Expat syndrome

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Expat syndrome


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 31st May 2009, 08:42 AM
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Default Expat syndrome

So ........... you sit there in the UK and decide that you are unhappy with your lot and you decide to start a new life in Spain

You do your research ........ you find a nice place ........ you move over and settle down. You're relatively happy and you're enjoying your new life in sunny spain.

Then you discover forumland.

You spend your days justifying your existence and you listen to people telling you what you should be doing now that you live in Spain. You really must integrate, you NEED Spanish friends, although they all hate you really because you're English, not Welsh. You have to learn to speak Spanish otherwise you will rot in hell. You [email protected], get that bloody car matriculated. Vote for the Free Torrevieja party.

You run around in circles trying to do it all, and feel guilty that you visited a British bar for a meal last night and got a friend to bring over Oxo cubes in their suitcase last week. You should only shop in Spanish supermarkets and you know it!

Why do we do it to ourselves?

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Old 31st May 2009, 08:47 AM
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Classic!! Thanks, Strav.

Ibsen, "To yourself be true".

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Old 31st May 2009, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stravinsky View Post
So ........... you sit there in the UK and decide that you are unhappy with your lot and you decide to start a new life in Spain

You do your research ........ you find a nice place ........ you move over and settle down. You're relatively happy and you're enjoying your new life in sunny spain.

Then you discover forumland.

You spend your days justifying your existence and you listen to people telling you what you should be doing now that you live in Spain. You really must integrate, you NEED Spanish friends, although they all hate you really because you're English, not Welsh. You have to learn to speak Spanish otherwise you will rot in hell. You [email protected], get that bloody car matriculated. Vote for the Free Torrevieja party.

You run around in circles trying to do it all, and feel guilty that you visited a British bar for a meal last night and got a friend to bring over Oxo cubes in their suitcase last week. You should only shop in Spanish supermarkets and you know it!

Why do we do it to ourselves?
Perfect!

Thats my feeling exactly. I came to realise how stupid this all was when my friends from france came to visit me last year. He (more so the his wife) was desperate to go to all the brit bars on the costa, he wanted the sunday roasts, the quiz nites, english tv, to hear the british language... blah blah. Cos as I say they live in France, in a small typically french vfillage. They've intergrated totally, can speak the language and are "in" with the locals. But they miss being British. They dont want to go back to the UK, but they enjoy spending time emmersing themselves in some of their old creature comforts. and why not?

Jo xx

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Old 31st May 2009, 09:19 AM
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haha yeah its so true,

Ive been here for nearly 8 years, i dont speak much spanish at all but my girlfriend does, living in a very expat orientated community i never needed it, i wanted a pint i asked for one in english and the mercadona / carrefour cashiers usually tend not to engage you in conversation!!

You do need spanish if your going to take spain seriously, if you need anything from the government or police or schools it really helps, as long as they see you trying then there usually pretty happy

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Old 31st May 2009, 09:24 AM
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You do need spanish if your going to take spain seriously, if you need anything from the government or police or schools it really helps, as long as they see you trying then there usually pretty happy
Burn in Hell Akilar!

Thats my point though ..... do we take Spain & being an expat too seriously?

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Old 31st May 2009, 09:29 AM
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Hey Stravinsky

Maybe we do, maybe we should just sit back and take it all in, learn a bit of spanish but dont let it control your life, i have a good few friends really wanting to learn but cant get their head round it, they get stressed about it and i just tell them to take one class a week, do it slowly it may take a year to ask if you can get a short back and sides and a trim on top but at least you can say it!!

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Old 31st May 2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Haha. When I first came here I would order a coffee in spanish (in a spanish bar) and would always be spoken to in english!!! They wouldn't give me the opportunity to use my spanish

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Old 31st May 2009, 11:18 AM
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We never tried to integrate.....we were just ourselves. And we fitted in. But we're not everybody.....how many other Brits do you know who live in a Gypsy community and keep a host of bizarre animals?

Essentially.....we were born British.....but apart from our love of animals we have very few British ways. We never fitted in in Britain......and always felt we were somehow displaced from where we were meant to be.
And bear in mind we'd lived in about ten different towns and cities in Wales (and even one in England).....so we had moved around a bit.

Also we have no community ties or family connections in Britain.....so nothing there to ever draw us back.

We came here with no other agenda other than find a place in the country (We did), keep animals (We did), be competent in Spanish (I did), build a business (I did), and ride my bike (I do).

We have no interest in Sky TV, Brit nights out (never, ever been to one), and making loads of Brit friends (We have one or two good friends and the rest are just clients).

We knew we'd have to dig deep to make it work.....we did, and still do....everyday. Most people can't summon up the inner strength to meet those challenges......but we grew up on the city streets of industrial South Wales rather than the playing fields of Eton. So battling just to keep what you already have is all we've ever known in our lives.....cos you ain't gonna get any lucky breaks or opportunities living there. Even more so from the Thatcher years onwards!

So as you see, our circumstances are radically different to most expats. We both have gypsy blood and we eventually found the place we were meant to be. And that place is not Britain.

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Old 31st May 2009, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Chica View Post
Haha. When I first came here I would order a coffee in spanish (in a spanish bar) and would always be spoken to in english!!! They wouldn't give me the opportunity to use my spanish

Yes thats happened to me in Fuengirola.
They know you are English and that most expats cannot speak the language
so I suppose its easier for them to talk in English to everyone English

It would be a rather different story if you entered a bar in Gijon

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Old 31st May 2009, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnySpain View Post
Yes thats happened to me in Fuengirola.
They know you are English and that most expats cannot speak the language
so I suppose its easier for them to talk in English to everyone English

It would be a rather different story if you entered a bar in Gijon
Yes, but I've found that sometimes the bar staff actually want to speak english cos they're trying to learn it. I've had occasions where I've spoken spanish and the waitress has spoken english because we kind of agreed thats what we both wanted!!

Jo xxx

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