My Espanish ABC: An irreverent view of Spain

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My Espanish ABC: An irreverent view of Spain
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The A-Z of surviving in Spain by Tom Morgan, a poetic Brit who made it his home.


If to Spain one day you’ll be moving

Take some tips from an old hand like me

Do your research my friend; read right through to the end

Your Espanish ABC.


A is for Andalucía, the land of Flamenco and fun,

World heritage sites and Moorish delights

Or, if British, then sand, sex and sun.


B is FC Barcelona who score goals and win titles for fun

C is for lots of corruption; Spanish MPs are second to none.


D is for daytime and night-time - learn the different times when you’ll be fed.

Two breakfasts, late lunch and then dinner when the rest of the world is in bed.


E’s their beloved España, the nation they all think is great

c’est la France, los franceses - the neighbours they all love to hate.



G is Gibraltar the Colony, what’s left of the Empire, the Rock.

And guiri who wears socks and sandals. And drinks pints at 11 o’clock.


H is hablar very loudly and don’t listen to what you’ve got to say.

I is for independència, the Catalans dream of the day.


J for jamón and for joder, without which no day is complete.

K for kilometres and kilos that they use to gauge speed and weigh meat.


L is for lateness so chronic, it’s part of their core DNA

And also for LGTBers (now even Catholics are proud to be gay).


Photo: CPGXK/Flickr

M is for menú del día, eat and drink all you like for a song.

And M is for Mahou (that’s the beer, not the chairman from out by Hong Kong).


N for the great Spanish nightlife, up till dawn dancing, fiesta and wine.

Ñ that damn Spanish letter, what d’you type? Was it ALT 129?


O is for Olé! you shout it as the matador slays in the heat.

P is Pamplona, the bull run, bulls’ revenge goring drunks in the street.


Q is for queuing, it’s chaos. You can tell them but they’ll never learn.

And also for ¿qué coño quieres? The response to “are you sure it’s your turn”?


R is for tres Reyes Magos riding camels from the East through the air.

S is for Santa at Christmas. Double presents - that’s really not fair!


T is for tapas and touching, two things we don’t do in UK.

U is for una cerveza, the first thing you’ll learn how to say.


V is for ventiladores, without which you’ll soon dehydrate.

And for VOX, the new right-wing party who Franco and Co. think are great.


W is wifi and WhatsApp, they’re as smart-phone obsessed as you get.

X is your bloody ex-girlfriend who you came out to Spain to forget.


Y is ya (which really means “later”), like ahora means “a lot later on”.

Z some say “th”, some an S sound; it really depends where you’re from.


Well, there are my tips mis amigos.

Essential, I’m sure you’ll agree.

So if you’re coming to Spain, before you get on the plane,

Learn your Espanish ABC.


Tom Morgan is British.  He lived in Madrid in the 90s and then again for the last seven years, working for the EU, doing stand-up comedy and failing to prevent Brexit. Last week, he moved to Brussels, land of beer, grey skies and chips. So for a Brit, very much home from home. 

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