It’s another hot day in Gran Alacant and I’ve taken the opportunity to enjoy the afternoon, sat in my favourite square, Sierra Mar. The first place I frequented, when I moved to GA, six months ago.
It is testament to the good folk that live here, that I have settled in well, made great friends and been accepted as part of a community, that is open and welcoming. I feel like I have been here for years.
Britain isn’t far from the minds of all us Expats sipping cocktails at Zest, playing a game of Darts at Dicks or simply passing time, sitting talking to friends, who have returned from the UK, for another few weeks in the sun. The UK does seem a long way off, as we enjoy another glorious, hot day. Rain clouds over Britain, not only make for another summer wash out at home, but also the fears and trepidation of all those who have chosen to reside in Gran Alacant, and other areas, the length and breadth of the Costas in Spain!
Expat’s fears are real, very real. Uncertain times make for apprehension among the community I now call home. A campaign in Britain, no information, misinformation, gossip and deception, that will affect the lives of all those from the UK, for a generation and beyond. Understandably, conversation will always include ‘Brexit’, as all of us who chatter in squares, try to piece together, the events that will shape the story of our lives now and in the future, and just where are we heading after such a resounding vote to leave
It’s two O’clock in the afternoon, and I’ve just ordered my second pint of Mahou. I’ve moved to the relative shade, in the corner of the court yard at Zest, away from the intense sun, talking to a couple of friends, I met, which seems like a life time ago now. They are angry about what Britain has done, in voting to leave Europe. What will they do? if their rights are removed. How will they survive? Just what future is there for them in Spain, now? There is almost a panic like fear, that the end is inevitable and it will take no prisoners, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The lack of clarity and information has left people worried and in extreme cases, putting out the ‘Se Vende’ sign, the day after The UK made its choice, in the hope of selling their home, lived in for a decade or more, returning to Britain, a country that they no longer know or who’s links to which, have long since gone. I am appalled at the way, my friends and neighbours have been ignored in a vote that will almost certainly affect their future more than most. Politicians, rarely spoke of the future of the Expat community in Europe,
because in their eyes, it was not a vote winner. Typical of politicians!
I have my own views on the ‘Brexit’ referendum. Due to the lack of facts and figures or credible evidence, available to me and others, I voted the way I thought was best for my home country. I voted with my conscience and not for egocentric, self gain. As a Spanish resident, I believe we have nothing to fear. Spain is not going to turf out a whole community of people, who, in Gran Alacant at least are the life blood of this small oasis on the Costa Blanca. Gran Alacant would close down over night. Spain relies heavily on tourism, especially from Britain, would they really risk, further damage to their already fragile economy, by penalising us and those who come here for their two week holiday every year, just out of spite? NO I don’t think they will, it just will not happen. There will be changes, of course, but as people, we should always embrace change and use its path for a positive outcome. Change means new opportunities and a desire to make things better. We should all embrace that!
As I get ready to leave Sierra Marr to grab a bite to eat in one of the many wonderful restaurants on my door step, I bump into a Spanish friend, who I met, little more than a fortnight ago. He immediately asks how I feel about the way Britain voted. He knows I am a bit of a political animal and always have a view on subjects, that affect the lives of others. Equally, his own interest in Spanish politics and the future of Europe is always discussed, with his usual Spanish bluntness, which I so admire. He is sad that we have taken the decision to leave. Unlike politicians, he has no animosity towards my kin folk, remains pragmatic and understands why we made the choice we have. This was not a vote about race and isolation, this was about stopping the waste and encouraging changes that will ultimately provoke a positive affect on the rest of the European Union.
The sense of community, living as an Expat in Gran Alacant, is the most enduring aspect of life here. I was recently told there are over seventy different Nationalities, living and working together in this Urbanisation, all getting on, all respecting one another. Most of us, feel far removed from the events in Westminster, or the bitterness in Brussels. Gran Alacant is a microcosm of Europe, where each persons views are different and valid. We all have our own hopes and fears for the future, but we are a model that Europe would do well to emulate. Life is good here, because of those who strive to live their lives in the best way they can, forging new bonds, friendships and relationships, accepting one another, adding to the colour and diversity that make up this place. I am glad to be a part of this commonwealth of like minded individuals, a prototype for others, more disingenuous should aspire too!
The squabbling will rubble on in the UK. Residents will continue to chat in squares, expressing opinions over a glass of Rioja and a plate of tapas. The uncertainty will undoubtedly get worse before it gets any better, as the negotiations for withdrawal take place. Expatriates like myself, need assurances, that can not be given, all the time, there is political turmoil in The UK. When the dust settles, the new Prime Minister takes over her rather onerous, burdensome task and we start to see the first glimpse of our future outside of Europe, only then will the squares in Gran Alacant, be able to return to the old subjects, of weather and the cost of living. When that day comes and the infighting stops, the documents are sealed and the treaties finalised, the people I have met will finally be able to breath a sigh of relief!