1. Spain has the best game shows
My family and I watch television together every time we eat. Sometimes they’ll actually sit down with me and eat. Most of the time they’ll sit on the couch and I’ll be eating at the table. Emma and Ricardo always bicker about which of their answers is correct. They rub it in each other’s faces when one or the other is right. I occasionally shout out an answer. They of course look at me every time the US is mentioned. I pray I get the answer right because if not I’ll never hear the end of it.
2. It is perfectly normal to vacuum at 4 in the morning on a Sunday. On the nights I can’t sleep, after all I do live in a city, I get to hear a plethora of noises and people. You would think the proper time to vacuum would be late morning early afternoon. Por supuesto! (But of course!) But you would be wrong in that assumption. They don’t care what time of day or night it is, they’ll do what they want. I just laugh and shake my head.
They are big fans of honking. I don’t mean one short honk to let the person know in front of them to move. I mean a long 30 second honk so everyone in Spain can hear you. And if that wasn’t enough, people get into honking wars. Who can honk the longest? People who aren’t even involved join in. I’ve learn to tune it out. Although on occasion it can be a bit distracting.
3. You always wear shoes around the house. ALWAYS
Whether it’s “house shoes” or street shoes. They are mandatory. I made sure I brought my slippers. They’re big on wearing flip flops around the house. My friend made the mistake of being barefoot one day and his house mother gave him the look of death and stared at his feet until he realized he needed to put shoes on.
4. Bread comes with every meal. End of story.
I’ve managed to cut down on my bread intake. But, I can’t help it it’s amazing.
5. A proper siesta should be no more than an hour. Any more than than that and you can forget about sleeping that night.
Lunch is generally the largest meal of the day. Which consists of bread, salad or some sort of vegetable, lots of meat or fish, potatoes, and or rice. Things that are heavy and filling. Then of course there’s dessert. After you feel like you cannot eat anymore, you go sit down and in about 10 minutes operation food coma has commenced.
6. I have not learned the concept of being “late”.
If you’re meeting friends at 9, don’t expect them to actually be there at 9. On time to them is around 9:30. I haven’t quite gotten used to that yet. I know some people back home in the states; I won’t name any names but, this lifestyle would work perfectly for them. This might take me awhile.
7. They are minimalists.
I love this! They have what they need and they’re perfectly content with that. No extra junk lying around. Nada.( Nothing) When I come back to the states, simplifying my life will be just what I need. I only brought what I really needed. And quite frankly I didn’t feel like lugging around a million bags when I first got here. Bringing only the essentials is very important.
8. Public transportation is key.
My apartment is situated in the city, which happens to be prime location to get just about anywhere. I’m two blocks from the train (commuter rail for people in Boston). It’s so cheap too. Loving that part. About 5 blocks to the bus for school. People have cars here, but nothing like we have back home. Everyone relies on walking and public transportation to get around. I do not miss my car one bit. I love walking everywhere. Even better, everything is so clean and well maintained.
9. Clean as a whistle
Like any city, you’re going to come across some dirty places and trash. People have no problem with throwing things on the ground. However, with that being said, they clean the streets every night and into the morning. They power wash them everywhere you go.
10. Meeting someone for the first time.
We’ve talked about this class a lot especially because I had people from Germany, China and Japan in my class. Everyone’s greeting customs are different. When meeting new people in Spain there’s the two kiss on either cheek custom. It’s funny to see how people react when they’ve never seen this happen or know that it’s customary.