things I miss about living in England

Sunday, 27 September 2015 Spain

Things I Miss About Living in England

Salamanca is an incredible city, with a buzzing student atmosphere and plenty for me yet still to explore, however has a few characteristics perhaps also common with the rest of Spain that drive me absolutely up the wall. On the other hand, there are also factors which they should definitely incorporate into British life!

One in particular are the call centres. As I have well documented, our flat still doesn’t have WiFi despite having now lived here for almost two weeks. I was advised by my helpful landlord (who should’ve had the issue sorted before we moved in) to ring Orange. It has the most irritating process just to get help with technical support, by asking you to talk to an automated voice in order to diagnose the problem. 

After numerous attempts shouting and enunciating “WI FI” and “INTERNET” down the phone, I was often met with “sorry you need to tell me the problem in order to help you” by a Spanish robot. I finally got through to impatient call centre employees who struggled to understand my Spanish, whilst I struggled to understand theirs. If they couldn’t be bothered to listen to me attempt to explain our issue, I was passed on to another employee who couldn’t deal with my far cry from fluent Spanish, until I would give up in frustration and yearn to throw my phone out of the window.

Restaurants are another bug bear for me here. Each time I’ve gone out I’ve genuinely spent half the night there. For example, I went to an Italian last night near to the Catedral, and if we hadn’t bothered to ask for the bill so soon after our meal I don’t think we would’ve ever left. It’s not that the waiting staff are inattentive, generally I’ve found staff to be extremely friendly! 

It’s just that they don’t seem to guess that if you’ve eaten your meal, and you haven’t asked for anything else that you might want to pay and leave. Perhaps this is just a profound difference between British and Spanish culture. They seem happier to sit for a while and not do much, whereas I feel like after my meal I’m ready to go and carry on with my evening.

Not everything about Spanish life drives me mad however. One aspect I would love to take back to England are their chupiterías (shot bars). They generally have a great atmosphere, not quite a bar or club, as in you can talk to people and people can dance but you don’t have to. They’re great if you need to get a little more drunk to catch up with your friends who want to go on to the club. They have such a huge range of shots as well!

Another thing is their taxi system. Whilst it’s cheaper to order a taxi than to hop in the black cab outside, it’s the opposite in Salamanca. I’m told it costs almost double to book a taxi than to just get in the street taxis outside! Their meters are much nicer to your wallet as well.

Thanks for reading! What would you take from other countries into British culture?


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