I’ve never been a very black and white sort of person.
So when it comes time to decide in which country Mario and I should live, it’s totally not a black and white issue.
However, here’s the thing – and I’m gonna be a bit self-deprecating here – Mario is way better at adapting to and being cool with cultural differences. Plus, he likes the American way of life. But not marshmallows, so no s’mores. Minus one for him.
I’m the one who gets a little type A about the grocery store being closed on Sundays when I need something (whether it be Coke Zero or lettuce or yogurt). I don’t like sounding unintelligent, and I worry a lot about that happening in Spanish, although my always patient boyfriend reminds me this isn’t so.
Other stuff plays a factor, too.
- The economy. [In my most sweetly Southern voice] God bless it.[/] Unemployment is unfathomably high for young people – something like 45% for those under thirty.
- We both enjoy the American way of life more.
- Opportunities here.
- Jamón, salchichón, chorizo. Dang, I sound like a carnivore, don’t I?
- Cheap red wine that tastes good.
- Paseando, like I’ve written about in the past.
- Mario’s family, who love and treat me like their daughter. They are the sweetest parents and they worry about me now, too. In some ways, I feel guilty about adding to their worries, but I’ve heard that’s just how Spanish parents are.
- The beautiful romanesque architecture of Zamora.
- People who will pay me to speak English to them for an hour.
- The adorable children’s clothes (for the far off future. Nobody get any ideas.)
- La plaza mayor. I am a firm believer that the plaza mayors of Spain have something great to offer us all, and if they were here instead of there, I wouldn’t be seen as a the güiri tomando el sol with all the others.
- Vespas. We need more of these. Not that I ever rode on one…
- Intercambios. These are so common in Spain! I wish we had more of these, especially when I was in college. It would have been way more helpful than some of my classes.
- Olive oil aisles in the grocery store. We have a cereal aisle – why not one for olive oil?
- Shoe stores. You can never have enough – Spanish ladies get this.
- Spanish abuelos sitting around with their amigos, chatting on the park bench.