Bits and Pieces

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Live in Spain

My partner and I have lived in Bangkok for the last several months.  Before that we lived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and before that Bangkok again.  Before that I lived pretty much everywhere, bumming around everywhere between China and Europe, stopping off for a spell in the strange 'Stans of Central Asia.  I'm no stranger to living outside my comfort zone, is what I'm saying.

Some people, though, are afraid of leaving the comfortable womb of their home country to experience the wider world, and many don't even bother to get a passport.  I have several friends who have never left their shores, and while I always say 'each to his own' I can't help but feel a little sorry for them.

I understand them, too, in a way.  It's rarely pleasant to find yourself in a situation as alien and unfathomable as, say, a government office in downtown Barcelona.  The last time I was in Spain I parked my beloved mid-90s BMW by a gym in Barceloneta, spent a weekend admiring the Gaudi architecture only to return to find every window of the car shattered.  I spent a day shuttling between police stations and local gov. offices to get the necessary paperwork to claim on my insurance.

That was bad enough, but imagine living in Spain and going through it every day (not the car damage, but the admin, of course).  It can be stressful, so it's nice that people have made guides about how to live in Spain.  These things are a Godsend for foreigners looking to spend their retirement in a warm climate filled with sangria and tapas.  They explain the ins and outs of dealing with visas, real estate agents and other troubling annoyances of an otherwise peaceful life.

How to Live in Spain takes all the hassle out of expatriating yourself to this beautiful, welcoming country.  It guides you through the process and helps you avoid the pitfalls of immigration.  We need more guides like this.  Bravo.
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