Spain: Pros and Cons

Advantages to Living in Spain

– Streets are paved with tortilla de patata

– Constant stream of snacks, sandwiches and tapas == Hobbit Life

– Small mom-and-pop stores still exist because there’s no Walmart or Target to mess them up

– You can get nice leather goods for 1/3 of their price in the US

– Free healthcare

– Decent public transportation

Disadvantages to Living in Spain (versus America)

– America’s “The Customer is Always Right” motto generates a level of customer service that borders on the sycophantic. But Spain’s motto would be,

“The Customer May Grudgingly Be Allowed to Shop Here (But Only If They Can Figure Out When It Is We’re Actually Open)”

– If you’re under 30, good luck finding a job (that would let you actually move out of your parents’ house)

  • Corrollary: Many jobs pay 50% or less of what they’d pay in the States. For example, the average salary for a software engineer in Madrid: about $35,000 (versus say $70k – $150k in the States)

– Walking around in cities which extol the glories of the past can be suffocating for a young person trying to make a mark in the present

– Even the simplest transaction is made into a 12-part bureaucratic travail with echoes of the movie “Brazil.” This is a culture that has never met an experience that cannot be improved by adding little pieces of paper that need to be stamped in triplicate.

– Public restrooms. They’re a thing, but in Spain, not really. They are hard to find and sometimes you have to pay to pee. THIS IS IMPORTANT, PEOPLE. Did you know that there is a *direct relationship* between “availability of public restrooms” and “how much your city streets smell like piss?” Strange but true!

 

…Overall, Spain wins of course, but only if I’m not looking for a bathroom.

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