Who lives in Spain?

(70 Posts)
nkf Tue 02-Sep-08 07:15:44

Whereabouts? Is it as wonderful as people imagine?

OP’s posts: |
bebespain Tue 02-Sep-08 08:35:01

I do!

We live about 40kms from Madrid in a village in the mountains.I am probably not the best person to comment as I am not very happy living here and would love to go back "home"

There are many things that drive me mad about living here: crazy drivers, paperwork, lack of M&T groups, outspokeness and general lack of manners, terrible TV, lack of good international cuisine, ....I could go on but I won´t blush

Yes the weather is better...am struggling now...Hopefully somebody with a more postitive outlook will be along soon

Are you thinking of moving nkf?

Cies Tue 02-Sep-08 08:40:09

I do!

And I have a more positive outlook to bebespain grin.

I'm in Galicia, in the north west. It's very different to most people's image of Spain, in that it's green, it rains, you don't get 40 C sweltering heat...

I love and always have loved Spain and living here. I moved here after studying Spanish at Uni, and a couple of years later met DH who is Spanish.

Um, all I can say is I can't imagine living in UK. But that's probably because I haven't as a working adult IYSWIM.

bebespain Tue 02-Sep-08 21:53:55

I knew somebody more positive would come along soon!

Its funny Cies as I also loved Spain and as I did my degree in Spanish I always imagined I´d come and live here one day. It just hasn´t worked out as I thought it would sad

BTW I love Galicia, where exactly are you...?

patoamarillo Wed 03-Sep-08 14:22:46

Thank you bebespain!!!!
Im so glad someone else is struggling also, may list of "whats it like in spain" would look very similar to yours. Always feel so bad as everyone assumes it is really wonderful, and all the people I meet here have the "love it here, the people are so friendly and foods great" I live in Cantabria, and yes the area is beautiful and theres more sunshine that the UK, but...

arhhh!!! wont go into full rant as may not stop at moment.

bebespain Wed 03-Sep-08 16:29:40

Oh yes Pato! Everytime I go back to England I get comments like Ooh I´m so envious...Ooh aren´t you lucky...Ooh all that sun..Are you near the beach...?!

Arhhh...goes for a lie down

Cies Thu 04-Sep-08 08:31:32

Bebespain, I'm in Vigo.

It's probably wise to add the proviso that I don't have any children yet - am ttc. I'm sure once that happens I'll miss things like M&T groups that I would expect to have in UK.

About 4 years after moving here I did have a bit of a wobble, when everything that had once seemed so fun and different suddenly seemed annoying and different. But I got over that. smile


claricebean Thu 04-Sep-08 08:42:21

Yes, I'm in Cordoba, Andalucia. I love it. Why do you ask, nkf? Are you thinking of moving to Spain? I have 4 DC. We do decamp to the UK for a large part of July / August when it hits the high 40s here though (hottest city in Spain).

macaco Thu 04-Sep-08 19:37:12

I'm in Sevilla. I'm happy here. have 1 DC 5 months, married to a Spaniard.
There are things that wind me up, bad service, limited shopping, firecrackers (maybe that's just my pueblo!) but things can be annoying anywhere and for me the good outweighs the bad and my life is here now.

patoamarillo Fri 05-Sep-08 11:16:56


Woke feeling more postive today, maybe because Im off to UK for a week :0. So thought Id write in a couple of things I like about being in Spain.

1: Sundays & Festival days are still respected, i.e. the shops are shut and people have a day off. Also if the festival day falls on Wednesday it stays on wednesday and doesn´t get shoved to the following saturday!!!

2: Hours of sunshine: I live in the north so not always sunny spain, but you do get a peep of the sun even in the darkest months of winter. ive never heard of anyone here complain of SAD. (But they do all go on about just-back-from-holiday induced depression.

3:Cafe-Bar life, something badly lacking in UK. A local place for all generations to sit and have a coffee/beer/coke. My local is great, open till 12 am (way past my bed time but still have the option should I want to), and you are as likely to find a group of teenagers with burgers as a group of oldies playing donimoes. Spainards can still mix their generations well.

4:A quiet place, its possible to find a beach, even in summer, with no-one on it!!!!

5:Lovely people, example: just last weekend an old woman gave me a huge bag of lemons (she has lemon trees in the garden) just because she thought my DS was gorgeous and I cant argue with that.

Anyway this is getting quite long but you get the picture.

bebespain Sat 06-Sep-08 09:25:20

Glad you're feeling more positive pato

That's a lovely post and helps put things into perspective. Has helped me too wink

Yes the fact that you do see daylight even in the winter is a huge advantage and makes such a difference to your mood.

And I must say I really like the fact that Sundays are still a day of rest here and there's none of that shop, shop, shop mentality. Here in Madrid the shopping centres do open once a month and its a real treat!

Have a great time back in the UK!

macaco Sun 07-Sep-08 07:46:17

I definitely agree with the shopping thing although I wish things like museums would open more than just Sunday morning and that swimming pools/gyms would open more at weekends. It's nice you can't go shopping on a sunday but it would be nice to have more options for things to do than just eating/drinking/going to the park, some of which even are closed on Sundays!!! Maybe it's a huge conspiracy by all the bars and mesones to get us out to eat!

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 09:58:07

Thinking of moving there but much later. Not now as I have small children. But I love going there and would like to spend more and more time there. Not sure about totally relocating.
Just wondered how hard it was to make a life there and how one manages being a foreigner.

OP’s posts: |
Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:03:49

My sister lived in Spain for four and a half years. She hated it - it was the worst country she had ever lived in (she has lived in England, US, France, Luxembourg, Italy and now the Netherlands).

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:10:02

Really? Why did she hate it?

OP’s posts: |
Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:14:50

She found it very nouveau-riche - all the relatively well-off women spent their lives working in corporate jobs/at the beauty salon/swimming pool/golf club/shopping centre and left their children with very sub-standard childcarers (as tiny babies) or in nursery (all day from infancy). That didn't tally at all with her modus vivendi - she's an intellectual sort who devotes a lot of energy to her children's upbringing.

She hated the long lunch break and late dinners too, and the very hot summer weather.

I think she was bored stupid. She is way happier in Amsterdam.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:19:45

Interesting. I always assumed it was very family friendly. All those long late dinners with three generations of the family getting together. Where did she live?

OP’s posts: |
Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:24:57

Outside Madrid - in the same suburb her husband's office and her children's school was located in. She didn't have any choice - the logistics of daily life would have been impossible otherwise.

She didn't find it remotely "family friendly". She was shocked that children returned home for lunch with the maid and then returned to school and their parents returned home for lunch separately later. Ditto dinner.

Amsterdam, however, she finds incredibly family-friendly.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:28:23

Sounds a bit grim.

OP’s posts: |
nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:29:11

But presumably an unusual set up as it's sounds more affluent than average.

OP’s posts: |
Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:31:48

Corporate middle-class suburb. Having a maid isn't unusual in Spain (or here in France). Affluence would be two or three maids.

I think that it is easy to dream of a Spain where all the generations live together happily etc but if you move there as a foreigner your family won't be there so you can't have that set-up.

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 10:34:18

I know. I'm not imagining doing that at all. It's more thinking about extending the amount of time I stay there. And perhaps living there for months at a time. Later on in life.

OP’s posts: |
Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:37:05

I think it depends what you want out of life.

My sister certainly couldn't see herself bringing up her children there and having the kind of family life, with lots of cultural activities, that she wished for.

Her PILs have a house in Spain for their retirement - in a lovely place by the sea. Her FIL is busy drinking himself into a pickle because he is so bored...

nkf Sun 07-Sep-08 12:21:21

There are lots of bored retirees in Spain.That's for sure.

OP’s posts: |
costamum Sun 07-Sep-08 12:43:16

I live in Seville - have 2 DS who were born here. Moved here nearly 9 years ago and have to say that I do find it very family friendly. It must depend on where you live or circumstances - there are no maids dropping/picking up kids from school - grandparents perhaps - and I would say we are living in a fairly average middle class area.

Madrid, I imagine is pretty much like Paris in terms of bringing up kids - I say this as I have family in Paris and due to work commitments, they have nannies and au pairs who basically look after the children from first thing in the morning till 8 pm when the parents get back.

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