3 November 2013

Spanish, everywhere!

Things have changed in this part of Spain. We’ve been back just over a month now and some things are noticeably different.

For one, there are less clapped-out British cars on the road. Now, when we see a British registered car driving towards us, it’s a novelty and, like people in boats, we suddenly have the urge to wave as the white-haired occupants fly past. The lack of British traffic could of course be due to Brits finally getting round to changing their cars over to Spanish plates. Tired of being stopped by the police whenever they pop to town for a cafe con leche. More likely it seems, it is because the Brits are leaving their mediterranean paradise and moving back to Blighty.

Gone are the days when walking round IKEA in Murcia meant hearing more northern English accents than you’d hear on an average day in Bradford. Now, it’s a couple of leather-faced Swedes and maybe a stray Frenchman that you’re more likely to encounter, oh and hundreds of Spanish. They are everywhere! And we thought they’d all up and moved to Germany! No, it turns out, Spain is full of Spaniards!

Walking round our local town of Huércal-Overa is like walking around a Spanish town! How strange. Old señoras clan in black sitting in leafy squares discussing the price of potatoes. Children everywhere screaming and running in to you, followed by the parents finally noticing and smiling with an “ahh, isn’t my child cute” look. There are, of course, still some expats shuffling around but now they seem to be in the minority. Whereas shopping in Mercadona was like shopping in a poorly stocked, cheaper Waitrose, now if you go there at siesta time, you really are the only person there! There are definitely less shops specialising in dodgy pies and sausage rolls. You see less adverts around the place for Dave’s Removals or Big Colin’s Plumbing Services. Yes, things have gone decidedly Spanish in Almeria.

In our valley, I think we’re about the only people not selling. Times are hard and for many it’s time to leave. Of course, there are many reasons why the Brits are leaving in droves, too many to contemplate here. Everyone has a reason. The fantastic weather, slow pace of and general quality of life are however the same as before, so the exodus must be for other reasons. Or maybe it’s just that. Jean and Dave are fed up with the sun, the mañana way of life, the kilo of prawns for the price you’d pay for one in the UK. Maybe it’s all just got too Spanish for them. In fact, a strange thing happened the other day, the house over the valley was bought by a Spanish family! Imagine that, Spaniards moving in to your valley. What will happen next! Spain is definitely getting more Spanish. ¡ Olé !

1 comment:

  1. Whatever next! Glad you and Jamie are there in your Union Jack speedos to keep the flag flying. x