Brexit

Is Brexit going to force Brits out of Spain?

I think it’s taken a while for this whole Brexit nonsense to sink in, but it finally is, after almost seven months. I guess I’m actually a bit miffed, confused, and concerned about what is really going to happen.

brexit-spain
Time to panic about Brexit? Photo by Frankenstein

After reading an article on The Olive Press about how Theresa May has had talks with the Bearded Rajoy regarding whether or not they’ll be slinging out all the British Expats from Spain, I’m starting to consider the consequences.

I’ve been living in Seville since 2005. I’m married to a Spanish woman, have two Spanish kids, and we own a house. I’ve been paying my taxes since I arrived, unlike a lot of Spanish nationals, and like to think I contribute to the welfare of the Spanish community, since I’m an English teacher.

So, would they actually sling me out? For being British? Surely it would cause an uproar to decide on kicking us out, I mean, the majority of us probably voted to stay in Europe, I know I did.

Is someone just going to turn up at my door one day and kick me out my own house? Maybe they’ll come to my workplace and drag me out while I’m explaining the difference between past simple and past continuous? Or perhaps catch me ‘in the street’ as I’m walking my kids to school and inform me that I’m just not wanted anymore?

It just seems bizarre to me that they’d be able to kick us out. I’m hoping I’m safe, but I guess I might have to get some sort of Spanish nationality, which I don’t want to. I love Spain, but have no interest in giving up my British passport. From what I’ve heard, if I want to be a Spanish national, then Britain will only allow me to have one passport.

According to the article, it seems as though May and Rajoy were in talks for a whole 25 minutes, probably enough time for a quick beer and a tapas, and decided that it was “important to think about the future relationship as well as the detailed exit arrangement, so that we can give greater certainty for people and businesses who want to live and work in each other’s countries.”

I like that, ‘think about,’ that’s all everyone has been doing since the results came through, but when are they going to come to an agreement? I hope she does, for her, and the local Spanish people’s sake. Can you imagine what 300,000 peeved off Brits might end up doing to Spain? It could be like Loret de Mar, but on a national scale.

What do you think? Are you worried about getting kicked out of Spain? Would you become a Spanish national to avoid losing your life here? Or would you be glad to go?

Culture Shock

No more heat, no more sweat, no more wasps

My body and mind were up to breaking point about a week ago. A dreadfully long summer is finally over. Not a day in July and August did the scorching heat go below 38 degrees. Every day and night hot heat blew in my face. I had to sleep with a fan on full, sometimes waking at four in the morning in pools of sweat. One day I even had 5 showers, just to keep my brain sane.

wasps-in-spain
Wasps have gone…almost… Photo by Pasukaru

The mornings were fine. We could normally keep busy doing something or entertain the kids in someway, although the park was often out of bounds by about 11.30am because the slides were hot enough to turn my son’s legs onto little barbecued sausages.

The afternoons were a killer though. Fortunately I’ve been able to battle through the heat after lunch, with the help of a gale force fan in my lounge, and managed to bash through about 5 chapters worth of editing in July and August, so I’m over the moon on that front. Continue reading “No more heat, no more sweat, no more wasps”

Culture Shock

Adios Cockroaches…

I’ve never been that bothered by cockroaches, unlike my wife, whose scream sets our dogs off every time she sees one. They don’t scare me, make me feel sick, or even put me off my cornflakes, but after seeing what I saw this summer, I’ve been marked by the blighters.

cockroaches-spain
Adios indeedy…great truck for Roberto, legend! Photo by dimitri_66

It all started back in June, when an increasing amount of cockroaches began to creep out each night for a midnight feast. They knew exactly what they were doing. Once we’d prepared the dinner, got the kids to bed, and were in the lounge eating, they would scuttle out into the kitchen looking for scraps of food.

Every night when I went back in for my yogurt, or a top up of wine, I’d catch one, or two, or even five cockroaches playing rounders with bread crumbs. They’d shift round the edge of the kitchen floor, hoping to score a rounder, while the others watched and clapped. My wife kept going on at me, saying we must have had a nest somewhere. At the start I told her they would get bored and go away, but when they started to crawl into the lounge, we called in Roberto. Continue reading “Adios Cockroaches…”

Annoying things in Spain, Expat Focus blogs

What to Watch Out for with Dodgy Del Boy Estate Agents in Spain

Dodgy estate agents
Dodgy dodgy estate agents… Photo by MsSarakKelly

We all know that most estate agents would sell their own grandmother’s ancient ballerina jewellery box to buy themselves a crusty bacon roll, so just imagine the sort of dodgy tricks the ones in Spain are trying to pull.

If you’re thinking of buying a place in Spain via an estate agent then there are a few traps you need to be aware of which could save you thousands.

Check out my latest article for Expat Focus titled Be Careful of Dodgy Estate Agents in Spain to get an insight into the types of sneaky scams these conniving money suckers are trying to bring off, including hidden fees, illegal tax evasion techniques and plain daylight robbery.

Cheers

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”

Annoying things in Spain, Culture Shock, Humour

Never rent a flat from a lawyer

Oh how I love my landlady. She’s such an understanding, polite, honest and sincere person. Or not, as the case is. This is a blog for all those renting in Spain, who may not know about a certain ‘law’ that exists.

We’ve been living in our current flat since 2009 (on a yearly rolling contract). When we moved in it was a palace compared to the box flat we were previously in. The kitchen (no window) was so tiny that the fridge had to be in the lounge (handy for grabbing a cold one while watching the footy). The windowless bathroom was so minute you could brush your teeth while going for a number two. We lasted a year, left during the contract, and there were no problems with our landlord.

Giralda
View of the Giralda just round the corner

Our current flat is a pleasant two bed place with plenty of wardrobe space, a little balcony to put some flowers and right in the heart of Seville about two minutes away from the cathedral. My only real qualm is the windowless kitchen and bathroom, again. We were happy here, until about a year ago.

The problems started just before last Semana Santa when the dimwit workers in the warehouse directly underneath started making loads of noise. Up until then I hadn’t really noticed the warehouse, which belongs to Robles, one of the most prestigious, stuck up, restaurants in Seville.

The half-brained muppets suddenly started slamming the thick metal door, getting together and chatting loudly right under our window all morning, rolling metal beer barrels on the floor down the street, and they even started working on Sunday mornings, waking us up at 7 am. Then we noticed the lift they used for bringing up stock from the cellar sent pulsing vibrations throughout the whole flat, especially in the bedroom. Throughout Semana Santa it got worse, some days they would start at 6 am. We both started to get really annoyed, unsure how we hadn’t noticed the racket before. So we contacted our landlady, who I shall call R. Continue reading “Never rent a flat from a lawyer”