Expat Life: One Year On In Spain

We’ve just made it to the anniversary of our first year living and working in Spain, so what have we made of it so far?

I’ll rewind back to one of my first posts on expat life that I uploaded back in February. I talked about struggling with the absence of 24 hour supermarkets, the lack of mains gas and the dreadfully slow internet speed…so do these things still bother me? In short, yes they do.

I’ve now moved on from irritations such as no 24 hour supermarkets on to more annoying issues like not being able to order online. We thought ordering goods online that would be the answer to our problems until we realised we lived on a tiny street, behind a gate and hidden away, so things never get to us. And post from home, well that’s a different matter. I’ll expect my Christmas cards in March again.

As for picking up our gas cannisters from the petrol station so that we have hot water, we’ve gotten used to this. In fact gas only costs us 18 euros a month (if that) so we really can’t complain in comparison to the UK prices, British Gas I’m talking to you! Of course we don’t need heating though…

The internet is still one big problem however. We’ve now managed to find a way to watch English TV (it’s X Factor season), but the constant buffering is the ultimate first world problem for us. But I’ll say it again, if you want to live in Southern Spain you have to be prepared for bad internet, or be prepared to go on a waiting list for fibre optic. Fibre optic broadband which has only just been introduced and is not available to everyone might I add. Because unlike in England when the box is full to capacity, they don’t install a new one but make you wait for months until someone drops out. And let’s face it, no one drops out of the internet these days in the city.

Also in my February post I talked about visiting cities and the ease of exploration. Out of all the cities I listed, I have seen a big fat zero, and this is purely down to a busy working schedule. Although we will be visiting Sevilla this month after Christmas so there is that!

But it’s not all doom and gloom, we got engaged in Ronda, spent summer days in Tarifa, camped near El Chorro and have spent many a night drinking cheap cocktails and cañas on the high street. Also, you can’t beat a view like this in December. To conclude, expat life is swings and roundabouts.

spanish beach and sky

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