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since 08/08/2000


Member Advice on Living Abroad 23/02/2003

La Extranjera

Member Advice on Living Abroad I can never resist a challenge! I am British but have lived in Spain for nearly three years. We lived on the Costa del Sol for two years, but now live in Granada, which is a beautiful city at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains. So what’s it like to live here? Well living on the coast is very much like living in a slightly tatty city in Britain, but with sunshine. There are more foreigners there than there are Spaniards and most people speak English. You can buy everything from Lincolnshire sausages to baked beans and if you can’t find anything, Gibraltar is only an hour’s drive away. In “real” Spain (away from the coasts), it really is different. The Spanish have a whole different outlook on life – family is more important, weekends are sacred and religion plays a much greater part in life. And of course you can’t get good tea bags for love nor money. There are also differences on the coasts. For one thing the official paperwork is a complete nightmare. By law in Spain you have to carry a residence permit and you have to be registered for Social Security etc. For some reason though, many British people here seem to feel that they don’t have to bother with this or with other Spanish laws. Possibly it’s some sort of being-on-holiday mentality, but more on that later. More importantly for me, there are no proper British pubs here. Oh, you find many “Irish” pubs (of the kind you find in England), and many bars called things like The Red Lion, but they always seem ...

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