Expat Voices: Justyna Adamczyk on living in Madrid
Polish expat Justyna loves the food, lifestyle, weather, and best of all, the friendly charming Spaniards.
Name: Justyna Adamczyk
City of residence: Madrid
Date of birth: 12.12.1983
Civil status: Single
Occupation: HR Specialist
Reason for moving to Spain: to look for a better job, to learn new languages, to gain international and cross–cultural experiences
Lived in Spain: since June 2008
What was your first impression of Spain?
My first impression was very positive but I have to say I´d been travelling to Spain before I moved here. People were very friendly and helped me a lot during my first weeks here.
What do you think of Spanish food?
I´m in love in Spanish food and I really enjoy every moment when I can try some new typical dishes, especially seafood. Spanish food doesn´t exist just to satisfy humans’ principal need – eating in Spain is a cultural activity and I think that´s why Spanish people pay attention to the quality of the food.
What do you think of the shopping in Spain?
I like the grocery shopping here, mostly because of the local street markets that can be found in every district.
What do you appreciate most about living in Spain?
The weather, variety of food, lifestyle, street life, outdoor attractions, landscapes and friendly and charming people. I also enjoy having breakfast in a nearby bar where good coffee with sweets is served and everybody knows everyone. You see the same strangers every day and eventually they become your acquaintances.
What do you find most frustrating about living in Spain?
Everybody is late and it´s really hard to get used to it. The sense of urgency and time management almost doesn´t exist and it complicates your daily life slightly.
What puzzles you about Spanish culture and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
I miss my family and friends, my favourite Polish autumn. From time to time I even miss people´s complaints (we are more pessimistic in my country but in fact we complain only to complain, to dismiss something from your mind). What puzzles me here is the never-ending night life – no limit diversion.
How does the quality of life in Spain compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
The quality of the life is great. I lived better in Spain as an intern than when I was working a full-time stuff in my own country. But I know I have been very lucky: I live and work in the centre of Madrid, and don´t spend a lot of time on the metro. The prices are favourable in Spain if you compare the cost of living here to your salary.
If you could change anything about Spain, what would it be?
I would like to make the cities cleaner. I would also like to change the bureaucracy as it is slow and inefficient.
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Observe the people, enjoy the local ambience and traditions, soak up the atmosphere and try to make the most of your time here. Spend your time outside, be open with Spanish people and you will have no time to get bored.
Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.