Loose Change

Loose Change: The problem with Brits abroad

The problem with Brits abroad

Our bloggers often have something to get off their chests – and that’s where Loose Change comes in. Here Mrs Mummy Penny, aka Lynn James, shares her frustration with Brits abroad.

I have recently returned from Southern Spain, the land of the Brit Abroad. The town we stayed in San Juan de Los Terreros is properly Spanish. When you pop to the supermarket, bakers or butchers you have to speak Spanish as they do not speak a word of English.

I find this really refreshing and always make an effort to learn words, particularly food related. I can get by, and if I can’t make myself understood I try it in French. My GCSE B grade has stuck with me for 22 years and I can still hold a conversation incredibly in French, a similar language to Spanish & Italian.

The restaurants are generally Spanish chiringuito affairs, beach side open air restaurants serving a lot of fish. We found an amazing restaurant, Henrock, where you chose a random fish from the fridge and they cook it in a big fire pit (boat) and it’s served up.

The octopus and squid are obvious but most of the other fish is a bit of a mystery; lubina, dorada were the two I remember. We chose randomly and loved what we got. What is better than fish caught that day, brought straight to the restaurant, cooked and eaten.

The restaurant staff do not speak English and the menu is in Spanish. I was really shocked to read Trip Advisor reviews all slating it. Particularly shocking as I know it’s a great restaurant.

I read the reviews and all were from English people moaning about the lack of English translation and the unfriendliness of the staff. Really? Are you actually writing a review based on your inability to learn a few words of Spanish and to communicate in a restaurant? Um, have you heard of google translate?

If you spend all this money on a holiday abroad why would you want to speak in English, eat English food and do English things?

Our holiday was pretty good value. The apartment and flights and car hire (all booked separately) were £2,500 for 15 days for two adults and three children (all over three years old). We ate out maybe 10 of the 15 nights in amazing local restaurants eating the freshest of foods – most nights the bills came to around 60-70 Euro for the 5 of us including drinks. Even if we ate at Ask Pizza in the UK it would cost more than £55-60 for the five of us (based on rate of £1 to 1.1 Euro, I did get mine for 1.4 pre-Brexit)

Brits abroad I ask you, why spend thousands of pounds going on holiday to a place where you are not going to experience the culture, the food, the language?

Tell you what, go to Cornwall. You’ll spend less to get there as no flights are required – thoough accommodation and spending money are likely to cost you more. You can get your nuggets and chips and burgers and they are super friendly English speakers (Okay I’ll admit it I am biased there as I lived there from aged 0 to 18!!)

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