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 Silvia as a Spanish Expat in the UK!

I’d like to give my point of view as a Spanish expat in UK.

The problem comes when you move to another country without enough information about the place. When I came to UK I spent months searching information about the country and its people. Because I really wanted to fit in. And I think a lot of British don’t do that when they move out to Spain. They spent their holidays in Spain and they think they know the country. I had been in London before but I knew that it wasn’t the same. The life as a tourist is totally different than the life as a citizen.

And, to be honest, after all this time I don’t know where I prefer to live. There are bad and good thing in both countries. But I want to focus in what you said in your post.


– Spain: Really?? Didn’t you speak with a Spanish person before you moved to Spain?? Any Spanish had told you about the problems we have in Spain with this. And it’s not only about find a job, it’s when you get one what conditions you’re going to have: low salary, a lot of extra unpaid hours, asshole managers….

– UK: I’m graduated and I have several experience years in my sector but I was working for 2 years making sandwiches why?? Because my English wasn’t good enough. And when it improved, it took a lot of time to have a better job, because I had experience but not in UK. So I had (and I still have) to fight for my opportunity. Because I have to prove I’m a better option than a native or someone from another place. I have to fight against the topic “Spanish are lazy people thinking in anything but take siestas and eat paella”

I worked more hours here than in Spain. 56 hours is just illegal in Spain…. the good thing is: UK they pay every single hour you work.

A bad thing in UK is when you get sick, for example. They don’t pay you, even if you had an accident at work and you’re sick or injured because of it.

I remember I had to work having a terrible flu because I couldn’t afford stay at home. Another time I cut my finger so deeply with a knife at work and I had to keep working bleeding!!! Do you know how dangerous is that a sick person makes sandwiches for customers? But I, as many other people, had to do it because we have to pay our rent.


– Spain: It’s true, the crime in Spain increased lately because of the crisis. You have to watch your belongings because of the pickpockets. And obviously, when you’re going to pay for something (as a deposit) you have to be sure you are giving the money to a formal agency. Scammers are in all the countries. But usually Spain is safe as the statistics say. We have a lot of police patrolling the streets.

– UK: One thing that surprised me about UK it’s that the windows of houses don’t have grilles; the doors are made with wood and glass, easy to kick and open. At first I thought it was because it was safer here, people aren’t going to get in your house and steal your staff. But not….that wasn’t the true. Your can be stolen at any time. Actually, there were 3 burglaries in my building in a year. And you could think “London is a place with a large amount of immigration, maybe that’s the reason”. Well, I have to say that the police caught the thieves, and 2 of the 3 occasions, they were English.

About the police, I don’t see them, they don’t patrol the street. They come up when something happens, but they’re not watching that nothing happen really. So I can see a lot of young people offering weed in every corner of the high street. And the fights in the street are something normal every single weekend….


– Spain: I really don’t believe someone doesn’t make the job you’re paying for. I just don’t believe it….In Spain there is something called: “consumo”. If you paid for something and you don’t receive it you have to go to consumo and they’ll fix it. Companies and self-employed don’t want a penalty from consumo, that’s for sure.

– UK: In UK, I worked in something related with construction, remodelling houses. You can’t imagine how many times I saw a work unfinished or wrong done when the customer paid a lot of money for it, and he just didn’t have what he paid. And you cannot do anything, because in this country “consumo” doesn’t exist. So if you want your money back you have to take that people to the court and spend a lot of money, and that is so unfair.
Another example, recently I moved to another house, and I was shaking because I remember how hard is here to get your internet supply. And I wasn’t wrong. I need internet for work, I contracted one of the most expensive internet providers and the instalation of optic fibre for that company was alredy done in this house. Well….It took for them 1 month to come to my house to plug the router. According to them this was something only its staff could do, so they weren’t going to send me the router to plug it for myself. The real reason was it charges me 10 pounds for the technical’s visit and they told me it was an offer because normally it was 40 pounds…..come on….

Customer service:

– Spain: that’s true, customer service in Spain sucks. It seems like they are making you a favour….and it’s something I hate form Spain. Companies don’t care about his employees, they pay a low salary, employees work a lot of hours, some of them unpaid, and this has repercussions in customer services. It’s a pity.

– UK: Normally, at least in London, the customer service is good. Except for GP and hospital receptionist; doctors and nurses are really charming but the staff in the reception 90% of times are rude and impatient.

Getting ripped off:

– Spain: The thing is I can’t speak about this in Spain, I don’t have any experience and I don’t know anyone that was in that situation, even my foreign friends. Maybe because I know the country and the language and it’s difficult for them try to rip me off. I don’t doubt that this happen as everywhere.

– UK: As in Spain I don’t have the experience to be ripped off in UK, but I know some people who do. They were cheated when they were trying to rent a flat or a room. And this is something so usual in London. I read about that before I came here and it’s for that I’m very careful when I want to rent something.
They main problem here are the landlord, you can be very careful but if you have a bad landlord it’s difficult to do something. And I lived and I heard terrified stories about some landlord and their houses.

Poor road/facilities.

– Spain: In this point, I totally disagree with you. I’ve driven in both countries and in many areas of them, and I have to say that Spanish road have a high quality if you compare them with France ones or England ones. Obviously, you live in a village, you can’t expect the same road in Madrid (6 million hab.) with Nerja (21.000 hab). Some local road to connect villages to each other or a village with a main motorway could be worst. But the government just cannot invest in the best road for every single village in Spain, it’s just impossible; it’s a big country with a lot of small villages. I’ve travelled through Europe and I have seen lots of villages with dirt roads instead of highways and that it doesn’t happen in Spain, even in the smallest village in the middle of a mountain…

About the floods, that is something so difficult to fix because of the ground. That area is not used to getting so much water suddenly, and when it happens the ground can’t take it, even if it has the best sewage system. Something like that happened some weeks ago in Paris, so imagine in a village. But it doesn’t happen in the north of Spain for instance, because the ground used to get lots of water as in England.

– UK: Do you know how many council tax I pay in London? Like 5 times what I used to pay in Spain. Apparently it’s not enough to fix the streets. Every single tile in my street is not in its place, so I see every day people fall in the street because of this. The streetlight in front of my house is broken for 4 months, I’ve called 3 times to the council and it’s still broken.
The sign indicating the name of the street, two streets away from mine, fell down a month ago and god knows when they’re going to fix it.
And a special mention to the rubbish truck, which comes once every 2 weeks to take the rubbish. I know this country is not hot and the rubbish doesn’t smell as it does in hot countries but it brings rats and the foxes are fighting for the rubbish every night. And I’ll say the price we pay for the rubbish collection is far to be cheap.
One good point, public transport is expensive but it works so well and I love it.

I don’t want to compare both countries, because it doesn’t make sense. They are just different, if you want to live in one of them you have to assume the change and be part of the community.

I love my country and I think Spain have something special that everybody likes and I love England and I see special thing here as well.

I know some Spanish and Italian people here and they always say “I want to go back to Spain/Italy”, and I don’t have that feeling. When I’m here in UK I miss Spain, the weather, my people, my food. And when I go to Spain, at first I’m happy, but then after a couple of days, I start to feel sad because I miss UK, I realized I miss the same things: the people, the food, even I miss the language.

The point is, my friends want to go back because they didn’t want to be part of the English culture, so they are fighting every day to keep their culture, to not change anything. They idealize their countries and forget why they decided to leave it. And when they finally return, most of them realise it’s not what they thought.

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.”



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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  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

      • If you replace the word “Spanish” by Dutch or Swiss, I could tell you is the same case. I have lived in both of those countries and I would say you’d feel exactly the same approach to friendship. So I would not attach that the Spanish culture, but to several/many countries in the world. The reality in my mind is that we all make the best friends in our early stages in life and then afterwards most of the people you meet can be -or not- friendly but not true friends from life, with exceptions, of course. Remember that by the time you moved to a new country, the locals will have their own network and friends, and they technically don’t “need” more people. You, as foreigner, are the one who will need to make the extra effort to integrate within their social network. That is why is always easier to find friendship with other expats than with locals. Again, that happens in all the countries I’ve had the opportunity to live in.

        • I agree, but extra effort (whatever that means in this context) is pointless when they all have their own lives, as you’ve said. However, in the Canaries I met very friendly Canarians, who had their own lives, but were still more open to meeting foreigners and befriending them. Just my experience.

        • Yes, I agree with Carlos.
          I’m living here for a few months (la linea) on an IT contract, working in Gibraltar. I arrived just over one week ago, and although I’ve never studied Spanish, I already have a larger vocabulary than some people who’ve been here years. I’m also the only one who has chosen not to live in flats which are full of English people.
          If you’re going to work and live abroad, then you should throw yourself into the experience. Avoid the little expat ghettos like the plague, and I’ve no doubt you will have a richer experience.
          I obviously can’t have a meaningful conversation with people in Spanish, but you work with what you have, and I’m excellent at charades.

          • Richard Tedeschi says:

            We were just about to move from UK to Malta but had to postpone until February 2018 due to incredibly high taxes to import our Land Rover Defender and are now looking at moving to Gibraltar working there and living across the border, have been looking at a little further away than La Linea de Concepcion into santa Margarita etc.

            It is what someone wants, likes and can do in life, for example I’m born in Brighton UK and lived thirty years in Rome Italy, I love Rome but I don’t like what people have turned it into, I don’t fit into the UK and I don’t understand people, can’t take much more of the rubbish deal with weather and I dislike the food with a passion, plus the high cost of living in Great Britain, can’t wait to get out of here…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

      • Germans, French, AMERICANS, Are you mad lol

    • 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!

        • Dear Steve, you are falling into the same generalization mood as Mark with his “even”. I am not sure where you got your figures from, but having traveled extensively in China, I can tell you that you probably need to review your sources.
          As said by many people, both countries have indeed a large list of pros and cons, and there are all kind of people in both. My general impression with the people from the UK I know is a good one, and it comes the same with the Spanish crowd. For professional development I believe the UK is a better option (again my personal opinion and generalizing) but for overall quality of life I prefer Spain.

  6. 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

    • Los problemas no se arreglan alejándonos de ellos…

    • “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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    • Don’t like Spain, glad you are gone! We don’t miss ungrateful drunks in the country!

    • My goodness. How could you have lived for 30 years in a place that “sucks”. In my humble opinion and with all due respect, more that about the country, it says a lot about you….

  12. 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….


    • 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.


  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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..

  25. 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.

    • Some of what you say rings true but to make a case for the UK being more Racist then Spain is a delusional lie.
      How many Asian or Black people in Spain do you see as Doctors , Lawyers , TV presenters , Newsreaders , MP’s Artists writers. I’ll tell you what I do see everyday in Spain Black migrants selling cheap tat on street corners the only time you see black man ( not a tourist) in a neighbourhood bar is when he is selling bits and bobs table to table., chinese working all the hours and more to eak out a living in corner shops basically the only time you see immigrants colour in a work place is the poorest paid jobs.
      Also bare in mind civil liberties are very different in Scotland and England the Uk is not one place in effect it is two places with their own legal system and strong parliaments.
      Spain is a much more racist country then the UK as a whole ever was and ever will be , we have racial discrimination laws in the UK Spain has non. We have a diverse Police force in comparison to Spain.
      The UK has a chicken kurma as its national dish despite its problems in comparison it thrives on change it does not stop second generation immigrants from prospering in mixed society as for Spain don’t make me laugh.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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 !!!!

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

    • Totally agree with you Peter.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

    • Feeling a bit inferior to others, Jeco?
      I think generalizations are “always” bad.

  37. 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:


      • 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!

      • Linda your opinion is far away to matter someone. Lol you are stupid. Im Spain and I know that are people in Spain who trate wrong animals but you cant say that we are all the same. I have one dog, two birds and one fish I LOVE animals and I dont know anybody here that dont treat well animals. Of course it might be, like in all the countries. So first get information about what are you talking about because this comment is to al the spanish people and I think that if anyone of the people I know see this comment they will answer you and not woth good lamguage. Huhh I hate people like you seriously. Bullfithing or here “los toros” is a “sport” that the majority of the people hate it. I dont understand why they do that, but trust me spanish people lees that 50 years domt like it.

    • 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.

    • They can be awful to their dogs, too. Pets abandoned? We’ve all seen one at the roadside, I’m sure.
      Used to go to the greyhound stadium in Barcelona in the 90s- the canodromo at Plaza D’Espanya – you’d go in there and see the awful conditions the racing dogs were kept in. Disgusting really. I don’t think it’s still there. I had a look on street view and it seems to be shops now.

      • Sorry, posted that ^ in the wrong place

        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.


  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

    • 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.

      • I am so very very sorry to hear that. That must have been heart breaking for you. Thoughts are with you.

      • donna marie jose says:

        sadly allot of what nick said is true about living in Spain and especially since the property “boom ” is no more and x pats are no longer spending the same amount of money any more, there are hundreds of pensioners here too who are literally trapped in poverty, do not get proper care ,perhaps live on their own, and are isolated, and lonely and poor,as to younger x pats with families i just don’t know how they are managing and most have to return to uk, speaking fluent Spanish makes little difference in getting a job/position, a Spanish applicant will always be preferred, though its always nice to be able to speak the language for social reasons, but to get on and progress in work, forget it.most Spanish do try and make us welcome but are not prepared ,or perhaps do not know what to do when we need help of any kind, it would appear that they think we are all loaded and therefore are self-sufficient, they are friendly but if one does not have a very substantial income /pension, usually from uk then there is no help for an x pat, legal work apart from cleaning , time share, or bar work is non existent and even these mentioned are fraught with the most dodgy characters.trying to keep to the same principals/rules and directives as a law abiding citizen would want to keep to and has always done in uk is very difficult in Spain as one is continually told one thing today but tomorrow this is most likely to have changed.even if one does all the pre research, has insurance, etc etc its very difficult to get what one is entitled to by right of having paid for it.Animal welfare is also non existent in Spain and the cruelty to animals is heartbreaking, though there are some good souls who do there very best to help the creatures.to some x pats living in Spain mentioning any of the above is classed as moaning brits , but this is not the case, its just stating the facts, there are some wonderful positives living in Spain but make sure you have plenty money , have a lawyer living under your bed and you will be ok a great majority of x pats pay a high pricefor their sunshine.

  41. 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.

  42. neil metcalf says:

    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.

  43. 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

  44. 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.

        • So in what part of spain have you been? Im from Madrid and is very clean, i’ve been in Murcia, Cuenca, Sevilla, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, Zaragoza, Malaga, Cordoba, Granada, Toledo, Salamanca, San Sebastian, Alicante, Ovideo, Gijon, Pamplona, Valladoliz, Segovia and Cartagena and none of tis places are like you are saying so, are you sure you are talking of Spain? I dont think so.

          • Hi I can vouch for the comment about litter in Spanish towns I live in a town 30 Km from Alicante.The litter left in the street and parks is beyond belief The Spanish youth’s just dump all there rubbish wherever they are, takeaway boxes drink container’s, beer bottles anything they have. I take my dogs out every day and it is impossible to walk in a straight line without rubbish being in the way. Madrid and many other places you mention are probably much better but smaller towns like Aspe Novelder Monforte ARE the Pitts for rubbish dumping. All of these have only a small ex-pat community no British bars only Spanish, so NOT the Drunken British Slobs then!!!!

        • You’re right about the fly-tipping. The Spanish countryside generally is horrendous though.
          You’re wrong about the Spanish bad behaviour. You will never see the Spanish get in this state publicly.
          As for drugs, in Spain they’re better and cheaper. The same with the wine.

      • I have recently been chased off an expat forum because I don’t own a property in Spain, my enemies were in the main ‘reservation’ dwellers who couldn’t help from continually bragging about their €40K flea tips on the Southern Costa Blanca and places such as Camposol. My wife and I have been visiting Spain for over 40 years and have noticed that the Spanish are not as friendly as they used to be, hardly surprising really having to put up with the worst of the British.

        We very nearly bought a holiday home circa 10 years ago, in a sea front resort that we still visit, however the estate agent was only interested in obtaining a €4K deposit, and made Del Boy Trotter look like Mother Theresa.

        We have actually witnessed Eastern Europeans attempting to break into apartments, my wife even had a swimming costume stolen whilst in the showers of the five star complex that we stay at, she told me that the only other shower users were a couple of Spanish women. Just to put this into perspective, I was attacked in a UK shop by a young guy who accused me of queue jumping, the whole world has lost respect, John Lennon must be spinning in his grave, I’m actually pleased to be reaching the final furlong.

        • Is it just me or do UK expats in Spain make living in Spain their holy grail? What with income taxes, local taxes, capital gains taxes, inheritance taxes etc, they spend all of their waking hours attempting to comply. I have a far more complicated taxation status here in the UK than they could imagine, but I manage. I owned 5 properties up to a couple of years ago, without encountering any great difficulties, these guys crap themselves every time an official envelope hits their door mat, I reckon that most of them are skint members who have sold their right to buys on UK sink housing estates and moved on to a similar housing reservations in Spain.

          They can’t even insure a house or car without putting the practice to music and trust everything that Johnny Spaniard tells them, where I find many of them to be a duplicitous lot of money grabbing morons, until they very occasionally prove me to be wrong, the car hire cheats have not so far managed this. We rent on a private complex with 24 hours security and very friendly respectful staff, we treat them as they treat us.

          It wasn’t always so, and I reckon a lot of it is the fault of UK wannabes buying up areas of Spain that no self respecting Spaniard would urinate on and then demanding UK pubs, karaoke and fish & chips. We don’t bother hiring a car anymore, we stay beach front, use our legs and public transport and eat in far more than we eat out, it’s ironic that my wife’s tapas is better than the local offerings. All is not lost as the beach is natural with Spanish fishermen barbecuing their catch and sharing it with their families, we take a bottle and two glasses and sit on a rock watching whales wave hopping and cormorants fishing and then drying their wings. Strangely enough whilst the hunt for the ‘real Spain’ aficionados are driving further and further inland in their quest, we might just have found it on our doorstep.

        • Sure. Eastern Europeans as usual. So which Countries are taken as a part of Eastern Europe?
          Did you call the police?

          My Polish mates bought 3 rentals in Murcia. Theh are from North of Poland where the garages are bigger than UK houses abd standard of living is way higher. I can’t imagine them stealing anything. The last time i visited Spain my mobile phone was stolen by some English slu*.

    • 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!

      • Dont you read ? some people simply can not afford to go back to the UK as they have sold up lock stock and barrel and ploughed everything into making a new life for themselves.
        Whether or not they were naive or not prepared is another debate. But don’t make it they are being hosted as if the Spanish have invited them to a part for free Spain has never opened its arms to anyone or anything more then a dictator every couple of centuries .
        UK citizens have no need to be grateful to Spain its actually the Spanish that should be grateful to rich hard working countries like the UK , Netherlands and Germany for ploughing decades worth of cash via the EU to keep Spain from being the third world country it would have been without foreign investments .
        If anyone is ungrateful it is of course the Spanish with the mouth of money north Europeans plough into the country in tourism alone.

  45. 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!!!

  46. 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!!!!

  47. 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.

      • 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.

        • Would agree with Mark. Regresa a Inglaterra si estás más contento allá, sin embargo no reniegues de tu país :-/

      • Totally agree . I completely fail to see the attraction of Spain. Too cold in winter, too hot in summer, rip-off place and full of old pensioners. Can’t wait to get out.

        • i’m looking out of my window and see many young people. You just made bad choices by surrounding yourself with expat pensioners 😛

          ¡Hasta nunca!

        • Oh my god too cold? Too hot? Now in 17 of January we are at 9 grades at Madrid, the middle of Spain. Now in Ny is 3 and in London 4 so you don’t know anything about your country and neither about Spain. And in the summer we normally have 20 grades but almost all te houses have pool so… You cant give your opinion of this

        • Goodbye Carrie.

    • 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.

  48. 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.
    As for Adrian Porters comment re. crime is everywhere has he not read the GB crime figures over
    the last ten or so years?.

    • so true neil

    • you seem to have read a different post to the one by Nick?!?!??!
      what Nick says is so true. I suspect it is you who gets drunk everynight with other expats – never bothering to ‘integrate’, never actually living here in spain, never having to deal with the corruption, the dishoest, the gossiping and general medival attitude of the locals… The spanish are all gypsies – constantly trying to scam others – expats AND spanish alike.

    • Actually you are just as bad with your patronising statement about the Spanish being kind blah blah look mate I have heard these sweeping statements all before. It really depends on which Spanish Spain must be one of the most diverse nations in the EU a Catalan and a person from Madrid are virtually as different as chalk and cheese then you have the people of the Basque country and the Galicians too mention a few.
      In general I found the people in the Murica region to be the least friendly or decent on any level at all
      The Catalans some were cold and angry others were very friendly and gentle
      People from Madrid mixed and from Asturias I found the most friendly people.
      For being such a cultured man as you purport to be I thought you would have got out the Costa del whatever and seen the country there is no one Spain regions even neighbouring cities have some weird and distinctive laws that effect daily things such as accommodation no amount of research will prepare anyone for it.
      And how do you know Nick will be the same back in the UK I doubt we are a civilised society in the UK mate
      we have the rule of law our coopers by law convey reasons for stop and searches , Tescos beats Diaz any day of the week both in terms of its staff and product
      At present Spain is still without a formed government the last election was months ago
      In the UK if you get terrible service in a shop chances are a manger will respond in a meaningful way to you
      in Spain managers in hotels or shops act like gods there for their greatness.
      The only reason Brits come to Spain is for the weather if the UK and other parts of Northern Europe people would only come to Spain like the same way they would Poland.

  49. 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”.


          • I agree with you Pablo.
            I take everyone as I find them, and I have very good Spanish and British friends. I do not judge a person on where they are from !
            I have generally a very positive experience of living in Spain, in my case The Canary Islands.

          • I love to travel, and meet new people. I think that if you cultivate a haughty distain for a culture, there is no way you can hide it. I think that the Spanish see the enormous migration of British as a soft form of colonialism, this time achieved with money rather than cannon. They tolerate it because they need the dough. I know from personal experience, that most of the Spaniards are quite friendly and very helpful when they are regarded with respect and see that you are interested in who they are and how they live. I have read some very impressive collections of injustices on this page. Having a nice 400 euro apartment steps away from an impossibly beautiful beach seems worth raising one’s tolerance for frustration.

          • Hola Pablo,

            You are right but 3 of my best friends are Spanish. I think you make of the country the best you can, and yes there is good and bad everywhere. I have to say, even one of my best Spanish friends who is a lawyer said his boss would not invest in Spain, he is a multi-millionaire businessman but the Spanish banks tried repeatedly to rip him off, and in the end he said the UK is the best place for business in Europe. Period because its got clear, standard business rules and legal boundaries.

            I see this week that Spain continues to violate the whole Gibraltar thing, and even the US has threatened Spain this week because their subs were put at risk when docking. A British minister was blocked from flying into Gibraltar on normal business arrangements also this week which is a shocking state of Nato alliance affairs. This headline will probably cost the Spanish economy millions this year in lost trade. I know several people who have changed their mind even over this incident. So for those in Spain thinking they are clever you are costing your economy jobs and money. What a lot of people do not know is that Madrid lost the last Olympics because of Gibraltar. This is the PPP government under Rajoy. A annual motion put forward by the commonwealth (2.2. billion market more than the EU combined) led to the switching over votes away due to its disgusting behaviour towards to the UK. The Madrid vote collapsed.

            I would say to the Spanish (and yes i love lots of your culture and festivals) you must learn to work more alongside the British. They could actually help you a lot more in Europe and the world. I have wonderful Spanish friends and the more they really get to know about the UK mindset, and our culture the more they realize who silly and living in the past the Spanish mindset has been.

            In Spain the British do not come to take jobs, they invest in the economy, they create jobs. You may moan about Gibraltar but the treaty and 300 years on its clear. What many Spaniards do not realise its it brings in a lot of business internationally, this helps a lot of Spanish get work in the poorer regions plus the British honour pensions to all those Spanish who have retired. The Spanish media and some idiots there just do not get it.

            Spain does need to simplify and clear up its laws, its backward in many ways and it is still seen as a backward country in the EU. In Europe where we are supposed to be all equal the Spanish and the French are the biggest culprits for discrimination of all and they need to clear up their act.

            So love Spain but corruption is on the TV EVERYDAY ALMOST, even Spanish friends are sick of it. I watched as the local Catalan Council or Mayor leader and his family were all up to their necks. Taking money across to one of the Spanish islands in the back of their cars. Oh and the wife had shops in the local airport creaming it in, and it was ONLY THE GIRLFRIEND of the son who let the cat out of the bag, after he dumped her and she suspected or knew. They had squirrel millions away. How this could ever have happened in the UK unlikely but never say never but its a daily SOAP OPERA in Spain.

            Spain needs a revolution and stop behaving like a spoilt franco child.

            Several corrections. Spain has good dishes and more diversity but it does not beat the UK on deserts. British deserts are better and one Spanish friend who had lived here 10 years told a group of other Spanish in London, do not argue the case, UK deserts are better, we are behind he said.

            Lets correct another myth. UK wines and Champagnes are now beating French and Spanish internationally. This years global competitions verify this.

            Spain’s infrastructure has benefited from UK and German money and Spanish should show respect. One reason the Spanish economy survives is the amount of money the British pump into the Spanish economy, property, holidays, money, investments and more. If the British were to withdraw on a reasonable scale the Spanish economy would collapse, it’s GDP would drop dramatically. These are facts.

            So Love Spain but it has to change its behaviour and way it works with the UK and stop living in the its franco colonial past. The British are trying to move on, and so much Spain!

          • Karl

            Everytime we have worked with you it has ended badly for us, so no, if anything we should block any cooperation with the UK, and hopefully after you get the guts to enforce article 50, we will.

            False, Brits specifically don’t want spaniards to work in their companies, those are the Germans, which is why German expats tend to be better received here. The “Spanish need no apply” in job offers given by British citizens ammount to close to the 87% of them.

            Spanish laws are clear to people who care to know them, and that’s how they should be, same with British laws. If you’ve found Spanish boureaucracy opaque, and think British law is any different, I have bad news for you…

            Say that to Blair. Corruption is corruption everywhere, one country exposing the rotteness of it’s own politicians doesn’t mean it’s more corrupt than the one which infamously never talks about theirs. If you really think UK’s political caste isn’t corrupted to the brim, again, I have bad news for you…

            The day you stop pretending to still own half of the planet we may give some consideration to what you have to say about a country and culture you clearly know nothing about.

            What deserts? The ones you copied from France or the ones you copied from Germany? That being said, Spanish cuisine is not more diverse than British, look at the stuff you fit on pastries.

            LOL that is why Brits consume mostly Chilean, Spanish and French wine right?

            And both Germany and the UK had already been paid their investments by trade deals that brutally harmed our economy. Honestly, I would rather you didn’t help Felipe Gonzalez build his second mansion on Argel, and we could still keep our northern foundries and steel production or Nuclear powerplants…You vadtly overestimate the impact of British economy on the country. Hell Luxembourgh, the Netherlands and France invest vastly more money than you and the Germans, and you are at best a tertiary trade partner. So much for facts.

            With this I agree, but I think we should go the other way. Maybe start looking for visas and make harder for foreigners that aren’t in the EU (except Russians and Chinese who invest a ton) to buy property here. We’ll see whenever your government grows some balls and does what it’s people asked it to do.

      • 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!

        • Great comment. I lived in Spain for 30 years, 13 in Mallorca, 13 in Menorca and 4 in Nerja but am back in Ireland again as mum is ill, i loved it and found all the Spanish to be very friendly more so in Andalucia, i plan to retire out there in another 7 years time. Yes there are good and bad in every country, i seem to have been very lucky with the people i met and have no regrets. As you said, when in Rome do as the romans do.

      • Hi British people!

        I was so dismayed when I read (past tense) about how badly the Spanish are treating you despite your efforts to assimilate. I do not live in Spain (thank god) or the UK. I live in Florida. We have a lot of Cubans here who think they are Spanish (despite the fact the Spanish dislike all Hispanics). They act *exactly the same* as how you all have described the Spanish. They are loud, sly and gossipy and try to keep everything to themselves. They also refuse to speak English. If they aren’t going to be an American, why did they come?

        Please, if you are looking for someplace warm and tropical to live, please come to Miami. We badly need more English-speakers here and we don’t mind your British Pounds (stronger than our American dollar). PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COME!

        • You GOT to be kidding me. Miami is a humid stink hole – plus the entire state of Florida is whacky shoot first ask questions later lala-land. Spain is brilliant and if you’ve got problems with the Spaniards then it’s your own fault – they are some of the coolest people I’ve met in my life.

        • I’m surprised at “Alex’s” post above and would like to comment in response. Alex does not actually say if he/she is American or English, but in any event Miami is definitely NOT the place to be. I am English and have lived in the USA for almost 35 years (including 12 years in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area) and I am busy right now packing up my belongings and selling my home to finally move back to Europe (as I said in my earlier post.) I cannot wait. I have literally worked my fingers to the bone in this country (work is ALL Americans care about), I have been pushed from pillar-to-post in my work-life, had to tolerate lying, cheating, conniving, dishonest managers and higher-ups, the cost of home-buying and rentals is outlandish at best, the traffic in the Miami area is out-of-control and getting worse on a daily basis, people here are shallow, self-centered and arrogant, no such thing as “community spirit”, you’d better have millions in the bank to pay for any healthcare you may need because the government doesn’t give two hoots about the health of its people, there are NO social programs whatsoever for those truly in need (other than for those who are slick enough to MILK what little “system” there is in place), and to top it all off, you never know when some fool is going to pull a gun out of his pocket and shoot you to death. This country (America) is a DISGRACE all round. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT COME TO MIAMI – the streets are NOT paved with gold here, life is NOT “a beach” here, and at least I’m clued in as to what I’m dealing with with the Cubans – it’s the AMERICANS you have to watch out for in Miami, NOT the CUBANS!!!!

          • Exactly – Lynda and I share a similar past (20 years in California for me – which is by far a better place than Florida/Miami). Not a day goes by that I am ecstatic about having moved back to Europe, especially here in Spain. I’m paying €1200 for full coverage healthcare over here – combined for my wife and I and we are in our late 40s. In L.A. I paid $400/month for a crap insurance which didn’t cover anything and I had a $2000 copay. I can’t even begin to list the reasons of why the U.S. is completely broken socially as well as economically.

            And we make friends here – real people with a real life. Not shysters and con-artists like in the U.S. who just care about what you can do for them and drop you at a moment’s notice. People who respect their elders instead of stuffing them into retirement homes post 70.

            I’ll be happy to visit the U.S. – their natural parks and beautiful coastlines. But no way am I ever moving back there and I wouldn’t recommend that anyone consider moving there unless they’ve spent at least a year in the U.S. and know what they are facing.

            Lynda – look me up when you get to Spain – I’m in Valencia and both my wife and I would be happy to meet up and buy you una caña o dos 🙂

          • Oh by the way – it’s €1200 A YEAR for the two of us – didn’t make that clear in my previous post.

          • I am a Brit but have now lived more of my life in the US than the UK, over 30 years.
            Live in Houston very hot humid climate, this July I was in Costa Del Sol for me the weather was amazing.
            US is a great place to work & make money.
            Taxes are low compared to the EU & UK.
            I want to retire in Spain for the reason Michael talks about above.
            The average retiree spends e800 a month on health care in the US.
            I got an upset stomach, needed IV fluid the bill was E400.
            The first guy who posted he hates Spain.
            He came to Spain with no job & 15k.
            Thats not moving with a plan, that coming with hope & a prayer.


        • Wooo you are an idiot! Im from Madrid and all of you that are saying things like this are unlearned. Is clear that you dont know anything about Spain or spanish people, we don’t hate hispanics, Iove their culture, is you the one that is hating them. I love America but I dont think that the people is best that in Spain. You, for example, are racist and think that you can said what you think of who you want just because you live in America. Best that you dont live in Spain because here we not respect people like you. I’m so sorry to said this but you can stay in Florida. And for the people that were thinking of coming here, the country that this person is describing is not Spain. Yes is true that we are not in our best moment and there are not many work, but if you want it you find it ( is clear that with that attitude anyone would contract you). One think is true, if you dont talk spanish is hard to get a work here but is like the rest of the countries. Soain is so good and people here are very respectfull, funy, inteligent… And we take care of animals, not like you said. I’m true cause I live in Spain and I’m not like many of you that had comment bad things of my country and you have never come. And you probably want to know that in Spain actually are 600000 britanics so I think your opinion dont matter. Sorry for my bad english.

          • MARTIN WARD says:

            Lucia, Please do not take any notice of the stupid comments made by some people about the Spanish people and your beautiful country. I have lived on and off in Spain for 6yrs now and i can honestly say that. I have found the Spanish people to be very friendly and helpful. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR COUNTRY AND CANNOT WAIT TO COME BACK IN A FEW WEEKS… Lucia BE VERY PROUD OF YOUR NATIONALITY AND YOUR COUNTRY.


        • Peperoni says:

          I’m Spanish and i like Hispanic(only if they deserve cause i dont like bad people if you know what i mean) since they’re humans as well… I dont really mind the country where they came from. Sorry my bad english i tried my best.

        • lovelygirl says:

          Dear friends.

          I am Italian-Argentine and I don’t agree about a previous comment that Spaniards hating hispanic. They love us, they want to be near us and be our friends. I also have Spanish blood and the Spaniards know that Argentina is full of Italians and Spanish descendent.We don’t forget our roots. Un saludos a todos los Espanoles, tienen un hermoso pais.

          • ana ruiz says:

            HI lovelygirl, i agree with you , the affinity between Spanish / iberoamericans ( not Hispanic,sounds horrific) is often forgotten. I also think we share our ” passion ” for life with English people, our only barrier is language. Lots of learning needed on both sides.

          • @lovelygirl & ana_ruiz: Quisiera que estuvierais en lo correcto, pero por desgracia no lo estáis, lo siento. En mi vida he conocido a muchos latinos y a nadie les gustaban los Españoles. No sé por qué, pero las cosas son como son.

            I wish you guys were right but unfortunately you are not. In my life I have run into many latinos and when pushed a little all professed that they don’t like the Spaniards very much. I am not sure why but it is what it is.

  50. 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.

    • peneope says:

      you r so wrong

    • Well ,if don’t like Spain leave . I live in the UK and it is not perfect either. Maybe the problem is you attitude no Spain. British people are never happy. Usually you don’t adapt to the country or the language so that is the price to pay .

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