Top 3 things I Hate about Spain
Theres not much i dont like about Spain and after living in Spain for 16 years now i Would never like to live anywhere else “other than Bora Bora” but there are a few very frustrating and unnecessary things that really makes it hard living here.
If you follow my posts and blog you know i am normally a very positive person but every now and then there are things here in Spain that get me down and below i will list the top 3. If you are thinking of living in Spain you will defiantly come across these and possible a few more.
Spanish paperwork. There is so much paperwork in Spain it is just crazy. When you first move here you will experience this first hand and what ever you do here you will need paper work in triplicate to do it.
Buying and selling. This last year i have sold and bought a few properties here and each time have accumulated more files to take home and store. Just a few months ago i bought a plot of land here to build a house and just to go register the land for building permission we had to fill in 5 different forms before we could even present our designs for review.
I have also just changed my old residence card to the new smaller one and for this i had to go wait in the government office for 55 mins to fill in a form and have it signed, then i had to come back a week later to collect the new card and sign 3 more forms. This is paperwork to collect paperwork. The Spanish love their paperwork.
Waiting to get served. On More than one occasion i have walked out of a place after waiting too long. Just a few weeks ago i had an appointment at the dentists for a check up and clean. This appointment i made 1 month in advance. Then when i arrived at the dentists at 5.45 i was told that my 6pm appointment may be 15 mins late.
I waited another 45 mins and then asked the receptionist how much longer. she said about another 20 mins. I told her that i had waited 1 month and that i had arrived at the time they asked me to now i had to wait over 1 hour for them. I said no i had better things to do and she said that the next appointment they had was for 6 months time. I replied … ” no worries i will find a new dentist that wants my money”. And the next day i did and got seen that day.
Even at local shops you will find that most are to busy to take your money. The problem is that most big stores here have staff that just work there and its just a job to them and they will do as little as possible till going home time. Not all of course some have great service but most are not interested in serving you. Many bars are like this too and you will have to wait several minutes to get a waiter to come take your order.
If its a family run business you will find that they are really helpful but bigger stores here are not so obliging.
Years ago i worked in a shop in the uk for a family run business and the first day i was there the owner told me to always say hi to a customer and tell them you will be right with them if you are busy, people will happily wait if they know you are interested in serving them. Spanish shops have not learned this one yet.
Antiquated bureaucracy. If you move to Spain or already live here you will love this one. ,
Nearly all government offices here are still run as they were 30 years ago and the heads of these offices dont like change. My Spanish wife works for the local government here in Almeria and knows this well.
Just a few months back i had to go to a local government building to see a department about a change of address for a property i was living in as they had made a mistake with the paperwork and had put down a wrong address. I had an appointment at 11 am but still had to wait in a small out office waiting room area for 20 mins.
Then i was called in. There behind a large desk sat a fat old man with a big moustache.
He waited a few minutes before he even looked up at me then said what do you need. I told him that they had put the wrong address on the paperwork and i would like it to be corrected as i needed it to obtain services for the new property. He looked at the paper and said that he had only copied what we had sent him. Then i presented him a copy of what we sent him so as he could see his error.
I need this asap so could it be corrected now please i asked.
I have other people waiting but if its really that important i will do it now he said.
He then turned round and behind him on a small portable table was an old fashioned type writer. that i thought was for decoration…He pulled it over and started to type out . at first i thought it was a joke and almost laughed. It was no joke and he started to type with just 2 fingers at a pace that would make a great carry on movie. As he typed he kept stopping to correct errors with tipp ex. After about 20 mins he presented me with this new paper that was full of correction fluid and typed in tiny type. is that it i asked. thats correct now he said and i walked out.
After telling My Spanish wife the storey she told me that one of her bosses in her old office did it this way too.
In Almeria there is a government office building where you go to get the electric put on when you buy a property or change address. You have to go there and take a ticket and wait in line to make an appointment for later that week, then when you go back with your appointment you have to take a ticket again from a machine inside the front door to wait your turn to be seen. Then they put you on a list for someone to come and check your meter but they only give you a day not a time so you have to wait in all day and hope.
These are a few frustrating things here that you have to live with until Spain joins in with the real world but its still overall a better way of life here in Spain.
OK moan over now.
What things do you hate about living in Spain?