Television shows such as Channel 4's A Place in the Sun promised adventure, swimming pools and the good life. A collapsing pound and the credit crunch have brought a harsher reality: homesickness, financial hardship and something those who call themselves "expats" rarely take into account, that they are immigrants – often with all the problems of not understanding the language or the rules.
Any latent Schadenfreude aside, the article's description of these British enclaves reminded me of nothing so much as the coastal resort of 'Estrella de Mar' invented by J.G. Ballard in his 1996 novel Cocaine Nights.
And then I ran across these lines, which made the Ballardian atmosphere complete:
Even the dead try to save money. Seventy percent of the corpses donated for science to Alicante's Miguel Hernández University belong to Britons – in some cases simply to avoid the expense of a funeral. "Some of those who have approached me don't have much money," admits Lionel Sharpe, who helps the university recruit future corpses.
Now there's a job description: 'recruiter of future corpses'.