Monday, June 3, 2013

A few observations...

I know it's only been a few days, but there's a lot of differences between Spain and America that I thought I'd share!

1. It's super clean. Maybe not the walls (they're covered in graffiti), but everywhere else is incredibly tidy. Homes, restaurants, the school, everywhere. My Spanish mom keeps this apartment so clean that you could probably eat off the floor. And even though I make my bed every morning, I always come back to find that she has remade it and tidied up my room. She even takes out the trash, even if I only have one kleenex in it. It seems a bit intrusive, but I guess it's part of their culture and hospitality.

2. Meals are so different! First, breakfast is whenever you wake up. Usually around 7-8am. It's generally small, like a croissant or banana with cafe con leche. Lunch isn't until 2:30-3pm! At first that really got to me, but I think I've adjusted pretty well. Lunch is always big, with many plates of meat and bread. (They LOVE meat and bread here- there is constantly a loaf of bread on every table, which is kinda frustrating since it always ends up being stale.) Dinner isn't until 9, 10, or 11pm! Dinner is rather small; not as much as lunch.

3. They don't sleep much. My host parents go to bed after me (I go to sleep around 1am) and wake up before me (I wake up at 7:45). I don't know when they sleep! Apparently others do this as well.

4. Water comes in ginormous bottles! Think of the huge SmartWater bottles and multiply that by 2. Those bottles are placed on the table and you have a tiny cup that you pour it into.

5. Kissing on the cheeks happens everywhere, all the time. I know most people know that fact, but it's still something I've seen and done a lot of. It's pretty weird to adjust to. They're just very affectionate here, and there's a lot of touching of arms/hair, etc.

6. Fashion styles: pants. Everywhere. Nobody wears shorts. Ever. The girls love skinny jeans of different colors.

7. They're very open. Spaniards are friendly and will talk about everything, as I hinted at earlier with the mention of the topic of menstruation. And if they need to go to the bathroom, it's common to use the phrase "hacer pis" which basically means "I make piss."

8. They talk very fast, but maybe that's just my opinion...

9. They smoke a lot. Like, a lot. My host family doesn't, as they hate the idea of smoking. But it's everywhere else!

10. Most families (and this is based on my experience as well as that of my friends) eat with the tv on. I don't know why...

Stay tuned for more of my discoveries!

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