Today’s start of My Spanish Lovers brings just the right amount of my favorite thing – controversy. Meet my first anonymous Spanish lover, Eggcup. Eggcup spent five years living as a UK transplant in Spain, and the truth about the experience isn’t exactly pretty.
Check out Eggcup’s story of shitty expats, unhelpful locals and why the first two years of living in Spain are, in Eggcup’s own words, “possibly the worst of my life.”
Hi there! Thanks so much for joining us on My Spanish Lovers. For those who don’t know, could you tell us a little bit about yourself to kick things off?
I publish my blog under an alias as this allows me to be completely honest about my experiences in a way that I think is very tricky if you reveal who you are. I moved to Spain to start a new life with my husband and two small children and seemed to lurch from one disaster to the next. It was so bad that I had to keep diaries to let off steam and stop myself going bonkers. I started serialising these diaries on a blog in October and wasn’t sure what reaction I’d get, as they don’t paint a pretty picture of Spain and often people want to keep their idealised vision of the country, especially if they plan to live there.
You lived in Spain for five years and say on your blog that the first three were possibly the worst of your life. First things first – why did you move to Spain?
Why does anyone move there? You think that the grass is greener and if you’re unhappy with your life you think something like a new country will change that. I could also speak the language and fancied the sun. I thought I might be suffering from SAD in the UK and that Spain would sort that out for me. I seemed to have a sort of drive to go there which I can’t completely explain though.
So what went down those first couple years that turned this dream of Spanish sun into a dark and often negative experience?
You’ll have to read the blog to find out. But to give you an idea, one of my main initial themes is disappointing friendships and dysfunctional expats living in a weird town. As I got to know and have more dealings with Spaniards I discovered quite a few of them were rotten, too. Of course, I also met good people of all nationalities, but it’s boring to write about them so I generally don’t. I figure plenty of writers take that approach.
Did things in Spain finally turn around for you? If so, what changed?
I can’t tell you, as my aim is to turn this blog into at least three books. I am currently posting the first book, which is based on my first year in Spain. I wouldn’t want to ruin the suspense.
What would you say is the number one piece of advice you’d give to people looking to live the expat life in Spain?
Think very carefully about the location of your new life – whether you want town, seaside, countryside etc. and rent before you buy.
How do you feel when you look back at your life in Spain now? Any residual animosity still? Feeling at peace with the good, bad and ugly?
I still go to Spain regularly and have property there so I haven’t finished my relationship with the country. And the more I write about my experiences the more I come to terms with them and now have some great friends there, so no, there’s not a lot of residual animosity. Now, I get more wound up about corruption and cheats and liars, of which there are plenty in Spain (a lot more than in the UK, I’d say).
Lastly, how do you react to some of the negative comments your outlook on Spanish life (or yours at least) that have come up on your blog? Do you get a lot of comments from people who have had similar experiences?
Some people say that my experiences have great resonance for them; others have yet to move to Spain and they say they love the honesty of my blog and it has not put them off going; others seem to be filled with rage and call me names like ‘bitch.’ I used to get mad; now I just try and get even and so the comments section at the end of some posts can get quite heated. I actually think it’s a cheek that people can be so rude when I’m trying to express in a creative way my experiences and at the same time forewarn people so that they will have an easier time of it. A fellow blogger has said I’m performing a national service and I, modestly, have to agree with her.
Don’t forget to get in contact if you’d like to be my next Spanish lover!
Photo credit: Rochelle, just rochelle