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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Coming to America

This title is appropriate for 2 reasons. I just got back from Spain a week ago (god, it feel like forever ago now. fucking weird) and I had never seen Coming to America until I put it on my ipod and watched it on the plane on the way to America.

Now that I'm back, I should note some major differences. Some good. Some bad.

1. Smoky
Spain (and Europe really) hasn't followed the non-smoking ban that America is quickly adopting. For instance, you can't really smoke anywhere in Seattle. Not even in some bar patios. They can get pretty strict. In Spain, I smoked a lot so it was good in the sense that I didn't have to go outside every time I wanted one. Bad in the sense that everything fucking reaked. It actually bothered me a lot, hurting my nostrils and making me feel not right sometimes. I thank America for being strict, and realizing how gross this habit is. No one should have to endure all that smoke. It's painful really.

2. PDA
People basically fuck in the streets in Spain. I'd see at least 3 couples necking every time I went on the metro. This is unheard of in America. If you see someone even kissing too much, people will yell at you to get a room. But in Spain everyone loves eachother. They kiss eachother hello and goodbye. Little old men and women still hold eachother's hands as if they are still young love. It's all quite cute, and it's something us Americans should look at. Love is a good thing. It doesn't have to be something that's done in private. If you love someone at that moment, it should be known. Unlike cigarettes, love should be everywhere.

I should note, that on the first few days Jessie told everyone that I wouldn't kiss them on the cheek because I'm not a hugger and I just don't do that. I kept telling her to shut it, because sure I'm not that type of person but I'm also not rude. I have no problem doing those things anymore. I even sometimes go out of my to give people hugs. I'll even go as far as hug my mom when I see her. teehee...

People really don't give a shit in Spain. Everyone throws their trash on the ground in restaurants their. It makes you wonder if that's how they treat their homes too, because in America I believe our philosophy is "if you wouldn't do that at home, you shouldn't do that here". This really didn't effect me either way.

It's known that throughout Europe you'll have to wait to get service, but this is especially true in Spain. 3 hour lunches are very normal, and honestly I think this is the way to go. Too many Americans are in a rush. Everything needs to be done now. Every restaurant is just waiting for us to get up so the next customer can order what you just had. In Spain, everyone is too relaxed to give a shit. You could order a cup of coffee, sit there for 2 hours. Wait another hour for your bill and no one will bother you. It's refreshing. And at the same time, an experience. Which is how food should be treated. If you go out to eat, you're spending extra money for the experience. Not to scarf it down and leave immdiately.

Also, waiters don't get tipped (or very low) so really they have nothing to work for. This could be the reason for the slow service, but really it doesn't matter. It sets the mood for everything and I actually enjoyed it (because I was on vacation).

It was amazing how some people were just so nice to me, especially since I didn't know their language. In America, if someone doesn't know English instead of trying to help them a lot of people immediately get frustrated and say, "Don't come here if you don't speak our language!" But in Spain, there were a few times I was stuck in sticky situations. Especially this one time, when I had to take a bus to get to the train station. First I didn't know where the bus was, and I kinda mimed that to one lady who actually walked me over to the bus stop (which was like a 5 minute walk). Then, once at the bus, they wouldn't take my large bill and I had nothing else. If I couldn't get on this bus I'd miss my train, which was the last train to leave that day, which would've meant I'd be stuck in a town all on my own. I kinda just looked pathetic for a second at the bus driver, since I didn't know what to say in English or in Spanish. The lady behind me though just said something in Spanish real fast, motioned at me and paid my way in. I offered her my pack of smokes, which she denied, and then kinda told me which stop I wanted to get off on. In a span of 15 minutes 2 women who didn't speak my language and didn't know me at all totally saved my day from what could've ended in tears.

This would've never happened in America.

6. Hot Chocolate
Hands down this is the best thing in the world. They do it much better than us. I might have to go to the Spanish supermarket and stock up on this shit. I'll risk gaining 10 pounds for it. It's that fucking good.

7. The food
There's really no variety and it's really not the best in the world. But it's differet and I'm glad I tried all those damn tapas. If anything, I introduced some shit to Jessie who doesn't cook and only eats at TGIFridays. (hehe)

The one thing that is exactly the same are the boys who you walk past and say things like, "Very Nice" in that Borat kinda voice. Silly Spanish and American Boys.



Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

On #3, dirt?
In Mexico (the ranch towns/agricultural based economies) the men, my relatives even, spit in the house and drop trash right on the floor, knowing their wives and daughters will sweep and mop it up later...

The apple didn't fall far from the ancestral tree, I guess...

Either way? Ewwwww!

10:19 AM  

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