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The 18 Month Itch

By Mr Grumpy - Sat 23rd Feb 2013

When I moved to Spain my reasons for doing so were very few, and very simple :

1.) It was Spain.

2.) It wasn’t the UK.

And I am going to stick my neck on the line here and say that I was by no means the first to do so, and will be far from being the last.

However, I am just as much a guilty party as those who I regularly criticise, in finally ‘settling’ in Spain and then wanting to change so many things about the country. (We all know who we are)

Generally the Expat suffers the “18 month itch” : They start off by extolling the virtues of shopping at the local markets, eating at the local restaurants, banking locally and generally living the much fabled ‘Spanish lifestyle’. Further down the line, they then start lamenting the fact that they can’t find the right jar of Tahini in the local Supermarket, or the correct brand of Gluten-Free yak’s milk, or whatever, that they simply ‘must have’ for that Delia Smith recipe.

Then they move on to complaining that the local village doesn’t have a Lebanese, or offer vegetarian Croatian cuisine within spitting distance.

And then finally they decide that they require 24/7 Banking from their i-Phone, in English.

Before the 3 people who regularly skip across my blog comment (Hello Mum, I promise I’ll call you), I fully accept that I am just as guilty as many others.

Although I recognise my own hypocrisy, I think that it is essentially part of the Expat Psyche to have an inherent desire to change things. Things that in most cases simply do not need to be changed.

Comment on this Blog

My Local Town seems to have dozens of international restaurants .... unfortunately they are the "Wok Chino" types which currently seem to be on every other street corner in Spain at the moment. Although I love Spanish food, just sometimes I would kill for a Sushi restautant within half-an-hour's drive.
Old Timer - Wed, 27th Feb 2013
We are so fortunate to live in a global world where you CAN bank on your iphone and order your tahini online, and stay happily doing the village thing at the same time :-) Some people are ready to settle, others always looking for the next move... but it's never been so easy to have it all
Maya - Wed, 27th Feb 2013
Great article Mr Grumpy (are you SURE you're not my husband? Ha ha). I have to say... that since moving to the Mainland from Lanzarote - I can't believe how much stuff IS available here. We are lucky, as we have the best of both worlds. We live in a teeny hamlet with no Brits within "flicking a golf ball off the Sky Dish" distance... but we can still go shopping and get our goodies - be those Spanish or British. So I can't get a pizza delivery... or grab some Turkish mezze... or enjoy unlimited calls and messages and internet on a contract for 3 pence a month from a mobile phone provider... ... ... ... ... but I think I'll live. Elle xx
Elle - Sat, 23rd Feb 2013
Great post, Grumps. However, I for one am not complaining of the lack of a Lebanese in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria where I now reside. For there are around five of them. And, as a vegetarian, they provide some much needed diversity in my diet.
Matthew Hirtes - Sat, 23rd Feb 2013

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