Hi Jenk,Hi Danny&Claire,
Thanks for your reply and all the info!
We dont HAVE to live in Tordera, but we definitely don't want to be around the whole club/pub thing. We just want a house/villa thats in a safe, decent location. As I mentioned, my partner will be starting on €31k (before taxes) which I think works out at around €2000 per month (which is right in the middle of what you said is a good salary) so we should be ok. Apparently we won't know if she's got the job until after xmas, so we're both going to get back into our Spanish-learning during the holidays. We have the entire Rosetta Stone packs already! It's been tricky because Lisa has been interviewed for jobs in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, and America, so we've never known which language to start on. She has a very strong chance of getting the Tordera one though, and I think she'll actually be offered it. In terms of learning the language though, how long do you think it takes to pick it up at a respectable level? You said they may be quite Xenophobic (which slightly worries me) so I'm sure it would be hard to interact (and improve our Spanish) if no-one wants to talk to us haha. How has your Spanish progressed since you've been there? And, if you don't mind me asking, what do you and your partner do for work out there? I'm looking into teaching English. Seems to be a lot of international language school so it could be a good whilst we're learning the lingo and looking for a more suitable job. I suppose the biggest question I have really is, do you actually LIKE living there? There's absolutely no way we will want to return to the UK. We moved to Australia a few years ago but had to come back because of Visa issues, and it was horrible!
Thanks again for your reply, really appreciate it.
To answer your question directly - Claire is a designer and I'm on a sabbatical. A nicer way of saying I'm unemployed. But I do love me free time and the weather is pretty awesome.
There is really only one employer of note in Tordera so I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same company that Claire works for. If that is the case then they provide very good Spanish lessons on site about 2-3 days a week at about 2 hours per lesson. So your girlfriends Spanish would improve at a greater rate than your own. I'm only guessing because of my situation !
So depending on your current level I'd imagine 6 months will see a vast improvement for Lisa and as for yourself it really depends on the hours you put in. As much as I say I feel it's a tad xenophobic around here I have to point out there are a lot of nice people too. My Spanish is very poor (sh*te) and it is holding me back from interacting as much as I would like to. I wouldn't worry too much about the local attitude as for every Douche (douche may be a tad harsh as i think it's just a cultural thing) you meet you'll meet a sound head too. Also a lot of the locals crave learning English so if your Spanish is good enough, to initiate chat, then you'll have plenty of suitors for conversation and especially from the younger people. I'm 35 so anything between 20-30 is young to me.
As much as it's not what I expected here I would say it's a no brainer to live here rather than the UK. I lived in Manchester for 10 years and I don't miss it one bit. Except for a few restaurants actually. I also lived in Oz and that would probably be top of my list but it may be for the future. The fact that you would have a job offer before you come is what makes it viable. If ye have no big ties in the UK then what can you lose by trying it here for a year ?
The move would not be a doddle initially as you would have many things to sort out in a foreign tongue but it is achievable. I could give you more specific advice as and when. For example, if you push your new employers they should do some of the basics for you but they will leave you to it unless you ask. Again, I can elaborate further on this if Lisa gets offered the job.
Tordera really is a small place. If you want to avoid pubs and clubs then from what I've seen here you really want to avoid Lloret de mar and Calella. Other than that it's not really a mad part of the coast. Most tourists seem to be Dutch. Very few Poms or Irish. Blanes is a nice wee town (if you know which part to rent in) and I would recommend it.
You have talked about a small house or villa and that's EXACTLY what I wanted but I found it near impossible to find one. I'm a country boy and was looking forward to living in the sticks again but they don't seem to exist here. You'll find that developers buy land in the sticks but proceed to build an estate of varied dwellings. They are called urbanizations here. Pretty pointless in my opinion as you are pretty remote from anything but still have neighbours to the left, right, front and back.
So yes I like living here but that is in comparison to the UK or Ireland. That's not meant as a negative but a realistic yardstick.
If I can answer any more questions then feel free to ask. I suppose when Lisa finds out if she is offered the job it will be the time to compile a list of questions. For example I would recommend you to bring your car, if you have one, whereas others might advise against it. That's all for a later date though.
So try to relax and enjoy the festive and hopefully ye'll get some good news early in January.