Daily Life

Where is the Volume Control Knob?

  …because I would like to notch it down, just a tad. Let me explain. Shouting is literally (and I don’t use that word as a misuse of the word figuratively. I mean Literally with a capital L) considered a normal speaking volume here. The other day I was in a shop selling specialty products […]

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Daily Life

Caught in a summer storm

  This time last year I got caught in a sudden summer storm. I left my office and was just reaching for a Bicing (shared city bike) around 9:00PM when the fat drops started to fall hard and fast. Within 30 seconds, the ground was completely wet as I made a run for shelter below […]

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Daily Life, People

Parenting in Spain

I’m not a tolerant person when it comes to poorly behaved children. So of course, I live in a country that has the most unruly children I have yet to witness in this lifetime. Obviously, it is no fault of the children. Children will test parents; it is in human nature to test authority and […]

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Daily Life

It’s August in Barcelona

It’s mid August, and the city feels lopsided. The center is crowded, the tour buses full, but the outskirts are eerily empty. Beaches are packed and bicycle paths are full of strolling tourists blocking riders (THIS is why I have a bell on my mountain bike…), yet my usual haunts and regular activity groups host […]

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Daily Life

The Endless Dinner

I just can’t get used to the phenomenon here in Spain that is the Endless Dinner. It’s quite normal to meet at 8pm for dinner and to still be seated at the table at 12:30am. Actually, those hours are more usually 9:30pm and 2am if it is the weekend. Of course, all throughout dinner there will […]

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Healthcare

Dental work in Spain – Do I dare?

Posted on 11 June 2015

  I need to get some chipped teeth fixed. I ask for recommendations and receive a few. I make an appointment with one that seems good. The receptionist looks like she brushes her teeth with tobacco. The dentist is about 30 and has a rotten front tooth. This is someone who is supposed to make […] Continue Reading

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First Things First, Visas

Getting Legal – The Non-Lucrative Residency Visa

Posted on 01 May 2015

  A few posts ago, we explored getting a long term student visa via a language school. If you don’t need to learn Spanish, there is another straightforward  residency visa you can apply for in Spain: The Non-Lucrative Residency Visa. This is an option you may not have considered yet, especially if you aren’t familiar […] Continue Reading

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Open Letters

Open letter to Spanish ladies

Posted on 28 February 2015

Dear Spanish ladies, I know you aren’t always at the cutting edge of fashion, what with the mullet still a popular hairstyle, wearing leggings as pants, and confusing style with the sporting of designer labels – and I don’t expect you to be. But I felt particularly pressed to speak up about a recent disturbing […] Continue Reading

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First Things First, Visas

Getting Legal – The Student Visa

Posted on 16 February 2015

The second most common question I receive after the where should I live question is the “How Can I Stay Legally as an American?” question. There are several ways to get residency in Spain–either for the short or long term. I have a long overdue interview I need to publish on this from someone who […] Continue Reading

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Money

Currency conversion fees – Possible solution?

Posted on 07 November 2014

If you have been reading this blog, you know that for six years I have been transferring money to myself from my US bank to my Spanish bank via two Paypal accounts. For those of you who don’t know, I freelance primarily in the US and Canada and am paid in US dollars. So I […] Continue Reading

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Money, Work

Salaries in Spain

Posted on 26 July 2014

Salaries in Spain and How People Live on Them I’ve talked about this topic before more or less in my Cost of Living in Barcelona post, but in this post I’ve interviewed another American expat for a little different perspective (though it turns out it is not so different than mine). My interviewee makes about […] Continue Reading

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Work

Expat Interview: Lisette on Teaching English

Posted on 03 July 2014

This is the first in a series of interviews with fellow American expats, where I ask them the questions that my readers ask me. In this interview, I talk with Lisette about teaching English as a non-EU resident. I hope ya’ll find it helpful and informative. How difficult is it to find a company that […] Continue Reading

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Spanish Celebrations

La Diada de Sant Jordi

Posted on 24 April 2014

Yesterday was the festival of Sant Jordi, celebrating the patron saint of Catalunya wherein people gift each other either a rose or a book. All over town, there are book stalls and flower stands set up on every corner, and in the city of Barcelona, there is a festival on the Rambla de Raval. This long plaza is […] Continue Reading

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