Big Kahuna Call Out Thread

…not really, but I just wanted to get your attention.

You’re from the UK but you live in Spain, yeah? I have a couple of question if you don’t mind:

-how long you lived there?
-whereabouts in Spain?
-did you have a job sorted before you went?
-I assume you’re fluent in Spanish by now, but how good was your Spanish before you moved there?
-is the labour market really as fucked as I hear it is on the news?

thaaaaanks

God damn you I was about to roll up my sleeves and go to keyboard war!

I came here in August 2005 when I was about eleven years old, moved from Oxford when my father decided to retire with my mother leeching (a much harsher word than I’m really trying to express this as, but you know how married women are) off his respectable fortune from his double-glazing empire. Yes, you can actually make a reasonable amount of money double-glazing peoples windows apparently, or at least could in the 90’s. My brother works in electrical curtain instalments in Oxford and I hear that’s started to pick up too somehow. All these rich country folk and their fancy-schmancy roller blinds and clap lights I guess.

I live in the south-east on the Costa Blanca in the autonomous province of Alicante in a town called Ciudad Quesada. If you try to find it on Google maps it has a funky issue of taking you to South America instead, but search Rojales and the nearby area will show up, I’m reasonably close to the huge semi-barren natural park called the Recorral, it should show up there along with a small golf course nearby.

Nope, I was eleven years old at the time and my father decided to up and move for no real reason other than he preferred the climate and I was unjustly dragged into the fray, against even the better judgement I had in my early childhood of wanting to stay, even if my reasons then weren’t quite as sound as they are now in retrospect, I stand by my wishes. Sadly my father hadn’t done his research on the country he was willing to lock me in for the next seven years of my life and the consequences hit him swiftly.

The money he had quickly dwindled due to shoddy payments, language barriers and a dependence on paying people to help him, applying me to a private school in order to keep me out of the Spanish schools of my area, and an inevitable separation between him and my mother. I grew up here mostly with my mother, he lives not too far from me but doesn’t visit all too often and my education was not quite fulfilled all the way through (I was cut short midway through my A-Levels). Now I’m relegated to waiting tables or working in the kitchen cleaning the plates, pans and silverware, none of which I’ve ever been particularly good at and have to get by on a month or so at new, fresh places until I get fired again and run out of options completely, which wouldn’t be too long in my small town.

I also don’t quite have the funds to learn to drive, let alone buy a car (or even moped), so any chance of finding consistent work outside of this place is practically non-existent. I tried to work at my gym at one point, because I spend a lot of time in there when I’m not working helping out the other gym members, but with instructor courses run locally and the gym used as an affiliate, there are always too many people there for work experience for anything I can do to be outside of volunteering. I have my membership cut from about 300 to 250 euros, but that includes me staying into the early morning to help the gym close up and doing the dirty tasks none of the other course students want nor need to do.

I’m in the middle of an application into the Royal Navy’s medical branch, mostly as a means to escape this place and find a way to uphold myself until I can dig myself up from the grave. Most of the Brits from my school have already taken the same path, at least seven that I was relatively close to that have joined in the last few years, mostly as engineers.

Absolutely, the employment for youths is at a ridiculously high level over the recent years, me and my childhood associates are a shining example of that. Even with the very overbearing integration of British expatriates and their businesses on the Spanish culture, it’s still incredibly hard to find some means of work outside of minimum wage employment. Time spent in Spanish Universities are practically a death sentence without some kind of networking or old money to fall back on, high risk low reward. Plenty of families and business owners have begun to pack up and emigrate to try and get themselves off the dirt track they’ve been stuck on, some make it, some don’t.

To even get the economics out of it’s tailspin would cost way too much for the country as a whole to support itself well enough afterwards, Spanish owned banks are dropping like flies and the higher ups continue to take their money and run when they find the means to do so without too much of a hiccup. At least we’re not in quite the situation that Greece is, but christ… I’m not entirely understanding of economics as a whole, but I make the best effort to inform myself with the opinions and explanations of those that are, as opposed to listening to the bias and ignorance of those that are confident to blare their bullshit locally.

Well, that’s pretty much most of the basics, now excuse me while I drink a few glasses of whisky and head off to bury myself face first in the wasteland.

Managed to miss this one the first time around, my Spanish was not particularly great before I started, but we got lessons from a woman in England to run me through all the necessities and intermediaries of the language. However, if I tried to converse with the same kind of vocabulary in Spanish as I tend to do in English, I’d fail miserably within the first few sentences. As a quick example, I’m not sure what the exact word for sentence is in Spanish, I always intermingled it with the word for phrase.

I get by pretty well now, certainly more capable than most of my peers were, especially the ones that choose not to integrate much with the natives. I still get hung up on specific terminologies, things like finance, machinery repair, construction, even some gym related things. (Pullups in Spanish are called “dominadas”, doesn’t make sense to me, but how fucking cool is it that the word sounds so close to ‘dominators’?)

Spanish is a relatively easy language to learn, has a fair amount in common with Latin and such, so the comparisons to English aren’t very far out at all. Half of the words that end in -tion in English simply take the same root with -cion as a suffix in Spanish, not even kidding. Luckily one of the people that lived near me during growing up was a bit of a polyglot (I believe Danish, Russian, English, Spanish, Armenian and some other languages were in her repertoire), so I’d occasionally ask her if I was really stuck, she lives in Los Angeles now though, so I’ve had to rely on my instinct a little more and preparation in advance when things get specific.

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:
God damn you I was about to roll up my sleeves and go to keyboard war!

I came here in August 2005 when I was about eleven years old, moved from Oxford when my father decided to retire with my mother leeching (a much harsher word than I’m really trying to express this as, but you know how married women are) off his respectable fortune from his double-glazing empire. Yes, you can actually make a reasonable amount of money double-glazing peoples windows apparently, or at least could in the 90’s. My brother works in electrical curtain instalments in Oxford and I hear that’s started to pick up too somehow. All these rich country folk and their fancy-schmancy roller blinds and clap lights I guess.

I live in the south-east on the Costa Blanca in the autonomous province of Alicante in a town called Ciudad Quesada. If you try to find it on Google maps it has a funky issue of taking you to South America instead, but search Rojales and the nearby area will show up, I’m reasonably close to the huge semi-barren natural park called the Recorral, it should show up there along with a small golf course nearby.

Nope, I was eleven years old at the time and my father decided to up and move for no real reason other than he preferred the climate and I was unjustly dragged into the fray, against even the better judgement I had in my early childhood of wanting to stay, even if my reasons then weren’t quite as sound as they are now in retrospect, I stand by my wishes. Sadly my father hadn’t done his research on the country he was willing to lock me in for the next seven years of my life and the consequences hit him swiftly. The money he had quickly dwindled due to shoddy payments, language barriers and a dependence on paying people to help him, applying me to a private school in order to keep me out of the Spanish schools of my area, and an inevitable separation between him and my mother. I grew up here mostly with my mother, he lives not too far from me but doesn’t visit all too often and my education was not quite fulfilled all the way through (I was cut short midway through my A-Levels). Now I’m relegated to waiting tables or working in the kitchen cleaning the plates, pans and silverware, none of which I’ve ever been particularly good at and have to get by on a month or so at new, fresh places until I get fired again and run out of options completely, which wouldn’t be too long in my small town. I also don’t quite have the funds to learn to drive, let alone buy a car (or even moped), so any chance of finding consistent work outside of this place is practically non-existent. I tried to work at my gym at one point, because I spend a lot of time in there when I’m not working helping out the other gym members, but with instructor courses run locally and the gym used as an affiliate, there are always too many people there for work experience for anything I can do to be outside of volunteering. I have my membership cut from about 300 to 250 euros, but that includes me staying into the early morning to help the gym close up and doing the dirty tasks none of the other course students want nor need to do. I’m in the middle of an application into the Royal Navy’s medical branch, mostly as a means to escape this place and find a way to uphold myself until I can dig myself up from the grave. Most of the Brits from my school have already taken the same path, at least seven that I was relatively close to that have joined in the last few years, mostly as engineers.

Absolutely, the employment for youths is at a ridiculously high level over the recent years, me and my childhood associates are a shining example of that. Even with the very overbearing integration of British expatriates and their businesses on the Spanish culture, it’s still incredibly hard to find some means of work outside of minimum wage employment. Time spent in Spanish Universities are practically a death sentence without some kind of networking or old money to fall back on, high risk low reward. Plenty of families and business owners have begun to pack up and emigrate to try and get themselves off the dirt track they’ve been stuck on, some make it, some don’t. To even get the economics out of it’s tailspin would cost way too much for the country as a whole to support itself well enough afterwards, Spanish owned banks are dropping like flies and the higher ups continue to take their money and run when they find the means to do so without too much of a hiccup. At least we’re not in quite the situation that Greece is, but christ… I’m not entirely understanding of economics as a whole, but I make the best effort to inform myself with the opinions and explanations of those that are, as opposed to listening to the bias and ignorance of those that are confident to blare their bullshit locally.

Well, that’s pretty much most of the basics, now excuse me while I drink a few glasses of whisky and head off to bury myself face first in the wasteland.[/quote]

Holy shit that sounds pretty bad.

Coming from a fellow expat integrating into a different country isn’t easy. It kinda helps that my father is egyptian and i know some of the language etc. Not so easy for my wife though. Been a tough 3 years so far especially with setting up 2 businesses here as well. Especially with the language barrier and recent political issues that egypt has been suffering.

Wish you all the best.

That’s some heavy shit right there.

They should pay you to critique movies.

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

Holy shit that sounds pretty bad.

Coming from a fellow expat integrating into a different country isn’t easy. It kinda helps that my father is egyptian and i know some of the language etc. Not so easy for my wife though. Been a tough 3 years so far especially with setting up 2 businesses here as well. Especially with the language barrier and recent political issues that egypt has been suffering.

Wish you all the best. [/quote]

Ha, it’s really not all too bad. As long as I can keep enough payments up for food, bills, internet access and gym memberships I’m happy. All I ever really wanted to do was talk with people about movies and on a much more recent basis, put a heavy thing on my back and then bend my knees once or twice. (I don’t think I could live in a world without Pulp Fiction and Squats).

As long as I still have the opportunity to do that I don’t mind rummaging through all the other things, last thing I want to do is sit here and cry about my first world white child problems, it could be far worse for me than it is, and I respect that. I also tend to be a pretty shitty human being, I’ve made progress over the years, but I’m still unfairly resentful of people, being stone sober helps a lot with not doing that any more.

Oh I’d imagine you and your wife’s situation is bounds worse than mine, with the way Egypt has started to implode recently around you and of course the language issues from your wife’s immigration into a foreign environment. I’m not so much regressing or being pushed about lately as I am just going through the motions, my waters are pretty calm, even if the tide is a little lower than I’d have hoped.

I thank you for the well wishes though, I send them in return!

Also, in honour of having a thread remotely dedicated to me about three years sooner than I’d have possibly expected, here’s a celebration/appreciation video!

[quote]csulli wrote:
That’s some heavy shit right there.

They should pay you to critique movies.[/quote]

Yeah, I can make the occasional thing posting anonymously or ghost-writing over the internet, but without the means to make it to things like premieres and festivals I don’t expect to get too far at this stage. Always had insecurities about how eloquent I really was as well, sometimes I try to compensate for that by going overboard, backfires fairly frequently, it’s a bad habit I should need to fix sooner rather than later.

I’m sure eventually, when I get myself in a better position (housing that’s completely my own, driver’s license and car, access to events) I might be able to scratch and claw my way to a column somewhere, maybe a weekly review thing or something.

thank you for the info! I’m sorry if I gave you a fright when you saw the thread…

The reason I asked is that moving to Spain has been a fantasy of mine for a few years now. I have recently graduated university and find myself at a bit of a loss regarding employment and motivation to stay in this dismal country.

I love the idea of Spain, but it just sounds like the economy is too fucked. There’s not exactly an abundance of jobs here in Scotland but it’s better than a lot of places in Europe. I wouldn’t be able to leave here for at least another 2 years anyway while the mrs does a masters degree, so maybe it’ll pick up in that time but I doubt it could really improve significantly in such a short time period.

It’s funny you stay in Alicante as that’s where I was planning moving to (more Brits there than Spaniards as I understand it!). My folks have a house there I was planning using as my base of operations while I found work and a place of my own.

When I visit next I’ll look you up and we’ll get drunk and have pretentious arguments about films. I know a thing or two about movies myself you know! Be warned…

BK. Have you seen Slapshot yet with Paul Newman? The California Kid with Martin Sheen is another 70’s movie that I loved.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
thank you for the info! I’m sorry if I gave you a fright when you saw the thread…

The reason I asked is that moving to Spain has been a fantasy of mine for a few years now. I have recently graduated university and find myself at a bit of a loss regarding employment and motivation to stay in this dismal country.

I love the idea of Spain, but it just sounds like the economy is too fucked. There’s not exactly an abundance of jobs here in Scotland but it’s better than a lot of places in Europe. I wouldn’t be able to leave here for at least another 2 years anyway while the mrs does a masters degree, so maybe it’ll pick up in that time but I doubt it could really improve significantly in such a short time period.

It’s funny you stay in Alicante as that’s where I was planning moving to (more Brits there than Spaniards as I understand it!). My folks have a house there I was planning using as my base of operations while I found work and a place of my own.

When I visit next I’ll look you up and we’ll get drunk and have pretentious arguments about films. I know a thing or two about movies myself you know! Be warned…[/quote]

Ha, nah I kind of expected it to be something like this, unless somebody wanted to fight me to the death over my blasphemous Man Of Steel predictions. (Bets are open you bastards, no eye gouging or fish hooking and it’s go time.)

That dismal country is probably still better than this dismal country, don’t be drawn in by the climate (which is admirably consistent), it’s an evil demonic succubus disguised as a spicy latino landmass. I hear Portugal might be quite a nice choice though, not personally sure how accurate that is. Language is different so there’s that.

Oh they’re not going to fill in this pit for some time, I have conceded and now I just aim to distance myself from it as much as I can.

Ah that’s nice then, the Alicante airport is pretty awful though, Heathrow is paradise in comparison. Yes it’s very Brit-heavy, on the whole coast there’s just a flock of us, a lot of people I know boat out to Ibiza from here fairly frequently. Good luck finding either, unless you have some sort of fancy degree or you’re good at running a karaoke bar for the elderly.

That’s the only very good thing about Spain, it is incredibly easy to drink. Since the age of twelve I’ve been drinking regularly here, I stopped a year or so ago completely for training purposes, but they will serve pure grain alcohol to toddlers here without so much as a shifty whisper. I wouldn’t get me drunk and then have a film talk though, last time that happened I spent two hours arguing with myself over whether Alien or Aliens is better for repeated viewings. I also remember playing Stabscotch a lot, because that was one of my favourite scenes from Alien and it was fun to play drunk.

Pfft, you bring your uncultured Scottish self over here and we’ll see how much movie-talkin’ you can really do! Just because I expect this to turn into some kind of long and drawn out film thread eventually…three favourite films?

I should be easy to find, I live within a couple miles of a golf course and natural park, the location is hard to miss once you’ve got the maps set in properly.

There are some things you may need to know in advance about the area though, in particular the Policia Local and Guardia Civil, they have this strong good cop/bad cop relationship. If the Policia Local find you naked in a fountain in Ibiza with no pants on screaming loudly at people, they’ll calm you down and sober you up. If the Guardia find you doing the same they’ll try to jam their nightsticks into your brain.

I like the guy

[quote]bond james bond wrote:
BK. Have you seen Slapshot yet with Paul Newman? The California Kid with Martin Sheen is another 70’s movie that I loved. [/quote]

Yes!, I adore Slapshot. Me and two of my friends used to get drunk and watch Slapshot a couple of times a year, Paul Newman was so good in that.

I haven’t seen The California Kid, I’ll have to look that one up. Thank you for recommending it!

I see you’re still slowly ticking this list into fruition so I’ll just leave you to it, haha.

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
I like the guy[/quote]

Hey! Say that to my face bro!

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
I like the guy[/quote]

Hey! Say that to my face bro![/quote]

[quote]spar4tee wrote:

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
I like the guy[/quote]

Hey! Say that to my face bro![/quote]
http://www.leedskalnin.com/ed_leedskalnin_by_Skot_Olsen.jpg[/quote]

[quote]Big Kahuna wrote:
Ha, nah I kind of expected it to be something like this, unless somebody wanted to fight me to the death over my blasphemous Man Of Steel predictions. (Bets are open you bastards, no eye gouging or fish hooking and it’s go time.)

That dismal country is probably still better than this dismal country, don’t be drawn in by the climate (which is admirably consistent), it’s an evil demonic succubus disguised as a spicy latino landmass. I hear Portugal might be quite a nice choice though, not personally sure how accurate that is. Language is different so there’s that.

Oh they’re not going to fill in this pit for some time, I have conceded and now I just aim to distance myself from it as much as I can.

Ah that’s nice then, the Alicante airport is pretty awful though, Heathrow is paradise in comparison. Yes it’s very Brit-heavy, on the whole coast there’s just a flock of us, a lot of people I know boat out to Ibiza from here fairly frequently. Good luck finding either, unless you have some sort of fancy degree or you’re good at running a karaoke bar for the elderly.

That’s the only very good thing about Spain, it is incredibly easy to drink. Since the age of twelve I’ve been drinking regularly here, I stopped a year or so ago completely for training purposes, but they will serve pure grain alcohol to toddlers here without so much as a shifty whisper. I wouldn’t get me drunk and then have a film talk though, last time that happened I spent two hours arguing with myself over whether Alien or Aliens is better for repeated viewings. I also remember playing Stabscotch a lot, because that was one of my favourite scenes from Alien and it was fun to play drunk.

Pfft, you bring your uncultured Scottish self over here and we’ll see how much movie-talkin’ you can really do! Just because I expect this to turn into some kind of long and drawn out film thread eventually…three favourite films?

I should be easy to find, I live within a couple miles of a golf course and natural park, the location is hard to miss once you’ve got the maps set in properly.

There are some things you may need to know in advance about the area though, in particular the Policia Local and Guardia Civil, they have this strong good cop/bad cop relationship. If the Policia Local find you naked in a fountain in Ibiza with no pants on screaming loudly at people, they’ll calm you down and sober you up. If the Guardia find you doing the same they’ll try to jam their nightsticks into your brain.

[/quote]

well if your Man of Steel prediction was “it’ll be utter shit” then we’re on the same page, otherwise we may end up in a fight. Probably not to the death though, just til one of us says “quits”.

Oh but the climate is such a strong lure! You have obviously forgotten what it’s like to get two weeks a year you can leave the house without a jacket. You’ve clearly been in Spain so long you’ve gone native.

I don’t have a fancy degree, I have a very basic degree in Psychology which isn’t really worth a damn.

Drinking is all well and good but I’m more of a fan of food. I’ve sort of outgrown the binge drink lifestyle us Scots are so fond of.

And I don’t expect I’d get in too much trouble with the law!

Seriously though, thanks for answering my questions. I’ve built Spain up to be this romantic land where it never rains and people are amazing to each other. I’ve been trying to ignore all the people who are telling me things like “50% unemployment” or “all the Brits are coming home because there’s no work” but I just really don’t want to live in the UK anymore. I dunno. I’m not saying I won’t move to Spain but I guess I have to be realistic about what to expect. As it stands just now, my choices are basically do a shit job here or do a shit job in Spain. If I’m earning minimum wage I might as well be doing it somewhere warm.

Aliens is better for repeated viewings. Alien is the better movie in terms of suspense and direction but for sheer mindless entertainment, Aliens wins.

And my three favourite films in no particular order are Oldboy, Memento and Jaws.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

well if your Man of Steel prediction was “it’ll be utter shit” then we’re on the same page, otherwise we may end up in a fight. Probably not to the death though, just til one of us says “quits”. [/quote]

Guess that explains the brain.

If you really consider it, look into Portugal. I’m not sure exactly what state it’s in right now, but it will probably be a tad better than Spain. Don’t go there if you have a daughter though, I hear they’ve had some kerfuffles with Scottish girls in the past. (I really feel bad about that one, but it was nagging on my mind for a while there)

I think that’s the conclusion I came to also. Not to mention that the big suspense point in Alien is not knowing what the Alien can do or what it looks like, where as you go into Aliens with that already being out of the window, so it’s made up for with plenty other things that respond better to multiple viewings.

Memento, niiiiice. I really enjoy Leonard’s arc from hero to villain once the story begins to unravel, and I find the repeating cycle very ominous.

I apologise for the videos, but it was too easy and I couldn’t help myself.

ooh a Madeleine McCann joke. Everyone needs to just leave that poor girl alone. Oh, wait, wasn’t that the problem?

As for Portugal, it’s just not part of my dream life fantasy. I dunno why. Italy is potentially in the running, although I’d much rather learn to speak Spanish than Italian. Italian is just so fruity.

Fun fact about that scene in Trainspotting: it was shot in a pub in Glasgow called the Strathmore. The Strathmore is not a nice pub, in a not very nice part of Glasgow called Maryhill. My mates and I were drinking there one night while there was karaoke on. The locals take the Strathmore karaoke very seriously as we found out. A mate of mine got up on stage and sang an Elvis song, I forget which one, but he properly gave it yeehaws. When he was finished, NONE of the locals applauded, he just got a death stare from the entire pub. After a few uncomfortable seconds one of the regulars, some old dude, got up and said to him “Don’t dae that again.”

Another time we were in there (I really don’t know why we ever drank there) my mate Martina went to the bar and asked for a gin and cranberry. “It’s no a fuckin’ wine bar hen” was the reply. She changed her order but asked if they had Bombay gin. The bartender shot her a look that could curdle milk, then went and served someone else.

Also, if you ever find yourself in that pub, don’t ask about Trainspotting. They hate that for some reason.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
ooh a Madeleine McCann joke. Everyone needs to just leave that poor girl alone. Oh, wait, wasn’t that the problem?

As for Portugal, it’s just not part of my dream life fantasy. I dunno why. Italy is potentially in the running, although I’d much rather learn to speak Spanish than Italian. Italian is just so fruity.

Fun fact about that scene in Trainspotting: it was shot in a pub in Glasgow called the Strathmore. The Strathmore is not a nice pub, in a not very nice part of Glasgow called Maryhill. My mates and I were drinking there one night while there was karaoke on. The locals take the Strathmore karaoke very seriously as we found out. A mate of mine got up on stage and sang an Elvis song, I forget which one, but he properly gave it yeehaws. When he was finished, NONE of the locals applauded, he just got a death stare from the entire pub. After a few uncomfortable seconds one of the regulars, some old dude, got up and said to him “Don’t dae that again.”

Another time we were in there (I really don’t know why we ever drank there) my mate Martina went to the bar and asked for a gin and cranberry. “It’s no a fuckin’ wine bar hen” was the reply. She changed her order but asked if they had Bombay gin. The bartender shot her a look that could curdle milk, then went and served someone else.

Also, if you ever find yourself in that pub, don’t ask about Trainspotting. They hate that for some reason.[/quote]

I’m glad that you’ve lowered yourself to the same level of humour that I have, makes it much less risky knowing somebody else is just as able to make the funny out of bad events.

Someone has never heard a homosexual Spanish man come onto them, the language spreads itself thicker than people give it credit for.

I’m going to go out on a limb that it was Hound Dog, that sounds like quite a funny story. (What a story, RDS!). Hmm, luckily she didn’t tell anyone her name was Martina, huh? I would love to go there one day and just pull some shit, maybe quote obscure Trainspotting references every now and then until someone catches on. Or just walk in with a homoerotic picture of generic gay men in Rangers and Celtic tops, I’m sure that would do it.

I wonder if it’s because they don’t want to be associated with an aggressive, psychopathic, moronic drunken lout. You know how aggressive, psychopathic, moronic drunken louts don’t like to be labelled. Maybe I’m being too harsh on them, they might have some fun stories, and perhaps even a few reasonably good darts players.

(Can’t get over those kung fu sound effects in the first video of the series I posted above, every time I look in this thread I have to watch it again before I do anything else.)