I have been living in London for a few months now, and every time someone asks me where I am from and I answer “from Spain”, the reaction is always the same: a hidden “aww” and a pitiful look in their eyes, as if it being Spanish meant being cursed.
And yet, everybody loves travelling to Spain on holidays to enjoy the food, the drinks, the endless party…but nobody wants to live there. Not even Spanish people seem to be willing to do it. Including me.
It’s not that I don’t like living in Spain. I love it: going out, people on the streets all day, sunny all the time… But that’s it. There is nothing else left to do. At a certain age when we should be working, all of my friends are starting their second degree or another master or postgraduate course because there is nothing else they can do. At this rate, in five years the Spanish youth is going to be the most educated in Europe (which is what happens if you are forced to spend almost fifteen years at university).
However, our “elders” have a conception of Spanish youth as plain lazy people, because they don’t work. And what work could they possibly get? I have engineer friends who the best they can get are temporary jobs at clothing stores. How is that their fault? Seven years ago, they were told they would have a secure job post as soon as they finished, and they studied hard because they thought that was true, so they can’t be blamed (if so, we could blame those who don’t even make an effort to either work or study).
I won’t deny it, I am NOT in a hurry to go back. Why would I do it? Maybe because of my family and friends… I’m afraid that’s not even an option, so I will just see them on holidays, because in the meantime, what? I’ve had my dose of university, and I honestly don’t want any more. And staring at the roof for ten straight hours doesn’t seem like a good solution.
So yes, Spain is a complete mess at the moment. Today my country is going on the umpteenth general strike this year. Those people who look at me with pity are right to do so. But I know I am not going to solve anything by just complaining all the time, like I know lots of young people like me are doing back home. It’s their choice, and I respect it, but I can’t just stay there watching how everything doesn’t change.
I am not interested, and I have never been, in politics. I don’t even have an opinion because I don’t understand it. I could, but my mind would rather be immersed in film trivia, Jane Austen and vampire books, piano scores and football. So I simply won’t talk about it, because I would sound like a vegetarian discussing the Burger King menu.
Spain has sun, party, open-minded people and excellent food. But it doesn’t have jobs. So I will remain here for now, thank you, and we might meet again when we get back to being competent people. Meanwhile, I prefer writing about the only uplifting and optimistic things we have right now, like Casillas, Xavi, Iniesta, Rafa Nadal or Pau Gasol.
Well… at least we’re good at sports.
 And I love it for all of that.