Spain Is Different Remember

I don't know whether you were around in the sixties, I myself was a late entrant into the decade so can't remember that much about it. There is one thing that stands out about Spain from that time when Franco was still around polluting the country with his Catholic Fetish based Fascism and that is the opening up of the country through the country's tourism minister Manual Fraga and the most inspired advertising slogan ever, "Spain is Different". I remember this slogan still being around when I first got interested in Spain in the 80s it was so successful.

Just a little history first, "Spain is Different" wasn't a call to mass tourism. It was an attempt to get upper class tourists visiting cultural sites throughout Spain. It was actually a call to promote Spain not only as a place of historical importance but also to emphasize that it wasn't a western liberal democracy as the nature of the people and the country made it unsuitable to be so (Who knew!!) However, it became immensely successful and known as the former of those two things along with the mass tourism bit, whereas the latter fell into the collective memory especially after the old Fascist git shuffled off this mortal coil in 1975 and the country, especially Catalunya, ran out of Cava in celebration.

In the eighties Miró provided the Spanish Tourist Board with the featured image today to use in perpetuity to promote Spain abroad. There have been plenty of other tourist board slogans such as "Spain - Everything Under the Sun", "Passion for Life", "Bravo Spain", "Smile You Are In Spain", "I Need Spain" and "Spain is Part of You" (You may remember some of them) but none have been as successful as "Spain is Different". And there is a big reason for that.

It became part of what Spain is, it even became known within Spain and Spaniards started to use it to take the mick out of whatever doesn't work in Spain or takes time to work, in other words most things! And that brings us onto the subject of today's post about remembering the fact that Spain is Different.

You plan to come to Spain because "Spain is Different". You think that the "Mañana" culture is quaint, you think that booking a table for your evening meal at 10pm is a bit weird but you are visiting so you do it, you are told Spain is a bit bureaucratic but it's not an issue on your visit, you are amazed by seeing office workers in cafes eating huge sandwiches at 10.30 in the morning and wonder who is doing the work in the offices and a long etcetera and then you come to live here.

It's at that point your attitude changes right?

Once you live here do you really expect things to change? Suddenly the fact that your delivery is scheduled for "sometime" on Tuesday so you just have to wait around until they turn up, if they do, is an inconvenience. The fact that you go into the bank at 10.30 and there's one person serving ten people in a queue is annoying. You ask yourself constantly why on Earth you can't book a table for your evening meal at 7pm like a normal person would? And your modernisation is taking longer than you thought because the plumber is waiting for the electrician to turn up and you've just seen the electrician with a huge bocadillo, a beer and half a bottle of wine in the cafe next door and that annoys you. (That's because you didn't use Valencia Remodels)

Remember Why You Came to Spain

This is a huge tip for anyone moving to Spain, you need to change and you need to stop expecting Spain to change for you. It won't. And more importantly you don't want it to change really as what you fell for is what you get. If it was "just like home" and things happened in the same way then you wouldn't have come here in the first place. Remember how bad home was?

When you come to Spain you get Spain, warts and all.

What You Should Expect

Spain is by no means perfect, no place is. However the pros outweigh the cons massively. But today we are going to concentrate just for once on those cons. The following list are things that will annoy you in Spain. And here's the thing, they are annoyances... they don't define your life here. if you can get over these then you might find that life in Spain can be pretty much perfect for you.

  • Things take time
  • Organisation can be chaotic
  • Mañana is a real time but it doesn't mean tomorrow, it can mean soon or sometime or in certain cases never.
  • Spain is noisy and Valencia is especially noisy
  • Bureaucracy is real, you will always lack one piece of paper when doing something official
  • No, it's not done in that way back home, it's done that way here though and this is now your home so stop saying "Back home".
  • You will have to go to the post office and pick up that package you have been told they made an attempt to deliver but you weren't home when you know perfectly well you were and that they didn't turn up.
  • That letter was dated two months ago and it's only just turned up
  • People walk so slowly and won't get out of my way on the pavement or middle of the road
  • That kid won't shut up
  • Why do people shout so much in bars?
  • Why haven't they phoned me back?
  • I don't want to use whatsapp why does everyone insist on me having it?
  • Renfe need to do something about their website
  • How come I didn't know about that firework display in the middle of the day
  • Those roads are closed because of what!!
  • What do you mean the shops are closed because of a local fiesta!
  • You can't buy stuff on a Sunday
  • I wish people would always clean up after their dogs
  • You can't see property on a weekend
  • Puentes exist (Ask if you don't know what I mean here)
  • Can that old woman in front just shut up and pay so the queue moves!
  • I need it done now
  • I'm just amazed that official government websites lack an ssl certificate
  • There are too many tourists there
  • Things that are organised might change at the last minute
  • It's rough around the edges

I could go on but it would start to look as if Spain isn't a place to come to and live in. It is and how. It's a wonderful place to live, to bring up kids, to grow old and to enjoy but it's not perfect. And the thing is, that's why you love it when you come here, it's not perfect. As one of the UK's most popular imports to Spain the late great Michael Robionson once said back in 2012 (Before Brexit when the UK started accumulating defects),

"The UK has thousands of virtues and five defects, Spain thousands of defects and five virtues but the UK's defects irritate me and don't allow me to see its virtues. Spain's virtues are so beautiful that they don't allow me to see its defects"

You need to appreciate the virtues and then the defects don't matter so much.


This Golden Visa Malarkey

We wrote an article about it last week and we will keep updating it as news comes in of when the final date will be and anything else we know. Make sure to keep coming back to this page to find out more about the end of the Spanish Golden Visa.


2023 Sales to Foreign Buyers in Valencia

There were 5105 properties sold to foreigners in Valencia in 2023. This constituted just under 15% of all sales in Valencia (Compare that to around 40% in Alicante and you see why Valencia is different to Alicante) The biggest buyers continue to be British with just under 10% of those purchases in and around Valencia City.

One of the interesting figures that came out from the figures is that 1.4% of sales were to American buyers. As Americans were our number one client group last year this means that we at Valencia Property made almost 42% of all sales to Americans in Valencia last year (Yes, we are the answer to life, the Universe and everything).

We are the number one realtor for American clients in the Valencia area by far!

If you are American and wondering who to work with in Valencia come and work with the best.


Property of the Week

History, Heritage and Hemingway combine in this mid century masterpiece in the Cabanyal

When you look around this huge apartment (it takes up the entire first floor of this building from the 1940s) you can just imagine the tertulias, the artistic gatherings, that it hosted, as the entire building was owned by a Valencian aristocratic dilettante. Many famous names from the 40s and 50s Spanish social scene have certainly passed through here like Dali and perhaps even Hemingway, these tiles could certainly tell a few stories.

All the original features have been retained, the art deco carpentry in the doors and windows, the aforementioned hydraulic tiled floors (recently restored), a typical mirador (covered balcony to see the comings and goings on the street, check if her from number ten is still getting her daily ‘prescription’ from that pharmacist across the road who’s young enough to be her son) and high ceilings with molded details. No renovation is required, all the important stuff has been done, and it is ready to be furnished and decorated to fully bring out its character.

This apartment is over 150m2 in size, with a large dining room, an office/study and a living room in the front, and an equally large main bedroom, dressing room and shower room at the back. In between there is a guest bedroom, a bathroom, and a fully renovated modern kitchen and laundry room/pantry. There is potential for another bedroom or 2 if required, but this apartment would be best enjoyed by someone who appreciates large spaces, a tall Dutch dude, a fat Irish lad or maybe just a regular American (y’call this a bedroom? Yes, yes we do).

It is located right in that lovely little area in the corner of Cabanyal that borders the Port, less than 2 minutes walk from El Grau metro station, so 20 minutes from the centre and a little over half an hour from the airport from your door. The beach is 500m away, and there are many restaurants and bars even closer, only a short stagger home.

I don’t know what else to say. It’s great. Space, comfort and history all together in the right place. This is one of those places we love to sell, because we know the buyer will be getting a really special property, where they can add their own story to the chapters already laid down here.


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