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Thread: AMA: Living in Spain

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx Mazda View Post
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    How is chauvinism a bad thing exactly? You are a man, aren't you?
    I'm a man, not an asshole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    Living in Germany as a kid, I was pretty sheltered. English pretty much wherever I went. My mum speaks German and my dad speaks French, so we were rarely if ever unable to communicate as a family. I didn't spend much time in Spain when I was a kid, though.

    After travelling more as an adult in Europe, I've come to a conclusion: German people prefer to speak english to you. French people can often speak English, but just pretend they can't. Spanish people just can't speak English.
    I feel like this image is relevant to the language discussion:

    139077990_3827141727329547_5160173960013556693_n.jpg

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    There's an error in that map in the region circled in pink.
    139077990_3827141727329547_5160173960013556693_n~2.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    I'd be lying if I said I didn't disagree.

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    I've always found the English Proficiency Index an interesting read: https://www.ef.com/wwen/epi/

    I totally agree with the countries in the "very high" ranking. Some of the other countries I'd switch around a bit. For instance, from my travels I'd have to knock Russia and Brazil a category lower - Russia in the moderate category seems absurd. Vietnam, Thailand and Ecuador seem a bit low on the list to me.

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    Pardon the interruption, but this was GOLD back in the Grand Theft Auto days.


    Caller: "Lazlow man, I...I was listening to that English wimp you were talking to earlier, I mean, do these guys realize how wussy they sound?! I mean, th..they have the nerve to call 'crackers' 'biscuits!' And they say 'al-u-min-ium,' instead of 'aluminum.'
    I mean...what's up with that!? They all think they sound so smart
    with their little funny accents, I mean...I got something for
    'em...SPEAK ENGLISH, YA LIMEY MORONS!!"

    Lazlow: "Well you know..I think they were speaking English before we
    were! Th..the people over here were speaking Shoshone and Cherokee!"

    Caller: "Man, Cherokee-shmerokee, man! A..and another thing! What's up with them calling 'soccer' 'football?!' Man

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gainsbarre View Post
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    I've always found the English Proficiency Index an interesting read: https://www.ef.com/wwen/epi/

    I totally agree with the countries in the "very high" ranking. Some of the other countries I'd switch around a bit. For instance, from my travels I'd have to knock Russia and Brazil a category lower - Russia in the moderate category seems absurd. Vietnam, Thailand and Ecuador seem a bit low on the list to me.
    Yea, it's quite interesting. I haven't travelled Russia or Brazil but have recently met a lot more Russian travelers with an exceptional level of English which suprised me. I would still think their rating would be Low though.

    The thing with places like Thailand, Vietnam, and Ecuador is you need to consider all of the rural population. Sure, they speak English in tourists areas, but not off the beaten track. In Ecuador, we sometimes couldn't even communicate in Spanish!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidI View Post
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    Yea, it's quite interesting. I haven't travelled Russia or Brazil but have recently met a lot more Russian travelers with an exceptional level of English which suprised me. I would still think their rating would be Low though.

    The thing with places like Thailand, Vietnam, and Ecuador is you need to consider all of the rural population. Sure, they speak English in tourists areas, but not off the beaten track. In Ecuador, we sometimes couldn't even communicate in Spanish!
    Damn it tried to send and clicked "post Quick Reply" by mistake and deleted my post.

    I agree I know about 20 Russians born and raised there, and only 2 of them speak English without using a translator. They both took English courses privately as well it's the only reason they can speak it, even people I meet traveling in Europe most of them didn't speak much English.

    Thoughts on the Euro? Do you think it makes a big difference for people living there? I know in countries like Poland it would be a disaster for them they say if they implemented the Euro.

    Ever get to see a football match? The energy from the fans is insane, prob the most energetic fans from when I got to see Euro2012 and Spain play.

    Edit: Just remembered a mutual friend of ours (I think you know Jon from Merica' taught English there like 4-5 years ago) ever consider doing? I think it would actually be pretty fun.
    Last edited by Kobe; 01-19-2021 at 11:29 AM.
    Originally posted by beemerm3
    so if we only seen 5 % of the oceans why not drain them or somethin lol or can u even transfer water from one ocean to another??? think of all the stuff u'd find treasures n eerything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kobe View Post
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    Damn it tried to send and clicked "post Quick Reply" by mistake and deleted my post.

    I agree I know about 20 Russians born and raised there, and only 2 of them speak English without using a translator. They both took English courses privately as well it's the only reason they can speak it, even people I meet traveling in Europe most of them didn't speak much English.

    Thoughts on the Euro? Do you think it makes a big difference for people living there? I know in countries like Poland it would be a disaster for them they say if they implemented the Euro.

    Ever get to see a football match? The energy from the fans is insane, prob the most energetic fans from when I got to see Euro2012 and Spain play.

    Edit: Just remembered a mutual friend of ours (I think you know Jon from Merica' taught English there like 4-5 years ago) ever consider doing? I think it would actually be pretty fun.
    The Euro helps Germany more than Spain. At the same time, the government would be even more reckless with its budgets and probably bankrupt itself without oversight. I don't think the currency is as much of a problem as the socialist mentality and bureaucracy here.

    I've been to a Real Madrid vs. Lyon game down in the 4th row (saw Ronaldo corner from 25M away) but honestly, other than the good looking security gals, it was pretty lame. I'm not into all of the flopping in football. The only good match I've been to was in Belgrade and that's because it was absolute chaos - the stadium was legit on fire when we left the game and something like 2500 police in riot gear and helicopters to make sure the fans didn't kill each other.

    Yea, I remember 'Merica Jon. I don't have much interest in teaching English, though I may look into running wine tours in English or starting a whisky tasting event in English.

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    Latest example of Spanish Socialist Headscratchers....

    I need to get my Identity Card for Foreigners. I've already been to an administration office to file the paperwork, the city council to register in my apartment, and next step is finger prints and photo at the National Police office. Fine, that's all reasonable and I imagine immigrants to Canada need to go through as much if not more.

    The frustrating thing is that there's a 12 Euro fee for the card that cannot be paid online. I need to physically go to a bank with 3 papers and 12 Euros cash (or pay by bank transfer, which I can't do without the card I'm applying for). Seriously, the government can't figure out how online payments work? I can order a 40-day aged 1kg Tomahawk steak to my door but need to go to a bank to pay a 12 Euro application fee. Minor inconvenience since I'm now funemployed but legitimately a nightmare for someone with a job given banks here close at 2pm on weekdays and don't open on weekends (with a few minor exceptions.

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    Your experiences are really bringing me back to the fun we went though when my grandmother died... incompetence doesn’t even come close to describing things.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidI View Post
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    Latest example of Spanish Socialist Headscratchers....

    I need to get my Identity Card for Foreigners. I've already been to an administration office to file the paperwork, the city council to register in my apartment, and next step is finger prints and photo at the National Police office. Fine, that's all reasonable and I imagine immigrants to Canada need to go through as much if not more.

    The frustrating thing is that there's a 12 Euro fee for the card that cannot be paid online. I need to physically go to a bank with 3 papers and 12 Euros cash (or pay by bank transfer, which I can't do without the card I'm applying for). Seriously, the government can't figure out how online payments work? I can order a 40-day aged 1kg Tomahawk steak to my door but need to go to a bank to pay a 12 Euro application fee. Minor inconvenience since I'm now funemployed but legitimately a nightmare for someone with a job given banks here close at 2pm on weekdays and don't open on weekends (with a few minor exceptions.
    Think of the poor public employee replaced by technology.

    Yeah, same shit with Portugal. They are ass backward and almost technophobic. But government job/pension is highly sought after.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xtrema View Post
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    Think of the poor public employee replaced by technology.

    Yeah, same shit with Portugal. They are ass backward and almost technophobic. But government job/pension is highly sought after.
    Nah, the crazy thing is the fee is payable at banks.... and when I arrived there was a line-up of people waiting to pay for various government forms. I imagine most banks have 1 or 2 full-time employees just dealing with that shit and I'd be surprised if they get enough of a cut from the fee to cover those employees' costs.

    Another crazy thing about Europe (Spain in particular) these days is bank fees - you get charged massive fees just for maintaining accounts because of the low interest rates and presumably all the bullshit costs the banks have to pay to keep up with the bureaucracy.

    A little socialist analogy I came up with while waiting in line today.... if one person pays a guy to dig a hole and then that guy pays the same person back to fill the same hole up, are they actually employed? Do they make any money? Answer is no, because the government will take 30% on each payment!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidI View Post
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    Another crazy thing about Europe (Spain in particular) these days is bank fees - you get charged massive fees just for maintaining accounts because of the low interest rates and presumably all the bullshit costs the banks have to pay to keep up with the bureaucracy.
    Hopefully this isn't prying too much, but what do you do for banking in Spain and do you pay for bank accounts? The lockdown has made me more interested in my hobbies (such as personal finance) that don't involve leaving the house. I've opened up a bunch of international accounts for free with HSBC, including USD/GBP/Euro accounts with HSBC Expat (formerly marketed as HSBC Jersey). I thought that the USD/GBP interest rates were lousy, then I saw the Euro interest rates on deposits - absolute zero. At least it looks like they don't charge for maintaining the account or making deposits/withdrawals.

    With the ultra low rates across Europe this doesn't surprise me. With no interest spread to make money off of banks will find different ways to squeeze money out of clients. Japanese interest rates have been negative or near zero for some time, and I haven't come across a Japanese yen denominated interest bearing account for Canadian residents. I think the Bank of England warned about the possibility of negative interest rates today, so I'm guessing interest rates for GBP accounts will be heading to zero soon enough as well...

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    ^ I still haven't set-up Spanish banking since I need residency first but hopefully in the next couple of months. There are a couple of banks that operate online and don't have fees so I'll likely just go with one of their accounts.

    It's a good idea to set-up international bank accounts while you still can. Governments are making it more and more difficult and I spent over a year trying to convince banks to open an account for me when I moved to Yemen.

    One of the crazy things in Spain is that your bank for bill/tax payments need to have a Spanish IBAN and that's because the government and I think even utilities can just go direclty into your account and take money they think they're owed (i.e. not through setting up a direct debit, they can just unilaterally tell the bank what they think they should be paid and take it). It's a real nightmare for people where the tax agency / utilitites get something wrong since once they have the money they're less willing to resolve the disputes.

    I'll probably set-up a Transferwise or Revolut account as well since most banks seem to charge 3-5% for "commission-free" ForEx.

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