Moon Living Abroad in Spain
By Candy Lee LaBalle
Second Edition, October 2009
Price: $19.95 USD
Price: $9.99 USD
Candy Lee LaBalle possesses unique experience in moving to Spain—her first attempt led her to return to the U.S. for three years, before trying again (this time, successfully) in 2003. Becoming immersed in the language, culture, and bureaucracy of Spain, Candy has made her home amongst Spanish friends, with a career in English consulting. In Moon Living Abroad in Spain, Candy helps newcomers navigate the ins and outs of relocating to this diverse country.
Moon Living Abroad in Spain is packed with essential information and must-have details on setting up daily life, including obtaining visas, arranging finances, and gaining employment. You’ll get practical advice on education, health care, and how to rent or buy a home that fits your needs. The book also includes color and black and white photos, illustrations, and maps—making the moving and transition process easy for businesspeople, students, teachers, retirees, and professionals.
What’s inside Moon Living Abroad in Spain
Here’s what author Candy Lee LaBalle loves about Spain:
- A fine glass of Ribera del Duero vino rarely costs more than $2.
- No one thinks twice if you have a glass or two of Ribera del Duero during a workday lunch.
- When nightclubs play old Spanish pop everyone sings along with frightening enthusiasm.
- The more trash—napkins, toothpicks, olive pits, shrimp shells—on the floor of a tapas bar, the better the food.
- Bullfights are described in the Arts Section of the daily papers with language approaching poetry.
- A tortilla español may look simple, but there is an art to making a good one.
- Spaniards really do work to live, not live to work: consider 30 days annual paid vacation, over a dozen long weekends per year, four months maternity leave.
- Bad wine is easily fixed—add gaseosa (sweetened soda water) and you have tinto de verano—the wine of summer.
- Toast topped with olive oil and salt is a perfectly normal way to start the day.
- Greeting everyone as you get on an
ascensor (elevator) and saying goodbye when you get off.
- The legions of house-coated señoras who mop the cobbled sidewalks in front of their houses every morning.
- The fondo, a communal pot of money that friends contribute to when they go out—the money is used to pay for everyone’s drinks.
- The number one flavor of potato chips is jamón (cured ham).
- Balancing a plate of tapas and a caña (small draft beer) while standing back-to-elbow in a crowded bar is not as hard as it seems.
- Deep-fried food is healthy as long as it is deep-fried in Spanish aceite de oliva (olive oil).
- Companies dole out massive goodie baskets at Christmastime jammed with half-a-dozen pork products and several bottles of Spanish wine.
- Listening to Manu Chao and watching the sun set over the Atlantic at a chiringuito—a ubiquitous beachside shack serving drinks, food, and beats right on the sand.
- The loofah-like quality of towels left to dry on a line in the Spanish sun.
Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Living Abroad in Spain.
Since moving to Madrid full-time in 2003, Candy Lee LaBalle has picked olives in Andalucía, stomped grapes in La Rioja, danced in the streets during Carnaval in Cádiz, white-water rafted in the Pyrenees, and eaten pulpo (boiled octopus) in Galicia. Along the way, she found her creative spirit. She has contributed articles about Spain to several publications, and is also the author of Moon Spain.
A sixth-generation New Orleanian, Candy did a stint in the army in West Germany, earned a degree in cultural anthropology, became part of the underground arts scene of inner-city Detroit, and was a party planner in Boston. She arrived in Spain on a whim, looking for a few weeks of adventure and a taste of la vida española. Instead, she fell madly in love with the country and stayed. More recently, she fell in love with a Spaniard and now lives la vida familiar in the suburbs of Madrid with her husband Alfonso and son Ian.