I can't believe I have been in Spain for one month already! Sometimes I feel like I have been here for 2 days and other times it feels like I have always lived here. Its starting to feel a bit like a third home, after Lake Mills and Carroll of course. :)
Thinking of what the big '1 month mark' blog should contain was quite a task. Almost all the previous posts have been after something big, but lately things have settled down around here. One night while riding the bus home from Madrid with Marzia, we were discussing everything that was different. We started making a list of things we have noticed and had quite a laugh in the process, lets just say people were staring at us on the bus.
So here it is, things that I have learned about Spaniards after living abroad for one month.
1. Spaniards are very skinny. I don't know how, because they fry EVERYTHING and eat loaves, and loaves of bread.
2. Making out in public is normal, regardless of the time of day or the sobriety of the people. I don't know what phrase is equivalent to "get a room" but I need to learn it, someone here needs to tell these people that PDA is NOT necessary at all hours of the day.
3. Spaniards are in general short. Now some of you may be thinking, "yeah sure, coming from the girl that is 5'1" calling others short." But really, I am average/above average in the height department around here. Its great.
4. Style - Now everyone knows that Europeans are more stylish than Americans, and it is true. Spanish women wear high heels everywhere. I don't know how they do it, because they walk just as fast and on cobblestones! However, there are some major fashion disasters that occur here too. For example jorts are in style. Jorts are shorts in the jean material for guys. They are awful and should be outlawed, along with the euro "rat-tail".
5. They like to party, a lot. Anything in Spain can be turned into a reason to party; first day of classes, strikes in Madrid, Thursday nights, you get the picture. Along with the extreme partying comes lack of sleeping. I don't understand how people in this country survive because they never sleep. I do not function well without 8 hours of sleep a night, so I compensate by sleeping until 3pm on the weekends. :)
6. Work ethic is...different. I don't know what people do all day at work here but they don't seem to get a lot done...and it takes a lot people to get that small amount of work done. I think there is a lot of paper shuffling. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and everyone goes home from work during lunch. They close down stores from 2-5 so they can "siesta"...(I guess this is when they catch up on the lack of sleep). Its really annoying when you are out and about and all the sudden everything is closed. And Sundays, are horrible. Don't even bother making any sort of plans because everything is closed on Sundays.
Now Americans have a pretty bad rap around the world, and some of it unfortunately is true, but most is not. One of the most positive attributes of Americans that I have realized since I have been here is that Americans are humble. If its "American made" that doesn't necessarily make it the best. For example Italian leather and Chinese electronics are widely accepted to be the best. Spanish people are not humble. If its Spanish, then its the best.
So there you have it, some of the things I have learned after one month.
This weekend I am going to Alicante with my host family. Its a city on the Mediterranean coast where they have a vacation home. Don't worry, I will get enough beach time in for everyone. :)