Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Expats Spain

My new book Expats Spain

This is the go-to book if you are thinking about moving to Spain covering those questions which will crop up and often, yet suspiciously, remain unanswered.

Some people buy a villa or apartment and retire on the coast whilst others live on the outskirts of some quint pueblo and fill their memoirs with funny stories of quirky locals and strange animals they have raised. And then there is the other side...
Mark Shearman moved to Spain in 2002 with his partner and four year old daughter. His observations are from a successful building contractor, owner of an estate agency and journalist.
He has included some amusing anecdotes and articles, which all promise one thing - the truth. http://shermdonor.blogspot.com.es Reading Flip Flop Flamenco Mark's novel about a shaming debt collector will also give you a flavour of what it is like to live as an expat on the Costa Blanca.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Spanish Cultural Test

Spanish cultural test was released in October 2015 for those foreigners wishing to become Spanish nationals and hold a Spanish passport.

Over a hundred thousand foreigners from around the world annually go through the arduous processes of applying for Spanish citizenship. The deadline in October for the last day's free service caused a rush-on.
Applicants must prove good citizenship and a sufficient degree of integration into Spanish society, for example, being able to speak Spanish and taking part in social activities, which I presume they refer to fiestas and public demonstrations. Also what must be included are two positive endorsements from Spanish citizens, and a good conduct statement from the police - a small part of the paperwork and process.
Most foreigners should have held a residence permit for ten uninterrupted years before they can apply for Spanish nationality. There are exceptions...

The cultural test is part of the integration qualification process, it seems being able to speak the language and knock up a kick-ass Paella on a Sunday is not enough.
In the past controversy has risen after complaints that these tests were not being conducted fairly and there was no set standard. Judges where compiling their own questions some of them had a high level of difficulty and some were trick questions, like knowing the name of the national anthem and its lyrics. The anthem 'The Marcha Real' - the Royal March has no official lyrics.

The Cervantes Institute has released a new exam, which aims to test applicant's knowledge across the board about Spain and the Spanish way of life putting an end to these non-standardized tests. The cost is €85.
Some of the questions range from politics, famous actors, and sports questions. Is garlic the best ingredient with albondigas (meatballs)? Just kidding - here are some real questions:

    What river connects Barcelona and Madrid?
    El Tajo - El Ebro - Ninguno - El Ave

         In what year began the second republic?
         1492 – 1977 - 1936 - 1931

    Which of these is the name of the famous fiesta in Cádiz and the Canary Islands?
    El Carnaval - La Semana Santa - Los Sanfermines

Source of the questions from: http://verne.elpais.com/verne/2015/01/12/articulo/1421064968_522049.html

Some other questions that should be in the test:

What is the best time to move your dining table and chairs using the push method?

  • 10:30pm

  • 11:30pm

  • Any time after 12:00 midnight

When should you use your indicators?

  • When manoeuvring into a different position.

  • When double parking outside the lottery shop.

  • What's an indicator?

What type of situation is best to shoulder shrug?

  • When not having fun

  • Sounds serious and not fun

  • Shoulder shrug with bewilderment at the question

How many Spanish people were drunk in the first half of 2015

  • None

  • Some were poco baracho

  • A few were pocito baracho

Who are the best lovers in the world

  • The Italians

  • The French

  • Yourself and other Spanish passport holders

If you would like to test yourself just for fun there are several practise websites: http://www.testdenacionalidad.es/ www.testnacionalidad.es.