Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

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Miro
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Miro » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:48 pm

Glad it's causing a laugh, it was only meant for lighthearted discussion & I didn't want to start WWII !!
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Pamela1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:54 pm

I'm glad you see it that way Maureen..it's good to have a laugh!...even if it's at my expence.... then laugh away..:lol: :lol: :lol: it dosen't bother me...both myself and friends are always laughing at eachother and ourselves..Dont worry Miro WW woteva is along way off on this thread... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby MartinEB » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:40 pm

My wife and I went to a Spanish shop in El Ejido (Almeria) and wanted to purchase a ceiling light. My wife, in her best "broken" Spanish, asked the shop-keeper how much the light would cost. He, presumably detecting she was a "guiri" said 245€, which seemed a bit expensive when compared to other similar fittings in the shop which had price labels attached. Half hour later, our Spanish friends (who we had gone shopping with, but had not gone into the light shop with us) went into said shop, enquired about the price of the light fitting and it had remarkably, in just 30 minutes, reduced in price to 195€ (so one price for foreigners and another for Spanish?) - suffice to say, we have not been back to that shop since.

I think we get fleeced at any given opportunity no matter if you try to speak the language or not :silent:

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Miro » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:00 pm

That definitely happens. I'm trying hard to keep this fairly neutral...but here goes!
A few years ago our community decided to change administrator (another story - the one we had had been quietly stealing from us!!) and I went to a couple of local ones to ask for quotes. My Spanish is perfectly good enough for this kind of thing (heck, the Spanish owners were more than happy for me to be the president and therefore the legal representative of their community!) but I will never pass as a native. A Spanish neighbour (and my vice-president at the time) thought the prices I had been quoted were excessively high, and I agreed - so I suggested he try. He didn't believe me when I told him I was probably getting the guiri price, until he went to one of the same ones I'd been to, and got quoted exactly half what I had been quoted. :shock:
Whether or not this kind of thing happens in other countries too, I could not say. I would like to think it would not happen in the UK, but never having lived there as a foreigner, I also could not say. But I suspect not.
What surprises me more, however, is that a couple of posters here who are married to Spaniards seem to be the most vociferous on the subject. One would expect them to be the most ardent defenders of Spanish customs & cultures. I have a couple of British friends married to Spaniards, though, and they're the same. But what shocks me most of all, is the number of Spaniards who actually admit to this aspect of Spanish behaviour, and agree that it is very poor show. I know the British tend to be very self-deprecating at times, but for a nation of fiercely proud and patriotic people, I find it a paradox that Spaniards will also freely admit they rip off foreigners or treat them poorly as a matter of course.
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby costakid » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:39 pm

2 beers mate.
How hard is it to learn dos cerveza por favor? I have found if you try with the Spanish you quite often get a free Spanish lesson. They love people who try there language.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby MartinEB » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:45 pm

People to seem to think it's all about language - learn a bit of Spanish and you'll be treated like one of their own and they'll respect you for it - wrong, we tried that!

Our lovely Spanish neighbours (an elderly couple who we love) had told us that they refuse to use one particular cafe in our local town (a cafe which is particularly popular with the expats (or immigrants if you prefer to call them that)) because they rip off all the foreigners, they have two prices; the Spanish price (i.e. 1,10€ for cafe) and the guiri price (1,30€ for cafe)!

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Free at Last » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:49 pm

I don't know if the British in the UK try to rip off foreigners or not, but I know that sometimes the British in Spain try to rip off other Brits, for sure. Eg, the British vendor who said he'd raised the price of his house by €10k overnight after I requested a second viewing (needless to say I didn't buy it) and the British builder who charged me exactly 5 times the amount a Spanish guy subsequently did for exactly the same job -it had to be redone a year later because it had been done badly in the first place. I blame myself for being daft enough to pay it but didn't have a clue about local prices at the time. I didn't know how much I'd been ripped off by until the second builder told me the price, and I nearly fell over. We never used the first one or recommended him to anyone again.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Miro » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:56 pm

Usually, making an attempt to speak the local language does go a long way. I think it helped with the misunderstanding I mentioned earlier when ordering coffees in German - they laughed it off because they appreciated my attempt to order in German. But in my experience, language is not the problem here. I'm still amazed at the poor level of English in a country who's economy has been built so much on foreign tourism for several decades. The difference when simply crossing the border to Portugal, for example, is amazing. I wonder if perhaps they've heard too often quoted statistics that Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the world (whether true or not), and believe that they should not have to understand or speak English, and that everyone else should speak Spanish. Very occasionally I have been complemented on my Spanish, but more often than not it seems to be simply taken for granted, and the down side to speaking it is that when you don't understand something, they just get irritated with you.

Yes, certainly true about Brits in Spain ripping off Brits in Spain! As for property sellers raising prices etc., it's happened to me too - with Spanish, and on one occasion, an Iranian seller - so no generalisation possible there!
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby flyeogh » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:21 pm

To be fair to the spanish, based on my 30 years of mixing and working with them, they have had the stuffing knocked out of them after years a fascism followed be years of denial and years of pretending to be a new democracy while just covering over the cracks. I've heard people say "not that old story again, that was years ago" but my spanish family raise the topic often, whether using it to harp back to imagined good old days (not so many) or to relate to the horror. Several still have the book supplied by Franco on how to run your life. And those from just under 60 upwards still remember any meeting of more than 8 to 10 work colleagues (celebrating a birthday in a bar after work) being broken up by the police and them being escorted home. For me it is great to think the little skunk lived in fear of conspiracy. My wife remembers celebrating with Cava the day he died. I wish I had been there.

Personally I think the independence of Catalonia and the break up of Spain would in the long term be a good thing. Even current political changes are going to take years to work through and if you are jobless, no pension being accrued, and without hope what the hell do you have to lose?

ps: whenever I'm back in blightie I talk with Spaniards (they normally hear us speaking spanish and say hello or are friends). The question comes up "Would you go back?". The answer is always the same. I just hope Brexit doesn't terminate their new lives :think:

pss: An aside. Two weeks ago on a windy day I dropped, without knowing it, a 50 Euro note on the pavement. The beggar almost permanently outside the supermarket grabbed it and ran back to me offering it with a smile on his face. :D
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby maureenscot » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:28 pm

Its ok Pamela, not laughing at you, just the spell police

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby baroness » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:28 pm

Martin EB, your Spanish neighbours may be lovely, but I know the area well. Please tell which bar/café they think this happens at so that it can be defended.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby MartinEB » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:23 pm

baroness wrote:Please tell which bar/café they think this happens at so that it can be defended.


Doesn't have to be defended as it hasn't been named and I'm not about to start a bun-fight by doing so.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby BENIDORM » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:29 pm

Well first of all may I wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year !!

Good Thread Miro !
OK..So I first set foot on Spanish soil in 1961, very briefly.!
From then on I was a very regular visitor to Spain and spent some time during the 1960's with the Royal Navy based in Gibraltar so I was able to visit many places from there including my solo walk from Gib. through Spain and then to Lisbon.
From then on many visits until we moved permanently to Spain in 1989 and we worked and ran a business for a good number of years.
So that's my brief history of my time in Spain, and I have to say that in all of that time I can count on 2 hands and 1 foot how many times I've had any problems with Spanish people, and most just really minor 'hiccups'.
Now of course wherever you go in the World you will meet rogues and vagabonds who will try their best to relieve you of your money and possessions.
BUT I've lost count of the times I've endured being 'ripped off' or having to put up with 2-faced, thieving, lying ,cheating, free-loading BRITS..!!!!
But to counteract that statement I also have to say that I've met and had help from some wonderful, caring and compassionate Expats, including many other races.
I was taught as a small child by my Parents, and Grandparents that I should always practice Mutual Respect when meeting anyone and it didn't matter what colour , creed or religion they belonged to, and I have always tried to stick to this principle and really try not to be judgemental, although sometimes I do struggle with that !
So to Sum Up I have to say that I've always found the majority of Spanish people that I've met to be good, caring and compassionate people, who share what they have...Maybe I've just been lucky or maybe it's because of my attitude to them...who knows ?
And to state that Spain is a 'Third World Country' is something that I totally disagree with, I can only think that anyone who thinks that, hasn't visited 'Real' Third World Countries,.... I have. :(
Anyway I really believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions....even if they are wrong.... :lol: :lol:
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Gordon

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby flyeogh » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:10 pm

BENIDORM wrote:Anyway I really believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions....even if they are wrong.... :lol: :lol:


Gordon we fully agree on that then :wink:

BENIDORM wrote:And to state that Spain is a 'Third World Country' is something that I totally disagree with, I can only think that anyone who thinks that, hasn't visited 'Real' Third World Countries,.... I have. :(


I have travelled, work, travelling and holidays, the world widely so I know what my definition of third world country is. Perhaps Ecuador is a good example but as an architect friend there told me two years ago, "The spanish are arriving and staying. Here they can build a business, a life.". Anyway Spain currently meets my definition. Happy to agree it doesn't meet yours. But I have agreed that the spanish people are delightful on the whole, heavens I'm married to one. But the state is as I say third world in my humble opinion. Corrupt, incompetent, bust and direction less. That is part of my definition. I visited before 1987 but have had a close relationship with Spain since that year. I only see it going backwards. As my mate in Madrid Jose said in 1988 "You've had 400 years of democracy. Give us a few more years to get it right". More than 25 years on I'm still waiting :D

Good luck Catalunya with going your own way - and if they kick you out of the EU Ms May will be open to a trade deal. :wink: And I think you going can only help Spain :thumbup:
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Lavanda » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:19 pm

After reading this thread I can only feel thankful I live in a rural village in Extremadura. We've been here 10 years this coming April and I only wish we were young enough to expect another 50 years here! Maybe we are lucky, who knows, but we get gifts and perks the locals do not even give to each other. We are spoiled rotten day in, day out. However, we know it and appreciate it. Happy New year to all!!!

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Miro » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:51 pm

Interesting that a couple of people have felt compelled to mention the sadly well-known situation of Brits ripping off Brits in Spain. It's a fair point, and one which could probably warrant an entire thread of it's own. Generally speaking (and present company excluded of course, before I offend anyone!) Brits who insist on using the services of other Brits (even if they know or suspect they're getting ripped off) do so because they either speak little or no Spanish, or have an in-built distrust of all things foreign (which makes it a bit strange deciding to visit, let alone live in, a foreign country, doesn't it?) and I therefore have little sympathy for them, and can't really criticise those who provide such services, since they are merely supplying a demand. I personally just wouldn't use Brits (or any foreigners) if I can use Spanish services.
It is a slightly different issue however to Spaniards charging one price for their own and another for foreigners. I don't think it's a massively widespread issue - but it does happen, and frankly, I don't expect to encounter it in a modern European country, & the only other countries where I have come across that are ones that most people would regard as Third World (and where it could be argued that it's justified!) :silent:
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby flyeogh » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:14 pm

Miro good post I think so no need for the final icon. A sort of aside I remember working in KL, Malaysia in 1979. Everything was dirt cheap. The temptation was to give a taxi driver a tip or ignore him skipping the meter and asking for a whole us dollar. But my company asked us not to as it led to taxi drivers only picking up foreigners and locals could not get a cab. My wife sees this these days at Madrid airport where taxi drivers say they cannot take her for this or that reason. They'd rather get a big tipping foreigner.

Do others think that maybe miro has hit it on the head, if I read it right, that it is not per se foreigners but non spanish speakers who are the target. Also I agree with the experience of Lavander that this tends to happen in tourist areas - or areas with many poor spanish speakers perhaps?
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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Lavanda » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:57 am

I think it is something that happens in some parts of Andalucia because I saw it myself when I had my house in Coín and spoke extremely poor Spanish. With a good command of Spanish now, if I thought something was not right I would challenge loudly, as I once did in a shop in Don Benito, a very prosperous agricultural town, about 22kms from where I live. Over and over I feel the key to a good and integrated life here is speaking Spanish and understanding what is being said. I don't use the services of other Brits here because there aren't any working Brits — we are all retired (all 10 of us). Using Spanish tradesmen puts money into the local community and that is respected. Money talks here, as everywhere.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Free at Last » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:32 am

In my opinion there is a proportion of unscrupulous and dishonest people in every country, Spain included, who will take the opportunity to rip people off wherever they spot it, if they believe that through ignorance or vulnerability their victims will be unaware or unable to do anything about it. We all know it goes on in the UK where elderly people are the victims of rogue tradesmen who charge them outrageous sums for minor jobs on their properties, or are targeted mercilessly to donate money to various causes. As a woman, I'd be chary of getting quotes from a tradesman for building work or taking a car to a garage for repair, because I have no idea of what work would be involved or the going rate for it. and there are those who would exploit that. That goes for both Spain and the UK.

As for Spanish workers in public offices being lazy, hating their colleagues, etc, as a former regional manager in a variety of public sector departments in the UK I can assure you that there are some lazy and incompetent people in all of them (but certainly not all the staff are like that) who are given to stabbing their colleagues in the back whenever they can and just love to cause trouble.

Spanish people are not all angels but in my opinion they are not all devils out to do us down at every turn, either. If I had to exist in such an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust of everyone around me, I don't think I'd still be living here.

If someone has evidence that dual pricing for locals and foreigners is going on in a particular establishment, then I think they should make a denuncia about it. That has more chance of getting something done about it than simply muttering about it or posting on forums about it without even identifying the place in question.
Last edited by Free at Last on Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spanish attitude to guiris & vice versa - chicken or egg?

Postby Free at Last » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:47 am

Lavanda wrote:After reading this thread I can only feel thankful I live in a rural village in Extremadura. We've been here 10 years this coming April and I only wish we were young enough to expect another 50 years here! Maybe we are lucky, who knows, but we get gifts and perks the locals do not even give to each other. We are spoiled rotten day in, day out. However, we know it and appreciate it. Happy New year to all!!!


I sometimes feel we get special treatment here, too. I was embarrassed one day when queuing in the fruteria and a neighbour of mine came in, and loudly insisted that I should be served next as I was "muy buena gente". I insisted I was waiting my turn but he would persist and in the end the shopkeeper did serve me ahead of others, just to shut him up, no doubt. Another lady in the queue turned to him and asked "has she been here a long time?" (as if I wasn't there) and he started off again saying I was "my simpatica, muy culta". I told here I'd lived here for 10 years and she said she had an English neighbour who had lived next door to her for years but she couldn't talk to her at all because the woman didn't speak any Spanish. I got lots of approving pats on the arm.

I've had neighbours rush to take heavy things off me when I've been carrying them up the street, literally take a paintbrush out of my hand and finish off a job for me, a shopkeeper replace somethng free of charge when it was our fault it was wrong because we'd supplied the wrong measurements, another shopkeeper exchange something 6 months after I'd bought it when I didn't even have the receipt (and that was in Nerja, a tourist town some distance away from where I live so they didn't actually know me, a lady in the Endesa office who broke the rules to help me out when I was trying to deal with a situation on behalf of a non-resident to avoid their supply being cut off, too many instances of kindness and good service to mention-


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