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Why did you or your family choose to live abroad?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


wisechild Report 4 Aug 2011 14:57

Luxury here Ann
I was given a choice of about 6 alternatives & the nurse apologised because they only had de caff coffee. It was all brought to me on a covered tray with proper metal cutlery & china cup & saucer. None of your plastic beakers out of a machine.
I was astounded.


AnninGlos Report 4 Aug 2011 15:05

Wonderful, better than a hotel.


SpanishEyes Report 4 Aug 2011 15:30

I am so delighted that people are begining to post on here.
Our first intention was to see what expectations people had when deciding to leave the UK and live in Spain. However after i had written the first entry i di think it should have a world wide option as i am sure that anyone leaving to move away on a permanent or long time stay will have had many experiencies.
So Karen, you are very welcome to be in our thread and I certainly look forward to hearing how you cope with moving around the world so frequently.

Does anyone know how to change the heading? I could the expand the name of the thread.

We went shopping this morning and bought more food than we first intended. OH just cannot pass by three for two offers etc, I think it is a hangover from all (6) children were living at home along with two sets of parents. I have only seen this happen in Spain and sometimes in Ireland.

My health is very good except when I had a breakdown in the UK last year when I was working. Coming back to the Spain was the best thing I have done in a long time, and so many Spanish people commented how pleased they were to see me back, yet we do not know them as friends we saw them as aquatints.

There are downsides. The dust gets everywhere no matter how much cleaning takes place. The Spanish generally speak very loudly and when there is a group of them it is SO NOISY.
They rarely say Thank You,they cannot understand why we feel that we should thank someone because they have done something that they wanted to do.
The Spanish do also tend to get to the front of a queue faster than I have seen anywhere else.

Well wherever you are there is something to do, so I must go and bring the washing in and put away anything that does not need ironing.

See, some things never change wherever you live.

Bye for now


16.29 hrs Spain
:-D :-D


wisechild Report 4 Aug 2011 15:42

On the subject of noisy Spaniards, have you any idea what motivates them to drag every stick of furniture across the tiled floor above your head starting at 11 pm every night?
It´s been puzzling me ever since I moved here.


SpanishEyes Report 4 Aug 2011 16:06

Well Wisechild, if a wise person as you obviously are you must know more than me! On a serious note I have only one idea, do they use fold down beds settes, and is that what is making the noise,?

Oh just read your thread again and you said "all their furniture". Muon no idea. We are fortunate enough to have our own detached house on two floors and an elderly German Lady,who is very pleasant lives in her large detached house and on the other side is the largest house I have seen in Spain and it is only used a few weeks of the year and not every year.

Have you chatted to them about it or invited them to your place when the noise is happening. ?


17.05 hrs Spain.


AnninGlos Report 4 Aug 2011 16:38

Strange, re saying thank you. We have found that Tenerifians are extremely polite on the whole and always say thank you but mainland Spaniards visiting tenerife are not so polite. Tenerifians when in family groups are as loud as those from mainland Spain. Spanish children seem to us to be both loud and undisciplined. (when in Tenerife).

Cypriot people don't say thank you.


AnninGlos Report 4 Aug 2011 16:41

Bridget to change the title go to your fist post and click on edit. You can then edit both post and title.


SpanishEyes Report 4 Aug 2011 18:19


You have once more helped, thank you!
Having been asked to start the original thread we thought it would only be of interest to those in Spain or mainland Europe. However we have been asked to rename the thread and guess who helped me...yes once more Ann came to the rescue.

I am shocked as I write this, on UK news children are telling their parents how their parents could talk to them and keep their attention!!!

I never had a problem talking to mine. The fact that families in Spain generally go out together, Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles plus the children appeals to me.
what do you all think?


19.18 hrs Spain :-)


Rita Report 4 Aug 2011 19:30

Bridget I got you PM I answered it and sent it to draft instead of to you and I dont know how to retreive it now. sorry about that.
Yes the tittle is much better it opens it up more and will be interesting to see how people have coped in emigrating to another country



Rita Report 4 Aug 2011 19:34

I saw the news about that subject about parents and their children. what is the world coming too when these people tell you how to bring up your children and give you instruction about the times you should speak to them, play with them etc.. I know in Italy children are part of the family and dont need to be told how to bring their children up.

so I am waiting now to see who comes on the thread and tells us about their new country.



SpanishEyes Report 4 Aug 2011 21:15


I am to tired to comply to your request but promise to do so tomorrow. I will tell how we took the decision, what we did before we left the UK and how we found our home, etc.
I will also mention the other places we thought about but dismissed as we discussed and visited.

Good night everyone

22.15 hrs Spain


GinaS Report 4 Aug 2011 22:51

I was brought out to South Africa aged 14. My mum's family had settled there some years before. They were Army People.
Married an Irishman and came to live in Ireland.
What I miss about Manchester - Eccles Cakes and Custard Tarts
-do- South Africa - Sunshine, their quisine
Politicians - same anywhere - they talk alot - deliver very little
Bacon and Cabbage - local irish dish , yummy
Health Service - good.
Home is here now - four children and eight grandchildren


SpanishEyes Report 4 Aug 2011 23:20

Nicety hear from you Gina,

My father was offered an excellent job in SA when I was about ten years old, sadly my mother persuaded him not to go.
Will be back tomorrow, as on my way to bed!

00.20 hrs Spain

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 5 Aug 2011 09:38

Goodmorning all,

Well I should be doing the chores :-( but seem to have sat down with a coffee to drop a line or two here before I make a start on the dreaded .someone mentioned earlier on this thread - no matter where you are in the world, there's still the same old chores to do.

Hubby and I are expats, but in a slightly different way to most of you. We live overseas, but haven't left the UK lock, stock and barrel. We keep a house in the UK and I travel back there several times per year, hubby gets home once or twice per year. We live overseas because hubby's job, in International hotels, takes us there. He works on contracts of 2 or 3 years, so we move frequently, and usually to another country rather than a new town. This has it's pro's and con's.

It's a lifestyle which suits us, though we have to take the rough with the smooth - ie we've lived in some great places with fabulous accommodation and we've lived in some strange, not so nice places too.
Our accommodation comes with hubby's job. We are either given a Company owned place (which could be 'on site' at the hotel, or in town/out of town) or we might be allocated an allowance where we have to go and find our own! Both have their pro's and con's.
Here in Cairo we live in an apartment in a quiet suburb, close to a park and an international supermarket (very important), and fairly close to hubby's work. We have been here 2 years and hubby's just renewed his contract.

As for living in Cairo, well it's an eye-opener, that's for sure. Rules are SO made to be broken, especially traffic laws, as in red lights, stop signs, traffic police, parking bays, no parking areas, in fact No anything, they are an extremely impatient race and really don't like waiting for anything, when it's for themselves. Egypt is the one country we've lived in where we haven't bought a car and don't drive - apart from Saudi where I wasn't allowed to drive :-( . But in Egypt, especially Cairo, the driving and the traffic is undeniably terrible, so we take taxis and let them have the hassle and the constant scrapes and bumps. And the taxis are dirt cheap, so no big deal. And in case you are wondering about buses...just don't go there!

Cairo itself - well the people are real characters, every one of them, especially the old guys on the street stalls, and I could spend all day people watching.
The pollution is horrendous, the traffic is horrendous, the noise level is high as is dust and dirt level....I could spend all day dusting the house and still have to go around again! A lot of that is due to the poor standard of building, ie many gaps where window frames don't fit properly, that kind of thing.

Sounds awful, doesn't it, but there are good points too.....if I go down to the spice souq and wander through the narrow pedestrian alleys where the overhanging awnings keep it cool, I am in another world - beautiful colours of the spices, their aromas wafting in the air mixed with burning frankincense, the traders shouting out their prices etc, well that's quite a different type of Cairo, and one which takes you out of the modern world completely. That's the Cairo I like.

I noticed a question about politics and do we get involved.......have to admit that whilst I am interested in the politics of the region, it's from a purely selfish point of view, ie how safe am I , and is anything about to kick off! I certainly don't get involved, the rule of thumb here, and for any foreigner in the Middle East, is to be sensible and keep a low profile.
So ,you won't see me on the BBC news waving to you from my tent in the middle of Tahrir Square!!!

Oh and as for the locals seeming to shout at each other when they're just talking - ye Gods, you should hear this lot!!!

Have I really waffled on for this long???
Catch you later...........

K x


AnninGlos Report 5 Aug 2011 09:57

Thanks Gina and Karen. Karen, your life is really interesting but, given the places you live/have lived carries a certain amount of danger, maybe enough to make it exciting, I hope that you can stay safe, it sounds as though you are sensible about things. But, how do the people treat you, in the main? Have you met any antagonism coming from the West. Although I don't know your colouring, maybe you 'fit in' if you are not blond and typically Western.
I have to say I envy you your walk through the alley ways where the spices are sold. You made that come alive for me. Any more to tell when you have finished dusting?


SpanishEyes Report 5 Aug 2011 12:17

Yes, it is me again!

I have just read the last few messages and what an eye opener they are. I am by nature the one in the family is the typical Irish wanderer but OH likes his feet on the ground he knows best! So I live in my dreams about travel and digest every word from those who travel. I must say though that it was the decision by OH to leave UK that we found with help from my cousin the place I have come to love.

I had my thinking cap on this morning and hsve made some suggestions re questions that would be a good start, I think.

1.where you born
2.Which country,city,town,village are you living in now.
3. Are you alo e or living with family
4. How long have you lived in ......?
5. What age group striking 20s 30s, 40s etc.
6. Why did you choose the place you are living in
7. Was it hard to get a work permit or Visa?
8. Did you or are youlearni g the language of the country you chose tolivein
9. What areyourplans for the future
10. Do you miss family, friends etc
11. What is the cost of living in the place you live in
12. What are the positives/negatives of the place you live in

Well think that gives a gew ideas.

Karen what a wonderful description you have given us. I could almost pictureuouin the Market . Do you mix with other Brits or is it restricted work colleagues orthelocal people.
I ask because when many years ago we were in Panang and some of the wonderful things that my eldest son remembers iseating with a local family whose house was very basic and on stilts. Thehousewassurrounded by trees and teetotal number of houses was about 10 or 12. he corresponded with tne eldest son for many years.

An example of why ienjoy living here, I am sitting in the shade with the slightest breeze you could imagine but very welcomed,the sea is glistening, the trees are gently swaying, the pool is glistening , the sound of the two young children with their parents and grandma is delightful and they are only here for another week, jet and Joe my two dogs are lying in the shade, oh is listening to music and all is well today.

Bridget in Spain

13.18 hrs :-D :-D


wisechild Report 5 Aug 2011 12:51

Started adding a reply & it was wooshed so I´ll try again.
Firstly I use the boardname Wisechild because I´m fairly sure that, unlike many of my ancestors, I know who my father was, not because I think I know a lot. In fact, oh for a crystal ball!!!.
Bridget, you asked yesterday about the political situation in Spain.
My feeling is that the next couple of months is going to be mayhem.
Partly because of the global situation, which it seens no one can control & partly because President Zapatero has chosen to call an early election, which I feel he should have done in May, following the ruling party´s disater in the local elections. Either that or he should have held out until March when the election was due.
As it is, no one has total control because it´s fairly clear that Zapatero will go & another party leader will be chosen, whether his party wins the election or not.
All he has done is add to the uncertainty.
Just an aside.
Menorca has just had the coldest July since 1993.
I blame the Russians.


Rita Report 5 Aug 2011 14:33

I have read all your comments with interest and noted the pros and cons fo the different countries. I take my hat off to you(only I dont wear one) I never dreamed the NHS was so good abroad. just shows you untill you speak to someone who has used the NHS abroad you have no idea. I think this Global thing is affecting all countries that is something we cannot control.
A programme I saw a longtime ago was on buying property in Spain and how careful you had to be, and how long it takes to get the papers sorted and all the things that can go wrong. I watched Emigrants homes being demolised due to some agent selling properties that he should not have as rules stated they should not have been built.,
so I suppose there are things you have to be watchful about.when moving a broad where properties are concerned as rules for different countries varey a lot.
I think that would worry me if I was moving abroad incase something like that happened and you lost your money.and I wonder how children cope with schools when they move abroad.



heatherg Report 5 Aug 2011 16:57

I've lived in switzerland for over 30 years. I came here because my husband was already living here. he is Italian so the cooking is part Italian part English not much Swiss cuisine apart from Fondue and Raclette.
it's very expensive to live here, no OAP benefits for travel or health. In fact you might be paying more for health insurance over 65.
A nice place to retire to if you have the money!


AnninGlos Report 5 Aug 2011 17:06

We had friends who lived in Switzerland because he worked there. They loved it but came home when he retired. They had kept property here so that they remained in the housing market as they knew they wouldn't be able to afford to retire there. Do you speak Italian where you live or what they call Switzy Deutch (I am sure that is not spelt correctly). or another language?