It was warm on the plane so I peeled off my two thin jumpers, which I’d worn for the whole five days in Dorset, not having packed correctly for the British “summer”. Shoving them into my flight bag in the overhead locker I snagged it slightly on the safety pin. Continue reading
You gotta have roots. Life would be just … I don’t know … just too transient and superficial without roots.
Living in a new country, you have to find ways of accelerating the process of putting down roots. A sort of Baby Bio for immigrants. Continue reading
“We’re just the same, you and me” said A. I take it as a compliment, happily glossing over her thirty additional years on the planet. She has the most piercing look, she’d have been a great interrogator. Instead she is a campesina, a countrywoman. Timeless. Sturdy. Hard hands. Sitting on a stool she scoops handfuls of almonds into her apron, and shells them on a tree-trunk in front of her with a small hammer. Continue reading
Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn’t it? “A notary, a copy-shop clerk and an immigration advisor go into a bar …”. Sadly it was no joke. It was a week of admin and bureaucracy. And it was time-consuming. Continue reading
At the top of the stairs Marcelo took my arm solicitously. “Should you take the lift instead?” he asked. “We don’t want you to have an accident on the stairs, what with you having no health cover ….”. I shot a glance in his direction and he failed to hide his mischievous grin. But despite the joke, there was a worrying grain of truth in what he said. Continue reading
The thing was, she didn’t ask for money. She asked for food. Well, technically, she asked for leftovers, scraps. What we had pushed aside. She politely waited in the shadows, almost out of sight, until we seemed to have finished. She stepped forward, apologised for interrupting our meal, and asked if we would allow her to eat the off-cuts and remnants on our plates. She hadn’t eaten for three days. Continue reading
The DVD was in a pretty case. La Oficina de Turismo had spent a fair bit. The little film sang the praises of this beautiful part of Spain – interesting architecture, good restaurants, a casino, pleasant hotels, an ancient fortress, sandy Mediterranean beaches, idyllic scenes. A great place for my birthday weekend. Continue reading
He’s one of the tallest men I’ve ever seen. And he definitely has the biggest smile. I guess you have to develop an easy charm and a friendly manner if you’re trying to sell complete rubbish to beach-goers in order to scrape a living.
Gabriel is there most days. Sometimes he has hats, occasionally sunglasses, but his speciality is high-class watches. Rolexes. At a real bargain price of just €50. Who can resist? Continue reading
Soy extranjera. I am a stranger.
Soy extranjera en una tierra nueva. I am a stranger in a new land. Continue reading
Expat: Expatriate. A person who lives outside their native country(Oxford Dictionaries, online). Short for expatriate, which comes from the Latin ex patria, meaning out of the homeland.
Immigrant: A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country (Oxford Dictionaries, online).
I can’t see a difference in the definitions, at all. And yet the words appear to be used very differently. In Spain I have once heard a Dutch woman describe herself as an immigrant, but with that single exception I have only heard European immigrants to Spain describe themselves as expats. Continue reading