19 June 2017

Suzan Taher - Expat in Barcelona, Spain

Suzan Taher - Expat in Barcelona, Spain

We’ve had the chance to talk to Suzan Taher, a Greek expat who has moved to Barcelona with her family. Ms. Taher has been living there for four years.

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.

 

Q: Where are you from originally?

A: London, UK. (My nationality is Greek.)

 

Q: What made you move out of the UK?

A: I wanted to explore the world.

 

Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: Barcelona. Good quality of life.

 

Q: How long have you been living in Barcelona?

A: Off and on for four years.

 

Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?

A: I live with my family.

 

Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Not at all. I have always moved around a lot. The world is my home, not a country.

 

Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: They are a life loving friendly bunch.

 

Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Barcelona? How did you manage to find a social circle there?  

A: I socialise with expats and locals but mostly locals. I met a lot of people through my blog and social media feed. I run a blog about eating out in Barcelona and I have made a lot of connections through it.

 

Q: How does the cost of living in Barcelona compare to your home?

A: It’s cheaper.

  • Q: How much is a cup of coffee?

A: 1 euro or 2 euros for a specialty coffee.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: You can get a 3-course ‘menu del dia' for lunch for under 15 Euros.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: Depends on the restaurant from 50 euro to 200 euro.

  • Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: A bottle of wine is 6 euros. I don’t smoke.

 

Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in Barcelona?

A: Different banks and tellers are easier/harder to work with. Find one that is helpful to begin with.

 

Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?

A: Unclear, lengthy, annoying. But bureaucrats are annoying the world over, Spain is no exception.

 

Q: Would you say that healthcare in Barcelona is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?

A: I have private insurance but have used the public system on occasion. Both are good. The best doctors seem to be at Teknon Hospital.

 

Q: Did you secure a health insurance in the UK or Barcelona?  What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?

A: General checkups etc. are great value here (especially compared to private care in the UK) get a holistic insurance since you never know what you will need it for.

 

Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Barcelona? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?

A: I moved here from Berlin. They were German packers, very organise and efficient.

 

Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?

A: Working out the Spanish tax system.

 

Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Barcelona?

A: Positive: Sun, people, quality of life. Negative not many really, I miss the diversity of London.

 

Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Barcelona?

A: Favourite websites: appetiteandotherstories.com and driftwoodjournals.com.