Last Saturday, we celebrated our second anniversary in Spain. But what exactly have we learned in these 2 years? Moreover, do we have any regrets?
Those Cute Little Houses in Torrox Have a Serious Problem…
Remember this? I have to admit, it was kinda romantic living in one of those white houses. Especially with a roof terrace like this…
Too bad that many of these houses on the coast suffer from big humidity problems! That was a lesson that we learned way too late. Easy solution: we moved inland, which has actually proven to be very advantageous… But more about that in another post.
We All Have to Deal with the Same Nightmare
I follow a Facebook group of expats in Granada and regularly, there are expats complaining about the administrative nightmares they have to undergo…
Correction: everybody suffers from that same nightmare. Yes, even the Spanish themselves… Just mention the word “administracion” to any local person and you will see them rolling their eyes and hear them sigh. Just take it easy and follow all the necessary steps when you apply for your NIE or “residencial” or whatever. Becoming angry will certainly not help you, it could actually turn against you! Have a look here to see what you have to do – on an administrative level – if you want to live in Spain.
Better Learn the Language
Especially when you move inland! And even in tourist areas, there are lots of locals who don’t know a word of English. Yes, you can go to a language school, but immersion will cost you nothing. Sure, it’s (more) difficult, but it’s also more fun! I have Spanish friends who help me with the local language and in return, I teach them English or French. I promise you: learn the language and get to know the local culture and you have friends for life.
Besides, you can practice in fun circumstances:
- in the tapas bar. Remember this? Free food!
- at the local market. You would be surprised at how much money you will save as well!
- in local shops.
And so much more!
Get Used to Informality
They are pretty straightforward people, the Spanish. And informal. No beating about the bush. It takes some getting used to. For example: you don’t need to reconfirm appointments like we do: just agree on a place, date and time and show up. That’s it.
Other keywords. Respect. Politeness. Cleanliness. I am an extremely messy person and I notice that my Spanish friends find that awkward.