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FUELLED BY RIOJA

After two long years in England, when Spain was an itch that had to be scratched, a golden opportunity came along, which couldn't be ignored. So here I am back in Spain ~ again, just me and my dog on the sunny Costa Blanca, ready for another adventure!

A TOWN OF MANY LANGUAGES
16 May 2014 @ 20:55

One of the items on the agenda of electoral promises in the UK at the moment is the thorny issue of immigration, and of course everyone has an opinion. 

Some remain generously open hearted with their thoughts and our borders, whilst some seem to take the view that enough is enough and let’s get England back to being British.  

But isn’t it true that Spain has many of the same issues?  Life is certainly changing in some parts of traditional Spain, and I often wonder how the very elderly townsfolk feel when they see their beloved community falling prey to the needs of other nationalities, who seem to have invaded their space, as younger people say.

In our small town, in northern Spain, there are no less than 7 Western Union Internet café’s run by dark skinned men dressed in long flowing robes, their compatriots gather aimlessly outside for hours on end, with nothing better to do than chew tobacco.

Queues in the supermarkets are lengthened to extremes not by chattering Senorita’s but with ladies dressed in equally long flowing robes, with their hair carefully shielded from unsuitable eyes.  You don’t jostle for bargains round market stalls with a person from your street, they are from an entirely different country. 

 The quaint rusty old church bell is now competing for air time with the gentle wail of the call to prayer, reaching out across the town from a large old semi derelict building that finds itself resurrected with prayer mats and scrolls.

But from the East there also comes not particularly wise men.  Blonde fair skinned males, joined at the hip by equally blonde, fair skinned, often stunningly pretty girls. The shops are already geared up to suit their palates.

Shelves in the lack lustre supermarkets are given over entirely to Polish breads, and tins of sausages with stranger sounding names than Bratwurst.

These visitors who stayed, favour different money transfer providers, and their internet café’s advertise the rates to Latvia and Russia.  Our friends from the East, also have no purpose to their day which involves a different kind of fragrant tobacco to that which the Moroccans’ prefer 

For sure this is a town of nations, which are not particularly united. There are precious few jobs for the Spanish menfolk of the town, and resentment is high that the more affluent favour those who do the job for the least amount of euros, no matter what nationality they are.

But what of the little Spanish lacemaking lady, sitting in her doorway criss crossing her bobbins, stopping every now and then to wave to passers-by, and the craggy faced ancient farmer who still insists on driving  his rusty tractor into the centre of town to collect his gas bottle, and gives his own personal thumbs up to equally ancient hombre’s  

Surely they too must feel that ‘their’ town is not their town any longer, just as to some, the green and pleasant land isn’t so English anymore.   



Like 2




4 Comments


SandrainAlgorfa said:
16 May 2014 @ 20:40

A very thought provoking post, Rosie, and I'm sure it will attract a lot of attention, and maybe a few brickbats too. However, you make a very valid point. In Algorfa, where we live, the population is around 3,000, of which around 2,500 are not Spanish. There are English, Dutch, Germans, Scandinavians, Russians - you name it, they're here in Algorfa, although we don't have any 'long flowing robes.'

On the face of it, everyone seems to mix well when they come into the village for the fiestas, although there is the occasional greedy Brit who, just because the beer is free, has to get 4 pints instead of one. When I see that, I wonder what the Spanish people who have lived here for generations think about all the invaders. I don't suppose anyone ever bothers to ask!


Mcewans3 said:
17 May 2014 @ 18:10

My experience is that those on holiday think very differently to the ex-pats that have chosen to make Spain their home. I would like to think that most of us living in Spain, respect the culture of the local Spaniards! We are not living in Britain therefore we should respect their rules, that is the pleasure you get from living in a foreign country and experiencing their culture


RiojaRosie said:
18 May 2014 @ 22:22

Well said Mcewans3. Absolutely agree. When in Rome and all that! Thanks for your comments.

Sandra. Yes the beer related incidents I've witnessed in Spain have always involved young British men. Funny that!




maggs224 said:
26 May 2014 @ 03:38

Villajoyosa, has changed a lot over the ten years we have been here, when we first arrived there was quite a large number of Brits and smaller groups of Norwegians and South Americans. Since 2008 the numbers have dropped some died off, but quite a lot of people returned to the UK.

There is a little band of Brits but only a fraction of what there was, Villajoyosa although on the coast, and draws holiday makers, it still is a working port, and has a small fishing fleet. Many of the South Americans and Moors have returned home too as jobs are scarcer than hens teeth.

But the people of Villajoyosa are very friendly, and as Brits we have not experienced any prejudice. Like you I sometimes see behaviour by my fellow countrymen that makes me a little ashamed but not so much in Villa more when I venture into Bendidorm, and like your experience it is usually linked to drinking in one way or another.


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