Being Spanish in Bendigo

World Cup fever is not quite the same as it is 'back home'

BEING Spanish in Bendigo during the World Cup is probably a little frustrating. 

David Cores Costas and his family are from the northern region of soccer-mad Spain, so things are bit different living in AFL-obsessed Bendigo.

Mr Cores Costas' six-year-old son plays soccer for Strathdale but he has been told that after age 12, it would be pertinent to move his son on to footy.

He came to Bendigo two years ago to work at an engineering firm where he is a welder and boiler maker.

It's normal. Four years ago they lost the first game as well. - David Cores Costas

His wife, Patricia Rios Chapela and children Ruben, 7, and Andrea, 10, followed about six months later. Ruben and Andrea attend Kennington Primary School and Mrs Rios Chapela works at the All Seasons Hotel.

Mrs Rios Chapela said people in Spain rearranged their entire day just to watch soccer. "You don't eat dinner, you don't sleep," she said.

She said plenty of people barely had enough to eat but spent what little they had on going to the soccer. "It's not crazy, it's passion," Mr Cores Costas said.

That passion gives him confidence despite Spain's devastating 5:1 loss to The Netherlands in round one of the World Cup in Brazil.

He said Spanish goal keeper, Iker Casillas, was in his eyes, still the best in the world. "It’s normal. Four years ago, they lost their first game as well," he said.

Spain did lose their first match (though not by four goals) at the World Cup four years ago and went on to win the final.

Apart from a lack of World Cup fever, there are other differences in Bendigo.

Having lunch at midday and dinner by 6pm or 7pm has been hard to get used to because meals in Spain start much later in the day.

Mrs Rios Chapela said a lot of people didn't know where Spain was. "They think it's in South America," she said.

Making friends has been challenging because of the language barrier. But they like Australia for its "tranquility" and "security". "You couldn't leave your garage door open in Spain," Mr Cores Costas said.

"Bendigo is good for families with children," Mrs Rios Chapela said.

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