spain

Top 10 Things I Miss from Spain When I’m in the USA

So if you’re still unaware, I’m back in Indiana. Teachers have great vacations, and I’m enjoying a life of air-conditioned luxury at my parents’. I will also be attending an old friend’s wedding, visiting my alma mater, and heading out to Nevada to visit my brother at the end of July. All in all, not bad.

I love being back home. I will admit to anyone that I love Spain (especially Castilla y León), but home is home and always will be. Nonetheless, there are many things I miss about Spain while I’m here. In no specific order, here they are.

1. Walking

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Running in Spain

For some reason, many Spaniards have taken the word correr (literally, “to run”) and started to use the words “runner” and “running,” like so:

El ‘running’ está de moda

Run for your life

Running is popular nowadays in Spain. There is a race every weekend here in Madrid, and every day I see more people out and about, running around the parks near our house. Funnily, as the article says, first they said “jogging,” then they said “footing,” and now they’re saying “running.” They all mean the same thing, so why not say them in Spanish: salir a correr. It’s a phenomenon I’m rather fascinated by, but I’m not like to argue with diehards who say the Spanish language is dying, battered and weary of so many Anglicisms. I think it’s put a new spin on an old hobby, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

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Living in a Spanish Apartment: Noise, Noise, Noise

Living in Madrid has many upsides: great public transportation, mild winters, lots of parks, and all sorts of restaurants to try. But there are some downsides as well, and one of those seems rather obvious.

Noise

If there’s one thing I can’t stand about apartment life here, it’s the noise. I’ve lived in apartments in the U.S. and never encountered the noise problems I’ve had here. I don’t know if the walls are thinner or what, but noise is present almost all the time. What types of noise?

Neighbors walking in high heels

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Sendly: A Money Transfer App

Staying in touch with friends and family across the Atlantic ocean isn’t always easy. There’s the time difference to consider, and the the lack of reliable connectivity at times. While Spain’s catching up, I am still told that my phone is incapable of accessing 4G networks here, while I am automatically connected to 4G back in the U.S. Who knows why? The mysteries of a telephone company’s monopoly. Anyway, over the years communication certainly has improved by leaps and bounds.

My first time in Spain was my study abroad in 2008. The place I stayed, the Fundación Jose Ortega y Gasset, was a former nun’s residence, and the Internet was capricious by nature. We never knew when or where we would be able to access the Internet. I remember spending hours sitting in the one hallway that was reliable around 70% of the time. (Not exactly reliable, but as reliable as it got there.) I was desperately homesick for the first two months, so I spent hours with my mom on Skype, hoping against hope that the unstable Internet would hold out. At that time, I didn’t even have a cell phone. Most of my friends bought them, little prepaid phones that fit easily in our front pockets. We recharged their saldo €20 at a time in little kiosks around the city. Communication certainly wasn’t difficult, but it was much more limited than nowadays.

Now, in 2014, we have so many different ways to communicate with friends and family back home: Skype, as always, but also tons of different mobile applications as well as Whatsapp, a type of messenger service that uses your data service plan and not the SMS system. Some of us continue to buy and use prepaid phones, though, and now there’s even ways to send mobile credit to loved ones from another country. Crazy how far we’ve come, right?

Sendly

Sendly Login

Did you ever find yourself wanting to call a friend only to find out he/she had no phone credit? You wanted to share some of yours, but you couldn’t. Well, now you can, thanks to the creators of Sendly, an app that allows you to credit your friends and loved ones.

To use Sendly, all you need is to download the app and know the phone number of the person to whom you wish to send credit.

 

Sendly App

You can allow them to access your contacts so that you can find friends/family more easily.Sendly LoginHow does it work?

1. Select the contact
2. Choose the amount you wish to send that person
3. Confirm your payment

Most transfers take only a few seconds. Quick and easy!

Would I use Sendly on a regular basis? Definitely, and I know my parents wish this service had existed in the past, when I was poorer and didn’t have a phone plan.

Have you ever used an app like Sendly?