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

(by Nick Anders, disillusioned expat)

Thinking of living in Spain?

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 is 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’ll tell you why living in Spain is bad, I’ll list the problems  and give you insights into the biggest mistakes expats make.

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 to the UK

Crime in Spain

I felt safe in Spain when I first emigrated and 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.

Living in spain - Calpe

Living and Working 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! Don’t even think of moving to Spain if you have no money – it is not the cheap place to live that it used to be – the cost of living in Spain continues to match UK levels.

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.

If you really MUST try living in Spain then don’t sell your house in the UK, don’t burn all your bridges, try live in Spain for 6 months or 1 year by renting a house for that length of time. Then you can truly decide and you can move back to the UK or wherever you came from originally without ruining your life. Sorry to sound so negative!

Editor’s note – This article is a reader’s opinion of life in Spain, it is not shared by us but it does represent the thinking of many people who currently live in Spain or of those who have subsequently moved back to their home country.

We do encourage you to carefully consider your decision in advance. Remember that many expats absolutely love living in Spain. Read some responses to Nick’s opinion below and in our comments section and please do share this article and like it on Facebook.

Before we get to some replies to Nick, we have a special section for those of you who still want to move to Spain and have not been put off so far! We get so many questions on where the best place is to move to so we cover some of the frequently asked questions for you below.

Where is the best place to live in Spain (for expats)?

We simply cannot give you one town or city and tell you that is the best place to live in Spain because it does depend on your criteria and your likes and dislikes. We will however be able to give you some definite suggestions based on these preferences in the different sections below in which we narrow down the categories and nationalities of expats seeking to live in Spain on a permanent basis.

First make the obvious choice between living in areas full of expats (most are British) or for truly trying to integrate with the Spanish which usually means living away from the busy coasts. By busy we mean Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and to a lesser extent also Costa Almeria, Murcia and Costa Brava. If you do wish to live by the sea we suggest northern Spanish regions such as Galicia and Asturias (Costa Verde) or Costa Tropical, Costa del Azahar and Costa de la Luz.

But really you want to be slightly inland. Prices drop as soon as you get into the countryside. Expats (especially the British) are few and far between and you will have to speak Spanish, the locals will appreciate any effort and will usually be patient to you. We like Extremadura, a beautiful ‘undiscovered’ region of Spain. Or how about some of the inland areas such as the Jalon Valley on the Costa Blanca where you can reach the coast in 20-30 minutes but still feel part of the ‘real’ Spain? On the Costa del Sol you have similar villages such as Frigiliana and Benahavis (although there are plenty of expats in both).

Be careful to think about getting older. As idyllic as a house in the countryside sounds, what about when you get older and maybe cannot drive? Public transport is often minimal in Spain. How far away is the nearest medical centre and supermarkets?

If you want to know the best places in Spain to live for British people or for expats then you want to be in areas that have international schools which attracts families. We suggest Costa Blanca towns such as Javea, Moraira or Calpe, all are beautiful with great beaches. Benidorm if you want cheap food and drink and nightlife. On the Costa del Sol you have Marbella, Malaga and Puerto Banus. The Costa del Sol is the wealthiest area attracting the rich and famous. The climate is the best of mainland Spain and you can even ski just two hours away at Sierra Nevada, perfect! The inland Andalucian towns and villages such as Ronda and Mijas Pueblo are very pretty.

What about the Balearic islands such as Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca? They are lovely islands but you can get island fever where you want to get away and you feel enclosed. You will be in fairly near proximity to tourist resorts so the island will fill up in the summer months and potentially be overcrowded. We would prefer the mainland so we can jump in the car and explore different terrain and regions but that is our opinion.

What about the Canary islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote? Well similar to above but at least these island have a consistent temperature all year round. Even in summer they tend to be around 25 degrees Celsius and in winter only a little less with days in January mostly having temperatures in the early twenties. They are however much less green and scenic than the Balearic islands and much of mainland Spain.

Zoe Conlong wrote in to say: “I have lived in Spain for over 21 years. Inland is definitely the safest place to be, the infrastructure is superb, locals are friendly, schools are excellent, however you must be prepared to learn the language and integrate! I live in Ontinyent, 40,000 inhabitants approx.”

Tony Burgess writes: “Brexit may scupper many Brits retirement plans.”

Peter Brian Gillon recommends: “Benejuzar Alicante, we have a place there, so underrated , must admit my wife and I wondered if we’d made the right decision at first, very few expats, not to be disrespectful but that’s what we wanted, now, not one regret, Spanish locals so friendly and accommodating, we laugh trying our Spanish and they, their English, such a beautiful place surrounded by orange groves and neighbouring farmer supplies our oranges free after every crop picked. Can’t wait to become a permanent resident there.”

What are the cheapest places to live in Spain?

If you need to get a job in Spain in order to survive, we have some bad news because you will have to live in the most expensive areas to live. Most jobs will be the major cities or in the populated Costas such as Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. These are very developed areas filled with well-off foreigners and prices are usually higher than remote countryside areas with little English-speaking people.

If you are a retiree with a choice of living anywhere is Spain then you can seriously look at the lowest cost of living. If you still want to live by the sea Spain has an awful lot of coastline so you can easily avoid the Costa del Sol, and Costa Blanca.

How about northern ‘green’ Spain such as Galicia which has wonderful cities such as Santiago de Compostela. It is however the wettest region of Spain but it is cheap for property and eating out. We also like the coastal cities of Santander and San Sebastian on the northern coast of Spain.

What are the best cities to move in Spain?

If you are going to move to a city then surely you should live in the biggest busiest cities such as Madrid and Valencia in our opinion. The third biggest city is Valencia but that is like a small town when compared to the big two.

So which one?

Reasons to move to and live in Madrid would be the culture as it has three major art museums and the nightlife is vibrant. The capital city can however be freezing in winter and baking hot in August when most residents leave for the coast, which is a long distance away.

Our choice for the best city to live in Spain would be Barcelona because it is as big as Madrid but it has more tourist attractions and arguably a more mixed and vibrant expat scene. It is literally by the beach and close to mountains (the Pyrenees) for skiing.

What are the best places to live in Spain for Americans?

We have pretty much answered the question in the section above because the two biggest cities of Madrid and Barcelona have the largest American populations in Spain and many large multinational companies have headquarters or offices here which is ideal for getting work in Spain when you speak little Spanish.

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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. we have finally decided to take the plunge (in our 60s) to rent out our bungalow and move to the malaga region of spain benalmadena area to be exact for 6 months at first, I know holidaying in spain could be completely different that’s why were trying 6 months, we live in a lovely part of north wales but hate the UK its now turning into an islamic country there seems to be more mosques than churches here, the roads are terrible shops are closing down wherever you go, prices creeping up, beggars are everywhere, especially romanians, town centres and cities are battle grounds at the weekend when the pubs and clubs close and if you go to casualty on a friday or saturday night it looks like theres been a civil war, we have never had a problem in spain so what have we got to lose, if it doesn’t work out we still have a home to come back to

  2. Juan Foster says:

    Exactly. As an Argentinian who has lived in Barcelona and Madrid for 10 years I can assure that the affinity between us Argentinians AND Spanish AND Italians is immense.
    Not only because of our blood ties, but also because of our “usos y costrumbres”, the importance of friends and family, and the FOOD.
    Everytime an Argentinian, Uruguayan, Chilean, etc visits Spain or Italy, they make you feel at home.

    And you Michael, Im afraid you dont have the slightest clue about the relation of Iberoamérica and Spain/ Italy.
    Probably you dont even know where Argentina or Uruguay are located.
    Hai capito adesso?

  3. People moving to Spain for the laid back lifestyle and weather and then complaining about ‘Manana’ and missing English rain really need to take a look at themselves..
    Spanish people are just like us – suspicious of outsiders until they get to know you so make the effort t and integrate. Learn a few words !!!
    Both countries are difficult job-wise for people of different nationality but that’s a world-wide problem so no use complaining about that.

  4. ChickGirl says:

    I don’t usually reply this kind of comments however in this case I’d like to share my opinion… I see uk by far a better place to live if you want a good job a good house a good education for your children etc… In my case being Spanish with an English mum and a Spanish Dad I have to say that people were very cruel to me when I went to school even thought I spoke perfect English they kept calling me Spaniard and they even told me a few times to come back to my country … and I’m not speaking about 2 years ago this was about 17 years ago. I had a very hard time there. I’m an English teacher in Spain and I’ve seen that people are nicer to English students and people in general than people were to me in uk. I like the English culture I love the food etc… I also have to say that I consider Spain my country and I love it … a few years ago I thought about going back to uk as i miss my family I was a bit down because of my job etc so I decided to write a port in a Forum asking about life in Uk jobs, things to do etc … to see from outside my family as they wanted me to go back how everything was. I got replys saying … are you polish? Why do you want to come to uk? Do you want to claim benefits… and so on … obviously it didn’t take me 1 min to make my mind .. my surname is always going to be a problem for me in the Uk. Now I obviously go twice a year or so to vist my family and I see some friends which I had from school but to tell you the truth I wouldn’t feel safe living back in uk actually I don’t speak a word of Spanish when I’m there in case somebody says anything as it already happened to me. This in Spain doesn’t happen believe me it doesn’t. Apart from that as I said before I think the quality of live job etc is better in uk … the quality of life as in leisure is much better in Spain … by the way I lived in a big city in the north. I know not everyone is like that but 80% of them were to me.
    About jobs I think in uk you have much more opportunity of getting a good job even if you’re not qualified speaking English of course … whereas in Spain it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have or how many languages u speak it is still very difficult and as you have commented before shit salary a loads of hours and bosses who think you have to say thank u to them everyday. Food is extremely expensive compared to uk, however bills I think that u actually pay more tax over there than we do here in Spain but I can’t really give my opinion as i never owned a house there but my family moan and from what I hear it’s true. Oh! And something I don’t like about British people is that even though that they might have been living here for six years they don’t speak a word of Spanish!! I think that they don’t make the effort because Spanish people are always willing to speak English with them to actually practice the language … eso es todo amigos!!

    • Burton Trent says:

      Hi, I read your article, I am one of those people who lived in Spain for 6 years, It took my first year learning to speak Spanish. I came from England via Nueva Zelanda. I also had a mate from New Zealnd, who after 7 months spoke and taught English to Spanish. He also lived with a Spanish girl in Arricife.
      I found Spanish people the most friendly people to get on with when you take some effort to speak Spanish. French are the same. But when you get arrogant arseholes (Poms) going to Spain and saying to a Camarero (Waiter for you poms) Don’t you speak English, when they are in their Country makes those type Ignorant F%$Ks. I used to cringe at many poms abroad being with this attitude. It never seemed to Bother New Zealanders we just got on with it. By the Way Spanish are not a racist Country they are willing to get on with anybody. I loved Spain and would live there again anytime.

  5. Doing some research about returning to Spain so couldn’t help myself but add my 2p. Nick seems to have had an extraordinarily bad experience, quite different to my own in Barcelona from 2006 – 2009. I’m from Northampton (England), my wife from Barcelona and two of our children were born in Vall d’Hedron, Barcelona. We currently live in Northampton and own our house.

    First off, stop it with the vitriol. Both countries, like all countries, have pluses and minuses. And here is my take on some of those:

    work: never had a problem even without fluent Spanish (at the time). Everything depends on your work type. It is true, however, that the pay is low even in Barcelona. The UK wins on the career side and Spanish youth unemployment is astronomical. Check out infojobs.net for research. I’ll be taking my job with me if we go so not a consideration.

    food: no contest, Spain wins hands down. I love some of our British cuisines but for 10€ you can dine like a king in Spain. Restaurant owners also really appreciate your business and the service is always with a smile. The UK does have greater variety in our super-super markets, though.

    language: speak Spanish if you go to Spain! Not just Spanish but Catalan as well if you go to Catalunya! The UK is totally deficient at languages.

    culture: this can be quite subjective but Spain, as Italy and other med countries, have an extremely tight family culture. This is probably their greatest strength and something I admire hugely. Spanish people have always been welcoming and are very “warm”. The UK, in my opinion, has a broader worldview. However, many British people also genuinely believe themselves to be superior (especially to Eastern Europeans), something I hate about our culture. Brexit has also brought the worst out in some people.

    housing: UK has slightly better housing quality in my opinion although I’ve seen some fantastic properties near Barcelona. Check out idealista.com for research. Both are expensive and over priced.

    weather: I love the unpredictability of the UK weather! Spains weather is predictable and boring – 300 days or more of solid, hot sun. However, our miserable, cold and wet winters really limit your options for doing anything outdoors.

    roads & driving: Spain’s roads are better and driving quality is about equal (at least in and around Barcelona).

    health: the Spanish “NHS” is absolutely brilliant, one of the best in the world. So is the UK’s NHS though so equally matched really.

    bureaucracy: Never really experienced a problem in either country although Spain is perhaps a little “paper heavy”.

    cost of living: probably slightly lower overall in Spain and food is certainly cheaper.

    TV/Cinema: I don’t like the habit of dubbing in Spain, very off putting. UK TV has got more variety. I recommend original language cinemas because of dubbing.

    Well, I’ve written more than I expected. Both countries have a lot to offer and we will decide within a few months whether to move to Catalunya (buy or rent?) or not. Both countries are our home and I look forward to the challenge of learning Catalan if we do go. Try and see the positives of your experience Nick, living in Spain will have been an excellent life experience for you just as it was for me.

    • I wouldn’t usually comment on these sites, but I came across this discussion my accident.

      I also live on Barcelona and think that Kevin is spot on.

      My wife is Spanish and we have moved between Catalonia and the UK on a number of occasons. I would say that we have had no fewer good or bad experiences in one country or the other.

      Personally, if I could afford it, I would prefer to have a place in each country as they are almost exact opposites. Then, when I’ve had enough of one I could jump on Easyjet and hop across to the other and vice versa. Perfect!

    • Kevin, you were spot on in many things however regarding housing maybe in the North of England ,certainly London is a rip off , usually the houses are full of mold and dirty. Northerer are much friendly that the in the South….

      • Kevin ,,,,the british weather is horrible you can’t NEVER EVER plan any days out ahead only a day inadvance !pero me gustan muchas cosas del Reino Unido …

  6. Wow, I don’t know where you are living, but I love living in Spain as an American expat who has lived in Spain, England, Germany, and Argentina.

    1) CRIME IN SPAIN. Crime in Spain is certainly lower than in the UK and the US. The intentional homicide rate in Spain is 0.7 per 100.000 people; in the UK it is 0.9 and in the US 3.9. Burglary is higher in German and France than it is in Spain (EUROSTAT data). And so is sexual violence, and theft! Actually recent data shows a decrease in crime since 2008. I’ve been mugged outside Victoria Station in London on a Wednesday around 5 PM; had my car stolen in Marylebone in London; was mugged in NY near Penn Station; in 2006 someone broke into the next door house in Boston and after taking all the valuables of the house raped my 59 year old neighbor… I know there are organized groups from Romania, Morocco, and Georgia that do all those things in Spain, but I know they also happen in Italy, France, Greece, and Austria.

    2) Infrastructure. I don’t know what are you talking about but roads, trains, and airports are much better in Spain than they are anywhere in the UK, including London. And talking about my own crountry they are certainly better than anywhere in major American city.

    3) Costumer service. That is so true. I agree with you.

    4) Manana. If you have been to the DMV anywhere in America you would not complain about Spain. Also, you don’t know what pain and incompetence is until you’ve spent a day at HM Revenue and Custom.

    • Juan Foster says:

      Spot on Allan C
      As and Argentinian who have lived several years in Spain I totally agree with you

  7. Both cultures have their own good things. I am a Spanish businessman in the UK I have my own company in London trading with all UK & Ireland. I do find business here is easier to conduct I do prefer protestant mentality and dealing with English customers.

    I never had a problem with anyone in London, although I felt that sometimes some brits did like my products but not dealing with a Spaniard so I did transfer the business relationship to my fellow brit employees

    I like it here but I miss Spain because the weather and the food, I am from Barcelona, and I need sun and proper gastronomy so I will move back in 2 years max spending 10 days in Uk and rest of month in Spain.

    After all i am Mediterranean and is tough for me to live without sun.

    Since the moment I arrived and I guess for me it was easier because my status of investor creating jobs for British people everyone treated me with respect and I have never complained about some aspects of British culture I find a very uncivilised.

    The world is facing a major issue with a hostile culture towards the western world, whose immigration is really a problem, the Islamic one, all issues here described by both sides are petty issues, as brit and spanish immigration do give positive things to their resident countries.

    we are allies, not enemies, hate is a very strong word, I only hate totalitarian ideologies, and if shit hits the fan, I will stand with my British brothers always.

  8. I just want to say that above all these comments I read of a guy who was from France and bla bla bla …
    He said that his country has its imperfections but that it is his country and that he prefers his beloved country.
    Well it is the same, Spain has and will have its imperfections and its problems like all countries, YOU can not come angry and get to say things.
    That patriotic people may disturb them, although, well .. perhaps the Spaniards do not care because they have something else to do.
    I understand that you, as a human being, want to say your opinion, but you do it in the worst way, as if you were looking for attention, and you are getting it, my friend.

  9. Spain is a beautiful country and most of the Spanish people are very friendly.
    My parents retired to a small town in Andalucia 8 yes ago
    from day one my parents next door neighbours were rude
    They reconstructed there house which was a new build anyway which lasted for 2 years drilling at all hours of the say and night when my parents tried to complain they were told they could go back where they came from
    It seems if you have permission from the town hall
    In Spain you can do what you want here even if it effects the health of your neighbours. The laws in Spain need to change when it comes to building noise

  10. George Alban says:

    I forgot to add that I have been to Spain and I liked it, but I chose Azores instead.

  11. George Alban says:

    I chose Azores. It does not have most of the problems you mention. It’s never above +30C and never below +10C. It’s very safe, no robberies, no crime. People are very friendly. They do speak about others, but only the bad ones, who are the thieves. They only steal cheap stuff worth a few €. They are scared to steal expensive stuff. Properties are affordable. Most people speak some English. Some speak it very well. A lot of Canadian and US returnees live in the Azores, with money. They are all Portuguese. Not too many expats. No need. Portuguese are very friendly and very decent. You sure have to be careful a little bit, to not get ripped off, but its rare. I took out 5000€ cash in the bank on Pico island and joked that now I will get attacked in the street by a mob and the banker clerk said don’t worry, no one will rob you. It is really that safe. Never saw a single aggressive behaviour. People are very dear. They come at you with a genuine smile. This place is almost perfect. And I like flying 2 hours to Portuguese mainland and then taking off with a rental car to elsewhere for a short 1 week vacation. There are 9 islands to choose from. The busiest one is SÂO MIGUEL, so I chose second biggest one – PICO. It has slightly cheaper properties and has direct non-stop flights to Boston and Amsterdam. Both a 3 to 4 hour flight. Please DO NOT come to Azores is droves…. do not spoil this paradise. I actually “hate” the tourists in summer season as they buy all the best food and the supply of stores is not always the fastest here.

  12. Eddy, What took you so long to realize Spain wasn’t for you? Come on France is not the land of milk and honey.

  13. I am a French native and had the opportunity to live and study in both countries for quite a long period of time.
    Both countries are different . Most of the stuff told on this page about Spain is true . England doesn ‘t fare much better though I was never robbed in England but insulted quite a few times for being French and gay , even by the staff in the schools where I was working . I would bnever live in England again ! Spain is not much better , People ripping you off all the time , employers not wanting to pay you. La cultura del listillo , el pasotismo de la gente, el individualismo. la corrupcion a todos niveles , España me tiene harto , asqueado.
    The only thing I aspire to now is to go back to France after twenty years. France is not perfect , but I ve had enough with being a foreigner . I understand why people would want to leave Spain . I hate it more and more . As for England, I try to keep in touch with my English friends as much as possible but would never live there again. Too much xenophobia , fakeness, talk about money.
    I am aware France is not perfect but Iat least I won ‘t get ripped ( I was in England too) .

  14. I’m spanish and I’ve been living in the UK for a while so I think I’m in a good position to give my opinion on this matter.
    To be honest, after reading your post, I gotta say that I disagree on most of the things you say. I don’t want to be rude or anything so, no offense, but it sounds like you didn’t know a thing about the country you were moving into. I suggest you do some research next time and speak to a local guy if possible. Going on holidays to some place a couple of times doesn’t really give you a good idea of how things work.
    Anyway, going a bit into detail I’ll speak about crime first. I haven’t taken a look at statistics which would probably be the ideal thing to do, but my personal experience is that crime is not significantly higher in Spain than in the UK. I’ve seen a lot more things happen here in 5 years than in Spain in 25. I’m speaking about theft, vandalism, public disorder (specially this one) and racism incidents; I’ve seen a lot more of that here in the UK than in Spain. I find this quite funny considering I used to live in Madrid (big big city) in Spain and here in the UK I live in York (which is supposed to be one of the nicest cities in the country). Said that, I think this is highly subjective and it basically depends on the person, each person will have a different experience. I think it is really bad that you took your personal experience and said “Oh, Spain is full of crime because I’ve seen a couple of things”. I mean I’ve seen quite a bit here and I don’t think the UK is the crime paradise.
    Second, jobs? Seriously? did you even google a bit about the Spanish job market? Were you actually hoping to find loads of jobs? Do you even speak good Spanish?. I mean the way you complaint about this makes me think you didn’t even google both words (Spain and job) together in google. I understand your complain about it Spanish job market is shit, but the outrage because you thought you’d find plenty of opportunities just baffles me. Also, being a foreign guy in a country with potentially a bit of language issues, man you have to lower your expectations, It took me more than a year to find a decent job in the UK and I’m and engineer etc etc and I spent my first year cleaning toilets.
    The manana thing, maybe I’m taking this the wrong way but it looks like you’re saying Spanish people are lazy. This really surprises me coming from a UK person, I’ve lived in quite a few countries in my life and I mean no offense, but generally speaking English people (don’t know about NI, Scotland or wales) are the laziest people I’ve seen in my life. There are obviously a lot of hardworking people in the UK, no doubt, but as I said the laziest people I’ve known in my life where English and with the poorest working ethics. I mean, people skipping work because they had too much to drink the day before and they’re hungover? I’ve only seen that in this country.
    Customer service, fair enough, it’s shit in Spain and in the UK is significantly better. Although in my personal opinion it isn’t great either, but that’s probably because I’m not local and you can see how they treat you differently. Anyway, yeah you’re right about customer service.
    Getting ripped off, again it may be true, life is expensive in Spain considering what you get payed, but again, it all comes down to do a bit of research before moving, I don’t know how it caught you off guard really.
    Poor roads and facilities?, I have to strongly disagree on this; roads in Spain are so so so so much better than in the UK. This comes from a guy (me) that’s driven up a down both countries in both highways and country roads and I’m sorry but roads are not great in the UK, especially in the north of England. And then all railway services, including underground are quite poor in England and stupidly expensive. I’m sorry but I don’t know how you can say it is worse in Spain.
    I mean no offense with this; I agree with your advice of thinking twice and do research before moving to Spain, I just think you didn’t do it and now you’re just giving a really bad and disrespectful opinion of Spain based on your frustration. If you don’t like a country, if you don’t like Spain, that’s all right, just go somewhere else, but speaking shit of some country just because you don’t like it, it’s quite disrespectful. No wonder why, unfortunately, everybody thinks English people are arrogant. I personally don’t like living in the UK, there is quite a few things I don’t like about the UK, but you don’t see me speaking shit of it. I am actually grateful for the chances I’ve been given here and I’ll leave in the future trying to find a place I like more. Even when I don’t like the UK I still think is a good country that is just not of my liking and I could be really disrespectful about the things I don’t like here and generalise saying the UK is shit, but I choose not to because it is not fair nor right nor respectful.

  15. Richard Tedeschi says:

    I have to agree with JM, if you don’t like something/a country or even a person then the majority of the time it is your problem, move out. I don’t like the UK and am moving out.

  16. Do not waste your time and go home, no one forces them with a gun to live here.
    And my respects to Michael, german who has lived for many years in California and is now living happily in Valencia. An example of integration and respect for the country that welcomes you.

  17. What is the problem with Spain and the Spanish? the british, and especially the english, do not mix with the Spaniards. They don´t want to learn the Spanish language, just want to buy in british shops, go to british restaurants, british discos …. British living in Spain but only to be surrounded by British, then …. what is the problem?
    By the way, in Spain no attacks on British single for speaking your language in the street, the Spanish can not say the same in the UK.

    • “They don’t want to learn the Spanish language, just want to buy in british shops, go to british restaurants, british discos… British living in Spain but only to be surrounded by British”. So very true JM. I saw it happening in Spain and Portugal. PS. With all due respect to British people… to go for British food in a country like Spain is a crime. Spain has the best cuisine in the world… Spaniard chefs are creative, always innovating, and they know what’s really good. British cuisine no reference… nothing, it’s really bad with its forever and ever fish and chips, brownies, teas, and medieval stuff.

    • Part of UK I live, I speak my beautiful Persian whenever my phone rings or I bump to a Persian speaker who I know. I have been to Spain many times and love Spain and people . I respect them in return.

  18. Joshua Mr Manning says:

    Hello, my name is Joshua from Somerset in the UK I lived and worked in Madrid back in 2014-15 albeit for just one year. I had to come back to Somerset in the UK due to a family issue in the UK.

    In Madrid I got a place to rent quite easily and felt at home. Spanish people if you can generalise are proud, friendly and also have a great sense of humour! Just like we do, including London.

    I feel nothing but warmth for them. I was welcomed to play football in the park with them etc.

    A tongue cheek thing I remember is that one person thought we are pirates as they have long memories, I thought this was funny, not funny because probably true.

    Anyway, to all you bigots above who use words like hate etc, get a life.

    I have just got a job offer in Castellon and will accept.


  19. Richard Tedeschi says:

    Mmm… I have been only to Madrid and Barcelona about fifteen years ago, never lived in Spain, if all the bad points are true I understand it all as I now live in the UK and want to move out, can’t take the weather here any longer, I have lived thirty years in Rome Italy which is the same story as Spain with the bad points, on top of that is a lot more expensive and dirty.

  20. Holeintheleg says:

    Hi. Great forum. Good to read every one s experiences. I m considering renting for a few months so will have to start really dealing with all this stuff. I just had a parking fine and it s been a trial just finding out where and how to pay it- an office open only on a Thursday apparently. But I have found on a one to one basis that the Spanish in the south are extremely friendly, conscientious and if you treat them with respect and courtesy, and try and speak, relate, chat they are enormously hospitable. We re wired up so differently and this culture is very different. Driving s a fucking nightmare but like everything I have experienced here, paradoxically also a joy. It seems to be a country of contradictions.

  21. What could you expect living in… Nerja.. LOL
    Learn the different cultures that populate Spain, and then choose better. I am so sorry for you.

  22. Si no te gusta te vas . I am going to write my post in Spanish. Estoy harta de que los llamados británicos siempre se quejen de España. Entonces no vengas. Yo llevo 14 anos en el Reino Unido , tiene cosas muy buenas , muchas que mejorar y otras bastantes malas pero por eso yo no odio el país , al contrario estoy agradecida de vivir esta experiencia e igualmente le digo a todo extranjero que viene a vivir aquí sino te gusta vete a otro lugar . En fin , la felicidad la lleva unos no el país el que vive …Good luck mate !

    • Soy inglés y tengo intención de trasladarme a España con mi novio en marzo. He leído foros buenos y malos …. Cada país tiene sus propios problemas y creo que el hecho de que el spainsh llamar a los nombres en inglés, es realmente asqueroso, como en el Reino Unido que sería arrestado por el racismo. Personalmente no puedo esperar para comenzar mi nueva aventura y el próximo capítulo de nuestras vidas juntos. A partir de España continental y la planificación de ir a las Canarias el próximo año tal vez, como idealmente es donde nos gustaría vivir permanentemente. I am determined to make our futures work, and we mil succeed if it kills me! I cannot wait to be in the sun!

    • Ole!!!!!! Soy inglese. Me gusta tu escribe en español!!! Perdón por mi mala español.

  23. Victoria Mena Marina says:

    There are plenty to say about Britain too… believe me!
    Not the “warmest” people, I must say. They complain about everything and everyone because they consider themselves better than the rest of the world, that’s just how they see themselves and the world knows that.
    The truth is, I don’t think you or I should judge a whole country by one’s experience, that’s just wrong!! All It says is that (for whatever reason) you were unsatisfied and now intends to retaliate, that’s all.
    Let your hurt go, nothing you can say or write on the internet will change the way the world LOVES Spain. Millions and millions of tourists travel to my country yearly and leave renewed and happy, you were the odd case, that’s all so, go on with your miserable lives… so people are not meant to leave their country or their neighborhood for that matter. Stay put, wherever you’re from and try enjoy that!

    • Richard Tedeschi says:

      I think the Brits are polite, many may initially confise this as being friendly which in my opinion they’re generally not, they have the tendency to be way too reserved and nowadays a selfish society, except obvisously if they’re your personal friends.

      The wall which blocks you out of certain things comes up much quicker withing British friendships say than with an Italian friendship which goes much deeper down and you can never have the sort of meaningful conversations you have with an Italian firend with the English counterpart, I say this from personal experience of having lived thirty years in Italy and about fifteen in the UK, born in the UK from English mother and Italian father.

  24. I love Spain! I can´t beleive you can even have a page called I hate Spain, ungrateful little prat, with petty stupid complaints about people not adapting themselves to you. If you are a mindless, superior little Englander, stay where you are, the rest of the world has moved on since you had an empire. I thank my lucky stars that I am able to live in Spain and would change my nationality in a heartbeat if push came to shove between living in ltitle England and living in Europe. So sad what´s happened to England! We all have to take cover when the football fans come to Barcelona! Ugh. And now Brexit, when will people wake up??
    Now trilingual, and so much more in touch with the whole world, gracias por todo España- y gràcies Catalunya! I love both UK and Spain,

    • stircrazy says:

      You’re the ungrateful mindless prat. How’s Daddies bank account, spent it all yet???

      Wait until Spain bites you, it’ll bite you harder than you’ll ever know. Tried the Spanish “NHS”??? Looks very nice, all shiny new hospitals, pretty nurses, hunky Drs etc etc, but they’re brutal, there’s no such thing as informed consent here, needles and knives come out very easily, especially when you’re in labour. Try it and find out.

      In Britain people complain to get things improved, and by god they have. In Spain almost nobody does, and the majority don’t care, which is why you see all the posts above.

    • Dear Claire,
      I appreciate your comment. I’m a Spaniard living in London for 6 months, but before I’ve lived in Poland. I had a deeper conversation with an English woman and I told her exactly what you said. Some English people still have a colonialist mind and they expect everyone to addapt to them. I think this is the main reason of this web. Gracias y viva España!

  25. I have lived in the USA, Australia, Canada, France, Spain and Goa and the UK. The UK rocks, it’s the very best country to live in. Spain is ok depends on whereabouts you live in Spain. I lived in BCN for a time and then moved further south, not so good. The Spanish, generally speaking do not like the Brits. OK so the Brits have behaved badly with booze etc over the years, but look at the money they have brought into the country. It is not a good idea to live in Spain if you don’t speak the language, and their bureaucratic system moves at a snails pace, and is very ineffective. The costas are generally full of ill bred Brits with no work and no money, and depression is rife. Generally speaking they are low lifes looking to make a swift euro to drink more. They spend their lives drinking mostly in the cheap bars. What a life in the sun 🙁 It is truly awful to witness. The more “switched on” Brits live fairly well inland in their nice villas. The UK will do better now they’re out of the EU and a bunch of self appointed crooks running it. I now live and work in London and love it. The night life is second to none, the people are very friendly and there’s a great buzz about the place now.

  26. I lived in Spain for 15 years and lived briefly in my younger years in England. As an African who left his country when he was 17 and gone through three European countries, I can say I am fed up with Europe. I visited Denmark once and can say maybe it is the best country I have stayed. Spain is the worst. It is all time wasting for me. Of my 15 years of living there, I could actually work with my engineering profession in a Dutch company in Spain. Spanish people don´t employ foreigners in good position or in jobs with good qualifications. They so much into this that the country does not move forward. They believe they are the best in the world, but actually, they are arrogant, envious and self-deny of their short-comings.
    The little I lived in England my life changed drastically. I could say it is a place that could reward your hard work. The only thing that I found a bit awkward was the coldness of the people.
    I am happy living in the USA now even though I see in the news cops killing people of my colour. It is just a free world and people should be able to decide where to settle

  27. Well…I’m a spanish expat living in UK and I feel exactly the same here. Hate UK and hate English people and fake politeness. So…nothing elseeketo add here.

  28. i am a Dutch woman (47) and live now for almost 2 years in Spain, first in Valencia and now in Palma Mallorca. The culture is very different from mine but I feel welcome here. I do my best to speak Spanish and a little Catalan. I find it odd that people say that Spaniards don’t invite others in their homes. I think that Spanish people are open to others. I made Spanish friends and get invited at their home for example on a Sunday afternoon to eat together. At this moment I share a flat with two Spaniards and those are both helpful, respectful and very friendly. I lived abroad more often but this is my favourite country by far! Also I think it is a little rude when you live voluntarily in spain to say al those stigmatising generalizing comments about Spanish people. Anyway I am happy here and hope to stay for a very long time.

  29. Ive worked in the Nightclub industry for years in the UK and I have spoken to all types of people around the world you name it. The Spanish are by far the friendliest people I have met from all the people I have spoken to (Americans/English probably being the worst, especially the city entitled types). I find the British have this Inferiority Complex they feel they have to carry with them wherever they go. The way they act in foreign countries is shocking too. Throwing bed mats out of hotel windows??? They dont understand there is a stigma attached to their antics which are imposed long term to the daily British holiday goer. Thats why we deserve to get scammed, disliked, robbed. Unless we change our ways, the perception of the British people will change to foreigners.

    Im 28 years old now and planning to move to spain since I get along with the people, I also own a online business and plan on expanding it in the spanish language so I think being in Spain will be very helpful for me.

    Also to those that want to live in the UK, Housing prices are going up, especially in London. Your quality of Life will be LOW since most of your money will be going towards your rent and the food prices are getting more expensive. Terrible air pollution conditions which are proven to impact human health. Its all a sacrifice at the end of the day but just be aware of it.

    • Manners says:

      Man, they simply never stop talking so of course you found the Spanish the most friendly, duh

    • Hi Louis,

      We are here in Madrid and we also own an online business based in UK. Now we are here in Madrid to expand the business We would be happy to help you out with your business and hoping to know about your business as well.

      I’ll be waiting for your reply.

      Randy S

  30. Manners says:

    Spanish are awful . You will have a better time/ life in other countries. Avoid. Save yourself the stress. Sad but sooooooooo true. So funny how the Spanish react to criticism. They never look inwards and think how can they be better, instead they attck the bottom denomination of their own intelligence, biggest one I find odd is that boozed up Brits on holiday are treated the same as young, middle aged or old ex pats who either go to work and attempt to integrate or they have spent their whole lives working to go and spend it being disrespected by total ignorance. Silly really

    • Reply to Manners: God only knows how the Spanish put up with the rude, arrogant, disgusting behaviour of the Brits. I have lived all over the world and visited many, many countries and I can honestly, easily say that Spain is my paradise due purely to the loving, trusting, kind nature of the Spanish. We have lived in Spain for 4 years now and never come across anyone who isn’t compassionate, caring, kind and honest! We have lived in Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona – they are, by nature, wonderful people from the North to the South. Although I expect they must be less patient in areas such as Orihuela Costa where they are invaded by ignorant Brits Abroad.

      • Manners says:

        True, but the Brits can’t behave like that in other countries. Why Spain? Why can’t they sort it out so the holidaymakers behave and then normal people will be treated with dignity by the rest of the majority of the Spanish. Seeing as they are a herd, in that they believe the television and only read news in Spanish. Dig dig

      • What bubble do you live in or are you always this naive?

    • Pal , you´ve just had a vote in the UK that was the worst expression of superficial thoughtless emotionalism that will end up destroying the country you purport to love. Think twice before you accuse other people of being unable to reflect

      • People in England voted out of the eu in protest at the American led foreign policy that unfortunately makes every eu country say “how high” to their orders to jump. The eu has nothing to do with unity, every country is divided and should not be controlled by overpaid unelected puppets controlled by Washington. Not to do with xenophobia. Look, Spain is a nice place, there are nice people, but when you actually live there, you feel unappreciated. Not so much in other countries, Portugal, Italy, France, Greece, it’s not the same they actually welcome you.

        • Even though voting out will not make the slightest difference to that American beast system as yes, the U.K. Is in deep in its pocket too. Don’t blame the Brits blame the unelected politicians, now we have new ones that no one elected, it goes on and on. Perhaps we don’t hate Spain we hate the system that we are all caught up in, causing this divide and rule society. People are easily influenced to hate and not so easily persuaded to love. Blame the media for all this misdirected hatred. The people aren’t to blame, perhaps.

          • Richard Tedeschi says:

            To the average Joe governments pretty much suck and don’t work in their favour in any country of the world, once you understand they work for themselves and their millionaire and billionaire cronies: banks and corporations/private enterprise this comes as no suprise.

            There is no right or left, there is top and botton, we citizens are at the bottom and them rich dictatorial mafia scrounging parasites are at the top and they love poor, desperate, ignorant and divided people and countries as they are easier to control, same story all over the world… faith to make it better for everyone has to be put in people/us, not governments.

  31. Michael says:

    “Take a drive on the excellent roads in Spain and you’ll be impressed by the disciplined and courteous driving.”

    LMAO – obviously that is a memo that didn’t make it over here to Valencia – hahahaaaa!!! Where do you live?

    • Valencia

      • I agree with Michael, driving standards in Valencia are pretty poor, not uncommon to see red light jumping, see or experience “cutting up” and hardly anyone signals on the roundabouts.

        That said, the traffic lights system in Valencia is well thought out, plenty of roads have “green waves”, unlike UK towns where traffic lights now seem to be used to cause traffic jams.

  32. Oh sorry Soly I thought you meant me. And I was a bit upset as I am aware that Britain is made up o foreigners, and we all tick along quite nicely in the main. I have friends in London from all over the planet and never give it a thought. I am foreign after all too 🙂

  33. Whose disgusting attitude?

  34. Mrs Margaret E Mawer says:

    Hello Everyone. For the past few hours I have been reading the views of either moving to Spain; or even moving back to UK or elsewhere.

    Well, to those people all rushing to get on a plane back to UK please re-think. England has changed. Where I live in the South East of England we sometimes do not hear an English voice. In fact, it is hard to find a naturalised British. I want to personally escape all this rat race. Oh I do not wish to live remotely. I just want to embrace the culture of a new country. I am in the fortunate position of having finished work, my husband will be retiring within the next few years. We are in good health which helps. We think maybe Spain will be on the agenda but we have time to explore and having the Internet and sites like spainmadesimple.com is just a fabulous bonus.

    Good Luck Everybody and the best thing is to be positive. There is good and bad everywhere. Margaret

    • HI Margaret I too live in the south east, Surrey. I rarely hear a foreign accent except when I go to Lidl to get the basics. I don’t have a problem with foreign people living here. Why not try and embrace their culture? You will hear plenty of foreign accents in Spain 🙂 We can’t make up our minds whether to chose Spain or Portugal. Portugal at the moment seems to be winning.

    • SolySangria says:

      Mrs Margaret E Mawer

      Please don’t move to Spain, With your disgusting attitude no-one want you here in Spain.

    • J Metcalfe says:

      Dear Margaret, I know exactly what you mean. I now live in south Oxfordshire although I used to live in Oxford central. I was going to say ‘sometimes’ but I’m afraid the sad fact is you are right. In Oxford now you hardly ever see English, or hear English being spoken. I live in the south of the county now but whenever I go up to Oxford for the day, I could cry. And I rarely go now, for this very reason. England is f****d. At least we have voted to get out. Thank God for that. Good luck Margaret! 🙂

      • J Metcalfe says:

        PS Sorry, I meant to say, the main reason I am on this page is to read the advice from people against going to live in Spain. I am considering it, or Portugal, where I have contacts, and am grateful to read all the different opinions, for or against. I intend to learn the language, and get informed about how to fit in, what to expect, etc, no matter our opinions.

  35. Why on earth do some British people think they can go to Spain and integrate into Spanish society when they can’t speak Spanish, know nothing about Spanish history or culture and expect Spanish people to behave like them?! I’m British but can speak and write fluent Spanish. My children have dual nationality and, like me, love Spain and the Spanish people. Of all the countries I have ever visited, Spain must be the friendliest and most welcoming. Spanish people are patient and long-suffering when it comes to British thugs and hooligans who invade their country and abuse them with drunken vile behaviour. In nearly 30 years of visiting and living in Spain I have never once been insulted by a Spaniard. I have many Spanish friends who have only ever shown me great kindness and generosity. Spain’s tragedy is simply that it joined the Euro – were it not for that fact, I am convinced that Spain would be doing just as well economically as the UK. But that is the fault of politicians, not ordinary Spaniards, who were told the Euro would be good for their country. Walk along a typical street in a Spanish town around 8 o’clock in the evening – the ‘hora del paseo’: crowds of Spaniards are out for their evening walk, enjoying the warm sunshine, stopping for a drink or a tapa, chatting to friends and family. No sense of fear you might experience in some British towns in the evening, especially if you look at someone, which is OK in Spain. Go into a bar in the evening and you’ll find families with children having a meal and talking to each other in a civilised way, not binge drinking in a mad rush to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible. Take a drive on the excellent roads in Spain and you’ll be impressed by the disciplined and courteous driving. Ever travelled by train in Spain? Their modern high speed rail network and comfortable, state of the art trains put dirty British clapped out rolling stock to shame. Ever visited a Spanish hospital? Ever noticed that no-one is ever placed in a room (i.e. ward) with more than two people? I love Britain and I certainly don’t think Spain is perfect. But I am shocked by many of the comments I have read on this blog about Spain and the Spanish people. I can tell you from my own experience that it is easier to get a social security number in Spain that it is to get a national insurance number in Britain. I speak from my own experience. I got a Spanish social security number in 15 minutes last year in Madrid. A Spaniard living in my house in England took 2 months to get a national insurance number! Talk to Spanish people about the problems they have with bureaucracy in Britain before you criticise the Spanish system!

    • Mr. Honest says:

      Your comment is rubbish! – “Take a drive on the excellent roads in Spain and you’ll be impressed by the disciplined and courteous driving”

      We lived in Spain, and the drivers are APPAULING!!!!! All idiots!

    • I love Spain and planning to live ther next year, I have driven on the roads from north to south many times over the years and think the roads in general are very bad. Some new EU funded roads have been built but they are generally toll motorways. Spanish drivers are usually very poor and impatient they will tailgate and flash headlights until you move out of the way. They pay little attention to speed limits

  36. Hi all!
    There are hundred of thousands if not one million of Brits living a happy life in Spain so what´s the drama?
    By the way I dont see in the Spanish press any hostility against britons in Spain neither racism, xenophobia or double standard; while in the British press can find almost every day scare-mongering and all kind of lies about European Immigrants (funny how the British people living abroad call themseves ex-pats while the foreigners in their country are immigrants) as a scare tactic,
    The brits wouldn´t be so happy if They had the same the Spain.

    Some people say think that Britons are only a good thing in Spain, while the Immigrants in the UK are just parasites taking jobs and bennefits away…for those who think like that…just think again:

    It costs the Spanish government £249 million a year to provide health care to the Britons who live in Spain (after insurance and UK charges). Many Britons living in Spain are pensioners and not actively contributing to the Spanish economy. On the contrary, immigrants to the UK from other parts of Europe in the last decade made a net fiscal contribution to the UK of around £22 billion. Most immigrants to the UK from the rest of Europe are in gainful employment and make a substantial net contribution to the economy.

    Even with all these facts….I love the british people living in Spain, I wish them all the best….. and I love the British society and the UK…thats why even when I had a very good job and life in Spain as well, I decieded to go to live there and after 1 year in GB I m more than happy…..like the hundreds of thousands of Brits in my country 😉
    On the contrary other Spaniars are writing too “I Hate the UK…..” on their blogs…..Ironic?
    By the way…I have 15 british living in Spain doing excatly the same I m doing in the UK….and they are very happy as well 🙂

    PS: I didn´t use public services in the UK at all, I pay more than 400 pounds a month in taxes, I live in a place with Full Employment , and of course never claimed benefits or lived in a social housing…so If anyone have a problem with that; no worries! It would be the same (mental) problem the tabloids have.

    Good Evening

    • I think you will find that the British Government reimburses the Spanish government for British Health care in Spain. That is the Brits who are there legally.

      • Actually UK government pay a percentage but not 100%. And they pay only when that person use the European Health Insurance Card, if you’re register in Spain (you have your NIE) you can apply for your own spanish health insurance card, in that case, UK government doesn’t pay anything. Most of the Brits living in Spain, specially pensioners, are registered….
        Don’t believe everything the press say….

        I’m going to tell you something curious about why the Spanish government started to claim these expenses some years ago.
        Spain is the world leader in organ donations, for this reason a lot of people from other countries (UE countries mostly) come to Spain to get a organ. I remember a story in the newspaper telling how a man with heart problems was found running and jumping. His wife said he was trying to provoke a heart failure to himself to get a heart because in his country the wait list was so long. This was a long time ago, more than 15 years ago, now he wouldn’t have to do that because of the UE agreements.

  37. Wow I have read some of the comments here with shock, fear and trepidation 🙂
    I lived in Sitges in the 60’s and loved it. I have lived in Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Santa Ana in the USA. I have also lived in Ireland. In fact I was born in Ireland. We have travelled to Spain many times over the last 20 years, and a lot of what people have to say is true I believe. Especially the negative stuff. I wonder though does it depend entirely on the area you live? eg we have stayed at various places along the coast such as Aguilas, Villaricos, Palomares, Vera, Mojacar, Carbonaras (sp) and we only really enjoyed Aguilas and Carbonaras. Mojacar to a degree as well. And we put this down to the fact that these 2 places are more “Spanish”. Recently we are toying with the idea of moving over, renting first and then maybe buy. We don’t want to burn any bridges with the UK. I just really fancy chilling in my retirement in a nice villa/cortijo with a nice pool. We are not keen on the costas as we have witnessed so many bored Brits who just drink, and at the same time looking for ways to make money. It’s lowlife behaviour in every respect. I am not surprised the Spanish don’t like the Brits much. Look at what they have to put up with? Loutish behaviour, coupled with uneducated and unskilled people generally speaking. Maybe I have my rose tinted glasses on and it’s an unrealistic dream. But I want a simpler life. I used t have a good grasp of Spanish, but had a head and neck cancer and now can’t learn much of anything new 🙂 As one gets older one doesn’t mix socially that much anymore, well that’s been my experience anyway. We were thinking of moving inland a bit Zurgena, El Cucador areas. I don’t drink and partner hardly at all. We love food, reading and a good movie. And lazing about too. Any socialising we do tends to be at home, or got to a restuarant with friends. Life is simpler and happier. I started this by say wow etc. I will bear in mind everything that has been shared, come to Spain and make my own mind up I think.

  38. Michael says:

    In the past I have said a lot of good things about Spain and the Spaniards in this very thread. But there’s one theme that keeps popping up and that I must point out – although I don’t think it will make any difference:


    There I said it. Lo lamento, pero es verdad. It’s like pressing a button. Someone points out a single problem in their country (and it’s riddled with them, let’s be honest) and the standard response is along the lines of ‘it’s all your fault and stop criticizing my country’. That’s exactly the type of attitude you find in customer service here and when conducing business in general. There is a huge sense of entitlement present and little responsibility and even less self reflection. No wonder the rest of the world doesn’t take Spain seriously – a large portion of the population insists on acting like a bunch of immature teenagers.

    That said – I still love living here and in general it’s been a good experience. Reason being I spent 20 years in Los Angeles and that’ll give you pretty thick skin when it comes to people. I would have agree with the xenophobic part however. I have made Spanish friends in VLC and as a matter of fact do not know any expats over here. They are happy to go grab tapas or hit a bar but only one out of about 15 people ever invited me to their house. There is a clear delineation between ‘them’ and ‘us’ and although they are happy to add you to their whatsapp list, breaking into their closely knit circle of friends is next to impossible. The people here make their friends in their youth, then get married, and after that everyone else is either a guiri or a Spaniard from a region they hate. Which explains a lot of systemic problems in this country as well as the widespread ‘enchufismo’ (i.e. nepotism) that’s rampant.

    I even teach an MA class for free to a whole bunch of Spaniards every week. Do you think I’ve ever been invited or shown any appreciation? Never. Once. And yes I’m house trained 😉

  39. Our tenth year in Andalucia. Been trying to escape for five years. Made the mistake of buying a house. Schools are totally useless, people are generally nice, but xenophobic under the skin. Corruption is rife, nothing can be made legal, nothing basic can be taken for granted. No jobs, i’ve tried for over seven years – just part-time crap work. Quality of everything from houses to domestic appliances is absolute rubbish, even branded goods are inferior (like they are made for Spain.) Spain is not cheap either, it has lots of hidden costs that you could never be aware of before buying. Rent, don’t buy, holiday, don’t live. Take my advice and save your health and sanity.

  40. Antonio says:

    So people here are moaning about how tough their life in Spain is, how hot it is during the summer, how they got ripped off by some state agent and how miserable their life are because Spanish are rude and unpleasant to them. Cool. That makes me wonder, why did you move there in the first place? also, why 90 per cent of you moved into cities where half of the population are Brits? Weren’t you looking for a “new life start”? a bit funny innit? Let me tell you something, you are living in Spain but you are not living Spain mates. Unfortunately for you guys, you cannot expect to keep having the same way of life you used to have while in the UK and enjoy sunny Spain at the same time. Move to somewhere else where no Brits are around, immerse yourselves into the local culture, do not be overcautious but always keep your eyes open… in a nutshell: don’t be like Karl Pilkington on “An Idiot Abroad”. And, please, stop talking bulls**t about my country. If you´re too closed-minded to appreciate other cultures you better stay at home, it’s that simple.

    By the way, I lived in Madrid for 9 years and have been living in London for nearly 4 years now and bloody love the two of them, just so let you know.


  41. I’m amazed at the negativity in most of these comments. Some of you really need to ask yourselves something – Why did you move to Spain in the first place? Was it to improve your lifestyle? Britain wasn’t meeting your needs so you decided to move. Then when you got here you discovered that Spain doesn’t meet your needs either.
    Why not get on and try to make it work instead of moaning about it. Life is far too short to be so negative and to be sitting there wringing your hands saying “Woe is me. Why did I move?” Remember, the other man’s grass is not always greener but there’s nothing, absolutely nothing to stop you doing your best to make a go of it. And to those who do, I salute you. Well done!
    But for Heaven’s sake, the rest of you, lose the hostility, stop bitching and just go.
    John (from Ireland, and I fully intend to move to Spain when I retire)

  42. Mr Terry Watts says:

    We came and rented first and then we bought with no problems, We specifically bought in an area with lots of Brits and Irish because integration with any other culture is too difficult in the long term, Iv’e never personally felt resentment from Spanish but then i never go out of my way to talk to them and let’s face it the country is big enough for all of us. We bring wealth and income and help towards the local economy of wherever we are. 10′ of 1000’s of Spaniards live and work in our country while our young in Spain are never given a chance…….but then i guess more fool our own stupid goverment who give priority to all foreigners.

    • I actually think that was your mistake, Terry. You should force yourself to immediate connect with Spaniards ONLY. Although there is a benefit of having an expat network available to learn the ropes it’s best if you figure out ‘las gajes de oficio’ the hard way. First up it builds character and you learn how the system really works.

      Of course Spaniards are going to be preferential to other Spaniards. Their culture is very clan based and connections as well as family means even more than in anglo-saxon countries. Some call it nepotism – okay, that’s fine. But it’s how the system works. You won’t be able to change it – so either accept it or go back to where you came from. FYI – I’m a German/American who spent the last four years here in VLC. I often get sick of all the little things but then I have to remind myself of all the good things here as well.

      Instead of complaining and asking for the Spanish to make the first move you will have to work hard for THEM to ACCEPT YOU! It is their country after all. We are guests here and unless you abuela/abuelo was born in your city you are a stranger to them and have to work hard to earn their trust and respect.

      I have had shitty experience as well. BUT I have also learned that the more generous and supportive you are the more appreciative will the Spaniards be. Try to volunteer and get involved in communal efforts. You are only a ‘guiri’ if you act like one 😉

  43. Roberto Roselló says:

    Spain is different, Can you be different? If not, stay home.

    • Anthony says:

      And i would say the same to you..and is that the best you can come up with.
      I think you need to read my post properly,as i have said not all brits coming to your country are the same so dont tarnish all brits with the same brush.

  44. I hate whiners says:

    I hate those whiners that, instead trying to adapt to a different country (Spain or others), the only thing they can do is crying. Don’t be so coward, stop moaning like if you were a little stupid kid and behave as an adult. Have you been ripped off? Ginger up!!! Can’t you find work? That’s probably because you aren’t qualified enough…study!!! The jobs are low paid?? Start from the base, as we all have done…
    I am fed up of Brits that come to MY country totally DRUNK, THROWING LITTER on the streets, SHOUTING AND BREAKING windows…I think it also has to do with crime…and I have to pay WITH MY TAXES the mess Brits produce because “they are on holiday”. Not to mention about those Brits criminals that infect my country with their presence trying not to be arrested.
    Yes, you’re right. You should better come back into your mum’s arms and when you grow up, having studied enough to get a job in which you will be pay what you think you worth, then come back to my country. See? We’re not so bad…we’re not rancorous…could you, Brit, say the same??? I’m sure you can’t.

    • Read your comments and had to reply,i have been coming to spain for over 6 years and have to say some of your comments are correct.
      But also some are very wrong,when we come to spain we dont drop litter we dont go breaking windows and we always use our manners be it thank you or gracias.
      One thing we have noticed is that sometimes no matter how courteous you are you still get treated like you are nothing.
      Concerning your comments on tourist lets be honest without the tourists coming to spain your country would have gone to the wall years ago,so as with most things in life their are good things about tourists and their is bad things.
      And yes their is british criminals in spain,just as it is possible their are spanish criminals in britain so swings and roundabouts
      But i do agree with you concerning people coming to live and work in spain,if you want to atleast make a good go of things then do as the spanish do just as i would expect if you came here do as the british do.
      We are all different and have a different way of living and at the end of the day if we all atleast tried to help a person in need rather than judge them from where they are from they maybe the world would be a better place.

    • Most Brits who come here are fine people. Don’t confuse them with the ‘guiris’ that just pop by during the summer vacation and sometimes make a mess of themselves. They exist everywhere in the world and it’s not country specific. You must differentiate between some Yahoos who just are here to let off some steam and those who actually work very hard to integrate. My wife and I are among the latter – we only have Spanish friends here and we only speak Spanish when we’re outside. At the gym almost everyone knows me and talks to me. I even teach a free martial arts class to a group of Spaniards. Así que no todos somos gillipollas 😉

  45. Stephen says:

    I’m English and have lived in Valencia for 2 years, many of the younger people are very nice and open minded, but a lot are very racist, rude and openly hostile to any foreigners, particularly the older people. I am lucky enough to work online for a UK company, so I can live anywhere in Europe. I worked for a Spanish company initially, but they were very unreliable, offered much lower benefits than UK companies and were very inefficient and didn’t care about their clients at all. My Spanish friends confirm most of the companies they work for are like that too, often riddled with nepotism and often do things off book or flout the law. The sad thing is that the vast majority Spanish workers are very hard working, but the business owners, systems of local gov, tax, social security(Autonomo) etc are shocking and make it very hard to set up a company, make money or be entrepreneurial. The bureaucracy is unbelievable, coming from a country where you can do virtually anything online, I now have to visit multiple offices and photocopy things (remember them?!) just to get anything done. Companies often don’t show up with no excuse given and I’ve lost count the number of times they didn’t deliver on services or obligations that they contracted to. You end up having to build in contingency plans for anything you do.

    I chose Spain to learn the language and experience another culture, I spoke intermediate Spanish after 6 months of study and am gradually working up to fluency. Language helps, but is not a panacea and will not change your status as a foreigner by much, you will just be able to realise when you are being ripped off or spoken about. I only have a few English or Spanish friends here, I mainly have Cuban, Latin American, Japanese, Korean, Italian, German etc but we all speak in Spanish, sometime English if they don’t speak it. They are all foreigners too, so have similar experiences / treatment which we can bond over and laugh about. As a Londoner I am used to diversity and love it, here it’s not the same at all. It’s the thing I miss about London the most.

    I’ll live here for a year or two more, but I wouldn’t raise a family here. The schools are generally not very good, from what my neighbours with kids say, which is confirmed in the European rankings. Motorways and trains aside (which are excellent, although trains/metro etc don’t run very late) the infrastructure is woeful and the opportunities for jobs are minimal. My Aunt moved to Spain in 1960s so my cousins were born and raised in Spain in Cadiz and went to Uni here, but neither could get a job until their mid twenties, when they both left the country, one to Italy the other to Australia where they found work immediately.

    Anyone thinking of coming should still do it if they really want to; rents and property are cheap (be careful about buying though, there are many pitfalls and tales of woe) the countryside is unbelievable, but it is very dependent on what stage of your life you are at. Just left Uni, want to have an adventure and learn a language, or want to retire and already have an independent income then cool, do it. Anyone else, think hard because unless you work in an expat community, you will be shocked at what the employers are like, if you can even find work, and you will not earn enough to save for a pension or anything else you would expect to in UK. Healthcare in my experience is good and vets are cheaper than the UK, although some of the animal cruelty is hard to take. People mistreat dogs and animals frequently eg Yesterday I saw someone punching his dog, when I stopped and looked he threatened to kill me, gave me loads of xenophobic and personal abuse and called me “gay” about 30 times. lol. That said, they are generally tolerant of gay people, at least here in Valencia and in Barcelona where I have gay friends that I visit often. Things like cars are more expensive than the UK, but food and petrol is cheaper. Weigh it up and visit for 6 months before making the plunge if you are able to.

    • Stephen, well said.
      The red tape and costs to set up a new business contribute to the high unemployment. Not to mention the lack of govt services to support businesses.
      Iberdrola is a criminal organization, they even cut off electricity to buildings affecting all residents even if it is one person that hasn’t paid (feel free to Google this).
      It’s a very insular country and don’t think that some people calling Spain 3rd world is completely unfair.

    • Hey Stephen – I actually live in VLC as well. Moved here from Los Angeles and the cosmopolitan lifestyle is something I miss very much as well. My wife and I would love to join your group of expats sometime. We speak English, French, German, and of course Spanish.

    • Hi Stephen,

      Same here I am also working online for an UK company providing IT services. And now with my wife we registered her as Autonomo for our IT business here in Madrid. Everything seems to be smooth after several days of talking to lawyers and other small businesses asking for some tips. I instantly saw the differences between UK and Spanish laws and I like it better in the UK in terms of process and procedures. Even if I can barely understand and speak Spanish, I tried to blend in and I love it here hahaha. People are so friendly and helpful. I wish we have an English speaking neighbor.

      Anyone here in Madrid, please feel free to give me a shout and I am happy to buy you coffee or beer.

  46. I hate living in Spain due to how horrible the British immigrant expats are. Spain attracts the most down-market, skanky, bigoted, basic, drunken, ignorant, violent, scummy, sub-human British people I have ever had the misfortune to meet. I am embarrassed to be British when I am in Spain and I feel really sorry for the Spanish people having to put up with the animals that come to their lovely country from Britain. It is not surprising that in a recent BBC World Service survey, the Spanish hated the British more than people from any country except for those from Pakistan.

    I shall be heading off to mid Portugal to live, where the English seem to be far more civilised and less backward. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the Spanish population on behalf of my fellow countrymen. I promise we are not all like the people you have had to endure in your country.

    • Stephen says:

      Sounds like you are one of the more prejudiced British people posting on here, Spain will not miss you and Portugal will not be the richer for your presence.

    • Yes, you have nailed it. Most of those Brits we have seen come from the north of England. Where anywhere would seem like heaven compared to what they’ve left. They are generally illiterate and without morals or any integrity. Just hearing their awful voices puts me off. I want to move somewhere in the south of Spain where these people don’t live. But I am not sure where that may be. I do like Barcelona and south of BCN but it’s way too expensive to buy a 4 bed house in those regions. Even down towards Girona is becoming out of reach.

      • Tricia, The North of England are illiterate,no morals,or integrity. Can I ask where in the North you have been? In England the north is beautiful, from Yorkshire all the way up through Northumberland we have lush green valleys and beautiful coast line and beaches. I live on the outskirts of the wear valley,please Google it and take a look,before making such stupid comments, the people here in the North East are warm and friendly they work hard to save up their moneys to visit Spain and boost your economy whilst doing so, and they are definitely not illiterate. I visit Spain 2 or 3 times each year and love it. And I will continue to do so. There’s good and bad in all countries,. I’ve travelled the world from China to Australia ,Canada, Greece , Dubia, Hongkong,Cyprus etc, etc, and always find each country is unique and all have their own culture and way of doing things,get used to that and you will get on ok with them all.

  47. Hi everyone,
    I’m a Dutch male citizen about 55 years with a cash capital of € 500K. I want to set up a business in Gran Canaria.
    Has anyone experience in setting up a business in Gran Canaria?
    Is there any suggestion or advice?
    All suggestions or advices are welcome.

    • You could also flush that 500 grand down the toilet

    • Hi Fred,
      I live in the Netherlands and I want to move to the Canary Islands. Just give me your money!!!! 🙂 — kidding. Why don’t you go there and spend a few months living in GC? You can look around and see what is going on. Maybe find someone who lives there and can give you a good advice? Een kleine hotel kopen en voor Nederlandse toeristen te huren? Of zo iets…
      I liked the Canary Islands and I did not experience that kind of “rip off” mentality. I used to live in Barcelona and did not like Catalan people at all! The rest of Spain is much better!
      Vriendelijke groeten,

  48. I think a big part of whether a foreigner does well in Spain has to do with gender, skin color, any features that stand out as not being Spanish, and age. In chauvinistic Mediterranean countries, the Madonna-Whore syndrome is alive and well. I have Spanish people (mostly older women) being sweet to my mother and even speaking English with her, whereas they NEVER do that with me. However, many of the younger (and older) women are cold, give dirty looks, smirks, and are even rude (which is ridiculous as most Spanish men want to marry versions of their mother anyway).

  49. It’s depends where part of the country do you live. I live in the north and is lovely

  50. I’m sorry to hear that, right now, Spain is one of the safest places in the world my friend.

  51. My wife and I have been living and (more importantly) Working in Spain for just over 12 years. The reality is that there are two Spanish scenarios: 1) You have enough money to live in Spain without needing to work and 2) You need to work in Spain.

    Your enjoyment of the country is going to be Vastly different based on either 1 or 2.
    Add to that the cultural and educational differences between north and south (it’s the same in Italy & France) and you get even more dynamics, especially for those folks who have to work to make ends meet.

    We have been running our own business for many years now and around 95% of our income is foreign income. If we had to rely on Spanish business we’d be dead in the water ages ago.

    I don’t think people truly understand how tough it is to do business in Spain with the Spanish.
    We’ve long moved past the surprise about handshakes and promises not being met. (Always get it in writing from the Spanish.)
    How greedy and dishonest the Spanish can be.
    We’ve have many Spanish clients who hold on to foreigner’s money where they are 100% within their rights to receive a refund for the items (Thousands of Euros). The Spanish refuse because they know how complicated the Spanish law system is in order for them to get their money back.
    We have to do business with people like this all the time because there are no alternatives. It’s sickening to have to look at and speak to these people.
    It takes years, if ever, to be accepted into any business Niche, and that’s usually only after you’ve made them a lot of money, despite them, rather than because of them.

    The Spanish (and most Mediterranean countries) are a long way behind the business models of the English speaking and certain Asian countries. Marketing is as basic as the States in the 1940s, and customer service is almost non-existent in most parts of Spain (Cataluña is better).

    Nationalism is 100% engaged, even if the Spanish don’t realise it themselves. Franco’s legacy (Spain is the best country in the world etc. etc.) is firmly entrenched. The most futile effort here would be to try and convince the Spanish to do something a different way or, heaven forbid, to copy a business model from Northern Europe.

    This is completely evident in their building and civil engineering industry.
    Essentially no changes or improvements in building standards have been made in the last 100 years, hence the damp basements, poor foundations and subsequent cracked walls, leaking pools, and plumbing that smells like sewer depending on the wind direction. (This does improve in the direction South to North.)
    (We’re talking about placing plastic sheets under floor slabs, between support walls and around window frames. Proper earth compaction, primer on plastered walls before painting, and adequate foundation concrete and sometimes reinforcement. This is not an expensive to do, but it’s very costly to repair, over and over again.)

    The civil engineering sector is no better. I have seen intersections, off-ramps, and roundabouts that have made my head spin. Structural concrete where the reinforcement has no cover is almost a standard.
    Checking to see that you did it right the first time is a luxury.

    And you’ll scratch your head, because people have been doing it better and for cheaper for many years just a few miles North. All the Spanish have to do is ask for advice, or if they were to proud to ask then go spy a little to see how they do things better elsewhere…

    If you are retired in Spain then the worst you’ll experience is the poor customer service, or maybe lose some of your savings on an ilegal property purchase from a Spanish lawyer, agent and builder. (By the way Spanish law will punish you for acquiring an ilegal property and not the lawyer, agent or builder.)
    Your frustrations will however be less compared to someone who has to work or run their own business in the country, and wiggle their way through the bureaucratic and cultural minefield without getting stomach ulcers 🙂

    My very honest advice:
    If you’re thinking about moving to Spain then
    1) First rent for at least 2/3 years to consider the areas you would actually like to live in, to get over the honeymoon period, to see how you adapt to Spanish culture (or the lack thereof – depending on what you are specifically used to), and to understand the system better.
    2) Take note that the level of education amongst the Spanish in the South is at a very basic level. This improves in the North and is best in areas of Cataluña, Basque and Asturias.
    3) If you have to work in Spain then first consider Cataluña where the economy is the strongest. We all want great beach weather but sometimes there has to be some compromises.
    If you have children and you can’t afford private schools then you have to consider the level of education they will receive.

    Hope that helps someone.

    • I’ve been living in Bilbao and I feel like a white person in an African village, with the way the women stare at me 24-7 (I’m a woman with blue eyes (GASP!!!)), dirty looks, smirks, refusal to be remotely friendly, huge lack of diversity here in general. They may have gone to school but they aren’t remotely cosmopolitan. They have the typical villager mentality – no outsiders.

    • Good answer, been working here 26 years, my advice, do not come to Spain to work, bursting to get out of this eternal hell hole.

  52. I too am Spanish, and as a 5 year old I was taken to Australia by my parents that was in 1971, when i got married my husband and i started our own family we decided to return to Spain in 2000, thinking that we were going to have a better life here in Spain. but i can honestly say that the saying “you don’t know what you have until you have lost it” is a true saying. We are arranging to go back next year as we are tried of all the bull sh………. here in Spain. The corruption, the the ripping off, everything. I myself have almost been ripped off, because i have not Spanish accent because i was brought up in Australia most people thought I was from the UK, little did they know that I am also fluent in Spanish, because of this I really have not made friends with Spanish people and I have stuck to the English community. I think that the biggest mistake that my husband and I have made in our lives was coming to Spain. I think that we actually made it worse for our children putting them into the Spanish education system which leaves a lot to be desired for. I am glade that my daughter made the decision to return back to Australia when she became an adult. I will be glade to see the back of Spain next year.

  53. Fifi Montague says:

    Response to ‘I Hate Spain’ by Nick Anders

    My response will probably be most effective, I my comments are written in red, immediately following Nick’s claims.

    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.

    It sounds as if you really do hate the Spain you know. You should definitely move back to the UK, you sound very British with a typical ex-pat attitude to life overseas.
    I’m not the only one who now hates Spain. It’s a bit like the thin line between love and hate.

    It’s true, there are many ex-pat’s who sound like you.
    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.

    Again, it sounds familiar, coming from someone who has decided to move to a very ‘British occupied’ area of Spain.

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

    There are virtually no down-sides to living in Spain but it totally depends on your state of mind and where, in Spain in particular, you live.

    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.

    Personally, I wouldn’t advise anyone moving to Spain, to live in a major British ex-pat community. You don’t see enough of true Spain or get to know true Spanish people

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

    I’m happy because I did my research.

    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.

    Again, it’s like fresh air to me, after leaving the UK but research should be carried out so your expectations are real.

    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.

    Compared to the UK, crime is virtual non-existent! I don’t think the Spanish know the meaning of theft!

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

    Never heard that one! However, crime is slightly relevant on the Costa del Sol – but I could almost guarantee, the burglars are not Spanish!

    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.

    I think you may have been watching too much TV (British or American TV)

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

    No, you’re very wrong and you must avoid speaking about Spain on the whole. As with all countries, locations matter.

    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.

    I live on the Costa Blanca, (3 years) soon to move to Barcelona and have never ever encountered poor immigrants or illegal immigrants. Maybe I’ve just been blessed.

    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.

    Again, you perhaps should have researched the job market before coming. Yes, it’s true the Spanish are very hard workers – unlike most of the UK who think about the end of their shift, the moment they start it.

    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!

    My daughter is just 23 years of age and is a student. When we moved here she couldn’t speak a word of Spanish – now, in 3 years she is fluent. Mostly thanks to the 4 fantastic jobs she has held down. She began on 25€ an hour for teaching English to a 1 year old boy. She then moved on to a golf course whilst learning Spanish. She then acquired a position in Laura Ashley where her dual language was very useful and when the store moved town, she immediately found a senior role running a golf pro shop – always choosing when and where she wanted to work. Opportunities are there for people who are prepared to be polite, work hard and feel grateful for the chance.

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

    I would agree that in the Costas – most opportunities are bar/waiting work but others do exist, you just need to prove yourself, be flexible and accepting. (Perhaps now Nick’s forte)

    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!

    As I said earlier, I think the UK is the place for you. You get paid for doing nothing.

    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?

    It’s true. All over Spain, it seems to be slow paced but you can adapt and get the very best out of people. At least the Spanish workers are always polite, want to please, persistent and won’t give up until they know you are happy. At least in the parts I know.

    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.

    This must be local to Costa del Sol, I think. I’ve never encountered any customer service here that isn’t a total contrast to what you put up with in the UK! They are always very grateful for your custom, treat you like a princess and will do anything to ensure you are satisfied.

    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.

    British – putting customers first. I think you have had too much sun and sangria! If a UK bus driver sees you running for his bus, he will deliberately pull away, leaving you stranded and I’ve known them to throw my daughter off a bus, in an unknown area, in the dark because she was 5p short of her fare!! Here, by contrast, they have driven us from one town to another for nothing, when we didn’t quite have the correct change for the machine.

    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!

    This couldn’t be farther from the truth, in my experience; from Barcelona down to the South of the country, we have always received the utmost attention. Mmmm, I’m wondering if perhaps they can sense that you don’t like them and are always ready to criticise?

    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!

    I don’t think you speak Spanish Nick (maybe you do?) but this would cause a struggle in the Town Halls. They do have a lot of paperwork here, I admit but it works. They know what they are doing and every employee at the Town Hall, has been trained the same – they all know the drill so, unlike the UK – you don’t receive conflicting advice and they never leave you stranded – we have always found them to be extremely helpful and have got things done with the minimum of trouble.

    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.

    I bet I could guess what nationality the estate agent was! Certainly not Spanish. We have been ripped off only once in Spain in 3 years and that was when I took a risk by shopping at a British butchers shop. Normally, I would stick with Spanish retail every time but I purchased Christmas pack of dates from the shop – only to find, when we got home that they were from 2 years ago and were dried and inedible! I might have known! Never again; we will only ever shop from Spanish retailers now.

    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.

    What! You mean people were buying properties via a Spanish lawyer (who didn’t speak English) signing documents they didn’t understand and failing to check the building and planning permissions on the proposed property before handing over their savings?? How did these people work out how to travel to Spain in the first place, or even get out of bed in the morning?

    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.

    I’ve heard the same, but never experienced it. So, the same as the UK then only here the news is very much out there in the public eye rather than in the UK where it is hidden behind the scene.

    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!

    Ha, ha, ha! So surely you devised a COL comparison document before you moved here? I did and compared: Council Tax, Parking, Petrol, Food, Water Bill, Telephone Bill, Electricity Bill, Gas Bill, car tax, car insurance, cost of mortgage or rent. There has only been one service I’ve found more expensive here than in London and that is taxis. Even most outdoor events are free!

    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.

    I really think you are living in the wrong part of Spain. Here on the Costa Blanca, I wonder if they ever have a non sale period. One sale follows another continuously. When I complained to the local supermarket that my fresh produce wasn’t good (I didn’t return it, I just happened to mention it on my next trip). The assistant simply put a pile of the same fruit (fresh) in a bag and market the label ‘No charge’.

    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.

    True! It seems to be bad all over the country.

    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 think there might be some truth in this – although to spend money on fast drainage in a country that rarely sees any rain, would cause disagreements in political circles, I think.

    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!

    My advice would be the opposite. If you have a young family and are thinking of moving to Spain, I would research, research, research and find the best area for you. Giving a young family the chances they may never get in the UK is what moving to Spain would achieve. The education is far superior to that in the UK – the numbers in classes are much smaller and the drive and passion of the teachers is very impressive – I doubt there is one class in the whole of Spain that has to employ the police to stand at the back of the classroom! Plus in no time at all, your children would be speaking a language that is very important. Not to mention their health. Plus the health service is on another level – they don’t even have GP’s – every doctor specialises in his subject unlike in the UK where they give you only 10 minutes and prescribe cough medicine for everything! Here, the medical expertise is second to none!

    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.

    I think those families who want to move back or are glad they have – belong there. We don’t want those kind of Brits here, thank you. I’m sick of the negativity of the UK and the British people; they criticise and moan about everything and think the world owes them a living!

  54. Sophie Jarrell says:

    I have a great time in the Basque Country, although they would have insisted they were not actually Spanish, a less great time in Madrid. I think that just like any other country where you live, what your job is, who your friends are have just as much effect as the country on your quality of life! I overall really enjoyed my time in Spain, but did run into “manana” syndrome and struggle to get people to keep to deadlines. I agree with pablo that you will find good and bad people everywhere and crime everywhere! In the end I moved back to the UK not because I didn’t like Spain but because my temporary contract teaching Esol had run out and my sister had just had a baby. I went home to visit planning t o go back and get more work but then I ended up getting work in the UK instead *shrugs* c’est la vie.

    WHATEVER YOU DO THOUGH definitely definitely make sure you know the language before you go it makes such a huge difference.

  55. i feel sorry to read all that, i am spanish from the coast near nerja and currently living in uk, and i have to say you are right, spain service is really bad, there so many corruption and so many crisis and so many money trickers, but is either with foraing people and spanish, there so many ignorant people in spain,most of them don´t speak any english and see the person from another country as a menace (to their job positions,their mental capacity or their phissical apparence) but also there is so many nice people who love english people or another outsiders,and so mane places where the peple are so open and friendly and we like to see people from the rest ofthe world, when i was living in spain i used to make friends with people from other countrys and that´s how i met my girlfriend,and now i moved to uk with her,i feel glad to have diferent cultures and i think we should have more of that in spain cause the politics just try to make everybody stupid so nobody will complaing or say anything about the corruptions

  56. I am originally German, but spent 39 Years in South Africa and the last year in Germany and the UK, but I am moving to Spain at the end of November as it just feels a lot more like home.
    For those of you who complain about Spain… don’t ever move to South Africa, it is way worse there, but I love it anyway! I do miss it, but since being White in SA is not a good thing these days, I thought I would come back to Europe and see how it goes here.
    Like all countries, Spain has its problems, but the lifestyle is just so much more relaxed… and I am used to ‘manana’, it is like that in SA as well.
    Germany is ok, everything works well and it is for the most part nice and clean and very organised… too much so for my liking, I guess I’m used to a bit of chaos! The Germans are a bit of a boring lot though and I don’t feel like I belong here.
    England is awful… my 3 kids live in London and it is a filthy, noisy, hectic place to live! But they are young and it suits them for now. I work as a Carer and therefore I have seen a lot of the southern parts of England and although it is fairly pretty, it is also extremely boring. A lot of Brits I met are nice enough, but they are also not my kind of people, they are far too stuck in the past, quite judgmental and almost as grey as their weather! And not everything works that well in the UK… Germany is definitely one up on them!
    I am looking forward to my move to Spain, have been learning Spanish and plan to integrate with the locals as much as possible. I love the Spanish landscape, it reminds me of Africa and I really don’t mind that things don’t always work 100%, it can’t be any worse than SA.
    As for Crime, sadly it seems that is on the increase all over the world, so no matter where I go, I always keep an eye out for potential trouble. There is no such thing as Paradise, but better weather and a more relaxed lifestyle sure does help.
    Eventually I plan to work here as well, but need to master the language first, so for now I will continue to work in other countries and come home for relaxation as often as I can.

    • Hallo Chrissie – herzlich willkommen in Spanien!! 🙂

      I’m originally German as well but moved to the States in 1991 never to return. As a kid I grew up in Austria and Switzerland and when I came back to Germany at the age of 11 I couldn’t stand the industrialized North with all the hustle and buzzle. And as you already mentioned, the people are very cold and only live for work. So wound up spending 20 years in L.A. (not exactly quiet either but different lifestyle) and now I’m here in Spain with my lovely French wife. We love it here and we are very glad the Spanish will have us as we are horrified by what is going on in Northern Europe right now. If you are worried about being white in S.A. then wait 5 or 10 years – you will see the very same thing happening in Germany and France, it’s already starting to happen if you dig below the main stream media. Enough said as I don’t want to derail this thread.

      My tip to you right now: Una palabra cada día. One Spanish word each day – you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be able to have a conversation with people. The Spanish grammar is pretty simple mostly – except when you jump into the subjuntivo forms (tenga, sea, tuviera, etc.) and the perifrasis (vengo trabajando, llevo viviendo, etc.).

      If you work hard to integrate then you will see that they Spaniards will accept you with open arms. Of course there are idiots here as well but that’s a given in any place in the world. But judging by your introduction you sound like the perfect global citizen – give it three years and a handful of friends and you’ll be chatting away like a Spaniard.

      If you’re ever in Valencia give me a holler and I’ll buy you a caña o dos 😉

      • That’s a myth, the Spanish are very xenophobic. I know enough people who “loved Spain” and are fluent in Spanish…and they’re now back in their own countries. I know a Spanish woman who told me herself that the Spanish are very “tight knit” (my euphemism). People in general are close-minded. It’s travelers and the expats who have the open minds, not the locals.

  57. Thank you all for your comments, pro and con. We’ve recently returned from our first trip to Spain, and we loved it. Our hotel staff (in Madrid) was wonderful and kind, and we spent most of our time in Andalucia and Valencia–loved visiting historic cities, enjoyed the food and the weather, fabulous roads, great agribusiness, and possibly the cleanest cities I’ve ever seen in Europe or the U.S. The worst part of Spain is the graffiti, and I never got used to it. I will be more sensitive to foreigners and immigrants in my country/city after reading your comments.

  58. Oh My God! Thank you for this article. I live in the USA and speak Spanish fluently, as a result I was thinking about moving to Spain to live. Now, I will not do that. My parents die and I don’t have a family so I thought I will move to a pretty coastal town where I could rest and have a beautiful, view to look at every morning. I do have a dog and I would die if someone hurt her, I know she will die one day but I don’t want some crook to hurt her. And, Yes! there is crime everywhere but here is pretty safe. The government agencies could be a pain but everything is done legally and if they don’t and is find out, it would be a big investigation until they get to the bottom of it. I know how the system works and I prefer to feel safe than in a beautiful place. By the way I did live in London back in 2003 for three years and I love it! Make a couple of fantastic British friends which whom I am still in contact. Thank you for this article, I will direct my search somewhere else, or maybe, I will stay in the USA.

  59. Mister Madrid, if southern Spain is a disaster for you because Madrid receive 50% of the state’s investments, a shame, while the rest of the country, especially the south, is almost forgotten and without receiving anything. In Murcia, where I live now, trains are waste of Madrid, the Basque Country and Catalonia and break almost every day. Wirings of the tracks, an embarrassment, so in Murcia still see trains running on diesel. The AVE to know when it will arrive, and many of the roads appear to have been bombed from the air.
    According to you, the south is a drain on the economy … you tell me, what benefits of Madrid receive the people of the south, and me that I am in the area? you are the “señoritos de Madrid”,economic predators while in some parts of the country without electricity and water. Madrid and its central government and Basque, Navarre and Catalonia, are the parasites of the other regions of Spain, impoverishing and promoting their marginality.
    You imagine to Madrid without foreign multinationals? they would be poorer and with less money that Murcia, a forgotten region that has gone ahead with the effort of its people and no foreign investment
    I feel disgust and shame that you’re Spanish….

    • Victor – I understand that there are many tensions between regional autonomies in Spain and have been there historically for a long time. During economic crises regional tensions are always guaranteed to arise – it’s human nature. Everyone gets alone just fine during the boom years. Separation and finger pointing in my humble opinion is short sighted and will only hurt us in the long run.

      Because we are facing much bigger problems right now. Europe is going through a veritable Muslim invasion and if there is one country in the world that remembers the meaning of this then it is España! While we Europeans are bickering amongst ourselves (in Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, London, everywhere) there are fanatical forces at work that threaten to completely overturn our Western civilization within one or two generations! How much would you enjoy seeing your children being forced into Sharia law in about 20 or 30 years from now?

      That is NOT to diminish the grievances you and many of your countrymen may be feeling – I am sure they are valid and need to be addressed. However I hope that Spain (as well as other European countries by the way) can resolve their differences and realize that we are stronger TOGETHER and not separately. The real enemy is already amongst us.

      This may all sound a bit naive as the multi-nationalists are busy destroying Europe (not just Spain) and the realy story here is way beyond the scope of this discussion thread. All I’m saying is that we Europeans need to find common ground and that quickly. Otherwise we may be facing another big war – things are falling apart everywhere – even in Germany, Austria, Holland, and other so called ‘rich’ nations.

      Remember the old adage: ve divide y venceras – divide and conquer. That strategy seems to be working very well right now.

  60. Let’s be clear, Spain does not oblige any foreigner to stay in their territory.. the if the t foreigners do not adapt to Spain for their prejudices toward Spaniards, feelings of superiority and not be willing to learn the language and integrate etc etc etc the solution is very simple: airport and for to home.

    • I would agree! When moving to a new country you will always encounter things that do not suit you. It’s part of life and you always have the option to leave. Of course a bit of bickering hasn’t hurt anyone and it’s part of human nature. I for one am not prejudices against Spaniards – I think you are great people. Please do not think that the negative comments here reflect the attitude of all ‘guiris’ 😉

    • If you don’t look Spanish, trust me, they WILL NOT let you integrate. Just ask any minority.

      • Barbara Nelson says:

        I don’t agree with your statement at all, I have lived inland from Malaga in a Spanish village for nine years, both of my daughters have gone through the education system in the village. Within a few weeks of moving here one of my daughters was playing in the village band, she has done well at school (blond and very English looking) and is now at Granada uni studying Chemistry. All of my two daughters friends are Spanish, both have Spanish boyfriends and are welcomed to their homes, their friends parents also welcome them and have been nothing but friendly.

  61. Spanish in UK says:

    I think the trouble is that Nick – as well as most British expats I think – went to live in Southern Spain. Southern Spain has always been known among Spaniards for being a total disaster – I know it because I’m Spanish. And in fact, economic data constantly shows that the South is a drain for the Spanish economy, Spain would actually be a very rich country if only the Northern part existed.
    I am from Madrid and I have never experienced any of the problems Nick talks about there. In Madrid you will get assisted properly and promptly in shops, cafes, etc, and you will get things done as promised, not “mañana”. Also, I have spend holidays in Alicante and never had any problems there.
    However I have experienced some of the problems Nick talks about in Southern Spain. And also, in the UK I experienced a very similar situation to that of Sherley when I got internet at home and I never ever managed to get any handyman to come to my house at a settled time when I needed to fix something, they always refused to settle a particular time alleging the were too busy, they promised they would call back and then they basically either appeared just when they wanted (sometimes several weeks after) or, if I was lucky enough, they called 5 minutes before to tell me it had to be then or never. And a few times they just didn’t appear at all. This kind of things would be unthinkable in Madrid, I just couldn’t believe it the first times until I stopped getting surprised after so many times. And by the way, roads in Madrid and in Northern Spain are way way better than in East Sussex where I live. In fact, the town I live in is full of road wholes, and I really can’t understand where my taxes go because nothing seems to be done here apart from mowing the lawn around every now and then and leaving the cut grass just there to get dry or mouldy.
    So we all have skeletons in the cupboard…

    • We are planning to migrate back to Spain by the end of March this year. When I was reading some of the comments here, at first I stopped and asked myself, are we doing the right thing moving from UK to Spain? There are so many negativity from the folks who have had bad experiences in Spain. I feel sorry to all of them. When we were in Madrid back in 2013, it was like love at first sight. I love the people and they were very friendly. The food is great. The weather is very livable and fun everyday. So to cut the story short, we’ve enjoyed our stay in Madrid and that’s why we want to go back and live there permanently. Work is no problem as I am still going to be employed by my UK employer in London and my wife will be teaching English courses. If anyone in Madrid wants to have a chit chat and meetup,feel free to drop me a message. BTW, I’m not British, Im an Asian guy married to a Spanish citizen.

  62. Hola, soy español, solo queria pedirte disculpas en nombre de mi pais y desearte un mejor futuro alli donde vayas, no toda España es igual, pero tienes toda la libertad de odiarnos.

    Un saludo amigo

  63. 31/08/2015 – 337,107 were fired in one day.


    There’s something very rotten in the state of Spain. Nice sun, nice food, but a basket case economy.

    • The only rotten in Spain is an ominous political class (the old parties) that has already expired, never cared about this country, not even invested in industry, now it’s 15% of GDP country, when in the 80s it was 34% or 35% of our GDP country

  64. Tell me one thing,.

    we are 47 million people in Spain, you have meet all these people? Your opinion is the same as always, the typical view that you had problems with some people, now all spanish people we are labeled. It is as absurd as if I live in Quebec, I have problems with a neighbor in my building or I’m docked at one of the banks of Quebec, and then say that all canadienes are criminals and thieves..then, don’t you think it would be absurd to generalize about all the canadian people for one specific events? however, is not the first video I see on youtube where in english-speaking countries people give beatings or insult to who speak Spanish or another language, like the case of the french girls in Australia, or the couple of spanish tourists in the UK, where almost kill them

    I know many foreigners (British, german, norwegian etc etc) living in Spain, and still do not know anyone to whom they have given a beating for speaking English. It would be stupid, but most stupid, it would be impossible what you say, in a country as tourist as Spain, with millions of tourists annually

    Anyone who has lived in Spain knows that we are not a perfect country, not like yours, where you kill seal pups to sticks. We are not perfect, but you the english speakers you are not better than us. Not even close. You are simply hostile

    If you could speak Spanish and you socialize with people, I can assure than you would not be telling the stupidity that you has been said here. You, and all who think like you here

    • @Pascual – I’m one of the few people here who speak relatively fluent Spanish and actually like living here (VLC). I have made some friends and in general have no problems – there are very nice people here and of course like any other country Spain has its shared of idiots (I have lived in four five countries just FYI).

      That said – occasionally I have noticed hostility against guiris – it’s not always blatant but it it is definitely there. Having lived in Los Angeles for 20 years I must tell you that I never felt like a stranger there – clearly many people come there from many parts of the world. Originally I am German but I also speak English fluently and now Spanish. Not the kind of guy who runs around peeing in street corners, getting drunk at night, or insulting people on the street. I live a quiet existence and I volunteer teaching martial arts to a group of young Spaniards (for free).

      I’m just conveying this to you so that you understand that like you Spaniards we guiris are not all cut from the same tree. Some of us integrate quite well and some others don’t even bother to learn the language. I hope that I fit the former category. But at any rate – I do often sense hostility despite all that. It’s just a look or the way you get treated in comparison with everyone else. Perhaps many other foreigners, being on vacation here, have made a bad impression and there is a lot of negative sentiment against us. Then of course there are cultural aspects of Spain – very family and clique oriented due to its distant Moorish past. Not necessarily a negative thing – but it makes it hard for us ‘outsiders’ to integrate and make friends.

      Let me ask you – how often have you invited a foreigner into your house? I know at least a dozen people here with whom I communicate regularly on whatsapp. Only one of them have invited me to their house – nobody else ever has. I find that strange as in U.S. and in other countries it’s a pretty normal thing to do. Again, probably a cultural thing…

      De todos modos – a este guiri le encanta vivir en España 😉

  65. Clacton it is then!

  66. I lived in Granada for close to 3 years. I went there for work and loved the city so I decided to stay a little longer. I began dating a Spanish guy who is now my husband and we left Spain about 2 years ago. I speak fluent Spanish and traveled around Spain whenever I could. My husband and I both have a love/hate relationship with Spain and both agree that it’s a great place to visit but neither of us ever want to live there again.

    The last year I spent there was the year that I really started noticing the negative aspects. I moved into my boyfriend’s apartment which was in the same building as his parents, the same building he grew up in and so of course he knew all the inhabitants. In the lobby of the building people would make comments to my boyfriend like, “Oh good, you finally found someone to cook and do your laundry,” and “There are foreigners in our building.” All this without even looking me in the eye.

    I don’t know how many times I heard things like “Se vive muy bien en Granada” and people telling me that English is a much simpler and easier-to-learn language than Spanish. People, I might add, that don’t speak a word of English nor have ever traveled outside of Spain.

    The people of Spain are incredibly proud and competitive, I constantly found that when I mentioned something positive about my country (Canada), it seemed like I was threatening Spain and people became defensive.

    The more time I spent with the Spanish, which was a lot since I was always with my boyfriend’s family and friends, the more I began to find people to be arrogant and ignorant — a deadly combination. If they didn’t know something, they made it up. They judge and compete within each other and do anything to feign wealth and status. They have this “conventional wisdom” about their country that puts Spain in a good light… things are often not true or focus on a small part of a much bigger picture.

    The Spanish will push and shove their way onto a bus with assigned seating. The stories my husband has told me about the cruelty of the Spanish has brought me to tears.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico and Central America and have had amazing experiences with the latino people in those countries. I love a lot of things about Spain, but it’s the people and backwards thinking that really make it a frustrating place to live. Spain has a lot of work to do and I hope they can move past their pride and narrow-mindedness and work together to create a less corrupt country.

    We will be back to visit my husband’s family and friends, but unless there is a huge change in the mentality, we won’t be back to stay.

  67. Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time here in Valencia, Mariaat. I myself have settled in nicely here but the one thing that continues to bother me is that the Spaniards around me do not seem to be at all interested in the outside world. Very limited horizon IMO – and nothing outside of Spain really matters to them. Not once has anyone asked me more than one question about my life before Spain. Strange…. again, it’s the one pet peeve. Otherwise I get on well here. In terms of petty crime – yeah, it’s out of control. But there’s 50% youth unemployment here – so in some respect it’s to be expected. Those kids don’t know what to do with themselves and you can only spend so much time at the gym 😉

    I’d be happy to buy you a beer one of these days – unless you’re already in Barcelona? FYI – I have been there and if you don’t like the people down here, boy are you in a for a surprise. The Catalans are among the snobbiest people I have come across – and I have been in over a dozen countries in my life.

    • Hi Michael, thanks for your response, and for the beer! Ajaja
      Sadly, I’m moving tomorrow morning, but will be coming back to Valencia. I have relatives that live in Castellón, so have to visit. Maybe some other time, also I can let you my email if you would like to.
      To respond to your comment, I know that some people is not that open to the outside world, but in my theory is because they haven’t travelled much. Or never was in the situation of being alone outside.
      I think I might have made it sound harsh what I wrote in my first comment, is just a hate/love situation, that made it hard for me, but I’m sure I’ll live. And I also know that when you are moving to another place that is not really your place, you just can’t expect everything comes easy. I guess it takes time, but it’s also built your own happiness. So that’s what I’m trying to move to Barcelona. Trust me, I have met most of the snobbiest people in my architecture school, and I think they are everywhere! Jojojo what makes me happy is that we are all here, just trying to find our happiness. Everyone has their own way, and it makes me happy you have found yours, gives me hope jaja. 🙂

      • Mariaat – the only reason why living here works for us is that we are ‘eternal tourists’ in a sense. My business is online and I don’t work here – don’t even own a car and only rent a moto month to month. I could buy one but I don’t want to deal with all the paperwork. So it’s probably a unique situation in that I can insulate myself from all the b.s. and I’m not competing with anyone here. I hit the gym – chat with people – come home and work for a few hours – go for some food and drinks – that’s my life. My wife doesn’t work and supports me in my online business. We could really be anywhere and we are not forced to do things that would annoy us on a daily basis. Once a year I have to go out to the bank and wait in line to pay for health insurance – not a big deal. Otherwise I virtually live all over the world and only really interact with Spain and the Spaniards when I choose to. I think this is the best of both worlds and although I do interact with a lot of Spaniards it’s at my choosing. I reckon if you have to deal with ignorant idiots on a daily basis and they treat me like a ‘dumb guiri’ it would be a different story altogether. Although I have met a lot of good people here I have to admit that I haven’t made any really good friends – it’s very hard to break through the Spanish wall but I do understand that I am not the only one, it’s a cultural thing. Then again I used to live in L.A. and thus the bar for me is very low – I’m perfectly happy with what Spain offers me and at least right now I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

  68. What can I say.. I’m peruvian, and I came to Spain to do my masters in architecture. what I found was that living in Spain is something hard.
    I speak spanish, but because of my accent spanish people wont accept me, well most of them. Also I found that people would be very racist, I find a difference in people when they see me say that I’m from Peru , because i guess I’m a white peruvian as they will say…
    I live in Valencia now, and trust me it was hard to get spanish friends you really have to open and try very hard. You will find lots of people that will be very nice and also very bad. (that can be anywhere)
    and yes, of course paperwork always takes lots of time here, no customer support… tottaly agree on that, people that will charge you more because you are not from here, people will try to steal as well ..(long story but tried to get my camara entering by my window in benimaclet, valencia…not live there)
    i also agree on bringing a photocopier..or a printer that makes copies..
    be really really open minded …
    in my personal experience i wouldnt like to raise my kids here, but also I don’t have money to move to another country where I would find the idea of europe i was dreaming for , because Spain is not europe..
    maybe someday!!, now I’m moving to Barcelona because I found another master that is taught by english people, an international master at a private school. ( what I can recognise is that there’s better facilities of education, rather than in my country but I bet people from other parts of europe or american can also have and even better.. and also think that education from outside Spain is a little better)
    I guess I also have a hate/love relationship with Spain, and making this post I’m just trying to say my experience and hope not to offend anyone. I love it’s history, traditions, little towns but also hate not having clean cities, racism, giris and sudacas … and also the very old and crappy student flats.. but that’s is just me.
    hope this can help anyone interested in the subject. 🙂 and thanks to the autor of the blog 🙂

    • Feel free for travel to your country as soon how you feel right. I hope that you don´t receive any state money help, studentship or use access to the public education. I think you should be more grateful with this country and remember that all spanish people are making an high tax effort for people how you.
      Do you know all spanish people are paying the most part of your education?.

      If you haven´t money… How you live? Spain is a poor country now, It´s a hard time, I don´t understand you. I supose you only are here to suck all kind of helps, and next you will go to UK, Germany and next go to Sweden to continue suck all the helps that Europeans friendly gives to foreigners . At 2015 with the crisis, all good south american people (WORKERS) move out to better chances.

      In Spain only workers and tourists are welcome. People who come to take advantage of our public system are not welcome. It´s the same english or peruvians. Maybe nobody will tell you, but every people think about it.

      • Dear Ivan, thanks for putting an example of the narrow minded people.
        let me tell you that I dont recive any help from your goverment, as you will say “to suck helps” .
        as any foreigner I use my savings and spend them in your country, because I worked in my country for several years and decided to spend it here. …now I wonder who should be grateful..?
        If you don’t understand that, I’m really sorry.

  69. In their excuse:
    Spain is a great country for anyone who wants to live in a 1970s Banana Republic, basically the problem is that the country never did its “homework” after Franco left in the so called transicion but, for whatever reason chose to form their fundament for democracy including the brown shites (there are actual Franco ministers who are founding fathers of the PP) in their newborn resulting corrupt feudal system ……. The acting Spanish government wouldn’t survive one day north of the Pyrenees, just no way – the problem is prolonged by keeping the plebus dumb and ignorant, most Spanish do not speak nor see the necessity to learn a different language so they swallow the crap that 95% of Spanish media is giving them without being able to look anywhere else for information, Joseph Goebbles would be proud of the lies and “see how good we are” propaganda. So how can they know that a greasy potato omelet isn’t the best food in the world ? Or that they are one of the poorest underdeveloped countries in the EU ? or that talking with a lisp isn’t really cool ……. They don’t trust in their institutions, how can you when the Guardia Civil Capitan who did despicable things during Francos reign is still walking around your village collecting a fat state pension and was never held accountable ? so they will need about another 100 years or so to come up to speed, its a slow process made slower yet by so called “brain flight” their best academically educated generation has left, because “Building Bubbles” do not really create work for academics – and most will not be back apart from holidays in the good ol country. Who can blame them ? So who stayed ? The guys who left school to work in construction, now no work no schooling not even a formal usable construction formation – most can’t put up a halfway straight brick wall that would last 2 years. The best hope are the new political movements like Podemos who at least want to bring the truth to light …… Because there is no real cure in putting more and more bandaids (paid for by Subsidies from Brussels) on this humongous tumor ——- As is a great place for a 2 week holiday but not an inspiring modern society to bring up kids in 🙁

  70. The worst thing about living in Spain is meeting, befriending and subsequently having to avoid the type of British people who live here. I have never met such an uneducated, ignorant, ill-mannered, small minded, bigoted, racist bunch of drunken morons in my life. I didn’t know British people like this existed – I have never met anybody so basic and backward in my life anywhere in the world. They are almost always the runaways, losers, scammers and minor criminals from the UK (remember the English managed to get a whole area of Spain renamed as the ‘Costa del Crime’). They moan about foreigners in Britain whilst hardly learning a word of Spanish or attempting to integrate into Spain’s culture. Oh the irony… I hate the British in Spain. They are dregs of British society and it makes me feel like apologising to every Spanish person I meet for all the other British people here. I love my hometown of London but being here makes me feel embarrassed to be English.

    • carol voss says:

      I returned to uk two years ago after living eight years in spain. I returned mainly because of the lonliness after my partner left me, as it was hard to meet people as a single woman of a certain age. my Spanish was poor, my partner had spoken fluent Spanish and i’m afraid I was lazy as there was no urgency for me to learn. and not being much of a drinker or a sun reader there wasn’t much on offer among ex pat society. I left with both relief and regret. but since I’ve been in England there are times I feel i’m living in a nightmare, as its changed so much since I ‘ve been away, so that just registering with a doctor required numerous checks and information, setting up a bank account was like breaking into fort knox and I was charged more for car insurance as i’d ‘been out of the country’ and did wonder if I was being punished for having dared to leave England, property prices were unbelieveable and what was on offer was a rip off, lavatories in cafes and pubs were awful after the cleanliness i’d encountered everywhere I went in spain,and when I eventually found a place I could afford, it was only because it needed totally renovating, and as for English workmen.. they were the pits. unreliable, overpriced, inefficient, lazy, needing tea every hour acting as if they did you a favour, whereas I never found the Spanish lazy, I found them hard workers and totally reliable. a lot of the English were pretty dodgy as I found to my cost, and can anyone tell me why if you buy something in spain it will be delivered either the same day or the following one, whereas in England it’s normal to wait up to six weeks? too many things to mention really, but have to admit I find English people in England pretty inhumane, petty, and money or class obsessed, and often felt ashamed to be English when I lived in spain and saw ex pats drunks causing problems etc, yet don’t feel I belong in either country now, and a few people I’ve spoken to seem to feel that way too, it’s hard to fit in somewhere new, or when you return to somewhere that’s changed so much you realise it isn’t home any more.

  71. we are considering selling our property in north wales and moving to costa blanca north and taking our daughter and granddaughter with us as we are sick of the weather the crime and the thought that the uk is fastly becoming a foreign country wereas the white people will soon be a minority here, but reading most of the comments here it doesnt seem to be much different in spain (except for the influx of african migrants), so do we go to spain for a better and slower way of life or stay here in the UK, big decision

  72. Like you, I would hate to live in an unhealthy coastal area where neither the Iberians and the Romans and until the year 2006… anybody, I insist, wanted to build houses and settle there, (is there any reason?) And pay an overrated price in an overexploited place, surrounded by settlers of the same nationality than me who have confused their own idea of a promised land, much more like Blackpool with sun).

    Dear friend, you do not hate Spain, you hate that Spain is not like what you had imagined before. You hate your own contradictions.

    And, finally, as your home has not been increased in price to infinity, because Economy is allways easily predictible, you feel disappointed … wait! pero si usted es un español auténtico. ¡¡A mis brazos!!

    P.S. In many ways you are right, indeed. The point is to handle with this and not to feel melancholic because future may bring worst things.

  73. ^^^ Havent any of you lot got anything else to ?? After reading the above I have come to the conclusion that the human race hasn’t got a chance.

  74. “bureaucracy and competitiveness but thats the charm of being here”.
    Can’t say buying a second car in Spain is a “charm”. Here’s a quick summary of how it’s done.
    1. Draw up a contract of sale.
    2. Fill in forms for the Trafico.
    3 Go to the Trafico, wait in a queue, get a form for the second hand car tax.
    4. Go to another office (on the other side of the city, naturally) to pay the tax. (a) wait in a queue to pay 20 cents or so for a form (b) wait in another queue to get the form filled out, (c) go to the bank to actually pay the tax, after waiting in a queue. (d) go back to show you’ve paid the tax and get another form, of course you have to wait in a queue for this too.
    5. go back to the Trafico, and the process is finished, after waiting in another queue.
    Why are second hand cars in Spain so expensive???? However, we got the price down by several hundred euros to the top end of the UK market value.
    Here’s a warning about Valencia city. Stay away. My partner is Spanish and doesn’t like the people here. All the tradesmen we’ve used are rip of merchants, from the basic thief to the not done as well as it should have been but still expensive. Our area of the city is covered in dog mess, lots of people just “hanging around”. Concrete block city. But, drive an hour or so into the mountains and the countryside is beautiful, really quiet and peaceful.
    That said, there’s no way I’d go back to where I lived in the UK, lots of rubbish, boozing culture, violence and muggings. And potentially corrupt politicians, although it’s done in way that’s more “hidden” than in Spain – unnecessary and unwanted works that cost millions but can be justified for some reason or other.

    • In a simple word: GESTORÍA.

      Aren´t there administrative advisory services in the UK? They do all the ugly stuff for you.

      • fer, in the UK you may employ the services of a solicitor, accountant, tax advisor, etc to help with complex issues.
        But the ‘day to day’ isues, that a gestor deals with in Spain (obviously at a cost to the person employing them) are generally more simplified in the UK. This allows a member of the public to deal with matters, on their own, without paying a third party, like in Spain.

        The problem in Spain is that they like to over complicate the simplest thing.

        Take the example, by Tom above, of buying a second hand car. In the UK you would agree a price and then simply fill in the appropriate part of the cars log book and post it to the DVLA…Job done!

        I used to have a season ticket for my villages municipal pool. Process for obtaining as follows:
        1. Collect application form from adjuntament. 2. Fill in form. Then take to the bank, as designated by the adjuntament, to pay fee. 3. Return to town hall with proof of payment, then be given another receipt. 4. Take receipt to pool, with photo and wait 2-3 days for your seaon ticket to be made up, when in reality the person on the pools turnstile could have made the card up in 20 minutes if they were not gossiping to their pals.
        You could not even pick the application form up from the pool. Nor could you pay in the adjuntament, had to be the bank. Daft or what?

        At the start of the school year buying the kids books is as bad.
        1. Go up to school queue and select books required. 2. Join another queue to get a receipt for the cost of the books. 3. Go to, designated, bank to pay. 4. Return to school and queue to have payment checked. 5. Queue again to pick up your books.
        Infants, primary and ESO all had different book days. So depending on your kids age you could potentially have to go through the rigmarole 3 times.

        The adjuntament sends their post to the post office with a member of staff. Said member of staff will wait whilst every letter or packet is stamped and then take the bill back to the adjuntament…For payment at a later date!
        Said member of staff is normally in the post office for at least half an hour upwards. Add that up over a year.
        Why can he not just drop off todays post and and collect yesterdays bill, allowing the staff to stamp everything when not dealing with other customers. Afterall my town hall taxes are paying for him to stand around in a post office doing nothing. And if I can see this then surely the town hall and mayor can.
        Better still, in this day and age, invest in a franking machine!
        The Guardia Civil in my village are the same…No franking machine and have to take the post to the post office.

        Anybody who has ever queued and been dealt with in a Spanish bank will know how ‘long winded’ and ‘painfull’ the process is.

        As I said earlier Spain likes to over complicate matters.
        It takes a simple issue and turns it into a long drawn out and inefficient ‘saga’. Hence the need for a gestor.

        You could take this post as a bit of a rant from an expat. But would a Spaniard really want to pay a gestor, good money, if they could avoid it? I know, for a fact, my Spanish friends wouldn’t.

        • As much as I love it here I have to concede that the Spanish have zero business sense – it’s just not in the culture. I have been looking for a long time to find a place to teach martial arts to a group of kids. Impossible to make a deal with anyone – although I only need a place once per week and would pay for the day none of the people I have inquired have even gotten back to me. It seems like they are used to people chasing THEM down to give them money. Customer service does not exit here in España.

          Or a little example – every ordered anything contra reembolso? Noticed that none of the delivery guys carry cash on them? Here’s a business that relies on people paying in person on delivery but they don’t equip their personnel with change – they expect you to have the exact amount at hand. The Spaniards are set in their ways and all our bitching won’t make a difference – these are things they will have to come to realize themselves. If this crisis won’t do it then I’m afraid nothing will.

          I could go on but I don’t want to come across as a hater. It’s just something I have come to accept here in Spain and my wife and I mostly laugh it off. Perhaps if Spain was more like Britain or the U.S. then we wouldn’t be bitching but we may not enjoy living here either.

  75. Hello all you wonderful people.

    First of all thank you for making this blog. My heart is a little bit low as I have been in Spain for about 6 years and 8 months. In Madrid only.

    I have worked so hard here trying to build a business, and the lack of customer service is starting to get to me as well is professionalism.

    I am born and bred in the UK. Having good customer service skills as well as respect for other people is quite paramount in UK. In fact it is a mandatory aspect when you are brought up.

    Also, in the UK people are open-minded to different cultures. Admittedly, the UK has a big immigration problem at present.

    Spain can be such a spiteful place. I have been persecuted for the colour of my skin but in such a vulgar way. Have you ever had someone insults you without them intentionally trying to insult you only to feel somewhat confused and trying to rationalise what the hell just happened. For example, one woman told me. “Are you looking for the Indian embassy, oh it is just across the road over their”. To which I replied, “no I am British and I have bought an office here”! She said it in somewhat of a polite and sarcastic way, as if I were invading her territorial of her professional, posh community.

    Then you try to meet people and try to get into a circle of good friends. However, it is always the same story: “oh this weekend I am going to my village to meet my friends”. Then you politely ask if you could come along and meet some people only for them to say to you that: “that might not be a good idea”. You politely accepted tenet knowledge them because you do not want to be disrespectful. As is the British way.

    Some Spanish people have no idea of cultural aspects let alone being open to the world. Trying to get a girlfriend here seems somewhat impossible. Do not get me wrong I am not the most handsome guy in the world but I am quite tall, athletically built, look after myself and so on.

    I even once remember having tried to talk to with a girl in Spanish, only for her to reply back to me that “Sorry I do not want to buy anything from you”. So she assumed that I was one of those guys walking around selling roses or other things whom are normally Indian.

    The documentation in Spain is nothing but a joke when it comes to the autonomo system you are screwed over and over just for the privilege of being self-employed. You pay €268 every month with no benefit whatsoever. This is an absolute joke to say the very least as even if you have no income you are still expected to pay that amount.

    Even if you want to deactivate your autonomo status you have to go to 2 offices. I mean really how stupid is that. God forbid if they were to employ some aspects of efficiency. You know, to make life easier.

    I think it is harder in Madrid as at least in the south you can meet other British people. I feel like I am alone amongst 4 million people in this city and everything is against me. Do not get me wrong, I am well versed in qualifications. Not to sound egotistical. So when I have worked for professional companies such as PRISA, BBVA etc, the lack of professionalism is a joke. In this country it is not what you know it is who you know and more importantly it is what you know on who you know.

    Managing multi-million euro projects from an Excel sheet seems something absurd yet it happens. What surprised me is that in Spain, only one person can have one skill. I have been told by senior directors that I can only do one thing and that being multi-skilled is not the Spanish way.

    Some people get offended when I speak to them in English, but ultimately am trying to help them as an English teacher for free. So I speak in Spanish. Then when you get someone who wants to learn English they only want to meet up and have a drink so they can practice their English with you for free. The irony.

    I spent countless hours correcting other people’s English. The usual things forgetting the pronoun, forgetting the proposition or using a completely incorrect one etc. Do not get me started on their enunciation. That is an entire conversation by itself.

    I know it sounds like I am ranting, well I am actually. I have spent over 6 years in this country and I have not ranted once. I am glad to say that at least I have a few good Spanish friends which ironically come from being my students except one.

    If you are like myself, somewhat alone in Madrid and frustrated yet with a twinkle in your eyes the success. Please message me and I hope we can meet up.

    Sorry for not providing an inspiring positive message. As time passes Spain is becoming a bad place.

    Ohhh, how I miss the UK.

    PS. And of course there are those that are suggesting this very moment that I could just move back to the UK. But I have spent 3 1/2 years building an entire infrastructure based on technology, and as you know technology is quite backwards in Spain so moving everything to the UK would be a horrendous task.

    • Hi Jay,

      I have been in Spain for little over 3 months, travelling through Catalunia and the middle of the country. I’m afraid your observations are spot on, the culture, social environment and customer service here is horrendous. People look at me, see that my eyes are blue, and from then on all they perceive is a walking wallet!

      Your IT comment caught my eye. Sorry to hear that your infrastructure is tying you to this place. I have 20 years of experience in IT, including setting up virtual and non-localised infrastructure. Drop me an email, I might be able to help you move. ‘Farrma’ at gmail.



  76. There was an insane amount of portuguese people leaving portugal to UK. Everybody here in portugal as a friend or two living in the UK, especially england.
    Resuming the feedback from my friends: we are here because of jobs and money.
    I receive job offers to uk every month. As an telecom engineer with experience, in uk I would get at least 5x more money than in here. But honestly, while the money that I earn here in portugal is enough for house+car+travel sometimes, as it is now, I am not leaving this sun and beaches… Some stuff money can’t buy.
    As someone already said, what happens here happens there as well, if you look different, you’ll be a foreigner, always.
    Sometimes I feel like a foreigner in portugal because I’m black, and I basicly was born here. To completly integrate in a country it looks like there are two main things: Look alike and speak the language. Otherwise there will be always someone who will try to make you fell bad.

  77. I am sorry to read so many people have had bad experiences in Spain, but actually, everything mentioned is applied also to the UK. You might no be aware of it because you are from the UK, but ask any Spanish expat in the UK… Nowhere is perfect.

  78. Robert Prose-Jones says:

    to all the Spain haters yes you reading this 1st and foremost open your eyes because it seems the lot of you have them closed, 1st mistake the bulk of you all on this site are living in the Costas i cant see you integrating to well there with other Spanish people as its full of Poms. Why do i speak like this to you all because i for one I am not blind. I live in Spain but not on the Costas. I have lived in the UK for 13 years in London and I have lived in Australia for 22 years therefore I can make an informed comparison about the 3 countries. The lot of you who are negative about Spain seem to describe the UK as some paradise, more money there, true however at what cost poor quality of life expensive living costs for example i lived in London I needed 1400 pounds per month to make endsmeet living in a small studio. Here with much less money i live in a 2 bedroom flat with the Ocean as my living room lets not forget I have car. Pointless in London and impossible, money goes a long way in Spain its just how you use it. For the people who understand Spanish there is a saying Como te lo Montas frankly this has been my driving engine since I landed . Australia beautiful country fantastic life but extremely expensive and isolated from the rest of the world not to mention the weak Australian dollar very difficult to travel. Australia is such a large country to travel interstate it always involves a flight of a few hours and people there can be very closed once you leave Sydney and Melbourne. Yes the Spanish have their issues, unreliability, bureaucracy and competitiveness but thats the charm of being here. The way some of you narrow minded fools write is like the UK has more to offer, the reason I left was that it had less. I am a teacher and due to Cameron educational cuts in schools i lost my job due to ( restructuring) since I have been in Spain I haven’t stopped working.
    When you stereo type a group of people you show you are no better than the ignorant fools that talk down to you. To the Brits that want to leave Bon Voyage. ( ps I am a Britsh/ Australian expat and I speak Spanish fluently why because I made an effort to learn the language)

  79. I’m surprised with this negativeness about Spain.
    The truth is you can’t expect southern europe countries to be like northerns, we are generally more rude, direct, tricky, with less manners… you’re not moving to Sweden or Finland…
    There’s a lot of differences, but you should have done your homework before moving to one of them. There’s bad reputation of uk citizens because of the many of young who are trouble makers (too much alcool).
    I live in Portugal, but I travel somehow to the other latin countries, and I have friends in Spain and Italy. But you can notice that Spanish people are more reserved and don’t mix with other groups easily, Southern Italians are most openned but you’ll not find people who speaks english, but after them are the southern Portuguese.
    In portugal a lot of people can speak english, specialy the young and middle aged ones. I would say that, besides being the country with less money and weaker economy, Portugal is where you’ll fell more wellcomed, and receive some treatment like in uk. Zero doubts.
    But finding a job here is quite challenging, you better sart your hown business, think about something that can give some profit all year long, or work in lisbon and settle a home in algarve. I’m sure you’ll be happy.

  80. Russell says:

    I have lived in many places around the globe during my long working career. I should have stayed in my home city of Quebec in Canada, but that’s another story. I currently live 9-mths in Buckinghamshire and 3-mths in Spain. I loved Spain for holidays, but to live it is not for me. I speak fluent Spanish, German, English and my native French.

    I find the Spanish people on the whole noisy rude and un-educated, crime is everywhere. I can’t be bothered to write an essay, but take heed of these few sentences – or come at your own risk. I love my home in Quebec, but my wife who is from France hates the cold, my job which pays well keeps me in the UK. If you want a fair honest society that cares of its citizens – try France, Germany, Holland, or the UK but certainly not Spain, they are years behind in every respect. There is little infrastructure and customer service hasn’t been invented, every thing is tomorrow. There is little honesty and no honour in the people you deal with. I am Canadian by birth and proud of it, but Britain is a wonderful place compared to Spain, enjoy what you have. Try France. Seriously, unless you are retiring here don’t expect to find work, if you do it will be badly paid. My wife who speaks 6 languages and earns £50,000 a year in the UK can’t get a job in Spain paying more than £4.00 and its not for the lack of trying. We intend to sell our home hear in Spain and come back only for holidays. Thankfully, we had the foresight not to sell our house in the UK. Finally, most Spanish are very resentful of foreigners and those with money – be ware! They have no respect or your rights, because your not Spanish.

    • Bassman says:

      What you state is true, I’m from Canada as well and they seem to make it extra tough for foreigners. Take for example drivers license, if you have a Canadian drivers license, you cannot exchange it for a Spanish one. However, a Spaniard can exchange theirs for a Canadian one. Most European countries allow for a license exchange, but in true form, the Spanish enjoy penalizing foreigners.
      If you want to start a business in Spain? Forget it, too much paperwork and too much heartache. To give you an idea Canada is rated number 2 in the world of ease of starting a business and Spain is 144th, pretty bad.
      It’s ironic, given that small businesses employ the bulk of workers in most countries and if they didn’t penalize small business owners they could put a dent in the appalling 25% unemployment they are currently experiencing.
      I’ve heard and read of examples where businesses in a given month have to pay out more tax than they have income coming in. This kind of situation just does not happen in Canada or most progressive countries. I truly think Spain is not far behind Greece and will probably default as well in the next year.

  81. Pues si tanto lo odias ya sabes donde está la puerta! Nadie te obliga a estar aqui y no queremos gente que piensa asi sobre nosotros en nuestro pais asi que buena suerte! Y esperemos que en verano vayas a emborracharte a otra parte guapo! Que te aproveche tu país!

    • Ah the good old “love it or leave it” redneck phrase >> too ignorant to understand who is feeding you 🙂

  82. My parents moved out to Murcia area 7 years ago, they love it my mom speaks Spanish quite well my Dad never bothered.
    They love the people the weather the food the health service is great, the red tape is the same in all countries.
    They would stay till they died, the only reason they are thinking of coming home is that my Mom has developed Parkinson’s disease she is being well looked after by the health service it’s just hard work for Dad now he too isn’t a 100%. They are still there and may stay.
    So in all a lovely country with lovely people all the times I stay in this region never had a hard time great place.

  83. Manners says:

    Not to mention this other obsession the Spanish have with everyone having to speak Spanish and if they don’t they are uncultured or disrespectful of their culture. Even in the UK if people try to speak English and some cannot speak, the people still try to help them. In Spain they start talking faster, making jokes, taking the monkey out of them. Basically abusing them and, well it’s basically unkind even when people try it seems they have this body language of lifting their chin and it just makes it harder for the person trying to speak their language.

  84. Manners says:

    The problem with Spain is unfortunately the primitive mentality the Spanish have towards people and their possessions and privacy. They hate anyone who has what they believe to be “money” as they all think it is better to live like hippies in communities. They invade people’s privacy. Have an obsession with tourists, and blame the tourist for all their problems, forgetting that it was the greed of their own who set the prices. I have never met such a group of nosy, childish and lazy folk. They have a siesta because basically they have to stay up all night in the streets chatting away over and over. They see a tourist as some kind of alien they have never seen before. The next day they are so tired from irresponsible activities they need to siesta every day. The countryside is beautiful and the sun does shine. But the mentality of these savage rednecks, makes it a depressing and hurtful place to live. And I lived 3 years in Bcn. It is sad, but they lost me ….and I tried very hard to integrate. Unfortunately the people postTing here are correct. Respect people, don’t steal, don’t take advantage. Have some morality about things, not seeing anyone foreign as something that should be robbed of their dignity. The Spanish are harsh, hence the long drawn out brutal killings of bulls. They for some reason love this type of torture. There is something wrong with the Spanish. Nice piece of land, inhabited by thieves and savages.

    • It’s so true! I’ve been teaching English here for a while and my students have told me (without me bringing it up) that they don’t like when people stare, and yet the women here gawk at me like crazy even though my ancestors were European! I guess I just look different enough from them to label me as not Spanish, heaven forbid. They really do look at foreigners as if we’re animals in a zoo. I speak the language, I dress and act respectfully, and it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever (even in the “educated” north).

      • Okay, I’ve talked to more people and the women just stare at each other in general, even though lots of them don’t like that behavior. It’s a shame because younger generations of men have learned to behave better (no more harassing women in the street, grabbing at them, etc.) but the women never learned to be more respectful of each other (dirty looks, smirking, staring, pushing by each other on the street, etc.). Maybe with time, this will also become less socially acceptable.

  85. Tom Vickery says:

    Hi …I think we should go back to the beginning of this thread. Speaking as a long-term resident in Spain (31 years and not on the ‘costas’) and as someone with a Modern Language degree who has fallen in love with a Spanish woman, married into a Spanish family, brought up bilingual Spanish kids, worked in a major Spanish company, paid taxes, bought a house and been treated by Spanish doctors when I’ve been ill, I have to say that I understand Nick Anders disgruntlement with some (not all) of the points he mentions in his post. This is a country in the grip of one of the most severe economic crises in recent history. As in some other European countries, this has had a terrible toll socially and politically and unfortunately in the hearts and minds of its residents. This explains why thousands of Young Spanish people have moved to other climes to look for work and seek a better future for themselves. Sadly for Spain, many of them won’t return. Nick Anders is not alone in his feeling of disenfranchisement. Most Young Spaniards feel the same way. In fact, one of the great things about the ‘crisis’ is the fact that many Spaniards are now starting to accept the fact for the first time in many years, that it is OK and indeed quite healthy to criticise your own country. The BBC travel/property shows definitely don’t show the reality, preferring to feed on the British ‘received wisdom’ that Spain is a Paradise for retired Brits. cos of falling property prices, the Sun, the beaches and a kind of weird folklorical idea of what this country is really about. Yes, it’s true…austerity has eroded social services in a way that most moaning Brits could never believe possible; people are being taxed out their skins, Jobs are practically non-existent, many laws are horribly unfair and administered by corrupt officials. Corruption is rife from grassroots local council levels right up to the corridors of power in the Moncloa. The amazing thing about corruption is that it is, and always has been, so clearly visible, to all and sundry. Except when things were going well, nobody seemed to really care about it. Corruption is the real cause of the downfall of this beautiful country. Apart from that, yes money is sent up in ‘smoke’ in awful local fiestas, with mega-firework displays and the ritual slaughter of bulls. Culture has been affected to the extent that it practically doesn’t exist. Don’t expect to garner any respect in this country if you are a musician or an artist. People just don’t care and are too busy looking after no.1 to fork out any of their money for your paintings, concerts or music. People here used to boast that they really ‘weren’t racist’, now unfortunately the situation is the complete opposite. It’s a sad truth that in hard-times, honest hard-working people in most countries often turn to racist ideas to voice their dissatisfaction. I would say to anyone thinking of coming here that they think carefully about it, think again and then REALLY think. I think that if I went to live in the UK again after so long, I would have similar grievances. I love this country. I love the UK too. In fact, the great thing about modern living is that you can have one leg here and the other leg there. Britain/Spain is only 2 hours away folks. Oh…and my Spanish friends, it’s a great thing that you are now traveling and settling in other countries. The UK, by the way, doesn’t have such a a bad climate. It’s never as cold as here in my Spanish mountain home in Winter. The rain falls and makes the beautiful plants and flowers grow. It’s never unbearably hot in Summer (yes, my English friends, 40 degrees is not ‘lovely and hot’). The food has improved tons too. Just make sure you go to the right pubs/restaurants and don’t try and get someone to serve you meal at 3.30 in the afternoon or eleven o´clock in the evening. And finally, most of the people I meet in Britain are lovely, funny and friendly. Especially if you get out of London (really!). Of course, there are total idiots in every country. Just try and avoid them. I would say, look at that fable by Aesop about the man sitting on a rock outside Athens. Approached by an unfriendly stranger enquiring about the ‘people of Athens. Aesop says ‘the people of Athens are much like you- unfriendly and rude’. When approached by a friendly traveler, asking the same question, Aesop says ‘You will find the people of Athens much like you: friendly and willing to help’. So, to a large degree, the answer lies in you my friends.

  86. Anacleto says:

    Hola a todos,

    Vivo en una zona donde hay muchos ingleses residentes, en su mayoría están muy contentos, de hecho cuando tienen que viajar a inglaterra por algún asunto están deseando volver, no les gusta el clima de allí, ni las caras largas de la gente.

    El problema es que hay dos tipos de ingleses que decidieron venir a España. Unos serían los jubilados y gente con ingresos suficientes para vivir sin trabajar, estas personas han notado evidentemente la subida de precios con la crisis, pero en su gran mayoría sigue aquí, contentos y disfrutando. Otra clase de personas son los jóvenes de 20 a 40 años que se vinieron a trabajar, hace 10 años sí había trabajo para todos en el sector de la construcción, comercio y hosteleria, pero ahora eso ha bajado bastante y tenemos que luchar mucho más.

    Ahora quiero que ustedes hagan una reflexión. ¿Qué clase de gente joven se va de su país a un país inferior a buscar trabajo? Porque hay que tener presente que los ingleses siempre nos han visto como inferiores. A mí no se me ocurriría coger mi familia y trasladarme a Ecuador o Perú a no ser que aquí fuese un gandúl y me dijeran que allí hay una colonia de españoles con dinero que están haciendo casas y hay muchas oportunidades.

    No digo que todos los jóvenes ingleses sean así, pero hay o había bastantes, porque esos fueron los primeros en irse. Un amigo director de un colegio infantil me comentaba los grandes problemas que tenía con esos niños, padres separados, alcohólicos, etc.

    En cuanto al engaño, evidentemente hay muchos españoles que han estafado a ingleses, pero igual que muchos ingleses se han estafado entre sí.

    En España no sobra el trabajo, así que pretender venir a trabajar es una idea descabellada, sobretodo si lo que se busca son trabajos primarios básicos.

  87. Great. Then you all go back to boring, grey, rainy, inhumane England. You guys are incredible. You move to a country without speaking the language, and you expect everything to work out perfectly for you from the very beginning. You think Spaniards must be at your service. You are such a bunch of snobs.
    I have lived in England (London) myself. And also ended up HATING it. I used to love the UK when I went there for holidays. But when I moved to live and work there, everything changed. Londoners are RUDE, inhumane, conceited persons. They fake-smile to you while actually looking down at you. They think too highly of themselves. The weather is a nightmare. There is not a single day of heat in all year. Always raining. Always depressing. People in London don’t give a damn about others. They are too centered on their own bellybuttons. I’ve seen people falling down the stairs on the tube and nobody stopped to help them; in fact, people stomped over them because they were on their way! Everyone is bitter in that damn city. Everyone is fake. Burocracy works TERRIBLY there, Spain has nothing to envy England. Three months and a thousand calls to solve a problem with an overpayment of council tax. Flatmates don’t talk to you. Londoners are racist.
    I also got tired of your country, and decided to come back to Spain. There might be a recession (same as in the UK, by the way, in case you didn’t know), but people here are nice, genuine, happy, they care about each other and they don’t have a stick up their butts. The weather is nice enough to give us some summer months after a long winter. I can see the SUN again. And I don’t have to sell an eye to buy food.
    To each his own.

  88. Try living in Ecuador!! Haha that is some rant. But seriously you can’t move to a different culture and expect it to be the same as home.

  89. Take everyone as you find them regardless of nationality.
    Spain has problems, the UK has problems, the US has problems get over it your a long time dead.

    To all the long winded wind up posts.
    El pero que ladra mas no es necesariamente el pero mas intelligente

  90. Attractive man is dangerous. Find yourself a caveman in France or the Azores.

  91. Spanish men are terrible, horrible, unnice , unsure etc, I would never find an spanish men attractive, and they are not able to have a normal conversation. I hate it

    • Megs Mum says:

      There are a lot of men here…… if these are the ones you have met might say more about you than them

  92. Julian Hildick says:

    I really never response to forum posts but I don’t see the point of this one.

    We all make our own choices and all the wrong ones I’ve made are not going to become better by telling a forum about them. Just deal with it and move on. In fact I only read about 3 or four lines of the initial post before scrolling down to may my point. I’m sure there are many other posts that share my opinion.

    In the UK we complain if a foreigner moves in and doesn’t speak English. We complain literally about everything so what makes it OK for us Brits to move to another country and expect the local culture to adapt to us. We move here with little or no Spanish, we know nothing of the history of the land. We probably don’t even know any of the local customs and foods.

    There are some of us that immigrated to Spain at an age where we still need to work and bring up a family. In order to do that we need to adapt to the where we live. Accept it or go home.

    Maybe instead of looking at blaming Spain you should instead look at yourself and becoming happy with yourself.

  93. I agree with Michael, USA sucks and he did not mention many things why it sucks even more. $200 doctor visits where anything done to you is extra, as opposed to 2 € in the Azores where I am at now. Property tax here is 115€ per year as opposed to a medium of $2000 in USA in cheaper states and up to $15000 a year in NE etc. or if you live in a total USAhole, your property tax can be as cheap as $300-$700 but you must put up with a total hole, somewhere in the South (yuck).

    Regarding Spain, I never lived there, just visited, in the 1990s and I was told on the FR-SP border: “No Español = Muchas Problemas”. No one would speak to me in English (I tried speaking Spanish though), except one young taxi driver, English students and some Spanish basketball and football fans who probably learned English in the stadiums.

    In fact I have never been to California, lack of time and money, it is very expensive to live there on my budget. I liked Miami in January, but in summer when I lived in FL it was too sickening of a climate and the a/c is infested with dangerous mold, even in the hospitals. Regarding healthcare in USA…. been to ER and received $8000 bill and went through a $400+ cholesterol test. I would say most of the country is a con (scam) and rip off for what they have to offer.

    Sorry for a messy post.

  94. I much more like Portugal, especially the Azore4s, than Spain. Life is so much easier in Portugal and so much better and cheaper and so on and so on and the crime is very low and there are almost no rip offs in Portugal! Well, at least, in the Azores.

  95. HELLO!



    • Hola Pascual – por favor lee mis mensajes arriba – me encanta vivir en España y nunca me arrepentí mudarme aquí 🙂

    • Steverino says:

      I had JM jump on me in an earlier post because I expressed my disappointment of what Spain was like after 30 plus years of being absent. My post really got under his skin. I can understand this. I spent the 70’s and 80’s living in Spain listening to euroweenies bad mouth the USA. It’s hurtful sometimes, but it’s also good to hear diverse perspectives. I doubt if anyone here in the forum actually does hate Spain. In fact, if they didn’t love Spain on some level, they would not even post here, nor come to Spain in the first place. It is possible to have a love-hate relationship with any person or place. The Chinese need to rid themselves of the concept of losing face; and the Spanish need to discard this arrogance that has been self defeating for centuries and listen to what other have to say. Sobre todo, tenemos el espirtu de España en nuestros corazones y almas, ten paciencia con nosostros.

  96. Megs Mum says:

    Good God, I am so glad i live no where near most of you either in Spain or in the Uk. There are so many stupid statements on here I could not possibly respond to them all. Its simple folk, no one told you to move to another country, this is not the 50;s you were not paid a shilling to get the boat over, you chose to come.Sometimes it works out,sometimes it does not. Personally I have nothing but respect for the Spaniards I have met, hard working ( if they can find a job) kind and welcoming. Spain is no different to the UK in so much as there are good and bad everywhere. I love some of the English, they move to another country, and expect everything to be the same, just with sun. They call themselves expats, well I have news for all you so called “expats” your immigrants, living in another country, where you have to adapt to a different way of life or go home, your immigrants, just like the people who you probably complained about back in the UK, Just like you probably told the immigrants in the UK… ” don’t like it, go home”………..

  97. Rachel says: ‘They do call us “guiris” but we call them “spiks” and we are a easy target to be ripped off.’ You don’t have to call them ‘spiks’ at all, be the bigger, better educated person and try to not drag yourself down to ‘their’ lowest common denominator of behaviour.

    ‘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’

    You are a ‘plastic spik’ because you – probably have committed the crime of being able to speak Spanish – and you wonder why you and your family are so miserable when you hold the locals in such contempt – how about going back to the UK – like today? I am sure the BNP could do with your votes.

  98. Just my 2 cents, Moving to Spain with little or no money is a horrible idea. Decades I’ve past the unemployment office on my way to dropping of my kids at school and seen the line blocks long. Hours of work are (more or less) 9 am to 9 pm with a 3 hr break. Too much of a gamble for small-time employers making you fijo. A fijo working contract literally means “fixed” and if you get dismissed from the company the employer has to pay you a % of your salary for each year you worked. They always want to make you autonomo or “freelance” but that excludes you from most all government benefits, certain subsidies for children, unemployment, any sort of severance package, social security is a fixed rate regardless of income, ect….
    Anyway I’d advise anyone to go there with a plan. If you are a pensioner, this does not apply to you. But realize you are in the government’s sights also. You will be expected to pay tax on a pension you already paid taxes on in the UK. Furthermore, The Spanish government wants to tax you on any foreign asset worth over 20,000 euros. So If you left a new car in the UK, their aim is to double tax you on that also. As for making a life independently there, unless you have something lined up before you go, I’d have something set aside to open up a small business. The average person HAS to set their sights loww if you are lucky enough to find any work at all. You are competing against a work force that never had high expectations from birth. The amount of people in Spain who can’t afford to leave their parent’s house well into their 30’s proves that.

  99. Hi again, Michael! I can always depend on you for support! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  100. David, with respect, your thinking is rather constricted. YOU may be 63, YOU may consider spending half of your life savings to buy a property in a foreign country and YOU may not speak the language. THAT is NOT everyone’s situation. As my previous post stated, I am NOT 63 (not quite anyway – I am 56), I am going to RENT an appropriately-sized apartment when I get to Spain (and hang on to ALL of MY life savings) and I DO speak the language due to many years of visiting Spain, a love of the language and by expending considerable effort to honor the Spanish by being at the very least able to communicate adequately with them! There is more than one way to skin a cat, you know! I am moving to with my eyes wide open – knowledgeable of the culture, cognizant of the pros and cons, ready to embrace life there and accept it is DIFFERENT from Britain. Having said that, there are no guarantees, are there? I’m in the lucky position that I am FREE (childless, no real ties anywhere, a small amount of money in the bank to follow my dreams….) and I realise not everyone is in that position. At the end of the day, I feel we must all follow our dreams and embrace what follows! If what you said is true, then obviously moving to Spain is not for you – it is neither your dream nor your mindset.

  101. British are strange people, indeed.

    I am 63 year old. I am going to spend half of my life savings to buy a property in a foreign country, which language I am unable to speak. What can go wrong?

  102. Hi,
    I am very sorry to read these comments.

    I am Spanish and I live and work in UK, because there is NO JOBS in Spain, this is a fact, this is why a lot of young people have moved to UK.

    About easy target to be burgled, it is in part true. I don´t know what Malaga, Murcia, Alicante have….but there are so many British, Germans… that thieves know where to go. It is a big shame, but in my defence I will say, most of these thieves, are not Spanish, although is true, Spanish authorities should look closer this.
    My advice, don´t go to live to crowd places of european retired with high pension live, there are other many places where to live like a local, where, estates are not use to to trick you….because honestly….with one year salary of a Engineer in UK, you can buy a new property in the beach in Spain…..incredible but true… Give a try to places like Valencia or Castellon…. Andalucia, Murcia and Alicante, there are a lot of european residents, also in the islands (Canary and Balearic), Catalunya is more expensive, and in the north of Spain is colder than in the Mediterranean.

    I haven´t read all the comments, because there are quite a lot…. about electricity, say the electricity is expensive in Spain, is a joke, if you compare to UK, but I will give you a free good advice: If you live only two people, or you have gas boiler or cooker, to reduce the bill INMENSELY, ask to your current company to move COMERCIALIZADORA DE ULTIMO RECURSO, most of the electricity companies have a second company that provides electricity a cheaper prices fix by the government. No everybody can claim this, but there is a specific case, you can achieve this tariff, and don´t matter your savings or incomings, and it is having a low potency at home, 2.3 only, it means, you can´t have the oven and the boiler at the same time on. It is really useful buy some timers, per 6 euros, and then for example have the water boiler on during the night, and during the day use other appliancies like hob, oven, dishwasher, wash machine warm water programmes, tumble dryer (you only will be able to use once a time of these). If you want to save more, ask for DISCRIMINACION HORARIA, means cheaper in the night than in the day, and day hours are like 10 per day only……
    This is one of the things I did to reduce expenses when the crisis start, before emigrate to UK, and we were 2 people in the flat, with ALL applicancies using electricity, and bills where of 40 euros per month…. Also a obvious tip, look for a property facing the south…. probably you will need heating….50 evenings per year??

    Another tip, this one maybe more utopian, is do a home swap, retired people looking for sun, Spanish young people looking for a job to pay the mortgage of a property that is empty, because they are in UK….. It is silly pay two rentals, when doing a exchange will be free for both parts. I don´t know how to achieve this, I have tried through gumtree, but anyone seems to want this, or maybe they don´t trust too much…. We have already done it, with a British couple, we were in their house until we found accommodation, and then they went to Spain, and any money was exchanged, just an agreement.

    I hope this helps to people, and to don´t hate Spain, as a Spanish I will always love it, I will go for holidays, and to retired, if I have left, is due to the economic situation, not because it is a horrible place as some of you describe.

  103. Michael says:

    Hola Lynda – no soy latino – originalmente soy de Alemania 😉

    Cuando nos decidimos a mudarnos a España a principios de 2012, vendimos o regalamos todas nuestras posesiones dentro de dos meses. Llegamos agotado pero feliz con cuatro maletas. No hace falta mucho para hacer una vida nueva.

    ¡Te deseo mucha suerte!

  104. Hola, Michael , y gracias por su buena respuesta a mi mensaje . Siempre estoy interesado en saber lo que piensan los latinos de la forma de vida americana …. su un concepto interesante para mí.

    Estoy contento que usted y su familia se han asentado en Valencia – una ciudad encantadora , para estar seguro (tengo un primo que vive allí. )

    Al igual que usted , creo que voy a resolver muy bien en un estilo de vida español – Me encanta la gente , la música , la cultura , las siestas , buena comida española , especialmente de tapas …. y créanme , soy muy consciente de que España es NO es un ” país tranquilo . ” Jejeje !

    España es vibrante y viva. Después de tantos años de nada más que un trabajo agotador en América, estoy deseando volver a vivir en un país que valora en otras cosas, las cosas que realmente importan – familia, amigos, musica, cultura. Estoy empacando mis cosas aquí en Estados Unidos de manera rápida y con interés el día me despertaré en España, listo para una nueva vida!

    (Espero que puedes entender mi español – Recuerdo que me enseñó a mí mismo de un amor de la lengua , pero yo reconozco que muchas veces me sale todo mal!)

    Y me aseguraré de llevar mis tapones para los oídos conmigo cuando voy por allá!

  105. *tapones para las orejas* – ¿quizás el moderador puede corregirme? gracias de antemano.

  106. Hola Lynda – estaba encantado de leer tu respuesta, ya que al parecer compartimos un camino similar en la vida. Estás totalmente en lo cierto en que la vida en los EE.UU. se ha vuelto sumamente estresante, y en este punto es económicamente inasequible. A lo largo de 20 años he sido testigo progresivamente de las grandes corporaciones codiciosas se adueñaron de la mayoría de los aspectos de la vida en los EE.UU., y llegaremos a punto en que sencillamente no podíamos soportarlo más.

    Creo que vas a salir muy bien aquí en España y te animo a dar le la vida aquí una oportunidad. Nosotros decidimos a mudarnos aquí a Valencia hace tres años y estamos muy felices – ¡es increíble como el tiempo pasa volando! Pero si vengas lleva tapones para los orejas – España no es un país tranquilo – jeje 😉

  107. Wow! Stumbled across this page while researching different areas of Spain with a view to perhaps living there after living and working in America for the past 35 years. I am a Brit with a LOG history with Spain – I went there as a young girl, fell in love with it, have many friends there, and have stayed in many different areas over the years – the Costa del Sol, Menorca, Mallorca, Ibiza, Costa Blanca, etc. etc. I DO speak the language (self-taught from books and experience). I was thinking about going there to live later this year… but now I may re-think it.

    NONE of what is written above is a surprise to me – there is definitely truth in most of it, but with varying degrees. A LOT of the above has to do with CULTURE – if you want to live a “British lifestyle”, live in Britain. Don’t go to another country and expect them to live the way the Brits do. The ONLY place that is BRITISH is BRITAIN.

    As I said, I have lived in the USA for the past 35 years and I have had just about as much of it as I can stand – they are OBSESSED with work here, when you take a new job you get NO HOLIDAY TIME during the first year and they only give you ONE WEEK after a full year. You can work for a company here for 40 years and STILL only get 3 weeks holiday!!!! People are arrogant and self-centered – all they care about is how much money you make, what kind of car you drive, what kind of house you have, what you look like, how old you are (if you are more than 35, you’re “washed-up”), everyone is so shallow, lacking in any concept of class or culture, the medical system STINKS (you can lose everything you own in one hospital stay if you don’t have medical insurance), there’s no sense of neighborly spirit, you MUST own a car because they’ve NEVER HEARD OF public transportation….. the list of why I’m fed up with the States goes on and on.

    SURELY life in Spain can’t be THAT bad. I’m thinking of going to somewhere on the coast, NOT the Costa del Sol, POSSIBLY one of the islands. I will RENT (not BUY a home), I will go with the equivalent of approximately 50,000 pounds, I hope NOT to have to work there since I will soon become eligible for both a British AND an American pension and I hope to live happily ever after.

    AM I BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE?????? I’d love some feedback from anyone “in-the-know” who sees this post….. not much mention was made above of life in Mallorca, or Ibiza or Menorca…. any feedback on that???? (I know Menorca very well, been many, many times and it is DEFINITELY not what it used to be. Any suggestions on where the quality of life is better than on the COSTA DEL SOL????? Looking forward to seeing any responses I get! Thanks!

  108. Hi:

    In my first year of Universited I knew for a fact that I will have to emigrate due to the apalling Spanish market.Once completed my degree in law I moved to the UK and worked as a windowns cleaner 65 hours a week in order to improve my english and moved on.My bosses was a cr..ck and just tried to enslave me from day 1 and I even had a job accident that kept my at home with no pay.Did not give a f**k as I was very young and I wanted to earn as much as possible, enjoy weekends and travel around the islands falling in love with the Scottish highland, Ireland… that reminded me my homeland. Mainly going out with foreign and socializing as much as possible in order to improve my English.
    Got an office job, Eastern Europe, ended up in Gibraltar. Hats off with my British, Swedish, Chinese, Irish colleagues, great multicultural atmosphere new for me working for a Brithis company.Moved again, South and Central america and back to Spain in Madrid.
    I am Galician and Spain is such a diverse country full of contradictions: I love my brothers portuguese and I am a Real Madrid whose best player is mocked as fu..g portuguese in all stadiums and treated like inferiors to spanish; I lived in Andalusia but their culture does not have much todo with mine (can´t stand flamenco and bullfighting), I am closer with the Basque even if they want to be independent and I feel Spanish (we live under the same cloudy sky, green forests, wild animals and we love our food), actually I have more in commom with my cousin the Irish than most of my fellow Spanish.
    Look the contradictions and how diverse my country Spain is that I F***G LOVE IT and I wish I should never have to move again. I can go to Barcelona for a break, the Castillas looking for some isolation, Canary Islands for some amazing beaches, the levante for a break from Canarias, the north for my beloved green north and family, and the pescaito frito from andalucia to taste the sun and THE F****G STUNNING AMAZING SPANISH COUSINE. Is up to you british, learn a little spanish and make up your minds!!!

  109. Brian – the problem isn’t Spain – it’s that you are not skilled enough to make more than minimum wage IN ANY COUNTRY! As an English teacher you are competing with millions of other people as it’s a fairly easy skill to acquire and the supply probably outweighs demand. (which why I’m surprised why so many Spaniards still don’t speak English – but that’s actually helpful in my efforts to learn Spanish)

    I’m sorry but working for telemarketing firms or teaching English is not a basis for a career, especially if a wife and children are involved. If you were an engineer, mechanic, scientist, etc. then you would have better chances to make a decent living. Not easy as you are right about the corruption and the lack of jobs here in Spain. But quite a lot easier over the long term, don’t you think?

    You’re saying that you’re in NY right now – I know that city pretty well and I also know how much one pays for even the tiniest place somewhere on the island. Or are you talking NY State? Either way rents over there are a multiple of what they are over here and I expect that your COL has at least doubled.

    Bottom line is that you guys keep blaming Spain for your own personal problems and shortcomings.

    • Yes this cost of living for me has doubled, I have a bachelor’s of arts in International Business Economics, and a minor in Anthro from SUNY Brockport. If there was a collage major I could have chosen to suit me there it’s that. If I stayed in New York to go on to get an MBA it probably just would wasted money. Any higher learning Spain doesn’t recognize. I know doctors that have traveled to Spain to work because they were specialized in 1 area, and could only do so for 2 weeks. Spain doesn’t even recognize an American driver’s licence. If I were a doctor or a lawyer, even a vet. I’d still be in the same position but still paying off student loans 15 years later. 12 Years of living there and I’d have to have been a brick not to absorb the language. There’s a reason the population of Mijas fell over 10,000 in the past year alone.
      Degrees = the person wants to get paid more, for the minuscule amount of non-waiter, cashier, telemarketing jobs there were I lived.
      I was willing to do anything to stay near my wife and kids. But good luck finding a job over a national with 1:3 unemployed.
      You have to have money to make it in Spain. Little opportunity beyond that.

      • Last comment, and a silver lining, I have been in New York 6 days and already have a job.

      • You make a good point there – I apologize if I may have misjudged your qualifications. Yes, agreed – in terms of foreign qualifications there’s a mountain of red tape and wasted time. But the same actually happens over in the States – I remember some excellent Russian doctors who had to start working driving taxies to bridge over.

        I think the lesson to be learned is that all countries to some extent make it difficult for their own citizens to emigrate and foreign ones to immigrate. We are held virtual prisoners in our countries and breaking out of that bond requires significant energy, investment, and effort. That’s why so few actually succeed in the end. Countries are an outdated concept IMO and pretty much everything should be standardized these days and taught in English or Spanish – with some variations of course.

        I’m glad you found a job so quickly over in NY – perhaps you will find your new life over there more fulfilling.

        • In a range of career opportunities around torremolinos anyway, I’d say driving a taxi is a good 8 out of 10. And you speak of it like it’s flipping burgers at McDonalds, which in the area I know well, Is a lifelong career, as well as working at a gas station or even more lucky the guy working for the ayuntamiento taking that 1 euro coin every time you park. I don’t know what the answer is. All I know is, to set foot in the country where my kids and my wife are, I’d better do it with a pocket full of cash and a plan for a Mom and Pop Shop and I can pass down to my sons, because it’s going to be the best chance they will have to make it.

  110. I first stepped foot in Spain in 1998, when I met my present day wife. We dated long distance, summers and holidays while I finished up my university in 2003. Then the fun began. I first started out in real estate. Telemarketing for MacAnthony in Marbella. Then after a few months of banging my head against a cubicle wall placing 500 phone calls a day, I went to a smaller real estate as an actual agent, but that didn’t last long as the business shut down. I bounced from job to job. My first son was born in 2009, my second was born new years eave 2014. My recent stint, and basically only option in Spain was being an English teacher. Once commuting was factored in, there is no way I could support 2 kids, and a wife doing this. My present situation is that I am in New York working while my wife and kids are in Spain. I miss them but a Spanish girl will rarely move away from her mother.
    Granted, of course, the Spanish are not working for 100 USD a month, however it IS true that there is higher unemployment in Spain than there is even in the Sudan or Nigeria. The CIA world fact book states it’s 26%, but remember those people receiving any kind of government aid, or actively registered in an employment agency are figured in as having a job, the real number is much higher.The Sudan and Nigeria are about 19-20%. So good luck getting a real job over a Spanish national. I saw the corruption levels in the newspaper, The Sur, are equal to Botswana. So nepotism is RAMPANT over the “best” jobs.
    I gave Spain around 15 years of my life, I’m walking away owing it nothing though, and left a wife and kids there whom refuse to leave.

  111. You guys crack me up. One negative report after the other, bitching and moaning about how your Spanish dream somehow went up in smoke. The problem isn’t Spain people – it’s you and your unreasonable expectations. So you moved your butts to a completely new country, expecting to be embraced and be living the good life without running into any problems? How ridiculous and you only have yourself to blame for being unhappy and for having failed.

    Now before you go for my jugular here’s a bit of background on myself: Born German who was raised in Austria and Switzerland as a kid. I hated the crappy weather and dismal life in Germany and when I was in my early twenties I moved to Los Angeles with two suitcases and 2000 marks in my pocket – that was it. I didn’t know a soul over there and my English was rudimentary. I wound up living there over 20 years and even became a U.S. citizen. And as you can imagine it wasn’t easy – quite to the contrary. There is no social net over there and I didn’t know anyone. Had to fend completely for myself but I pulled through because I was good at learning and adapting. You can say a lot of bad things about the U.S. but if you work hard you can make a life for yourself.

    Now in 2012 my (also European) wife and I decided to move back to Europe. No way would we go back to the North as we had been completely spoiled by the weather in California. So Spain it is and we didn’t even speak three words of Spanish – very silly, I know. So I got myself a Pimsleur course and started studying every day. Three years later I’m semi-fluent and am able to hold conversations understanding about 80% of what’s being said on average (depending on accent and speaker). Although we are pretty well off we decided to rent and found an amazing place in the heart of Valencia. What we are paying would be considered very high rent over here but in comparison with Los Angeles it’s a pittance given that we’re occupying an entire floor of a 16th century building with six balconies and 14” ceilings. In L.A. I would be paying over $15k/month for a place like this.

    In short we love it here and are slowly becoming a part of a little community. My wife has the butcher, the baker, the vegetable store, etc. on speed dial. They all adore her and although we wouldn’t consider them ‘friends’ we feel that they are accepting us and are not considering us a bother or stain on their community. Of course we run into a lot of what they would call ‘Euro trash’ over in the States. But at the same time there are also a ton of wonderful people here, you just have to make an effort and integrate into THEIR culture.

    And that’s really the rub isn’t it? Some of you reading this surely speak Spanish but I’m sure many of you also managed to live in your little British bubble. I have met a bunch of English expats down near Jávea and they couldn’t put together three sentences in Spanish after having lived there for several years. How sad is that? And what did you expect?

    Let’s get this straight: You are living on Spanish soil, a country with a complex, rich, but also somewhat difficult history. Spain has left an indelible mark on the rest of the world and like the British is still coming to terms with being a post colonial nation. Yes, politically it’s a bit of a mess and corruption ranks high. But believe me the same can be said of the United States and a ton of other countries. And when reading British and German news these days I constantly find myself shaking my head, and not once in the past 20+ years did I regret having left. It’s a big world out there and it’s up to you to make it your home.

    Yes, the Spanish can be racist, xenophobic, and a bit insular at times. They don’t speak English very well, which however was great for us trying to learn Spanish! Over in L.A. most Latinos will respond to you in English when you try to speak Spanish to them, unless you are completely fluent. I can’t count how many times I have stammered my way through a conversation on the phone with a poor Spanish on the other side patiently listening while I was butchering his/her language. So yes, the Spanish, like the Germans, or the Austrians, or Swiss, or British, or Americans etc.. have their faults. Because we all share one thing – we are human beings and we adapt to living in our particular monkey sphere.

    When moving to a new country expect to find NOTHING but difficulties. They don’t need you here. They may appreciate your money but you are a GUEST in their country so instead of asking and expecting things try to GIVE and HELP the community. I for example teach a free martial arts class in the park every Sunday and managed to make good friends this way. Frankly, I’m in my late 40s now and don’t expect much in terms of making new friendships. It’s true that most social bonds here in Spain are forged in one’s youth and from then one people pretty much stick with their social circle. But that’s just how it is here – it’s a lot more traditional than in other cultures and after living in the ever ephemeral Los Angeles it is actually a cultural attribute we came here for! You have to take the good with the bad. As you Brits and Americans often say: You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    Our landlords actually have become friends down here in VLC and they even let us use their own home down South when they are out of town. It’s like we are part of the family. I NEVER EVER ran into people like that over in the States in my 20 years living there. So there you go – the point I am trying to make. Don’t come here with all your money and broken Spanish expecting the good life devoid of any challenges. Spain is a wonderful country and you have to eek out your own little life here. And if you do then you get to enjoy the wonderful weather, the architecture, the gorgeous people, the amazing food, and of course the Spanish culture. Not from the perspective of a tourist but as a Spaniard. You have trouble adapting to Spanish life? Become more Spanish then! Learn more of the language – some slang helps to make people laugh and accept you. Talk to people – learn how things are done here.

    Yes, some of you have been ripped off here in Spain. You came here with all your money and someone took advantage of you. Well, perhaps you should have learned the system before dropping tens or hundreds of thousands of Euros into the laps of opportunists. The world is full of them and you will find them in Spain, the U.K., in the States, as well as in hundreds of other nations. Go on some online forums and you’ll learn quickly. It’s your fault for not properly understanding how business is done down here. Perhaps if you had made a few Spanish friends they could have helped get sorted. I would never buy a place without consulting with my existing landlords who own several high quality properties. And I would never buy in L.A. without consulting with my friends over there.

    FYI – I have been running into trouble here in the past few years. My moto got stolen and several times it got vandalized or the mirrors were taken – once they took the battery. I should paint a target on that thing! Never had that happen in L.A. but heck – maybe I just got very lucky. On the other hand I remember several break-ins over in Los Angeles were the owners got shot and killed. Our own neighbors were attacked and beaten by Mexican guest workers while we were just a wall away, we could hear them bang on the wall for help after they had been tied up (the gun didn’t work or they would have been shot dead). We may get robbed or perhaps vandalized over here in Spain but I don’t think there’s a big chance of us being shot at home or in the street. It’s a generally safe country and that’s hard to find these days. We also feel that people live in general harmony with each other, if you cancel out all the political tensions. I’m referring to right here in our neighborhood – old people side by side with young people, several generations living and working together. Also something that’s missing in many Western countries these days.

    We don’t know how long our Spanish adventure will last. So far we are very happy here and every day is a gift we are eager to enjoy. My thanks go out to you Spanish people for allowing us to share your beautiful country. There are some of us here who love living here and enjoy your country AS IS – not for what we would like to want it to be.

  112. walter faust says:

    I too shared the dream of living in Spain (BCN). Invested considerable time (years) and considerable monies to build a home in one of BCN’s best neighborhoods (Supermaresma). Unfortunately I have found the experience abusive. Sales tax 21%. Endesa the electric company has sued me to declare my property “rural” rather than “urban” Supermaresma sold me the property as urban but b/c the neighborhood does not have a sewer system there is an issue. I have spent 22k USD defending the lawsuit. Don’t know if I will prevail. The town is now hurrying to put a sewer system in and there will be a 20k USD hook-up charge. Of course my septic is brand new. Had a brush with the judicial system. Importer of my car went rouge with my application, along with 300 -400 other applications putting forward some bogus documents. G-d knows why. I brought in a 25 year old car and any import tax would have been nominal. When the importer told me there would be no import tax I was not surprised and didn’t think anything of it. Spain’s judiciary starts by finger printing you, photographing you, essentially arresting you, taking your car and then they ask questions. More than a rude experience. There is crime there to. Plus, in BCN, I’m tired of bringing my visitors to the Gaudi attractions (expensive admission fees) and the Gothic area gets old. Built the home of my dreams. Now I think about when I can sell the place and move on. The people are nice. The weather is nice save exception for December through February. Of course there are no prospects for jobs or working in Spain with their terrible unemployment situation. If somebody wanted to buy property there, now would be the time as values are so far south of where they were before the recession; the bottom is expected to be reached in 2015. And from what I hear, the south of Spain, Costa de Sol is supposed to be an unreal disaster for many folks with corruption beyond belief. By all means, rent for a year before ever considering buying in Spain.

  113. Mike Davidson says:

    I am not saying that all Brits are like this but there are a number who seem to think the whole world belongs to them. Some of the English think everyone who is not English is inferior to them. Deserved or not, the reputation for drunken and lewd alcohol-fueled behavior is associated with Brits abroad. It is felt that the Brits have destroyed Ibiza. It is not desirable for many people (including other Brits) to go away on holiday and be surrounded by pub quiz/pub night/ Sky Sports, fish and chip places, full English breakfasts, etc. As for the idea that British/English women are drunken slags and that the men are troublemakers, there are a number who have caused this to be the case.

  114. I thought I would weigh in on this since I am neither British or Spanish. I am Kiwi (with an Italian father), and I have lived 6 years in Madrid. My husband is from Jerez de la Frontera.

    Yes, Spain is pretty messed up. Look at the economy, the unemployment, the rampant racism going on. It makes me sick that the government is robbing people, and there is also the general public working in black and collecting unemployment pay.

    I also lived in England. The climate, oh the horror! Yes, it rains so much! The sun goes down so early!! Dinner is so early! On the other hand, there is no “mañana” when it comes to pay. You get paid, and if not, you can raise hell and you will be paid. There is racism, but you would never see an “Anti-Islam” protest in front of a mosque, mid-day, with people chanting “Get out of England you dirty Moors!”

    My point is, yes there is the good with the bad. However, I suggest it´s time to leave if you are really sick of Spain. I include myself in this advice, I need to go. The amount of day light, the good night life, and fresh fruit and seafood cannot justify the amount of corruption and overall feeling of hopelessness that is going on in this country at the moment.

    So, get out of Spain. You will be much happier, trust me. If you can´t let go, and have the means to do so, buy vacation property and visit here a few weeks of the year.

    If you want to move to a country with a stable economy and one that is welcoming to foreigners, I suggest Vancouver, Canada, or New Zealand. Both have lush scenery, multi-culturalism, and if you are a Brit, I am sure it´s much easier to move to these places since they are Commonwealth countries 🙂

    • If all the kiwi were so idiots like you, and they say the stupid things you say about my country, I’ll tell you in my language: ” Iriamos apañados ”

      Yes, the spaniards are very bad. We brought the two world wars, the Kennedy murder and conspire for Brazil lost the World

      Therefore, we are second world tourist destination, gastronomic, cultural, etc etc. Because we are everything you say. The problem is when you recognize you do not know us at all

  115. Demonblade says:

    I have to agree with most of the stuff you guys think about Spain.
    Sadly is the truth. But it’s got much worse over the last 10/15 years, than it used to be.
    If we talk about people, rudeness has taken commonplace and aggressive behaviors are often seen too.
    Culprits: Disgusting governments over and over, pathetic media output into people’s decaying brains, morals, believes and attitudes.
    Results are seen now.
    But this said, other things, like poor costumer service, treacherous friends and all the gossip and generalized crime in all strands of society are also part of a legacy that goes beyond this century.
    And with all this said, there are also lovely people here, hardworking, and genuine friendly people who aren’t two faced bastards ready to eat your soul.
    It’s also not like UK is paradise, for it is not quite that. They have their own problems too and let’s say it British food is utterly disgusting once you tried Spanish,(or most EU foods).
    Back to Spain, I would say it used to be altogether a nice place to live back then, people didn’t have much households economy, was stagnant for centuries even, but there was stability, but I think under all the petty backstabbing there always was there was something of Humble and people had honor and pride.
    Now long gone.
    For showing off your muscles or your flashy new motorbike and spitting like a gorilla on the floor ready to assault anyone on your path is not exactly what it was.

  116. Walter Faust says:

    I don’t “hate” living in Spain. I like the people. However, I am beginning to believe that after making a very sizable investment to pursue a dream, that the dream may not materialize. I built a home at great expense and with substantial headache in one of BCN’s finest neighborhoods. Recession comes, adjacent lots are not selling (more than a million usd for a half acre) and Endesa the electric company decides that my neighborhood is not “urban” because there is no sewer system in it (we have septic). They want me to pay something like 250,000 USD to build a sub-station. They sue me to declare my property “rural”. They wouldn’t do this to my neighbors who built after me, perhaps because they own the BCN soccer team, the CEO of Spain’s largest bank, an internationally known athlete (Moto-GP champion of the world x2). Then I import an old Mercedes Benz to Spain and the importer goes rogue, forging documents with something like 300- 400 of his clients’ applications. I have to appear before a judge. Well first I have to appear before a police investigator. Well first they fingerprint me and photograph me like a criminal. They make me bring a lawyer to this meeting where I am a lawyer myself. They want to see my car which they say will be released to me. But then the judge is not available to review my statement and thus they keep my car. I have to fly back to the States the next day. They want me back in BCN before the judge on April 9th. Like I have to change my life to accommodate a judge who couldn’t keep a previously arranged appointment. The investigator and the judge know damn well that 300 – 400 people would not forge documents to avoid import tax, what in my case would have been petty monies. And my home was burglarized prompting me to invest huge monies to have a real sophisticated system. It is not worth it. When the recession lifts I anticipate that I will pull up stakes and leave my Spanish dream behind me. Very painful as I love the home that I built, I love the weather and so many of the people are so very nice.

  117. I am Spanish, and Spain is not a perfect country. But within our crisis, it is infinitely better than many countries that boast of being more developed than us…but in what? We have cars, good infrastructure (schools, hospitals, prisons, etc etc) high-speed trains, we participate in aero-space projects, we have troops on missions abroad and we build our own navy, among other things … what is the problem with Spain? And most importantly, as a country we have heart. Even with crisis, we empathize with the problems of foreigners. That is, treat people humanely, This is also very important

    Maybe that’s why many foreigners, when they have known the country and they are well integrated, not want to return to their country, even if they earn less money. Because quality of life (climate, nature, safety, fresh food, etc etc) that offers this country, and that don’t have all the countries of the world

    May be factors, along with our history and culture, that have made to Spain a world destination

  118. Wow… if I replace ”English” with ”Romanian” and ”Spain” with ”Britain”, I can feel like I wrote this article and some of this comments… I moved to UK with my kids thinking that is gonna be heaven on earth but if my kids wouldn’t be at school in UK I would move back to my country tomorrow. I wasn’t able to find a job in an year and a half, (so I decided to start my own business), having a Uni Degree 1’st grade and 16 years experience in my field. (medical). I applied even for jobs where the only requirement was ”some interest in science” and GCSE’s, still nobody invited me for a damn interview. I applied as stock assistant in supermarkets, nobody reply to my application or gave me a damn phone call… I am absolutely sure, just because I wasn’t British. My kids were bullied in school in first year, when they weren’t speak English. Even today they can’t integrate because British kids don’t mix with foreigners, aren’t they… You say Spanish are ignorant as they think you all are drinking heavily and eating egg and bacon every breakfast. What about British, who cannot differentiate between Romanians and Gipsies? Is like someone cannot differentiate between a British and a Pakistany born in UK… What about beaurocracy in UK, who asked me to send my passport and my kids passports 5 times during my application for child benefit (which is fabulous amount of 16 pounds per week! someone could even buy two pizzas from Dominos with this huge amount), also letter from schools, letter from medical practice, proof of my income in the last 6 months, copy of house contract, etc, etc, etc, until I gave up. Also, when enter a British shop, I always get a smile from shop assistant, indeed, but this smiles suddenly disappear if my daughter start to speak with me in Romanian. On top of all this, here it rains daily .

  119. Speaking of Spain, the women can be really nasty and competitive with each other. Pushing, shoving, dirty looks. Come on ladies, insecurity is not attractive. Grow up.

  120. My brother moved to spain 2 years ago. went to visit him last week, he works Monday-Saturday from 11:30am to 10pm and earns 1 euro an hour which is shared between him and his girlfriend. after one day I wanted to live there, most fun I’ve had in years. The UK is crap, end of. Even sitting outside my brothers bar for 5 hours on Friday was more fun that sitting at home in London. im 18 and have only just got a job after being on jobseekers for a year and a half (no was not my choice). its not even a job, its an apprenticeship and ill be back on jobseekers by june next year. I earn £380 a month and I pay my dad £100 every month for rent but I hate my job. My brother just got a job at 22, 16 hours a week and he had to do 4 weeks work experience (he is 22) I would honestly rather learn Spanish and move to spain and work in a bar from 10-10 than live in east London. Applied to jobs today in spain and within 2 hours, someone has already rung me asking when I can get a flight there for an interview. in uk, applied to jobs every day and they don’t say nothing.

    The part of London i’m in is CRAP.. fag packs on the floor, mcdonalds packets outside my house, fag butts in the garden, beer cans on street corners, gum all over pavements.. didn’t see one bit of rubbish in spain.

    • rebecca, there is a big difference between visiting a place on holiday, sitting outside a bar for five hours, and living there trying to make ends meet.

      You say your brother, in Spain, earns 1 euro/ hour for a 63 hour week = 63 euros/ week, which he shares with his girlfriend. On those wages your brother is being paid far below the Spanish minimum wage, even if he also receives board and lodgings in lieu.
      Therefore he is probably working illegally with no employment contract.

      You say you are 18 and were ‘on jobseekers for a year and a half’. Under 18 year olds do not receive Jobseekers Allowance, except in exceptional circumstances. And from the information you give, in your post, it is unlikely you meet those circumstances.
      You are left with £280/ month, after paying ‘digs’ to your Dad. Thats works out more than your brother, in Spain, gets.

      Good luck with your job hunt in Spain, but paying for a flight to attend an interview is expensive should you not get the job. And ask yourself is the job above board and legal or is it ‘black’. Do you even have an NIE?
      And you do realise that Spain has one of the worst youth unemployment problems in Europe?

      In your last paragraph you mention the amount of rubbish in London and finish with, ‘didn’t see one bit of rubbish in spain’ [sic]
      I take it you did not see much of Spain then? Spain, as I have said in a previous post, is endemically full of litter bugs and fly tippers.

      Most young people tend not to be happy with their lot in life, but the grass is not always greener!

  121. Hamish so pleased you brought up some important facts about property prices.
    I have fallen out of love with living in Spain already!
    We started the process of buying a property in the Costa Blanca. After five years of research we chose where we wanted to retire to and the house we wanted. The last two weeks have been a nightmare!
    Our solicitor seemed more interested in us signing the power if attorney above anything else.
    Things were progressing nicely. We obtained our own NIE number in the Edinburgh Consulate, we transferred the 5.000 euro deposit, we traveled to Spain last month to sign the purchase contract, amending the first one as we were not properly protected and this should have been picked up by our solicitors. We asked the solicitor if there were any unexpected amounts still to pay, she said no. A paralegal accompanied us to the notary to sign the POA. The firm prides itself as being English speaking yet the only translation of this very important document was given to us verbally by the paralegal of course we could not digest all the details because we naively thought our solicitors were looking after our interests but they did not have the decency to provide us with a translation of something which would be pretty standard. A week after we returned to UK we received an email saying we would have to pay almost 5.000 euros more because of the medium market value tax! We told her we don’t have this money we are retired and this is our life savings. She said we have three option to pay if the tax office sends the demand, pull out and lose our deposit or have the house valued by a surveyor (more fees) and she could appeal the decision (more fees) the first appeal she might lose but we appeal again (more fees) and she might win?????
    We lost sleep over the last two weeks not to mention the stress we were under. The inheritance tax implications gave us another headache. We are not married and the thought of one of us having to pay an inflated amount of tax when one of us died, or the complications and taxes our beneficiaries would suffer on our deaths further convinced us to cut our losses and pull out.
    We notified our solicitor who tried to get us to raise the money but we were adamant. We have not received a reply to our last email written four days ago. We feel so sorry for the vendors who have been trying to sell their house for years now and the husband is ill. They are non residents and as such have to pay hefty fees and taxes when they sell on top of the balance of their mortgage. My partner phoned him tonight because we feel awful for them and felt they should know sooner than later what was happening.
    To cut a long story short, on top of all their expenses and taxes they have to pay to sell their property, his solicitor told him he has to pay half the purchasers legal fees as well as his own!!!! What the heck! is his solicitor pocketing this amount? or is sharing this backhander with our solicitor? it all sound very dodgy.
    I have lost all enthusiasm for living in Spain and don’t have any trust in Spain’s legal and taxation system.

    PS we had a breakfast in Spain this summer. The menu card showed the choices and the prices clearly.
    The waitress charged us 2 euros each over and above the price. When we queried it she said the prices are ‘from’ the prices marked on the menu. What can you say? A breakfast sitting at the seafront in the sun ruined! this leaves a bad taste in your mouth and creates more ‘moaning Brits’

  122. Steverino, you miss that Spain “poor and exotic” of the 60 and 70 right? when the dictator Franco was the official American ass-kissing. But I remind you that Spain was poor and exotic first by a civil war that destroyed our country, and second by a dictatorship for almost 40 years … of course, you yearn those years, but the Spaniards did not … Or that you would want for your country? in Spain the concept “siesta” is not known, most Spaniards here works all day and does not sleep after eating. I remind you that the nap was a break from the Spanish agricultural laborers in the time of summer, when the heat at noon impossible. I know that you, as a good Anglo-Saxon ignorant, xenophobic and Prejudice think the “siesta” is somewhat institutionalized within Spain, but wrong.
    The Spaniards have always been European so much geographically speaking as of mentality, religion and values, for that reason we are one of the nations but old of Europe and there it is our history to corroborate it, I recommend him that you reads History of Spain, same you are surprised. But I will prescribe medicines to their ignorance and incidentally to give it another kind of history: before the Civil War Spain began the Republic, which gave to the citizens big civil rights and a large welfare for society in many ways, the path of modernity and take the wagon of modern Europe … until the arrival of the Civil War and destruction.I understand perfectly that the Europeans in the time in that you were military, they do not want to know nothing of USA, because americans are an authentic problem where they go., for that reason they allied with a dictator.r freedom.
    Yeah, better you go back to your country and step you take all American troops from Rota, Moron and Torrejon de Ardoz, because abound here. Take them to your country because USA have enemies until under of the stones.

    • please dont write while drunk – its very difficult to follow.
      And where do you live? i arrived to Madrid, the CAPITAL, in ’95 and was amazed that EVERYBODY went for siesta. Literally everything shut mid afternoon, for hours and hours.
      And virtually everybody in the city left for the coast for august.

      This laid back, inefficient, (caribbean?) lifestyle was why i stayed 🙂
      ok in the last 5 years its changed a lot, and now ‘appears’ like a modern european city, but the attitudes (of bigots, xenophobics, nationalists, etc) are still the same.
      So please, be real in this discussion – this isnt tripadvisor!

    • Steverino says:

      To JM,
      What happened? Your girlfriend left you for an American who treated her better? I disagree with you that Spaniards are European; you know the old expression “Africa begins at the Pyrenees.” If Americans are so Xenophobic and aligned with dictators, why did you Europeans give Obama the Nobel Peace Prize? The fact is, my words made you angry because they touched a nerve. Sometimes the truth is hard to take, man up.

  123. Lynne: wow. sorry to hear it went that bad. But good for you for getting out (in every sense). I wish you all the luck with getting your life back.

  124. my husband and I retired to Spain 5 years ago,it was ok for the first 2 years,but I hated the manana approach,and became really homesick. My husband loved it. In the end,his behaviour towards me became increasingly controlling,as he didn’t want to return. It became so bad,my sons drove from England and got me.
    To me,I think you have to accept their culture or get out,I chose the later. Sunshine isn’t everything,and I’ve not regretted my decision to leave my bullying husband in the campo. He’ll remain there,even though he’s refused to even learn Spanish.

  125. I lived in a really wonderful place on Costa del Sol for over 6 months. There are many fantastic things about Spain (sun, sea, beaches, fresh food, outdoor activities, no serious crime) but there are some serious downsides also. Basically, everything boils down to one thing. If you are not ready and able to accept the Spanish way of life, it will be extremely difficult living in Spain. If you are not OK with the “manana mentality” then you are in big trouble. The bottomline is that while in any country being a tourist is easier than being an expat, in Spain the difference is considerably larger.

  126. I been in Australia living for one year, but finaly was choose to come back, Why? cause I was thinking “realy what I doing here? I´m spanish and the way of life will never will be here like spain, and I love the way of life in spain” If you want to live like brithis in spain you´re wrong, change your mind and try to be more Spanish, don´t worries for everything and enjoy every day like spanish, if you really can´t do it, maybe you are in a wrong country. The spanish we trate to be happy every day and we live depending our circumstances, but we try it. How you think how could be UK with our troubles?

  127. Reply to Hamish:-
    It all depends where you live, I am in a small town an hour north of Granada, this areas house prices have risen and there are lots of new expats buying houses and starting a new life here, granted there are tax issues but if the purchase price is reasonable for the area there are no tax surprises, this occurs when someone declares an often silly value due to the local sellers wanting vast sums of “black money” such as 20k for furniture (often just an old curtain). I do have good English friends that rely on earning an income picking olives, last year most had 3 months work, this year our region has practically no olive to harvest so these people have no work and will be struggling until next year.
    Most of the problems seem to be with buying and selling close to the coast.

    • James, average house prices in Spain, as a whole, did rise slightly in August 2014. Yet in the year to August they have still fallen by quite a considerable amount, even taking Augusts rise into account.
      There have been 25 consecutive quarterly year on year declines in Spanish house prices.

      In your posts you mention both the Jaen area and the area north of Granada.
      Andalucia as a whole has seen a significant drop in average house prices in the year to August 2014.
      Both the Provinces of Granada and Jaen have likewise seen a significant drop in average house price.
      Taking in to account the above, I cannot see how you can say, ‘I am in a small town an hour north of Granada, this areas house prices have risen’.
      One months growth is a step in the right direction. But, it does not undo the damage caused by years of decline. It will take years for for prices to return to what they were pre the financial crisis.

      As I said in my previous post, as you have lived in Spain for eight years (since before the crisis) your house is, likely, not worth the same now as what you paid for it. Not a problem, unless for whatever reason you need to sell up. You say you are happy here, in Spain, but circumstances can change.

      The tax issues, I spoke of previously, have nothing to do with silly amounts of ‘black money’. It has happened to people buying, 100% legally, with just ‘white money’, as has been reported in both the English and Spanish language press. I also know of people it has happened to.
      But on the subject of ‘black money’ what hope is there if the notary, who is meant to ensure things are done above board and proper, steps out of the room whilst the buyer and seller discuss exactly how much ‘black money’ will be used in the house purchase.
      And ‘black money’ is rife in all walks of Spanish life, not just house sales.

      You mention your ‘good English friends’ and how they will find it hard to survive until next year.
      If they came to Spain to pick olives, then they did not plan their move and how they would earn a living very well. But, it is probably more likely that their circumstances have changed and they have no option, other than picking olives, to try and make ends meet.
      Perhaps they would like to sell up and move, but cannot due to the housing market. As I said before, ‘They do not want to be here, yet they cannot afford to leave.’

  128. I love Spain……
    I lived here for 8 years in the Jaen area, There are a few expats I know, most are happy and then there are some that just sit and drink all day moaning about life in Spain, The main reason there are so many unhappy expats is that after enjoying brief holidays they think that they can continue to be on holiday on a permanent basis, they run out of money or as with a lot of Brits they have a “superior attitude” and think that because they are British they are better than the Spanish.
    Before we came here to live we did 2 years of planning, how we would earn an income, what we wanted out of living here learned as much Spanish as we could and took steps to try and be prepared.
    Most expats decide on the coast and yes there is crime, yes there are rip off merchants especially so called estate agents, and yes we have been through the frustrating bureaucracy and the manana way of doing things but these are very short lived experiences if you speak the language or have an interpreter with you.
    My advice…If you dont like it here then go back to where you came from and chalk it up to experience, if you like it here then adapt, dont surround yourself with negative thinking expats, integrate with your community and life will improve to where like me I enjoy every day here.
    I would also advise you to take out private medical insurance, it can be costly but it will give you peace of mind………..thats my opinion.

    • James, glad you enjoy Spain and I agree with you that if moving abroad, regardless of to which country, you should do some serious planning/ research.

      You say, ‘My advice…If you dont like it here then go back to where you came from and chalk it up to experience’.
      That is a line you hear repeated, many, many times, on this forum and other similar forums. But, it is not always that easy!

      I am sure those who genuinely want out of Spain, for whatever reason, would be gone like a shot if it were not for the poor state of the housing market.
      Everybody knows that, the majority of, house prices in Spain were so over priced. Negative equity is a very big problem. Even if there is no mortgage, can the average person afford to let a house, they paid 400,000 euros for, go for, maybe just, a third or quarter of that value? And have nothing left to start again, elsewhere.

      I, like you, planned and researched before moving to Spain. Taxes, of various kinds, being one of the things I looked into.
      In my time here the taxes involved with selling a property (in a lot of ways they could be termed as ‘exit’ taxes) have risen quite a bit. Therefore if a person does manage to sell, the taxman will take a greater chunk. Just another factor to consider, and one that most people could not have foreseen, regardless of planning, when they moved to Spain.

      House prices tend to find their own level, depending on the economy and supply and demand. And at the moment in Spain it is certainly a buyers market.
      Yet what hope is there if you buy a house at the current market value, say 100,000 euros and months later the taxman says your house is really worth 250,000 euros and demands taxes on the extra 150,00. Again, not something you could have planned for.

      You say you have lived here, in Spain, for eight years, therefore I would hazard a guess that your house is, also, not worth what you paid for it.
      Not a problem as you like living here. But, if, for whatever reason, your circumstances changed and you had to sell up it would become a very big problem.

      I think most people who move to Spain do so to better the lives of themselves and their families. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, through no fault of their own. They do not want to be here, yet they cannot afford to leave.
      Being in such a situation can breed resentment.

  129. I agree on many points, like costumer service being really crap, they do what they feel, in many let’s say street bars they feel above costumer and can ignore or even be rude and act accordingly, it’s the mentality they have.
    Job wise is a disaster too, but there are good things, a lot better than UK, like the food, no question on that.

    Also you don’t get wet each and every time you have to do shopping etc
    It’s not that dangerous, it can be though, depends what area, city etc, people can be aggressive and impolite ,but I doubt you robbed that often, that could be bad luck, or a compromised quarter of the city etc..
    My opinion.

  130. At least Spain is warm and sunny, instead of grey and depressing like the UK. People have tried to kick in the door of my house in the UK. I have been beat up by a gang of chavs in the street in the UK. Did I mention it’s grey and depressing? (And always cold and rainy)

  131. Steverino says:

    I thought maybe an American viewpoint may add a different perspective. First of all, “hate” is a very strong word and should be avoided when discussing entire countries. I lived in Spain back in the late 70’s and 80’s as part of my military service in Rota, Cadiz. It was a wonderful enchanting existence for us where we could have a fantastic night out for less than 500 pesetas. We were never accepted as one of the locals, but they did consider us “their Americanos” and would even come to our defense when criticized by outsiders. We, in those days, were also nice guests (well at least those of us who were permanently assigned to the base). I considered it a very harmonious and symbiotic relationship. This was during the cold war when we were despised by many other Europeans as importers of nuclear Pershing II missiles and we accosted by silly Scandinavian peaceniks…so, we lavished the acceptance of our Spanish hosts. The Spanish of those days were simpler, poorer yet perfectly contented to have just a moped, flamenco and a glass of fine wine. Listening to half drunk Spanish friends singing a fandango on dirt floored bodega are some of my fondest memories.

    As I type these words, I’m in Torremolinos pondering my upcoming 60th birthday on Aug 25th with mixed emotions. Just 3 weeks ago, I returned to Spain like a Time Traveler from a Jules Verne novel. Honestly, what I see disappoints me. The mopeds have been replaced by cars which struggle to find parking spots, I pay more for a beer than I do home at Seattle, and the warmth I felt from the Spanish back then is now gone. There is definitely an air of arrogance now. I’m not judging, simply reporting my observations. I see a culture that is clashing with itself. They joined the EU and turned in pesetas for euros–they wanted to be “European” and international, yet they cling to their old ways. Yesterday, I was having coffee at bar that is on the main walking route from the beach. I noticed the owner has a sign up indicating that they are closed on Saturdays so the staff can rest. Close on Saturdays?, while thirsty tourists walk by from the beach? To be part of the new capitalism they envisioned by the change to the euro, would in my opinion, require that the place open at 6 am and close at midnight, 7 days a week–the heck with siesta–and why does your staff need to rest with 30% unemployment? And yes, customer service is nonexistent. More than once, I sat waiting in an office while the receptionist chatted away on her cell phone, and others in the office ignored me. There was no noticing that a customer, someone who can bring income to the company, was waiting and should have been accommodated. Yes, even a fake smile and a “can I help you?” would have been welcome.

    Jobs are still given to friends or relatives, undermining the basic employer/employee relationship. Workers are not fired for inefficiency. Honestly, I don’t see Spain coming out of their economic crises until there is a fundamental shift and the discarding of the old ways. Absent such, they’d be better off to go back to the peseta and their previous way of life. Even long established Brits are adopting their ways. I just had an email exchange with one selling insurance who displayed the same arrogance and lack of customer service. On a final note, what’s with all these dogs? One in three Spaniards is walking a dog resulting in me having to dodge land mines all days. The streets are covered with a nauseating film of dog waste.

    I wish I could be more positive, but I have to call it the way I see it. I will return to the U.S. next month, but I will choose to cherish more the 35 year old memories of spending pesetas in the bodegas of Chipiona.

  132. Marcos Delgado says:

    Dear classy Brits,

    Let’s set the record straight. Stop being ignorants and get an education.

    I am living in Manchester and I would like to claim that it is proper rough city. I have never seen in my whole life such a high rate of crime in the streets. Drug-dealers, homeless people, beggars… all of them trying to mug you, get spare change or a fag from you… it’s absolutely unbearable. That doesn’t only happen in the middle of the city centre but in quite residential areas as well.

    Everyday is good for the British to get drunk and spend their giro on alcohol. They can’t be bothered to work on a minimum salary. Immigrants can do it instead. I’ve never seen so many women of all ages drunk, dragging on the floor, screaming and fighting against each others. It’s embarrassing, believe me. Come to Manchester or Liverpool.

    Why not talking about public transport?! That’s a real pain in the neck. Bus packed with sweaty people who stink from miles away, drunk passengers vomiting on the floor and drinking beer, scallies and hoodies trying to get a lift for free or smash the windows with passengers inside if not allowed, appalling… But, wait a minute… passengers are not the worst, their lazy drivers don’t even stop to pick up passengers if you are not sticking your megarider out or they are about to run over you.

    We all know that the UK is all about rain and wind, wind and rain. Roads and streets are in poor conditions. They always get flooded and take them ages to drain. Where are all our taxes going?

    Who said that there are Spanish people working without being able to speak English. It is true that not everybody can speak a language overnight, it’s not a chip inserted in your brain and that’s it. In the UK, recruiters are very strict with their employees and unless you go through all the selection process in English, you’ll not get a job. No chance!!

    So, dear Brits I do invite you to live in a foreign country and dare you to write your rants in Spanish, French, Arabic or Hindi… It’s horrible to generalize, isn’t it?!

  133. Short Fat Retiree Coming to Spain Soon says:

    Ok, so I’ve read the majority of posts here. I did get a bit lost with conflicting opinions. I did get a bit frightened by people talking about the crime rates. HOWEVER! I’m still coming!
    I’m learning Spanish, I’m reading everything I can, I’m planning to be self sufficient,as we’ll be retired and not seeking work. I’m learning the ropes of the “red tape” I could however do with a little guidance as to where to settle. We don’t want bars and restaurants, we don’t want the “fish and chips” culture. We don’t want to live on an all Brit complex, or any complex for that matter. We want to be safe, left alone and to be pleasant to neighbours Spanish or otherwise!
    We do want to live in the countryside, we do have a limited house purchase budget and we will rent something first, to find our own way when we get there. So! has anyone got any HELPFUL advice on where to start looking? I must admit we were searching by price of property, but now realise that we have to take into account the safety aspect a lot more. I’m open to any helpful advice please, but no don’t tell me not to come, I’ve been planning this move for ages and I’m not going to give up now.
    Thanks to anyone who wants to post something positive for me.

  134. HILARIOUS says:

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

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

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

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

    • Hilarious antidote says:

      1) yes, learn Spanish. Then you can understand directly that you are hated because you’re not Spanish.
      2) Integrate. Keep trying to make Spanish friends. I’m told that after 10 years you *may* be accepted.
      3) Brits do not act like they are on a higher level, its “just not cricket”. If you feel inferior to the Brits its because you have good reason. After all, being British is to be the best in all things…

      • ”being British is to be the best in all things” lol That was deep.

      • No. You learn Spanish because unlike you, the british, we have patience with people who want to learn our language, and we don’t go through life like you, demanding to speak our languag, do you understand? And one of the many differences (fortunately) we have about you, is that we have heart. Who does not adapt to Spain, it is because simply not want. This is not a colony yours. In Spain until we translate to our language the films of non spanish speaking. By the way, 10 years to accept you into Spain? Like told me a citizen of your country, if you live in the UK, and if someone was able to say “Good morning” , is that it should be the crazy of the neighborhood…

        You yourself have portrayed, when you say that the best thing ever is to be British…Tell me why or in what

      • That is patently not true. I have met many wonderful people here over the past three years and although they may not all have accepted me into their life they have gone beyond what I would have ever expected. The couple who rents us our apartment here in VLC have become good friends and even let us use their own house in Jávea when they are out of town. We are talking about a multi million Euro mansion full of antiques and we were invited into their home and life just a few months into our stay here. That would have NEVER happened in the United States – people simply don’t trust each other here.

        We love the Spanish and perhaps that is why they like sharing their wonderful country with us.

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

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

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

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

  137. The Experienced Traveller says:

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

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

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

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

  141. Roberto says:

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

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

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

    Kind regards to everybody.

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

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

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

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

  146. Victoria Maria says:

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

  147. Jeweli Taylor says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  149. Cabeza de Vaca says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  150. Natasha says:

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

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

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

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

  151. Swings and roundabouts folks!

  152. Shirley you’re obviously an idiot:

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

    There is so much wrong with the above sentence.

  153. Jourdan says:

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

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

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

    maybe you just aren’t suited to Spain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

  158. Globertrotter…

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

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

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

  159. David Davidson says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  162. Steven Gonzalvez says:

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

  163. Globetrotter says:

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

    • Maybe you are right, go to India and tell your fellow indians to stop gangraping tourists and the low status ladies from your stone age social clases, buy rolling paper and smoke yourselves all the pollution you produce and free the kids from labouring yoi rich well dresses well spoken indian.

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

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

  166. Hey, Victor

    You’re blind

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

  167. Hey, Jofre

    You’re wrong

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

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

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

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

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

  170. johan kist says:

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

  171. Jane

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

  172. Carol

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

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

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

  173. johan kist says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  180. AnnChristine says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  183. Koen Smeets says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  186. Laura Schmidt says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  189. jonny the ponny says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  199. A thing to consider says:

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

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

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

    And yes, what you said sounds incredibly zenophobic!

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

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

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

    • Best comment.

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

        • Alain Ochoa says:

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

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

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

  202. Robert Rodriguez says:

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

    • Craig Butterfield says:

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

      • jackie, ITV says:

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

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

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

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

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

  203. Spaniard. says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Yes I am British

  206. An expat says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  207. MountieOnTheLoose says:

    Negative Aspects of Spain:

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

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

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

    Positive Aspects of Spain:

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

    (2) The food.

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

    How To Fix Spain:

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

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

  209. I’m Spanish.

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

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

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

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

  210. Hi !

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Cheers, Iker.

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

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

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

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

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

    This happens in every country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  220. Jacobus says:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  224. Greetings!

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

    Best wishes.
    Your Mexican pal!

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

  226. Caccia says:

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

  227. Audrey Beauchamp says:

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

  228. esla ltres says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  235. David barceq says:

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

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

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

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

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

    • Manuel,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Again, I’m struggling to see how could you could have lived in a country that has so many disadvantages for so long and furthermore “Hmmm, i’m struggling” to find the good ones. I know that is a bit os a sarcastic comment, but still not sure if everything is wrong with the country, or some things are wrong with your approach when you lived in Spain.

  241. 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.

  242. 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!!!

  243. 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…

  244. 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.

  245. 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.

  246. 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

  247. 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.

  248. 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!

  249. 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

  250. 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.

  251. 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….

  252. 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.


  254. 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.

  255. 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.

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

  257. 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

  258. 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.

  259. 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.

  260. 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

  261. 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

  262. 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.

  263. 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.

  264. 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..

  265. 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.

  266. 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.

  267. 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.

  268. 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 !!!!

  269. 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.

  270. 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.

  271. 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.

  272. 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.

  273. 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.

  274. 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.

  275. 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.

  276. 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.

  277. 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.


  278. 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

  279. 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.

  280. 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.

  281. 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.

  282. 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.

  283. 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

  284. 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.

  285. 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!!!

  286. 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!!!!

  287. 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.

  288. 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.

  289. 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.

          • Juan Foster says:

            Exactly. As an Argentinian who has lived in Barcelona and Madrid for 10 years I can assure that the affinity between us Argentinians AND Spanish AND Italians is immense.
            Not only because of our blood ties, but also because of our “usos y costrumbres”, the importance of friends and family, and the FOOD.
            Everytime an Argentinian, Uruguayan, Chilean, etc visits Spain or Italy, they make you feel at home.

            And you Michael, Im afraid you dont have the slightest clue about the relation of Iberoamérica and Spain/ Italy.
            Probably you dont even know where Argentina or Uruguay are located.
            Hai capito adesso?

  290. 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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