What have I gained by living in Spain?
Fiestas – dancing in the streets, fireworks – outdoor community barbecues, music and general fun
Dancing as a way of life
Fabulous fish, fruit, vegetables and wine at rock bottom prices
Sunshine – and wide, open spaces
Relaxation – no fretting about timetables or deadlines
Community- a strong sense of belonging to the local community
A people-based culture. Family and close friends matter more than status or money
Hearing and speaking a gorgeous language
What do I miss about living in Guernsey?
TV services (especially Sky!)
Health care without long waits
Centralised record keeping
Reliable transport services
Communication with a smile
Superb customer service
Telephone service that works
Decent road drainage
Banking without long queues
These things seem to be simply not important to Spaniards! Or perhaps not important enough to push for changes…..
Lack of customer service is what most ex-pats complain about – it simply doesn’t commute here. In Franco’s day there was never any need for it, and perhaps it will take a few more decades for that attitude to change.
Telephone and other services – well, I believe the intention is to supply the best service. But it often appears that they have no experience of what the best service is – i.e. an answering service that actually works on the same day as the message is left, a reliable internet connection, a customer-friendly banking service based on clients’ – not the bank’s – needs. In fact many of Spain’s institutions still work on the basis of supplying what works for the bureaucrats rather than the users. No one behind the counter at the Town Hall cares if citizens have to queue from 5.00 a.m. till 11.00 a.m. to get a necessary piece of paper – and go through the same process to renew it every six months.
Wherever you are, life is much easier if you focus on what works well there. So if you can, sit back, pour out the sangría and soak up the sun!