It’s been some time since my last “Things I Wish I Knew” post about living in Spain, so let’s add some more to the list! Check out Part 1 here.
1. Smokers. Back home in California, people smoke. But the Bay, LA, and Sac-Town combined ain’t got nothing on the number of smokers here in Spain. Sometimes it legitimately seems like everyone is smoking. Like whyy?!?! And here is the strange thing, smoking isn’t allowed inside, but you can stand directly outside the door and have a smoke. That completely defeats the purpose of not smoking inside. The smoke goes right in the door! Oh well. If living in LA for two years didn’t give me the Black Lung from all the smog, my year in Spain just might take care of that, haha! 🙂
2. Lifestyle. There is a saying that the Spanish work to live and Americans live to work. Or something very close to this. I can’t remember where I heard this comment, but it’s pretty dang true from what I’ve observed. Now of course I knew things would be different when I moved here, I think the difference in lifestyles may be one of the biggest. For example, just about everyone gets the month of August off for vacation. That’s sooo cool. I wish the states adopted that! I also feel like life here is a bit more relaxed. Yes there are schedules, but time frames are longer and come with more leeway. I’ve noticed that it’s more about the quality of time spent rather than the quantity. I feel like life in states is go-go-go and we are always moving towards quantity, how much we can do in this amount of time. I think the Spanish slow it down a bit and enjoy life just a tad more.
3. Food. Again, I know this should be pretty obvious, but salt and olive oil are two things that are generally always present in meals. Definitely something I had to get used to. Also the structure of the eating times. Breakfast is at a normal time, aka when you wake up. Lunch…anywhere between 2-4pm. Yikes! Then the real kicker…dinner. This can start anywhere between 8-10:30pm. Ugh! Luckily, I’m on my own for lunch, so I eat around 12 or 1pm. And because my kiddos are younger they go to bed pretty early, so I eat dinner with them around 8-8:30pm. Such a saving grace! Granted it took me awhile to be able to get to this point, but I made it. Not sure if I will ever be able to reach dinner at 10pm. Maybe one day. Then I’ll be truly Spanish! 😉
4. Males. Before coming to Spain I was under the impression that the males in Spain would be more forward and more beautiful then our lovely men back in the USofA. Welp in my expert opinion, after living in Spain for 4months now, I’d say…dondé están los chicos?! Don’t get me wrong, there have been some attractive males. But not nearly as many as I thought there would be. Guess I was just expecting to see a beautiful Spanish futbolista everywhere I went…whoops! Can’t blame a girl for dreamin! 😉 And the guys that I have met, not super forward. Kind of elusive. Maybe once my Spanish gets better the elusiveness will fade away…here’s to hoping!
5. Nightlife. The Spanish know how to do nightlife. Clubs and bars are open probably around 10pm at the earliest but if you know what’s good for you, you probably don’t show up until 12-1ish. Seriously?!?! I mean, that is towards the end of our nights out in California. Everything is shutting down at 2am. Not in Spain. That is when things are just getting started. And for the most part, when you go out, you stay out. ALL NIGHT LONG. The metro opens at 6am. Aka it’s time to go home, the party stops, and my bed is calling. I’ve only stayed out all night long once. Catching the metro at 6am was definitely an experience. I’m sure it will probably happen again over the next 8months, but it is for sure not something I could do on a weekly basis. How do the Spanish do it?! Aside from the party never stopping, the bars and discotecas are super fun. The music is always a mix of old school hip-hop and rap, classics, Top 40, and popular Spanish songs. Dancing and singing is always going on and it’s sooo much fun!
Come to Spain and experience all of this with me! It really has been a fun adventure so far. Promise I’m not bashing on Spain. I really do like it here, a WHOLE LOT! It’s great!!!
If you’ve been here before, what are the differences between Spain and your home country that you’ve noticed? Or any other place you’ve traveled to?