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Chasing the dream in spain

The diary of two probably mad people wanting to live in Spain.

Stopping on
18 May 2011 @ 22:42

 After much consideration, we have decided to stop out here in Spain a bit longer, despite the weather being strange. We have decided not to buy a house just yet, and so are looking into a long term let to see us through into next year, it seems to be the sensible thing to do until we are totally sure the area where we are is for us. We have made a couple of small forays into the Spanish system though. Getting things done out here usually involves lots of phone calls, and if you give an English number people just look at you as if you are daft, or never ring you back. I am now the proud owner of a house brick masquerading as a mobile phone, it even gets a signal sometimes! Having a Spanish number does have some drawbacks, you get a few wrong number calls. It took several attempts to convince a Spanish woman one evening that my name is not Jose, and I don't know anyone called Jose either, she just wouldn't take the hint that having a 'northern' accent means you are probably not Spanish. You also get the odd sales pitch as well, but these can be quite funny really. If I get a greeting in Spanish when I answer the phone, I usually reply in Spanish out of politeness, this leaves me open to what comes next, the sales pitch. They could be selling car insurance or telling me I'm a lottery winner, I have no idea. They rattle on for a bit in Spanish and it then goes quiet, this is a pause where I am obviously expected to reply to the question I have just been asked, if I knew what they had said I would. Time to drop the 'no hablo español, inglés' into the mix, some hang up a this point, some tuff it out in English after a a bit of a pause and a sigh, got to admire those ones, it must be really hard for them. They do give up eventually.


The other thing we have done is open a Spanish bank account, that really passed a few hours on, literally. Umpteen signed forms, countless photocopies of passports and NIE papers and a note from my mother confirming my identity and that I did not have a psychotic killer cat called Jaws, I was eventually given a bank account. No debit card though, that is an 'extra'. Unlike back home, where you get free banking, everything here costs, not much, but costs all the same. A debit card would be €15 a year on top of the fee for opening the account, so we went for the straight bank book. All we really needed was something to be able to pay bills from, there's  no nipping in with a paper bill and paying by cash or cheque here, they like to take it straight from your account. The last thing I was given before we left the bank was a pin number??? It was then explained to me that due to the magnetic strip on the book cover, I could actually use it a cash machine, thats why the pin number, how novel! Anyway, it's up and running now, just in case we need one for the rent or paying bills etc, and it will be cheaper than using an English debit card in cash machine anyway. We will see how things go, they can’t be any worse than English banks, can they???

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Jacqui said:
25 May 2011 @ 04:24

Using the passbook in the 'hole-in'the'wall' machines was a surprise to me when we were there too. But how easy to get it up to date, rather than having to queue in the bank.

I was also surprised that the cash machines had a choice of language as I'd never seen it in the UK and thought Spain was so much more advanced in this - however, I have used my Spanish card here in the UK and the cash machine comes up in Spanish, so - not so much different after all.

I'm enjoying reading about your experiences. Although we are back in the UK again, I do have some very happy memories of our time in Spain.

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