby says:

      My brother lives in a small village in Valencia we learnt spanish little by little with the help of the villagers we were treated as equals not as guerras to put it in perspective why are the poles ect so successful in uk they integrate fellow expats on the costas speak little spanish and want fish and cups or egg and bacon ect why emigrate 2000 miles to eat English food we have people here who refuse to speak spanish or to adapt what would happen to them in uk yes you’ve got it , if you want to emigrate a, learn the language b,learn to adapt its there country not yours yet c, research there is no jobs here and if a vacancy comes up who would you employ ? D this is a loving country adapt and you have a new home

  9. neil metcalf says:

    Derek,
    I am glad that at least someone else had the common sense
    to do proper research as you and I did and not come to Spain
    with an idea that they would get jobs/money/etc. thrown at
    them as the English governments do to foreigners.

  10. Tom Roberts says:

    I’ve lived & worked in almost 20 countries around the world because my profession has been an international one. Now I live in Spain and this is where I intend to stay. We love it here, but we’ve loved it where ever we’ve been.

    People here are writing as if Spain and the UK are the only two places in the world.

    There are 195 independent sovereign states in the world. Stop moaning (like a Brit) and go find your happiness in one of them. Best not pick the UK because you were probably moaning like an old woman about the UK when you first left there for “a better life in Spain”.

    The same people moaning here will probably be moaning about the next country they live in after a few years there, whether it’s the UK or otherwise.

    Make your own happiness and stop expecting one place or society to make you happy. Otherwise you will go to your grave in search of the happiness you never found …because you didn’t realise that you make your own happiness in this life.

    • Pat Hanoman says:

      I totally agree with Tom Roberts that you have to make your own happiness. I have been living and working (teaching English) in Gran Canaria off and on over the last 4 years and I love it ! I feel much safer there than I ever feel in Britain, and the islanders are polite and cheerful people, in spite of the recession. No doubt the permanently good weather does help !

      Yes, the bureaucracy is horrendous, as I found out when I had to register for work, but once done it was quickly forgotten and I got down to the business of enjoying life on this paradise island.

  11. Maureen O'Donoghue says:

    Nick’s article and the comments of those who agree with him illustrate exactly why the ‘English’ are known as ‘whingeing poms’ round the world. They move to a new country without any research or preparation regarding language, jobs, or lifestyle. Arriving in Spain, they left their brains behind when buying a property, signed up for mortgages they couldn’t afford, arrived without enough money to support themselves for more than six months, didn’t try to fit in with the Spanish community, complained if they had to take work like cleaning villas, or pools in order to get started, and made absolutely no attempt to appreciate the culture of this country. They created little ghettos of Brits along the coasts where they gossiped maliciously in the bars and ripped each other off whenever possible. They brought their chav habits of drunkenness, brawling and loutish behaviour with them – and then they are surprised that the Spanish don’t like them.
    I have lived here for 12 years in an inland Spanish village, I have at least learnt castillano, my Valencian neighbours are friendly, helpful, nice people, the health service is magnificent, rail transport is incredible cheap, local ayuntamiento taxes are minimal, villages can close their streets and have a little fiesta without restriction from ‘elf and safety, petty officials and police; and the ability of the Spanish to have these celebrations, despite the suffering and poverty they are experiencing, is a lesson to all you moaning Brits on how to face life’s problems with guts. You get rudeness,, inefficiency and crime in all countries – especially in the big cities – and those of you returning to the UK are in for a lot more of that than happens here. So good riddance! None of you will be a loss to Spain.

    • francisco b says:

      I take it that all the latest comments are your mates, what a wally !!

    • Iain Renfrew says:

      I have lived in Spain since 2005 and at first I really enjoyed it. I live in a rural pueblo with all Spanish neighbours who are very helpful. I work all over the world , so the job situation never really affected me, however I am a radiographer with 20+ years of experience and 2 years ago I handed in my CV to my local hospital and health board. I never received as much as an acknowledgement. Early last year, my wife started getting pain in her right side, she was diagnosed with gastritis(wrong side), Biliary colic, gallstones and then finally the true diagnosis, stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She died 16 days after diagnosis. My beautiful wife was 54 years old. I felt that as far as the doctors were concerned we were no more than an inconvenience. She was not given morphine until 4 days before she died, despite repeated pleas. I then had to identify my wife in the mortuary and this was nothing short of disgraceful. My wife had been a nurse for 25 years and had been a senior mortuary technician for 15 years and never would she have shown a relative a body in that condition. To make matters worse, if that is possible, our insurance company,Mapfre, say she was not covered and I have today received a bill for just short of 9000 euros. It has now been 7 months since my wife died and they have still not paid her life insurance, despite me being named as her beneficiary. They say I need to go through probate in the UK first. Would a Spaniard be treated like this, think not. All in all I feel we were treated as if we didnt really matter as we were just foreigners, and it breaks my heart to say so as I never thought I would feel this way about Spain. When all this is settled, I will leave this country and never come back, in fact I wish I had never come here in the first place. You will always be an outsider here and no matter how hard you try to fit in, it will never work. You will always be overcharged, jumped in the queue and generally be a second class citizen. To all you people who think this country is wonderful, well just wait.

      • Iain Renfrew says:

        Sorry, my wife had been a nurse for 20 years.

      • Ann Waters says:

        How heartbreaking for you. Can’t imagine how alone you must have felt during your wife’s treatment. My deepest sympathies to you Iain . I’m in my 50′s and my husband is trying to get me to sell the house and relocate to Spain but I am afraid to take the plunge.

  12. All I can say is that Nick is bang on the money. There is no work ethic amongst the Spanish and they can be incredibly rude and ignorant. The beaurocracy is unbelievably bad. The Guardia/Police/Town Hall all seem to be on a mission to scam Brits out of every penny they can, whilst allowing the Spanish to break laws with impunity. Just go into any Spanish bar and see how many are still smoking inside or look on any road to see a Spaniard with the 4 ways flashing where he has simply pulled up and caused chaos with the traffic. I was fined 100€ for parking off road by a roundabout, but the attractive young Spanish woman who was parked 20 meters in front of me did not get a fine!
    In order to try to make a living, we bought an existing shop. Just changing it over cost us over €2000 – unbelievable!
    Many Spanish blame their problems on the British expats without realising that if all the expats left and took the money that they pour into the economy with them, the problems for the Spanish would get a lot worse. Unlike all the scrounging immigrants in the UK, British expats either have an income or they go home! No social housing or juicy benefits for Brits in Spain.

  13. Can only agree with Neil Metcalf and Maureen O’Donoghue about living in Spain: it’s a fantastic place to be. However, you have to make an effort with the language(s) if you really want to fit in. I often visit Minorca and my Minorcan friends frequently comment on British expats who have lived there for years but can’t beyond ‘hola’. A lot of them seem to spend most of their time in British pubs and bars and have little interest in mixing. Social services in Mercadal have to deal with quite a few cases of Spanish born teenagers of British parents who have a totally negative attitude to the locals and live in ghettos on the coast. The whole environment that they live in is negative and rotten. You can’t just turn up in a foreign country and expect everything to be handed to you on a plate; you have to work at settling in and have a positive attitude. If the Spanish government ever introduced a citizenship test like the one in the UK, the majority of Spain’s second biggest immigrant community, the Brits, would fail miserably.

    • ian bonnick says:

      i see that all the comments here are from people living in the south, we live in galicia and although the crime is less the other things go on.there are good and bad people everywhere and thats just the way it is.we have had a hard time of it same as others and more so as my wife is from another part of galicia so take heart they dont just pick on the brits they do it to their own oh and south americans

  14. hi,
    im a spaniard leaving in the uk since 5 years ago. and no, i dont work in a spanish restaurant or struggle wit the language. i came here to get work experience in a good company and then decided to stay because of personal reasons.
    i do agree there are lots of things which can improve in spain, which i dislike… but let’s be honest… the uk is far from being perfect.

    i suggest people do a bit more research before moving out and choose less touristic places to live in… spain has plenty of lovely places, dont focus just on costa del sol (which in my opinion is just full of clueless tourist looking for sun and cheap booze) or other touristic resources. spain is more than sun, sangria, flamenco and bullfighters…

    • LINDA VINGIANO says:

      APART FROM ALL THE OTHER REASONS PEOPLE ARE SAYING THEY DON’T LIKE SPAIN, I.E. RUDENESS, RED TAPE ETC, THE SPANISH ARE ALSO INCREDIBLY CRUEL TO THEIR ANIMALS, BULLFIGHTING IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE.

      • Linda, are you a vegetarian?

        In case you are, I respect what you say. Otherwise, it’s sheer hippocrisy. Any farm animal whose meat everyone gladly eats is treated with far more cruelty than Spanish bulls. In fact, these animals live like kings as the owners invest a lot of money in keeping them fit and good-looking. Sure, they eventually get killed, but at least they have a chance to fight (some are even forgiven). Farm animals don’t get this chance.

        Spanish bulls would probably extinct by now if it weren’t for bullfighting. They are delicate animals and not at all cheap to breed.

        • colin cambell says:

          i visit nerja dn malaga twice yearly these past 4 yeasr and have only ever encounterer good ness and good will form all the spanish i ever met . All went out of their way to help if they could and all service i found to be generous and most civilized . A country where they even put a stamp in a little bag and give it to you with a smile is a winner in my book . in the UK we have the worst service anywhere and do not know what folks are talking about re it being good . Spanish culture in what i have seen seems to embrace all ages of the family and enjoy food and wine and gatherings in fresh air – as opposed to being hidden in different rooms watching tv .. I may be wrong but they seem to life well sussed and live life at the correct speed with out the need for excess alcohol or a good fight to have a good time !

        • Firstly, Andrew, I am not a vegetarian.

          Secondly, I tend to agree with LINDA VINGIANO that the Spanish can be cruel to their animals. And I am not talking about bull fighting, as I actually have no problem with it. It is part of the history of Spain, just as fox hunting is part of the UKs history.
          You say of bull fights, “they have a chance to fight (some are even forgiven)”. By forgiven I take it you mean the bulls life is spared. Yes it can happen, but rarely, I’ve seen it only once. And if it does the bull will never fight again, for it knows what will happen in the ring and is therefore very dangerous.
          As for them having “a chance to fight” it is not a fair one. Many a time I have seen a matador get into trouble (with the possibility of being seriously injured or killed). Yet his banderilleros will come to his aid, draw the bull away allowing said matador to regroup and go on to kill the bull. Yet by default the bull had already ‘won’ the fight!

          Thirdly, you talk of farm animals and the cruel treatment they receive. Have you ever been on a farm Andrew?
          My grandfather, many uncles, friends and others in my extended family are/ were farmers and each and every one treats the animals with respect.

          Fourthly, you class fighting bulls as “delicate”. Do you not realise they are bred to be strong, aggressive with good stamina and energy? Hardly delicate!

    • Lyndsey says:

      I agree with Loles, England is far from perfect especially Wigan where I am from – jesus, people provoke you all the time there and interfere in your business, cause trouble the men are just plain rude and arrogant and full of kids having kids. England has a lot of drunken violence, lazy scroungers, benefit cheats, peados. So let’s talk about the PROBLEMS now…. yes, Spain pfff my little finger is more professional at times but then I guess that’s in most of these Latino islands but then maybe we are probably too prof because we in england have to deal with idiots complaining all the time and do you for a tiny scratch on your bloody car knocking all your no claims off, you don’t see that in Spain. So good and bad! Yes, can be annoying when you don’t get things on time or say money just goes out of your bank account and they didnt explain this to you about some kinda service charge grrr!
      The person who said something about the South of Spain being more dangerous because it’s close to Africa what a load of s***! I have lived in Costa Blanca and I was attacked twice by different by South Americans and ended up putting one in prison, never had any problems in Granada. Just like England you get good and bad everywhere at least I have never seen people kicking or stamping on each others head like you do in England or fat ugly slappers hitting a man with a hi-heel shoe.
      There’s good and bad but you can’t have everything remember that. You can have the beach and the sun and sit out at night with a sangria and look at the sexy men walking past or you can go back to your TV lifestyle and eat heart attack food, stare at all the cave men and listen to everyone moaning about ho s*** their life is. Spain is just lacking in professionalism that’s all, once that’s sorted then it will be a better place to live but the Spanish arent as business minded as us brits.

  15. Im Portuguese and have to live next to those self obsessed proud for no reason kings of their own belly buttons. Spanish are in no way like any other mediterranean country. Even though italians are proud they do not dis their equals. Traveling through their country is a struggle and having them in my country is a pain in the butt. They assume all the planet speaks spanish and that their views should be seen as mainstream! Paris is a North American cliché. South of Spain is a Northern European cliché. It is dirty, overpopulated and extremely touristic. Both suck and are not as glamorous as people think. Before moving somewhere you should do a thorough research! For example Croatia is much nicer than Italy when it comes to beach culture and people still prefer Italy. Portugal is much better than Spain and people still prefer to go to Spain. We thank you for that! This is the only way to keep our country in a good condition when it comes to preserving our country’s natural riches.

    • Well said Jeco well said. A little intelligence goes a long way.

    • Vanessa says:

      Oh, yes, they assume everyone speaks Spanish, completely the opposite as British, who are so well known for speaking the local language everywhere they go.
      And btw, Paris is amazing.

  16. I was very surprised to read the above, although I do believe that when you move to another country you should try and integrate, we moved to the isle of lewis in scotland and loved it, we lived there 13years and integrated, ok the 1st language was english but a lot of the locals spoke gaelic, especially when english were around but i accepted this and they changed to us when we started helping at local carnivals etc – unfortunately we had to move back due to parents illness, although we would love to move back we do like the thought of moving to a warmer climate with having arthritis. All countries have there downsides and it helps to know what they are, friends of ours moved back from bulgaria and told us of big problems with crime, its difficult to get a balanced view wherever you move to – one thing for sure though wherever we end up we will rent for 6 months rather than jump in and buy.

  17. I am spaniard, was born in Barcelona. The main problem I see here is the region: costa blanca, costa del sol..Try to do the same in Barcelona or Madrid metropolitan areas and you realize very fast that the things are different. Less corruption and more opportunities, generally speaking, of course.

    I have never understand why british people are so absolutely fascinated with the weather and the coast, overall all the souteastern coast having in mind that there are more in the nort.

    I am planning anyway moving back to London after eight years, because we finally hit the bottom and some andaluzas provinces are up to 30% unemployment.
    Regards,

  18. Disappointed says:

    Thank you for sharing. I actually feel the same way right now. I have just moved from USA to UK and cannot believe how disappointing UK is. So I guess Spain must be even worse? Really? I actually discovered many easter European countries to be better than UK in many aspects. You can’t make nice leaving in UK unless you are a doctor or lawyer or successful business owner. Customer service ? please, don’t make me laugh. Flats small and without walking closets (or any wardrobes), even those recently built! and be careful not to bump your head on ceilings, they are pretty low in new flats! Now I understand why UK doesn’t ever make it to the top 10 for quality of living. Reach country?? For real?

    • Annoyed at Didappointed says:

      I am half british, half american, but I was born in England and have lived here my entire life. One thing I hate is when americans who don’t even own a passport think that the streets are paved with gold in England. If you go somewhere thinking that it’ll be your shangri-la, then of course you’ll be let down! Okay, you say that you can’t make a nice living in the UK unless you are a doctor, lawyer, or successful business owner. What? You must have a very strange social group and general area, if that is what you think. I have never heard anyone ever say something even hinting at that. If you can’t get a job, it’s because of your own incompetence, and from your post I can guess, arrogance. No customer service; again, where are you in the UK? The only thing I can guess that made you feel this way is that in England, salespeople don’t treat customers like the sun shines out of their behinds. You probably just had a bad experience in a couple of stores, though, but still, labelling the entire country as not having customer service? Narrow minded, aloof, arrogant, clueless … Walk in closets? How can you judge a country on its walk-in closets, and flat height? You must be trying to find a house in a densely populated city; the thing is, England and its cities are much more compact due to lack of space – america was built as people travelled west, so everything is generally bigger, more spread out. And finally, as I said before, ENGLAND IS NOT PAVED WITH GOLD. No-one ever says that all of England is rich, of course there are poor people and poor places. Your friends back in the US and online must have propogated a myth that England is a perfect, wealthy country, and the best in Europe (Sweden probably is). Well we didn’t advertise it like that, you did. So do some research before you come, in a real book, read the british newspapers, and generally have more common sense. Sorry for the long post, but it felt good writing it.

  19. peter jenkins says:

    I’ve lived in Catalunya on and off for 20 years and on the whole have enjoyed it. There are problems as with anywhere, but you have to learn to adapt to your environment. If you want to live in an ex-pat community with your full English and Daily Mail then expect the locals not to take a shine to you. I’ve experienced very little crime, have been ripped off by a few builders/electricians /satellite installers, but put that down to my bad judgement in choosing the wrong person for the job. Yes there is corruption at every level, and before long if it all comes out Spain will be worse off than Greece, I know many people, both locals and foreigners, who don’t pay all their taxes because if they did they’d go out of business, but if there were one reason for moving for me it would have to be the education system. I have 3 children, one at university and the other 2 in an International school, but even though they get a much better quality education it is still arcane compared to the UK . I’m a teacher, have worked in state and private schools here and a state school in Luton, and am totally convinced that the kids I taught in Luton left school better prepared for life and with a better education in general than I see kids getting here. So the future for Spain is not bright and will be more expensive for all of us. I’m not a “whingeing Pom” but what I do see is that we have a choice- we have another country or countries to go to and experience a new life and culture and I embrace that option. There are far too many young people here and in the UK who don’t have that chance and won’t for a long time until we sort out the global economy and stop all the greedy egocentric politicians and big businesses from ripping us all off. And it doesn’t matter where you live for them to do that – just ask starbucks or vodafone in the UK – it’s not a Spanish monopoly to rip you off- it’s just business!

    • I agree with what Peter Jenkins is saying. Very well said.
      I want to live in Spain. But I have noticed loads of Spanish people moving to London for work. Especially work that they wouldn’t do in Spain. Ever since 2007/2008 the global economy has affected everyone in some sort of way. I feel that since 07/08 a lot of companies globally and locally have been trying to rip us of more than before. So we need to be careful when handing money over. And read the small print because it seems everyone is getting ripped of by everyone.
      My dream of moving to Spain may have to be put on hold for however many years. There is some sort of hope as I have some Spanish friends that have moved back to Spain and started a family. I’ll have to wait and see if it will just remain a dream.
      It’s been interesting reading a lot of the comments on here. Not really surprised with the comments on here to be honest.
      The same problems that are in Spain are the same in the UK. In every country. It’s also interesting to know that most of the problems are in the costal del sol. Seems to be a lot of friction between the locals and large amount of ex-pats in that area. I wonder if there’ll be less friction in Barcelona?
      It does amaze me that SOME people go to Spain thinking that they don’t need to learn Spanish or don’t want to learn Spanish or can’t be bothered to learn Spanish. And if some people have been living in Spain for many years or decades and still can’t speak Spanish, then that is shocking. Awful.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if those same people had a problem with foreigners living in England or the UK that can’t speak English. I’ve been in certain places in Spain and its so funny when I’m in a shop or anywhere. And the person in front of me speaks loudly, nearly shouting in English and expects the Spanish person to understand. We are in their country for goodness sake.

      Anyway it’s been great reading some of these comments so far. I’m glad that I’ve learnt from other people’s experiences. It’s given me a better understanding.

  20. Matthew Hirtes says:

    I live in Canaries which is considerably closer to the “poor African countries” that the writer mentions than Nerja. At no time do I worry about the threat to my property or myself from people who have relocated from Africa. Good luck in multicultural Britain, Nick.

  21. I have to agree with all of the comments the writer has made about Spain. Spain is great for vacation but for living its quite horrible. I speak spanish fluently so a lack of the language is not the problem for me. The majority of people are rude and the corruption on all levels is sickening. The justice system is slow if your lucky becuase most crimes don´t get punished. The only good thing i can say about spain is that it has made me appreciate my home(u.s.) a lot more. Just go to ibiza in the summer….

    • You are the typical ugly American! I have lived in the U.S., and there’s no comparison between Spain and the U.S.! Talking about rude people, crime (mass killings all the time, shootings in every city on a daily basis) ,trash on the streets, high taxes, materialistic society, and racism? Go back to the states and stay there, you give Americans a bad name!

      • Mark you’re a sad, jealous, hater. Peter said nothing offensive, but you go on a rude pitiful rant. Glad to not know you. I feel sorry for whatever country has to put up with your hatefulness.

  22. The first time my wife and I went to Spain, we stayed at a small villa belonging to a friend. She told us that a neighbour would meet us at Alicante airport and take us the 25 miles to T. This same neighbour took us to a “brit bar” and we found out he looked after our friends villa. He charged us a full taxi fare from the airport , in the brit bar he only drank shorts to my beers (twice as many) and we subsequently found out he was letting our friends villa and keeping the money without telling her. No wonder when she went out her gas cylinders were always empty. I found the Brits were greedy and always looking out to cheat you. The Spanish were mostly nice.

  23. david Smith says:

    Why are most of the brits with sour grapes posting here talking about ??? , my wife and myself have been coming to the NORTH ! notice NORTH costa blanca for many years and bought our property on la sella near pedreguer 6 years ago we will be coming to stay next year to live and work , we have spent the past 4 years researching our business plan. We dont go to english or irish bars or the well known english so called restaurant at the far end of the arenal, yes you know the one! .what the hell is the point coming to this beatifull part of spain and eating crap food and drinking a bottle of cats pee ( free with your meal ) if you dont like spanish culture customs food ect go to Nerja, Torrevieja ect where the rest of the brits are eating fish and chips with a lager watching sky sports , my personal opinion is that most people moaning about spain are the ones who are not prepared to accept this is spain and if you dont like it tough !!!! . As for corruption have a look at england ,a close look at barclays bank, mp expenses ect !!!!

  24. Not wishing to add to the argument but. Nick has made some honest comments and unfortunately he doesnt like it and has decided its not for him. I think his comments are one view and i am glad to read his views especially if i was going to live in Spain. The other comments are also good and anyone reading for the first time can draw their own conclusions. For me. i have properties in Poland, spain, france and italy. I get frustrated by the incompetence of italians and spanish. France hasnt caused me too many issues. You can get ripped off and cheated especially when you least expect it. Crime is evident everywhere but i do find the desire to follow up and detect is worst in italy. The Italians say there are always 2 police men together because; one to read and one to write. Each country has good and bad things. But at the end of the day a home is what you want to make it. Adjusting your lifestyle to fit the environment. I always do my research before buying but all the research in the world doesnt identify lawyers or professionals who cheat you etc. I find lots of my tenants especially in France come and rent for 3-6 months to see if they like the area and place etc before deciding to buy. I dont get that in Spain of Italy. I do confess that i am shocked at the number of Brits who romantically move to another country with very little cash or knowledge and then end up coming back to the uk with little cash. But hey ho its a life experience and they had the courage to have a go.
    Thanks for the note nick you clearly set off a hornets nest. I always think its wonderful to read the comments of some of the people here. You can see the anger and emotion running through the keys as they type. Castigating others and making silly immature comments. The must be quite sad individuals if they cannot respond without getting over emotive.
    Well ive added my comments and hopefully anyone else reading this thinking of buying in spain will be able to make up their own minds.
    c

  25. As an expat, who has been living in Spain for neigh on thirty years, I can honestly say that if you are well off ( as many retired brits are) Spain is probably one of the best countries to live in, at least in Europe. If you have the dough third world countries are the best place to take advantage of poorer locals. If you don’t have the dosh and end up in currupt Spain, I feel sorry for you.
    Spain may have its good points but when ex president José Maria Aznar buys a flat which has been built without the proper planning permission then something is really wrong.
    To tell people not to complain or go home or that you shouldn’t have come here in the first place, is like telling anyone in a high unemployment area with no skills to move out, easier said than done when you have no means of making a fresh start.
    I would just like to add that the majority of Spaniards are not happy with their own country and everything I complain about (like a typical wynging Brit that I am) my Spanish counterparts also find annoying to say the least.
    I wonder how many people who made comments on this post went to mass to commemorate Franco’s death on November the twentieth? Spain just hasn’t moved on and if you don’t beleive me take a look at the aggressions on Gibraltar of late.

  26. Globalcitizen2012 says:

    I am south asian and have lived in usa, uk and france and visited spain many times. For some people the us and uk are good countries because they need jobs to support themselves….However besides giving a job these countries – us and uk offer little else in return.UK in my opinion is the worst of all, there is way more crime in uk than spain or france and uk’s government is much worse than anywhere else. UK is a racist, corrupt, over regulated and over suspicious country now where survival has become very difficult especially for genuine foreigners. I am wealthy enough so dont need a job to sustain myself and for people like me i think spain is much better…..i found spanish people mostly kind, sweet and friendly compared to the british who mostly have a huge issue with south asians….not saying all brits are that way but a large anount are….they are very condascending deceitful people too. The spaniards arent so hard working but they have more integrity…they have much better family values and are happier people. The sadness of grey britain with the ugliness everywhere just makes me sick,,,and there is too much harassment in uk now….too much policing and an over suspicious environment. Spain is not for people looking to build careers but for someone independant its a great place to spend at least half a year….

    • glad to hear tht you are wealthy enough to not need a job, I don’t see how you can say that there is more crime in the UK, or that we are more racist or corrupt!
      Our country is not ugly it is beautiful! green, trees everywhere, sea never far away, vibrant capital and friendly people, positive attitude, sense of humor always at the forefront, You have had a bad experience of our country.

  27. Have just spent the last half an hour reading Nick’s account of living in Spain, and the various and mixed bag of responses which followed… so now for mine! I live in the UK but have owned a property with my parents in a small village on the Eastern Costa del Sol (approx 15 minutes outside of Nerja!) for 6 years. I am a regular visitor, as are my parents – who are retired and visit several times a year for a month or two at a time.

    From the age of 5 I had visited Spain many, many times for holidays (and many other wonderful European and non-European destinations too!) I was most familiar with the Western Costa del Sol, more especially Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmadena, etc, and from my late twenties I aspired to have a small home there.

    I spent some 5 years or so researching the property market because the property “boom” at that time meant that our budget would not stretch to purchase in the Western Costa del Sol (what an absolute blessing in disguise!). Still keen to fulfill my Spanish Holiday home dream, I invested in Spanish lessons and ventured to different parts of Spain. I took a good look (both internet research and physical visits). My search took in just about every stop from Barcelona to Gibraltar. The area that both I and my parents fell in love with was “La Axarquia” (the Eastern Costa del Sol). It was much less developed. For us, there was, and still is, something magical about the place and many of its people. The welcome and the help that was given to us was quite something. One small example…. the Spanish family who own some of the hotels in our local beach town – where I used to stay during my property search trips – befriended me. Being a very successful, multi-millionaire hotelier and property developer, the Father even took the time out to visit run-down village houses which I had picked out. Not to try to make money from me, but to advise me and protect me and my family from making mistakes or being “ripped off” in any way. I was even invited to their home for lunch. So, just as in England and every other country in the World, there are good people… you just have to use your own judgement and instincts.

    After several disappointing experiences (we were gazumped, etc), we finally found our little place in the sun. None too pretty, but it had potential. It suited both our needs (bearing in mind the generation difference between myself and my parents). A village 10 minutes from the coast and 10 minutes from the lake. The village had every-day amenities, yet more modern and large-scale facilities were only a 5 minute drive away. After a very long, stressful and over-budget refurbishment programme which I had the challenge of trying to manage between full time job in UK and flying out for weekends every couple of weeks (undertaken by ENGLISH BUILDERS!!!) – and, YES…. we had to employ a local SPANISH BUILDER to come and put right many aspects of the works which had been undertaken by the English builders!) the dream was finally realised.

    It is almost like going back in time entering the village. We love its simplicity and, for the most part, the people (there will always be the odd one or two that your instincts will warn you against). There are around 700 inhabitants (when we first arrived, of that 700, there were probably around 20 ex-pats in and around the village – now there are less than half and those ex-pats that are still living there are on pensions and not reliant or solely reliant on income earned in Spain. Yes, it’s tough times). We have the most amazing Spanish vecinos/neighbours. Despite being part-time residents (and my parents’ very limited knowledge of Spanish), we integrate very much with the Spanish people, but also have ex-pat friends too. For example, on her annual visit last year, my 6 year old niece (who speaks about 5 words of Spanish!) attended the birthday party of a little Spanish girl in the village. The young kids took my niece’s hand and she was accepted and “invited” to join in as one of them – despite the fact that they had never met her before. That’s very much how it’s been during the last 6 years. We are always looked after (avocados, mangos, every fruit and vegetable, lifts into town, watering our plants, etc, etc) and we are always INCLUDED and INVITED to join in with the people and the goings on in the village. Of course, just as here in England (I live in the South and my parents live in West Wales) there is crime … a wheelbarrow which we had left on the front terrace “disappeared”. Our neighbour advised us that a house in the village had been burgled during the light of day. Their opinion was that it was not a local offender.. rather an immigrant from Northern or Eastern Europe, and was a new experience for the village. Me, I have been burgled twice in the last 20 years in the UK… different houses… but both while I was asleep in bed. When I speak to my Spanish friends on the telephone they too raise the same concerns/moans about the goings on in Spain as I do about the goings on in England…. unemployment, rising cost of living, crime rate… even the poor weather. So, yes, I can completely understand Nick’s frustration but to have stayed for 5 years…. it surely can’t have all been bad? I think that the little “irritations” that one can overlook when all is going well can quite easily grow out of all proportion when situations change. Good luck on your return to the UK… hope it lives up to expectations..

  28. Section 1. Crime in Spain

    Name me a country that does not have crime.

    Section 2. Work and Jobs in Spain

    What did you think would be better , why did you assume everything, did it never occur to you that it would be different not better

    Section 3. The Word Manana /Section 4. Customer Service in Spain

    You are in Spain – should have stayed put or gone the the USA for customer service – oops sorry they have a lot of crime

    Section 5. Getting Ripped Off in Spain

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm ever seen the TV programme Watch Dog people rip off people in the UK as well

    Section 6. Poor Roads/Facilities in Spain

    Before you arrived were you promised nice roads etc?

    • Your counterarguments were weak and just tried to distract from facts. Your point about Section 6, just sounds as a fallacy, he obviously complaining about something that’s bad and he adds the subject of corruption, which could be the reason for that problem.

      It’s clear that any of us have no fun when others are criticizing things we like or love, but if the critic is valid, then it’s better to try to solve that situation. I read a lot of persons defending their countries and even condoning crimes and other bad things, just because they love their countries, if that’s their patriotism, then those nations will have a worst future.

  29. You are an idiot to attempt to stereotype Africans who live in Spain.
    You cannot lump a group of individuals into one pot and categorise them as having the same behaviour. It is grossly offensive.

    Furthermore, we are all human and you there is nothing ‘better’ about you that gives you more of a right to be in Spain than them.

  30. Okay then, let me jump in. I have been living in Spain for the last 10 years, close to Madrid in a very nice village. I am French but worked all my life in the USA, where I still travel a lot for work. My wife is Spanish and we have a son born in Spain.

    I think it is very difficult to get things done in Spain and what is mostly wrong here is the system. There is good and bad everywhere.

    One thing I know for sure is if I had spent the energy I spent here to get things done in the last 10 years I would be a millionaire in the USA, living in Malibu and have breakfast with the stars. You could tell me: “then go back there” and that is exactly what I am doing.

    This country hasn’t given me much and in return taken a lot out of me. Don’t get me wrong I have a GREAT Spanish family and good friends too but this is not going to put food on the table.

    I agree with most on this blog, administration is a freaking nightmare in this country, you could hear 15 different opinions from the same administration office.
    If you try to be part of the system and open a business you will be hammered real hard before you can even make a return, not really good for business, isn’t it?

    I have had a great time in Spain but it is now time to get the hell out of here before it gets worse and believe you me it’s going to get much worse. Unless you have a great opportunity for a job, think twice before you move here.

    Now talking about rude and racist people it is quite hard to top the USA for that but I found people over here to be very jealous and envious, so if you’re good at what you do they will try to put you down. Spain is not the land of opportunities.

    Do I hate Spain?

    No I don’t, I actually love it here and it pains me to leave but this is the right thing to do for me.

    Spain is a beautiful country and I can see why a lot of people want to move here but just beware it may not be what you think.

    This is my humble opinion now it’s your choice.

    Good luck to all… Marc

  31. natalie cooper says:

    not sure really somethings are true i am 27 from england but now live in sevilla spain i have just had my first baby here and they was very good with me and looked after me and my baby very well as for the roads yes they are a mess but havent they always been like that ?? as for jobs there are few and far between phone jobs i dont even see bar jobs anymore
    ohh well happy days uk or in spain :) main thing keep smiling :) xxx

  32. carolvoss says:

    I lived in Spain for six years. The location on the Costa Blanca was my partners choice as he already owned a property and had interests there.

    Apart from rotten customer service and rip offs by the spanish, the real horrors came from the British ex pats. Often seedy, obese, drunks, or con merchants, smug suburbanites, or wicked old witches with pampered pets drinking all day long until they fell over in the street.

    At best just plain boring and thick, and most out to make a buck out of anyone they could. There were dreary and mind bogglingly boring ‘entertainments of kareoke bars, bingo and crap ‘English’ food and bars. Whoever said ‘call someplace paradise then kiss it goodbye’ was spot on.

    Allow the worst of the British abroad and they’ll quickly turn anywhere into downmarket little Britain, with the lowest standards, tacky shops and the worst of everything they managed to escape from in the first place.

    Ex pats ugh!

    One thing I noticed, almost all the Spanish took care with their appearance, didn’t drink theselves stupid and had a grasp of culture and arts in their country.

    Perhaps I hit the wrong part and found the Brit Sun readers and loud mouths. Britain may be cold, but it sure beats the being near the ex pats abroad, and if the Spanish learned how customer service works in Tesco they might get out of recession.

    Regrets at leaving? Not at all and I don’t have to see fat nearly naked people.

  33. spain is a big beutiful place, listening to the complaints of a guy whose chose to work and live among drunken expats in the least spanish part of spain is a great mistake, travel a little. learn Spanish. you vukgarians just want everything on a platter. And if you hate spain so much just get your dental work done in Englan, where they will REALLy rip you off.

  34. Naomi Abrahams says:

    I’m no expert as I only spent a couple of months in Spain, a few years ago, and gave up when I realised that some people were horrible. Since then I’ve been to Asia where some people were rude and unpleasant, too. But there were lovely ones as well, just as there are in Spain or anywhere else. I’ve lived in Ireland for many years and love it but there are things that drive me crazy.. I used to think that Irish time,( late) wasunique until I was told that there was Vietnam time(even later) as my students would tell me. The point is that there are disadvantages to living anywhere. The longer you live somewhere, the more aware you will be of the place’s faults. You just have to decide if you want to be somewhere and make the best of it. If it doesn’t suit your needs,move on. Don’t expect a perfect place or perfect people, they don’t exist. Right now I would put up with a lot to get the damp out of my bones as I’ve had arthritis since I was in my twenties. It’s all about what you want and need

  35. humm after reading the above doubt ill go to spain it sound crap

  36. Hi, my name is Javier and I am Spanish , the thing is that I lived my childhood is Australia so I an not 100% Spanish in my way of acting and thinking.
    I had never been to the Uk and two summers ago I had the chance to visit your country and I was very pleased; one of the biggest differences I experienced is the customers service, to get the service and attention you get in any British establishment, you need to go to a medium to expensive shop or restaurant, I am so unhappy with the way they treat people that I cannot believe that our tourism is doing quite well.
    As other people have said any paperwork is hell to get done, and things are getting very expensive for the average worker, really ifmysituation was different I probably think about moving from here, but for me there are more positive things than negative.
    One last thing is that after being here for 35 years some people still call me “el inglés” or ” el Australiano”, so I have been considered a foreigner in my country.

  37. En España os odiamos también. El 90% de los ingleses que vienen por aquí son jóvenes con ganas de emborracharse y destrozar las calles.

    • Pero lo mas fuerte es que creen que su pais es el mejor de la faz de la tierra, cuando es un pais feo,frio,sin oportunidades y depresivo. Se quejan mucho de España, pero no son capaces de darse cuenta que nuestro pais es mejor que el de ellos, CON DIFERENCIA! Un saludo!

      • Que v! Vivia en espana durante 30 anos una experiencia queria volver pero tenia dos hijos y no queria abandonarles tampoco queria quitarles de su padre. Pero ahora llevo 3 anos de vuelta aqui en inglaterra – que alegria! Este pais no es feo y hay muchisimas oportunidades, mucho humor, arboles, ayuda, sorpresas y el tiempo no hace frio siempre y no me gusta tanto calor. Que feliz estoy por haber vuelto

    • Muy bien dicho,Alexandre !!! ej. SALOU, MARBELLA . Se quejan de la educación en españa ,pero estoy segura de que ningún joven español se comporta de la manera en la que se comportan ”los que han recibido una educación superior” cuando están visitando España …

      So you say education in Spain is far worst than in England .how do you explain then the behavior of your “‘superior” youth when they visit Salou every year??? just stay where you are and don’t boughter coming !!!!
      And you, PURINI, 30 years and you still have problems with the language… I rest my case.

  38. IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING MOVING TO SPAIN, MY ADVICE IS TO RENT FOR A WHILE, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES BUY A PROPERTY, EVEN NOW, WHEN PRICES HAVE DROPPED, DON’T EVER CONSIDER IT. TOO UNPREDICTABLE, ALSO THE INHERITANCE TAX LAWS ARE FRIGHTENING FOR NON-SPANIARDS. PERSONALLY, I WOULD NOT BUY A RABBIT HUTCH IN SPAIN. THEY ARE A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES, THEY, RIGHTLY SO , LOOK AFTER THEMSELVES, NOT FOREIGNERS. I LIVED THERE FOR 3 YEARS, I CAME HOME TO ENGLAND IN 2010 AND YES, IT HAS PROBLEMS, BUT HOME IS HOME AND YOU KNOW HOW EVERYTHING WORKS. I ALWAYS FELT VULNERABLE IN SPAIN EVEN THOUGH I SPOKE FLUENT SPANISH. I WOULD NOT EVEN GO BACK THERE FOR A HOLIDAY NOW.

  39. I’ve been living in the South of Spain and indeed didn’t like it that much. I feel compelled to tell you that once I went to a townhall (in the beginning) and there was an English lady working there. She told me ‘you must always be careful if you do any bussiness here, but I have to tell you, I’m English and I shouldn’t say this, but the English are the worst’. Honest to God!! And lo and behold, she was right.

    I now live on the Costa Blanca, and I like it here much better. I do NOT agree with your statement that Spanish people are rude. I find them VERY friendly and helpfull, especially if you take the efffort to try and speak their language. Most English don’t even bother : I read a complaint once in an English paper,from an English person that in the Centro de Salud there should be ‘at least’ an English translation of the messages on the wall (?!?). Why? Do you have translations on your walls in England?

    Why is it that everybody has to speak English. You are a GUEST in THEIR COUNTRY : YOU are the one who has to adapt : not them. I personally think THIS is a very rude attitude. Some Spanish do hate the English, but hey : there is a reason for that : just read the above.

    I often get irritated when I have to wait long in a bank or a shop, but : that is their way of living. I am a bit jealous of this : they lead a far more relaxed way of living then we do. Good for them! I hope that I will get the hang of it in time….. a lot healthier.

    One last thing : if you hate Spain; go back and stop complaining. See how long it takes before you start complaining about the English live again….

    Cheers

    • A good comment Belgian i must say that The British education system does not push the learning of languages any where near enough and has not done so for years. Part of this is due to the English language being spoken in a lot of the world, perhaps due to the ease of learning it. But this is not an excuse, but if so many different countries speak English why would you bother to spend a fortune in money and time trying to learn another language , unless there was a specific reason. The french language also has this dominance in many parts of the world. I do not think most British people have a don’t bother attitude but more of a cultural language upbringing that has resulted in their lack of different language learning ability.
      I must say i tried to learn french at school and found i was hopeless, until visiting france for an 8 week holiday and wanting to learn some to communicate daily with my host friends. and it was a great. Un fortunately for me i find learning any language impossible by book but much easier when in a practical need situation.

  40. Spain sucks! lived there for 30 years = my kids are half spanish – grown up and I find Spain corrupt, full of crime and in the south the climate is almost desertlike! cultural desert too – with lots of flies

  41. Oh and to all spaniards and i met quite a few- lots are nice just like anywhere = but yes Alexandre- sabemos que nos odian!! que palabra mas fuerte!!!It seems that the spanish dislike their tourists and are not that brilliant with foreign residents either… I agree the brits abroad drink too much- so carry on hating!!!
    In general, the Spanish are an unfriendly bunch, – bad image. Especially those that work for the council, the authorities or anywhere like that- they are not THAT helpful towards each other either- a negative feeling all round. I didn’t leave because of the recession, I simply left to come home but it’s great here- the Brits like to moan but it’s more tongue in cheek and there is a can do attitude here and this lovely island is full of surprises and seems playful compared with that desert. I love a few Spaniards and I wasn’t miserable there but so glad to be here in UK

    • What a load of b******. I have been living in Madrid for 3 years now and the people have been NOTHING but friendly, EXTREMELY helpful to the point where they will slow down their speech to help me better understand what they are saying – without a single sign of frustration – and even open a map for me to help me find my way around, when a simple “this way, that way” would do. I feel blessed to be living in the country, which is a hell of a lot better than the treatment I got as an American in London, when asking for the way to the metro – “um, we do not call it a subway here, we call it the UNDERGROUND.” Not to mention how safe I feel in Madrid, which is always teeming with people – taking a taxi home at 3am is not something I would often consider doing back home. A cultural desert? Are you sure you were living in Spain? Have you been to Toledo, Segovia, etc? I cannot believe what I am reading !
      Muchas gracias.

  42. Now,maybe it’s my fault but I don’t understand, if you hated Spain that much, why didn’t you just go home? Especially if you have children : you don’t want them to grow up with ‘criminals, flies and in a dessert’ do you?

    ps : I totally agree with Naomi.

    • I was married to a spanish man with whom I am still good friends. I didn’t want to remove the children from easy access for him- they are very close to him. I came back once my son was 20 – yes i would have come back sooner otherwise. As i said I wasn’t unhappy there, i put up with the flies and the desert feeling quite happily and just got on with my life. Coming back has opened my eyes , i also said i loved it initially – now i see it as an experience – i remember certain times fondly and I like Flamenco- love it really. But Spain I find in general is much more hoste in every way i cluding the weather

  43. Ah, the English, ‘we manage’ they say in their lovely country. Cold, expensive, dangerous and class-ridden. ‘Could be worse’, they tell you. Where’s the adventure, the fun, the life? It’s not in Croydon or Bristol or Leeds or Rugby.
    I’ve lived here in Spain for most of my life. I have never regretted leaving the UK. Of course you will always be a ‘foreigner’ when you are in a ‘foreign’ country. Didn’t see that coming?

    • pilurini says:

      How can the English be described as cold? Or do you mean the weather? I so much prefer it here. Every summer in Spain I turned into a bit of a zombie- that sun was hostile! As for fun and life-after 30 years of living in Spain I have returned to England- a country full of surprises-a can do attitude- people laughing and joking, loads to do, I feel that life knocks on my door every day and invites me out to play! The English are playful, they like a laugh- here in London there is creativity everywhere, loads of fun to be had in any shape or form. And the trees!! They are alive, don’t see that abundance in Spain-I have become fascinated by the trees and the birds and the wildlife and that’s here in the city!!!I don’t particularly like croydon and don’t know about the other three places you mention, but the fun is here!!! I like flamenco and the feria is OK – went to them often but it all meant lots of drinking- the daytime was best- the horses and the dressing up but SO showoffy – here people get into fancy dress- more fun. Spanish can be snobs too by the way- yes life has begun agin for me over here- glad I came back- Spain holds nothing for me at all, I hope not to have to go there too often

      • I hope so to…. Dont come anymore to Spain, My country is too much for you… We dont want you here!!

        • Que v! Vivia en espana durante 30 anos una experiencia queria volver pero tenia dos hijos y no queria abandonarles tampoco queria quitarles de su padre. Pero ahora llevo 3 anos de vuelta aqui en inglaterra – que alegria! Este pais no es feo y hay muchisimas oportunidades, mucho humor, arboles, ayuda, sorpresas y el tiempo no hace frio siempre y no me gusta tanto calor. Que feliz estoy por haber vuelto

        • Luis
          I think you are wrong. Most British, as most Spanish, are nice people. Do not go down to their level. The fact that a few ones in this forums are just rude, racist and white trash do not mean all British are like that. Obviously these few people are not representative of their country, in fact, its obvious they are just uneducated and low life folks. Do not blame them, feel sorry for them instead.

        • Pilurini es una resentida menopausal…decir que Espana es un desierto cultural demuestra el nivel de ese resentimiento…me da lastima…pobrecilla…

          • quizas!!! es que he vuelto y me da cuenta de lo tanto que he dejado por atras. !!Encuentro la gente aqui en Inglaterra mas dispuesto abrazar nuevas ideas, se preguntan mas, esto es lo que queria decir- asi se crece la cultura, se mueve.. la cultura parece estar mas al mano de la mayoridad. Tocayo- menopausal- no ya he pasado por esto!!
            Lo siento por ofendir- pero no sientes lastima- estoy feliz!

  44. Realist says:

    The best way to enjoy Spain and the Canaries is to have a well behaved holiday away from loud resorts and leave it at that.

  45. Hello, I’m Spanish. I think your comment is really unfair and really rude and honestly I doesnt surprise me at all coming from an arrogant british person. Im gonna write my comment based in my experience in the UK. I have been living in UK almost 5 years of my life, working and living there like any british person, and let me tell you one thing, you cant talk about spanish people and our spanish system but my experience in UK was the worst of my life. In the UK, british people makes you feel like you are a second class person, doing the worst jobs, the worst shifts and really making you feel like you are the last of the world. The quality of life is really sad, talking about food,weather,way of living etc… I was laughing when I read your comment about Spain, cause you guys wish so bad to have a country like our. UK is a country that honestly I would not go back anymore in my life, only I see poverty,low salaries,low people,drunk young people lost without any future and paying taxes like crazy. You can hate my country, but I dont hate your country, I just would say that your country is not for me and I dont want to go back again to live in a really deppressing country. And let me tell you one more thing, The problem of many british people in Spain is, they never try to be part of the country,mixing with our people, or trying to learn our language… So If you never felt welcome in our country probably is because you actitude!

    • pilurini says:

      who are you directing your comments to Juan? hopefully not me? I lived there for 30 years and I can assure you “Us guys* do NOT wish for a country like Spain!!!!
      I think that British food is great , if well cooked, wages and employment are better, loads to do, good life style? well that is really what you make it, I find it easier to get a good life style here, weather yes our weather is very unreliable, but not quite as hostile as your summers- way too hot.
      I agree that lots of foreigners over here get exploited – often by other foreigners, where were you? Because you paint a very different picture of the Uk to how I see it, and if we were rude well that’s bad, because in general I find the English FAR friendlier than the Spanish. Perhaps YOUR attitude was bad over here too, like those British in Spain that you talk about? I did mix with Spanish people for 25 years, some nice , some not – But I do find that the Spanish seem to think that the sun makes up for everything else! It’s weird- sometimes I think they are more weather obsessed than we are.
      I prefer the British way of life, the earlier hours , the cups of tea, the gardens, the trees, the wild life, our capital city -London is so upbeat, the more positive attitude of the people the willingness to help, the friendliness, our food, I love our history , our beaches, our music, our sense of humor, our television- the whole lot- so NO, I don’t wish for a country like Spain which I find very desert like- well down south anyway- and a sunny day in England is second to none!!!
      I don’t blame you for sticking up for Spain – it is only right – good for you

    • francisco b says:

      I’m Spanish & have never felt welcomed in your country & believe me I have tried to mix in, I just could not get into their anti British racist narrow minded way of thinking. I don’t hate Spain. I think its a beautiful country, but that is as far as it goes. I just wish I had trusted my gut feeling of never leaving the UK in the first place I’m back in my favorite city in the world London & loving every minute of it. Its exciting & alive, I don’t care about the weather, I’m glad to be home in this wonderful country, full of opportunities & great humor. My next step is to give up my Spanish nationality for a British one, which I should of done & would of done years ago had I known what Spain was really like. I will never return to the pain of Spain even for a holiday, sorry to any over proud Spaniards, but Spain is no match for Britain, its not even in the the same league.I with Purini all the way. ADIOS ESPANA. Thank god I don’t have to listen to anymore envious racist or anymore farting & pooing jokes.

    • “The quality of life is really sad, talking about food,weather,way of living etc… I was laughing when I read your comment about Spain, cause you guys wish so bad to have a country like our. UK is a country that honestly I would not go back anymore in my life, only I see poverty,low salaries,low people,drunk young people lost without any future and paying taxes like crazy. ”

      ¿Estas seguro de que hablas de UK y no de españa? O es eso o no vives en la misma españa que yo, llena de corrupción, recortes, destrucción de los derechos humanos, pobreza, salario por debajo del SMI o directamente donde te dicen que si lo quieres no esperes ser remunerado, paro… ¿quieres que siga?
      Sobre los temas de conversación… que quieres que te diga, en comparación por lo que dices son mejores que los de aquí, ya que aquí, lo interesante es saber lo que hizo la Estaban o la choni de turno. Solo para tu información, en todos lados se habla de esos temas que has mencionado, a ver porque no se va a poder hablar de ellos.

      P.D.: solo como dato, no he usado la mayúscula en españa ya que mi respeto por este país se ha ido al garete gracias al encantador gobierno que tenemos, mientras las cosas no cambien seguirá siendo españa y nada mas

    • You are right Lluvisa there are many problems in every country and it is all ways to easy to criticise according to your own cultural expected living ways and standards.
      As the world is now more travel orientated and experimental, in searching for alternative living styles to perhaps suite our own preferences ,we will all ways have an opinion of good and bad on every country according to our own cultural up bringing and our own likes and dislikes.
      The world is learning more about each other and at a much faster pace than ever before,not just in travel but also through the internet. Hopefully we will all learn to appreciate each others way of living and doing things

  46. Having lived in an Andalucian village for the last 8 months, I can only say Nick is bang on the money. The best thing about Spain are the planes out of it. Back stabbing natives will do what they can to take your money whilst pretending to be friends. My advice to anyone wanting to come to the south of Europe would be to go to Portugal or Italy, both vastly more civilised and cultured countries. I’ll be out of here as soon as possible, and will not be back.

    • Do it! Its the best thing that you can do… Cause we dont want you here in Spain! We are sick and tired of british people. Honestly… We rather to have german people,french or even americans. They are not white trash, like you and your people. Good luck in Portugal,lol

      • . There are many British who live there and like it ( poor souls!) are you horrible to them too?

      • Luis,
        Tampoco se pueden decir esas cosas tan “fuertes”. Hay muy buena gente entre los Británicos, y lo sé porque conozco a unos cuantos. También los hay “bocazas” y mala gente, pero eso pasa en todas partes. No se pueden juzgar a todos por unos pocos.

    • Get the hell out them, the sooner the better! Spain doesn’t need low class trashy people like you! You will be a loser even in China! Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of the country! People like you came to Spain to ruin the country! I would not called British drunks, civilized people!

      • “Even” in China. The average Chinese has a better standard of living than the average Spaniard. Love the defensive expat attitude, we all know the type, bragging about the standard of living’ on facebook, yet whenver anyone goes to visit they\ve got no money, some awful car (i like walking!), awful telly (weather’s too good to watch telly!), can only afford some backstreet restaurant (more authentic!) and always order the shitty house wine (Hey! I lie to integrate), live in some shed (always outdoors!), building work that hasn’t been completed since the last visit 3 years ago (they\re more laid back!) ridiculous amount of security devices on their house (better to be safe than sorry). The awful customer service, the racist locals, the racist police.

        Honestly Spain is just the pits.

        It’s actually sad, my friends (well not so much anymore) still haven’t come back, still posting fake brags and still living under the bread line ….but hey, at least it’s sunny!

  47. Londoner says:

    We’ve been living in Spain for the last 8 years and on the whole we find the Spanish people to be incredibly friendly and welcoming on the whole. Although I suppose a lot depends on where you live. We live pretty close to Barcelona, so I suppose we be classifed as living in Catalunya as opposed to Spain.

    There may be economic and social problems here, but where I live, at least in my town, people on the whole are generally happy, pleasant and relaxed.

  48. TenerifeAmable says:

    I’m spanish, live in the Canaries but studied in a British school.
    First of all, many of my teachers didn’t know more than “Hola” “menu del día” “una cerveza, por favor”. You can’t expect people to be nice to you if you don’t make an effort and only complain about things. (I don´t want you to ruin my day, thank you).
    2.Yes, there’s corruption in Spain, yes, our system is crap. Most of us would love to change it, haven’t you heard of the 15-M?
    3. No one has ever stolen something from me or any friend, never did I hear one of my teachers complain about crime.
    4.We don’t hate brits or germans, but don’t expect everything to be done for you. We’ll help if we can, but at least remember your manners. It’s extremely irritating to help someone who has lived here for 10+ years and knows hardly any spanish because they refuse to learn (which I find very disrespectful) , demand you to solve their problems and when you’ve finished they completely ignore you and go back to their British pubs as if Spanish people only existed when in need.
    For those of you who don’t like it here, no one is forcing you to stay. If you don’t make the effort to be nice to people, people won’t be nice to you in Spain or anywhere.
    So, for those of you who would like to come, you are more than welcome to stay here and enjoy, keep in mind that no one wants to be surrounded by snobs, so please try to fit in, we’ll probably accept you and you’ll have a much better time with the locals (we know where the good stuff is) ;)

    • As an American who can speak enough Spanish to get by, I wouldn’t say the Spanish in Madrid or Valencia have been overly friendly (my roommates and friends from Mexico, the UK, and Poland felt the same way). I’ve noticed that the Germans, Italians, and South Americans here have been friendlier to be honest. Valencians seem a little more relaxed with foreigners (and probably more relaxed in general) than Madrilenos, but honestly, if Spanish people were more open to befriending foreigners, I’d learn more Spanish! See how that works? I never speak English when I go out but I’m still a foreigner here :) And by the way, I didn’t visit these cities, I’ve lived in both places.

  49. There are 71,000 Spanish living in UK against 400,000 British living in Spain. This blog is offensive, racist and totally biased. I feel sorry for you guys. You have so much to learn about living life…

    • I don’t think this blog is racist it’s more about letting off steam! It’s just about experiences of life in Spain, we all have to listen to things about our countries that hurt us, I used to get fed up with the british moaning about the Spanish when i lived in Spain, but really, I feel happy to have come home to the UK, life is more to my liking here- and there are plenty of Spanish here moaning about us!!!

  50. It is a pity that many of you think the same about us, Spaniards. You could say that our politicians, our Justice, etc. are not good, and we agree, but the people is good or bad, almost the same as they are in Britain. You are not better or worse than us.
    Language is a great barrier to get to know each other. Try to know us and you´ll probably change your mind.
    And one more thing… I hate that word: “guiri”, that a few sometimes use.

  51. Like any country España has it’s good things and it’s bad. having lived here for over 25 years I know the place pretty well.
    The bad – The houses are rubbish, they are built awfully, no insulation, no sound insulation, damp, leak, horrid things.
    Spanish neighbors -arghhhh, they will ruin your life, Spanish in general are OK, but have them for neighbors and your life is ruined, I’ve had three and they’ve been hell. They will build and do their construction work 7 days a week, 8 am in the morning until 10pm at night, kids running around screaming until 2 am, the woman don’t take their shoes of and clunk around until 2am with their high heeled shoes on, the really dont gave a damn about their noise or neighbor until you give some of it back!!

    You wont make money here, forget it, no matter what you do you wont make money, Spanish only buy cars, they rest they just want everything as cheap as possible. They will never accept you, never employ you, never buy from you.

    The system will drive you nuts, nothing is simple, don’t expect things to be done in a hurry, you will pay for every single thing.

    The Police are racist, one even told me this to me face, thought he was a hard nut in his uniform the little creep.

    They drive in the same way as they act in their houses, me me me, me first, I do what I want, I’ll stop where I want, it’s my road, you’re wrong!!

    Pre service is good, they love you, you are their best friend, they want your babies, post sales, they don’t know you, they’ve never seen you before, take it back to the manufacture we wont help you, they just don’t know the trade laws or just ignore, now they wonder why their economy is the mess it is.

    The good – Hmmm, i’m struggling…….

  52. AC,
    Maybe you´ve been living here for 25 years but you´ve got a really bad luck because you have come across with all the worst of this country. I am Spanish and I am not the kind of people you discribe and criticise, and neither are my family, friends and the great majority of the people I know.
    Of course there are people as that you have discribed, but not all of us are like that.
    You should be more respectful with what you say because your statements offend me and many more Spaniards.

    • Manuel,

      Sorry if you find it offensive but I call a spade a spade, I am married to a Spaniard so I am not making up stories, I have over 25 years experience of Andalucia and how it is, I have nothing against the Spanish, I view them the same as everyone else, I’m not keen on the English here if it makes you feel better, Brits here are an embarrassment especially holiday makers!!!, they are rude, many drunkards, and tradesman who will rip you off more than any Spaniard, I’d employ a Spaniard over any Brit.

      But as I say I don’t want to live next door to an Andalucian, I don’t know where you are from in Spain. They are nice friendly people but they are also inconsiderate to anyone but themselves.

      I try to make an honest living but our friends in Hacienda and the Agencia Tributeria make life as hard as possible, nothing is easy, the unemployment is high and yet they still make life hard.

      I just tell it as I see it, of course there are nice things and there are some lovely people.

      • AC,
        I´ve been visiting many Spanish provinces for many years now, and the way the people are or behave in the North is different from those living in the South; Catalonians have nothing to do with Galicians; even Valencians and “Alicantinos” (I don´t know how to say this in English), whose provinces are close together, are very different, I am generalizing, of course, so if you say: “Spaniards are…”, is risky and you´ll probably not be fair. Maybe your neibourgh is a rude person, but if someone says that everyone living in the your condominium are the same, you wouldn´t like to be included in the that package…
        We´ve got many important problems nowadays here in Spain (Education is one of them, I know) and it is not a good idea to create even more problems.
        By the way, I was born in Alicante and there is where I live.

    • Manuel
      With all my respect I think you are wasting your time and energy with that AC guy. Someone who “struggle” to say anything positive of a whole country and claim to have live there for 25 years is obviously someone unworthy. You really have to be an extremely unhappy and problematic person not to be able to find positiveness in any country. Even Britain got positive things!

  53. Oscar,
    I understand why AC is angry but perhaps it is not the right moment to spread his anger because we all have enough and really important reasons to be angry,
    …And yes, I think you are right: “Always look at the bright side of life,… or Spain…”.

  54. AC,
    Are you sure that you are not Spanish?. Read this: http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t5443.htm

  55. How I stumbled on this website beats me. However, lots of opinions, mostly negative of both UK and Spain. Both countries have good and bad things like everywhere else in the world. Spain’s biggest problema at the moment is political and social but Brits living here haven’t a clue what is going on. They only grumble. As in the UK depends what part of Spain your are talking about. In general, someone mentioned tax and town councils. I live in Spain and agree. The tax man treats everyone as a criminal. Town councils are totally corrupt. Brits also fall into two categories, the lagger louts and the rest. Spaniards into the rich and the por. I’ll stop here as quite frankly living in Bali is probably the best.

  56. David barceq says:

    For a person like me who has lived in several countries, and also UK…it is very funny to read some of the comments here. Some people here is saying that if you don’t know the language if needing a doctor you will be in trouble…hahahaha. Go to UK!!!Let’s see how many people speak Spanish if a spaniard needs help, not even french…so if you are expecting that the whole world must know your language it is your problem, but do not blame others about your fault.
    You treat other cultures without any consideration, being disrepectful and showing contempt…what do you expect? This is the typical clasist, racist and stereotypical way to act… And you go to Spain asking for respect? Respect for what? You act in a hypocrite way.Many facts that you expose here are due to your own behaviour, you receive what you give. I can’t believe that you are writing this on internet. Try to find any Spanish publication saying bad things about UK…you will not find any, because Spanish are more respectful than you. Spanish people may have their own opinion about UK, but they respect and they are open minded.

  57. Well I’m Irish and I will say having lived in the Costa del sol for 6 years, I totally agree with everything that Nick says about the way you are treated by the Spanish people there. I have never felt so much hatred and never even experienced racisim from people until I moved there , couldnt wait to leave. You are treated like a secound class citizen. I was also shouted at on the street and told to go back to my country. Anyone considering going to Spain whatever you do and however clever and business savy you think you may be do not invest in a business, you will lose everything because the spanish change the laws regulary to suit themselves and will not let any foreigner make money there, they will squeeze you any way they can and if they see you making money they will make it as difficult as possible especially the polizia who are totally courupt. That is how they make their money they are crooked and I wish I never set foot in the place and hate spain and the spanish people so now stick that in your hat Manuel.

    • Lu: After reading your comment I can only take it as a massive compliment to Spain. Having someone as uneducated, rude, racist and fool as you talking bad about a Country and its people make me want to move there!

    • francisco b says:

      Yeah!!! Stick taht in your hat Manuel!!!!! . I’m with Nick & lu all the way, Spain is a horrible place to live & its the racist people & its corrupt politics that make horrible. I will never go back !!!!!!!! ever!!!!!

  58. Just a little question. If Spain sucks, why it is so crowded by Brits? Well, I have to say I couldn´t say such rude words about any country in the world with such an assertive speech as I have read here above. I have been living in a lot of country and i keep great memories of them. Always tried to inmerse in their culture and “languages” and cannot imagine myself stereotyping a whole country just because i had a bad experience in a tiny place like f.e. Nerja!!!! Try to go to a big city and get into their way of living. It´s like if i write about the States after staying for a while in a town of 22.000 population!!!! hahah this is completely nonsense, and moreover, stupid.
    I also had a bad experience in London once, but i don´t hate the UK… I think this is completely childish. I am from Madrid and live in the basque country, and can´t understand your reasons, sorry. We also suffer some british misbehaving here, such as Salou, Mallorca and Benidorm and we don´t say ALL the brits are alcoholics that jump from the balconies, or all the brits are like in Geordie Shore.. can you understand my point? You cannot generalize.

  59. hey i just wanted to add my two cents to the list and give a thumbs up to Nick here, i have been living in spain for almost 8 years in Castellon, and all i can say is Nick hit it spot on I was going though the same problems he had. and like Rachael my biggest problem that i cant stand here is the way they treat you in the shops and streets, there is seriously no common courtesy. i myself am a teacher of English and pretty much that is all we can do out here, everything is taken or there is just no work. And in most jobs in order to get it you have to know someone or you are SoL. i have no reason to list anything differnt from what has already been said, the ones that have commented that there life is a bless and two peas in a pod etc. etc are not the minority, they are just lucky and i hope the best for them. other then that i have no english friends here all my friend are spanish, and there all really good people/open minded which is really important here cuase that is not the minority. if you want to move out of a circle/group good luck with that, spanish people dont socialize out of there circle. they keep the same friends from childhood and its really hard for them to leave that confort zone, i say this cause that is one of the problem for foreigner to meet people cause we arent given a chance but they also dont give there own people a chance. i would also like to add i am not a Brit im actually American. So just to show it isnt only brits that think spain is bad. Also my wife is spanish so unlike the rest here, i will be continuing to live in spain despite how much i hate it, i just learn to turn the other cheek like the rest but the problem continues to be there. but hey Hoy! NO! Manana !

  60. Cada pais es como es, con su defectos y sus virtudes pero hablar de esa forma de españa es irrespetuoso y falso en muchos casos. Los britanicos teneis lugares preciosos y ciudades muy interesantes, seguramente habeis conseguido ser un referente en muchos aspectos pero puedo asseguraros que nosotros tambien hemos mejorado mucho y cada dia seguimos mejorando ,no en el tema economico sino como sociedad. Creo que hay lugares maravillosos en españa donde se puede vivir seguramente mejor que en cualquier otra parte del mundo, yo vivo en barcelona, he podido pasar etapas de mi vida en londres, bruselas y amsterdam, tres ciudades maravillosas pero barcelona es especial y como barcelona otras muchas que por desgracia no conozco tan bien en españa. Con esto que quiero decir? pues que yo podria explicar mis malas experiencias en londres(que tambien tuve alguna un poco desagradable)pero prefiero quedarme con todas las cosas buenas que si que disfrute y la gente fantastica que conoci que para nada se parece a algunos de este chat que rozan el racismo y muestran una cara de los britanicos que no hace justicia.Seguramente la gente que solo critica todo lo que encontro en españa es justamente porque debio de tener la misma actitud que en el chat y en españa gente que se crea superior no es bien recibida. entonces el problema no es del pais al que vas sino que lo llevas contigo.un saludo para los colegas britanicos y españoles de este chat!!!!

  61. nunca gostei de zonas com muito turismo e do sul de espanha muito menos.

  62. We were thinking of retiring to Nerja but I must say that I have now, after reading varying comments, been really put off!

  63. esla ltres says:

    Wow, I thought it wasn’t something to talk about. Every time when I’m asked by locals if I like Spain, out of politeness I feel obliged to say yes. I can’t agree more with the points made, though luckily, I haven’t been robbed and hope will never be. Have been here for 11 years, and I am dying to go away. I speak Spanish and I even got my Ph.D in one of the universities, but you feel you’re an outsider all right. I live first in Barcelona and then move to Girona. I guess it’s true that there’re always good people and bad people everywhere, but the sense of frustration is so hard here that sometimes it’s just impossible. I can’t agree more with the service; I don’t think the concept of customer service exists in Spain. I wonder how Spaniards can take so much nonsense and pay for it. Anyway, since so much has been written already, I don’t want to add too much. Just want to say that it feels good just to know that I ain’t the only one who feels like that and can say it loud too. Thanks for the post.

  64. Audrey Beauchamp says:

    I lived in several countries including Spain, England(London), India, México and Italy.As I spent enough time in each place to get to know it well, and the people as well as I made sure not matter how difficult, to speak the languages of every place I lived in. I completely disagree on the comments I have read here. It just mean to me how negative some of you are and most of the time people with that type of mentality no matter where they live, will always be unhappy. Everywhere you go you will find good and bad things, but if you are negative you will only see the bad things… I can only say I feel lucky to have lived in places that are so different from each other and made long last friends. If you are so fed up just take a plane back, but I really think you haven’t learn a thing. I met some people while living in London who were fed up with London and the English people and I used to tell them the same, try to learn english and get to know the people, otherwise take a plane back. It will be your loss

  65. Caccia says:

    Well well well, I have read many of the comments regarding the bad things in Spain. Spain is not a country for young English people with a family. I often wonder why these dissatisfied people give up such a great wonderful life in the U.K and decide that they would love to live in Spain. I often speak to young people on holiday with a young family that say they would love to live here and asked why and in most cases it’s the sunshine and the cheaper cost of living.
    Asked what they do for a living and it’s the same old answer, a builder, a painter, an electrician and i always tell them to forget it as there are plenty of Spanish with similar occupations out of work.
    Spain to me is for affluent retired people. People that are self sufficient, people that can afford the better things in life in Spain. I have lived here for 20 years and do not speak Spanish (get by with my pigeon Spanish) and if i need any professional help i use an interpreter. My partner and i are both on the Spanish NHS and find it first class although perhaps the after care service needs a kick up the backside, but then the Spanish expect your family to pitch in even when you return home and not like in the U.K shoved off to some old peoples home.
    Yes there are faults here in Spain the same as in the U.K. I return once or twice a year to the U.K and see a big difference each time i visit. Never seen so many foreign people and different languages being spoken and feel i’m the outsider in my own country. .
    The English people that rip off other English people are in the same situation as the person being ripped, hard up. Promise to turn up and never do yet i have had no problem with the Spanish workers. I could go on and on but i won’t. It’s horses for courses as far as i can see. Those that return to the U.K will no doubt go onto the British Social system like so many that rely on to which i still contribute by paying Income Tax., but life is also hard there if you’re skint. Take my word for it, just read the British press.

  66. I have lived in Spain for 20 years and although I agree with some points made by individual on this site, I have to say and I do believe this to be true; you moan for moaning, it’s as simple as that. Instead of getting on with life, learning Spanish getting involved with local life and most important making friends with the locals, just basically changing to adapt to new surrounds. I know many people who are not Spanish who live and work and are very happy with their lot here and enjoy life to the full.
    When anyone moves overseas a plan of action needs to be put into action and the first thing is money; enough money for up to a 3 year period, secondly learning the language to a level of communication, when in business target everyone and not just those who speak English as this limits your business activity to about 20% of the local population. If you have come or are coming to Spain to retire do not buyer a property miles away from an urban area as this will bring many difficulties with emergency services and of caurse robbery and if you are not willing to learn Spanish then do bear in mind that the Spanish won’t speak English. Our Spanish friends and neighbours just can’t do enough to help us. I end by saying that we all get ripped off in all countries including the UK though some but not agree with this statement but as a child I lived in London and robbery / burglary was quiet common in many inner areas, I hope this situation has changed but again I hear of shootings as a norm..On a positive note at least we have the sun and this is the main reason for coming to Spain and I’m only sorry those who haven’t had a good experience.

  67. Greetings!

    All that I have read in the paragraphs above is accurate information regarding the Spanish´s behavior towards the British and Northern Europeans that come here to spend their money (bottom line), regardless their behavior or cultural traits in Spain. I have spent 8 years of my life here and have had enough!! I am finally going back to America where customer service is a priority. I cannot wait to go back and meet the genuine people I used to know because amongst the Spanish any can and will stick a knife when you’re not looking. I am sorry to see what this country has become over the years but it is well-deserved and so hopefully they learn a lesson. I could begin sharing my stories, experiences here in this article but I rather not as I would be instigating anger and frustration, and possibly hatred from the Brits towards the Spanish. And not all of them feel the same, especially those who have travelled up North of Europe.

    Best wishes.
    Your Mexican pal!

  68. Greetings! After reading this, you could’ve been writing about Italy or any other Mediterranean country. I think it’s really down to the culture and its society, and the similarities are scary! I’ve been living in Italy for more than 4 years now and it’s almost exactly the same, if not worse. I am definitely ready to go home where the majority of the people obey the rules, laws and morals of its society, and believe in the principles and dignity of a human being. I’ve travelled around the world and lived in a few places, and I have to say that the type of culture and society determines the laws, infrastructure, and polite morals of societies, education, etc. and its reflected across every minute thing that we do.

  69. Anybody remeber the winging Poms, well history is repeating itself in Spain this time. If everthing is so great in the UK why did you move??
    The UK is in more of a mess than Spain or Italy, it is the per capita the most indebted country in the world the politicians are just as corrupt as anywhere in the world, or do you only read the good news.
    The infrastructure is crap, I’ve had 2 brand new tyres replaced in the last year.
    The cost of living here is double Spain’s.
    We have 2 Etonian Bankers running the country making sure we pay for their mistakes.
    The civil service is costing us billions because of their incompetence in the NHS, the Railways, and now we have to fork out for 2 Aircraft carriers and Trident replacements that we do need and have never used in the past.
    I am married to a Dutch girl and she is tired of all the anti European diatribe we constantly get here, most people I know here are racist and homophobic and openly so.
    The crime is such that we do not venture out in the evenings to the centre especially in weekends.
    We have lived and worked in Scandinavia, Germany, and of course Holland, and we are moving to Spain to get away from this paradise you are all dreaming about. Where politicians are so honest and everyone is so friendly and the service is so great etc., etc..
    We have just had 2 power cuts this morning. Dream on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • This is possibly the most wrong thing on the internet.

      You honestly think that the 7th richest country in the world, with the highest wages in Europe, falling unemployment, rising productivity is in a worse state than Spain? You actually think that?

      The infrastructure could be better, but it could be worse. Like Spain, for example.

      Most people you know are racist and homophobic? You need to move in better circles. The only racism and homophobia I hear in England comes from certain “religious” communities or foreigners. English people are the most tolerant on the planet.

      You don’t venture to city centres of an evening because of crime? Well if you did you’d know that reports of crime are massively over exaggerated. Seriously, stop believing everything you read in the papers and get some experiences.

      Your comment was over a year ago so you’ve probably already left Spain after you’ve found out we weren’t lying.

  70. P.S. I have learned all the languages in the countries I have lived and worked in and I speak enough Spanish to get by but within 2 years I am sure it will as good as my other languages.

  71. Jacobus says:

    Having spent the last hour or so reading the various comments, very interesting indeed. As a UK expat living for the past 40 years in Canada, and possibly contemplating a relocation to Spain for my retirement years, I guess I’ll be thinking again. Yes, there are good and bad all over, no matter where you are, one has to make the best of it, disregard the negative comments, and keep a positive attitude. I take offence to various comments about the UK being a sh*#t&le with the majority of people living in poverty and being unhappy, I don’t know where you were living or visiting, but the people I associate with in the UK most certainly have a much better quality of life than a helluva lot of people living here in Canada, which supposedly, is the best place on earth…? There are many areas in this City where I live, Vancouver, that you would not attempt to walk alone at night time without being mugged or possibly assaulted, especially if you are a woman. As the population grows, it attracts more opportunists and mostly the immigrant criminal element, sad, but it is a fact of life. Trying to get business done, lots of red tape and somewhat frustrating to say the least. And now, very, very expensive. My advice to anyone thinking of a move to Vancouver, don’t bother, unless you don’t need a job, and don’t mind being taken over by the China. However, even with all the negative comments, I will still take a look at Spain, it beats the hell out of the constant pissing rain for 9 months of the year.

    Cheers

  72. España no es, solo, el sur soleado. Gran Bretaña no es, solo, London. Por desgracia para los británicos que tanto se quejan…, pues es verdad, pero lo era antes de que ellos llegarán. Ocurre que, probablemente, la casi totalidad no investigaron el lugar, ni la Historia, ni la situación económica real, ni el carácter “español”. España posee fuertes diferencias en lo tocante a comportamiento con los extraños, servicio a los clientes, clima (weather), delincuencia. Desde luego que zonas de fuerte crecimiento urbanístico son altamente propensar a mayor corrupción, aunque es cierto que la corrupción es generalizada; la burocracia es compleja (no más que en otros países de Europa) y establecer un negocio “serio” es casi una película de Disney. Podría extenderme, es suficiente con aceptar que mucho de lo que cuentan es cierto, también falso dependiendo de que zona de España. Si califican a España por una sola región en la que hayan vivido, automáticamente se descalifican. Sobre pertenecer a la Unión Europea les digo que no es un regalo y todo el dinero que provinó de ella tenía unas cláusulas ocultas que ahora debemos pagar. No me gusta la Unión Europea, no me gusta un imperio franco-alemán dirigido financieramente desde London y amaestrado a conveniencia de Washintong D.C. Un último apunte sobre recesiones y crisis económicas: estudien el sistema finaciero británico, a alguno de ustedes les puede enseñar algo sobre orígenes de crisis y fraudes a escala mundial. Los españoles tenemos lo que nos merecemos, y otros tienen lo que han cosechado, también. Un saludo

  73. Well, well… very interesting, I enjoyed reading all the comments. Its almost like reading Agatha Christi’s Poirot, but, unlike in her books, it’s impossible to establish in the end who IS the crime and who’s fault etc :}}
    I am gay, from former Russia, moved to London 11 years ago and fell in love not only with my partner, but with the country, people, Anglo-Saxon/American culture (literature, movies, tv programs), system, way of life and so on and on and on, love it to bits. I fill here like home, the ONLY home. Also I visited Spain many many times and never ever had trouble with Spaniards… Honestly I didn’t expect to read so much negativity from English people, as I portray you like very optimistic, down to earth, warm hearted, adventurous, open minded people in general. It looks like the comments comes from empire-chauvinistic complexes sleeping in the back of your minds. I am saying that because something similar happened in Russia during Perestroika, when suddenly millions of Russians found themselves living not in the Soviet Union (aka mother-Russia), but in foreign independent countries with rich cultures, histories, their own languages etc. Russians even didn’t suspect of existence of all that. Millions had to move back to their historic motherland incapable to learn and understand the whole new aspects of life in a different country, where they are not masters anymore, but, in fact, just an ethnic minority. It was a tragedy of cosmic proportions almost unknown in the West. But I know that and I see (reading the comments) that most of ex-pats (English AND Spanish) behave very similar to what forced Russian to the great Exodus of the late 20th century. Don’t be fools!! Respect each other, merge into each other. You both are (arguably) the greatest nations on Earth. When going to Spain from Britain (or vice verse) LEAVE behind your old habits, your honor, your national pride (i assume non of you have nothing to do and don’t mix your modest life achievements with Shakespeare, Isaak Newton, Cervantes, Anthony Hopkins, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Penelope Cruz) and learn, learn and learn again!! The learning process itself can be very exiting, interesting and beneficial. Don’t install a satellite dish to watch your favorite tv programs in your own bloody language (sorry!), don’t bring your bloody (sorry again!) “fish and chips” or “paella” with you. When I came to London the love of my partner was absolutely enough for me to adopt and suck in everything good from British culture and history. When you move abroad with your wives/husbands AND children you get support of the whole your family, what else you need? but if you don’t get support from one you love, so what do you expect from strangers?? to become British citizen I, yes!, didn’t spend a penny of public or my partner’s money. 1st year or so it was very difficult to understand all English accents and I struggle to built a phrase or hold a conversation, but I tried and tried and tried again!! and I succeeded. I accomplished 2 long term courses in holistic therapies and advanced personal training , I am self employed with a good income which pays the bills and allows me to holiday anywhere i want and I’ve done it all without asking help outside my partnership and paid mostly myself. I became so self-confident, don’t worry about future and now thinking to go to live abroad for a while (may be Florida or, hehehe, Spain) and do NOT see any reason why not. In order to do so we are saving money as much as we can, studying Spanish, searching internet about all aspects of life in those 2 countries, planning a long take-a-look trip (3-6 month) to Spain this autumn and keep our options and eyes widely open. If we fail, not going to blame anybody, but us!!

    • To Arthur well said. It was good to read your experience. You sound very positive, and I hope I can learn from your positivity.

  74. I hate Spain, they kill bulls, they not speak english, are this, are the other …. ha ha ha ok see you, someone forced to the english to live here? NO. Then it is easy if you do not adapt because you can not or do not want, that pretty common among the English, then take your bags and leave to England. I never would not live in England, I do not like their weather, their food and other things that I will not name even for respect, something we rarely see among the English living in Spain or who come from tourism.
    I say English, who are almost always those who are complaining all. If you want to live in peace and without problemas let his arrogance in England, and if not Disappear from here.

  75. Javier, I am agree with everything you have written is absolutely true. If the spanish people continue to allow our politicians (possibly the worst in the world) continue lying, stealing, cheating and laughing of us will have a country full of problems and no future. At least we must say that in the UK would not allow abuses of the political and financial class like here , for this reason UK is a country works better than Spain.

  76. The problems you have with Spain are the problems you will face in every capitalist country.

  77. “Javier, I am agree with everything you have written is absolutely true. If the spanish people continue to allow our politicians (possibly the worst in the world) continue lying, stealing, cheating and laughing of us will have a country full of problems and no future. At least we must say that in the UK would not allow abuses of the political and financial class like here , for this reason UK is a country works better than Spain.

    Dear Dear JM. Where have you been hiding. The UK’s Financial Oligarghy is imposing some of the most horrendous austerity measures on the working people of Britain. Just google Fight the Cuts, No to Austeriaty and you will find protests of hundreds of thousands all over UK. The Spanish are just as much politically astute and are agitating and fighting back against the in every city of spain. They are not “allowing” this to go on. They are being opressed in the same way that they are in the UK. You really need to get up to date on the situation.

  78. I,m British living in Madrid with my Spanish girlfriend and i love Spain, i have always found the people polite and even my girlfriends family, and the UK you think it doesn,t have problems too, bad economy, bad government, and as for crime dont even get me started on that, maybe if you hate it that much in Spain clear off and dont look back, but i think you,ll find that the UK is not so rosy anymore, the biggest thieves are H.M government

    • hi there just been reading all the coments for over an hour. found it really interesting I live in the uk blackpool but born in Yorkshire. ive been doing research on spain over the past 2 years as I have my heart set on moving there in the next year just got a bit more saving to do. I have not been put off by any of the bad reports I have read as I am a person that likes to make my own mistakes and learn from them aswell as experiencing things for myself. I’ve been going to spain since I was a kid year after year and I’ve never come across any nastiness the Spanish seem to be lovely people and I love the food and lifestyle I cook many Spanish recepies at home and over in spain whilst holidaying I always find people to talk to the Spanish have been brilliant with me over the past 2 years as they know I plan to move there soon and at the moment trying hard to learn the language but I’ve known some Spanish for a number of years that’s why I probably don’t have any problems when I’m over there and I just hope this wont change when I do finaly settle there. although I am still researching which area I want to live in as I need to make sure i’m close enough to schools for my 2 children who are doing very well with there Spanish. and yes all countries have downfalls but you cant get worse than uk I’m very depressed here and have been for many years and I would much rather carry on with the same financial struggles of life and working over in spain than here in the uk. its not about the weather for me its about the culture and there way of life we have hot days here in the uk but i’m still bloody miserable. and I prefere Spanish people to English people have done for years.

  79. I am sorry to hear you faced so many problems. I am a Spanish living abroad and I like to hear about others’experiences.
    Though is hard to read that someone do think that Spanish people are rude and racist. I do not consider my friends, family or any other person in my circle as any of those you described. But I do know there are, indeed when you stay or move to another country, foreigners and locals will find people who are selfish, racist, nice, hardworkers, lazy…time filters people, and I believe as a local or as a foreigner we do need to filter and we finally find a group or create a group of people that offer loyalty and open minds and hearts.

    My husband is not Spanish and he did not face any problem in any of our trips, he smiles to everyone, he is kind, and he does not speak much Spanish, starter level. People like him because he is open, he tries hard, and wants to learn, he is hungry. With people I mean…strangers or people that was part of my life before this.
    He was so excited about every of his trips that you could see it in his face, he loves it. He loves the country, he loves the people, and therefore, people do feel it and like him too.

    This is all about many variables:
    location, location, location
    your own attitude towards the country / other
    willingness to learn
    open minded or not
    local’s image of your country / people
    behavior of foreigners from that country in Spain..

    If you ask someone who works in hospitality in Spain, and you engage into a nice conversation you will see that there are preferences in terms of country visitors.
    They like Germans because they do try to say few words in Spanish: hola and gracias, and they like to spend money in local places
    They do not like much tourists from UK because they start and only use English all the time, true story, assuming that we all need to speak English. Lets see that waiters have a pretty low salary and people expect them to be fluent in languages too.
    They do like Portuguese and Italian tourists because of the language ability and their warm attitude.
    etc etc etc

    This happens in every country.

  80. Hi, I´m Spanish. I´ve been reading most of the comments and I see that most of you have decided to stay in coastal towns, famous for being summer touristic destinations. Well, I don´t really get how you pretend to be treated as something else as tourists. It´s exactly the same as with lots of german people residing in Marbella. They end up living in residential areas for german people. No wonder you find it hard to integrate among Spanish people. As for the jobs in touristic destinations, well, most of them are summer jobs cleaning pools, as waiters…

    Try other cities in northern Spain (Bilbao´s mayor, where I come from, was recently awarded as best in the world by a british society), San Sebastian is probably Spain´s most beautiful ciy, Asturias is beautiful as a whole. It´s sure you won´t get the same weather as in Nerja, but maybe they´re more balanced as a whole.

    It´s true administration procedures are slow but not as slow as in France, where I live at the moment. A year passed before I finally got my social security card even working for an international firm that helped me with all the procedures. As for customer-service, you don´t know what bad customer-service is until you meet a waiter from Bordeaux.

    When you talk about having spent all your savings yo seem to forget that, even with much lower salaries, the main reason for this is the climate. I bet you´ve spent mucho more time going out, eating and drinking than when you were back in UK, but everybody seems to forget this.

    What´s next? Crime. Well, I find Bordeaux much more dangerous than Bilbao or Madrid, mainly because French people don´t know when to stop and, before coming to France, I had never seen a fight between drunken people. Well, this is not completely true. I did see a whole lot of fights when I was younger. Do you know where? In Salou. Who was taking part in those fights? I suppose you don´t need me to tell you.

    Finally, I didn´t leave Spain because my country was in crisis. I had an interesting offer and decided to try. I speak French as a second mother tongue, English (which I´m forgetting because of French people command of foreign languages), German and Basque.
    I might be soon moving to Germany because my actual job is not creative enough. I´ll get the chance if all the wonders we hear from that country are that true.

    Cheers, Iker.

    P.S: Please, remove carpets from your kitchens and toilets. Thank you so much.

  81. Hi !

    I totally agree with Iker. Most of you live in the south or in touristic places, what kind of job were you expecting to get?

    Those places that are now crowded by tourists were before the tourictic “boom” just a bunch of farms and small villages, so don’t expect to find the same kind of customer service, politeness and general basic culture as in big cities.

    Spain is not that cheap anymore (thanks Euro!). With 15.000 pounds nowadays you are poor even in the supposedly cheap Eastern Europe. I think that the author of this blog had a wrong idea when he decided to move.

    As Iker, I was born in Bilbao (I’m also living abroad now). Just want to say that Spain is BIG. Visit Bilbao, San Sebastian, Santander, Asturias, and the experience will be definitively different (don’t expect the 300 days of sun as in the south though).

    Cheers,
    Felix

  82. I’m Spanish.

    I can see a clear trend here, most of the people moaning had its “Spanish experience” living in the south, which I think is the most underdeveloped part of Spain, both economically and socially. The same traits can be found in the whole Spain, but in a different proportion.

    I have/had many English friends in Barcelona and the biggest problem for them (and for me) was the lack of opportunities for young people, otherwise the things mentioned here were perfectly bareable and the overall balance possitive. The most that left was due to work/money related matters.

    I’m myself an expat in Sweden and guess what, you can read thelocal.se (English written newspaper) were many English speaking people bashes Sweden with similar arguments than those exposed here. Is it a surprise for someone that unknown Swedish people is colder than its neighbours back in the place he was born?

    There is no perfect country, so when moving do your research and be sure to pick up a country that can match your expectations. Don’t be wrong, Spain for now is just a holiday or retirement place, and it will get worse, as many of the educated/demanded proffesionals are leaving for greener pastures.

  83. Hi, I’m Spanish but I’ve been living in the US for 2 years now. Before coming to the US I lived in the UK for over a year, so I’m confident to say that I’ve truly formed an opinion on each of those countries. Of course someone’s opinion will be highly dependent on where he lives, living let’s say in New York is very different to living in Kentucky, just like living in Madrid is very different to do it in Extremadura. Nevertheless, most people in a country share common traits regardless of the city where they live. Getting back on topic, there a number of things that I like about Spain: my family lives there, the climate is good (I am originally from Mallorca), there is affordable access to quality health care for everyone (or so it was before I left to the US, not so sure now), food is awesome, and I was able to receive college-level education without putting my parents’ financial health in jeopardy. Now the bad things about Spain: the political corruption in Spain is absolutely rampant in all government levels and is really getting out of control. In my opinion corruption is the major threat that Spanish are facing. The problem is that government’s patronage networks are so large that they have enough power to put and keep corrupt political parties in office indefinitely. Votes can be regarded as a form of reciprocity in return for favors. The consequences of this are dramatic: one of the highest unemployment rates among developed countries, low salaries, trash work contracts, low-qualified jobs, etc. Now, if you have no job or your job doesn’t pay you a life with dignity then trust me life is not fun, regardless of all the things that I like about Spain. Not to mention that living with the knowledge that your leaders are using the tax-payer money (your money) for their own private benefit generates in me anger and stress, which is not healthy. And I agree, customer service is poor. Add to this the fact that the average Spanish is quite ignorant, especially as regards politics or economics, and often rude and with no manners and you will understand why I left Spain. In the UK the job market is better, salaries are reasonable for a developed country and health-care and education are also affordable. Food and weather, however, are far from ideal. I prefer the US to both Spain and the UK, not by much, but still enough. In the US there are plenty of well-paid jobs, especially if you are an educated person with the will to work hard, probably as a result of the fact that there is more economic liberty. People are very friendly and they tend to help each other, much more than in the UK or in Spain. Customer service is excellent in general. Also everything that you imagine you find it here, I mean everything. There are lots of stuff that you can find here but not in the UK or Spain. I may go on and on but this post was about Spain so I will stop here. Well some drawbacks of living in the US, in my opinion, are the ridiculously expensive health care and the voracious American consumerism.

  84. MountieOnTheLoose says:

    Negative Aspects of Spain:

    (1) The simplified Spanish national character has the arrogance of a past empire, the resentment of an impoverished nation, the double-faced villainy of a Third World country and the unpolished cruelty of the ancient Roman Empire.

    (2) Ever since 1492 the indolence of the Spanish upper classes was/is masked by the imposition of a stifling, overbearing, gargantuan bureaucracy which projects a ficticious air of legality, hustle and bustle, and which naturally fosters an eclosion of corruption at all levels regardless of who is in power. Moreover the average Spaniard praises a corrupt individual as an intelligent person unless said corruption affects him personally. This love of and admiration for scoundrels besmirches every other Latin country and constitutes an inalienable legacy of the ancient Roman Empire. The rule of thumb is, “You bet I will rip you off if I can.”

    (3) In the imperatorial phase of the ancient Roman Empire the rule of law was made wholly subservient to the whims of Caesar. Every Spaniard emulates Caesar. Thus he scoffs at and flouts the law whenever he can. A Spaniard’s basic philosophy on life is, “No one tells me what I can or what I can not do.” Thus personal insults and assaults even on perfect strangers are common, and vulgarity and rudeness are held up as a mark of distinction, not a cause for opprobium.

    Positive Aspects of Spain:

    (1) The climate if you have honest access to AC in the summer and indoor heating in the winter. Most Spanish hotels lack both or if they do have AC and central heating these will be turned on at their discretion, not your need.

    (2) The food.

    Two Countries That Offer What Spain Offers But Are Civilized: Australia, New Zealand.

    How To Fix Spain:

    An outside power has to impose itself militarily on the country employing the ruthlessness of the ancient Roman Empire. For example Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels commented in the Renanian newspaper that the Spaniards were a race earmarked for extermination as they were not capable of adapting themselves to the new realities.

  85. An expat says:

    If only the problems were limited to the south, as some people defending Spain have wrote. I’m not in the south and the labour market is still a wasteland and the workplace is still hierarchical, inflexible, and micromanaged. If you think of a faster or better way of doing something you’ll probably be told you can’t do it as this is the should be done. If on the other hand you do it anyway because you don’t think you should bother your boss tiny pointless details and the result is the same, you’ll probably get bollocked for daring to not do something the prescribed way. Training is non-existent, nor are you given time to train yourself, and if you aren’t in Spain to retire then living and working in Spain is a good way to derail your career and litter your CV with jobs that have nothing whatsoever to do with your profession (some may even have the right job title but you end up doing something completely different).

    As for work-life balance, there is little in the way of part-time work or flexible hours. If you have a young family you are expected to have two sets of grandparents to willingly step in whenever the company requires. If you are a foreigner with a Spanish partner then you only have one set of grandparents, it doesn’t seem to click that you might not be able to change your plans at the drop of a hat. If you are both foreigners then either one of you stays at home or it’s impossible.

    And in case anyone’s still confused I don’t mean pool cleaning companies, I mean Spanish multinational companies, and I’ve been in several.

    As for educating your children… School in the early years just seems to be a way of passing time between local and regional festivals learning about local and regional festivals. Once again the hours are impractical and you are expected to have a complete set of grandparents which can step in at the drop of a hat or have one person at home constantly. Two, three, and four year old children end the day exhausted and irritable because their school day runs from 9-5. As far as I can tell the idea seems to be to get them to embrace another traditional Spanish custom, sleep deprivation. As for older children, I haven’t been able to experience that myself as a parent but basically it involves bringing up the rear of western education league tables (see PISA reports). My child’s cousins seem completely unable to answer questions they’ve not been asked before based on what they do know, if they haven’t learnt it by rote then they just draw a blank. Their parents are however forced to buy books every year at outrageous prices because new editions are published every year (mainly seems to change the font size and chapter order) and also a laptop from the school, which seems to be mainly used by the pupils to connect to social networks.

    If you don’t live in a British area, i.e. you live in a block of flats with Spaniards, you’ll find that every so often there are reuniones de vecinos. You may have read before coming to Spain that this is where maintenance and financial issues that affect everyone in the block are sorted out. However in practice it means people go into different groups and spend two-three hours shouting at each other, arguing that antisocial behaviour, running a freezer in the storage room, or using the common electricity and water supply to clean and wash their cars and having the rest pay for it is perfectly acceptable. The occasional vote is held and as the night wears on people disappear. Once concluded everyone goes back and does what they were doing anyway or does what they wanted to do anyway but were told not to.

    What else? You will get most use out of the telly when 1) you don’t understand the language and therefore are learning it and, once you’ve learnt it, 2) set it up to view foreign TV with a satellite or connecting a computer to it. News either comes direct from the regional or central government press office or avoids being news altogether by filling it with the weather in the 17 autonomous regions then over to sport. Spanish talk shows are unstructured where hosts and guests talk loudly over each other or the occasional foreign guest is invited and and ends up looking like a rabbit trapped in front of the headlights (e.g. Hormiguero). Supposedly serious debating programs are unstructured where the hosts and guests talk loudly over each other, AFAIK only one that manages to avoid this is one where guests are given 59 seconds to talk and then the microphone automatically descends into the table in front of them (often enough with the guest still trying to talk into it). Series are copies of foreign ones or people hysterically shouting at each other (Aquí no hay quien viva/Con el culo en el aire/Lo que se avecina/etc…). And those are the best programs. Finally there’s a strange way of showing films, children’s films are shown at 10:30 at night and murder/thriller films are shown at 4pm in the afternoon.

    Politicians treat their town/province/autonomous region as their personal fiefdom and think nothing of giant glorious hugely expensive public works. Every province needs an airport, every town needs a high speed train line, roads must be built, and so on… Central government spends its time trying to cancel the regional stuff and replacing it with their own public works. Top Gear this week just scratched the surface. And as recent news shows all government at all levels is sinking in a mire of corruption and debt. None of this affects voting habits though.

    You could carry on talking about justice, police, journalism, etc… The question is, does it look like Spain can dig itself out of the hole its got itself into? Cheap credit after the euro did a lot to cover up the problems but now that’s gone, and the answer seems to be no. But yes, the weather can be nice (when it’s not 45º or humid) and they’ve got paella.

    • At what an “ex – pat” has to say.

      That’s a lot of experience that you’ve had. It’s interesting to hear both side’s. Thanks for sharing.

      Do they really show kids films at 10;30pm and horrors at 4pm?

  86. Yep. exactly as I would expect from the British!

    People coming here expecting life to be the same as in the UK except with more sunshine. Most British are ignorant of the rest of the world so the fundamental problem is people do not have their eyes open BEFORE they arrive.
    Instead the dissenters here will return to the UK and whinge about that and then whinge about the ‘bloody foreigners’ Well at least you had a taste of how you treat immigrants in the UK.

    If the £ to € was still as favourable as it was when you first came out here you wouldn’t be whining would you?

    • Oh….and by the way the £ to € is much less now because of the British politicians devaluing the £. At least with Spanish politicians you know you are being screwed unlike the British politicians who are masters of deceit. You are returning to the MOST indebted country on the planet simply because British are sheep who ignorant of what is happening to them and those that do understand either leave or stay and whinge.

      You like servitude, that’s why you vote for it and simper over a royal family….ugghh

      Yes I am British

  87. I am really not surprised at all at some of the whinging on this forum, above all by disgruntled Brits that moved out here thinking it was going to be a non-stop holiday. Spain is not perfect, nor is Britain, nor is anywhere probably, but it’s what you make of it, different countries have different cultures and different ways of doing things, so if you decide to move there to live then you need to get to grips with these differences, adapt, integrate and get on with it otherwise you’ll never be happy anywhere.

    I have lived in the Malaga area for about 9 years and am really happy here to be honest. I have met and married a Spanish girl and as it is at the moment am settled here, I have been embraced by all her family, have plenty of Spanish friends and feel totally accepted, and have done since long before we were married. I lived for a few years in Benalmadena, and when I met my wife I moved in with her in Malaga city centre. I speak Spanish perfectly (made the effort to study it before moving over here!!) and work in a large Spanish firm that is doing brilliantly in spite of the recession…and why is it doing brilliantly?? Because the owners are internationally minded, I have been here for over five years and was the first 100% Brit in the firm and now there are numerous French, Portuguese etc, and they embrace the foreign people in the firm, realising that to get on over here you need to think outside of the Malaga tourist bubble, and adapt to foreign cultures, contrary to what most people on here say about Spanish people. Yeah it’s true that there are racists and ignorant people over here, but name a country in the world where there aren’t people like that?

    Professionally I have never felt like preference is given to Spanish people for work instead of Brits as some have said on here. On the contrary actually, Spanish firms are crying out for foreigners, WHO HAVE MADE THE EFFORT TO LEARN SPANISH. The Spanish economy is dead in the water so what most firms want now is to export, sell their products & services overseas, and the quickest way to do that is with decent foreign staff, but if you have lived here for 10 years and only hung around with Brits and not learnt Spanish, then what do you expect!!!???

    I don’t have any British friends out here, mine are all Spanish and that’s the way it’s going to stay as long as I live here. I tried with British friends when I lived in Benalmadena and couldn’t be bothered in the end, they are all too busy moaning and slagging off any other Brits who actually do ok, sitting in the British bars and ripping each other off whenever possible. Yeah the Spanish rip people off too, but don’t just assume that because you’re British you are the only ones, the Spanish, THAT ARE THAT WAY INCLINED, will gladly stitch up anybody, whether they are British, French, Dutch, Spanish, Colombian or whatever, as with any other people that are like that anywhere in the world. One thing is for sure, if I ever need any work or anything done on my house etc, I would NEVER call a British “firm”, sorry. I’ve seen far too many cowboy Brit builders cock up stuff and then the poor client has to shell out a fortune to have a Spanish firm put it right.

    Yeah Spanish people have their bad points, and sometimes the Spanish bureaucracy, from a foreigner’s point of view, is arse about face, however the Spanish are the FIRST in line to criticise it ahead of all the disgruntled Brits. But that lies rooted deep within the country’s internal problems and bit by bit they are improving, I’ve noticed the differences during my time here. Yeah they are stubborn and overly proud too, especially about the bloody football, I’ve suffered untold amounts of banter at work about that, but our day will come, one day in my lifetime I hope, and I give it back as good as I get it when I can. And yeah, the comments one person made about Spanish TV and chat shows etc earlier made me chuckle, but are sooo true.

    At the end of the day, life in any country is what you make of it, yeah the Spanish have their peculiarities, underneath all the macho bravado they really aren’t as “tough” as they like to think they are haha, but on the whole they are great people, welcoming and friendly if you make the effort they will do anything for you. They are very similar to us Brits in many ways, and yet also very, very different…it’s a different culture so if you are not prepared to adapt and integrate into it then why did you come here in the first place?…

  88. Spaniard. says:

    Os agradecería muchísimo a todos que volvieseis a vuestra querida inglaterra y no regresaseis aquí nunca más. Así no tendría que volver a veros. Sería como un sueño.

    • I am spaniard but I feel shame of you says:

      Eres un ******. No caigas en el mismo error que ellos, al que no le guste sus razones tendrá por muy maleducado que sea (o tu halas bien de todas las gentes que conoces?), y al que le guste, no lo metas en el saco porque te estan agredeciendo.

  89. Robert Rodriguez says:

    I am from the USA but my family is from Northwest Spain. I have been all over and frequent my family in the North. While I empathize with some of the growling over the inefficiency in Spain (asi es) I find the Anglo comments fairly insulting. Any idiot who moves to South Beach Florida or Las Vegas gets what he deserves, no different in Spain living on the coast for the beach lifestyle. Tourist heavy areas always have the problems described. So …. life ain’t a party and unfortunately, to me, it seems “la mayoria de los ingles se fueron a Espana para vivir la march 24 por 7″ with a few thousand pounds. Really, grow up, or find a way to make some cash so that way you don’t have to deal with the nonsense. Also try living in non-Brit communities, it helps. To quote my father “la verdad que son tremendos jilipoyas.”

    • Craig Butterfield says:

      Hi guys well what can i say ? Spain is for many people in the UK that have seen there quality of deteriorate at home, is perhaps the answer to our prayers? I have lived in Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca for nearly 3 years. I came for 12 months as a dip in the med type exercise?. Did i want too much?…… wouldnt i commit to a spanish lifrestyle…….i tried?…. (still people answer ever my billingual spanish teacher back in english!!!!!). I honestly dont know?…ive met some great people here many spanish, but also norwegians, germans, french….people that i would never have socialised with in my sad life before? That is the best thing about Spain or was…..the kind of melting pot of europe! Alas, ive called it a day and go home in 3 weeks, more so because i need a change, but also the changes happening within Spain will surely only marganilise foreigners more in time to come? The old “we wont to know what your worth” ….but not to tax you???…..come on! The shipping company taking me home says 90% of there trade is taking people from Mallorca back to the uk home, which from a supposed teflon like place here, shows whats really is happening here on the ground? Im really glad i came here, if not just to open my eyes to the world, but more importantly to what we take for granted back home! I think Spain is a great ….no a fantastic place, but it has been interfered with to much by…..i have to say greedy politicians, developers.ect, the euro and i guess us wanting part of the dream? I know it sounds hugely zenophobic, but perhaps we should all go back to where we came from and make the best of our lives and countrys there?

      • jackie, ITV says:

        I am currently working on an edition of ITV’s Tonight programme on Buying in Spain, which we are mainly filming this week in Spain — though there is the possibility of doing more in the next two weeks.

        The programme is posing the question, “Is it a good time to buy in Spain?” The crew are filming in Galicia, Cuenca, Almeria and Alicante, with buyers viewing various bargains.

        Obviously we recognise the need for some cautionary tales, so would like to feature some individuals who want to or are moving back to the UK, whom we could interview about why they are making this move. We have done a lot of research, but it’s always better to have those affected speaking directly.

        We are filming in Almeria and the Costa Blanca this week, but are open to filming elsewhere.

        Please contact Jackie on jackiewrites@live.co.uk and 96 579 3842 or 3842 or mobile: 722 297 812. Or James Bolchover on james.bolchover@itv.com on 07970 420514

  90. Some of the comments I am reading are shocking. I am sure there are 5 year old’s who are more mature. I am a black Carribean born in the UK. Growing up in the 70′s and 80′s I sufered racism, sometimes in the extreme, at School, work, neighbours etc. But I do not, and will never, tar every Brit with the same brush the way some posters are tarring Spaniards. I feel embarrased at some comments made here by mainly Brits, and yet they say the Spanish are rude! Unbelivable considering the amount of whinging by Brits about “immigrants” living in the UK!

    That said I have noted some of the more mature comments about the negative aspects of Spanish life. I aim to move to Spain to retire in a couple of years and have spent the last 18 months researching the good and bad aspects as well as learning Spanish before I go. So I already know about things like having to change the UK number plates on my car that upset “Jay” so much! There are plenty of genuine websites which offer advice of how to get around the negatives. Good advice really is just a Google click away. It frightens me that people who are doing one of the most important things they will do, put so little effort into research.

    Instead of being put off moving to Spain like some posters I will look at the negatives as challenges to overcome. I also have an exit plan. I own a few properties in the UK so can come back if necessary. But I assure you even if I do, I will never be as rude about a whole country as some of the people here. Some here have genuine complaints about things which should change and I accept that, but do remember you are living in SPAIN, not the UK and in some cases it is YOU who should change not the Spanish! I would like to apologise to Spanish citizens reading some of these posts, we Brits are not all like that.

    • Best comment.

      • I agree.
        It makes terrible reading and leaves you frustrated what some people write down.
        It certainly does not put me off relocating to Spain in the very near future. For me Spain ticks the majority of boxes. Unfortunately this cannot be said about other countries I lived in: UK, Belgium, France. It is a personal choice for everybody. If you do not like a country, then move on.

        • Alain Ochoa says:

          Nice to read that Charles. You will be very welcome. If you need any help with your Spanish you should easily find free language exchange groups.

          And thank you to all other Brits who are also telling the other side of the story. Spain has a lot to improve. But it’s pretty far from being hell on Earth.

    • Thanks for your kind words! We know all Brits aren’t like that, for which we are glad. I’m aware that there are many things that need improving in Spain, but we’re trying, we spaniards won’t settle with the state things are now. In the meantime, I’m sorry so many of you feel this way about my country, but i assure you we as a whole are not rude, lazy and unfriendly. Greetings!!

  91. Craig Butterfield – “perhaps we should all go back to where we came from and make the best of our lives and countrys there?”

    Why? Not everyone has had bad experiences in Spain, indeed some of the posters have love Spain and want to spend the rest of their lives there. Why do you asume everyone has had only bad experiences? I bet if you asked all ex pats living in Spain the majority would want to stay.

    And yes, what you said sounds incredibly zenophobic!

  92. A thing to consider says:

    Everyone here is missing the whole point. Spain is an invent, it is a enforced union of diferent regions and cultures, and so IT HAS NOTHING TO DO San Sebastian with Cadiz NOTHING. So it is impossible to generalize. For some people, the southern culture is better (with all the cultural pros and cons of the warm as it happens in all countries of the world, compare Seattle to Miami), and for others northern is better. What I found mostly here is UK is migrating to the southern spain (is it really necessary to go to the other extreme around? Isn’t it too much hot and southern culturally speaking?) No way most of this things you are describing apply in A Coruña, San Sebastian and Barcelona, amongst others.

  93. You are wrong, UK is an invention, a real nonsense that will return to normal in 2014 with the independence of that country called Scotland. By the way, I would like to explain to me the differences between into northern spanish and southern spanish because I’m from the southeast and except the landscape and the accent can not find other differences.But I guess that you, a stranger, a newcomer, you know more than I do in my own country, where I have lived since I was born 40 years ago. And finally, english citizens, if you do not like Spain can go back the way they came. Nobody put a gun to the neck for them to live here, I personally I have no interest in living in England. But if I lived attempt to adapt and make my stay there not become in a “little Spain”, only gathering with spanish, without learning English, buying only in Spanish shops etc.
    Goodbye, and close the door behind you.
    Goodbye, and close the door behind you.

  94. Wow! There’s some serious resentment against Spain in this blog! If I hadn’t been in Spain 4 times, I may think twice before going after reading along, but luckily, I know much of life is a matter of perception and how you treat others. I live in California , San Francisco. I am Cuban of Spanish decent. I have lived in many countries and for the most part, you can find good and bad people everywhere. However, I would not consider living under a dictatorship such as Venezuela, Cuba, China, etc… I value my freedom of mobility, speech and choice. Spain offers so much variety of everything that it’s impossible to speak of Spain as a whole. Like someone wrote, the north of Spain is totally different from the south. This is what I think of Spain from personal experience: fabulous food, wine and spirits, soulful music, beautiful and varied landscape, ok beaches, top rated museums and artists, fantastic literature, gorgeous small towns to visit or live, good public transportation ie train and buses, lovely mixture of architectural styles, friendly and polite people(I am fluent in Spanish which I am sure makes it or breaks it). However, I have not lived or done business there so I can’t comment about its bureaucracy. I would like to share this as well, when I was in Malaga a year ago, I broke a foot. I was attended by superb doctors. After 2 doctor visits, 2 orthopedic specialist, 2 X-rays, two different casts, medication etc, the entire bill came to 800 euros. Do you know how much that would have cost me in the USA? I asked around and the answer is about $10,000! Spain has a great and affordable health system. My advice for those who hate where they live…MOVE if you can, life is too short. As for Spain…Que viva Espana!

  95. I think some people can have bad experiences everywhere, but if all these comments were true I wouldn’t understand why so many brits are still living there, maybe because if something of those comments are real, aren’t general

  96. I moved to northern inland Spain in 1990 and was immediately struck by the ability to walk home in a city of 700,000 at 3:00am in complete safety. The people I have met have been overwhelmingly friendly and helpful, even at first when I was learning the language. Yes, the government leaves a lot to be desired, and democracy, civil society and good administration will take hundreds of years to bed in, but I think exposure to the rest of the world will show Spaniards that things can be done differently and attitudes are changing. Finding work is extremely difficult, but if you have the means, I think living anywhere outside the tourist areas is great fun, safe and easy to integrate. You’ll never be a local, but that’s the same whichever country you’re in. The kids in the local village school come from Mauritania, Romania, Venezuela and the UK and they’re all treated extremely well, with teachers doing special days and activities to find out about life in their home countries. Local people once even looked after the Mauritanian kids when the parents had to find work elsewhere for a while! The standard of education, however, is quite poor: it’s antiquated French-style classification of knowledge and cramming of facts. There’s very little experimentation or science and technology, some of which is down to lack of resources and some just down to apathy and a traditional mind set. There’s good and bad in both the UK and Spain and for me, my choice comes down to where I can make the most money!

  97. Well, this is rather black and white isn’t it ?

    Here in CB north, as much as there are totally useless spanish drivers, there are “don’t rip me off foreigner” expats….. That’s understandable as the guy/girl in the bar is a foreigner…(=not brittish)

    But, in the end, I do think that both sides would get a long better if we weren’t all so happy to group together all our opinions and insights. As of today, happily getting along with brittish, spanish and many others. Many of the brittish DO view the brittish way of trying to have a “uk with sun” as the wrong approach, many of the Spanish go crazy about the manana attitude of their countrymen.

    Looking at it as a society, it DO have a long way to go before things get right again. Backhanders, protectionism, etc isn’t working in their favor. On the other hand, for us and our kids, we still feel welcome, cared for and appriciated here every day.

  98. As a native of north-western Spain, I totally disagree with this post. I get the impression that most immigrants from Western Europe move to the areas of Spain with the higher crime rate. Also, if you are moving abroad, you should learn the local language. If you do not speak Spanish, you are unlikely to get a good job. In fact, moving abroad before having found a job is never a good idea.

    The media portrays Spain as a country where you can lead a more relaxing lifestyle, and some foreigners may feel disappointed to discover that they have to work just as much as they did in their home countries.

  99. I am really suprised of so many negative comments!
    We have our second home at Costa del Sol which regarding this forum should be the worst place…
    Well, I only have met nice spanish people willing to help you in any ways. Latest tonight (Sunday evening!) when all our electricity was gone by my own stupid mistake, an older spanish gentleman fixed it without charging anything! Staff in the shops is more than helpful all the time.

    We bought the apartment without any problems, had different workers to fix it up to our standard and now I am only enjoying my life here! Ok, I don’t have to work here and I do believe it is difficult to get a job, but from my point of view my life is so enjoyable here. Lots of sun, good climate, good food and nice people.

    Bureaucracy here was not as easy as in Northern countries, but we got f.ex our NIE in just few days, a bank account without any problems with an excellent internet bank – which was absolutely not the case in UK! Getting just an account there was a nightmare. Wifi was working on the next day after ordering it. All deliveries (furniture, kitchen appliances, lamps etc.) and workers have been at our place almost punctually. So far no experience of cheating or rubberies (hopefully won’t have at all!)

    I agree with those who say that learning the language is important, also for those who are not working here. I have moved 10 times from country to country and always the first thing was to start learning the language. I also find it very important to respect the country and its culture even if it is dfferent of my own. When I came to Spain I said to myself that this country has a totally different life style what we have in Northern Europe and I have to and WANT to live with that. Even if my neighbours above use high heels on the marble floor in the middle of the night and their children run (with shoes on) late in the evening and early in the morning, I couldn’t care less -this is Spain and I came here to live with their culture, not trying to change them to live with my culture. And this is something I have done in every country where I have lived.

    Spanish is widely spoken all over the world, why not to learn it? Why try to survive with english!? Having learned several languages I also can use them here to find the best workers: We have got help from swedish, norwegian, danish, english, german, finnish and spanish people! Now I have good contacts and will always find somebody to help -even on Sunday night like today.

    I suppose it is needless to say that for me it has been easy to live in all those countries where I have moved to… Spain is now my second home, but not even my first home is in my own country and I can’t say that I would desperately or even at all miss it!

  100. Amongst all of the emotive comments from both sides of the argument, lies a wedge of truth. Spain is not a perfect country to live in, but then neither is the UK or anywhere else on this planet. Reason being, US. We are fickle and easily upset. I lived in Spain from 2007 – July 2013. We came back because of a new position my wife was offered. She was glad to return to UK, I less so, Don’t get me wrong I am English, England is my home country but I can see it for what it is, warts and all. Spain ( or at least where I lived) was not perfect ( see the similarities already) but we too did an awful lot of reading and researching before we even left the UK, Our village and it’s inhabitants made us very welcome and I learnt so much about the history and customs of the area from the local old guys, because I took the trouble to talk to them in my stuttering Spanish. When I got it wrong they politely helped me and this improved my Spanish far more than Rosetta Stone ever would. The thing is though, you have to put in some effort, you have to accept change, you can not transpose Basildon to Benidorm and not expect local resentment. If you are going to live in Spain ( or any other country for that matter ) isn’t it just polite and respectful to learn the language and adopt that way of life? After all isn’t that what you want ? Something different, If not then the best place to be without any shadow of a doubt is where you feel most at home. Yes some of you have had bad experiences but I bet you could get just as many ( if not more) bad experience stories from immigrants into the UK. As I said at the outset, Spain is not perfect nor is the UK, but guess what guys. Shangri La is an ideal not a reality.

  101. Hi i am looking at moving to Spain could you guys help me as I would like to know if there are any British security companies out there as I am a licensed door supervisor looking for working night clubs ect even security guarding sites, willing to work hard to get where I want to be in life,and also is renting a room popular and easy ?.

  102. Hi! I’m from Spain and… i don’t know what to say… i’m Sorry?
    Spain is nice, but like everything have the bad side.Currently find a job is hard , sometimes the children are cruel… But there are good and funny people… Don’t hate Spain please, there are a stupid people, a lot, like in all the countries.
    I’m really sorry if you don’t feel good in Spain.
    Now, i’m living in London (UK), the people is diferent, but is nice and very polite.
    Thanks, have a nice day!

  103. jonny the ponny says:

    well, what to say, Spain is not the country that many think it was 30 years ago, where you can live with little money, a lot of changes, economically and culturally only brought globalization, now this country is considered to be rich for immigrants and poor for Spaniards. the crisis, politics and many other factors focus Spanish society to think and believe that there is not a easy and quick solution By the way, I prefer the Spanish lifestyle to rest of the European countries, despite jobs and other internal issues, here you can enjoy life without to have to show off, gracias, quote: for all those that want to go back to their countries, be mu guest, :-)

  104. I moved to spain 5 years ago, initially for work for a few months on business near Seville, after reading this Blog it seems that some of you wanted little england with the sun!
    Well I live in the middle of no where, in the campo, only spanish people, No expat community and its amazing even in a crisis.
    Yes OK their driving is not what english people are used to, yes there restaurants aren t brilliant, yes some of them are arrogant, well Look at the UK !!!!!!!! Full of scrounging half whits from other EU countries claiming benefits whilst UK tax payers support them, wandering around in bling and tracksuits, driving tarted up stolen BMWs selling drugs to your children, paying over the top money for below average service.
    If you want to compare UK to Spain nowhere is nirvana but at least the Spanish have Family values.!!!!

  105. What can you expect when you move to another country with no pretentions of learning the local language? One thing is rich people who come to live here and don´t need to work because they have money and other is coming and expect to find a good job and pretending to live millionaries when you only can clean, doing some gardening and other cowboy skills.
    Time of living just by selling ice to skimos are over in Spain. It is shame to go to work abroad and after many years not speaking the language. You are the one who fails, not the country that is accepting you, keep that in mind

    • Well all I can say is this, I have been coming to Spain for years, family holidays, golfing holidays and visiting friends. I have never had any problem with any Spanish man or woman for that matter. I have always been treated with respect and I have always gone out of way way to give it. I have been to gib all the way to Barcelona. I my self have just brought an apartment in villamartin and love it there. People say it’s all Brits ….no it’s not there are Spanish people living there also and in fact i brought next door to a Spanish family who made conversation with me while viewing the property. Most British people need to realise you get treated the way you treat people remember that! So for me personally I love spain I love the way of life and the people and can’t wait to go as much as possible!!!!!

  106. Laura Schmidt says:

    The spanish do not greet you at stores because the Spanish do not like the typical cheesy American greeting, can I help you? with the fake smile. The Spanish are not shy and do not need anyone to come up to them and ask them if they need help. This bothers them and is unwanted. They will go up to you and ask for help if they need it. The british tend to be shy and thus may need the extra handholding, but the Spanish are not shy about talking to others.

    As far as the crime, you are right. Under Franco, there was no crime other than gypsy bands who roamed the streets, carried knifes and tried to steal. It was the state in Europe with the most order, and least crime. Back then, there was no illegal immigration, though. Franco would not have allowed it to happen. Kids could play outside at night all by themselves, no parents, it was heaven.

    All the poor immigrants coming in from all over the world, not justAfrica but also slavic countries, latin american countries,….. has led to a lot of crime. It is awful that the Spanish government has not wanted/.not been able to stop this flow of illegal immigration. Nonetheless, Spain is still relatively safe compared to other European countries like the UK.

    You are right about no jobs. This is terrible. Of course, there were some people who did not like Franco, but most people in Spain loved the order that he provided and the unity. The job situation is particularly bad in Spain. I do not really have an explanation but this is why many young Spanish people have to leave to find work elsewhere.

    “You are right that if you work in Spain, you will make less. This is exasperating. Perhaps Spain is too capitalistic with no protection for the workers. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that there is illegal labor available everywhere and the work for much less.

    YOu love Spain because you loved it at first. The fact that Spain is expensive now is because Spain is a very attractive country for tourists and we get much more tourism than the UK. As such, the Spanish do not have to slash prices. YOu should also know that Spanish products, tend to be the finest, whether it be the shoes, the wine, the olives, the ham, the clothing, the furniture. If it is Spanish, it is problably first class as the Spanish are sticklers for quality in everything (almost too much).

    Again, I love Spain too. However, I have been told not to go there because it has changed so much and I will not recognze it. People warn me that I will cry because it is so different now, in a bad way.

    YOu will miss that yummy Spanish food in England and our weather, which is arguably better.

  107. Spain…… in a nutshell….LOVE\HATE

    I lived in spain for 12 years, owned 2 apartments and had a wonderful time BUT only because I had a good job and made good money, if you took this factor away my time would have been miserable mainly because of these reasons:

    -You will never make friends for life, everybody comes and goes.
    -The winters are very difficult, not very insulated apartments, no work, no people, if you haven’t got your family there it can be very lonely.
    - If you cant speak the language you will always feel like an outsider and your only friends will be ex pats who just want to get p****ed most nights.
    - Spanish laws will drive you up the wall.
    - Buying and selling property will leave you feeling like you have been r***d by jimmy saville, costs 10% on top of what you pay when you purchase and then 10% when you sell in fees (estate agent 5% rest to do with government b******s) so you need to sell the property for 20% more than what you buy it for just to get your money back.
    - Spanish people can be bloody miserable sods.

    I can fully understand why people hate spain and looking back there were many times I detested the place but it was also very good to me only because I had a job that involved British tourists who by in large when they are on holiday are great people to be around, when it got to the end of the season and I was left on my own it was avery lonely place, I personally do not want to put anyone off going to Spain as we are all on different journey in life and you just know what will happen, I have had friends who landed in spain and met their future wives and have children in spain, I know people who were on the run, people who made their fortunes by coming to spain and also people who lost everything by listening to some dodgy bloke they meet in a bar and persuades them to invest in a hair brain scheme, a few people have committed suicide

    Sometimes you can feel like your a celebrity as you know everybody but then once they all f*** off cos they miss going to Tescos on a saturday and asking a lovely shop assitant where the milk is and she says follow me instead of Que?? or just the sight of English number plates and clean cars with no dents in them!!!, you know what? your left on your tod again with the only people who seem to be there year after year…… the sad losers who sit in the local bars saying how they hate the UK, the temperature is s***, how expensive it is blah blah blah and then you start thinking to yourself I cant do this anymore, the only people I can communicate are these saddos and yea Ive been trying to learn spanish for 7 years but even when I do talk to them in spanish they talk back in english arrrrgggghhhh get me on a flight to the UK Ive had enough!!!!!

    But at least you can say you done it…. life is a roller coaster and if it was all ups and no downs it would be pretty pointless so just bloody go for it.

  108. I am the daughter of a British/Irish Mother and Afro-Caribbean Father and have recently purchased a property in the Valencia region. The plan is for now to use it as a holiday home, and eventually move to Spain permanently. It is not near the coast, but some ways inland. The main reason my husband and I decided to go so far inland, was because. I don’t want to drink at the ‘Rose and Crown’ or eat fish and chips every Friday. If I wanted to do that I would stay in the UK. I want to get to know the culture, eat Spanish food and learn the language. Spain is rich in history, some good and some bad. The same as the UK. And it’s not just about the weather either, if I wanted good weather I would go to Barbados where I have dual nationality and family to fall back on.
    That doesn’t mean I’m not proud to be British, I am. An urbanization would be my idea of hell, doesn’t mean it’s not right for someone else. We are all different good and bad, in all races and cultures.
    You may say that because I haven’t lived in Spain yet that I don’t know what I’m talking about. My mother in law has been in Spain for 20 years, and it wasn’t an easy transition, but like a lot of the British she hasn’t really progressed much with the language, only eats in English bars and restaurants, and that is her choice but not for me.
    On our last visit some of our items were stolen from outside our property, it taught me a valuable lesson. I won’t leave anything out next time! But then returning home from holiday to the UK, my garage had been robbed.
    The Spanish I have met so far have been nothing but friendly and welcoming. I am appalled at some of the comments the British have said about the Spanish. How can a whole nation be exactly the same? When my father left Barbados in the 50′s he didn’t expect to change anything, he accepted that he would fit in with the British way. The same as I expect to fit in with the Spanish way. I agree with Arv that it’s impossible to tar all with the same brush.

  109. Koen Smeets says:

    Jeez, what a lot of negative energy here!! People, you decided to live in a foreign country, it is up to you to make it work for you. I have lived 15yrs in the UK and had a blast there. I am now living in Spain and all is going great here too. That Spanish culture is not like the British is for you to adapt to, not the other way around. If you don’t like the mañana culture, stay home. If you want to fit in, adapt their culture. It is the same story for foreigners in Western countries: You adapt, you will be part of the culture and have a great time. You don’t adapt, you will get frustrated and live on the fringes of society… The choice is yours. But please stop moaning about how Spain is a sh!t country!!

  110. Spain is the best, you don´t know nothing about spain

  111. What people think is Spain?… Disneyland? i would like reply to Sammy but first i would like to say
    some comments like “kids call us guiri” just make laugh. Excuse me but i think is not enough reason for comment about Spain ,anyway this doesnt mean nothing bad.
    I read some comments and i would like ask a question to english comunity.
    ¿Its easy for a spanish find job in England?
    ¿Why everybody should speak properly in english but the 90% of english people do not speak spanish?.
    ¿What do you think about a person who is living in England but doesnt speak english?
    Probably spanish language can be difficult for english but its the same for a spanish learn english.

    In the other hand i wanna say that i admire the respect for the life of the english people with the animals especially dogs and i dont wanna forget say that ONLY A SMALL of spanish people support bullfights or similar atrocity but that small part is really powerfull and there are many money influences and interests in this matter.

    Sammy,i live in Murcia too, in La Manga specifically,please answer me
    What kind of job you think a educated,graduate, proffesional, spanish can find in England?
    Probably washing dishes or waiter
    You say
    Sammy says: ” you are willing to pretend to be Spanish, dress like them, eat their food, socialize only with Spanish, then they might accept you more or less, but never completely ”

    Lol? dress like us? eat our food? What we are? People from Mars? lol if you never have been accepted try find other friends and not be a copy of what you’re not and ,please, eat just eat whatever you like lol.

    Sammy says “:No matter how good my Spanish and how Spanish I may look, the job will always be given to Spanish first.

    Of course, in same conditions the job will allways be given to a Spanish, if you dont contribute with any special appropriate skills for the job. But im really interested in see how good its your spanish and how spanish you look, ¿do you use a special make up kit or something?lol
    For reply ,any question or if i can help in something.
    sunsoulevents@live.com

    Finally say that:every city ,town, place or state in Spain is different The people from some states can be completly different than people from other states. I recommend always rent differents places before buy or ask spanish friends about best places for live .There are really greats places and people in Spain.

  112. AnnChristine says:

    I am considering moving to Spain in the next year or so. I am 67 years old and female. I want to live inland maybe BAZA area, because I like the Cave Houses, I have lived in Zambia on the copper belt for 3 years in the 70′s and Sri Lanka for 1 year in 1980 I loved both countries, as long as you stick to the rules life will treat you OK.
    I will sell my house and live on the proceeds after buying my cave. I have to turn my heat off part of the day as it is too expensive gas and electric has rocketed in price here UK. I own my house but have no savings left, maintaining the house is a constant worry, always something needs fixing, my son killed himself last year. He had behavioural problems was epileptic could not work, the state took all his benefits from him.

    I will make a visit to the area in May to have a look around, my other son is in total agreement.
    He lives in Wiltshire and plans making a business in Thailand soon, we are not rich and never have been,
    Perhaps I am crazy, I have read all the comments, Many thanks to you all.

  113. It all depend on yourself. Your education, work experience and willing to speak Spanish asap. If you are a fighter and determined you will get there. It also depend in what kind of circles you are moving around. Just look for a quality urbanization with quality people. Yes, we have a class system here as well. I would not have a cup of coffee with a low class person in my own country so why mingling myself with lower class spanish. You have to be intelligent in order to survive here and enjoy your life is my advice.

  114. Hello all
    I have read the comments and Gee wee! Lots of opinions and emotions going on here. I have traveled in many countries and am from a desert tribe educated in Europe and Canada and now living in Germany. I am looking to spend 5 months out of the years in Spain and what I have learned during my stays in other countries is that some countries are for me and others are not. Either due to the mentality the attitude of people their narrowmindeness or cheer arrogance and or great people cultured people simple people. I believe we attract like minded to us and so we need to be positive and clear on what we want to experience while living in another country. By learning the language we learn so much about the society into which we are wanting to be part of and going to Spain for me is to enjoy the sun the slow pace being aware that there will be issues like any other places. In UK I could not deal with the racism and uptight attitude of some people and lack of intelligence/ Any how I will make sure that I learn more while in Spain and connect with the people. I do not like ghettos because they bring problems and what happens is that people live their lives within those ghettos and giving others a bad reputation. There is good and bad EVERYWHERE. It just depends on how we choose to take it and what we make of it. Looking forwards to another journey and experience.

  115. @Sammy from Murcia, “DO NOT EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN HERE.” – Both my children went through the excellent Spanish education system and when they went to UK universties they were appalled at the low level of knowledge of English students. My son even gave remdial maths classes to other students. Oh, and the reason they went to the UK to do their degrees was because over here it is considered an advantage irrespective as to whether the course was better or not. It seems from the comments that most of those who don’t like Spain wouldn’t like anywhere. I’d lived and worked in a few countries before settling in Spain over 25 years ago and met many ex-pats who just couldn’t wait to get out of wherever. It takes a certain sort of person to uproot and live elsewhere, those who can’t blame everything else except their own personality type. During my time here I’ve never been out of work and have only been mildly insulted once by a shop assistant in El Corte Ingles. Spaniards are, let’s say, patriotic. If you come here with the right attitude and not just think of Spain as being the Costas then you’ll enjoy yourself and have a good life.The others can take their whingeing and go back to England, the quicker the better.

    • CPW, you talk of the ‘excellent Spanish education system’. Is it really that excellent? My four kids have been through the Spanish system (the eldest just in secondary, the middle two primary and secondary, the youngest infant, primary and later this year secondary) and believe me I would choose a British education over Spanish any day of the week.

      My eldest was taught in history that the battle of the Spanish Armada ended in a draw, the English and Spanish fleets shook hands and they all went home in time for lunch. No mention that Phillip II and Spain were bankrupted as a result. She pointed out that she was taught a completely different version, at school in the UK prior to us moving to Spain, only to be told that the British teachers were obviously wrong.
      Also with regards to history, only Spanish history is taught. Absolutely no world history whatsoever.
      Another example with my eldest, this time in English lessons. And lets not forget that my daughter is a native English speaker, unlike the teacher. The teacher told the class ‘I eated an apple’. My daughter said to teacher it should have been ‘I ate an apple’, only to be told that ‘eated’ was correct. As a result of this incident my daughter was failed in the next English exam, when she was undoubtably the best in the class. Is this right?
      These are not isolated incidents, I could give many more examples.

      You say that your son gave remedial maths lessons when he returned to the UK for university. Well here in Spain many students leave school at 18 without obtaining the basic ESO qualifications that they could have obtained aged 16. In the village where I live I know many, many of my kids former schoolmates who attend night classes, in the Casa Cultura, to try and get the qualifications they failed to at school.

      You say of your childrens decision to return to the UK for university, ‘Oh, and the reason they went to the UK to do their degrees was because over here it is considered an advantage irrespective as to whether the course was better or not.’ If a UK degree is considered, as you say, an advantage (presumably you are talking with regards the job market) then by default it must be a better/ more desirable degree than a Spanish degree.
      Do an internet search for top 100 universities in the world. You will find the UK has quite a few (ranked second, I believe, following the USA), Spain does not feature on the list!

      You say that the Spanish are ‘patriotic’. There is absolutely nothing wrong with patriotism. But at times the Spanish are too patriotic, to the verge of being insular or even xenophobic.
      In this day and age one of the main areas where you can see patriotism is on the sporting field:
      I was on holiday in Ibiza during the 2006 world cup. I had found a nice bar where I enjoyed watching many of the games with a cold beer. I went in after Spain were knocked out in the last 16, only to find the owner was refusing to show any of the remaining games.
      Tennis, similar thing. If Nadal is knocked out the Spanish lose interest.
      Formula 1, same. I have been in bars watching a race and if Alonso crashes out early on the TV has been switched over because there is no longer any Spanish interest.
      2010 during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. I was in the local paper shop and commented to the owner (a Spaniard) that there was not much coverage in the Spanish press. She told me that as Spain had little hope of winning nobody is interested.
      The insularity the Spanish show with regards to sport ties in with the insularity in their schooling (ie no world history is taught).

  116. Hello everyone, I don’t know if yet another posting to this thread will be of any use, but here goes. First, I have never lived in Spain. I have visited for holidays, in the countryside, and had truly wonderful times. I am however an ex-patriot, I am Anglo/Scottish, but have lived, with my NZ wife, in New Zealand for nearly thirty years.. When I moved here I did so for family reasons, not professional, and in doing so, I was perhaps not as fully committed emotionally as one needs to be when moving to another country. I have found living here quite hard emotionally; it is a constant regret, that despite trying to live a good New Zealand life-style, I have never felt completely at home – 30 years is a long time for feeling displaced. And there’s no language difficulties here – well, not really!. But if I were to return to the UK, would I feel at home there now either? Is something of what I don’t understand or appreciate here related to so much change around the world generally? New Zealand has so fundamentally changed, from a laid back, egalitarian society, where at weekend the shops closed and everyone had time for their family or going to the beach, to a what I see as a grasping, insensitive, shallow, histrionic, and very unequal society (more so than even the UK) , controlled mainly by the rich and powerful for their own benefit. One could at one time forgive the shoddy and unappealing architecture in the cities and towns, the car-saturated culture and the sheer monotony and monoculturalism of the country on the basis that NZ at least ran an inclusive society. Now we no longer have that inclusive society, these other matters really grate. I wonder if some of those railing at the failings of other societies aren’t in fact railing at modern times and the failings of an economic and political system that is no longer working for our needs, and has been hijacked by the cynical and unscrupulous? Perhaps we’ve all become “harder” and more intolerant; less sensitive, greedy, and more unequal. All nations have been affected by revolutionary changes, and consequently societies are feeling a distinct social unease and cultural dislocation, basically society is getting more and more stressed, in which case it would hardly be surprising if more people are either just out for themselves, or if they’re desperate, out to help themselves. I put this thought here, because this slanging match between so many of the posters to this thread is quite distressing to me. I subscribe to the theory that people are people wherever they’re from and that if some of these people misbehave then there are probably deep social reasons and failings that would explain much of this. To those who are truly miserable, I would suggest move on. Life is what you make it, my life in NZ is not quite what I wanted it to be, and there are times my frustration does get the better of me and get me down, but on the other hand, I know I’m well, my family are doing well and are happy, and for the most part, I’m reasonably happy too. Perhaps that’s all most of us deserve in life in any case.

  117. I “lived” in Madrid in the 70s. I have dual citizenship, as I was unfortunately born on an American Air Base there in the 60′s. When we were forced to go back in the mid 1970′s, I was maybe 7 or 8. I hated every second of living there. Dad was USAF, and I cried every weekend for the three years Dad was stationed there. When we moved there, it felt as if the rug of stability was ripped out beneath my feet. NOTHING felt right about living there. I was exposed to a culture and a lifestyle that was not familiar at all to me. They also tried to force me to learn their ways and their language, which I flat out refused to learn cause I wanted to just go back to the States. I never did “adjust” and I had behavior problems both at school and home. As I look back many years later, I know I was acting out and lashing out cause I was so unhappy there. Believe me, IF I could have left Spain on my own at the age of 8 I would have. Today when folks say “Ooh, you lived in Spain”? I say “It was horrible, and I hated every minute of it.” Being forced to exist there has totally screwed up my head to this day some 40 years later.

  118. Well Well, some of us Brits have found out the World has a chip on their shoulders. Its about history, at some time or other we have kicked their ass. Get over it. Spain is like any other place we like to move too its warm. integrate or don’t its your choice. Just remember why you moved there and enjoy or move.

  119. johan kist says:

    pffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!! What can I say other than. I am dutch! Lived 15 years in spain, moved to the UK with my English wife and two little children at the end of 2012. Now 3 months in to 2014 we made up our minds that we will move back to Spain!! I agree that Spain isn’t easy but it gave us a much better and happier life than the UK. We say “better poor in Spain than comfortable in the UK” and we mean it!! I have to agree with everyone in who wrote that you have to speak Spanish and integrating is important too. I wouldn’t want to live in any country if I couldn’t speak the language. I have more Spanish friends than from any other nationality and my best times i spent with my family and them around a big paella dish at their fincas!! Spanish people I love you and I feel much more welcome with you than with the cold English and Dutch. Hasta pronto mis queridos amigos, ya pronto juntamos.

  120. Carol

    Carol, stays in your country, with the customs of your country (death penalty, most violent police the world, 80% of the psychopaths of the world, hate groups, racial justice, etc etc) in Spain we don’t want to you or anything of your country, so until we translate americans flims in our language. We don’t want your barbarism. Thanks :)

    Much of your country for 300 years belonged to Spain (something you desconocerás, of course) and my country helped your country in your independence (or even you don’t know that the first two days of Thanksgiving in american land did the Spaniards). However, the United States never helped Spain in nothing except screw us life, especially since the war in Cuba so far

    Of course, the blame is of ours governments by to keep american bases in our territory. We don’t owe absolutely nothing to US

  121. Jane

    To learn the language, if you want to stay to live in Spain (like it is your case) it will be of a great advantage, because you will not only know another new language, you will also know better the customs of the country, you will be able to make social life and in definitive you will be able to move by the country. Also people here are grateful if they see that you make an effort in learning the language, they will even help you

  122. johan kist says:

    Did anybody read the story about the spanish girl studying at English school at Tenerife? She is sooooooooo right! Basically she welcomes all kind of nationalities but she asks if the English can understand that Spanish english speakers are sick and tired of being used to help them out when needed, only to see how the English then retrieves again into their English communities until, of course they need help again! You are sooo right girl! Most English that I know abroad slack the Spanish off constantly but like I wrote above I live now in the UK and most English are to rude to answer their emails and hospitals are so behind the Spanish organisations. Please do not start about getting things done! There is no trust here and why is that? you have to pay your bill everywhere for your drinks and food even before you receive it! Why?? Because there is no more criminal country within Europe! That is Why. Slavery, Child abuse and murder are daily news subjects in the UK. No country discriminates more than the UK. They basically want all foreigners out at the moment. Well.. that will leave the country to self destruction as almost all doctors, taxi drivers and other intelligent people over here are FOREIGNERS!!
    I say Please foreigners lets move out of the UK all together at once!

  123. I found all these comments interesting , thank goodness I sold my house in Malaga province 4 yrs ago after moving to Spain for a new life, it was certainly and experience and lose of cash. Took 3 yrs to sell , ripped off by English estate agent and tax person who has vanished.

    I took the discussion to move to Poland where things are very different , mind you I have a polish partner , far easier to purchase property, no hassles and no feeling you do not fit in. My polish is growing and one is viewed with honour as a resident something I never found in Spain.

    I do feel the main problem over the years was the over selling by mainly English property developers pushing Spanish property and life style , naturally these companies are now doing the same thing in London hence the huge and stupid price rises however I do think it will be short lived

  124. Suspicion, hypocrisy, Schadenfreude, dishonesty, shallowness, cruelty, cowardice, arrogance. These are some features of the spanish soul. Maybe they were distillated by the long dictatorship of Franco, but the original stuff wasn’t so good. There’s a lot of good people too, but they are not the standard.

  125. Hey, Jofre

    You’re wrong

    I am spanish, and I am from fraud, cowardice, dishonesty, cruelty, cowardice, etc., must be your own virtues, because are not mine. I’m not your brother, that’s for sure. And perhaps many people from your country is not like you, and what I think I will not say, for not to censor the comment. I don’t want to be by your moral height, which is to the height of my shoes

  126. Hey, Victor

    You’re blind

    Spanish banks robbed poor old people for years with the “preferentes” scam (and they didn’t got their money back). Policemen and bank clerks evict families, even with crippled members, without compassion. Recently we knew that a supposed paralympian basketball team was in fact formed by normal guys. Face it: that’s your country.

  127. Errata: where I said ” I am from fraud “, meant ” I’m not a fraud “

  128. Iain Renfrew I have read your post and honestly it bought tears to my eyes.. I really thought my case was bad enough, I,m really sorry for the loss of your beautiful wife. I hope you have decided to sue the doctors like I have done. If you want to contact me do so on my e.mail address…. manchester1966@hotmail.com May your wife rest in peace !!!

  129. Globetrotter says:

    I am Indian and have lived in london for a few years as well as paris…I recently visited spain..Barcelona to be precise and hated it like no other place ive ever hated before. Span and Catalans especially are very rude disgusting people…they dont treat anyone nicely. The spanish government is corrupt to the core…its seriously worse than India …life in india is easy for expats…and the people in india are very welcoming but spanish people are bad for the majority…only a few are nice. In UK there are lots of problems too but its not such a bad country….there is racism in Uk but the judicial system is fast and clean….police is not as racist in Uk as they are in spain….i was assaulted by the police as a rich well dressed well spoken indian just minding my own business in spain….they have no manners how to treat a tourist…in UK the police are polite and cannot do anything wrong so easily anymore…the system is too strong in Uk..everyone has to follow a protocol and thank god for cctv’s all over Uk…crimes are solved easily. ..at least Uk is progressing. Countries like spain are poor and getting poorer…the more they become poor the less tolerant they will be,…i know a lot of British hate immigrants too but its a different kind of resentment….british hate poor lazy immigrants….spanish hate everyone,..rich or poor they are jealous of the rich cuz spain has no opportunities …most spanish make 1500 euros a month and can barely survive…yet they have a lot of attitude…and blame all their problems on immigrants. Well i would not live in spain or UK either…I prefer India now…and i love france for holidaying…is the best country in the world.

  130. Steven Gonzalvez says:

    Moving abroad always demands significant adaptation. Every country does. Spain has its own set of challenges. Some countries are probably easier than Spain is to get used to and many countries are a lot worse. I also tried to settle in Spain and failed. In my experience, the worst thing about Spain is their useless national health service. As several people in this forum have noted, Spanish law enforcement is shockingly ineffective, too, at least compared by UK standards (I soon discovered it is definitely a bad idea to ride a bicycle in Spain after dark -the aggression coming from drivers is almost constant. So crime in Spain is not only poverty-driven, but something of a cultural thing.) I personally hated being ordered to leave my rucksack in the lockers when shopping in a supermarket -obviously there is so much shoplifting going on they can’t allow customers carry their own bags in store! And yes, the labour market is a totally different story. Basically you need to keep in mind the unemployment rate is extremely high (consistently the highest in Europe), so you shouldn’t expect getting a good deal unless you possess some kind of formidably marketable qualification, and maybe not even then because another fact that needs to be understood is that Spain’s public sector is deeply corrupt and the private sector often very unprofessional. So generally speaking it is a mistake to expect your career to go better in Spain than it did in the UK. Moving in Spain may be OK if you are retiring there (although beware of their medical care!) but for working migrants, Spain only offers an improvement if you are coming from a developing country or parts of East Europe/Russia, not if you are from northern Europe.

  131. All the countries have ugly things and beautiful things, it a way of getting used. For example if I go to United Kingdom I will live with the people more ugly of Europe, many drunkards, a lot of violence, horrible climate and still worse food, ghosts in the houses, the dog of Baskerville, the man American wolf in London, Wayne Rooney etc and all those things : -) but is there also more work, political more honest, etc truth? everything is adaptation, a complicate word for the british citizens, specially the english.
    Respect to the language, in Spain we don’t speak in English unless it is for courtesy or to practice English, and much less us the Spaniards will look for friendship with foreigners that want to live in their little England with their language, their compatriots, their supermarkets etc and that they don’t have the most minimum interest for Spain and the Spaniards.
    By the way, the work problems, medical negligence, corruption etc that the Britons suffer in Spain are also suffers for the Spaniards. Spain has not always been so corrupt, this has happened of here to some years behind, and everything for blame of some soft laws toward the thieves of white glove of the politics and the Spanish banking. It is the duty of the Spaniards to change this situation, more for us that for the foreigners, certainly.

  132. If you don’t like spain it’s okay but what’t the point of making a website about it keep it to yourself

    • We love Spain but the purpose of the website is to give advantages and disadvantages to help people who may want to move here. We feel it is only fair to publish readers opinions – whether positive or negative towards Spain. We just don’t publish any messages that are abusive or include swearing or personal insults.

      • I wrote a short comment about racism in Spain and it was removed. To say that there is racism in Spain is not an insult and is a very useful information for those thinking to move here. You can hear comments and jokes about latin americans, portuguese or romanian in every tv show (even or specially in left oriented ones). Maybe Victor’s comment against an indian guy in this very forum is a better example.

        • I agree. I’ve had Spanish students tell me about racial epithets aimed at black players during football matches, insults towards Mexicans, Chinese who are fluent in Spanish but don’t have the same job opportunities, etc. There’s racism EVERYWHERE, unfortunately, so there’s no need to idealize one country.

  133. David Davidson says:

    Why do so many English people think they own the rest of the world and all of the people in it?? They think they and their way of life are superior to all others. Wake up and take on board that Spain is not just one big resort for booze, sex and sun. It is a country!! Why do you go abroad expecting everyplace to be just like your overcrowded, dirty, grimy has been little country?? The UK lives on past glories and can’t handle being a former world power. The country has a major inferiority complex. The English are pushy, rude, obnoxious and loud mouths. No wonder as tourists they have the worst reputation in Europe. English women are rated as being the most likely to have affairs among European women. They bring the attitude that they are easy on themselves with their drunken and slutty behavior and scanty attire. It is not at all surprising that most rapes and sexual assaûlts on English holidaymakers in Europe are perpetrated by their fellow countrymen. The Spanish are sick of the Brits misusing their country and who can blame them?? Getting drunk and passing out in the streets, packing the free clinics for the morning after pill, etc. Generally behaving like savages. Who can blame the Spaniards for not wanting the English culture and way of life forced on them?? These lowlifes only ruin it for those who go there to have nice holidays and behave themselves. It is time for them to take it on board that they are not welcome to go to Spain take over and colonize it.The British Empire, along with their freeloading royal family are jokes and has beens. The UK has a higher rate of violent crimes per 100,000 people than the USA and South Africa. So maybe they need to address their own problems before they try to change others??

    • David Davidson, thats a bit of an anti English/ British rant!
      No country is without its problems and mine has plenty (Scotland/ the UK). But I cant help feeling many of the points you make are without foundation.

      You say that ‘Spain is not just one big resort for booze, sex and sun. It is a country!!’ If all the Brits, and other nationalities, be them holiday makers or expats, went home then Spains already fragile economy would nose dive big time.

      You mention the UK being a former world power, many European countries had an empire at some point in the past, Spain, France, Holland being amongst them.
      Today the UK may not have much of an empire left, but pound for pound it punches well above its weight:
      It has a permanent seat on the security council.
      Member of G7 and G20. Spain is only represented in both through EU membership and is also an invitee to G20. Note invitee not member.
      Fifth strongest military power. That is through conventional weaponary and not nuclear.
      One of three countries with true blue-water navy capability as opposed to green-water navy capability.
      Therefore I dont think the UK ‘lives on past glories’ and ‘has a major inferiority complex’, as you try to claim.

      ‘English women are rated as being the most likely to have affairs among European women’. Really?
      Research, readily available on the internet, of six major European countries shows:
      UK 29% of woman have had affair. Spain lower at 28%. Belgium 29%. France 32%. Italy 34%. Germany 42%.
      Of those who had had an affair 51% of British women regretted it. Spain only 29% regretted it. Germany 28%. Italy 27%. Belgium 24%. France 21%.
      These figures tend to disprove your statement.

      You say of British/ English women, ‘they are easy on themselves with their drunken and slutty behavior and scanty attire’. And no Spanish women ever match that description?
      As for drunken behaviour. The Spanish locals in the village where I live, both male and female, can put British holidaymakers, in places such as Ibiza, Benidorm, Magaluf, etc to shame with their drunken antics during the local village fiestas. I have had my front door used as a toilet, as have my Spanish neighbours, even though the ajuntament supplies portable loos. Yet if you complain to the ajuntament or local police they dont want to know and can’t believe the locals would behave in such a manner, even if you show them photos!

      ‘Packing the free clinics for the morning after pill’. Are you sure? Contraception, be it regular or emergency is not free in Spain, YOU HAVE TO PAY!
      Any woman in Spain can buy the morning after pill, from a chemist, regardless of age. Yet in the UK an under 16 year old can only obtain it through a health care professional.
      I think any person who has spent any time in Spain knows of Spanish girls/ women who have gone on a so called holiday for a few days. Yet in reality they are visiting abortion clinics in places such as the UK.
      And what of the abortion cruises? Medically equipped ships would pick female passengers up from Spanish ports, steam over the 12 mile limit and provide abortions in international waters.
      Therefore I dont believe British women are any more or less virtuous than Spanish women.

      You talk of the UK having a higher rate of crime than places such as South Africa and the USA.
      When this fact was reported a while back an American criminologist looked at the figures in great detail. His findings, available online, found the UK to be far safer than the USA. As for South Africa, do you really believe it is a safer country than the UK?

      Towards the end of your post you talk about ‘lowlifes’ trying ‘to take over (Spain) and colonize it’. Do you really believe that to be the case?
      The vast majority of British visitors to Spain, be them holiday makers or permanent expats, are law abiding and just want to enjoy themselves and get on with their life.
      Yet, I will say if they ‘overstep the mark’ then they should be held accountable for their actions.

      David Davidson, you are of course entitled to your opinion, but please dont try to dress it up as fact. Because anybody who cares to do a little research can find that much of what you have said is untrue and without foundation.

      Lastly, for someone having such an anti English rant you have a very English sounding name!

    • Please keep sexism and misogyny out of this (WHY DID THAT COMMENT EVEN GET APPROVED???)

  134. Globertrotter…

    Indian? I would not travel to your country, nor although I am the richest man in the world…
    Who knows of your country, knows that the only thing beautiful of your country are the tigers and the elephants, nothing else

    To compare the India with Spain? Is a joke? It is only necessary to compare our fleet of trains and our way of traveling with yours. And is only an example…

    • So you’re angry when people insult Spain, and then you go and insult India even though you’ve never been? I’ve been to Kerala – it was beautiful, had friendly people, and delicious food. India, with its ancient culture and rich spiritual history, is amazing and I can’t wait to go back.

  135. Globertrotter, if you are the India you are not the but suitable to say that Spain is a poor country. My country suffers a serious economic crisis but you cannot compare to that underdeveloped country where the poverty, the insalubrity, the disease and the big social inequalities are part, always, of its daily life. To compare Spain with your country is as comparing the Real Madrid with a a team of regional fourth.
    By the way, you say that the Spaniards are more racists that the Britons …. you tell seriously? don’t you remember the colonial time of their country? I believe that you are a great demagogue because you has never been in Spain.

  136. Well, what an interesting read comments from all walks… from the ignorant, the informed , the intelligent and the fools amongst us!!!
    I live in inland Andalucía and love it, I have been welcomed and accepted into the community, I have joined groups and do volunteer work. I speak Spanish, have Spanish friends and have nothing negative to say about the people, the town or the country. I lived in Spain, and attended university here, 45 years ago there are nostalgic memories but places grow, change and move on.
    The only person who has treated me badly since I have been here is a British builder, a major con artist aided by his wife, he steals pensioners savings and although he professes to have been working in the industry for 10 years in the region, has no building knowledge what so ever and has left a trail of destruction!!.
    This is the only negative.

    • Peter, you say you have a relationship with Spain that stretches back many years. Attending university, in Spain, 45 years ago.
      In all that time you have nothing negative to say about the place/ people, except for your run in with a British builder! No negatives in all that time, are you sure you are not in Utopia rather than Spain? For no country, in the world, is without its problems/ negatives.

      As for your run in with said builder. If you are as intergrated into Spanish life and speak the language, as you say, then why did you not use a Spanish builder? After all a native builder would have served their time and spent their working life working on Spanish style buildings, which are a lot different to British buildings.
      And surely, anybody having building work carried out, regardless of what country they are in, would ask for references first. References go a long way to eliminate bad experiences….Caveat emptor!

  137. Hi
    This is a very interesting read. We are hoping to move to Spain in about 5 years time so have started to learn the language now. Us Brits are constantly moaning here, especially concerning immigration – we expect people who move here to know the language but when we move abroad we expect them to speak english! Go figure!
    There will always be positives and negatives about moving abroad but as long as you do the research and visit the area as much as possible you give yourself a fighting chance of doing ok. Luckily I won’t need to work but anyone who is under the impression that life is sweet here then ought to do their own research. Unemployment figures may seem to be getting better here but those figures are for people receiving benefits. These figures do not include those who have had their benefits stopped for 3 months or more, which is what happened to my son when they told him to go for a job interview in a town 30 miles away with no way of getting there. When he didn’t go they stopped his job seekers allowance for 3 months! This happens all the time.
    Also, with all the government cuts to services like NHS, Police, Schools, councils etc things will get a whole lot worse here for us Brits. The crime figures are down as there are no Policemen to report the crime to any more. Crime will rise. This Government will not be happy until they have got the NHS and Police off their books!
    Every country has their own problems. At least those of you who are coming back have given it a go…it wasn’t for you, but don’t knock those who have found happiness in Spain.
    Please stop taking every comment so personally….we live in democratic countries and are able to have our say, so don’t attack others just because their view is different to yours.
    I just hope everyone finds the happiness they are seeking

  138. Hi all!
    I am from Valencia and I have been living in Uk for a year and 8 months and I can´t live in Uk anymore.
    The cultural shock it is just too much for me and despite of the situation in my country, I just want to go to Spain. I am working as a Customer Service Rep in an American company and speak 5 languages. I have been living in different countries due to the situation in my country and loved it but this time, It could be me or the majority of people I met, I can´t do it anymore.

    It is really complicated to adapt to another culture and many factors can make your days better or worse.
    I have found really wonderful people in Uk as i could find in any other country in the world and some miserable people that I have never seen in my entire life.

    Obviously, All the bad things you are saying about Spain, I could say about Uk in other way, but not just Uk…. we all are human beings with many things to be changed in our behaviour.. but I am just not going to waste my time with that.

    You can find racism, greed, arrogance, dishonesty, corruption, intolerance….. in every country. We make a mistake when we speak in general, but we do it unfortunately as it is easier than writting %

    I just want to say why I want to go back to Spain and which values I love from British Society that are part of our cultural identity:

    - I was born in a Country where money is not buying happiness. (despite some people think like that)
    - A country where We work to live, not live to work (obviously there are exceptions)
    - A country where the family is our life and way of living (as it happens in Italy, Portugal or Greece.. places where I lived) (obviously there are exceptions)
    - A country with a culture of food, love, friendship.. enjoying every minute of our life. (because we just have one life and If you don´t enjoy every bite of your food, or every minute with you couple or friends, family… what are we here for???)……

    The developed countries have just made “work” as the main value and it is not . You can feel it in Uk so hard. But obviously it is your choice to decide which values are in your life.

    - Uk Customer Service is the best I have experienced all over the world. (It is so fu%$&!! good that It makes me think that the fake smiles are just trying to sell me something or helping me to make me come back and it annoys me a lot sometimes)
    - Music is your motion (we do not have that music culture in Spain, I love it)
    - Love for animals (Amazing)

    I would probably need more time to get to know more about UK identity as a country and I am probably missing a lot of good things.

    There are many reasons that can make you move to another country but I would say that we must always follow our heart and go wherever we want to go and If we make a mistake it is as easy as rethinking again our priorities and move and change.

    I hope to find a job soon in Spain and I wish to all the people who are not happy in Spain, the best in their lifes. Don´t be afraid of change and think about your priorities and what it is making you happy.
    Those willing to move to Spain, I would say go for it if you really want it. Better days will come.

    Laura

  139. Jourdan says:

    I guess it is just a matter of opinion, I lived in Malaga city centre for about a year and I agree with it being hard to find work, eventually I had to come home back to Newcastle as I could not find work.
    But other than that Malaga to me was the best time of my life, before that I lived further down south in Estepona and Malaga city was like a different world…

    Life in Spain is definitely slower, but for that you get a great lifestyle… maybe you just weren’t suited to it… but I have no idea where you are getting this “crime” stuff from… I have experienced multiple VIOLENT crimes here in the united kingdom and many more anti-social related crimes on a almost weekly occurrence… the entire time I lived in Spain that would equal to about 2-2 1/2 years I think I witnessed maybe one or two acts of anti-social behaviour and that’s it really…

    You should keep your wits about you anywhere you go, including the UK…

    maybe you just aren’t suited to Spain.

  140. Shirley you’re obviously an idiot:

    “One of the reasons we avoided the South of Spain was that it’s closer to Africa and has more crime.”

    There is so much wrong with the above sentence.

  141. Swings and roundabouts folks!

  142. Natasha says:

    Hi all, I was born in Spain but grew up in London and came back when I was 14 ( 30 now)
    I have both English and Spanish family.
    It’s very funny to hear English people talk about Spain. Living in Spain is nothing like a holiday in Benidorm, Just like living in UK is nothing like a holiday in London.
    All countries have their pros and cons.
    To the first person who wrote: you said i hate working until 2 am, waiting for the last drunk to go… I bet you loved it when you were the last drunk to go.
    About the robbers, etc… yes well… The Spanish have low wages and long working hours, But Last time I went to UK, they talked on the news about rape like it was a side note! Everyday, I couldn’t believe it! Rape and murder is NOT something normal in Spain, Yes you might get robbed, but there is a very low chance you will get raped or murdered. The most talked about murder in Spain was that of Madeleine McCann…
    It was a huge thing! Not a normal situation and not provoked by the Spanish or Portuguese.. As the murderers are obvious.. but i wont go into that.
    Im not sure where you’ve heard the bound and gagged thing, maybe your friend watches too many films. The whole point of robbing is not being seen… this has happened ONCE and it was because the person was a politician.
    But its funny to hear the English ”Gossip”.
    You can’t pretend that you are going to move to another country and be treated like a tourist,
    This is another point from another blogger up there, Its better to live with the English and not integrate, this is when you will be treated differently, when you don’t even bother in meeting people, other people wont look at you twice and you certainly will become a Guiri, and not a friend, or a respected citizen.
    There is one huge problem in Spain, The government. This applies to everything.. even customers service, when you re in a job that you enter at 10 am and leave at 8 pm, yes there is a very big chance you will not be attended in a straight away fashion, also, in Spain, people are not treated like idiots, im sure when you go in a shop, you know what you are looking for, and if not,… will probably ask.
    Spain is next to Africa, get used to it, there is African people who have come here looking for a better life.
    Once you become a Spanish citizen, you will be treated like one, you will not be adored for being British,
    You will not be a tourist spending money, you will be a worker, and you will get a low pay, but you will also get a Mediterranean diet, and 6 months of Sun. And if you bother, you will get great friends and better social life. Also, your kids will be able to play on the street until late with no risks.
    your kids will have a better education ( schools are not good here, there is no great school trips, infrastructures, after school activities or slower capacity, or special needs stuff, but the education is more demanding and on a much, much higher level) University is Endlessly cheaper, and nº1 in the world for Medical, Graphics, Architecture and engineering, and are acclaimed in mostly Germany, Japan, UK and US where the specifically want Spanish educated.

    UK- you have, better pay, people are polite, and punctual.
    People mind their own business, but on the other hand have a limited social life and bad weather, So you have to see if it is better to earn less and live more, or Earn more and live in Spain when you are 65 (If you get to be 65).
    I would also like to point out the way Spanish people are treated in UK, the only difference is they move there KNOWING they are going to be a ”no one” and don’t expect or DEMAND anything from anyone.

    For the person talking about the day after pill, yes in Spain you have to pay its 22€, this is to prevent teens using it as a normal contraception method. Still UK is nº1 in Europe for teen pregnancies.

    anyway, there is one sure thing, If you don’t want to live and be a part of a country, im 100% sure you are not welcome to do so.
    Its as simple as leaving.

  143. Cabeza de Vaca says:

    First of all, I apologise for my bad bad bad english. However, believe me, is far better than the spanish spoken by the majority of british living in Spain.

    I really love british popular culture. That’s why I moved to your country six years ago. I wanted to live in London in order to see a lot of concerts. Maybe it sounds stupid, but it was really important for me when I was younger. I thought: Why not? I have a degree which is wanted in each corner of this rotten world and I’m hungry for new experiences. As I also knew the language and London was only 2 hours from my city, Barcelona, I finally decided to go there.

    And well… Your complaints make me laugh. Has a Spain a lot of problems, specially at this moment? Yeah, that’s true. But… Is the magnificient and “powerful” United Kingdom some kind of paradyse in which every, I say every, thing works fine? Mate, If your answer is “yes” let me tell you that you suffer from some kind of illness.

    Secondly, are the spaniards racist? Oh, please… Do you know that United Kingdom has more fascist parties and movements than any other country? Although I was more qualified than the 90% of brits, they told me things like “what the hell are you doing here?”, “You, the immigrants, are sinkening our glorious country”, “Oh, are you spaniard? I can’t believe it because of your blue eyes!”, “Hey, look at that, it’s a mobile phone!”. Etc.

    All my partners made fun of “siesta”. Some of them were convinced that spaniards sleep during the daytime and go out during the night time. Some of them were also the laziest people I’ve ever met. Yeah, sofisticated londoners who were extremely accostumed to shirking. And I was earning less money than them being more qualified! Why? Because I wasn’t british. Therefore, what you say about special manners in Spain is absolutely the same shit or even worse in your country.

    Then you’re talking about bureaucracy. ha, ha, ha. Bureaucrazy is slow everywhere. But in the U.K. it could be exasperating and infuriating. And if you’re british, you know what I’m talking about.

    And… what about the almost ruined British flats? or the typical and ugly British uncomfortable semi-detacched houses? Or the british food? Yeah, you can not compare fish and chips, delicious for every palate, with paella or another awful spanish dish.

    So, mate, I was a “poor” and “illiterate” spaniard who was aware of the differences between regions in the U.K. and the differences between U.K and Spain. I applied for my job being in Barcelona because I did not want to waste my time and money waiting for an opportunity. I had also and agreement with one landlord to rent his house. Etc. I know that not all the spaniards do the same, but I’m trying to show you how stupid are the stereotypes.

    Nevertheless, I have a lot of british friends who are amazing people and who treat me extremely well. Prejudices are always stupid. And, man, if you don’t like your town, “ancha es Castilla”. And if you don’t like Spain, please stop hurting yourserlf uselessly. Now I live in Madrid. I love your country. I wasn’t happy enough there owing to the weather and stuff so… what’s the matter? There’s no matter! I just moved on!

  144. I am British who has been living in Spain for a number of years. It is really disappointing to see so many fellow British slugging a country and its population so badly. I suspect that most of you people had failed to integrate with the locals. Integrating will not only give you an overview of the spanish culture such as siesta or having la cena at 10 and then heading out for a drink but also create opportunities to improve your language skills as well as gaining a local referee for a possible job at some point. Spaniards like Italians and Cypriots have the Mediterranean attitude. Siesta is a must because of the fact is simply too warm in the Summer. What perhaps we see as rude in terms of customer service is not actually the case. The way that we are getting treated is pretty much the same way locals get treated by their fellow Spaniards. For example in Spain you do not require to say por favor (please) whenever you have a request for the reason that you will stand out as a foreigner. Spaniards have direct approach straight to the point. Racism does exist like in any country but is not just against British but also against other nations like Moroccans other latino countries with sizeable migrant groups like Ecuadorians and so on.
    So it is all about integrating.. Understanding how the local bureaucracy works and researching as much as possible. What is the point living in a country and just counter-interact just with fellow British in another country.
    Wages are not as good as in UK however based on my personal experience living in Madrid cost of living here is perhaps 30-40% cheaper than London so overall that actually makes life better. Transport especially the rail and the underground are also top notch and very very cheap compared to UK.
    Lawyers property developers estate agents local building contractors and taxi drivers can be very manipulative however that is why you need to research all these aspects before you attempt anything. it may be exhausting however it is crucial. This is certainly applicable in any mediterrean country!!

    • Mark, you say, ‘Siesta is a must because of the fact is simply too warm in the Summer’.
      What a load of rubbish and if what you say is true then why do they still take a siesta in the cooler months of the year?

      The siesta is a relic of a bygone age that is best relegated to the scrap heap.

      In this day and age with air conditioning, etc there is no need to shut up shop midday. And for those that work outside the physical effort, of yesteryear, is negated by the use of power tools/ machinery.

      The siesta is counterproductive, which is clear for all to see. A fact a Spanish parliamentary commission recognised in 2013, when they called on the government to introduce regular working hours and to, also, revert Spanish time back an hour to GMT, which it was before Franco aligned Spain with the time used by Nazi Germany.

  145. Jeweli Taylor says:

    Is quite easy to say, “I hate this and I hate that” well any place that you go and live then you will feel this way specially if you havent been able to mix with the locals or have not been part of what is happening there. Also I would not live for 6 or 9 yrs to find out how much I hate a place. I have lived in the UK and now I am living in Galicia, for 5 years now, and when it comes to choosing a better place I would prefer Spain right away.
    The main thing is to learn the language and to eat, live and have fun like Spaniards so stick with them. Here I also feel with much less pressure and feel much safer than when I was living in London or in Wales. The food is much better, so is the quality of life. Sure you will find a wise guy trying to pull a fast one on you but hey in the UK was even worse. But to all of you hating Brits, GOOD RIDDANCE and dont let the door knock you on your way out! From an expat who LOVES Spain. Jewell Taylor, 29 yrs old

  146. Victoria Maria says:

    I believe most of what Nick Anders said. Customer service in Spain, what customer service? specially if you don’t speak their language, you are made to feel like a super idiot and a complete outsider even if you are doing business for them as a tourist. If I may add, spaniards hardly smile which sealed my first impression of them as one of the unfriendliest people on earth.

  147. This has been an interesting comments page. I’ve lived in Gibraltar for 3 years now and it surprises me the love and affection they have for Spain. They all support Spain in the World cup yet they want Britain to protect them. It is so pathetic its untrue. The Gibraltarians are the biggest hypocrites its untrue. I am a British person and it makes me sick. I live in Gibraltar yet everyone wears a Barcelona or Real Madrid shirt, they all speak Spanish to you in the shops. Yet they ‘pretend’ to be british. Do not get lied to, the people of Gibraltar are Spanish, they are lazy! They only want to be British because of tax reasons, and are the laziest people in the world

  148. Reading this makes me truly happy. For one its great that all the people that are / where here in Spain and are leaving are hopefully gone to the UK which gives me and my family more room to enjoy this beautiful country. Its in the nature of most people to write and talk negative but do absolutely nothing about it. This is most caused by their own actions and the inability to take responsibility. The legendary ” If I don’t get a job and have to clean pools its surely the countries fault” scenario. Same applies to robberies. Secure your House properly. We are not in the UK. If you come to Spain expect higher crime rates and act to it. Ever since I am in Spain I have worked in my sector and integrated as good as possible into the Country and the locals. If you are willing to work and put effort in your search you will succeed no doubt. When someone says “manjana” then it is. No need to get frustrated that the mentality doesn’t suit your one that is not native. What I see all to often is that people are unable to adapt and that leads to these very narrow minded comments. If you do not like the country…leave, but with dignity. I love Spain. I met my partner now wife here. We have two lovely children which are native Spanish. I love Spains nature and rhythm and would like to encourage people to look over their edge of their plate to see what it really has to offer.

  149. Interesting comments. I agree that, generally speaking, Spaniards are noisy and many times irresponsible, I’ve lived here from my birth and I know very well my compatriots. The climate of the South isn´t as good as many of you think, 35-38 Celsius degrees in summer is too hot for me. But there are many differences between regions and social classes. In my opinion, without regard the language, there’s more difference between a Galician(North-West) and Andalusian, than between and average British and average Spaniard. The same to you British, not every British that come to Spain are middle-aged and well educated British gentlemen and ladies. Because some of them seem very improvable: drunks, they urinate in the streets, they are violent and s*x obsessed and they don’t seem intelligent and learned. Are all of them from the worst neighborhood of Liverpool?, I don´t think so. So, as they say in my country: ¡Menos humos!( don’t be so arrogant!). I don´t recommend you to buy a property in Spain unless you are totally in love with Spain, its landscapes, monuments and History, its joy of living(it depends on the region and the economic climate), its music(flamenco is a wonderful music),…so you can offset the bad experiences that surely you are going to have.

  150. The level of stupidity in the articles above is astonishing…
    please guys get a grip.

  151. Roberto says:

    Hi
    As Spaniard living now in UK for 3 years, I think I can tell you something, comparing places and people from both countries.
    ROADS: main network more or less the same… but newer in Spain. Secondary roads SO FAR BETTER IN SPAIN.
    HEALTH SYSTEM: 1 of the best in the world, public and working system. Why do you go from UK to Spain to get visited by our doctors?. A disaster in UK, few skilled people only in hospitals, but you dont go to the hospital for a headache or a cold. Very good and polite words by people, and basically let you cure by yourself, or go inmediatly to the hospital because you are really sick.
    PEOPLE BEHAVIOUR: YES, we are more noisy, TRUE. But more sincere, able yo talk and to do exactly the same, not to give polite words and after that, NOTHING. I suffered this attitude here in the schools, in the Coulcil, with the Real State Agents, with the Insurance Agents, in my job, in everywhere. Brits are extremly polite, YES, and AFTER THAT? NO PROBLEM IS SOLVED… Really do you prefer that?
    CUSTOMER SERVICE: Its a joke if you say there are no costumer service, neither you belive that. There are particular cases in everywhere, and here in UK, the same…. VERY GOOD AND POLITE WORDS, and after that????? sometimes solved, other not…..
    And here nobody speaks Spanish to give you the service, of course. What expect then in Spain, people talking to you in English? Really ?? Come on… be serious. Customer Service is not better here in UK, after my experiences with several companies.
    PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICES: FAR FAR BETTER IN SPAIN. Train, bus, metro, I am sorry, but our systems are better, more modern and CHEAPER !!!! Only British Airways is better, because was overpowered (well done) by UK government.
    SIESTA: OMG why its so famous??? Its no common nowadays, and it has its reason to do. We have different working hours, different sun hours basically. Try to work as farmer at 12:00 from Jun to Sep. IMPOSSIBLE. Ancient farmers did siesta in order to avoid worse sun hours. If not, why do you go to the hospital after some continued hours in the Spanish beaches???
    RACISM: like any other country… when you see a lot of foreign people entering and wasting your money, you are not happy. Here in UK is the same now, exactly the same.
    GIBRALTAR: Invaded not legally when after some storms, some vessels were allowed to settle there in order to not die all in the middle of the sea. Still British colony in XXI century… WHY? As usual in British “way to do”, oppositte to the international rules and law when there are some special interest. There is a military importance to control the Mediterranean entrance, and there is a economical interest with the Ilegal paradises, out on UE regulations.
    If I were the Spanish president, I would close the “VERJA” years ago. Do you want Gibraltar belonging to UK? thats right…them TAKE IT.
    1 more thing… surrounding waters are Spanish, because are not detailed in Utretch agreement. Again, UK violates rules and laws in its interest when is necessary.

    We also have bad things, OF COURSE… several ones and I would need days to talk about that, but do you really think the UK is the paradise??? No, it isn’t.

    Finally, I must say I live happy and in peace in UK, with the good things ans the bad things, LIKE EVERYWHERE. I am not against UK and nobody, but obviously things could be quite different, it depends on the point of view and your experiences.

    Kind regards to everybody.

  152. To all the British who are complaining about Spain here: some of the things you say are sadly true or half true. As a Spaniard I have to deal with all of that s*** everyday. But there are other points you state that are very biased and I have no choice but disagree. Anyway, Spain is a great country and so the Great Britain. We are no saints, but neither you are. Love to all.

  153. There are some good comments here and obviously a bit of anger. We’ve just sold up in Mijas Pueblo and are sad to be leaving Spain. Like nearly everyone we’ve sold cheap to get out after several years of hoping something would happen to make life better for everyone who lives in Spain. It’s got so much more going for it than snooty France, great weather, people and beaches, brilliant cycling, food and bars, full of life. I understand the anger of British people living there who cannot get work. Most of the Brits we knew have bailed out, at a loss as we have, unable to afford staying really. After 11 years, we’ve seen Mijas improve, roads, order, organisation but the charm has gone. People are definitely less friendly than they were, the good times have gone for everone for the time being. It can be a frustrating place to live in, banks work oddly, local government too, roads close at a whim trapping your car for a day, streets become one way then change back to two way when someone feels like it, roads wash away leaving death traps with no warning, it can be an adventure. Tragic for the young especially, I wish Spain and Spaniards the best of luck in the future but I’m glad I’m back in the UK now.

  154. A lot of what is being expressed here appears to be a clash between expectations and reality. Many of the expats I’ve either read about or met in Spain seem to have presumed that they were moving to a sunnier UK. They are then stunned and upset when it turns out not to be the case. It constantly surprises me that people who CHOOSE to move to another country are then offended and angry when everything there is not the way it is at home – why on earth would it be? If you move to a different country of course it will have a different culture, different societal rules, different behaviors, different laws, etc. Why do we expect to be treated as if we were born and breed, we can hardly say that every person that comes to our own country is treated this way – and if they don’t even speak the language, well! I’ve lived in several different countries and believe me there are things that have driven me absolutely crazy about some of the places, but the problem is ME – the place or people didn’t suddenly change just to peeve me off, that’s how it is there, it’s me that isn’t adapting adequately. I’ve been ripped off, lied to, conned etc, but that goes on everywhere, including the UK – I was friends with a Polish couple who were being charged three times the normal rent because their English was poor and they didn’t know the average rental costs. If we are going to leave the confines of our own shores we need to change our expectations, adapt to our new surroundings and stop believing that the rest of the world should be exactly the same as our part of it.

  155. The Experienced Traveller says:

    Wow! This article really caused a sh#tstorm.
    Which just goes to show how true it is! After 20 years of living here, in various cities, I can only agree with EVERY negative comment made about the Spanish. Yes, a few are nice, but its not the norm. The culture is to rip-off, cheat and steal from others. INCLUDING each other.
    Don’t for a moment think its them verses us: its me, me, me for the Spanish. I know just as many Spaniards having houses bulldozed, bogus fines, deliberately life-screwing bureaucracy… as any other nationality/giri.
    We started our own business: water and bin rates at home €40/2mths, for the flat where the business is: €230!!!!!!/2mths <- This is spain. Most of the other businesses just don't pay taxes.
    One of the beachside restaurants (leased from townhall) finally shut down after not paying taxes for 4 years – everyone knew the situation…for 4 years !!!!
    One thing I have learnt: the people that defend spain are VERY wealthy. Always, without fail.

  156. A lot of this was really funny for me to read as an American. I’ve never been to Britain or the UK so I’m not sure how native English locals treat their tourists and immigrants, but in America, especially these days with so many Latino immigrants coming in illegally, Americans are horrible to their immigrants.
    People in America seem to act exactly as the Spanish do, claiming that immigrants are stupid and don’t belong, demanding that everyone speak english or “go back to where you came from”, claiming that they are stealing all the jobs and therefor making it pretty much impossible for anyone who isn’t fluent in English to get a job (and if they see your name on an application as “Jose Rosa Martinez” they will most certainly pass you up for that “John M. Smithson” over there).
    I’m not trying to say that revenge is a good or mature way to handle things, but if white Americans are treated the same way English people were when going to Spain, I would almost say that for a majority of Americans, it would be good for them to see how it feels to be treated the way we treat all of our immigrants. Maybe it would be a wakeup call.
    It is sad that I wasn’t even surprised that a country would be discriminatory towards outsiders.

    (We’ve also ALWAYS been really awful to immigrants from ANY country throughout all the years of migration into America. We treated the Irish like pigs, put people of asian descent in internment camps after working most of them to death on the transcontinental railroad, oh and let’s not forget how we dragged thousands of African and Islander people here and made them our slaves….)

  157. If you’re not too concerned about making a lot of money, teaching English is a good way to get by while also experiencing a different culture. I really enjoy teaching, so it hasn’t been bad for me, although I would have made more money teaching English in Asia or the Middle East. Personally, I met friendlier people in Italy and in Turkey than I have in Spain. Also, unlike those countries, the men here seem to be obsessed with blondes (every time I’m out with a blonde friend, I’m more invisible than usual). Oh well.

    I’ve had very nice students and have rented flats from kind, reliable landlords, and I’ve always found work easily enough, even as someone who isn’t part of the EU. But if you want to come to Spain for the sun, look into the place before you move there. Madrid is winter most of the year (“nueve meses de invierno, tres meses de inferno”) with lots of cloudy, cold, rainy days and even Valencia gets its cloudy days regularly. If you’re vegetarian, you’re not going to have the number of choices you had in the U.S. (or some other countries as well) although you’ll still get by. From my experience, the immigrants and visitors here (Chinese, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, German, Italian, South American) have been the friendliest. As I posted above, people in Valencia seem a bit friendlier than in Madrid, at least with foreigners (I’ve lived in both places for a year each). Of course, it will all still vary from person to person, but these have been my experiences.

  158. HILARIOUS says:

    Oh you dont feel welcome at all? Oh poor you… must be because:

    1) YOU DONT BOTHER TO LEARN OUR LANGUAGE: I know british school teachers that have lived for 20 years in Mallorca and still dont speak spanish, NOT A SINGLE WORD

    2) INTEGRATE IN SOCIETY. You british people just relate with other british people, you go to british only parties and dont have a single spanish friend. On top of that, you dont live in the city, you live where other british people live.

    3) Stop acting like you are on a higher level than the rest of the world.

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