Expat Issues

Best Blogs about Spain: Getting homesick, Top Expat countries, and Madrid.

I’ve read some decent blogs over the last couple of weeks. Here are the main highlights. They are either expat or Spain related.

Homesick Spain
Wish I could just glide back sometimes. Photo by Chris JL

Do you get homesick?

I definitely do, but it’s more people sick, not sick of people, rather missing people like my family, mates, and even the milkman. The other day I wondered what would happen if there were milkmen in Sevilla; the milk would never reach most fridges, I’m sure. Anyway, here’s a blog on Never Trust a Jelly Fish about making choices and sacrifices and what it’s like to get homesick.

Top Countries for Expats

Do you reckon you are living in the top expat country? I’d definitely say no, Spain has a lot going for it, but I’m sure there are better places. Like where? I hear you ask. Well, check out this blog titled HSBC Top Countries for Expats, which, not surprisingly, has Switzerland high on it’s list. Are you in any of the top 5? Spain made 24th.

Visiting Madrid?

If so then check out this blog on Little Bird Around the World about A Visit to Madrid. It’s a useful guide to the museums, parks, and squares.

Expats and Dieters

Have a look at this amusing post by Brightoneagle about What expats and dieters have in common. I’m not a massive fan of diets, I try to eat well and do exercise, but I can definitely see where he’s coming from.

Can we?

Some might say so. Spain’s leftist party, Podemos, are definitely growing in numbers. Have a look at this article on Canada.com showing the Strength of Podemos. Before you start slagging me of about politics, I haven’t said I support the group, or despise the group, just that’s it’s a decent read.

That’s all for this week. Have you read anything decent recently?

Annoying things in Spain, Humour

Neighbours from Hell: Bike Hobbits contd…, plus the Boxer.

By the time Tim came back, I was in bed asleep, but luckily he managed to get in the house without getting his face ripped off. The next morning I found out what had happened.

“Tim, Tim,” I said, whispering in his ear as he lay sweating on a li-lo.

“Eh? What? Jennifer?”

“No mate, it’s not Jennifer. What the hell happened last night?”

“Not much, I couldn’t find any old ladies to chat up, so I just got drunk in Merchants again.”

“No, I mean with the door.”

“What door?”

“The door that you left open, the one that was stopping thieving gypsies stealing the hobbit’s bikes.”

“What? Oh my god, the door,” said Tim, rubbing the sweat away from his eyes. “I’m sure I…” I could see the clogs working in Tim’s mind as he realised he had left the door open. I filled him in on the night’s pleasant chat with the Son hobbit. The fact that he was after the culprit, and was demanding five-hundred euros from us.

“But why didn’t he have the bikes locked up?” he said.

“That’s what I thought, but you try telling him that.”

“He can’t get the money off us. He can’t prove anything.”

“I know, but he could beat it out of us.”

“True.”

Umpa
Umpa Lumpas. Always gets a giggle. Photo by kapchurus

As we sat on the sofa, both startling now and then as noises came from next door, I suddenly had a brainwave.

“Let’s go see Joaquin.”

“Who’s Joaquin?”

“My landlord.”

Luckily Joaquin also had problems getting out of doorways unless he was sideways on, but he wasn’t a hobbit, rather a giant. We nipped up the road to his Tanning Shop, where people often came out as orange Umpa Lumpas. After I told Joaquin what had happened he just laughed. Continue reading “Neighbours from Hell: Bike Hobbits contd…, plus the Boxer.”

Annoying things in Spain, Humour

Neighbours from Hell: The Bike Hobbits – Part 1

We’ve only bloody well done it again. Why do we pick those flats, which at the start seem so perfect, so pleasant, such a step up from the previous one, only to find that once we are settled, with books on the shelves, photos on the wall, and all the light switches found, the neighbours begin to chisel away like an annoying wassup message tone.

Following on from my two blogs about Why housemates are so weird, I thought I’d expand the theme onto the rowdy, boisterous, and even aggressive neighbours we’ve had to put up with over the years. These anecdotes are in chronological, and possibly hate, order.

Bike Hobbits
A Hobbit cave, and a bike, what a coincidence. Photo by I_am_Allan

The Bike Hobbits

First up were the Bike Hobbits. They weren’t your ordinary, friendly, welcoming hobbits, but a family of bike obsessed hobbits. At least I think they were a family, I never saw the mother; it was just the son and father who I had to deal with, or to put better, hide from.

The Bike Hobbits were my neighbours while I lived at the end of the Alameda, back in the day when botellones– street booze parties, were merely frowned upon by the police. Now they are supposedly banned, but I think they must still go on, not that I ever get out to join in on them now. Anyway, the Alameda is known for its mixed range of habitants: students, hippies, families, dog-lovers, and even transvestites. Unfortunately, I chose the only flat with two aggressive, psychopathic hobbits as neighbours. Continue reading “Neighbours from Hell: The Bike Hobbits – Part 1”

Expat Focus blogs

Reflection on 2014 and some expat resolutions

Another year has flown by. Why do we always say that? “Oh, doesn’t time go so fast these days?” I suppose it does really. The older you get the more responsibilities you have, and the less time you have to just sit around and play with lego, unless you have a baby, of course.

2015 expat
That’s me, refusing to go back to the nest. Photo by Finn Frode

Last year was a pretty amazing year for me, partly because I finally decided that I’m going to be a life-long expat, but mainly because I learnt how to become a Dad. I’ve given up considering moving to another city, or flying back to the nest. I’m done wondering whether the grass is greener. It’s time to just shut up and get on with it. That’s why I wrote my last article for Expat Focus titled Onwards and Upwards.

If you’re an expat then have a look at some of my other articles on my Columnist page.

Have a great new year.