Home EXPAT COMMUNITY Spain – Love It Or Loathe It?

Spain – Love It Or Loathe It?


By Lisa Burgess from Costa Del Sol Chatter

The novelist and critic George Orwell once said “I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries.

How easy it is to make friends in Spain.” I am fortunate to call the Costa Del Sol my home and enjoy friendships with an array of nationalities. There are, however, downsides to life here as an expatriate and the cost of living isn’t one of them.

Spain, home to sublime wines, tasty tapas, and the perfect tomato also gives us the siesta. Yes, siesta, that inconvenient time of the day when the shops close. While the Spanish sleep we ponder why they don’t power through the day. We can blame the sun.

The Costa Del Sol has 325 glorious days of sunshine per year. Cool if you intend to laze on the beach not so cool when faced with paperwork. Supreme bureaucracy rules in Spain. Us ex-pats have all experienced that anxious moment when we realise that one elusive document is not in our sweaty palms. Feel free to watch this satirical video and commiserate.

Putting aside our grumbles about officialdom we must applaud the Spanish for rarely getting drunk. Day drinking is easy for Spaniards they imbibe slowly with constant food and water. Some of us ex-pat power drinkers should take a leaf out of their book.  Their mealtimes are inconvenient, especially dinner. My stomach is growling at 7 pm but I adjusted my lunchtime to around 3 pm so I can survive to eat at 10 pm. I doubt I will ever get used to it.

What I can get used to is the Spanish habit of kissing you upon introduction, replacing the customary handshake. I revel in their warmth of spirit and affectionate nature but they need to turn up on time. Spanish punctuality needs considerable work, it annoys the hell out of me. 

One thing is for sure, Spaniards know how to throw a fiesta!  With ferias and fiestas celebrated nationwide, we cannot help but love their enthusiasm for costumes, dancing and music amidst breathtaking scenery.  

Spain is blessed with a diverse heritage both cultural and natural. Andalusia boasts stunning beaches but there is so much more to it than that. From Moorish Cordoba to the mountainous Sierra Nevada, scenic Ronda to sensual Seville and quaint Marbella to elegant Granada, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

Famous chef, Anthony Bourdain, once said “any reasonable, sentient person who looks at Spain, comes to Spain, eats in Spain, drinks in Spain, they’re going to fall in love. Otherwise, there’s something deeply wrong with you. This is the dream of all the world.” I echo his sentiments but with some reservations. I do love Spain but loathe it just a tad – how about you?

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