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What you wish you had known beforehand!!!

If you are now living in Spain or close to moving, what would be the most important piece of advice you would give to someone at the start of their journey?

Language.

Start with "Thank you", the numbers and, "How much?"
That'll get you shopping and sounding polite.

The rest will come in time, but google and their images tag will do until you learn the bits you need most.
Trying to explain you want a tin of beans is hard work, but a picture on your phone gets you them in a second.

Thank you Fred for your kind advice  :) This will be my homework,

I agree with Fred,
Senor Google has helped me out of many tricky language situations. I am also learning online with Duolingo (excellent free software) which tells me I am, so far, 42% fluent?
Certainly the polite expressions should be learned prior to coming here, 'Bisculpe, Yo hablo poco Espanol' (Excuse me, I speak little Spanish) will generally elicit a friendly & helpful response - although you may have to slow them down. The only time Spaniards do anything quickly is when driving or talking.
Do your homework, be patient, be friendly and enjoy!

Thank you Ridlunio,  I am most certainly going to try the site that you mentioned. I have never heard of it before.... but I feel that Duolingo and I are going to become very good friends. :)

Hi Sara,


I would say adjusting the expectations.

In Spain - actually in any country different to your own - there will be another system. Different laws, legislations and rules not to mention culture, language and how they work.

Even though the differences are vast many people land in Spain and complain about how the system or certain actions work against their expectations. I'm continually amazed of how people can free up so much time and energy and take out precious time enjoying what is right in front of them, by constantly trying to compare the incomparable.

Word of advice? You can never change what happens to you. But you could change the possibility of it happening to you in the first place and if you weren't that visionary, change your reactions to whatever happens.




Carsten Hansen

Carsten - H&E :

H I'm continually amazed of how people can free up so much time and energy and take out precious time enjoying what is right in front of them, by constantly trying to compare the incomparable.

That is fair enough but I'm constantly amazed at how much time and energy you have to put in to navigating such an outdated, intrusive and for the most part unnecessary system. Don't know about you but we work for a living so to have to go the the bank, town hall or whichever office is required during the few hours they are open just to get permission to cough is mostly counter productive and if you can't be bothered like most Spaniards aren't then luckily they have drones which fly over and locate that bbq you built to fine you, I guess it gets legal in the end that way.

Sure you can't change things but people want a heads up of what it is like here and frankly it can be a real shock to some, or you can just pretend this mess doesn't exist.

QED

Of course countries have varying rules, and some of those rules and the things that happen are a royal pain in the arse, but you have to get on with things, not just moan about them.

The most important thing any expat must pack is an open mind.
If they don't, they'll never be happy so they might as well stay in their home countries.

That is twice in one topic I agree with Fred!
Enough said Fred.....

How about that for great responses? Now the balls is rolling.

Let's get this talk fired up...!


@JB80: I have a friend who build a department of a Swedish company up here in Alicante and we often spoke about "bugs" in the system. We both agreed to the same you mentioned about a heavy system and processes without meaning or time relevance. One day here is what he said to me: "You know what? No matter how pissed I get with the system, no matter how many hours I could have used on better things and no matter how many times I've felt disappointed, I have never found a single excuse strong enough to make me leave this fantastic place!" To me that was an eye opener! Not to be less bothered like the Spaniards, as you so eloquently put it, but to switch focus and enjoy what is right in front of you.

Spain works for many people and changing 42 million just seems a little too far fetched as opposed of changing 1 (i.e yourself). I'm not pretending 'this mess doesn't exist' - I simply find it easier (and less consuming time and energy wise) by accepting the facts and focus my time on working around it instead. I run my own business out of Alicante where we depend on similar institutions you mention in your post, and we still haven't found our exit-out-of-Spain-excuse :)


@Fred: I agree (short feedback fits agreeable answers, hehe)



Let's Get To Work!


Carsten Hansen - H&E

Fred :

QED

Of course countries have varying rules, and some of those rules and the things that happen are a royal pain in the arse, but you have to get on with things, not just moan about them.

The most important thing any expat must pack is an open mind.
If they don't, they'll never be happy so they might as well stay in their home countries.

Good point, I agree with you. That's why I would never voluntarily leave this country; the Netherlands. I can't really tolerate much change, especially if things are very different and much worse organized than I'm used to in this country, which is one of the best organized countries in the world, in my opinion...

Although both my parents are of Turkish descent, and although I can speak Turkish, I would never live in Turkey, for example. The bureaucracy, people's mentality, the chaotic traffic and many other small daily things are simply unbearable for me. But I certainly realize that (fortunately) not everybody is like me, and I admire people who are far more adventurous than me..  :)

Hey @ Sarah,

I have lived in Spain for many years and a common thing I hear from travellers and students is that they didn't realize beforehand that there is more than 1 language spoken here, depending on the region. For example, in Barcelona (Catalonia province) most people speak Catalan. Having said this, everyone speaks Spanish as well. So before choosing your destination, make sure you know about the languages they speak there and decide if you are comfortable with people speaking multiple languages.

I hope you find this helpful!

Kind regards,
Gordon

Amen on the driving and talking!

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