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Monday, February 08, 2010


Since moving here it has been my experience that many Valencianos feel that they live in the best place in Spain and therefore the best place in the world. I certainly don’t waste any time or effort disputing this and certainly not with Valencianos. The local residents of many areas of the world probably have the same feelings for where they call home. I guess that I just haven’t met many indigenous residents in the many places I have lived in my life. I knew only a small handful of people born and bred in Seattle and they all thought highly of it. Most of the people I meet are often other transplants, immigrants, drifters, castaways, and fugitives.

Valencianos truly believe they have the best weather, food, and lifestyle in all of Spain. Spanish people may complain about their country but nearly all of them feel that they have the best lifestyle. Spanish people may travel and venture out to live in other places but almost all of them are in a hurry to return home again. As one Spanish writer has said, “Spanish people don’t immigrate; they just go on a long weekend.” I have never met a Valenciano who was really interested in leaving Valencia for more than a few weeks and even when they leave for a relatively short vacation they prefer to carry a lot of familiar food with them. It’s as if the bad food they will encounter in their travels is tantamount to breathing contaminated air.

Even if I were in a mood to argue their point that Valencia is the best place to live I’d have a hard time coming up with a strong argument to the contrary. I live without central heating and without air conditioning with only a couple of weeks of discomfort in winter and then perhaps another uncomfortable week in summer. There is something like 300 days of sunshine here and sitting outside on a cafĂ© terrace is an almost daily pleasure. It just a lot easier to agree with people when they say Valencia is agreat place to live.