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Setting up home and living the Spanish Life

NEW TO SPAIN AND LOVING IT
Hello
I came to Spain in January to set up a new home and become integrated into the Spanish way of living. This was not a quick choice i have worked and lived in many places in the world and have visited Spain about 20 times on holidays so know the country quite well as travel is my hobby especially historical places of interest and culture.
Buying my new home was quite easy. i had a good agent who showed me what I wanted. i had to make a few adjustments due to budget but am very satisfied with what i have.
Before i signed on the dotted line i stayed in an apartment hotel in the area for a week, I chose an apartment hotel so i could shop for food, go to the beach, use a coffee shop or two in the area, look at the business area in the village/town, the port facilities as i like to sail and may buy a boat again. My conclusion after a week, great, i love the area, the people are friendly so opened a bank account through my solicitors who are in Marbella bought a home, they too were excellent.in assisted me in setting up the water and electricity accounts, home insurance etc.
To anyone new just take heed you do not move in like in the UK and have water and electricity immediately, a day is set for you, this can take some time, in my case three weeks before i had water and electricity.
The most  trying was to get the information to apply for a phone, internet and TV, most people i spoke to in my block advised Movistar....What a shambles till to date I still have no contract, they will send it to me. When, Manana. I have TV, a phone and the internet and it works well, still no contract so do not know the period I have at the price verbally quoted to me.
The TV is all in Spanish in the selections sections so you do not know what the programs are until you click in, this can be annoying especially if you have over a hundred programs to select. Some then have the option for English sound, mostly movies and American tv series. Secondly beware the young girl told me there is BBC, I ask which channels and asked for a booklet explaining the channel selections, this she could not give me. The BBC she was talking about is one channel of repeated news like CNN.
Next I wanted to buy a car, I hired a series of small cars over two weeks to see what they were like and made my selection. I went to a large dealer and selected a new car the colour i wanted and although i had read various horror stories of buying a car it was quite simple, the road tax is a LOT cheaper than in the UK, Insurance too as fully comp was cheaper than the UK too.
I am now in the process of redecorating my home and getting it into shape, so far there is a good standard of work but very slow....Manana, tomorrow is a word i have yo get used to as well as the working hours of the builders as they go off for a siesta and then come back to work till about 19:00.
To anyone new to Spain, its a lovely country, the people are warm and very helpful. I speak four languages but no Spanish, i am learning and with a bit of patience and a few gestures you can make yourself understood.
I have joined the local Face to Face language team and its great fun and quite easy, i love using what i have learnt in the shops and doing my business, yes I get a few laughs and smiles when using the wrong word.
I now want to become a Padron member and become involved in the community if they will have me I want to see if we can come to an agreement with our council and have some assistance from the council to a clean/sweep of the weeds in our streets and tidy the pavements as its difficult when walking to the beach.
As I said I love Spain, My area Aldea Hills and am proud of my home and will do anythiing to make the area better, any ideas.
Next..I need to make friends, any suggestions, groups, clubs etc.

Carl

My suggestion would be to look into local senderismo (hiking) groups. You can get exercise and meet people. I am in Alicante, and the senderismo groups attract people from various countries, not just Spaniards.  I am also in the civic commision for the restoration of the historical memory, and have friends from language exchange groups at cafes. I have many friends through my wife, who is Spanish.

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