Daily Life

Where they will be good to me

In my early years of living here, the smallest acceptance or kindness would mean so much. Before I arrived, I took certain (OK many) things for granted. After arriving, and even still today, it’s quite simple to make me happy: Good customer service (so rare…), a helpful bank teller, a compliment from a stranger (wait, […]

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Daily Life

A late August day

1 PM on a late August day. Walking through the old part of the city on a hot and still day. You can feel it will rain soon, the air has that quiet weight to it and you can smell the rain. It’s hot, but the sun is no longer beating down, the sky has […]

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Daily Life

Evening stroll

  I frequently take a twilight stroll through my neighborhood in summer. This twilight hour is between 8:30 and 9:30PM, and it’s when everyone comes out. Last night was a typical walk and it went like this: I go down my street toward the Arc de Triomf monument. There are people on benches under the […]

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Daily Life

The Repatriating Question

“So when are you coming home?” As an expat, this is a question you will hear a lot. Out of all the expats I know, there is just a small handful who actually have an answer to this question. And for most of that very small group the answer is “never”. Everyone else just doesn’t […]

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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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Spanish Celebrations

Festa Major de Gracia

Posted on 17 August 2015

  It’s that time of year again. Time to wander through the throngs of people gathering in the neighborhood of GrĂ cia to check out the street decoration contest, dance to some live music, eat street food, buy drink after drink, follow the correfoc parades, and lose your friends as you stumble through the crowds until […] Continue Reading

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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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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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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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