There are plenty of myths about living in Lanzarote. Here are a few:
It’s always sunny and hot!
It does rain during the winter here, and we do get cloud from time to time. It can even get chilly in mid winter – as low as 15 degrees! What we don’t get is any extreme weather at all. It’s rarely too hot, and almost never too cold – just warm and pleasant, whether it’s January or July. Put simply, we do have the best weather in the world!
Nobody works very hard
Another common myth which simply isn’t true. Spanish workers put in more hours than those in most northern European countries, often working split shifts. And because of the stress on the infrastructure during busy holiday periods, most of us work extremely hard when the island is busy, which this year started in January and is still going!
You don’t need to speak Spanish here
You CAN get away with not speaking Spanish, especially if you live in a resort area. But your quality of life will suffer if you can’t chat with a neighbour or discuss the Barca game in a local bar. And it will cost you more to pay someone to help you every time you need to do something “official.”
You can pick up Spanish as you go along
Nope, you won’t. Learning a new language needs time and application, and almost always lessons. And even then, if you’re not using it, you won’t remember it, so start watching Spanish TV and reading Spanish newspapers and websites.
Talking of TV – you can get all the UK channels here easily
Not any more! Once upon a time you could get a huge dish and get all the channels you wanted from UK, Ireland or Germany. Then they moved the satellite, and they all disappeared. So everyone scratches around with various internet boxes and tries to watch TV online, which is fine if you have great internet, but most of us don’t. There is a huge upside – by not watching TV for several hours a day, you’ll have much more time to do interesting and worthwhile things!
These days you can get anything you need here
It’s not like the “Frontier town” it once was, but it’s still hard to get some things. Just try buying spare parts for an Audi Cabriolet here, then weep when you see them on Ebay “back home” for a quarter of the price and readily available with next day delivery.
Tourism won’t affect me
With a population of just 145,000 and visitors every year totalling three million, tourism affects EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY on the island. Even if your income is not dependent in any way on tourism, your friend’s will be. And that means every one of us living here has a responsibility to promote the island and support our tourist visitors as much as we can.
Spain is in deep trouble financially
Often sold as a “lame duck” economy by the British press, Spain is actually Europe’s fifth largest economy and the 12th largest exporter in the world, currently running with a trade surplus and predicted by the IMF to outperform the major Eurozone economies this year. We still have too much unemployment, and debt from previous years, but tourism is showing steady, sustainable growth, and construction is starting up again.
Everyone drinks Sangria
They don’t – I’ve never seen a Canarian order Sangria. They’re much more likely to order a small beer or a glass of wine. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink it, though! And while we’re talking about booze, your drinking habits will change when you live here. You’ll drink more often, but in smaller amounts. In northern Europe, many people go out “on the lash” one night a week. Here, you’re much more likely to enjoy a beer or some wine every day, but only a couple of glasses.
Everyone loves Flamenco
Flamenco originated in Andalusia. It never really made it to The Canary Islands. In fact, there’s hardly anywhere you can see Flamenco here in Lanzarote. If you want some local culture, go and watch timple playing. But Canarians are much more likely to be at a rock concert.
Bonus: We don’t “watch” carnival!
Carnival is all about being part of the procession rather than sitting in a bar watching it all happen. Jump onto the back and sashay along with everyone else!