How to avoid being “an expat” in Spain

expat in Feria de Jerez
Photo: Me trying to ‘blend in’ and not to look like an expat (Fail?!)
OK, so technically if you live in Spain and aren’t from here, then you are either an immigrant, or an ex-pat – probably both. Nothing wrong with either of course, but there are certain aspects of ‘ex-pat-ness’ that it is certainly wise to avoid, if only for the benefit of your own long-term self esteem!

So, here is my quick guide to ‘How to avoid being “too expatty” in Spain’ – and, more to the point, really fitting in with the locals! Please add to the list in the comments!

1. Never drink in Irish bars, no matter what sporting event you just can’t miss and isn’t on anywhere else.

2. … and don’t say things like ‘I counldn’t half do with a decent pint instead of these tiny bloody caña beers they serve over here’.

Typical Spanish Bar
Photo: Try to drink in bars that look like this
3. In fact… only drink in bars with crap all over the floor, a few old Spanish men permanently stuck to the bar, and at least one well dressed barmen, over 50, who’s worked there since just after birth.

Drunk in Spain
Photo: Clearly NOT expats – expats wouldn’t bother with the matress
4. Don’t ever get obsessed about eating “at least one good meal from home” a week. Spanish food is much better for you. You’ll live longer. (4.b. Don’t do all your food shopping in the ‘gourmet’ section of El Corte Ingles).

Spanish market
Photo: Avoid El Corte Ingles – try food shopping in places like this!
5. Don’t spend more time on Facebook than you do soaking in your new surroundings.

6. Don’t wear white socks, shorts and tennis shoes in public.

Spanish football fansPhoto: To blend in, dress like this
7. Learn some more Spanish! Come on, you live here! Join in!

8. Swear more (and only in Spanish, joder).

9. What would you add for number 9?

Comments below please! (Later note on some comments below: I’m amazed that some people used this as an excuse to reinforce idiotic stereotypes about the Spanish – says a lot about a certain class of expat I’m afraid…)