Economic crisis: The pain in Spain|The Guardian

I have lived for many years in Switzerland, you would think a nice place? Not good enough for some of the UK expats who couldn’t order a beer in French, after years there. Now I live part time in Spain and, guess what? UK expats who can’t speak a word of Spanish and can only speak scornfully of the Spaniards. But then, the vast majority of my friends just love it here and can’t get enough of the sunshine, the food, the easy-going life and the excellent opportunities to hike and practice sports. And some of them are even studying Spanish with me. So, you do find the boozy, whingey, ultra-right-wing tabloid reader, but they seem to be a minority, at least in my circle. But then, you have to do your homework before buying and relocating, the same as in England or anywhere else, stupidity is expensive, everywhere. The property market has collapsed in Spain, but it was overdue, after the crazy inflated prices during the last decade. Means that there are lots of excellent opportunities for buyers, as long as they can count and use their brains. The excellent climate is still here, as well as the laid back lifestyle.

Like in every society, there are lots of different layers and circles. My circle, in the same area, doesn’t sniff anything more drastic than the smell of good food. It would seem that you get the circles you look for, because I meet every day sporty people, busy with all sorts of cultural and social activities. And they don’t even swear much or steal from their community.