Last year we wrote an article on another platform about the differences between living in Spain and elsewhere. It was well received but finding it on the web was getting quite difficult as the site wasn’t ranking well. Therefore we have decided to reprint it here on the Spanish Property Network because it totally relates to the experience of coming to live in Spain that you are looking to achieve. There are things you need to adapt to because, simply put, if you don’t then you won’t have as much fun as you otherwise could do. So here it is, don’t complain about Spain, just get used to it.
When you are looking to come and live in Spain and maybe to buy a house for sale in Spain you are going to a different country (Obvious huh?) with different customs and different ways of doing things. Therefore there are some things that you will need to get used to. Spain will not change in the near future but you need to do so if you want to fit comfortably into your new home (the house and the area).
So what do you need to get used to?
1) You will not be able to sort things out over the phone in English. Therefore sort out a representative to arrange things for you over the phone and make sure that the representative speaks Spanish fluently. If you think that shouting in English will work, don’t believe it. Get used to it.
2) You will need to get used to sleeping in the dark. One of the great boons of Spain is the “Persiana” When the blinds are down your room will be totally dark. Get used to it and don’t be expecting the morning sun to wake you up.
3) You will have to queue and it will be done in a slightly different way. You just lounge around remembering who you are behind. Get used to the idea that you will queue and you will waste a long time in the queue before finally finding that you were queueing in the wrong place and you should be lounging around somewhere else waiting for your turn.
4) Consistency. Just because it was done that way last week doesn’t mean that it will be done that way this week. Just because the civil servant who served you did it one way the last time you were here doesn’t mean that a different civil servant will do it in the same way this time. Get used to it. I find it best to cultivate a Zenlike attitude when dealing with a lot of these things. Take it as a Zen challenge and see if you can keep calm and carry on. The ability to smile though the travails and resist the urge to go all Michael Douglas in “Falling Down” should help you.
5) Banks. Don’t be surprised when your direct debit fails or reverts to the original owner of your house or their bank account and you get an irate phone call about it or even your electric cut off. Don’t blame the messenger it’s the computer’s fault believe me I know! Get used to it.
6) Expect to cultivate selective ignorance. Once you find out that it doesn’t matter what is happening in Corrie, Eastenders and the X Factor your life will improve immeasurably. Other people here don’t care to discuss it either. Get used to it.
7) Mealtimes. You cannot eat out in a restaurant before two o clock for lunch and trying to eat your evening meal before 8.30pm is impossible. Stop trying to keep to Northern European times. It isn’t going to happen. Get used to it.
8) Relearn to drive and stop expecting manners and speed cameras meaning everyone crawls everywhere. Cultivate a more aggressive yet restrained style of driving in order to get anywhere. However if you are involved in a crash expect manners and facts as you fill in the forms required whilst standing in the middle of the road disrupting all of the traffic. If you are expecting something different just get used to it.
9) Expect pathetic fines from the police. Over the last few months I have heard of police fining people for leaning forward to talk in the car while sitting in the back seat, a fine on wearing bikinis off the beach in Mallorca, a fine for producing your own electricity with your own solar panels, a cyclist fined for eating a croissant and a potential fine for watering a town hall inspector underneath a balcony. Get used to it and be careful out there.
10) You will wake up invariably in the sun (As long as you open the persianas) Don’t complain that it is bright in the mornings with the sun being low, just enjoy the fact that your windscreen wipers on the car are rotting through lack of use and mistreatment by the heat. Get used to it, after all this is one of the 100 reasons you choose to come and live in Spain.
So there you go, leave your complaining head at home and just enjoy the ride. Spain is still different and sometimes it is very very different indeed. Get used to it.
And just in case you want to listen to this post instead…