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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

Ask, And You Shall Receive (Maybe)
Saturday, January 14, 2023 @ 12:47 PM

This one starts with a conversation on Facebook. Somebody posted a question along the lines of: ‘I’ve had it with the UK and I want to move to Spain, is it easy to find a job?’

Us old hands living in Spain for long, longer or longest were happy to post answers to this. Here’s mine:

‘The Spanish won't employ you over their own, or hire you over their own. That's assuming perfect language skills and all papers in order. Thus, you either find a foreign-owned business - a bar, English-language newspaper, real-estate office... or you self-employ. Some of us (and this is frowned on) seek to live by ripping off our fellow countrymen’.

This last bit set the cat among the pigeons.

It seems that I aren’t the only one who has learned through experience not to trust the first person who sidles up to me and says ‘What Ho, Old Stick, Can you lend me a few bob, I’ll pay you back when the cheque arrives from my parents’.

Because, you know, he won’t.

Not that one wishes to discourage those who seek to the leave the Old Country for a better life abroad.

And Life is, after all, an adventure.

Moving to Spain, an excellent place to live, is a good idea. It’s best to have money coming in from outside to keep one in gambas and albariño; perhaps a pension, or some regular dividends, or even a wealthy older brother who subscribes firmly to the aphorism ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’.

The second-best way is to find a job (like our intrepid Facebook correspondent) with the disadvantages and cautions listed above.

The third (minority) way is to try and snow your fellow countrymen, until such time as circumstances merit a swift departure for somewhere new and innocent.

Beyond being short-changed in a shop, the times I have been conned over my lifetime in Spain has always been by fellow-Brits. A pity really, but there you go. It’s not like it happened every day, but I’ve been living here a long time now…

No doubt the Dutch would say the same thing about their own countrymen, and amen with the Germans and the Danes.

There's a page on Facebook called ‘Named and Shamed, Costa Blanca’. This type of page, of course, can sometimes be counterproductive, and watch out for the legal profession when dropping a literary dime on someone. However, the content will help put us on our guard.

Returning one last time to the thread mentioned above, and how it’s always one’s fellow countrymen and never the Spanish who hand you a sob story or a cunning get-rich-quick scheme that only needs a bit of seed money; Amalia, a woman living in the UK, posted an interesting (bombshell!) observation: ‘I must say this also happens in England between us Spaniards’.


Like 1


PablodeRonda said:
Sunday, January 15, 2023 @ 9:20 AM

Like you, Lenox, I've lived in Spain a good while, and I too have only ever been ripped off by foreigners: fellow-Brits or Irish folk and a German. From the Scotswoman who did a midnight flit from the house I'd rented her at a knock-down rent, taking bedding and CDs with her and leaving unpaid services bills, to the Irishwoman who stayed in the same house and simply refused to pay me the rent she owed me - about 1000€. You'd think I'd learn, wouldn't you? The German still owes me commission on a rental I found for her and an Englishwoman owes me 80€ for shopping. Not much, but nevertheless .....
I've written these off, BUT the English estate agent who refused to pay me agreed commissions on sales of houses is still pending .....

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