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Spanish Emigrating to Norway

I was born in Barcelona. If I think of the big percentage, 50% of my life I lived there, 25% in the US and another 25% here in Norway. I had also lived other places also, with an average of moving around 18 times.

Of all those times, some took more time to plan, some less, but either way, there were led by one thing:

Planing. Without planing I would not had made it and succeed.

Last time I got together with my friends, all spanish speaking girls, a discussion was brought to the table. Some days ago an article in the local newspaper told the story of Jesus, a man that made some money out of collecting bottles on the streets of Bergen. Right after that, the paper told the story of a family that run out of Spain and was living in Bergen basically in poverty.

I must admit I feel a bit embarrassed and very sad at the same time to read these and another stories. Nobody takes pride by admitting that things are bad, no, really bad right now in Spain. Not only we are -we all are- in the middle of a global financial crisis, but it is my opinion that our last government has fucked things up so badly that things cant get worst -or at least, I hope so.

I moved to Norway on a time that I couldn’t really pin point where the damn country on a map. I came, of course,  because my fiancee was Norwegian. I got a job right away in an Ad agency, got married, got pregnant, got a baby, lost my job when the agency went bankrupt, got pregnant again, got a baby and get divorced. There were so many times I wanted to go home, when home was sometimes NY, and sometimes Barcelona. And all those times I thought, and I planned, and I considered my chances, and I thought again -what was best for my and my children.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t move back at all, to nether NY or Barcelona.

Moving to another country, to another culture, to leave your family, your friends, your life behind is far from easy, and specifically here, in Norway. When you make it, everything settles, but until you make it, the road is way difficult. All the girls agreed on that.

What it comes to bother me with all this, is the attitude some Spanish immigrants have: you cannot move to another country -Norway in this case, without speaking the language, or at least, without a good level of English (excuse me, this “intermediate” English some have is bullshit), without having a proper knowledge of the customs, culture, politics and society. As far as we know, you don’t get automatically a job the minute you cross the Norwegian border. Some wrongly think that  because things are ok here, things are ok to obtain. You know? Far from it…

Olga has written a very interesting and realistic post about what it is to move and to live in Norway. Maybe there you can start your planing.

Good luck!

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Leanne Moffat #

    I can’t imagine how scary it would be to leave your home country. And I hate that things are so bad for people everywhere.

    February 20, 2012
    • Exactly, Leanne. That is why people should be very careful. Things can happen for everyone, they do!
      or at least, i really wish that for everyone…

      February 20, 2012
  2. ay, SIlvia, I was hardly back from NY today before I had to go to spanish class and learn my first verb – “ser”

    yo soy, tu eres, el es osv :D

    language es muy importante, bonita, but I believe one can move to other countries without speaking the language beforehand, but you must be willing to learn it, and you have to have a better commandment of English than most Spaniards have ….

    Viva!

    February 21, 2012
    • welcome back, you lucky bastard… :P

      Of course you can move to another country without previous knowledge of the local language, l agree with you, but if you do, you either have an amazing CV that can open doors, or having a good lever of English, and most… they don’t.
      Sadly…

      February 21, 2012
  3. Interesting post, I’ve found it both easy and difficult adapting from the UK to Norway, but speaking English has smoothed things over no end. I’m currently studying Spanish with a view to moving there for a while to intensively learn the language. Great blog, by the way!

    April 4, 2012
    • Thanks David. Sometimes is not only about the language, but the attitude when moving here. Good luck with the spanish one, and even more luck if you decide to move there… things are not all that easy lately, unfortunately :D

      April 11, 2012
  4. Terry #

    Silvia,

    When I hear about a spaniard living in poverty in Norway I dont feel embarrassed but I do feel very angry. Thats a person thrown to the dogs with few options by their own failed state.

    “proper knowledge of the customs, culture, politics and society” – if all the immigrants in Europe who moved here had to tick the same list then there would be no immigrants in Europe.

    Reading your post i dont think you fully appreciate there but for the grace of god go I.

    March 16, 2013

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