Spain information for Ex-pats and culture seekers

Nativity scene fail


nativity scene fail overall view


Take a closer look at this Nativity scene I found in the maternity ward of the Toledo hospital (where my daughter was born last Christmas). Do you see him? The man that's (ahem) squatting. Click the readmore link to see some closer pictures, sorry about the blurry cam it was dark, I was using the camera on macro and under the scrutiny of the not to impressed nurses (your probably lucky I spared you the graphic detail).

Read more: Nativity scene fail


Chiqui encierro (running of the bulls for children).


Bull running in the Chiqui encierro running if the bulls for children

Let me start by saying I don't like bullfights. I'm not knowledgeable enough to pontificate on the subject but I think any fool can see that bullfighting is torture. Bullfighting is wrong.

Once a year in our town ("pueblo") there is a fun, family event which owes it's existence to bullfighting-The bloody slaughter of bulls heartless morons refer to as sport/art.

Read more: Chiqui encierro (running of the bulls for children).


Spanish Service reputation

Here is a representation of Spanish service:


The service you expect:


Astinez Classic Cookies bought in Spain


The service that you get:


cookie bought in Spain



Directions on How to get to Las Rozas Village Madrid outlet shopping mall


Directions on How to get to Las Rozas Village Madrid outlet shopping mall


Trying to find directions to the Las Rozas Village (the outlet shopping[ing mall near Madrid), here they are:

Read more: Directions on How to get to Las Rozas Village Madrid outlet shopping mall


How to build an out of ground brick swimming pool in Spain.

Spanish swimming pool

There are basically two ways to build a swimming pool in Spain. The first way doesn't require so much building, you just buy a pre-fabricated fiberglass pool and drop it into the ground. You can buy these pools at many construction yards and tile centers found all over Spain (mostly on the outskirts of the city – they typically stand them up outside, so the pools are easy to see). Most places that sell the fiber glass pools will also provide hole digging and installation service.

However we decided to do things the hard way and build a swimming pool from scratch using brick/concrete/cement/tiles. Apart from being long lasting a permanent pool looks a lot nicer and will add more value to the property.

Here's how we built our pool (more or less the same as professional pool builders in Spain).

Read more: How to build an out of ground brick swimming pool in Spain.


Madrid Safari Park

Madrd Safari Park article50km from Madrid there is a Safari park called (funnily enough) “Madrid Safari Park”.


While I wouldn’t recommend it for tourists with a limited amount of time, it certainly is a great place to take children.


So if you live near Madrid or find yourself in Madrid for long enough, the Madrid Safari Park is a great day out.

Read more: Madrid Safari Park


Living in Spain - How to adapt to a different culture (Expat advice)

It can be embarrassing not to know how to behave in a foreign country especially so in Spain.
Before you travel to a strange culture or emigrate it is recommended to learn about the customs of your country so you don't get negative experience or leave a negative impression behind.

How to prepare for the new culture.

Read more: Living in Spain - How to adapt to a different culture (Expat advice)


Spanish public holidays 2009

In Spain banks and shops are closed on public holidays. Don't bother trying to visit smaller Mom and Pop stores on a Friday or Monday if the public holiday is on a Thursday or a Tuesday respectively. Most Spanish people take advantage of this to take a '"bridge day" (puente) to allow them a four day long holiday.

The 2009 Nation public holidays in Spain are as folllows:

Read more: Spanish public holidays 2009


Expo Saragossa Review

Fluvi the mascott of Expo Saragossa 2008Expo Saragossa Review

I have just been to the Expo in Saragossa (Zaragoza in Spanish), Spain with my wife, child and parents. Right off the bat I can say that before visiting Expo Saragossa, preparation is the key (reading about Expo Saragossa on the Internet is a step in the right direction). When we got there we were unprepared. We didn't know which exhibits to visit nor where to start.

Expo Saragossa is a Large international exhibition where countries are invited to promote themselves by exhibiting information about their country and how they take care of a chosen theme. Expo Saragossa 2008's theme is “Water and Sustainable Development”.

Here is our review of Expo Saragossa 2008...

Read more: Expo Saragossa Review


Buying computers in Spain, the best shops

buying computers in SpainWhen I first arrived in Spain I wondered: "Where can I buy computer parts and accessories?"

After five years living in Spain I've decided to make a “where to buy” guide for English speakers wanting to buy computers and electrical goods in Spain.

Read more: Buying computers in Spain, the best shops

Kitty wants a link

Say no to bullfighting: