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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been planning to live in Spain for over a year. Selling my apartment now and getting the documents together will be the last step. Yesterday I read that Catalonia will hold a vote for independence in October.
I'm wondering if folks who live there have any concerns about this. Since my plan is to live in Barcelona, I'd expect a lot of demonstrations or more in October.
Also, if they vote and are allowed independence from Spain, what will that mean for expat?
This is particularly addressed to people who live there now. What's the feeling?
 

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I think Catalonia will be for you a lot better option than live in Spain, I don't want to say more because some people will say that I am spreading spam here.
I hope the spanish government don't send the army and tanks here :)
 

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I've been planning to live in Spain for over a year. Selling my apartment now and getting the documents together will be the last step. Yesterday I read that Catalonia will hold a vote for independence in October.
I'm wondering if folks who live there have any concerns about this. Since my plan is to live in Barcelona, I'd expect a lot of demonstrations or more in October.
Also, if they vote and are allowed independence from Spain, what will that mean for expat?
This is particularly addressed to people who live there now. What's the feeling?
I'm sure there will be loads of demonstrations. The vote, if it goes ahead, will not actually be legal. There has already been one and action was taken against the politicians who led it. It seems that independence is not likely in the near future although it is a hot topic. I don't think independence itself raises any questions at the moment for expats/ immigrants, whatever you want to call yourself. Living in the politics of it all may though. Personally I wouldn't want to live in Barcelona now, nor in Catalonia - Spain's a big country and I'd look elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I really love that region and I guess the only other city that I'd consider (I am a city person) would be Madrid. But as an artist I really wish I could stick with Barcelona. Would love to hear from other people who live there
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your opinion. Not sure I agree since, as a USA citizen, I have enough to deal with. But, yes I am worried about the army and tanks part.
 

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Thanks. I really love that region and I guess the only other city that I'd consider (I am a city person) would be Madrid. But as an artist I really wish I could stick with Barcelona. Would love to hear from other people who live there
I've been in Barcelona for two years, and before that I was in Madrid for three years. After all this time, I can definitely say that I prefer Madrid to Barcelona - the people are friendlier and more accepting of foreigners, rents are a little cheaper, and the city is just easier to live in.

In Barcelona, you will struggle to avoid the issue of Catalan independence. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks their opinion is right. There have been countless demonstrations, and now the promise of a referendum in October, despite them not having the mandate to do so. This may see Rajoy's threat to send in tanks coming true, which is not something I would be happy about.

Another consideration is the backlash against tourists/foreigners (not everyone can tell the difference). There's been a marked rise in anti-tourist/anti-foreigner feelings - some of the graffiti that's appeared in the city recently is horrendous - mainly due to the belief that Barcelona is now a "theme park for tourists", something you will have to get used to hearing if you live here. The huge numbers of tourists have meant that many apartments are being rented via AirBnB for extortionate sums, which has pushed monthly rental prices up for the people who live here. There are not enough apartments for residents, meaning that those with places to rent can charge pretty much whatever they want. It's now at the point where it's common to see a room in a shared apartment going for the same price as a small one-bed apartment in Madrid, or a three-bed 100 sq m apartment in Valencia!

Despite all this, I don't regret coming to Barcelona because, like many people, it was an itch that needed to be scratched. However, I have realised that it's not a city for long-term living. That's why this year will be my last, both in Barcelona and, for that matter, in Spain.
 

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I've been in Barcelona for two years, and before that I was in Madrid for three years. After all this time, I can definitely say that I prefer Madrid to Barcelona - the people are friendlier and more accepting of foreigners, rents are a little cheaper, and the city is just easier to live in.

In Barcelona, you will struggle to avoid the issue of Catalan independence. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks their opinion is right. There have been countless demonstrations, and now the promise of a referendum in October, despite them not having the mandate to do so. This may see Rajoy's threat to send in tanks coming true, which is not something I would be happy about.

Another consideration is the backlash against tourists/foreigners (not everyone can tell the difference). There's been a marked rise in anti-tourist/anti-foreigner feelings - some of the graffiti that's appeared in the city recently is horrendous - mainly due to the belief that Barcelona is now a "theme park for tourists", something you will have to get used to hearing if you live here. The huge numbers of tourists have meant that many apartments are being rented via AirBnB for extortionate sums, which has pushed monthly rental prices up for the people who live here. There are not enough apartments for residents, meaning that those with places to rent can charge pretty much whatever they want. It's now at the point where it's common to see a room in a shared apartment going for the same price as a small one-bed apartment in Madrid, or a three-bed 100 sq m apartment in Valencia!

Despite all this, I don't regret coming to Barcelona because, like many people, it was an itch that needed to be scratched. However, I have realised that it's not a city for long-term living. That's why this year will be my last, both in Barcelona and, for that matter, in Spain.
This is pretty much what I was trying to say but you have said it in a more coherent way. I didn't realize that Rajoy had actually mentioned sending tanks in. What a silly thing to say, although I suppose he is forced to make strong statements - one of those situations where whatever you say is too soft/ provocative/ weak/ ambivalent for someone somewhere....
 

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Thanks. I really love that region and I guess the only other city that I'd consider (I am a city person) would be Madrid. But as an artist I really wish I could stick with Barcelona. Would love to hear from other people who live there
I am intrigued to know why you would not consider Valencia or Sevilla? In my opinion far more attractive cities than Barcelona.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am intrigued to know why you would not consider Valencia or Sevilla? In my opinion far more attractive cities than Barcelona.
Because, I have been in both cities. Seville is beautiful and I love it, but it's super hot. I know, I know,so are Madrid and Barcelona bur they cool off quicker. Also Seville is kind of small. As for Valencia, well its just not for me although I have friends there. Also one of my primary reasons for going is my interest in Romanesque art, which means I want to live in the North, with access to Romanesque architecture and good museums. I have gone back and forth in my head about living in a smaller city or even a town vs. Bigger cites. But the cities won out. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been in Barcelona for two years, and before that I was in Madrid for three years. After all this time, I can definitely say that I prefer Madrid to Barcelona - the people are friendlier and more accepting of foreigners, rents are a little cheaper, and the city is just easier to live in.

In Barcelona, you will struggle to avoid the issue of Catalan independence. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks their opinion is right. There have been countless demonstrations, and now the promise of a referendum in October, despite them not having the mandate to do so. This may see Rajoy's threat to send in tanks coming true, which is not something I would be happy about.

Another consideration is the backlash against tourists/foreigners (not everyone can tell the difference). There's been a marked rise in anti-tourist/anti-foreigner feelings - some of the graffiti that's appeared in the city recently is horrendous - mainly due to the belief that Barcelona is now a "theme park for tourists", something you will have to get used to hearing if you live here. The huge numbers of tourists have meant that many apartments are being rented via AirBnB for extortionate sums, which has pushed monthly rental prices up for the people who live here. There are not enough apartments for residents, meaning that those with places to rent can charge pretty much whatever they want. It's now at the point where it's common to see a room in a shared apartment going for the same price as a small one-bed apartment in Madrid, or a three-bed 100 sq m apartment in Valencia!

Despite all this, I don't regret coming to Barcelona because, like many people, it was an itch that needed to be scratched. However, I have realised that it's not a city for long-term living. That's why this year will be my last, both in Barcelona and, for that matter, in Spain.
Thanks for your candid opinion. You are saying the very things that worry me. But I do love Spain
 

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Barcelona has always been a politically volatile city, right back to medieval times. In the 2nd Republic it was controlled by anarchists and it was a primary centre of resistance against the fascist uprising which started the Spanish Civil War, leading to heavy reprisals. The protests and police retaliations associated with independence movement is nothing compared to what went on then.

Surely though, unless you live right in the centre, you're unlikely to be caught up in street protests?
 

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Because, I have been in both cities. Seville is beautiful and I love it, but it's super hot. I know, I know,so are Madrid and Barcelona bur they cool off quicker. Also Seville is kind of small. As for Valencia, well its just not for me although I have friends there. Also one of my primary reasons for going is my interest in Romanesque art, which means I want to live in the North, with access to Romanesque architecture and good museums. I have gone back and forth in my head about living in a smaller city or even a town vs. Bigger cites. But the cities won out. Thanks.
Then look at Bilbao. It's much more cosmopolitan now that the Guggenheim is there. It hasn't lost it's Basque flavour at all though. The ETA situation has calmed down a lot and although it's still bubbling away under the surface you can live totally unaware of it in Bilbao itself, which is not the case with the independence issue in Barcelona. It's a very liveable city as well with a lot of cultural acts, although not so many as Barcelona And there are as you say many "románico" sites in the north.
 

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Because, I have been in both cities. Seville is beautiful and I love it, but it's super hot. I know, I know,so are Madrid and Barcelona bur they cool off quicker. Also Seville is kind of small. As for Valencia, well its just not for me although I have friends there. Also one of my primary reasons for going is my interest in Romanesque art, which means I want to live in the North, with access to Romanesque architecture and good museums. I have gone back and forth in my head about living in a smaller city or even a town vs. Bigger cites. But the cities won out. Thanks.
As you can see there are many people here that don't understand why you want to live in Barcelona, even I think some of they don't like too much,they say we want to make one "ilegal" referendum,haha, ilegal law that has been created for keep the catalan slave of Spain, well wait 112 days and you will see what happend, we don't want you have problems with the spanish tanks like the american brigade Lincoln in 1936, the descendants of fascist General Franco remain in the power and nobody know how will be their reaction against the independence of Catalonia and loose more than the 20% of the spanish GDP.
 

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As you can see there are many people here that don't understand why you want to live in Barcelona, even I think some of they don't like too much,they say we want to make one "ilegal" referendum,haha, ilegal law that has been created for keep the catalan slave of Spain, well wait 112 days and you will see what happend, we don't want you have problems with the spanish tanks like the american brigade Lincoln in 1936, the descendants of fascist General Franco remain in the power and nobody know how will be their reaction against the independence of Catalonia and loose more than the 20% of the spanish GDP.
I DO understand why people want to live in Barcelona - it's a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich heritage, and the coast and the mountains within easy reach - BUT I think anyone planning to move here should be aware that the sunny, lively, fun Barcelona they enjoyed on holidays is not necessarily the Barcelona they will encounter once they move here.

You can't argue with the fact that finding decent accommodation at a reasonable price is practically impossible. Or that there is an increasing backlash against tourists/foreigners. Or that there are constant public transport strikes that make getting to work a nightmare. Or that there are demonstrations about one thing or other every bloody month, be it rising rents, mass tourism, or Catalan independence...

I had always wanted to live in Barcelona, but now, two years in, I've had enough. I'm sick of the constant metro strikes, the anti-foreigner sentiment, the struggle to make ends meet or find an affordable apartment, and I'm sick to the back teeth of hearing people argue about whether Catalunya should be independent or not. It is literally ALL people ever talk about! Despite all this, I'm not telling people not to come, I'm telling them to come with their eyes open. And in the meantime, I'm making plans to leave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I DO understand why people want to live in Barcelona - it's a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich heritage, and the coast and the mountains within easy reach - BUT I think anyone planning to move here should be aware that the sunny, lively, fun Barcelona they enjoyed on holidays is not necessarily the Barcelona they will encounter once they move here.........

I had always wanted to live in Barcelona, but now, two years in, I've had enough. I'm sick of the constant metro strikes, the anti-foreigner sentiment, the struggle to make ends meet or find an affordable apartment, and I'm sick to the back teeth of hearing people argue about whether Catalunya should be independent or not. It is literally ALL people ever talk about! Despite all this, I'm not telling people not to come, I'm telling them to come with their eyes open. And in the meantime, I'm making plans to leave.
I guess I really was hoping to hide out, stroll about and visit Romanesque sites. My own little nunnery where I could contemplate life and practice my Spanish. Haha. And Not be caught up in a big divisive moment in history. :fencing:
As an American and a New Yorker I can deal with a lot, but I did want to take a bit of a break. I should add that this is only meant to be a year or so....not actually staying in Spain till death us do part. Still its a big step and I want to leave my options open.
I really appreciate this community and how helpful you all are.
 
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