Monday, June 14, 2010

It pays to read the brochure

I remember when we were on holiday in San Pedro de Alcantara, there was a young lady from Manchester who had flown out with us. She’d booked for the same two weeks that we had.

After four days at the hotel, the young lady was desperate to go home. She begged the travel rep in the hotel to find her an early flight back to Manchester, clearly willing to forgo the cost of the room in the hotel. Her excuse was that the hotel and its location were just too quiet, she wanted night life and a beach with all the razzamatazz.

If she had read the brochure properly, it was clear that this was a small family hotel with the occasional party held each week. For something more adventurous, you’ would have to catch a bus to Puerta Banus of even Marbella. Even the nearby town, where you could walk to, was a quiet, sleepy Spanish place which only came to life at the weekends.

In the end the young lady got her wish and rushed to pack her bags. She was last heard cheering as she made her departure, much to the amusement of both the Spanish and British guests who longed for their holiday to never end.

It seems there are some Brits who have come to live in Bigastro who didn’t read the brochure either. They weren’t aware how hot it was going to be in summer or what life in a small Spanish town was going to be like. Some were even surprised to find that very few of the locals speak English!

Some of the disenchanted ones have already returned to British shores, others have their houses on the market waiting for a sale that will allow them to leave and buy again back in Britain. I am genuinely sorry that it hasn’t worked out for them as they expected. Sometimes you follow a dream only to find out that the reality is not what you hoped it would be.

I suspect that a few of those who are keen to leave are used to moving around anyway and having had a stint in Spain are now looking for a new experience elsewhere. I hope for their sakes they find somewhere to eventually settle because moving house is both expensive and traumatic.

People tell me, there are a fair number of houses up for sale on our urbanisation which doesn’t surprise me. It is the same everywhere; in Spain, in Britain and the rest of Europe. I firmly believe that the reasons that people want to leave Bigastro is no reflection on the town nor on its people.

For the majority, who are happily settled here, the thought of returning to live in Britain sends cold shivers down the spine. It isn’t that we wouldn’t want to live in Britain again, it is just that we have become accustomed to our way of life in Spain and we like it too much to give it up.

I dedicate this post to my neighbours from the house below who flew back to England yesterday with the intention of picking up their lives where they left off.

1 comment:

Petrus said...

To some extent you can blame the glossy British TV programmes that paint Spain as a wonderful paradise and fail to mention that it can be very cold or very hot and that taxes exist even there.

We need TV programmes that will tell the exact truth and not just feed dreams.

There are still people out there in the UK who think that if they move to Spain they can pick up a job in a bar at the drop of a hat and everything is dirt cheap ..