Molly’s blog is a must read for ex-pats living in Spain. She is positive and informative and really “gets” Spain. She has a lightness of touch that I havent found anywhere else. Heaven knows how she finds the time to do all the things she does!
Here’s my interview with her including a link to her blog:
JW: Tell me briefly about yourself
Molly: I have lived in Spain since 1998, first in Barcelona, but now in Granada. I work in Communication and PR in a full time role. In my spare time I have a personal blog www.piccavey.com where I write about life in Spain.
JW: So what do you like best about Spain?
Molly: The variety of local dishes and seasonal food. Granada is foodie heaven. On the coast bananas and mangoes are produced and in the mountains you can find raspberries and local honey. The amount of local produce is incredible. In Granada we also have the only revolving restaurant in Spain. Panoramic 360, from there you have views of the city, the Alhambra palace and Sierra Nevada mountains while you dine. Of course Granada is well known for the free tapas too.
JW: What do you do to have fun?
Molly: I love to take part in the local festivals around Granada province or enjoy tapas with lots of friends in one of the local bars.
JW: Do you speak Spanish at all?
Molly: Yes, I also speak Catalan and some French. I was studying Spanish at school from the age of 13 and got a basic knowledge. I did A level Spanish but really began to get a decent level when living in Spain. I consider myself Fluent now. But I have been here for 14 years or so. Catalan I have a basic grasp of the language and understand most things. As this is spoken in Catalonia and I live in Andalusia now I don´t use it so often.
JW: What is the biggest problem when being an expat?
Molly: I think that the cultural differences are important although as we are in Europe we think that there isn´t much difference (not as in Asia for example) the subtle difference does impact your daily life. Expectations are very different. I have expectations of high standards of customer service. This is a handicap often in Spain as Customer service is not such a priority in businesses.
JW: Do you have any recommendations for people who think about becoming an expat?
Molly: Please learn some of the local language before you arrives in a new country. Try to observe the locals with an open mind. What do they do? How do they go about it? There is usually a reason why they do what they do in that particular manner. It takes a while to understand that. From observing you can really learn a lot. It took me a long time to work this out even though it may seem obvious.
Author: John Wolfendale
Bio: John is a founder of Eco Vida and is passionate about bringing modern design and construction practices to Spain. He believes a home which is warm in winter and cool in summer is largely a matter of design and selective use of materials. He is British and a Chartered Surveyor with 20 years experience living and working in Spain.