Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 108 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Erm.. not sure how to start this thread without coming across as 'insulting' to other people.

As you probably know, I am Spanish, I have lived in Spain for 23 years and in the UK for another 23 years. My partner is English and I love everything to do with the UK, minus a few little silly things, of course! (No country is perfect!)

I can't remember how long ago I joined this forum, but from time to time I do come across some silly comments posted by Expats, I know all about 'free speech' and all that but sometimes I just can't comprehend why anyone would want to live in Spain and at the same time berates us for silly reasons like:

We are rude
We have no customer service manners
We don't speak English (and apparently all Spanish should!!)
We have siestas
We have lots of fiestas
We are poor
We are losers
We are lazy
We do things always the wrong way
We 'paperwork for this', we 'paperwork for that'.
We 'mañana, mañana'.
.. and a million other things....

I know how frustrating things are with certain things here in Spain, I would be the first to get pi**d off, especially with the 'funcionarios' and the 'bureaucracy' but I also understand that IT IS the way IT IS and I have to put up with it.

I am not too sure why these people still want to live in Spain when apparently everything in the UK is hunky dory and fine and dandy?

I have lived half my life in the UK and trust me, there are lots of things I could list here but I won't, simply because 'another country, another culture, another way of doing things'.

The sooner people start realising that they are NOT anymore in the UK and stops all comparisons. Just try and adapt (or adjust) to your new way of living and try and be as happy as you can in your new country.

I did that in the UK and it worked wonders.

....and please! because you are a lazy ****** and don't want to learn our language, don't expect everybody to speak YOUR language.

Yesterday at Mercadona, an English couple (from Berkshire, according to them) managed to get the cashier crying because she couldn't understand them, apparently they wanted cash-back (in Mercadona!)

The English man shouted at her saying 'you are an embarrassment, this is an expat area and everybody should speak English'.

I intervened saying it wasn't an Expats community, not in this area and that it wasn't very nice the way he shouted at the cashier, he started shouting at me saying he has been living in Gandia for 8 years and he knows everything... blah blah blah...

EIGHT years! and no word of Spanish. Arrghhhh!!!

Sorry - Rant Over!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
I agree with you. Even those folk who dont wish to integrate or find it hard to learn the language, should at least try, or have the decency and humility of remaining quiet and polite. Theres no excuse is there! Lets face it, we dont like it in the UK when "foreigners" dont learn English and expect things to be as they are in their own country.

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As I mentioned before, my neighbours are English, well in their 70s, and they don't speak much Spanish, hardly any, but they get by usually by persevering, being extremely polite to people and making sure they get understood, I have seen them making the effort. I help them quite often with papework, phone calls and things like that.

I do understand it is very complicated to learn a new language at that age, but they do try, I know they do.

I know people think that 'because I live in Benidorm, I don't need to learn Spanish'... well, honey-bee... Benidorm is not Spain, once you get out of that boring sh**t, no-one will understand you!

tut-tut!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,512 Posts
Erm.. not sure how to start this thread without coming across as 'insulting' to other people.

As you probably know, I am Spanish, I have lived in Spain for 23 years and in the UK for another 23 years. My partner is English and I love everything to do with the UK, minus a few little silly things, of course! (No country is perfect!)

I can't remember how long ago I joined this forum, but from time to time I do come across some silly comments posted by Expats, I know all about 'free speech' and all that but sometimes I just can't comprehend why anyone would want to live in Spain and at the same time berates us for silly reasons like:

We are rude
We have no customer service manners
We don't speak English (and apparently all Spanish should!!)
We have siestas
We have lots of fiestas
We are poor
We are losers
We are lazy
We do things always the wrong way
We 'paperwork for this', we 'paperwork for that'.
We 'mañana, mañana'.
.. and a million other things....

I know how frustrating things are with certain things here in Spain, I would be the first to get pi**d off, especially with the 'funcionarios' and the 'bureaucracy' but I also understand that IT IS the way IT IS and I have to put up with it.

I am not too sure why these people still want to live in Spain when apparently everything in the UK is hunky dory and fine and dandy?

I have lived half my life in the UK and trust me, there are lots of things I could list here but I won't, simply because 'another country, another culture, another way of doing things'.

The sooner people start realising that they are NOT anymore in the UK and stops all comparisons. Just try and adapt (or adjust) to your new way of living and try and be as happy as you can in your new country.

I did that in the UK and it worked wonders.

....and please! because you are a lazy ****** and don't want to learn our language, don't expect everybody to speak YOUR language.

Yesterday at Mercadona, an English couple (from Berkshire, according to them) managed to get the cashier crying because she couldn't understand them, apparently they wanted cash-back (in Mercadona!)

The English man shouted at her saying 'you are an embarrassment, this is an expat area and everybody should speak English'.

I intervened saying it wasn't an Expats community, not in this area and that it wasn't very nice the way he shouted at the cashier, he started shouting at me saying he has been living in Gandia for 8 years and he knows everything... blah blah blah...

EIGHT years! and no word of Spanish. Arrghhhh!!!

Sorry - Rant Over!

I would 'like' that more than once if I was allowed to


& I'm not Spanish



yet...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
As I mentioned before, my neighbours are English, well in their 70s, and they don't speak much Spanish, hardly any, but they get by usually by persevering, being extremely polite to people and making sure they get understood, I have seen them making the effort. I help them quite often with papework, phone calls and things like that.

I do understand it is very complicated to learn a new language at that age, but they do try, I know they do.

I know people think that 'because I live in Benidorm, I don't need to learn Spanish'... well, honey-bee... Benidorm is not Spain, once you get out of that boring sh**t, no-one will understand you!

tut-tut!

I've had some of my funniest/embarrassing moments trying to Speak spanish - ice cream cones, chicken and drinking straw requests being the worst lol!!!!!! But it breaks the ice and proves that we can try, laugh and be friendly!!!?? (altho the drinking straw incident proved I was being a little too friendly - dont ask)

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
I don't know what to think about this post.

While I completely agree with you about the fact that if you live in a country you should definitely make an effort to learn the language (IF it has an official language, which my country of origin does not), I also think that many of us use this message board as a place to vent frustrations with people in similar situations.

I have been here for five years and I'm married to a local. I'm fluent in Spanish. I am very happy where I am, despite occasional frustrations. I haven't lived in the States for over nine years. However, personally, I'm not going to have a vaca if I head over to the US expat board and see people complaining about how things are there. I understand that such complaints are part of the never-ending cycle of culture shock. HOWEVER, I do believe that such complaints are best kept either at home or in conversations with like-minded individuals. I think a lot of people use this forum as a sort of sounding board to decompress. I have yet to find a local who loves bureaucracy and doesn't complain about having to do any sort of paperwork. Why's it ok for them to complain but, since I have a different passport, I can't?

Lolito, while I agree with some of the things you have said I think you, as an immigrant yourself, might want to rethink some of what you've said. Are you truly not guilty of having complained about the UK to friends or family? I think a lot of what is said here is said in that sense, to get it off of one's back, and would not be said in public. Gosh, I HOPE it wouldn't be said in public.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
I've had some of my funniest/embarrassing moments trying to Speak spanish - ice cream cones, chicken and drinking straw requests being the worst lol!!!!!! But it breaks the ice and proves that we can try, laugh and be friendly!!!?? (altho the drinking straw incident proved I was being a little too friendly - dont ask)

Jo xxx
You know what lesson I hate? Explaining the expression "the straw that broke the camel's back." I have yet to have a class where someone didn't giggle.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,512 Posts
I've had some of my funniest/embarrassing moments trying to Speak spanish - ice cream cones, chicken and drinking straw requests being the worst lol!!!!!! But it breaks the ice and proves that we can try, laugh and be friendly!!!?? (altho the drinking straw incident proved I was being a little too friendly - dont ask)

Jo xxx
I wish I'd been able to see your face when I told you what you'd actually said :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Elenetxu, I know what you are saying but the way I see it, is that one thing is to just come here to moan about something silly and another thing is to berate everything all the time, which is fine too if that is the way you want to see things, but I don't see the point to come here and say all those things about Spain, clearly, if someone is not happy, then go! no-one is forcing them to live in Spain?

Especially when they moan about something and then they also ADD that 'this is much better in the UK'. What's the point?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
I wish I'd been able to see your face when I told you what you'd actually said :D
aahh, thats right, I think I made an "emergency text" to those I thought would know, after the "strange" and........ well frightening reaction from the barman!!!!!!! :eek:

Jo xxxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
Seriously tho. The point I think Lolito is trying to make is that its very easy for folk in the UK to think of Spain, almost as a UK colony - it isnt, its Spain and it has different rules, regulations, paperwork, language, education...... and we should go there knowing and respecting that.

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks JoJo... it frustrates me when I want to say something and can't find the right words, then you come here and with 2 lines say it all. Need to go back to school methinks!

pah!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,512 Posts
I don't know what to think about this post.

While I completely agree with you about the fact that if you live in a country you should definitely make an effort to learn the language (IF it has an official language, which my country of origin does not), I also think that many of us use this message board as a place to vent frustrations with people in similar situations.

I have been here for five years and I'm married to a local. I'm fluent in Spanish. I am very happy where I am, despite occasional frustrations. I haven't lived in the States for over nine years. However, personally, I'm not going to have a vaca if I head over to the US expat board and see people complaining about how things are there. I understand that such complaints are part of the never-ending cycle of culture shock. HOWEVER, I do believe that such complaints are best kept either at home or in conversations with like-minded individuals. I think a lot of people use this forum as a sort of sounding board to decompress. I have yet to find a local who loves bureaucracy and doesn't complain about having to do any sort of paperwork. Why's it ok for them to complain but, since I have a different passport, I can't?

Lolito, while I agree with some of the things you have said I think you, as an immigrant yourself, might want to rethink some of what you've said. Are you truly not guilty of having complained about the UK to friends or family? I think a lot of what is said here is said in that sense, to get it off of one's back, and would not be said in public. Gosh, I HOPE it wouldn't be said in public.
and I agree with you too.....


especially the bit about having a bit of a vent - which of course is what Lolito is doing too.........


I do complain about some Spanish things - nowhere is perfect

and not everyone can learn to speak Spanish ( I haven't given up on anyone yet ;) ) though it really isn't right to expect everyone to speak English or whateveryourlanguageis

as for the other points - I've heard those & many others said by immigrants way too many times - & rarely manage to bite my tongue :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know Elenetxu, but I still think it should have been more 'compressed'.. lol! I remember doing my Psyc degree in London, my teacher would tell me off for using 10,000 words on essays that required a max of 5,000..... lol!

It was always my problem!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,369 Posts
After five years in Spain the only thing I truly dislike is the behaviour and attitudes of some British immigrants.
Some people need to know that Spain is not a British colony, that the Mediteranean is not a British lake, that Spanish is the official language of Spain and that Britannia no longer rules the waves and we cannot treat other people as 'Johnny Foreigner' and that racist and derogatory remarks about Spanish habits and culture are not acceptable.

Apart from those attitudes from people I normally steer well clear of I find everything fine and dandy.

Now if we were talking about the Czech Republic....my list of dislikes would be very long indeed...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,512 Posts
I know Elenetxu, but I still think it should have been more 'compressed'.. lol! I remember doing my Psyc degree in London, my teacher would tell me off for using 10,000 words on essays that required a max of 5,000..... lol!

It was always my problem!
these $%&/(·") Spanish


never can use one word when 10 will suffice :p :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
I know Elenetxu, but I still think it should have been more 'compressed'.. lol! I remember doing my Psyc degree in London, my teacher would tell me off for using 10,000 words on essays that required a max of 5,000..... lol!

It was always my problem!
I completely understand. Heck, it's more therapeutic to write like you (and I!) do ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
915 Posts
Yes, there are expats who moan about Spain, I see them from time to time, but not my wife and I. We have tried to integrate into everything we can. We have struggled with the language, but we do try. I have got to know many locals in the surrounding villages. I walk in the mornings and everyone I meet is gracious enough to say buenos dias, though I have got used to the local dialect which is just buena dia. The list of gripes you gave, I don't remember ever thinking like that. I do have a problem with officious companies and attitudes, but then I did with some large companies in the UK. I am referring in both instances with electricity companies.
My wife and I love living in Spain. We knew what to expect long before we came to live here as family members have been here for decades, some are buried here.
I have read on another post about hospital treatment. Much of what I have read was not the case when an elderly inlaw of ours was in hospital. She eventually died of her illness, but she had amazing treatment and care whilst in hospital. Two years ago I was rushed into hospital as a precaution. It was a scary experience, but I was well looked after. The follow up treatment is better than I would have received in the UK.

We have in our street a mixture of Spanish and British. We are a great community, we all get on with each other, as it should be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
I moan about wherever I live - as Lolito says, there is no perfect country. But my moaning is fairly lighthearted - in fact I'd go as far as to say Brits do like a good moan. Yes, Spanish bureaucracy drove me nuts. The PC attitude in the UK is equally as irritating - Spanish winters I found very harsh, but british ones are no better.........

In the end tho, Spain is a beautiful country, its relaxed and where I would love to be, but its a harsh country and it's not easy to simply up sticks and live there anymore

Jo xxx
 
1 - 20 of 108 Posts
Top