Our Doubts After Four Years In Spain

Published on 02/03/2010 in Living in Spain

Am I alone in my thoughts or are they shared by others in my views of the Spain - England issue today as opposed to Spain - England 4 years ago.

I feel well qualified to put my thoughts into print having lived in Spain for some 4 years now.

Should I stay in Spain?When we first moved to Spain we experienced the euphoria of life in the sun, a better and much cheaper standard of living, the expectation of discovery and anticipated enjoyment of the culture.

But, for the first time we now have many doubts regarding the initial benefits of life in Spain.  Despite what the press says, living in Spain is no longer cheaper than the U.K. with the possible exception of the utility bills which in any event are now increasing in Spain.

To support my statement if you consider eating out, drinking out and prices in general of food, clothes and furniture etc., these are now much cheaper in the U.K.  Added to that interest rates in the U.K. are now extremely low in comparison to Spain.

There is also a noticeable trait of the closures of shops making many towns "Ghostlike" especially during the Siesta period of 2.00. p.m. to 5.00. p.m.

My other gripes are (in no particular order):-

  • Spanish drivers. So dangerous and aggressive.
  • Dogs in Spain and the mess that they leave on the pavements.
  • Although we have made many dear Spanish friends who I would protect to the extreme I find Spanish people in general to be rude and disrespectful. You walk along a pavement and they crash into you. They walk through a door and let it smash into you.

Furthermore there is an aggravating absence of the words please and thank you. It was most welcome to hear these words almost everywhere during a recent trip back to the U.K.

The weather too has been so depressing of late with no immediate signs of letting up. In fact although the U.K. has had its fair share of cold and bad weather, it has certainly been less wet in recent weeks.

Many things truly do have to improve in Spain.  If not I fear that more and more people will review their lifestyles and seriously consider their options. The world is after all a very small place now and everywhere is accessible. Spain is not the only Country offering 320 days of sunshine a year (if these figures are to be believed any more!)

I am sure that this article echoes many peoples own beliefs and that it will receive the appropriate "Hear Hear"!! by most readers.

I would be very interested in the thoughts of others.

Written by: Ron R.

About the author:

We have an Export/Import Business shipping all over the world, a wide cross section of Goods including Foods, Toiletries and Electricals most of which are well known branded items.

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chrissyh said:
18 May 2013 @ 22:26

hi i live in a tiny spanish village,no english just me and my hubby,we both work long hours here.our neighbours respect us and we do the same,the rates are low and the few shops we have near here are reasonable,life out here is what you make it,and we try damned hard to survive on what we earn,i love my home and our spanish friends,if you dont speak the language you will never survive here, hospitals and doctors are spanish,get over it and learn the language,we did and are still enjoying our life here, we even built our own graves in the cemetary so we are going nowhere,

Shannon said:
18 June 2012 @ 10:38

Funny. I feel like living in Europe as a whole is probably not all it's cracked up to be. I'm from the US. Hubby and I moved to the UK and travel occasionally to other parts of Europe. I get the sense that the romance of living on this side of the ocean is highly romantisized by Americans that come here on vacation or live here to study abroad for 9 months (they have a place to go home to and know their stay is temporary).

Patricia said:
01 October 2011 @ 16:02

Hello to all:

I am afraid this article is all about "spin". It seems to be fashionable at the moment, on so-called expat forums, to engage in Spain bashing. Maybe the forum owners think this type of playing to the masses will bring in more traffic to their websites (the idea may backfire in fact!). Rther like the perceived wisdom in the media world that only bad sensationalistic news will "sell".
Four years in Spain! LOL. I have lived here for close on four decades, and while I am well aware of drawbacks (what country does NOT have its drawbacks, I ask?) I can say in all honesty I have not encountered the problems which are spoken of in such generalized terms in this article.
I have always spoken Spanish (having learnt it since age thirteen).
People can and do have bad experiences in Spain (particularly in the property sector), and the same can happen in any country. But you can't paint the entire country and its people with the same brush.


Could say the same for the English! said:
08 September 2011 @ 09:52

Spanish people are rude an disrespectful?! You are rude for coming to someone elses country and publishing such rubbish. And if you want to talk about things "in general" I think you'll find that the English are capable of disgusting behaviour too. Throwing-up in the streets, road-rage, fighting after too many cheap vodkas, not obeying the LAWS of the country (for example not reregistering cars!). This website is a disgrace.

vincent camilleri said:
24 August 2011 @ 10:29

Hello Everyone,
i came across this section by accident but have to say i read all the comments with great interest,and i hope you will permit me to maybe contribute my view?ok, here we go, well i am of Maltese origin, and now have been living in Spain for the last 7 years. I have lived and worked in the uk for 33 years, and now married to an english lady, and we have been together for very long time.Well this is my opinion of Spain,like everywhere there is good and bad, and i read both sides of the argument and i still cannot take sides !!Me and my wife are retired here in spain, the one thing that probably worried me i have to say is when it comes to being treated in hospitals,me and my wife have all the required documents to get treated via the NHS in the uk, but this is a big problem for us,i know we are probably the exeption as i heard a lot of good reports regarding the spanish health system, but after waiting for 4 months for an x ray from the hospital of SAN JUAN i decided to go and have the operation privately in Malta as my wife couldnt stand the pain anymore, she needed hip replacement.Here in Spain for the private operation they wanted at least 14,000 euroes if all goes well, but i had it done in Malta for 7,000 euroes.But the worst thing i found is the language problem, i can understand for some x pats saying we shoudl learn the language,and i totally agree we should do our best , and if people want to work here they definately should, but my point is retired people of our age find it very very difficult to learn another language at our age especially when it comes to medical terms.What annoys us most is when we go to meet a doctor they always have been rude to us because we dont speak spanish very well, even when we had an interpreter with us which we always have done for some time now !!what made us even bad about this is one time the doctor who only spok spanish to us and told us to get an interpreter, when we went back again with one he spoke bloody English !!Still not sure if he was taking the you know what.And i might be wrong about this but i have never came across a doctor in the world that doesnt speak English.So because of this we are seriously considering relocating in the uk or i am thinking of maybe haveing private health care,but his might be expensive.I have also ran a small buisness here for 2 years and had to give it up because i had to have the operation in Malta, and have to say it is very expensive and difficult to run a business here and one doesnt get anything back in return.As for corruption, i am afraid it is ripe,specially the way regions are contolled,but that is obvious, people are people and where there is money there is corruption, so i think spain might do better to see how the country is run.As for the people, well some are absolutely the nicest people you will ever come across,but i did find some parts of Spain people are ver uneducated and mannerless,and we all know right from wrong.I think it depends on which part of Spain you are living,also remember even if you learn spanish, certain parts of the country stll wont understand you, as there are different languages, for example catalan, valenciana,etc, etc. It is more comlicated than that but i wont go into it.So my verdict?? well if you are looking for work forget it !! If you want to retire here, not a bad idea, but be very carefull when buying as the pitfalls of buying are great,i also recomend you to get an english lawyer for this, as i have found a lot of spanish lawyers are not very reliable, i have bought here in Spin twice, and all has been well,but i suppose i got lucky when i look back now, but i was also very carefull. The best option?? I would say when you want a long holiday just rent and go as you please.I hope i havent offended anyone, this is not why i wrote on here everything i worte was with respect to all,
Regards to all, ADIOS !!
See my spanish is getting along lol

David Redmayne . said:
18 July 2011 @ 23:50

Spain is a corrupt shithole .The Spanish people are ignorant , lazy scum .The police , guardia civil , town halls , judiciary , abogados [ lawyers ] , are corrupt .AVOID SPAIN AT ALL COST .

R. Stuart said:
13 July 2011 @ 22:22

I'm an ex-pat that has lived in other countries such as: Japan, Holland, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. not to mention having visited more than a dozen or so other countries on business or pleasure trips.

I have been living in Spain for more than a decade now and I am quite relieved to be leaving this country soon.

I will also admit that when I leave, If I can avoid it, I never want to return here.

Just like many other Ex-pats, I too was euphoric and ecstatic to come and live in Spain.
The land of sun and fun, fiesta and siesta, etc.

Though, in a matter of several years, I went from liking Spaniards to the opposite of utterly loathing and detesting most of them.

Surprisingly enough, this is not a sentiment that I had wanted to choose or cultivate. These feelings that I harbour now, I would have never imagined such a thing passing.
I liken these feelings to a young soldier who goes to war somewhere and comes back home hating the people that he warred against..due to the atrocities and evil nature he has witnessed in his foes.

Although, I never physically warred with Spaniards I have witnessed their bad will and atrocities that they towards all people in their environment..Like the young soldier I will never view them in the same light again.

If you should call the police for anything that would be deemed illegal in almost any other country, the police say they can't do anything or simply enough, they don't care.
Don't expect justice in Spain......
And whatever you do, and don't you dare take a retaliative posture. They'll arrest you instantly and you'll be the one getting the full brunt of their judiciary system (Kangaroo Court).

What I have found in this age of globalization, is that most Spaniards are very jealous of foreigners or they're outright xenophobes. They have a small minded mentality.

I have met and known many, many people in Spain.

I can attest that as a result of knowing so many people, I do believe that my opinions are not mere prejudice nor unfounded in my part. Not only are they are a matter of personal experiences, they are the testimony of many other people that I have known, both indigenous or otherwise foreign. They are also the observations of people's behaviours and habits of expressing themselves made be me and other people.

I have witnessed a culture of people whose treatment to all others whether or not foreign or domestic is irrelevant. Spaniards in general are apathetic towards all others, rude, selfish, lazy, deceitful, cheats, they accost others, insult, behave badly in general, play nasty tricks or do dirty deeds . As I said they play favourites to nobody..They are equally bad with everyone.

I won't lie and say that I never met a nice Spaniard, fore that would indeed be untrue. I have indeed met many nice people here, unfortunately most of them seem to be over the age of 50, and the ratio seems to be 2 nice people for 8 selfish and nasty people.
20% good and 80% bad...I found this to be the opposite in most other countries that I have lived in or visited..80% good and 20% bad...

Spain is a country of diverse ethnic groups, who by way of enculturation are strewn together to form this incorrigible group of people who would be best classified as rubbish.

This isn't an exaggeration. Those who have lived here more than 5 or 6 years will attest to what I'm saying.


If you should still decide to come here, don't trust anyone ever and be on the highest alert at all times.

Cris said:
03 May 2011 @ 13:26

Hi Iv read many of these comments & its like I have written them, I am British & I don't think there is any ex-pat that hates living in Spain as much as I do! I moved here around six years ago as my work contract end in the UK.I said to my girlfriend of now 13 years if I didn't get it renewed we would move to Spain, as that is where she is from (Malaga). But I cant stand any thing about this place & long to go home to beautiful Sussex. The problem is that we now have two lovely sons here & it would kill me to leave them, & my girlfriend doesn't wish to move back to Great Britain. I find most Spanish people rude in so may ways & the driving here is of a very uneducated standard, these people have no idea of road safety & every day I see accidents on the road due to the poor attitude towards driving, using a phone, speeding,going the wrong way in the street like its normal & Iv seen much worst!! I hate living but I have no way out & wish I kept my mouth shut all them years ago. I am now living grumpy & angry all the time, were I was great company before I moved here. Spain what a s__t hole. Yes I know Britain as a lot of problems but it is home & is what I feel in my heart & soul.

darren black said:
25 March 2011 @ 12:21

hello anybody that might now me!
well i live in galicia for 15 years work here married to a spanish woman got my two boys that was born here.
and i never had a problem here but things are getting bad here for work...but the thing is it might be costing lots of money here to live but you got too look at it as spain has been living in the 50's and now the goverment is moving forward to put spain into the year 2011.i found spain a great place i dont know what is like in the south but you got a lot of english people living in the south.
what get's my back up is the english come to spain and think that every body talks english.well thats not true and i think they come here to run away from problems in england as i know some people that has done so.....and why do they all live in the south spain has a lot more too offer then the south.where iam is out of this world.but dont come up here if you dont talk spanish as here very little engish is spoken.alot of engilsh has tryed but soon went back to the south....i dont have a problem with the english as iam a true english man here but i do respact whats here in spain and i try and talk the lang.

daivid martinez said:
30 December 2010 @ 19:14

im from spain and id rather move to england,no jobs here,petrol through the roof ,house prices halfed and we are in deep trouble,i think we will have to be bailed out by the euro,and it will get worse,house prices will fall further,those english who say they love it here are not,they are just stuck and cant sell their house

Keyser Soze said:
27 December 2010 @ 15:25

Clearly Ron R,cannot be serious on his musings about expat life. I need to point out a few truths to you Ron:
1/ In Spain,it is gloriously sunny for 394 days of the year.In the UK it rains EVERY day.Sometimes it rains and snows and is foggy,and....well,other stuff too!
2/Family is EVERYTHING in Spain.EVERY child is loved and kissed and cherished.In the UK,children are bashed,sold to paedophiles and then sent out to work when they are 12.
3/If you walk down any High Street in the UK,after dark,you will be killed.Probably after being tortured and "Happy Slapped" live on a phone.
4/NOBODY speaks English in the UK any more,they all speak Serbo Croat.There are NO nasty immigrants in Spain.None at all Ron.None.Zilch.Zero
5/People are dying in their thousands in UK hospital waiting rooms.In Spain,even terminally ill patients recover.
6/Everybody eats mushy,really expensive food in the UK,because there are NO National Health dental surgeons.In Spain,there is NO tooth decay.(I think it may be an offence ron!).
7/In the UK,when my mum fell over in the overpriced Supermarket,where the tomatoes don't have the flavour that they do in Spain,she lay by the baked beans for 3 hours,was mugged and kicked (twice Ron,twice mate!)before a Spaniard on his holiday carried her to his ultra reliable Seat,took her to hospital,gave 17 pints of blood,and then took her home.(He gave her a cup of Horlicks too Ron)

Listen Ron mate,there are rules to being an expat,and the first one is that you can spend every waking hour verbally abusing the UK,but woe betide the expat who says one word about Spain.
Shape up Ron.Schtoom mate,unless it's something nasty about GB.

Rod said:
27 October 2010 @ 23:05

We have lived in Spain seven and a half years. I think it depends on the individual or family. We all speak fluent Spanish in our house (my wife and two children) so we don't have a language barrier problem. Yes the prices have increased here since the pseta was replaced by the Euro. People can be rude but so can people in Britain. Its easy to walk down your British High Street and see lots of miserable faces and hardly anyone says hello. Probably is still one of the best periods of my life. I have met many expats who feel lost here because they haven't bothered to learn the language or much of it. They can only blame themselves. For us it has helped us find work and friends. If a Brit doesn't learn how to speak Spanish in Spain then they often end up in British Bubble groups. This has got to be a NIGHTMARE! My advice to people moving here, is to come here for more reasons than sun, sangria and meeting other expats AND learn the language!

Craig said:
09 August 2010 @ 19:05

I want to install a Electric token meter(prepaid card) in my property, does anyone know the cost of installing a token meter?

simon said:
15 June 2010 @ 18:13

So many people saying such negative things about spain because they have had a negative time here. Maybe they didnt do their research or werent prepared enough to make the move abroad to a different culture and country.
My wife and I are 35 and moved 17 months ago right in the middle of the world doom and gloom. yes its been tough! and the worst/wettest winter here since records began but we have never been happier in our lives at the moment and long may that continue and long may living the dream! England is truly awful and the reason 100's of thousands of Brit leave each year for a better life. We will fight for a better life and not have to go back there any time soon. Spain has its problems for sure, but you tell me where has not? nothing comes easy but the effort sometimes is truly worth it. All our english friends here are very happy also.
quinaxixi...Try moving to Costa Tropical, Almunecar and inland, stunning, Spanish, so much to see and do and not as much DOOM! as the rest of Spain so it seems?

allan said:
29 March 2010 @ 00:07

I think we should all sell our houses to the eastern europeans. Spain deserves them. At least they are used to corruption and bureacratic stupidity....................

david said:
19 March 2010 @ 13:21

do not move to spain,we will have to be bankrolled by the eu like greece,its finishes spain,petrol prices through the roof,and only 190 days of sunshine,if your not working dont come here to get a job,crime is rife with maroccons robbing everyone,stay in england,its better

Rob in Bubble Busted Land said:
13 March 2010 @ 23:08

Very interesting to say the least. I moved to Spain (Madrid to be specific so I really shouldn't be allowed to comment here :) ) 4 years and I've noticed a real change in attitudes here and think it has to do alot with the crisis. Doesn't matter how good life is or how much sun there is if haven't got any money life sucks period. I have some British friends and they are really really hurting, several times they came very close to moving back.

What I personally find really really amusing is all the Birts want to move to Spain and all the Spanish want to move to Britain!!!

Also while Britain is in bad shape Spain is in far worse shape and while Britain will eventually turn around, Spain will be in deep deep do do for many many years.

quinaxixi said:
13 March 2010 @ 19:49

i'm a newcomer. i consider to buy/rent a house in the south of spain
can anyone of you give me good directions? any helpful advice will be appreciated-

p.s. i'm not british

Dawn said:
13 March 2010 @ 16:43

Im sad to hear your not happy. Consider this, before sellig rent a property back in England for a year and lease out your property here for a year. Then make up your mind. I think you will find thigs have changed a lot in England as well and you may regret your move.

Lucky said:
10 March 2010 @ 20:14

Goodbye Ron R and good riddance, we don't want people like you in Spain. My wife and I came to live here in Costa del Sol 21 years ago and would never dream of going back to England. Spain is a wonderful country and the Spanish people are wonderful, they do not say please and thank you because it is not their custom,so what, does it make life so dreadful, they don't stop you saying it, and please do not criticise the Spanish drivers, they are generally very kind and considerate, it is the foriegn drivers (mainly English) who are the problem, just because they are driving Spanish cars doesn't make them Spanish. Times are much harder now with our pensions not going so far because of the exchange rate but that is not Spain's fault, and the Spanish health service is fantastic.

ian said:
10 March 2010 @ 18:23

Some thoughts.
I,m a Brit in the Caribbean, and we have lived in Spain on and off for 20 odd years( our family live there.On a recent visit to the UK I was shocked at the amount of speed and cctv cameras and the country on the whole seemed as grey as when we left ,30 years ago it also seems to have an immigrant /religion problem, more than other euro zones, it did seem a lot cheaper than on our last visit two years earlier but is cheap good?. The place came across as overcrowded and dingy, traffic jams and long lines to get into and out of car parks. violent crime seems higher than many places around the world.
We have thought long and hard on a retirement in Spain, the weather and way of life is pleasing, more countryside and space, Food and wine we consider superior, the language is a problem for us though we do try, we did not notice the dog problems so much in the North, Asturias,Galicia etc.
We have used the Spanish hospitals and clinics and find them excellent and very CLEAN..

We do consider returning to the UK but must say if what we read is true and what we have seen in the last few years in most areas, we don't think it the best option all things considered.

Positive attitudes seem to be the way, bit things look pretty grim in Europe

Andy said:
10 March 2010 @ 16:42

I have lived in Spain for 3 and 1/2 years, I run my own property management company, and at the moment life is very hard financially. Yes the weather has been poor, yes the spanish do drive eratically, yes there is a lot of crime. So I can see why so many of you want to move back to the UK - 320 days of rain a year, a political party that doesn´t know its butt from its elbow (and another one in waiting!), stabbings, road rage, muggings, racism, a bankrupt economy, teenage pregnacies, paedophiles.....HELLOOOOO wake up and smell the cafe...... I live in a small Spanish village and the locals are the friendliest people I have ever met, my kids finish school and its safe enough for them to play outside, and they now speak two langauges, its cheap to eat and drink out and supermarket shopping is still cheaper (unless you go to Iceland!). From the sounds of it all the people that are moaning about Spain probably live in "little britain" estates and cannot be bothered to learn the lingo........ well, nobody ever said it was going to be easy!!!! I feel for you, i really do, enjoy your return trip to the UK and have a nice life.

Jackie said:
10 March 2010 @ 13:00


I agree with you completely. My background is similar to yours and I have found Spanish people to be friendly and extremely tolerant. I have to admit that I avoid all the "ex-pat areas like the plague so we spend our time amongst the Spanish people. We are also learning Spanish which I think makes a difference. We are planning to retire to Spain in the future and can't wait to be honest. I really like England too but I think Spain is a beautiful country which has much to be discovered. Everywhere is expensive to live these days.

A man from Finland said:
10 March 2010 @ 10:53

Sorry to say, but many (most?) people from England still act like colonialists. You except all to serve you and be polite to you and in ENGLISH.

Try to behave as foreing people should behave. Learn local language and customs, and you will get respect, you will get a smile and "please" and "thank you" on the LOCAL LANGUAGE.

Jerry said:
10 March 2010 @ 08:50

We purchased a property in La Manga in 2003 having done a lot of research and being lucky enough to have friends who have owned in Spain for a long time.The advice i was given was never sell up and burn your bridges in the UK, i am retired and could have made the permanent move, but i took the advice. I really enjoy our time in Spain and the majority of the owners in our development are Spanish and we have been accepted more each year our spanish is not good but we make an effort and that is appreciated. I wouldn't ever make the permanent move because of family in UK.
Dogs foul the footpaths in the UK, as a retired Police Officer i can tell you the driving is as bad in the UK and the crime rate is worse in the UK, you don't see the large goups of youths causing trouble in Spain because the Police don't tolerate it and move in and sort it out effectively immediately there is a problem.
The same nationality's of people who have drifted into Spain and are responsible for a lot of the crime have drifted into the UK as well with the same effect. I agree Spain is not for everyone, so rent initially before you decide, don't sell up and move to Spain without doing your research because it might not be the right decision for you.

Marie said:
10 March 2010 @ 08:05

My husband and I felt a bit like this and moved back to the UK 3 years ago. It was the best thing we ever did. It made us appreciate how good we had it in Spain. Spain is so much freer than the UK, without the constrictions of all the PC rules, suspicion, CCTV, etc. There is much less violence. The weather is muuuuch better. Despite growing up in the UK, I found myself depressed by the constant rain. Yes, things may be dearer now, but you can still eat cheaply and much more healthily. We are now back for good, expecting our first child here and very excited about our prospects.
My advice would be to go back, get it out of your system and then come back home to Spain.

Angela said:
09 March 2010 @ 20:57

Blimey! What negativity! Well, I've never bought a place in Spain but would love to as my family and I visit Spain regularly and find the Spanish very welcoming (pretty good considering my ethnic background is Caribbean and my husband's white!) I advertise holiday homes in Spain for a living and as much as I love my country (UK.. that is), I wouldn't think twice about moving to Spain so long as its away from all the miserable people complaining about the weather in Spain!! It rains in the Caribbean as well you know!!! Another thing I would like to add is that I'm not one to sit around and wait for 'dole' money, I work hard and I expect my children to do the same and achieve all they wish in life - the world's your oyster I say! Its how you decide to live it! Be nice and polite to people and they'll be nice back to you (Well, most of them...)

Paul said:
09 March 2010 @ 19:10

Well, viewing all the comments, it is what you make it. My wife and me have been here for two years and moved twice. We have found Spanish people to be polite but proud and and they have their own way of dealing with issues. The corruption is at its lowest but officials, i.e. police, Cilvil offices and some Government people, do need to have more patience with the foreign element. We are retired and love Spain but we deal with every day life as it comes and it is us who have to put ourselfe out not the Spanish. We are learning Spanish, and should do but, being an old codger? it is hard....we will get there, it will not be easy. The weather.....well, it's one of those things, I spoke to the LORD and he has laid on nicer weather for the weekend........

Brett Turner said:
09 March 2010 @ 19:09

I wrote a book on this subject 2 yrs ago www. spanish dream advice .com seems like this personal account was shared by many. Spain has its pros and cons as does the UK

Rosita said:
09 March 2010 @ 19:06

I find most of these comments extremely hard to understand as a Spanish person who has come to live in England, I recognise neither the Spain these people describe and certainly not the England! In my home town there is 90% unemployment now and so many people in my family are hoping that I can find them work here, so they at least won't lose their houses. I find England to be nothing like the strange picture painted here or on my television. We live in a village where we have no "hoodies" have no crime etc and everyone is very pleasant. In Spain no-one I knows has any time of sympathy for the plight of any foreigners who have chosen to move to Spain - we are much too worried about our future! My son in law has now finished his dole and has no hope of a job, nor his brothers. What are they and all like them supposed to do? Where is the help Zapatero - we are desperate and no-one is coming to help us. Who cares about the sunshine is you can't pay the rent or bills?

Dee said:
09 March 2010 @ 18:51

Having read the negative comments about those who have gone back to the UK.... all I can say is thank God.. the rest of us and the Spaniards are glad you never stayed... its those like you that make it so bad for the rest of us. It will "rain" wherever you are because that is all you see ... and if that is your idea of a joke allan I cant see anybody laughing.

Sean and Lindy lou said:
09 March 2010 @ 18:47

Wow this started an avalanche of comment. Lists Pro and Cons.

Pro Spain.
Total disrespect for petty Euro laws.
Work to live not Live to work
Respect for Family and culture
A national pride in its heritage
Wonderful Lasse fair attitude to life
If you want to integrate you are welcomed
Stand tall and they wont bump into you
Dont let them push in have some fun and integrate
Most of all understand that some bad weather happens every where.
I would add we dont live on the coast and grateful forit.

UK a place my Father and I have defended.
Not a lot to say.
Crooks in Power, State interferance in everything
Taxed to the hilt
Defend the lazy and not contributors
Give nothing back to the people who make the country.
THINK I'LL TAKE MY CHANCES WITH A FEW COLD SNAPS and 320 days of sun on average.

Raf said:
09 March 2010 @ 18:35

Hey Ron, I hear they are very strict on dog's mess in Singapore. Maybe you could move there?

Glynis said:
09 March 2010 @ 18:28

There are always two sides of any story. I do hate it when people slag the UK off. I think it says more about them. There are a lot worse places to live in the world. We have been in Spain in the Costa de Luz for six years. We are happy here but there is nothing wrong with the UK either. Prices have risen in the supermarkets here and there is nothing much you want to buy anyway except for the fish. We have had a dreadful winter with flooding, not us personally but many people around us. Houses where their furniture literally has mould growing on it from the wet and damp. Three months of nearly solid rain have taken their toll. Our family have moved back to the UK so we miss them dreadfully. However on the other side of the coin the rain will pass and we will have sunshine. We will be sitting in our local venta eating and drinking (too bloody cold there at the moment) i will be down on the beach at eight o´clock at night and swimming in my pool at midnight. Though this year I won´t be moaning in August that it is too hot not after this winter. I don´t agree with the Spanish being rude, I talk to people in the street and they always talk back. Please and thank you all the time is a British thing. I do hate the stray dogs though. There is good and bad in each country so stop the knockers of both.

allan said:
09 March 2010 @ 18:12

Just kidding folks it is of course a wonderful country.

allan said:
09 March 2010 @ 18:10

Mmmmm. whats wrong with Spain apart from the fact that the people are ignorant, the public services grotesquely corrupt, the infrastructure appalling. and the Government totally indifferent to the plight of people who helped build the economy of what was and still is more or less aA grotty litle banana republic. They are now busily engaged along with the other PIGS in helping to destroy the Eurozone because of their stupidity and incompetence.

Helen Woodrow said:
09 March 2010 @ 17:49

Spanish drivers and Spanish dogs causing problems-how do you know they are spanish ?

Roy said:
09 March 2010 @ 17:34

Hi there, I agreee completly with the original article. We bought our house in June of 2003 (off plan) and finally got the keys in Nov 2005. We used the place as a holiday home for a few years and loved it, then in 2007 we dicided to move over,we stayed there for 18 months before coming back to the UK. The place just wasnt the same as in 2003. Everything had gone up in price and the place was bloody freezing in the winter months. I know its colder in the UK but the houses are built for cold so they are warmer inside. I still have my house there but have no desire to visit again for a while. It came to point where I was asking myself "what are we doing here?", we were earning a fraction of what we earn in the UK, we were lonley, our house kept getting mouldy (ruined all my wifes shoes (not good)) and we couldnt even get medical cover unless we bought a private policy. All in all we decided to come back, BUT, there is another reason we decided to come back. People may be very surprised to hear what I'm gonna say and some may even hate me but I dont really care, so here it is.....We havea 2 year old baby and originally we thought Spain was the place to raise her as its so safe and crime free, but the problem, is that all the expat kids I saw there, amount to nothing! They have no jobs and no desire to train for anything, they are content with woking in a cafe or a bar. i want more for my child, here, she has all her family and friends and the much needed peer presure to make her want to make something of here life. Spain will always be there, but its not a place to move to if you are reliant on earning a living of have young kids. Stay in the UK, work hard and have fantastic holidays, then retire over there if you want. We dont regret coming back to the UK, I now have a 75k job, a decent car, a working mobile that I dont need a mortgage to pay for, cheap food and drink, family and friends and are buying a home soon. My house in spain? I cant even sell the damm thing!!!

Manuela said:
09 March 2010 @ 12:47

Hi , i am spanish living in U.K , There are two types of people , the first one following a dream, move to a hot country to find the peace.
The second one , wherever they go they find the peace.
So Paul, it is not about the country, it is about find peace in your heart.Do not fight anymore against yourself.

yllig said:
09 March 2010 @ 10:03

Yes we too are thinking of moving back to the UK. We have been here 2.5 years. We feel that Spain is still a third world country in some respects and to try and sort out any problem is hard. We too are becoming fed up with seeing shops closing down one by one and reading the horror stories about things happening to expats on the property front. We know some things are cheaper here but internet and car insurance is more expensive and some items of food and dont get me started on the issue of us having to have private medical insurance when we researched and were told no. We have been back to the UK and food is definitely mostly cheaper and with lots of special offers on drinks and meals. To the guy who gave prices of £20 for meals he must live in the south as prices are very competitive in the midlands where we came from. We speak some spanish and live in a small spanish village and join in with the spanish events. Yes we buy a few things at Iceland but the majority from spanish shops and to people who think the markets are cheaper for fruit and veg this is certainly not the case for everything. We have found Mercadona and Lidl cheaper. We think the only thing Spain has going for it is the sun and you have to weigh up the pros and cons of a few sunny hot months for the months of rainy windy and cold winter months with everything else. Yes if you have your pensions plus maybe private pension on top you wlll probably not be affected too much. We dont so life is a constant worry watching the interest rates and the £. All of the people we speak to say they would never have bought on a community and they would also have rented first and looked around different areas more. The majority also say they will go back at some stage as there is no back up of any description here in the way of home nursing, social services etc etc and this place is a different place when you are ill. I notice quite a few of the comments are from people who dont yet live here. I would certainly wait until you have lived here before you are so sure. We will review things next year and we may have to go back and look for work just on a part time basis for a few years before we get our pensions. There are lots of repossessed properties here and lots of people have had to go back and declare themselves homeless to the local authorities. I always said I would never go back but never say never.

Geoff said:
08 March 2010 @ 12:42

myself and my wife are moving to spain in September and cannot wait, we come over about 3 or 4 times a year and never want to go back to England. We own 2 properties in South Costa Blanca, one of which we will be putting up for sale this year and we know it will probably take a long time to sell it but its only the same in England. Some people do have the idea that evrything should be cheaper and better thanin england, but they are living in cloud cuckoo land.

Alan Sayers said:
07 March 2010 @ 11:52

It seems to me that Ron, quite simply got it wrong, but prefers to blame Spain and the Spanish for his problems.
Ron, be a man, accept it's your fault, no one else's!!!!

Jo H said:
07 March 2010 @ 00:07

I think this article is very negative and seems to miss the positives of living in Spain. I am 60 years old and can't wait to move to Spain even although I will only have my pension to live on. I feel I can't afford to live in uk with elec & gas at £117 a month and Council Tax at £76 a month. The only reason I am a
not there already is that I am still working to pay off debt!!! I hope to be there by September and know the weather will be better than here. I know it is colder in the winter months as that's when I usually go to Spain but it's still warmer than here.

DAVE T said:
06 March 2010 @ 16:41

£3.50 a pint, £20 for a meal, £1.15 a litre of fuel. These are prices in the UK, but most are very similar in Spain, why do people want to move to a country with the idea that to live where living is cheaper it will be better, the costs are the guide, low prices poor country. However, now that Spain is growing and becoming (thanks partly to the invasion of brits) part of the true Europe we all winge, as prices increase so will the quality of all things, tho' I agree supermarket food is generally poor quality compared to the UK, however the cost of the quality is passed on the the customer. In all, stop winging about Spain and take a verry good look at the poor and insular people of the UK, most of them are and for too many reasons beyond the weather.

Patrick Mc Grory said:
06 March 2010 @ 11:06

I feel so insulted whenever i read poeple saying things like no country other than ' ENGLAND' places so much emphasis on politeness. What about the rest of the UK do we not exsist ? Time and time again all we ever hear of is England this and England that its about time people south of the border recognised that the UK has more than ONE !!!! country.

Juan Life said:
06 March 2010 @ 00:19

All you hear is the constant whingeing from UK - Immigrants come to the UK and they bring their own cultures and can you believe it they cant or wont speak English. Yep thats right they just wont try to integrate. Dreadful!
Sorry I must repeat that again Brits come to Spain and they bring their own cultures (+skyTV,living together in Urbanisations,Iceland,cups of tea and english breakfasts etc) and can you believe it they cant or wont speak Spanish. Yep thats right they just wont try to integrate. Dreadful.
Get my point whinge in UK whinge in Spain .... stop whingeing and enoy life .. you are lucky to have had the chance to live here in the first place. Sun will shine soon and everyone will start to remember that feel good feeling you wont be getting that in UK for many months if at all

Big John said:
05 March 2010 @ 16:43

Hi, My wife and I moved to Spain nearly 4 years ago and live in a lovely little village, Almanzora, near Albox and absolutely love it. We are both well into our 70's and life is as wonderful now as it was the day we moved here. We only have our pensions to live on but have no problem whatsoever. For goodness sake will all those miserable people who are always complaining go back to Britian and leave Spain to us who love it. There is only one thing wrong with living in Spain and that is the 'Brits'.

PaulT said:
05 March 2010 @ 13:02

I found most of the article and many of the comments a little embarassing to be honest.

Spain is not a sunny version of Britain and never will be (thank God!). Lots of problems here but quality if life is undeniably better if you are open minded, able to adapt and learn.

I've met q a few ex pats after 2 years in Barcelona and it's clear the difference between those who are happy and settled and those contemplating leaving. The stayers generally speak Spanish (and at least some Catalan) and have integrated well into the local culture. The Brits who can cobble together only a few words in Spanish, who moan about rudeness, dog mess and drivers you just know won't last.


Summer said:
04 March 2010 @ 22:42

"I am sure that this article echoes many peoples own beliefs and that it will receive the appropriate "Hear Hear"!! by most readers."
Sorry Ron, but you definitely do not speak for me.
Me and my husband have lived in inland Spain for nearly 5 years, so we have as much experience as you to talk about this.

Sure, living in Spain can be hard. Like any country where you have to learn a new culture and language, when things go wrong, it is going to be more difficult to put them right.
The local language is nothing like 'text book' Spanish and communications can cause headaches in all sorts of situations - from dealing with building regulations, to getting your teeth fixed at a local dentist.
But we are getting there and people are surprisingly helpful - if you are pleasant to them.

As to saying 'please and thank you' on every occasion you can think of, I think that's mainly an English trait. My American friends laugh at the 'over-politeness of the English' too.

Spanish drivers? Well, the Spanish do appear to have their own interpretation of driving regulations, but so do the Brits. You live here and adapt.

Dogs? Sure, the Spanish are not usually 'dog lovers' in the sense the English are, and dogs wandering the village streets can be excessive and can cause a mess. But compare that to the excrement riddled streets in some UK cities (despite legislation to stop this) and this by dogs on leads and owned by 'dog lovers'.... I don't think you are making a very good case.

'Ghost Towns' - didn't you realise before you moved here, that the majority of Spanish businesses have a long closing time during the middle of the day. But they open again much later than most Brit businesses, so I don't really see your gripe with that either.

As to the cost of living in Spain - sure, that's gone up too, as it has in the UK. Anyone planning to live in Spain solely because it was said to be cheaper here, really should have found other reasons to move here to begin with.

Since we moved here, we have had our ups and downs, and living at times has been hard. But in our case, most of our problems were the result of being ripped off by a Brit builder who set up business here and then b*** off.

And yes, the weather here is depressing (and dangerous for some locals) right now, but whenever I go back to the UK, those persistently grey skies depress me much more.

So, if the reasons you give are the main ones for going back to the UK, then you really need to think a little deeper.

Paul said:
04 March 2010 @ 21:48

I am regrettably leaving the southern Costa Blanca after a 17 month stay. I had intended to come here permanently and at first life seemed great. But it's only once you've settled here for many months that you get to see the full picture - and it ain't a pretty one. Thank God I didn't buy a property and can leave when I please (which will be asap). This country is in complete collapse. The adoption of the Euro has had a catastrophic effect on a country which was not suited to it.
But I shall not be returning to the UK, which is an even bigger a mess than Spain. I'm considering the far east at present. As someone said above, Spain is strictly for holidays only (but needs to get a lot cheaper even for that!)

vikki said:
04 March 2010 @ 21:14

Thanks for that Technoape
You are right, I am still living in the UK, I cannot afford to live on my pension so have had to go back to work, try it , all you lucky pensioner's living in Spain, you will find goods and services have become far more expensive here in the UK during the last few years, try buying fruit and veg from our so called cheap supermarkets.

TechNoApe said:
04 March 2010 @ 20:58

I believe that this discussion would be best held on the forum, as we are supposed to leave comments on the Article itself, as opposed to 'discussing' it.

My opinion:

An article written from an obviously well read and educated person, who is not basing the argument on what I would consider as educated facts.

My partner and I moved from the UK just over one year ago and see everything opposite to all those who moved four or more years ago and now wish to return to the UK.

What people need to consider is that living in both the UK and Spain is much more expensive than it was four or more years ago!

TechNoApe said:
04 March 2010 @ 19:51

I believe that this discussion would be best held on the forum, as we are supposed to leave comments on the Article itself, as opposed to 'discussing' it.

My opinion:

An article written from an obviously well read and educated person, who is not basing the argument on what I would consider as educated facts.

My partner and I moved from the UK just over one year ago and see everything opposite to all those who moved four or more years ago and now wish to return to the UK.

What people need to consider is that living in both the UK and Spain is much more expensive than it was four or more years ago!

Dee said:
04 March 2010 @ 19:36

Pete Im sorry to disagree with you .. you are only talking about food and electricity. I agree on the latter but not the former... fruit and vegetables could not be cheaper if you go to the market and buy directly from the Spanish farmers. Eating out is far cheaper in Spain. My community charge is only 280 euros per year.. weigh that up against Council tax- Taxing your car is ridiculously cheap by comparison. My water bill is 44 euros every 2 mths. My refuse collection is on 50 euros a year that includes three collections a week and my garden rubbish once a week.My husband and I could never live on our pensions in the uk.. As for the supermarket competition ... Good Lord there are more supermarkets here than I can shake a stick at... you want cheap then go to Lidl or Aldy. Im going back to UK for Easter to see my family... apart from seeing them.. Im dreading it.

Paul said:
04 March 2010 @ 18:40

There is a simple solution Ron if you dont like Spain then leave and go back to Uk Simple sorted Bye Bye.

Pete Lloyd said:
04 March 2010 @ 18:22

A few words.It is cheaper to live in the uk,than Spain.This is mainly due to the larger supermarket competition we have in the uk.The way the electric companies operate in Spain leaves alot to be desired.Where would i prefer to live?Spain without a doubt.

Jan said:
04 March 2010 @ 17:55

It never ceases to amaze me with these people, you do not like it then go back to where you came from if it is so great. I have lived here for ten years I am not young but I have tried to learn spanish and find the spanish people on the whole most helpful and polite. BYE BYE

John Wolfendale said:
04 March 2010 @ 17:20

There was once a farmer who lived on the edge of town, right off the main road.
One day this farmer was mending his fences when a wagon came rolling up.
It appeared to be a new family moving into town. There wasn’t a single space
anywhere on the wagon that didn’t have a box, blanket or frying pan strapped to
it or hanging off it. As the wagon got nearer, a man on the wagon called out.
“Howdy. We’re thinking of relocating to this town. Do you mind me asking what
sort of folks live in these parts?”
The farmer called back, “What were the people like where you came from?”
“Not a kind bunch, “said the newcomer. “They’d stab you in the back just as
soon as look at ya.”
“Well, that’s exactly the kind of folks you’ll find here.”
It wasn’t more than an hour or so later when another wagon approached,
looking much like the last. It was another family looking to put down roots.
“We’re fixing to move into town. We were wondering what kind of people we’ll
find here,” says the man sitting on the wagon.
“What were the people like where you came from,” asked the farmer.
“Oh they were wonderful! Anyone of ‘em would give you the shirt off his back,”
said the newcomer.
Then the farmer said, “Well that’s exactly the kind of folks you’ll find here.”

Jan said:
04 March 2010 @ 16:26

I think the article is very good. Of course Spain does have decent weather in summer but in winter it can be quite grim. The nights are cold and it is difficult getting a Spanish home warm in winter.
Weather,I am afraid is not the only thing in life.We rented near Javea for a year with the option to buy. We did like it but we felt isolated, missed the kids, missed the good and pleasant service in shops, proper signal on our TV and so many other things one just takes for granted living in the UK.
I too have lived in many countrys the past few years and at the end of the day it is where you most feel comfortable that is important and of course where you want to invest your money. To invest in property in Spain now wold be total madness. Houses we looked at three years ago in Javea are still un-sold and are now half the price compared to then and they still can not sell them.
I say invest in the UK, you just know the property market will come back with a vengeance. I am not so sure about Spain. I have read reports that say at least fifteen years.
Live and invest in the UK and rent in Spain and get the best of all worlds!

John said:
04 March 2010 @ 15:48

I have been living in many different European countries and lived in Spain for almost 9 years. Because of work I had to leave and go back to the UK. I never really got over it. I tried to convince myself how great Great Britain is, but I was missing the sea and the sun, the tapas, the BBQ's, sitting on the terrace and so on. I had to commute to London everyday, there is nothing worse! I now live in Brussels, again because of work and I am still missing my Spain. I signed up on a site called conversation exchange.com and now meet Spanish people every week to learn and keep-up my Spanish, while they learn English from me. One thing is for sure: I will be back in Spain in the next few years. I will be standing on the beach, looking out to the sea and take a deep breath. Warning: don't do that in England, you choke!

praguepix said:
04 March 2010 @ 15:32

Hear, hear from me too! So much has changed here and not for the better, I dare say. Some interesting articles on this can also be found from:
www costacritics com

What a load of whingers!
If life is so unpleasant, why are these people still here????

Paul said:
04 March 2010 @ 14:06

Well...as the song goes, "wherever I lay my hat, thats my home"

Today the sun is shining and the seeds I potted for my veg garden are already up in 3 days...its only March 3 and I look forward to a bumper harvest this year.

Its down to the little things in life...IMHO...but then I'm welsh and we're happy with whatever we get, and as far as football and rugby go, thats not much :-)

Señora said:
04 March 2010 @ 14:04

Hear, hear from me too! So much has changed here and not for the better, I dare say. Some interesting articles on this can also be found from:
www costacritics com

praguepix said:
04 March 2010 @ 13:50

Many things truly do have to improve in Spain.

I have just reread the original piece and this sentence has leapt out at me as being an example of what in my earlier post I described as the sense of entitlement on the part of some British immigrants.
'Many things have to improve'.....what arrogance! Why should they? Because some disgruntled Brit with a dwindling bank balance says so?

Aase said:
04 March 2010 @ 13:47

If you are tired of living in Spain and trying to sell your house/apartment/business I have a great idea for you.
I can put your object onto the Norwegian market for you.
With the recession in Spain and Uk the Norwegian kroner is very strong and it is easier to sell there. The GBP is very low compared to NOK which makes it a great opportunity.
Norway is a small country but your add could be seen by 4 million people. If you are interested contact me at : tanteaase@yahoo.no

Brenda said:
04 March 2010 @ 11:38

Oh dear!!!! What a shame that you can only find negative issues with your life in Spain. There is good and bad in every country, and Britain certainly has it's share of both. I'm enjoying the challenge of Spain, and loving the sunshine and the even the rain. A smile and a laugh helps loads - enjoy yourself - be happy!!!!!

Tracey said:
04 March 2010 @ 10:58

Oh dear, I am off to sunny spain this evening to my property and although I know the weather is bad at the moment, it certainly doesn't keep you in the house like it has done in the UK for the last 6 months plus.

I couldn't even get to work in England for parts of January because of the weather, and despite trying to get there by public transport it took me over 2½ hours to make the 8 mile journey! I asked "work colleagues" for lifts from the station, but to no avail. it's everyone for themselves.

I can't wait for the day to retire and move to Spain, it's a great way of life if you have got the money to enjoy it and I find the people on the whole lovely. We do speak some Spanish, but the only problems we have is having to listen to our English friends who live out in Spain "moaning". The UK is a terrible place to live, no-one smiles, it's dog eat dog and if you have got something decent because you have worked hard for it, everyone resents you.

I think its perhaps the English that have got the problems, we have become a load of moaners.

I am looking forward to my menu del dia tomorrow and a walk along the coast. I don't however seem the point of moving to Spain in an urbanisation fulll of English, who never intend to speak Spanish and think they are living in England with sun.

praguepix said:
04 March 2010 @ 10:54

What do people expect when they move to a foreign country? Anyone thinking they will find Paradise in Spain or anywhere else for that matter needs psychiatric help!
The complaints made by the author seem rather petty and trivial: is there no dogs' mess in the UK? Are there no rude and aggressive people? Are no doors shut in one's face?
My partner and I have lived in several European countries and found things to admire and dislike in each one. In my opinion, your experiences will depend to a great extent on your own attitude. We have encountered far too many British immigrants in Spain and elsewhere who seem to have a sense of entitlement. Our experiences of Spain have been quite the opposite to those of the author's: we have found nothing but courtesy, helpfulness and warm friendliness.
I really couldn't say whether Spain is 'cheaper' than the UK or not. I didn't come here in search of a cheaper lifestyle. What one considers 'expensive' depends on one's habits and expectations as much as on the contents of one's wallet.
When one leaves to live in a foreign country, one should not pack too many expectations and dreams in one's suitcases.
Accept whatever life offers with a sense of humour and a sense of proportion and you can be content almost anywhere in the world.
Would I be right in suspecting that it is financial worries and not disssatisfaction with Spain and all things Spanish that is sending people back home, I wonder?

wendy said:
04 March 2010 @ 10:48

my husband and i have lived in spain 7 years and my parents have lived here 18 years so we have been coming to spain for many years as well
when we go back to england to see our children we are appalled each time and can not wait to come back to spain
the young people who walk round in hoodys and with nowhere to go and no jobs to go to
people who would rather stay at home and watch jeremy kyle all day and receive benefits to spend on drink and drugs who would never hold a door open for you or say hello or thank you
my daughter was attacked at a cash machine in england pushed to the ground from behind and her money and cash card stolen
the electric bills and gas are so high now car tax and poll tax
these people who talk about uk being cheaper than spain must be very misinformed
also i think a lot of english people do not try to make an effort to get on with the spanish how many urbanisations do you see now with nearly all english
people say it is exspensive to shop here yes it is if you go to these english supermarkets and pay the prices they charge when you can go to spanish supermarkets and get the same thing practically
as for the nhs i was a nurse back in england and i have had to deal with two people from my family being treated in spainish hospitals and thank goodness as they would of been dead had they been in an english hospital
and if you can not speak spanish then pay for an interpreter or learn the language

Elie said:
04 March 2010 @ 10:29

hi good morning i totaly agree .some brits do expect spain to be England with the sunshine i love
spain and its people its all about aceptence and positive thinking.in a day or two we will have the sun shine so smile please but really happiness come from with in so come on cheer up plse read what our dear friend have said obout this beautiful country .
.deborah ,robert,greg,jade,dee,mo, javed,spain is a beautiful place to live . Blessing Elie xx

Moira Varney said:
04 March 2010 @ 00:30

My husband and I came to live in Spain over 4 years ago. We
thoroughly enjoyed the way of life at first, but then the problems
started creeping in. The utility bills are rising fast, suddenly we
were told to pay some sort of tax on our property, then we had
to pay a licence on an enclosure round our patio -it seems to be
never ending. We consciously bought on an open communidad, now there are going to be gates fitted, but no locks, (can't see
the point of them). Just more expense! But, from first hand
experience without a doubt, the hardest thing is the language
barrier. When over 60 years of age, it is very difficult to learn
a new language. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Cancer
in 2008, I have had to take translators with me to over 120
hospital appointments for treatment and hospital staff do not
speak any English. I cannot have a proper discussion with the
consultant, I get to hear the bare essentials. I am seriously
considering going back to U.K. cos if I need more treatment in
the future, I would really feel happier being able to speak for
myself to surgeons and consultants. There is a lot you miss
out on.

michael said:
04 March 2010 @ 00:07

Don't know why I bother; I have just been reading through the UK's online newspaper before bed; the Daily Mail included. I cannot believe a country could descend into such a dysfunctional - and insolvent state. It really is falling apart. Sorry! Spain does have its shortcomings but they are minor irritations compared with that awful country I left to its fate.
I have told my sons' that I will haunt them if on my passing they return me or my ashes to that God foresaken excuse for a nation.

John said:
03 March 2010 @ 23:48

We moved here about 15 months ago, before that we were frequent visitors as our children lived here. We live near Gibraltar where we have many friends and family. No doubt it is easier to live here if we had a decent exchange rate, that alone is putting many people under a lot of strain. The Spanish people are generally quite pleasant to us although dealing with them can be frustrating at times. I would not go back to a country that is going from bad to worse. Living here takes a lot of pre-planning, especially if you are retired as pensions are not going as far as they used to, however I hope that will change when we get a new government in May. To sum up, it's "horses for courses" we all have our crosses to bear, my wife wants to go back to UK (she is a fluent Spanish speaker) and I want to stay here and I hardly speak any Spanish but I am going to learn. I know that I have a better lifestyle here than In would in UK.

Derek said:
03 March 2010 @ 23:00

The whole premise of living in Spain comes down to where you actually live and what kind of people actually live in your vicinity.
We bought a property in a community of 114 of which approximately 60% pay the community fees and so we are heavily in debt to the water provider which is communal , the Macro community etc.
We were blessed with a president and an administration company that were corrupt and got us further into debt by falsifying invoices and putting the money into their own pockets.
Having being appointed President I have tried to turn things around but now after 2and half years of trying to take none payers to court I give in. Nothing gets done and the paying residents are having to bear the brunt of it. no problems with the Spanish, we have found them to be warm,hospitable and generous. We love our Spanish neighbours but the biggest problem we have is English rentals and the property owners who rent to them. they pay no fees and the rentals abuse the facilities and don't care about anything. consequently the community is a mess,dogs, unruly kids ruining everything. Not our idea of retiring in the sun! After 4 years of waiting for the courts to bring these people to justice we are still waiting ,they owe the community thousands and nothing is done about it.
Can't wait to sell and get out.
Ok if you want to nit pick. the Spanish do not use por favour very often it's just their way but the do say thank you,hola and good morning to everyone.

Robert said:
03 March 2010 @ 22:56

I have not have the pleasure of living in Spain yet but have bought an appartment with the intension of doing so in the future. In my recent visits I have had a couple of bad expieriences, one my car was towed when I parked in an illegal spot( my fault entirely) but the people who saw it being towed came to me when I was looking for it thinking it was stolen and pointed to the ground to a sticker where it was parked and even though there was a language barrier they made me aware of what to do, Also once i parked in an underground and luckily I took the name of it because in my wandering i lost my bearings. I approached a man in a kiosk on the street and explained my situation in my broken spanish and he pulled a map of the city cente from a book of maps and directed me back to the car and when i asked how much for the map he wouldnt take any money. Not unfriendly gestures to me. We should remember we are in their country and should accept them as they are.

Deborah said:
03 March 2010 @ 22:42

It makes me angry and sad when I hear the comments from people who have moved to Spain and have gone back. Folks the grass is never usually greener on the other side and hell why did you not do your homework......of course its nothing like the UK thats why you moved here in the first place.....and yes I would agree with the comments that this is a different culture, with different idea´s and ways of doing things. But one must learn to embrace those differences. So go back to a country that is a nanny state, foul weather and a lack of general happiness.

For me I will stay here and continue to try and understand the differences this wonderful country has to offer and to reach out to the Spanish people with a warm hand and heart no matter the language barriers you can still be understood.

An English Teacher in Spain

Dee said:
03 March 2010 @ 22:29

Why so many people buy property off plan instead of buying a re-sale.. something they can see (and there are so many bargains to be had at the moment) confounds me. What else would you buy spending out 75,000 pounds without seeing it ??
And no matter how many times, we more experienced residents try to advise those who are foolish enough to do so, tthey never listen. I recently met someone here on holiday who was about to do the same thing.. I advised him not to... but he went ahead anyway. Im truly sorry that you had this happen to you and can understand you being very bitter but I have to say you are in the minority. My advice to anyone who wants to buy in another country... take a holiday rent an apartment and a car ... look around see whats already built and on the market... pick up a bargain go to a recommended legitimate solicitor Ive bought three times in Spain, sold twice ... it can be done painlessly believe me.

Ian said:
03 March 2010 @ 22:15

Myself and the wife bought a villa in Murcia 2.5 years ago and put £75k cash down as a deposit that was meant to be held in a seperate bank account by the Spanish Builder - Herrall Del Torro, San Jose, Murcia. The builder is now into administration and has spent our money. We are 1 of thousands of people who's lives have been blighted by money grabbing crooks in Spain. Personally, I will never go back to Spain not even for a holiday, not even if I get my money back that the building company stole (which I doubt will never happen). I am sure that as usual the minority of people in Spain spoil it for the majority but I dont have much love for the country anymore and would strongly advise anyone thinking of investing in Spain not to.

Jade said:
03 March 2010 @ 21:59

For goodness sake - look at the positives and stop being so negative. It could be worse you could be living in Chile! There are lots of people in this world who would change places with you in a flash so stop moaning and count your blessings.

mo said:
03 March 2010 @ 21:49

I do so agree with both Michael and Dee, I live in England for 6 weeks and then Spain for 6 weeks, we have just returned from 6 weeks in Spain and were shocked at the Supermarket prices here, yes Spanish prices have increased but the overall quality of life is far better, even with the last three months of rain, there have been balmy days and I breathe a sigh of relief everytime we touch down in Spain, so far mayb e I have been lucky and have not met rude Spanish people , car drivers are the same the world over, very aggresive with many rude hand movements, no different from England. Where would I prefer to be ...oh most certainly in Spain, the beautiful country, gorgous scenery and laid back lifestyle..so we can't afford to eat out, but we can sit on our very sunny patio and have our meal..give me Spain every time

Greg Bartlam said:
03 March 2010 @ 21:35

I couldn't disagree more. Having lived here for some 4 years now, I wouln't consider moving back to U.K. I am fortunate to be living inland amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in a very 'Spanish' area. Agreed the financial benefits have declined but that is mainly due to the fact that the pound has colapsed in value so my pension doesn't buy the same number of euro's that it did! I have an abundance of good wine available at less than 1€ a bottle, an unbeatable range of inexpensive fresh fruit and vegetables(Living in Spain's agricultural basket) and, as an aging insulin dependent diabetic, a health service that is superior to the NHS. When my daughter came to visit, she remarked on the beauty of my surroundings and said 'I can see why you came here to live' I replied 'I didn't come here to live, I came here to die - but I'm in no particular hurry!' Viva España

mo said:
03 March 2010 @ 21:05

I do so agree with both Michael and Dee, I live in England for 6 weeks and then Spain for 6 weeks, we have just returned from 6 weeks in Spain and were shocked at the Supermarket prices here, yes Spanish prices have increased but the overall quality of life is far better, even with the last three months of rain, there have been balmy days and I breathe a sigh of relief everytime we touch down in Spain, so far mayb e I have been lucky and have not met rude Spanish people , car drivers are the same the world over, very aggresive with many rude hand movements, no different from England. Where would I prefer to be ...oh most certainly in Spain, the beautiful country, gorgous scenery and laid back lifestyle..so we can't afford to eat out, but we can sit on our very sunny patio and have our meal..give me Spain every time

Javed Khan said:
03 March 2010 @ 20:46

It is true that in Spain "please", "thank you", "holding the door for the ensuing person" is rare but that should not be misconstrued as rudeness / solecism/bad decorum. It is just a cultural thing. The English are exceptionally polite and civilised something I have appreciated very much living in England as I do. When away from England it takes me a while to get used to the direct mannerism but I know no rudeness is intended. The English politeness is unique; no other country let alone Spain puts so much emphasis and rightly so on politeness.

Dee said:
03 March 2010 @ 20:37

I agree with you Michael.. I currently have my house up for sale because I "felt" I wanted to return home after living here for 8 yrs. But I am seriously coming to the conclusion, after seeing so much of the doom and gloom back there, that I will be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Yes we have had a bad winter, the worst I have experienced in my time here, that has been depressing. I think one has to accept that living in Spain IS different, the people, the culture but so many Brits come here wanting Britain with sunshine.. sorry it doesnt work that way. I have learnt some Spanish and that does make some difference; I think to expect so much from the Spanish people and not make an effort to understand them and their culture is ungracious. To say that the cost of living is more expensive here is, in my view, rubbish. Discount the cost of food and clothes, what about Car Tax, water, community charge, fuel costs, eating out, wine etc. There is no comparison. You will find dirty dog owners wherever you live. The streets are safer here and so are children - yes there are break-ins but is that any different to the UK ?
Street stabbings ? Child abductions? .. I think it best to admit that when you are homesick you only remember the good things. If you return I hope you find what your looking for because you must have left for a reason other than the weather.

David Millward said:
03 March 2010 @ 20:34

I lived with my partner for more than three years in Ibiza and it was a beautiful place to be.
However, it was very difficult to earn a living and the authorities did not make it easy for foreigners to make a home even though I found most of the islanders friendly and welcoming.
Although I studied Spanish I found the language barrier very hard to get over when trying to chat in a bar or with a neighbour in the street.
Having been away from the UK, I actually feel more positive about my country of birth now and agree that living abroad is by no means easy. However, I am looking forward to returning to Ibiza as a tourist again many times in the future.

Dee said:
03 March 2010 @ 20:27

I agree with you Michael.. I currently have my house up for sale because I "felt" I wanted to return home after living here for 8 yrs. But I am seriously coming to the conclusion, after seeing so much of the doom and gloom back there, that I will be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Yes we have had a bad winter, the worst I have experienced in my time here, that has been depressing. I think one has to accept that living in Spain IS

michael walsh said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:54

I agree that Spain isn't the Nirvana it once was and I am loathe to defend it. However I do think Ron is making a case and trying to convince himself that there's nothing between the two nations.
Britain has just recorded the sharpest cost of living hike in Europe. The winter, and I mean a harsh unrelenting winter is still going on into its fifth month. Fuel bills are horrendous.
The drivers there are much more aggressive - compounded by the roads being far more crowded. There are towns, urbanisations; cities even where you will not see a European face and are no go areas for White people.
Dogs? I used to stroll around Liverpool's beautiful Sefton and Princes Parks. I stopped doing so because of the vicious dogs, kept by a thuggish underlife as protection.
You may kid yourself, Ron; some of have long memories. No, Spain has plenty of shortcomings but don't think the UK's aren't more dire. they are.

Tony Edge said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:51

You Can't be serious or you live on the coast!!
We've lived here (ONIL & Cocentaina) 7 1/2 years now and wouldn't return to my country of birth for a million euros.
The Uk is Bankrupt and facing a 'Hung' parliament so nothing will change in the parliament, the currency is crashing and it rains there.

Dino H said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:50

We have moved to Spain 7 years ago, Main reason was the sun and the blue skies, which in turns mean more freedom and outside life, trips to the beach, and so on. It is easy to get depressed with the number of rainy days we have been having. Yes, UK may be cheaper when it comes to everyday shopping, but eating out, or going for a drink is still more expensive. just wait another few weeks, before you make any decisions..good luck to all.

Jools said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:46

I can see both sides of the fence on this one.
I've lived here with my young Son for almost 6 years, he's been in the state school system here all of that time, and speaks fluent Catalan and Spanish, in fact his English reading and writing isn't as good as the other 2 !
I do miss certain things like shopping when you want to, instead of everything being closed between 1 and 5pm and nothing open on Sundays, but on the other hand this is now our leisure time, where as in the UK Sunday was shopping, almost like a hobby, now we go out to the coast, visit somewhere new or the like.
We have lots of genuine Spanish friends, and we enjoy life to the full.

Where would I live if money or kids in school didn't matter?????
It has to be Spain I'm afraid, gets my vote every time.

I can still shop at M&S and Next online..........no competition what so ever, yes they need to learn some manners but that's their custom, they dont say please and thankyou for absolutely everything.

The old owner of a local bar said once is enough, good enough for me.....lol

Darius said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:44

I totally agree with you. Ive just returned to UK after 4 years in Spain. All I can say is life is a big challenge, language barriers, red tape, corruption, and 3 burglaries in one year is enough.
We lived in the campo in a small village withno mains water or electricity. (mad I know). Life was very hard despite my determination and effort to fit it, but spanish people can be racist. There is also the matter on manners. Dont get me wrong some spanish people are very nice, but others just hate us foreigners. We had a good circle of friends whom I will keep in contact with, but thats all. If theres anything positive I can take away from this experience its the fact that Spain is for holidays ONLY.

Dennis said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:35

I love Spain. My problem is when I believed the British company I bought the house through, Masa International. I bought a new 'key ready' house from Mrsrati in Castalla Internacional. I was assured any problems would be resolved and now, almost two years later, noting is done. I have found out that the guarantee startes when the structure is finished, and I bought the house new three years after it was completed. They won't do anything, don't even bother to respond to me, about resolving the problems. DON'T TRUST MASA INTERMATIONAL NOR MARSATI. They care nothing about their clients, only the pounds in their pockets.

Rosi Reed said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:33

As a person born of Spanish parents and brought up in the UK, I have always had a realistic grasp of both worlds. After years of living in England and working in Spain I now run a Spanish holiday company, but I work out the office here in England, although my family live in Spain. I actually think that one of the problems is the amount of British people who relocate to Spain, thinking they're moving to some sort of paradise. Often they have high and unrealistic viewpoints of the country, culture, people and their future there. Reality rarely lives up to fantasy. It is one thing to go to Spain for a holiday but quite another to live there and no matter how hard it may be for ex-pats, it's so much worse for the Spanish who have nowhere to move back to in this recession. 90% unemployment in many parts of Andalucia.

Tom said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:29

A very good article. I agree with you whole heartedly.I am sure some expats will be defensive about there life in Spain but for the most part you are expressing the views of so many.
We intended to retire in Spain but after renting fo a year reached exactly the same conclusions you have reached. Live in the UK and go on holidays a lot to different places. At least we know and are comfortable with the system here in the UK.
Unfortunately many expats are now unable to sell there homes on Spain and return, but I bet if they were totally honest a lot would love to come home.

dianne said:
03 March 2010 @ 19:20

I totally understand your feelings. I returned to the UK 3 years ago after 4 years in Spain and never thought I would - I loved the whole thing about lilving in Spain but life there is soooo hard.
I still have a house in Ronda but have no urges these days to visit.
I have no regrets except sometimes when I finish work fo rthe day would love to call into a beach bar for a drink or dinner on the way home!!
I had a lot of friends there but despite my best efforts all but a couple have fell by the wayside in a way that my english friends never have done so had a great social circle to come back to.
Good luck iwth whatever you decide.

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