Today I start a new series that I hopefully will finish some day (I guess mañana ;-). Not that I thought 10 reasons were difficult to find. I want to make sure I do my homework and research+study them properly.
The first one is easy:
Reason for loving Spain nr 1: HUMOR
We can laugh about everything. Actually we sometimes have to. We love to. I don’t know another culture or country, in which people have such an hability to laugh. We can be serious, but not if we can avoid it.
Jokes are our small talk. I often participate in real joke marathons, where a few crack on jumping from a topic to the other and going on for hours. Seriously.
A few examples:
We are over 90% catholic, we respect Christ and the church. And we believe. But there are a ton of jokes about the last supper, confession, monks and nons… Laugh is a blessing, for god sake!
We are quite liberal in a gay-friendly sense. Barcelona is known to be one of the gay capitals of Europe. But what is so bad about laughing your ass off on gay jokes?
You get my point.
Let me tell you one of my many “top-embarrasing-situations-in-Francisco’s-life” (believe me, I somehow collect them) happened to me in Teruel many years ago. It might illustrate it best.
I got to know a group of guys from the area during a summer job. We started a round of jokes. One of the guys had a glass eye. I did not know nor noticed. Just seemed a little cross-eyed. Guess what: Si Señor… I had to do it. I told a joke about a man with a glass eye. And it was long, and it was dirty and it was embarrasing.
I must have been the only one that did not know the guy had a glass eye, since people started getting a bit serious and gave me big eyes. I just thought they were concentrated on following the joke. The only guy that amused himseld and smiled all over the face was my “dont-you-realize-he-has-a-glass-eye-friend”. Everyone else was a bit less easy and very quiet.
Nevermind: I finished the joke and the guy was laughing in tears. Eventually all softened out and the session continued. A few jokes later another guy from the group approched me from the side and revealed to me in whisper the glass eye secret. Ooooops. Embarrasing…
I have forgotten in the meantime how to turn red, but back then I promise I still knew how to. Red-face and glass-eye crossed looks (or look and a half). He came over and thanked me. It was apparently the first time that someone had told him a joke about the topic. He could totally sympathise with the guy in the joke and was gratefull for having made fun of something that everyone seemed to find dead serious. He said a great sentence that became my lesson that day. A valuable one: “If I have to choose between crying or laughing about sad things that I can’t change, my choice is clear!”
Wherever you are my glass-eyed friend: I raise my wine-glass with a wink and drink to your health. My toast: “brindo por ti, en mi ojo un guiño, y en mi copa Chardonnay-Albariño“.
Ah: if you want to know the joke, you know how to: just ask Francisco ;-)