Expats aren’t all bad!
I’m often accused (usually rightly) of being openly critical of expats. It’s true, I am.
However, when I do go at this topic it’s almost invariably aimed at the stereotypes many readers of this site will be more than familiar with. The racists, the gossips, the cheats and the con artists; the loud mouths and the Little Britain days of the Empire types. I tend to avoid mixing in person locally preferring to keep out of all the petty nonsense that happens all too often. Those types are much easier to spot (and avoid) online, so most of my interaction tends to be digital exchanges with like-minded folk.
Of course I don’t honestly believe that all expats are rotten to the core, most are nice decent people going about their daily business. They’re the ones you don’t normally notice.
That is to say, they’re the ones you don’t notice until you need them…
A few weeks ago my poor long suffering car had a problem, not a big one, but I only got it back a couple of weeks later due to the wait for parts to be delivered. Living out in the campo is a nightmare when something goes wrong to your one and only vehicle (note to Alan, at least go and buy a push bike as back-up).
Then the offers of help came from people I either barely or didn’t know. Not once did I have to walk the 20km round trip to the nearest supermarket. Nor did I feel trapped at any point knowing that offers were there, that’s quite something from someone whose been cursed with ‘chronic cabin fever’ most of his life!
I’m not going to name names as I don’t want to embarrass people by highlighting their kindness. I know these people would not want to be named, that’s not where there motives came from. But I do want to say thank you to…
- A member of the Photographers in Spain group and member of the hashing group Elle is a member of who met me as the grua dropped me off and brought me home.
- Another member of the Photographers in Spain group who lives up the rambla from us for various rides into town and back.
- The really nice couple on market day I asked if I could have a lift if they were going in my direction. They weren’t going my way, but generously went in the opposite direction of their own home to get me, and the shopping I had, to our door.
- The people who made other offers I didn’t accept because we managed with the help we already had.
- The lady from a local small business who offered me rides anywhere I needed to go because they knew how being car-less in the campo feels!
- And last, but most definitely not the least the very kind gentleman, who neither of us have ever met, who heard about our problems and offered to loan me a spare car he had bought having found himself stuck in a similar way previously.
Thank you all, you know who you are. Needless to say if there’s any way I can ever repay any of you, you only need ask.
Whilst this is beginning to sound like an Oscar speech I’d like to also thank Elle for not killing me as I slept because she had me under her feet for days on end…
by Alan Gandy
Alan, along with Elle, is the owner of Spain Buddy. He was born in the North of England (Lancashire) and travelled extensively before eventually settling in Almería. Alan has 3 sons from the first of his 18 marriages, (Sam, Joe & Ben) who are all now adults. You can read more articles by Alan on his personal blog at AlanGandy.com and see more of his photography on his photography website as well as on Flickr and Instagram. Also, for less than the price of a cup of coffee each month you can help support Alan's photography (and get some freebies into the bargain). Click here to visit his Patron page to find out more.