Spain information for Ex-pats and culture seekers
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).
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.
Here is a representation of Spanish service:
The service you expect:
The service that you get:
Trying to find directions to the Las Rozas Village (the outlet shopping[ing mall near Madrid), here they are:
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).
50km 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.
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.
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:
Expo 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...
When 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.
- Nativity scene fail
- Directions on How to get to Las Rozas Village Madrid outlet shopping mall
- Chiqui encierro (running of the bulls for children).
- Spanish Service reputation
- How to build an out of ground brick swimming pool in Spain.
- Madrid Safari Park
- Living in Spain - How to adapt to a different culture (Expat advice)
- Spanish public holidays 2009
- Expo Saragossa Review
- Buying computers in Spain, the best shops