I am currently sat in a cafe, checking my emails and surfing the web with a cup of coffee on a Monday Evening. I look outside and I can’t believe my luck. I NOW LIVE IN MADRID!! How lucky am I? I should be pretty quick as my battery is dying, is it cheeky for me to plug it into the power point? Hmm I might try it! (I wonder how I say “can I plug this in” in Spanish?
Anyway let me tell you a little about my almost two weeks of being here! I should start with what I have discovered that I never knew about Madrid. Well my first thing is that it is so difficult to fresh milk here!!! Yes, I was outraged when I found this out. I was all up for getting back on the plane, until it was pointed out to me that I am in the centre of a big country with not many grassy areas for cows to graze and its very warm. I will forgive Madrid this time 😉 UHT milk takes its getting used to. It is quite an acquired taste I assure you. Tastes good in coffee though!
The second thing is that It is illegal to drink on the streets of Madrid even though you see lots of people doing it! I know this through first hand experience and luckily I managed to escape, however some of the people I was with weren’t so lucky! If you are caught they will take some form of identity and give you a ticket. Now they only process 20% of these tickets, however if you are one of the unlucky ones, for your first offense they make you sit in a 3 hour lecture about why you should not drink on the streets. If you are caught a second time then its a €300 fine… very steep! Not sure that it is worth it! However you could be lucky and you might never get caught! Just keep this in mind if you choose to partake in a little ‘Botellon’ as the Spanish call it.
The third thing is that the huge fee you have to pay if you choose to be self employed in Spain. Now you might wonder why you would want to do this. Well If you move over to be an English Teacher, many companies will ask you to register as self employed. This saves the company money as they don’t have to pay your national security, plus if they can’t get you work then they don’t have to pay for your time when you are not working. However you still have to pay your social security even if you don’t have work. Its a little catch 22 really. Anyway the fee is €183 if you are under 30 and €249 if you are over 30 years old. On top of this you have to pay 15% tax which isn’t bad but combined it is a huge chunk of your wage. I know this because I have been employed by a teaching school but I can only work for them as self employed. I only found out about the fee once I got out here…Sneaky, sneaky! However If you are reading this and are a native English speaker, don’t be put off as there are many schools and colleges that will employ you and give you a contract so that you only pay 15 %
Its still warm and light outside, I might go for a walk before food! I have to be careful now with money as I have to last until next month to get paid again! Lots of walks I think. I don’t think I will be doing the cheap option of drinking outside anytime soon!