Living in Spain has surpassed all our expectations, but also changed our perceptions of life here too. Alan had already lived abroad before he met me… so he was able to prepare me for what laid ahead. But we still chuckle (and occasionally seethe) when people make assumptions or ask hilarious questions about our life here.
Here is a short list of common misconceptions of our life, and questions that people ask.
1. You spend all day sitting by the pool, or drinking at the local bars.
People often assume that we live a life of leisure out here… and because they get to sit by the pool/beach/bar all day when on their holidays abroad – then obviously we do too! We’re living in the sunshine after all. The only way that would be possible for Alan and me, is if we had enough money not to work. The reality is that we run our own business… generally work 7 days of the week… and the hours worked each day are often into double figures!
2. So how much do you earn? What are your mortgage/ rent/ outgoings?
If you were chatting to a complete stranger in your local back in *insert your home town here*… would you ask them how much they earned there? What kind of reaction do you think you are going to get? So why do you think it is suddenly acceptable to ask such personal financial questions of someone you’ve just met on your holibobs? Even my Mother doesn’t know what we earn… so we’re hardly going to tell you.
3. Do you live here then? (Often overheard being said to the barmaid in the beach bar)
Oh.My.God. No – we don’t live here – we commute in by plane each morning.
4. Do you like it?
A really common question this one. If I only had a Euro for every time someone has asked us that over the years. Well, I’d then be able to afford to sit by the pool, sipping cocktails all day. Maybe that’s where I am going wrong. I should start charging! Of course we like it here – or we’d move.
5. Don’t you miss home?
Darling – this IS my home… and has been for years. But erm… if you mean do I miss living in England? Then nope! Not everyone likes living in Spain… but most of those move back to wherever they came from, or onto somewhere new.
I could actually wax lyrical about this for hours – but the above gives you a basic idea.The above is meant in humour… but all of the above points have either been stated, or asked. I kid you not!
I shall leave you with one final gem though – this still makes me laugh years later. Back when we were in Lanzarote, I was in email correspondence with a chap who had just enjoyed his latest holiday in Puerto del Carmen: “Are you SURE you live in Lanzarote? It’s just that your emails get to me really fast”. Hmmm… and this person was given a passport? Heaven help us!