You know what it’s like when you plan to have a birthday BBQ or picnic in the UK or another country in northern Europe, you need to think about whether or not it’s going to happen on the day you’ve planned it. You also need to think about who’s going to be the unlucky one that has to do the cooking on the BBQ while the rest of the guests are in the garage or conservatory having a few beers…and probably a laugh at your expense…that doesn’t happen here in Tenerife.
I have to be honest; I’m no sun worshipper…at times I have to wonder what I’m actually doing here. My skin is whiter than 90% of the visitors that arrive every day by ‘plane and by the time they leave, in comparison to me, they could be mistaken for the ones that live here.
I love the fact that I don’t have to worry about whether I need to take an umbrella to work – but living in Tenerife is not all about the sun…for me anyway, it’s knowing that in January I don’t have to use my credit card to scrape the ice from my windscreen.
That I can sit outside a café or restaurant at pretty much any time of day at pretty much any time of year.
It’s about knowing that, at the drop of a hat, I can go to the beach or the forests in the mountains close to Mount Teide and have a relaxing day with my wife…even though in the last 6 years, I’ve probably only been to the beach 15 times…you don’t when you’re here, when it’s on your doorstep you kind of don’t rush to go there, but I am going more often of late.
All of that’s great, but what about everything else?…it’s Spain, life can be slow in certain parts of the island and in certain Government buildings, but I have to be honest, things have really changed over the time I’ve been here, I’ve seriously had nothing to complain about.
The limited amounts of personal contact I’ve had with hospitals here have been great, again – nothing to complain about at all. In fact, I’ve got a client who’s got nothing but praise for the hospital in Santa Cruz, he’s having a treatment that he wouldn’t even be allowed back in the UK…and his previous NHS contributions are paying for it…mad but true.
Tenerife is only just over 4 hours away from the UK and most other main European cities, so if you have to go back to see your friends and family, it’s not the end of the world to have to do it.
Come on, it can’t all be roses…!!!
Right OK, I do miss the “buy one get one free” deals from Sainsbury or Asda back in the UK. The clothes shopping could be better here…although with the recent opening of a number of new shopping malls, that’s improved and there’s always a day out shopping in Santa Cruz.
Here’s another one, if you buy a car here you need to take a trip to Santa Cruz…or at least pay for someone else to go for you. It’s a very odd system, but if you want to change the owners on the paperwork for a car, it all needs to be done in the Capital city…no, it’s not posted to a driving centre such as Swansea and then posted back…the buyer and seller have to go to Santa Cruz in person to have it changed…a bit antiquated.
While we’re on the subject of cars – some of the drivers here could do with taking another test, although I have to say that the foreign residents and visitors are just as bad as the locals.
The Calimas, the hot winds that come across from the Sahara, at times these can be quite unbearable, but they only last a week for the most part…oh and when it rains…it can REALLY rain…
I always thought that the post office would be a problem but to be frank, everything that I have sent through the post has arrived and that includes post to foreign countries and I receive post from the UK, so I can’t complain.
Taxes – you get them in whatever country you live in…well, maybe not so-much Greece.
There’s no problem with different nationalities living with each other, it’s normally the type of people themselves being difficult, there’s room for religion as well…different religions live with each other – no problem at all.
Look, you’ve got to remember that if you’re living here you’re actually living in a different country, even though I know of a few Brits that think they still live in the UK and that everything should go their way and that everyone should speak English…my advice for them is try a few words in the language of your chosen country and it’ll go a long way in all walks of life.
Generally speaking, the things that are difficult to put up with here are just the things that are different to where you’ve come from and those things that you’ve been accustomed to while being there – so, back to the question – What’s it like to live in Tenerife?, well, I’ve been here since 2009 and I love 90% of it, I’ve got no intention of going anywhere else any time soon.
If you’ve got any questions about life in general here in Tenerife, get in contact with me and I’ll be pleased to help.