Adjusting to New Customs

Hola Todos!

So, this post is going to just be a list of customs/daily living things that are unique to Spain.

– Siestas: definitely one of my favorite things. Maybe people in America think that they take like two hour long naps each day after lunch. While some businesses do close down, and they do take naps, it’s only about a half hour long.
– Meals: In Spain, their meals are quite different from ours. They often eat very small breakfasts, usually around 8am and consists of coffee and some bread. Lunch is very big, often have two courses and usually eaten around 2pm. For dinner, they eat more light than lunch and it is very late, normally around 9-10pm.
– Bread: Going along with the meals, we literally have bread with every meal, which is kind of nice since I’m such a big bread eater.
– Toilets: Unlike in America, where we flush the toilet with the nozzle on the side, they have a button that you push on the top of the toilet. This led to a little bit of looking around the first time I used the bathroom. 🙂
– Windows: There are no such things as screens on windows here. They do have some kind of hard blind on the outside of the window that you can pull up and down, but when the window is open it literally is open.
– Lights: Apparently electricity is very expensive in Madrid, so they often only use the natural light coming in from the windows, or they may have one light on. I like the idea as it’s definitely more green than America…just a little hard to get used to.
– Dryers: Well, they seem to not exist in Spain. I assume since it’s so warm, they put their cloths outside to dry. Most families do not even own a dryer. Also, more green than America…just makes my cloths feel very stiff.
– Shoes in the home: They like for the people in the home to keep something on their feet, whether it’s shoes, socks, or slippers. I haven’t quite figured out the reasoning for this one…
– Drinking fountains: These are another thing that don’t exist here. If I want to fill up my water bottle while out, I just use sinks.
– Kleenex: Pretty sure these don’t exist either…I have yet to see any.
– Lysine: Found out this doesn’t exist…see the Farmacia post.
– Staring: I have noticed, especially on the Metro, that staring is apparently an acceptable thing to do here…extremely annoying, like I’m back at Purdue with the Asians on the bus.
– PDA: This also seems to be an acceptable thing here. I have seen tons of couples make out on the Metro, lying on each other in parks, etc.
– Cars: The cars seems to be much smaller than in the US. I’m gonna guess that the gas prices and amount of parking have an influence on this.
– Parking: I really have not figured out the system for this. They tend to park in spots that I’m pretty sure don’t exist or on the sidewalk, etc. Very strange.
– Dos Besos: The way the great new people and especially friends/family is with a kiss on each side of the cheek. The rules of this are that we do not actually touch your lips to their cheek, it’s just to the air, and you touch the ride side of your face first then the left.
– Escalators: There is a system when riding escalators; you are to stand on the right side if you just want to ride it up, but you walk up the left side. I adjusted to this pretty well, as I love the idea, and now I get pretty upset when others do not follow it. lol. Turning into a Spaniard.
– Obama: A lot of the Spanish people seem to be very interested in the US culture, and especially Obama. I have been asked many time what my opinion of him is. I’m not sure why they have such an interest, but it’s kinda cool how much of an influence we and our president have on them.

More to come as I think of things. 🙂