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Life As an Expat

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When I used to come on holiday to Spain, before living here, I used to love the dry, parched yellowness of the countryside and returning to England to the lush, green carpet that surrounded the various airports always made me feel sad.

Now, twenty years down the line, I long to return to the grassy dampness of Northern Europe. I realize that you can go off and have a hot holiday, but when at home you can keep warm with central heating if needed, and keeping cool is not an issue normally. Here is Spain, where August temperatures are pushing forty degrees and the air conditioner is struggling to keep us comfortable, there is absolutely nothing one can do.

I longed to live here (in Spain) until I discovered the almost complete disregard for animal welfare and the complete regard for children, however badly behaved they are. Spain is a harsh country socially, culturally, and landscape-wise—one of the noisiest countries in the world and where bureaucracy and corruption are a problem.

If someone had told me all these things all that time ago, would I have listened? Probably not . . .

But having experienced it, I have done my time. I long for a gentler life . . .

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