December 22, 2012 at 9:35 am #57197
Since most of us live or have lived an expat life, this is a simple story of one of our own.
I too have had a lizard sitting on my laptop.
December 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm #114190
December 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm #114192
That’s what I thought too. And after all those years away, she never forgot her English and Welsh roots, and wrote and thought about them constantly.
December 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm #114214
Maybe, she did not intregate/similate as politicians and the various bodies expect us to do.
December 24, 2012 at 7:29 am #114216
Integration is a vexed, thorny subject and widely misunderstood.
We have the enthusiasts getting off the planes with Flamenco music ringing in their ears, and the language cassettes in their cases. They buy Spanish townhouses, inland, and get the builders in on day one. But while Paco and Manolo are laboriously knocking down centuries old walls, Pedro is up on the crumbling roof fiddling about with a satellite dish, vainly looking for a signal. A telephone line has been promised by Ricardo at Telefonica, and Francisco, the local mayor, is going to grant some strange licences for a small fee.
Then we have the other immigrants. They get off the planes with the Green, Green Grass of Home ringing in their ears and head for the new complex on the coast to be among their friends. They shop at Iceland, drink Smith’s beer in their local and sing on the Karaoke machine every Saturday night. They know My Way without looking at the small screen in front of them. They make an effort to learn a few words in that strange language, Cafe con Leche, Por Favour and Gracias are usually enough to get by.
Which expat would the Spanish people prefer?
You’ll have to ask them.
December 24, 2012 at 10:10 am #114218katyBlocked
Is this a trivia quiz
I can answer it…the Spanish prefer the foreigners in their coastal urbanisations, employing spanish gardeners and cleaners. Pretty much the same as in the UK they don’t like the idea of foreigners moving into the small villages opening Turkish bars, Polish shops etc. There seems to be a perception that the ones who move inland will integrate more…well they won’t if they think it is all flamenco and they won’t be able to converse with a cassette tape (do they actually make them anymore 😆 ) I have never heard anyone speak decent Spanish from a self help language course! Most moved into the villages because the properties were cheaper on the coast that’s all…they still watch their SKY TV, drive their Brit cars and congregate together in local bars, no difference at all. To integrate you have to speak spanish fluently, not flog property or deal solely with Brits. It is possible to integrate on the coast…..after all at least 70% of Marbella residents are spanish. 😀
Oh and Brits on the coast tend to shop at the same shops as the Spanish, Mankydonna, Lidl, Alcampo etc.
December 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm #114221
I’ve tried both, but then decided to live a bit nearer to civilisation and try the half and half approach. The foreign population here probably stands at something like 10%, which doesn’t sound a lot, but I have to sadly say that we have a disproportional effect on the local economy because we are wealthier than the remaining 90%. It sounds horrible, but it’s true.
Consequently, local house building, shopping centres, a plethora of bank branches and the service industry is squarely aimed at us, the foreigners. When we dial 112 in emergencies, we can speak in English, German and Russian should we need to. Spanish businesses need English speakers to succeed.
Integration is bound to fall by the wayside, there is little need for it. And I have to say from my inland experience that Spanish people are happy to keep most foreigners at arm’s length, just like the wrong kind of leaves on an English railway track, they are not all welcome.
December 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm #114222katyBlocked
Yes that’s true but who would the Spaniards prefer in a small pueblo. The Spanglophile who is fluent and spends around 400€ per month in the local economy or the elderly couple who don’t/won’t speak Spanish, know nothing about what is happening locally but spend around 2000€ per month. The latter will probably employ a local gardener and cleaner too.
December 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm #114226
The well worn cliche about money being the root of all evil is as true as it has ever been. We went for our Christmas Day stroll along the busy promenade of a Spanish sea side town, armed with camera and Christmas hats. On special occasions over the years we have visited a restaurant with an amazing glazed in terrace overlooking a pristine beach.
My wife stopped in amazement and pointed to that restaurant as we walked past it. I wondered why, it looked the same to me as it did 15 years ago. She pointed at the main menu board, a large one and I still couldn’t see why she was surprised. Then it dawned on me.
The menu had always been in Spanish and English. It was now in Spanish and Russian.
We walked on, and on, and sat among the crowd of fellow Christmas Day walkers, watching the well dressed crowd walk by. Our game was obvious, it was Spot the Russians.
We didn’t see any at first, I suppose we were looking for people dressed as Cossacks, and there weren’t any. Our hopes rose when we spotted an elderly, well-dressed couple wearing fur hats. In temperatures of 20 degrees?
They had a long-haired Dachshund with them and our hopes rose. Suddenly they took a table bear to us and we could hear them converse. They were Spanish.
We were finally rewarded on our long walk back to the car park. We walked past a million Euro house with a fat, 100K Mercedes in the driveway and four people sitting around a table enjoying their sea view, next to the swimming pool and tennis courts.
They were talking loudly and I could see two large Vodka bottles on the table. They were Russians. One even looked like Putin.
December 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm #114228
I was in SW London a while back and there were many Russians there. One even had a doormat saying ‘Welcome back from Moscow’ on the front door steps.
Therefore doesn’t Spain just want people with money, wherever they come from, who can buy up all this property excess?
December 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm #114231
Does anyone who is desperate to sell a property care where the buyer comes from? Does anyone care whether a dubious buyer is likely to upset the neighbours left behind?
I suppose you could (care) in more prosperous times, but that doesn’t apply to Spain now. We had visitors this afternoon who were desperate to sell their Spanish property to move to Australia and had already reduced their asking price by 40% from four years ago, but there has been little interest from prospective buyers, only the odd chancers making silly offers.
They would sell to Martians if they came along with sufficient Euros, instead of their valueless Zonks.
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