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 Most Brits in Spain say no gracias to integration

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Peter
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Join date : 2011-02-20
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PostSubject: Most Brits in Spain say no gracias to integration   Tue 29 Mar 2011, 02:36

Nice article in the UK Guardian about British citizens living in Spain. It appears English-speaking Anglo/Saxons adapting to Latino cultures have some global similarities. Our Michoacán community is not typical in its expats but most of us all know well about other areas more like described here.

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George Orwell wrote in 1938: "The only way I could get along was to carry everywhere a small dictionary which I whipped out of my pocket at moments of crisis. But I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends in Spain!"

George Thomas, a much-travelled Glaswegian, is a member of the PSOE, the Spanish socialist party, in Xabia on the Costa Blanca, which will have a number of expats on its candidates' list, although he is not under any illusions about the difficulties of integration. "There are some fully integrated Brits who speak Spanish but many live in an almost sealed community,"

The popular image of British expats here is of either reclusive retirees watching EastEnders on satellite TV, a Daily Mail on their lap, glass of cheap wine at their elbow and a full English breakfast in their belly or of boozed-up, drugged-up, football-loving young ravers

OK, that's not really us, some of us perhaps, but many of us are doing our best to adapt to a different way of getting things done in a foreign land.

Quote :
He said it was a "fair criticism" that the British were not, in general, well integrated: "It's difficult. I try to practise my Spanish but people come back to me in English."

The locals might agree. "British people do not seem to integrate terribly well," said a woman reporter on a Spanish daily. "They are very good at societies, book clubs, social organisations of different kinds but, in general, they seem to associate with themselves more often with other expats.

"In my personal experience, many Britons seem to have many things to complain about – the madness of the property market and rental prices, the even madder madness of red tape and paperwork when they need to deal with government offices and funcionarios. This is partly due to the culture shock and the contrast between the Anglo-Saxon and Latin mentalities but it does make some things difficult when it comes to integration."

OK, these snippets are getting a bit long, you have to read the complete article yourself.
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