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First of all: This post is not my creation. It is borrowed from facebook group. I just loved it and had to include it. At least some bits of it.
It was initiated by a young foreigner who spent a year in Spain and apparently “absolutely loved it”. They are all observations about Spanish life, which makes it different to other countries and cultures. And it is meant to be taken as ‘tongue in cheek…’
So… You know you have lived in Spain when…
- You think adding lemonade, fanta or even coke to red wine is a good idea.
- You can’t get over how early bars & clubs shut back home – surely they’re shutting just as you should be going out?
- You aren’t just surprised that the plumber/decorator has turned up on time, you’re surprised he turned up at all.
- You think it’s fine to comment on everyone’s appearance. And to openly stare at strangers.
- Not giving every new acquaintance “dos besos” (two kisses) seems so rude.
- On msn you sometimes type ‘jajaja’ instead of ‘hahaha’
- You think that “aceite de oliva” (olive oil) is a vital part of every meal. And don’t understand how anyone could think olive oil on toast is weird.
- You’re amazed when TV ad breaks last less than half an hour, especially right before the end of films.
- You forget to say please when asking for things – you implied it in your tone of voice, right?
- You love the phenomenon of giving “toques” (quick calls) – but hate explaining it in English
- You don’t see sunflower seeds as a healthy snack – they’re just what all the cool kids eat.
- You know what a “pijo” is and how to spot one (not translateable…).
- Every sentence you speak contains at least one of these words: “bueno”, “coño”, “vale”, “venga”, “pues nada”…
- You know what a “resaca” is (Hang over).
- A bull’s head on the wall of a bar isn’t a talking point for you, it’s just a part of the decor.
- You eat lunch after 2pm & would never even think of having your evening meal before 9.
- You know that after 2pm there’s no point in going shopping, you might as well just have a siesta until 5 when the shops re-open.
- You don’t accept beer that’s anything less than ice-cold.
- The sound of mopeds in the background is the soundtrack to your life.
- You know the difference between cojones and cajones, tener calor and estar caliente, bacalao and bakalao, pollo and polla, estar hecho polvo and echar un polvo…and maybe you learned the differences the hard way!
- On some Sunday mornings you sometimes have breakfast before going to bed, not after you get up.
- Floors in certain bars are an ideal dumping ground for your colillas, servilletas etc. Why use a bin?!
- You see clapping as an art form, not just a way to express approval.
- You know “ensaladilla rusa” has nothing to do with Russia.
- When you burst out laughing every time you see a Mitsubishi Pajero (thanks Stuart Line for reminding me of that one!)
- You have friends named Jesus, Jose Maria, Maria Jose, Angel, maybe even Inmaculada Concepcion…
- You know that “ahora” doesn’t really mean now. Hasta ahora, ahora vuelvo…etc
- When you make arrangements to meet friends at 3, the first person turns up at 3.15…if you’re lucky!
- Aceite de oliva is “muy sano” (very healthy), of course. So you help yourself to a bit more.
- Every single news bulletin on TV has at least 10 minutes on Real Madrid news and another 10 on Barcelona Soccer Club news.
- When it’s totally normal for every kitchen to have a deep-fat fryer but no kettle.
- When you know what a guiri is / have been called one
- When you add “super” in front of any adjective for emphasis
- Blonde girls actually start to think their name is ‘rubia’
- When you accept that paying with a 50 euro note is going to get you a dirty look if you’re buying something that costs less than 40 euros
- If something is great, it’s “de puta madre” (sorry, not translateable…)
- You can eat up to 5 times a day – first breakfast, 2nd breakfast around 11.30, almuerzo, merienda, cena
- You know the jingle for “Los Cuarenta Principales” (Top 40 radio station)…
- When you go into a bank/bakery etc, it’s standard practice to ask “Quien es la ultima?” (who is last?)
- Who needs a dryer when you have a washing line outside the window of your apartment?
- You know what ‘marcha’ and ‘juerga’ are.
- You are more likely to call your friends tio/a, nena, chaval, macho or even tronco than their real name.
- You answer the phone by saying ‘Yes’, (well, or ‘Tell me’) and when identifying yourself you say ‘I’m…’ not ‘It’s…’. And when you try those tactics back home, everyone thinks you’re mad or rude!
- If you eat a lot of something, you’re not going to ‘turn into’ it, you’re going to ‘get the face of it,’ e.g ‘te vas a poner cara de chocolate.’ Somehow a lot more amusing!
- Drinking coffee out of a glass is entirely normal.
- ‘Son las nueve, las ocho en Canarias’ is how you are used to hearing radio DJs announce the time
- You’ve been to your local town’s feria/fiesta/semana santa
The clock is ticking! You have your grapes ready? What do you mean “what do I mean”? Let me recover from the Christmas madness and I will soon tell you. Promised!
The other day I promised to get back to our beloved “tapas” experience. As you have learned, Tapas were tasty small bites you got for free to accompany your drink.
Unfortunately we have lost the authentic tradition of Tapas in many places. Restaurants in most cities have moved on to charge you for Tapas.
How come? Probably one day tourists started showing up and asking at the end how much it was for the bite. Or eventually pushed the Tapa back saying “I have not ordered that and I am not going to pay for it”. After a while of such visitors, owners certainly realized, that they could charge money for it. And they started doing so.
Good news: it is not everywhere like this. My favourite city in Spain for Tapas is Granada. I said it… They still keep up the tradition there.
A truly authentic and worthwhile experience: go “de tapeo” in Granada. Enter a bar, order a drink, enjoy it with your tapa. Notice: if you order a second drink, you will get a second, but different tapa. Go to the next place, order a drink, enjoy it with your tapa… That is to have a real “tapas” dinner. It usually takes many hours of walking, meeting people, trying new things and -of course – enjoying food, wine and talking.
A great place where you get some of the best Tapas in Granada is in the “barrio de la Chana” (the Chana quarter). Tons of bars with authentic Spanish people. Tasty! My overall favourite Tapas bar is somewhere else, close to the univeristy area. It is called “la Papa”. All tapas are made out of potatos. Simple, tasty and very creative.
At this stage I would like to invite everyone to PLEASE submit your favourite cities for Tapas and your favourite Tapas bars.
And don’t forget to enjoy your tapas with a glass of “The Spanish Quarter” or your favourite Spanish wine.
Today my blog has officially kicked off. More to come…soon.