Sunday, 29 January 2012

You know you've lived in Spain when...

Have I mentioned I love Spain? Since I first moved there on my year abroad from university in 2004, the country's been firmly under my skin. Leaving Spain to return to my degree course in England was a wrench, but finding fellow students to talk to about our experiences of life there made it easier. Those little things that foreigners like me observe when we come face-to-face with Spanish culture, such as the fact that topping up red wine with Fanta is delicious rather than deranged, and that open staring at strangers is absolutely fine, turned out to be common to all of us guiris.

My year abroad: where the love affair began. With Spain, not this horse.

Browsing Facebook one day in 2007, I came across a group called 'You know you've lived in France when...'. Written by another year abroad student, it was a list of all the idiosyncrasies of French life that they had spotted while living there. A quick search revealed that there was no such group for Spain, so I decided to remedy that. Half an hour later, I had my own list, and 'You know you've lived in Spain when...' was created.

Initially intended  as a group for students like myself who were homesick for their temporarily adopted country and keen to reminisce about those aspects of la buena vida that made us chuckle, I was surprised by how many expats, former residents and Spanish natives joined. Within a few days, the group had members from all over the world. It continued to grow for the next few years, with members using it as a forum for discussion about life in Spain and to share experiences. It even featured in 20 Minutos. I confess I did very little with the group after the first year: I occasionally updated the list of reasons 'you know you've lived in Spain when...', but mostly I just left the group to grow by itself.

Today I discovered that Facebook has changed the format of its groups, and in doing so has removed most of the group's more than 72,000 members. I decided to create a page with exactly the same information, so if you were a member of the old group or just agree with my guiri observations about life in Spain (or even have some of your own to share), please 'like' the new 'You know you've lived in Spain when...' page.


  1. What a wonderful thing to be part of. :-) I hope everyone finds their way to this new page. :-)

  2. Real pity about the group Kate. Any idea why they removed the members? I am one or rather I was one!

  3. Hello from Ibiza ! Happy you love my country !! Im love Norway whit pasion !
    Have a nice day !

  4. Apparently the group has been 'migrated' to the new format, and only members who confirmed that they wanted to stay members were carried over. A lot of people have been joining or rejoining, so it seems both the original group and the new page are carrying on! Most of the members of the original group seem to be expats who are using it as a bit of a forum again, which is good - it's private now, so no spam.
    Maria - hello! Thanks for your comment. I'd love to visit Ibiza soon!


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