You all already know I’m not the starry-eyed Spain enthusiast that some bloggers are. I do like Spain, of course—I just take it in moderation. Some days enough gets to be enough. So I thought I’d confess a few things that you might not have surmised from my posts. It’s okay to be honest—really, we’re better off for it!
Okay, Kaley, less “Blah, blah, blah” and more fun!
I don’t try everything. I don’t care how good you insist it is, I don’t want to try morro (snout) or criadilla (bull testicle) or oreja (ear). I’ve tried orejas already and never again!). If this makes me unadventurous, sue me.
I hate dubbing. I refuse to watch TV shows dubbed. In any language. Please, try to tell me that The Big Bang Theory is just as funny in Spanish. No. Just no. So yeah, this means I watch a lot of TV in English, which is bad for my Spanish learning. But I really don’t like Spanish TV or movies. Neither does Mario.
I’m still patriotic. No, I’m not blindly patriotic. I understand the US has its flaws and is not God’s chosen country, but I still love my country and miss so many things about it—barbecues, the openness, the informality, the ease with which I navigated any and all social situations … en fin, so much!
I don’t idealize the Spanish lifestyle. Sure, Spain is known for relaxation, sun, and siestas. But the truth is, many Spaniards work endless days and get little to no rest. Nowadays the unemployment rate is sky high. I think that Spaniards definitely get it right with regards to enjoying food/drink, eating healthily, and walking, but they’re not perfect. They’re not inherently less lazy than Americans. They’re human—just like us.
Spain + America = Success
I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. Sometimes (most of the time), I love blogging. I love the relationships it has created, the opportunities it has given me, the wonderful feedback I get from it. At others, I feel intimidated by other bloggers, worried that no one likes me, afraid that what I say will cause someone somewhere to become angry with me. I’m often envious of other bloggers’ success because I wish that I could achieve that same level of success without compromising any of my principles.
So, what about you—anything to confess? C’mon, spill it.
After seeing the posts on Matador about How to Piss off a German/Chilean/Italian/Dane, Mario told me I needed to write one about Spaniards. I’m a bit hesitant because writing this post could possibly piss (some of) them off. I’m a much bigger fan of making them think I’m awesome, so … you’ll understand my hesitance. Nonetheless, as I wrote it, I found that in the end it was really a complimentary post. Read on; perhaps you’ll see why.
Tell them you prefer the food in the States/England/your home country. Spaniards are immensely proud of their cuisine—and rightfully so. Spanish food is awesome, and I miss it when I’m not here. There’s nothing than can replace my suegra’s cooking. She makes the best lentejas (lentil stew), tortilla de patata (Spanish potato omelette), homemade mayonnaise, pan de queso (cheese bread), carne guisada (a kind of roast meat), pisto (similar to ratatouille, but better), etc. I can’t say enough good things. But still. Sometimes I prefer the States, simply because of the variety. There’s spicy food! There’s spices to buy in bulk, like garam masala and star anise. There’s brown sugar! There’s Thai / Indian / Afghani / Tibetan / Vietnamese—and this is all in my college town of Bloomington. So avoid it. Their food is better (and honestly, it is divine).
Refer to American football as just football. Mario loves to joke about this—”Why should it be called football when they just kick the ball when they … punt, you call it? In real football, the players use their feet all the time.” He doesn’t get pissed off, but he’s very hard to piss off, I’ll admit.
Tell them soccer is boring. I personally do not believe soccer is boring. It can be boring, and I do prefer basketball (duh!), but I’ve heard many of my countrymen say this. I recommend not saying this in front of any big Spanish soccer fan, at least not without some caveats about how you are an idiot and your opinions don’t matter.
Prance around in sweatpants. Sweatpants are perfectly acceptable—in your own home. Outside on the streets? Not unless you’re going to the gym, mister. Also, tennis shoes (or trainers or sneakers) probably shouldn’t be worn unless your circumstances fit into the above-described ones. Mario’s mother recently saw him on the street wearing (what I thought were normal, decent-looking) pants and tennis shoes—and let’s just say she was less than pleased. She urged Mario to throw away the pants, pants I found perfectly normal looking. I just don’t get it, I suppose.
Insist that cold weather doesn’t cause colds. Even if the research showsdifferently, Many Spaniards (including my dear suegra) will insist that many weather-related things cause you to “coger frío,” including: not wearing adequate clothing in the winter (sweaters, scarves), drastic temperature changes, drinking cold water in the winter, etc. There is no point in insisting that viruses cause colds, not cold weather. Just wear your scarf, damn it! Cold water is for summer.
Insist on subtitles instead of dubbing when watching a movie on television. Spaniards are very used to dubbing. In contrast, I’ve watched very few movies dubbed into English, and, honestly, I hated them. I prefer subtitles, and I don’t mind “reading” the movie, as some see it. But in Spain, almost every movie is subtitled and so are many TV shows—unless, of course, they’re made in Spain. But there are a lot of American movies and TV shows here. In fact, The Simpsons are much more popular here than in the States.
I want to reiterate that this post is all in good fun … but what would you add?