10 things to know before moving to Spain

10 things to know before moving to Spain

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In the Garlic authors share 10 tips about surviving and loving Spain in all its diversity.

Moving to Spain is not like moving to paradise. Yes it’s sunny throughout, has beautiful beaches that run for miles and looks really pretty, but it’s also a place which can drive you wild if you don’t know it right

In the Garlic authors Valerie Collins and Theresa O'Shea share their top 10 tips on how life is really lived here in Spain.

Tip 1
When dealing with any facet of Spanish bureaucracy, remember The Law of Falta Uno: that however many documents and photocopies you take along there will always be one missing. Always double check that you have every piece of paper that you think you might need – and possibly even a few more that you don't.

Be patient. Be assertive. Take plenty of reading material. Rope in a friendly mentor who speaks the lingo, and check any papers you are given with a fine tooth comb for names, dates, accounts numbers and more before you leave the desk or ventanilla (window). Any undiscovered glitch may set you back years. Oh, and don't forget the rabbit’s foot.

Tip 2
Do not forget to tip the butanero – the man (and it will be a man) who throws those two-ton, orange gas-bottles on his shoulder and climbs four flights of stairs when the lift is broken to deliver what may well be your main source of heating and fuel.

Many jokes and myths surround the role of the 'butanero' (video in Spanish).

Tip 3
If it is your birthday, don't stand around grinning, waiting for someone to buy you a drink, or bounce jauntily into work expecting to be showered with goodies. Not only do the Spanish drive on the wrong side of the road, they've also got the whole birthday thing completely wrong.

It's your birthday, it's your shout. As if it's not bad enough chalking up another year, you have to treat your colleagues and friends to boot. If it's your child's birthday, make sure he/she takes a big bag of sweets to school to share with classmates.

Tip 4
Do not go to the beach in August. Three quarters of the population of Spain and their families will be there, too. Along with several kitchen sinks. You will wait nine hours to get served at a restaurant, another nine hours for the food to arrive, plus two or three more before you get fed up waiting for the bill and do a 'sinpa' (ie. a runner, from sin pagar – without paying).

Tip 5
Do not pop into the bank/ gestor's office/ estate agent/ post office/ mechanic's between 9.30am and 11am. There will be a queue and one over-worked, stressed-out, don't-you-dare-complain employee will be holding the fort.

Should you wish to see a specific somebody, you can be sure said somebody will be in the nearest bar, tucking into a segundo desayuno (second breakfast). If you can't beat them, join them, and order a nice large café con leche with a torpedo-shaped toasted roll drizzled in oil, rubbed with tomato and topped with either ham, cheese, tuna or tortilla, or any combination thereof.

Moving to Spain'Tostada de tomate' is a Spanish staple.

Tip 6
Remember, children are not only to be heard and seen. They are also to be picked up and cooed over at every possible instant, allowed to stay up as late as their parents during summer holidays, and thought of as nothing but cute as they scream around your table while you try enjoy a quiet drink.

Tip 7
If you need to attract the barperson's attention, a polite raised finger and a timid 'perdone' or 'disculpe' (excuse me) won't get you very far.

Clear your throat, along with however many decades of ingrained politeness, and yell, "¡Oiga!" (Listen, person-that-I-don't-know). Or if you're really really brave yell, "¡Oye!" (Listen, person-that-I-don't-know-but-will-speak-to-as-if-I-did).

That should do it – you'll fit right in and no-one will mutter anything about 'manners' and 'upbringing'. Forthright and direct is ok. Just remember you can make your intonation sound polite – and smile.

Tip 8
Remember, time is relative. In Spain la mañana lasts until about 2pm, la tarde (the afternoon) stretches to nightfall, there is no word for evening, and the early hours have their own special name: la madrugada.

Tip 9
Do not attempt to buy a house, get a new kitchen put in, renew your driving licence, make an insurance claim, see a doctor or give birth in August. Spain is not in (it's gone to the beach; see point four).

Tip 10
Do not refer to Catalan, Valenciano or Gallego as dialects of 'Spanish' or Castilian – unless you want to get right up the nose of a Catalan, Valenciano, Gallego big time. They are all languages in their own right, and are co-official with Castellano in the autonomous communities in which they are spoken (ie. Catalunya, Valencia and the Balearics, and Galicia).



Valerie Collins and Theresa O'Shea / Expatica

In the Garlic is a quirky A–Z guide about Spain written by Valerie Collins and Theresa O'Shea. It is available from the Bookworld España chain, amazon.co.uk and bookshops. More information can also be found on www.inthegarlic.com.
Photo credit: Tamorlan via Wikimedia Commons (tomato toast) / Published 2009; updated by Expatica 2016.

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133 Comments To This Article

  • Olga posted:

    on 23rd July 2016, 00:04:33 - Reply

    Hello mister,
    I am Spaniard and I find your comment highly offensive..We are nothing like that and yes, maybe it would be a good idea you stay in your country....we do not need people like you here.
  • Cokobo posted:

    on 15th July 2016, 12:00:26 - Reply

    I have stopped reading comments, as there are so many of them. So forgive me if I am repetitive...

    Come on, this is evidently a joke!!!
    And it is funny (and I say so being spanish, writting from Madrid right now)...

    I find very surprissing not only that some other compatriots cannot assume jokes about our stereotypes, mostly simple platitudes, but that other comments from people who want to come to Spain seem to take the post seriously...

    Good post!!!
  • Marl posted:

    on 21st May 2016, 15:55:09 - Reply

    That was funny xDD I'm a Spaniard living in the UK so I think I can talk about both countries :D First, I would like to say to the one who said that he is not going to Spain because people there "do not understand British humour" that people in Spain usually laugh more about Spain that Brits do about the UK. When Brits laugh about Britain is with 'white' things like 'Oh, we're so polite...', 'even in a war we stop to drink tea', 'we love to make queues for everything'. And then you can hear the highly-posh laughs like ho-ho-ho and everything very funny and very British. Yes, you're laughing about the UK, but it's not offensive! The stereotypes about Britain are mainly good, so it's not a great deal to make fun about them, but it takes more courage, or a broader sense of self-mockery, to laugh about your country if the stereotypes about it are rather bad, like lazy, inefficient, etc. I think it is more valuable when a Spaniard, Mexican or Italian laugh with jokes about their countries than when a Brit does about Britain. I LOVE Monty Python, Mr. Bean, Keeping Up Appearances, Fawlty Towers... but when they mock about Britain is with VERY polite humour. The only show I've seen which makes fun about a bit bad British things is Little Britain.

    I have made classical jokes about tea and queues and the Brits don't get offended, but they generally change the mood when the jokes are about them being racist, inefficient, drunkards, paedophiles or hooligans. Unfortunately British TV shows don't do that kind of jokes and they're not used!! On the other hand, you should see "La que se avecina", "Aqu
  • brenda posted:

    on 21st May 2016, 03:59:04 - Reply

    I visited Alicante Spain and surrounding areas during the month of August. It was very humid. But ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL AND PLEASANT! LOVE LOVE LOVED it there! Certainly different culture from USA but why go to another country if you are not willing to experience and enjoy another culture?
  • JoseJavier posted:

    on 8th May 2016, 19:28:12 - Reply

    I'm Spaniard (Alicante) living in UK for the last 3 years. Very accurate and funny description! I agree with most of the article. The tip for the "butanero" it's just about whatever coin you have around (something between 0.5-1%u20AC it's usual) but nothing will happen if there's no tip at all, It's a reward because originally they add this door delivery service with no pay increment for them. I think it's very appropiate generally speaking forget a bit about the politeness and courteous "excuse me" in a tapas bar and go for the author's advice instead. Don't be worried about the dialects in Spain, as soon as they realize you are a foreign nobody will get really angry because, as Tip Number 11, the spaniards like argue about everything (it's a national sport) mainly in the cafes/bars but what we really love is get angry between us. Enjoy the weather and relax!!

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Sam posted:

    on 23rd April 2016, 03:04:01 - Reply

    Custmer service is not the same as it is in North America. Many North Americans need to adjust to living in other parts of the world. Sense of entitlement. as a black American man, Europe is ideal for me and man others like me are treated with more respect than in the usa. I know of many american black men who are quite sucessfu in europe. That is all.

  • Prateek posted:

    on 21st April 2016, 08:05:56 - Reply

    Hi..I live in India presently and want to move to Barcelona..can you help me with the process and guide me a little bit?

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • ale posted:

    on 13th April 2016, 10:58:24 - Reply

    It is so funny to see how english people perceive spanish people. All of this blog is true only for very turistic places, I have never experienced this stuff. The reason why August is on "slow-mode" is that is a very hot month and working hours are reduced, everything is closed and it is just the way it is. The same way during spring breaks in england you have a lot of noisy teenagers around malls and pubs. It is a different culture, either you embrace it or you stay in your boring and polite grey weather united kingdom :)
    you have great theatres though!
  • Marialuisa posted:

    on 7th April 2016, 16:04:51 - Reply

    not funny? You are writing this in August- no wonder you are in a sour mood. Spain is a great country- have been living here since 2005- loving every minute. Cheer up :-)
  • Nora posted:

    on 14th March 2016, 16:34:13 - Reply

    think only add a small detail, Spaniards generally do not support the attitude of the British when they come here to have fun.

    It would be nice in the guide include a section where you explain this, and to try to moderate.

    Plenty of time to enjoy the sun and the beach, it is not necessary wrecking things or become small wild

  • Luis posted:

    on 10th March 2016, 21:28:26 - Reply

    I was just checking posts about going to spain and i found this one... Hope it helps you too about thinking to live in Spain...

  • Isabel posted:

    on 24th February 2016, 19:27:36 - Reply

    It is a great explanation about Spain I can't say it is not true. You describe the comic Spain, but at the same time there are a lot of civilised people living there. What you described is true and at the same time exaggerated, that's why many times on tv you can see a parody with everything you have explain about Spain. I didn't know you have to tip the butano man, or about the missing papers, it is something that usually happens in England too, I agreed about the supposed languages Galician, Catalan, Valencian.......... I always study they where dialects, at some point they started to be languages. I can't talk about it in Spain.
  • Vikingo posted:

    on 21st January 2016, 22:09:07 - Reply

    Sadly, not everything is humor and some Spanish also get offended quite easily. Great funny article, I hope one day this article can be written by a eSpanish and say: We know how to laugh at ourselves
  • kmarketingninja posted:

    on 21st January 2016, 18:36:28 - Reply

    May I just add that buying a house in January is also nearly impossible. You think it is possible, but it is not. Between all the holidays and people taking a vacation after family holidays, realtors are absent until about the 20th of January.

  • Valerie posted:

    on 13th January 2016, 15:14:18 - Reply

    Yes, we do. And we're still here!
  • sarah posted:

    on 12th January 2016, 23:11:35 - Reply

    I was thinking the same! I know for a fact that these two authors LOVE Spain and would never be unpleasant. It's just lighthearted fun based on things that are generally true. I too live in Spain and love it, but there are things that drive you crazy too! Those criticising should get out more.
  • Annie posted:

    on 5th January 2016, 13:04:57 - Reply

    My partner has moved to Spain and taken a spanish sim for his phone but is really struggling as he is being charged for all texts/calls received as well as made to the UK. Is this normal ? I can understand being charged from calls/text he makes but not for ones he receives. Can anyone suggest a better plan/sim etc to help with this as we aren't able to make contact unless he is in WIFI which is hard as he is living 20 mins outside Jerez and there is no wifi available. Thanks for your help

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Janine posted:

    on 5th January 2016, 16:52:39 - Reply

    Thank you for this great post! It's quite informative and helpful. I'm moving to Spain in February and still have some stuff to deal with for my move. I'm a professional mover here in UK, but moving other people's stuff is much easier. Organizing my own stuff along with all documents is much harder and I hope I'll deal with all that the best way I can. Your advises are great and very helpful for me and I'm now more aware of the situation. Thanks for sharing all this great information! Greets, Janine 

  • Miguelin posted:

    on 13th December 2015, 13:43:24 - Reply

    Spanish people are constantly laughing at themselves. Probably some old or parochial people in deep Spain retain that very Francoist and ancient inferiority complex that resorts to a defense of "Espa
  • karas posted:

    on 11th November 2015, 22:42:50 - Reply

    Catalan is spoken in some towns in Aragon that are close to the border with Cataluna. Check out dear Fraga (Huesca) if you don't believe it!

  • Silva posted:

    on 9th November 2015, 11:12:57 - Reply

    My family is planing to move to Spain next year. My dad used to live there before and is his dream to go back. It is good to read those tips so we can be more prepare about the life there. Greetings

  • Jack posted:

    on 20th October 2015, 07:31:36 - Reply

    I really loved my time in Spain outside of Madrid in Torrejon de Ardoz. While some of the stories are funny, some maybe a little true, you will not find a better place to live and raise a family. I cherish my memories of life in Spain, I do miss the tortilla espanol.

  • nick posted:

    on 15th October 2015, 17:08:45 - Reply

    Living in Spain is a delight and the lots of people I move there [edited] love the country the sunshine and the people and I must not forget the food

  • Walter posted:

    on 11th October 2015, 23:51:51 - Reply

    I'd take you more seriously if you could actually write in English, hon!

  • xxxxx posted:

    on 7th October 2015, 16:31:07 - Reply

    This article really made me laugh. I am from the UK and have also lived in Australia. Have been thinking of moving to Spain as it seems like a lovely way off life but after reading the other messages left on here it has put me off quite a lot.
    When living in Australia I had people make fun of me and the way the English do things. I loved it!
    This has shown me how people can no longer just have a laugh, everything has to be so serious. This was meant to be funny and it was so if people can not see that then it is their problem! I am sure every person on his has made jokes on how other countries are at some point in their lives
    I am more than happy to laugh at the stereo typing people give to the English as most of it is true.
    Please people really need to see the funny side of this article.

  • Yessenia posted:

    on 18th September 2015, 02:07:26 - Reply

    I am Latinos so reading this was funny , true say you have to learn to laugh at ourselves :)
  • Diego posted:

    on 30th August 2015, 18:54:23 - Reply

    Definitely "In the garlic" it is a humorous web.
    First look at the web and... Jesus !!! What kind of map of Spain is that ??? is a sketch of a drunk? Not even a little closer to reality representation of autonomies... the rigor we can expect from this page? Little, very little, but is a page of humor does not? ;-)
    The authors wrote almost exclusively about Andalusia and Catalonia, almost nothing more remarkable in the rest of peninsular Spain (there are no islands and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla are volatilized xD), maybe in all the years they have been in the country they weren't able to visit other regions (very sad, they have lost the opportunity to discover lots of wonderful things, places and people). After so many years living in Spain they act as natives, placed the first map of Spain found (no matter how accurate is) and wrote about where they live (because it is the best place in the world) :-D Topical welcome to Spain by foreigners.
  • Sasha posted:

    on 22nd August 2015, 15:01:40 - Reply

    I'm vaguely considering moving to Spain but I have to say the complete failure to understand the British sense of humour displayed by so many commenters here is putting me off! In most respects I feel I'd fit in pretty well over there but I'd really worry about me and my family offending people by accident by trying to be funny!

    Please people, this is just a "tongue in cheek" (that means ironic & a bit silly, but with a grain of truth) article aimed at people familiar with the British sense of humour, don't take it too seriously! It's not meant as criticism, merely a jokey description of those things that strike a outsider from the UK as different & amusing. Somebody wrote that we wouldn't like it if Spaniards wrote a similar article about us - nothing could be further from the truth, we Brits are happy to laugh at ourselves, and are the first to be self-deprecating.
  • aj posted:

    on 7th August 2015, 16:01:16 - Reply

    If this post is true, this country is terrible. I see nothing funny there, absolutely.
    Rude people, occupaptional movements, leftist movements, drunkards, criminals, druggards, pointless parties... what is so funny? Stupidity taking the world over?
  • Laia posted:

    on 10th July 2015, 12:22:57 - Reply

    In Spain summer temperatures are high, 35 degrees Celsius (95.00000 Fahrenheit), the oppressive heat and humid. Logical that most of the time we are cooling off at the beach or pool! But you want to be dizzy


    On the other hand, preferred to choose holiday month is August, the month par excellence. Especially in state agencies, so if you need to perform some official character bureaucratic procedures, it must be done at the latest in July. Typically, they indicate the holiday periods, and can be accessed. Maybe for a foreigner not knowing the language well, this is complicated

    Working hours in Spain include:

    - Intensive work in the morning and end the turn at 15

    - Party (mostly that of shops). In this case, it closes a few hours at lunchtime, and reopen in the afternoon until 20:30 or 21 pm, in small shops

    -Some Businesses and large surface supermarkets do not pause at noon and open from 10am - 21.30 h without interruption or until 22h (according to trade)

    So when they find the shops closed, they do not believe that we are napping, but replacing it fiuerzas and eating energies to return to work in the evening :).

    I can only agree, that in Spain, we love to socialize and stay in cafes usual, and have long conversations.

  • ana posted:

    on 10th July 2015, 12:48:22 - Reply

    Although often think that the typical dance of Spain is flamenco, this is not true (only in Andalucia). Each region has their own
    I would like to take this opportunity to introduce them to the typical dance of the Catalans, Spaniards who live in northern Spain (Catalonia),. It is danced in groups, and there are different types of choreography


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhK0BIZoyac

  • Kris posted:

    on 6th July 2015, 09:50:06 - Reply

    I agree that this post was a slight humourus way of showing affection to the Spanish and their culture. I really enjoyed reading how most of the Spanish commenting on
  • lisa posted:

    on 7th July 2015, 23:03:15 - Reply

    I am Spanish and I'm not surprised at all that this article is written by British

    From my experience in Britain, I can say that they found the center of the world believe, especially in excess of Spaniards think I ever go to value. There you strive!

    The British believe that we live in the '50s as a matter of fact they asked me if I had in Spain supermarkets (and yes, in 1991, had, but is almost impossible to convince

    As we have hurt some Spanish films, such as Almodovar that are quite freaky, or Alfredo Landa in the 50s

    For them, come to Spain, it is come to a second-rate country with a great climate, and anything will be examined in a critical sense, and from a position of superiority, so ordinary things that happen in most countries, such as difficulties with bureaucracy, Norway take a year to help and that, if you've got a job. But you'll never find this kind of comments to the Norwegians.

    If the authors wanted to make a more profound knowledge of our country, which make young tourists who come to take advantage of our climate and scream, they get drunk, behave shamefully in the street fight, in short, make in 15 days, everything that we often criticize us, showing not feel any interest in our culture, I think they have made a loose and full of inaccuracies article
  • Amunterreta posted:

    on 12th June 2015, 17:20:31 - Reply

    Don't pay attention to this one, another one who talks with no idea. Catalan is a lenguage, like basque and Gallego. A dialect is 4 example Castilian, Peruvian or Andaluz, those are dialects of spanish in the same way that valenciano, mallorqui, menorqui, eivissenc(ibiza), lleideta, gironi, occidental(it's very similar to valenciano) or Rosellones are dialects of the same lenguage(you can call that language catalan or however you want. I speak catalan using a valencia slang and pronunciation in the same a catalan speaks valencia with a catalan pronunciation and slang.
  • XAVIER posted:

    on 15th June 2015, 10:48:12 - Reply

    I AM GOING TO SPAIN THIS YEAR TO CHECK IT OUT AND SEE IF I WANT TO LIVE THERE. I WILL TOUR THE COUNTRY FOR A FEW WEEKS AND SEE FOR MYSELF WHAT LIFE IN SPAIN IS LIKE. I HAVE ALREADY CHECKED OUT PUERTO RICO, COSTA RICA AND ACUADOR. I SPEAK SPANISH AND WAS BORN IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. THE ARTICLE WAS INTERESTING, EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN OPINIONS.
  • Rylie posted:

    on 9th June 2015, 12:38:26 - Reply

    I thought this was a funny post. Took a sarcastic side, but still good and has some trueness to it. I love Valencia though [Edited by moderator]

  • ChrissieB posted:

    on 1st June 2015, 17:41:03 - Reply

    I thought the article was quite amusing, even if not totally factually correct, and reminded me a lot of how things are done in South Africa (which is where I lived for the last 39 years). The only thing we were missing is the siesta time! Now why did no one think of that??
    I am looking at moving to Spain, as I think I will be much more comfortable with the Spanish culture, way of life and the way they do things. I currently live in Germany, as I thought I'd give my homeland a try... but no thanks.... it  is NOT my kinda place to live! Bunch of stiff, boring people with the most ridiculous rules and habits! And don't you dare make a noise...
    I am busy learning Spanish (quite difficult though) as I do feel that to live in a country you must know the language and customs. I already speak English, which is my chosen home language, German, my original home language and Afrikaans, one of the 11 languages of South Africa. So adding Spanish should be doable.
    Looking forward to visiting Spain at the end of this week, after having dreamed of going there for the last 30 years! I hope I will like it as much as I think I will... and heat is no problem, after all, I come from Africa, lol!

  • gary posted:

    on 29th May 2015, 19:13:42 - Reply

    hi you state only Britain & Australia drives on the "right side"? WRONG my friend. New Zealand, S Africa, Zambia., Zimbawe, most African countries, Cyprus. Malta, Bermuda, Bahamas, Turks & Cacos Islands, Japan, Jamacia, Antigua, Barbados would you like more examples? more place than you think sir.
  • Karen posted:

    on 23rd January 2015, 03:51:57 - Reply

    I really don't see where this article is supposed to be funny. I'm not from Spain, I'm from the US and I understand all countries have their own personalities and sense of humor. Anyways, to me this sounds like a recounting of a very bad experience. You shouldn't generalize and I'll give you an example... my parents have traveled to Spain many times and they've never had anything negative to say. One point which comes up and I think it applies to most places around the globe is, people from the big cities tend to be a little harsher and less patient, while those from the country seem to go at their own pace and not much bothers them unless there is something major going on. One thing I suggest when traveling or living abroad-read up, inform yourself about the place you are going to be in and never assume you know everything, because you don't. Oh... and make sure your reading material is from a reliable source.
  • Miguel posted:

    on 15th December 2014, 18:10:40 - Reply

    I think that we, spanish, are taking too seriouly this funny article. It is necesary to learn to laugh at our lifestyle, there isnt any bad at it. We have a wonderful country and many things to learn of our foreing residents.

  • Alexandra Empie posted:

    on 23rd October 2014, 06:42:07 - Reply

    Just want to point out that out of the 196 countries in the world, only 16 of them and a handful of islands drive on the left side of the road. I find the comment about the Spanish driving on the "wrong" side of the road ignorant and quite a turn-off. Stopped reading there.

  • PiPA posted:

    on 19th October 2014, 22:58:17 - Reply

    I don't think that writing articles is your best deal. My advise, try to do something else. Guys, it look like you are green with envy....
  • Malu posted:

    on 10th October 2014, 02:08:50 - Reply

    Nice going the girl above, Sara. I lived in Spain, in Galicia for 4 years and visited twice after, and I love it! The article is funny but it really does not describe much of Spain, I guess they also miss the fact that on your birthday, it's a great day to show appreciation for those who are always there for you, it's a nice lesson!

    I think that if anyone wrote equivalent jokes about the country where you come from you wouldn't like it much!! and I can only tell you, you've been not helpful at all!
  • Sara S posted:

    on 7th September 2014, 07:20:35 - Reply

    I studied abroad in Spain for two months and traveled around the country. It's the most beautiful place I have ever been and I dream about going back daily. The culture is very different from the US but no one is right or wrong. Assuming because it's different is wrong I agree is very arrogant. I would live like a Spaniard any day! The lifestyle is so much healthier and less wasteful. Other countries have a lot to learn from Spain. And I didn't meet anyone who hadn't taken a bath so that's also specific to personal preference as far as I know.
  • stranger posted:

    on 10th August 2014, 04:49:52 - Reply

    OK so my cousins came from Spain and came to visit ny for the first time but it's been a week and they haven't showered and I did research saying that since there country dies not have a lot of access to water so the water in there country is expensive but they hate showers
  • Pepito de Los Palotes posted:

    on 2nd July 2014, 05:05:15 - Reply

    Is everyone here stupid, or just me?
  • http://howtomakewineeasy.weebly.com/ posted:

    on 9th June 2014, 12:40:52 - Reply

    Ok! your website is very useful.
  • Lucas posted:

    on 21st May 2014, 18:38:41 - Reply

    I'm interested in moving to Spain. Where can I find information on education, visas, local culture, where to live, and employment? Also would it be beneficial to learn Spanish (Spain not Latin)?

    [Moderator's note: You can post questions on our forums for local opinions, or try our Ask the Expert service]

  • Afrcangal posted:

    on 15th April 2014, 23:04:40 - Reply

    todo es verdad!me encanta españa.i find the article rather hilarious than serious.we all know that most of it is true!infact a would say spaniards sleeptime is always past midtym.fun is what they do best.and they loyal to their traditions i love the events they have to dress locally.yes evryone goes to the beach on summer.drinking goes with eating n more eating :-)
  • Bob posted:

    on 7th March 2014, 14:18:30 - Reply

    I lived in Andalucía for a total of about 6 years and LOVE Spain, Not only is the country absolutely BEAUTIFUL geographically, but the people and the culture are amazing! All the things listed above are, in my opinion, not at all negative. Whereas we Americans do the complicated things of life very well, the Spanish do the simple, IMPORTANT things very well. They relish life, family and the GOOD things! All cultures could learn something from the beloved Spanish people.
  • marca posted:

    on 21st January 2014, 11:47:26 - Reply

    We get drunk living , you live to get drunk , I think this is the big difference in our ways of life.
    Spain is a very nice place to live if you are rotten rich and have a jet, you can not scape from rain , cold and darkness even with a lot of money.
  • Ruby posted:

    on 13th January 2014, 08:43:32 - Reply

    I'm English and plan on studying in Spain for University in the coming year and I completely agree with the majority of the Spanish comments; this type of article is exactly the kind of ignorant rubbish that makes everyone hate Brits. These 10 points are stupid, without humour and offensive to another culture. The people who agree with this 'article' are a fine example of the expats you find in all countries, refusing to fit in and actually learn the language or culture and just want to set up a mini-Britain wherever they go. [Edited by moderator]
  • alicia posted:

    on 1st January 2014, 02:59:38 - Reply

    I find your article to be just spot on. I could even add the drivers are one of the worst in Spain; they often cannot use roundabouts, never indicate, park up like Mr Bean bumping with the cars in front and at the back to drive out. I am Spanish but spent nearly 20 years of my life in the UK. Do
    Not know what on earth possessed me to move back to Spain. Other than the weather, there is nothing much more positive to say about a country deep in recession and stuck in its own ways. Although I am Spanish, I cannot identify with the Spanish mindset.
  • Isabella posted:

    on 10th November 2013, 21:41:38 - Reply

    I decided to come to spain running away from the bad weather in Canada. I though a sunny sky would be enough to have a pleasant life. I couldn't be so far from the reality. After 6 months I have finally concluded that Spain is not a good choice. The level of bureaucracy is extremely high, a lot of unprofessional people working in the admin offices, they create their own personal rules, no body knows the law. They sent you everywhere to obtain just a basic information. Customer service does not exist. What to say about technology, it is really behind, fibre optic is not available in most places, the mobile coverage is poor. There are homeless dogs and cats everywhere. On the weekend I hunters wake me up shooting even though I am 10 min away from Valencia. I gotta say, the food is not so bad. So if you only care about cheap wine, beer and good weather, Spain is for you. But if you get annoyed by BAD customer service, retro technology, bureaucracy and rude people, stay where you are or look for a different destination. I forgot to mention the cost of furniture and electronics is HIGH!!. If you are moving better get a container and bring as much as you can. Life is not cheap here. [Edited by moderator]
  • Carolina posted:

    on 2nd August 2013, 17:30:54 - Reply

    Do you want to know something?? Move to Portugal!! better place to be...
  • Alski posted:

    on 3rd May 2013, 23:52:23 - Reply

    Manchego is not a language of its own. It's a type of cheese made in La Mancha.
  • Cara posted:

    on 10th April 2013, 12:54:47 - Reply

    I do hope this article is supposed to be humorous (funny) because if the writers are serious, then they must have gone to Spain with a nasty attitude, which drew negative experiences to them. I've lived in Spain and they drive on the correct side of the street, the Spaniards are an extremely helpful, friendly, and polite people, I've been to the beach in August to celebrate my birthday for an entire month at a time and I've never had to wait excessively long in a restaurant, and Spanish children are adored by their families; they are also well behaved. Yes, Catalán, Gallego, Manchego, Basque, etc., are languages in their own right. And, yes, most of Spain goes on vacation in August—it is the hottest month of the year there and pretty much unbearable. I've also seen how rude tourists from other countries are to their Spanish hosts. They are not nice. Spain is a beautiful country with a proud culture and history, and a people who are friendly and helpful. [Edited by moderator]
  • Spanish posted:

    on 22nd March 2013, 18:46:40 - Reply

    Hahaha! Pretty accurate ^^
    But you missed a really important one! I've seen a lot of foreigners taking no care about their personal objects... In Spain people won't keep their phone in their hand or the wallet visible. It's better to keep it very safely and unseen. Specially there where is so much people (metro, bus, streets) just don't be too confident =)
  • H posted:

    on 11th March 2013, 01:53:18 - Reply

    Thanks for this! I love everything you listed (except the bureaucracy wait; but hey, I like to read).

    I am American and for years I lived in a town very close to the Mexican border. I'm sure it is very different, but some of the cultural roots are recognizable (like the strong emphasis on family). I loved it there, but it was too hot for me medically. Now I can't wait to visit Spain for a vacation too.
  • Gudy posted:

    on 12th February 2013, 10:45:42 - Reply

    I think it is hilarious and true. We live in Spain for 5 years and LOVE it, the people and the country. It IS a very different living from any northern country and one should be aware of that - you can adjust and love it or go somewhere else.
  • jo posted:

    on 18th December 2012, 22:51:45 - Reply

    and men dress as beefeaters,, thats is so true uughh i hate that, why u think i always leave them in england ad travel spain
  • jo posted:

    on 18th December 2012, 22:49:28 - Reply

    im sorry but this is hilarious all of it true, and im english,, i ave to agree u do get a few hostile spaniards but ive met some lovely people there too.. the best bit has to be HECTORS list 10 things about britain,, that has had me in stitches for about a hour,, the list was very accurate for britain, he got drinkin and fightin in the right order lol
  • Barnabubble posted:

    on 11th November 2012, 04:06:04 - Reply

    All of theses are absolutely spot on and many of these points have driven my wife and I to despair wondering why we tried to make a new life in Catalunya 2.5 years ago. Only point disagree with is DO go to the beach in August as its the best time. Do expect to consume huge quantities of cheese and ham, be sent racing around for YEARS sorting paper work as not one official dept gives consistent advice and other than the good weather and beaches, at this moment in time I am debating if this was now the right move. And yes my wife and I speak Spanish and have kept our English patience and manners despite much ignorance of our new communities and neighbours.
  • catalufo posted:

    on 13th October 2012, 09:00:11 - Reply

    This hole page shoud be keept in a museum, is not easy to find so many free opinions from all over the world, or all kind of people. If you ever tryied to start a new life here, please dont blame your neightbours, show them your wise way or die trying as you should do at home.
  • toni posted:

    on 13th October 2012, 08:36:11 - Reply

    Ok, Spanish people can be as good or misserable as any other country [edited by moderator] but at least remember that almost all the best things in life are cheaper there: tabacco stills half price or less, whine, whiskey, champagne , restaurants, [edited] but if you get there per less than 30€ flight from almost everywhere in europe, at the end it will be cheaper than stay at home... just the savings of your shopping in any other country pays for the holidays, or nearly there, at least as a local or any time appart of july and august.
  • E. Blacktsalagi posted:

    on 4th August 2012, 12:05:59 - Reply

    This issue is a societal one. No matter the country or nationality these divisions always exist and always will.
    Stereotypes exist because they are re-enforced, period. However, they are an awful way to "define" an entire demographic of people. People are confused about "prejudice", "discrimination", and "racism".
    Everyone is prejudice on some level. Discrimination is something we ALL do on some level. Whether it is "racism" , sexism, homophobia, etc... there are always people who find ways to oppress others. Envy, hate, fear, etc.... Regardless of nationality, ethnicity or religion, we must become more intelligent to recognize that no one is above anyone.
  • Dom posted:

    on 2nd July 2012, 05:02:28 - Reply

    I agree with most of the comments knowing both nations well enough.however , this is full of nationalistic way of seeing the reality from either side which is the most annoying thing to me.:( why does it matter where one was born ?! There is only one planet to share and we all live on it so let's forget about this outdated tribal mentality.
  • heidi posted:

    on 19th June 2012, 11:45:45 - Reply

    Read the 10 tips and i can see it was meant to be humorous but maybe it lacked any of the sweeter comical aspect to living in spain.
    Spain is a wonderful place to live with children. Your never left feeling unwanted when you take them to restaurants ect unlike the Uk.
    We all have jokes made about us, Im from Essex so of course im covered in orange fake tan and my partners German so hide all the sun beds.
    At the end of the day it was meant as a joke and not to offend but I suppose If your surrounded by drunken holiday makers on a club 18 to 30 anything said would grate on you.
  • D posted:

    on 18th April 2012, 23:42:46 - Reply

    Are they for real ?
  • reese posted:

    on 19th February 2012, 22:26:59 - Reply

    well said mario, well said my friend!!!!
  • G posted:

    on 16th February 2012, 14:48:49 - Reply

    Just got the book! the tips are just hilarious and BTW I'm Spanish too. Not sure what's wrong with all these Spaniards that have lost their sense of humour.. (sad) cliches and estereotipes are along all cultures, and one need to be quite simple to asume this the only thing there.
  • spain/cuban born in miami posted:

    on 25th January 2012, 20:20:05 - Reply

    it sound the same as living in miami.
  • Bob posted:

    on 23rd December 2011, 00:55:49 - Reply

    As an Irish person with a very good friend from Spain, I can say he would definitely see the funny side of this article. If the authors had said "Spain is perfect in every way - the end" no one would believe it. [Edited by moderator]
  • Suzette Manduley posted:

    on 6th November 2011, 21:25:15 - Reply

    I LOVE THIS - bold and so true.
    But one thing is for sure, the wonderful women you meet in Spain will positively mark your life and heart - and will be your friend forever. I only llived there a little over 2yrs, have been gone about 18 months, and it feels like yesterday. Not moment passes that, despite all the above, when I don't wish that I was living right back there on Plaza de las Cortes 3! XOXO, Suzette in Wash DC/VA. ;-) suzette.manduley@gmail.com
  • Kobie du Plessis posted:

    on 2nd November 2011, 18:51:37 - Reply

    I hugely enjoyed the 10 comments and having lived here for 8 years, agree with every word and more! Well said and well done!
  • Michael Douglas Bosc posted:

    on 2nd November 2011, 18:24:04 - Reply

    Well said but you forgot a couple: 1) Always smile and say hello [edited by moderator] people are friendly, well they are here 2) Remember why you came here. But seriously the above is a good assessment of how things are. Make Spanish friends and you will be fine and have a lot of laughs. However, remember this is their country and their customs join in and enjoy or stay outside and be miserable the choice is yours.
  • DORITA posted:

    on 31st October 2011, 23:19:48 - Reply

    Good evening: BUENAS TARDES
  • Manu posted:

    on 26th August 2011, 19:51:55 - Reply

    Soy de Sevilla, pero he pasado los uttimos 5 años en Francia. Ahora me dirijo a Canterbury para estudiar durante un año, y quien sabe, si me gusta me quede por una temporada. Yendo al grano, creo que tendemos a tomarnos las bromas sobre "nosotros" demasiado personales. Debemos aprender a reirnos con este tipo de chistes, pues en definitiva estan hechos para eso.
  • Matt posted:

    on 24th August 2011, 14:17:45 - Reply

    Am forigner who spent several years in Spain
  • Miquel posted:

    on 5th May 2010, 18:50:12 - Reply

    !!BENVINGUTS A CATALUNYA!!!BIENVENIDOS A ESPAÑA!!
  • xcv posted:

    on 16th April 2010, 15:08:16 - Reply

    this didnt help at all!
  • Petra posted:

    on 28th December 2008, 04:47:32 - Reply

    I am from Spain I find this humorous and true.
    Take a chill pill people, it is an opinion- don't be so offended. We all make fun of something and if you can take humor go and read Nietche.
  • Aina posted:

    on 17th November 2008, 03:18:18 - Reply

    Come on...Why do we, Spaniards, have to take ourselves that seriously and be so sensitive. It is obvious that the authors wrote this book in good spirit or else they would not being living in Spain for as long as they have.
  • Jan posted:

    on 15th November 2008, 15:28:51 - Reply

    I think the article was made, 'tongue in cheek' - that's a British expression for saying that although it has a base of truth in it, it was meant to be taken in a humorous and affectionate way.

  • Britanish posted:

    on 14th October 2008, 23:16:17 - Reply

    I think every person who has criticized this article should go live in the UK. You would see this IS the way Brits joke! There is no offense in any word whatsoever. You might not like the style it's written in(I don't), but the contents are as they would be if the Brits were talking about themselves, and it's funny! Brits are the masters of sarcasm. [Edited by moderator] Someone earlier on made a good point: you can only be offended if you really think you're not better than that. Btw, I have lived 10 years in Eastern Europe, 15 in Spain and a very amazing 2 in the UK, where I hope to go back soon, and there is a percentage of people in Spain who take these things worryingly seriously. Stop telling everybody "go back to your country" and realize that every single one of these points makes Spain what it is: amazing. It's reactions like yours that spoil it for all the rest of us, who take this as a compliment to our country. Viva España y el Reino Unido, con su lluvia y todo ;) Troy, you're a legend.LOL
  • Richard posted:

    on 8th October 2008, 16:00:26 - Reply

    [Edited by moderator] This article is written using british/irish humour, and is laughing more at ourselves than at the Spanish! Its not supposed to be taken literally as a racial slander. How did we ever all become EU citizens with this overreaction to a comic portrayal of UK expectations in a foreign country?
  • Don Rogelio Pequeño de las Californias- Alta y Baja posted:

    on 12th August 2008, 02:46:23 - Reply

    I lived in Madrid for fifteen years. I think the article is quite accurate; however, I would amend point 8 to read that "la tarde" begins after you've had lunch (la comida). It varies somewhat from person to person. And you must appreciate that the spirit of the article is to inform with humor, not ridicule the Spaniard. I think most Spaniards, especially those who can defend themselves in English, will get this. And just as it has been said that "who is ignorant of another language is ignorant of his own [language]" I think that extends to knowledge of another country. If you've never left your own country, your understanding of it will be somewhat limited. You can no more understand Britain or the United States from its cinema than you can understand Spain from watching Almodovar's movies. And, in any case, it takes time to learn all of the idiosyncrasies of a land and its people and its customs.
  • JASTEN posted:

    on 5th August 2008, 23:44:13 - Reply

    Ah... by the way, I would add another point. Number 11: (absolutely true).

    Spaniards are always arguing between the different regions, if the north is better than the south and the different languages...

    Lo siento, pero sea de lo que sea el foro, siempre lo mismo, ya cansa.. Saludos
  • JASTEN posted:

    on 5th August 2008, 23:30:46 - Reply

    I am not surprised by the article, you know... usual english thinking, some things never change.. ;p
  • mazzloree posted:

    on 1st August 2008, 16:30:03 - Reply

    Well said.
  • Maria posted:

    on 6th July 2008, 20:03:38 - Reply

    Hi Gina,

    I like your words. I have been living in England for 20 years now. I am married to a lovely Welsh man who can speak quite good Spanish and I enjoy living here. I love Britain, warts and all.

    I must confess it took me a good seven years to be able to enjoy Monty Python's sense of humour. I think we Spaniards are not very used to this type of humour in spite of Cervantes, Quevedo and all those sarcastic authours. Perhaps we got too serious in the 20th century.

    Much love to you.
  • Murloch Q Bindlestiff posted:

    on 29th June 2008, 04:29:05 - Reply

    Hola LANGUAGE, The dialect Catalan is spoken in Catalonia, in Valencia they speak "Valenciano" another dialect of Spanish (Castellano)
  • Michael H. Quinn posted:

    on 28th June 2008, 21:36:42 - Reply

    No, tothom sap que les organitzacions academiques que decideixen la definició d'una llengua i les Generalitats de Valencia i Catalunya esten d'accord que les dues llengues son dialectes de la mateixa llengua. Qualsevol intent de negar aquesta realitat está basat en la politica, no en una veritat linguistica.
  • Michael H. Quinn posted:

    on 27th June 2008, 12:10:44 - Reply

    Leave politics out of linguistic debates please!

    I speak fluent Catalan and when I watch Valencian TV on TDT I have no problems understanding it. Whatever name you give the dialects of the language spoken on TV3 or TV7, it is undeniable that they are dialects of the same language.
  • Berni posted:

    on 27th June 2008, 12:06:35 - Reply

    (Grrr. Got Cut off in my prime!) (Fish
  • Berni posted:

    on 27th June 2008, 12:00:00 - Reply

    I think the Catalans who regularly enjoy the wonderful satirical show "Polonia" would understand the humour in this article.

    However, this type of humour does seem completely foreign to people outside Catalonia.

    Really guys, there is no need to be so defensive about every point. The article is a humorous look at some aspects of Spain that we have all experienced to a lesser degree. It is definitely not attacking the country!

    As other people here have pointed out, the British can be far more savage when looking at their own country and customs in search of a good laugh. For evidence, just watch some Monty Python or Little Britain sketches on youtube.

    A lot of British humour works by exagerrating things to an extreme. This is not done to insult, but rather to elicit recognition. ("I've been there, I've done that!") None of the points made here imply that these examples are typical or even normal.

    I am not advocating that those of you who were offended "lighten up", but I do plead that you should try to see that no offence was intended.

    Unlike some areas of Spanish life, there are no sacred cows left in Britain now. BBC Comedy shows regularly make fun of everything from the generally terrible food (Fish
  • jillian F posted:

    on 26th June 2008, 19:28:25 - Reply

    I find it hard to believe that so many people were offended by these humorous
  • lolotapones posted:

    on 26th June 2008, 15:59:37 - Reply

    Todo el mundo sabe que el idioma Valenciano no es catalán.
  • Gina posted:

    on 26th June 2008, 14:36:10 - Reply

    Me parece que el "público objetivo" -como dicen los de mercadotecnia- de esta mirada afectuosa a algunas de las diferencias entre dos culturas (¡o más, según como se mire! Porque efectivamente, existen diferencias en España, pero también en el Reino Unido), no son los que vienen igual aquí como a cualquier sitio con sol, playa y cerveza, sino aquellos que quieren entender un poco mejor el país donde viven, piensan mudarse, tienen familia, o que han visitado o quieren conocer.

    Por mi parte, en contrapartida, quiero explicar a aquellos que no lo habéis entendido que una de las reglas fundamentales de la mentalidad británica es tomarlo todo con humor, que la seriedad no está reñida con la sonrisa, ¡leñe! Un tocho pedante sólo lo leen los alumnos y colegas del autor...

    Por cierto, confieso ser inglesa, afincada en España desde hace tres décadas y amiga de una de las autoras. Como podéis apreciar, he aprendido español. Existen enclaves por la costa donde a un extranjero que intenta hablar en español le contestan automáticamente en inglés (o francés, o alemán), dificultando mucho el aprendizaje del idioma. También puedo confirmar que lingüísticamente el valenciano será uno de los dialectos del catalán, pero el sentir de una mayoría de los valencianos es que existen diferencias [al menos con Barcelona] y que aquí se llama valenciano.

    Discrepo en muy pocos detalles puntuales del libro, que recomiendo encarecidamente.
  • roseann posted:

    on 26th June 2008, 11:14:50 - Reply

    MAxolberrico - you have never been to Yorkshire England in the winter. It is dark at 3.30pm!

    Gam - disagree. My cousin is a well educated Valenciana and does not understand Catalan at all!

    Adolpho - ¡ Bravo!

    Martin -read TIP 10 again and slowly. The authress´s say quite clearly they are NOT Spanish dialects, but "languages in their own rights".

    By the way English is derived from many language roots sources and one of them is Old German, amongst Latin, Greek, Anglo-Saxon and even French.

    Mario - My first Spanish lesson here in Tortosa I was told off as to say Pro FAvor more than once in a conversation shows signs of over-familiarity or even sarcasm. Por Favor once in a day is sufficient and poloite.
  • Brenda Padilla posted:

    on 26th June 2008, 10:10:57 - Reply

    I LOVE this article. Great job Theresa and Valerie. And I HIGHLY recommend their book, "In the Garlic", it's lots of fun and a great way to learn more about Spain without falling asleep over a boring textbook. I know both Theresa and Valerie and I can assure you all that they are probably the two most integrated foreigners I have ever met in Spain. They love this country. They both have Spanish families. They have a wonderful sense of humour and they would never try to offend anyone. Try to enjoy and appreciate their sense of humour and you'll see how much fun the article is. I have lived in this country for many years and I agree with every point in the article. My dear Spanish friends, [edited by moderator] Relax. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy getting a kick out of yourselves like the rest of us do (I mean about ourselves - not only about you :)
  • maddy posted:

    on 25th June 2008, 08:11:08 - Reply

    Aludidos/as de este articulo - que vean la serie de comedia,'Little Britain'.Lo recomiendo, os va gustar!!
  • Ana Ka posted:

    on 24th June 2008, 15:43:25 - Reply

    Simply true...I think it´s very helpful, and those who read it have to take it as literally as possible. Things will not be taken as weardness. I only disagree with the "driving on the wrong side of the road"... Anyways..that´s another story.
  • Maddy posted:

    on 24th June 2008, 08:29:59 - Reply

    After doing a Spanish and French degree in London I spent a year in France, moved to Spain and have been working here, speaking Spanish and dealing with Spanish customers from day 1. My husband is also Spanish and doesn't speak English.
    So now you know a Brit that breaks your mould!! To comment on what you said, I think everybody laughs, when someone makes funny mistakes in a language that isn't theirs.. i certainly know people have laughed at me lots of times, but I don't mind, as i didn't feel they were laughing at me and my effort, but my mistake. But you are right about some English people who retire to Spain and don't bother to learn spanish, there isn't an excuse - except that most of them are VERY old!!
  • Maddy posted:

    on 23rd June 2008, 17:25:24 - Reply

    I am British, I live in Spain and I think the people giving feedback here have totally missed the point. The authors have exaggerated the idiosyncrasies of Spain, in a fun, affectionate way - they haven't disrespected it. The 'wrong' side of the road - this is called IRONY!!... like so many other things they've said.
    Just as so many authors have written fun things about other countries, you have to take everything with humour and a little pinch of salt not as a criticism - the authors of this probably love Spain, as I do and have lived here in malaga for ten years, which is why this article made me smile, i think I'm going to buy the book!!
  • Angel from Marbella posted:

    on 23rd June 2008, 14:48:25 - Reply

    Funny article, a funny right view of Spain but exagerated. Little Britain could be nearly the topics of UK. All countries can have their 10 tips, and that´s why I like to travel, to discover this particular way of life in each country.
    Wellcome to Spain, I hope this tips will improve your experience here ;) probably we can add another 10 tips.
  • Katita posted:

    on 19th June 2008, 02:31:19 - Reply

    JAJAJJAJA que bueno, I agree, this article is very funny, [edited] its called sarcasim....I lived in Spain for 3 years, and I have to say sarcasim is not thier strong point, but hey thats ok, they have thier own sense of humor [edited] thats why Spaniards loved me over there, they thought I was very funny!! I really don't think this was made to be rude but lets face it generalizations are made because thats what they are, generals... doesn't hold true for all but for a good amount...The good things about spain DEFINTELY trumps the bad things, thats why everybody I know that has lived or visted there, left a changed person [Edited by moderator]
  • JaneJako posted:

    on 18th June 2008, 15:36:25 - Reply

    i agree! the article IS funny, i AM spanish and not offended by it... what´s up with all these comments of people getting mad over the description of Spain in August?...have you ever stayed home for 3 weeks during that month?? It´s dead! have you seen the beaches on tv? I laugh at that and find it particularly amusing.
    Come on! let´s laugh at ourselves. Nobody has insulted anyone!
  • spanish girl posted:

    on 18th June 2008, 11:23:26 - Reply

    totally true

    and so funny!!!
  • Peter posted:

    on 18th June 2008, 09:58:13 - Reply

    Hola Spanish friends ... with respect, I think you are misunderstanding the tone of this article. Don't be so serious! There is nothing here that is negative, or meant to criticise Spain or Spanish people. It is simply a humourous description of the kind of cultural differences an English speaker would come across when living in Spain. These differences are exactly the reason why I live here, and why I love being here. So relax, take it easy, and be proud of your wonderful country. Why else do you think so many people want to come here?
  • lolotapones posted:

    on 18th June 2008, 08:23:39 - Reply

    Todo el mundo sabe que el idioma Valenciano no es catalán.
  • Ernesto posted:

    on 18th June 2008, 04:34:37 - Reply

    Tip # 8 Past 12:00 o´clock is "la tarde", the beginning of the evening is "atardecer", the beginning of nightime is "anochecer", and the night is "la noche". The early morning hours, as you said, is "madrugada".
  • 44 posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 21:24:30 - Reply

    catalan is not valenciano
  • Adolfo posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 18:15:02 - Reply

    I agree Andrew, we should learn to laugh at ourselves... If we (spaniards) don't think that Spain is better than that is when we cannot take this article as a joke.
    Of course British are the best in this... see Little Britain's tv show.
  • Antonio posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 17:31:00 - Reply

    Bien dicho, Andrew.
  • andrew posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 16:52:18 - Reply

    As an English person living in Spain, i found the article highly amusing, I think that the Spanish people who have replied don´t quite understand our typical tongue in cheek sense of humour. I think one thing the British are very good at, is being able to laugh at themselves. I recently read an article online in a British newspaper which was about the terrible behaviour of the English abroad, and i was laughing so much at it! Even though i dont conform to the usual Brit abroad, (yes i actually speak Spanish!) i was still able to recognise that yes, many of the stereotypes are true!

    Lighten up Spain! learn to laugh at yourself!
  • Language posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 15:17:55 - Reply

    Catalan is not only spoken in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. It is spoken in Andorra, south east France, the east of Aragon and even in a Town of Sardinia.

    Just to know more:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_language
  • Dr Who posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 14:41:36 - Reply

    Legoles,
    It's completely false that catalan is spoken in Aragon. No one in Aragon speaks it. No one.
  • Hector posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 13:59:59 - Reply

    Maybe the only true tip is 7. But I make it in another way, I scream "Disculpe" (Excuse me), but as if I was saying "Oye!". he word is polite, the scream not. In this way it always worked in my town.
    By the way, Valencian is a dialecyt from Catalan. And Catalan and Galician are languages, as English. Do not forget about it.
    And about tip 1, uhmmm, I think I agree as well.
    The rest is a pure joke. I never gave a tip to a butanero.
    Why do not you make another funny post about 10 things we have to know before moving to England?.
    I will start:
    1: Forget about sun
    2: Forget about tasty and healthy food
    3: People at the evening drink and fight (in this order most of the time).
    4: Everybody is dressed as a Beefeater.
    5: Forget about dentist and orthodontics.
    6: Do not try to understand the rules of cricket.
    7: They are polite, but not friendly.
    8: Hooligans do not exist here, they are only brave outside.
    9: They think some beers are more tasty when they are nos chilled.
    10: They use hot water only for dish washing, they usually do not have a shower, they have Thames for this.
  • Legoles posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 13:27:33 - Reply

    Catalan is spoked on Aragón too. But this language spect is not easy, so many Valencian people say that his language is nos a Catalan dialect and consider it another language (I think it is not correct but is just to explain all points of view). It is funny to see how all our topics are collected by people of other countries... but I supose that you live on Spain is it right?
  • Adolfo posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:47:35 - Reply

    It is lack of sense of humour I'm afraid. I'm spanish and I don't think this gives us a bad image... some things are true and I like them and makes our own country look different.
    We could do a similar exercise with other countries and I would find it funny too. I've travelled a lot and know that nobody is perfect and that makes the world a place more interesting to see...
  • spanish posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:45:59 - Reply

    Oh come on, it's a Joke, most of them are true at leaste here in the south of Spain xDD
    Well some of them are a bit exaggerated but they're not false! And I have to agree than from the point of sight of an English person could be funny :)
  • 4antonio posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:33:01 - Reply

    Antonio it is not a lack of sense of humour. It is just that the text gives a bad image of spain. And all of us know that like in Spain there is nothing!
  • Loreilo posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:29:59 - Reply

    VIVA ESPANIA! jejeje

    y GOD BLESS GREAT BRITAIN! ;) A very beautiful country! ;)
  • majin_antonio posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:23:33 - Reply

    Hey!
    About number 4, consider that plenty of those relaxing at beach are "guiris", not only Spaniards. We love beach, but outsiders love it, too!
    Anyway, a very good entry. It seems some of my compatriots lack of our very typical sense of humour.
  • MaxoIberico posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:20:44 - Reply

    [Edited by moderator] Tip 2: electrical hotplates are more often used Tip 3: drive on the worng side of the road? Hello??? The "right" side is only in britain and australia!?? LoL Tip 4: Some beaches from spain are normally fulled ONLY BY GERMAN AND ENGLISH people! Tip 5: Queues are world-wide normal and well-known Tip 6: Children...I just think about an airplane with the children of tourists kicking the seat!!! Tip 7: It could be possible! ;) Tip 8: It Britain at 5 o'clock is dark!! Sometimes earlier! I understand why you think is evening for you! ;)

  • Gam posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:20:12 - Reply

    Adding to 10: Do not refer to Catalan and Valencian as different languages unless you want to get right up the nose. They are the same one (Catalan, as Castilian is Spanish).
  • Eli posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:20:02 - Reply

    I'll make you one question, when do you want to go to the beach? On December? Ok, we have good better in Spain but even for us on December it's a bit cold to get undress on the beach... I agree with Mario in several things: this article it's unpleasant and usually tourists forget their good manners and education when they are in Spain. Spain is a something more than sun, beaches and beer...
  • martin posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:18:00 - Reply

    Galician and Catalán are latin dialects, as Spanish, Italian of French. Not Spanish dialects. To say that os dialects is offensive. Would I say English is a dialect from German ? [Edited by moderator]

  • Luis, a proud Spaniard who lived in UK posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:14:28 - Reply

    This is like saying all people in the UK are always drunk. There are lots of things one can say about their experience abroad, but always have this in mind: it's YOUR experience, and it doesn't make it any more real than you think it is. If I was to believe people in England don't like showers, I wouldn't have lived there to discover the reality, which is very different. I agree some people here in Spain are not polite -at all-, but then again you can't blame the whole country. Just because the waiter in the tourist's restaurant [edited by moderator] isn't nice, it doesn't mean all Spaniards are rude and communicate with each other by yelling. That's quite a narrow way of thinking. Travelling seems to wide up people's mind, so please give some example and think twice before generalizing in such a disrespectful way.
  • Javier posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:08:53 - Reply

    "Not only do the Spanish drive on the wrong side of the road, they've also got the whole birthday thing completely wrong"

    Really???!
  • Homemaxico posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 12:07:45 - Reply

    Hello, I'm from Spain, and I have to say that the post it's absolutely true, specially the points 1 and 9.
    About the birthday comment, it's not that bad, we have the "ronda" concept, it's a good thing to invite your friends and co-workers once in a while, they do the same for you too.
    Best Regards
  • Mario posted:

    on 17th June 2008, 11:42:56 - Reply

    Hello Valerie Collins and Theresa O'Shea,

    I just want to add to your article the fact that to find bad things about a culture or even a country is really very easy. I am spanish, I live abroad and think each country and culture has its own disadvantages, but always (and I am sure about this) many virtues.

    As spanish, I felt that this article of yours is a little bit unpleasant. It only helps to feed the prejudices between cultures. I also have to say, that the british tourist usually forget his/her good manners and education at home. (I saw it where I come from, the canary islands).

    With kind regards,
    Mario