With the news coming out of Spain at the moment anyone might be forgiven for thinking that Spain is not a great place to live. Certainly for a lot of people things are hard at the moment in Spain and it doesn’t look like there is any chance of a quick economic recovery especially when you consider we probably have the most inept government ever seen on the face of the planet. Without an economic recovery things will continue to be difficult on the jobs front without a shadow of a doubt. However Spain can still be a great place to live for a variety of reasons as long as you have the basics in place of an income (Be that through a job, a good pension or your own business), a decent place to live (And that option is getting cheaper all the time) and a plan. You know I have said all of that before on these pages and also my blog about coming to live in Spain, it doesn’t make it any less pertinent.
However what I haven’t done is presented the whole spectrum of ideas as to why Spain is a great place to live. In order to get a more rounded view i wanted to ask others about what they thought of Spain, ask those who are actually here rather than internet warriors and lazy journalists who have never visited the country and just repeat what they are told officially.
I am involved in a Facebook group of Writers and Bloggers About Spain. Everyone in it has their own angle about the country living as they do in different areas and seeing things in different ways. Most are entrepreneurs making their way in Spain despite the paperwork and the impediments put in front of them. What I didn’t expect when I put up a simple post about what is great about living in Spain were so many answers, and really so many different positive answers. I put a selection of them together in the Spain is Different Magazine Issue 16. Take a look to see what people who actually live and work here think of their lives here in Spain but here is just a small selection.
“Being a hero because you have children – in queues, on the street, in the supermarket – children welcome everywhere – not having them taken into care because their still up at midnight” (John Wolfendale)
“Having every landscape available on the continent pretty much within a 4 hour round circle” (Lindsay in Spain)
“Seeing babies, parents, and grandparents all starting the night out together until later when the youngsters go and do their own thing til ridiculous hours of the morning. They ﬁt if spending time with the family AND partying on their own” (Yolanda Solo)
“I think I am even starting to enjoy the bureaucracy. It’s a sort of zen challenge. Can I have everything ready on day one and not lose my patience. Hasn’t happened yet!” (Alex Bramwell)
“We were stuck for 3 hours on the motorway Malaga side of Granada yesterday. A fertiliser truck had self combusted and was blocking the road. 3 hours to put the ﬁre out and the Spanish turned it into a party! Couldn’t have been in better company. Must say in other parts of the world this would have become a riot” (Jackie Cruz)
“Where else can you enter a bar you have never been to before & buy round after round of drinks & pay the bill as you leave?” (Lisa Sadleir)
“In Madrid, I love the balance between the quality of life (human-size capital city, amazing infrastructures, the food… ) and the amazing number of opportunities for entrepreneurs.” (Pierre Waters)
and of course
“I can’t believe that nobody has said sun, sex and sangria yet.” (Mike Cliffe Jones)
Meanwhile life goes on and the protests in the country over austerity, the lack of positive action by the government, the corruption, unfair cuts and a whole host of other complaints including bailing out banks by taking money away from education and health, well, they remain peaceful and huge. Despite the government provoking the protestors with ridiculous statements taken from the days of Franco’s dictatorship, curfews, closing the border to France and more, the protestors are maintaining a Gandhi/Martin Luther King style in order to get their point across. This is not to say that it will not change maybe in the very near future as desperation gets the better of some but currently the protestors in Spain actually make me proud of the people in the country. And when you hear the words of an 85 year old woman:
“I am here to defend the rights of my grandchildren because I remember the Civil War and what happened after”
it makes you take notice.
Have you seen the protests and what did you think about them? More pertinently how did you see them reported, if you saw them reported at all? And if you live in Spain what do you see as special about the country.
BY THE WAY
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