After reading Girl in Florence’s post about her boyfriend’s thoughts about being with an American, I thought I’d interview Mario about his thoughts about life and love with a guiri (Spain Spanish for “foreigner”). He is really too kind, though, and it was hard to get out any juicy tidbits … mainly he was just super respectful. Darn it, Mario! (Okay, not really. He is the best.)
Before I came to Spain, I wasn’t sure if I identified with my nationality. I didn’t like guns, or football, or beer, or many other things your “typical” American likes. Oddly enough, it took me coming to Spain to really “feel American.” Although I still don’t see myself as your stereotypical American girl, I know that many parts of my upbringing are deeply ingrained, and they influence how I act on a daily basis.
As a part of a Spanish-American couple, I’ve seen and experienced many of the cultural mishaps that go along with dating someone from another country. Spain and the U.S. aren’t all that different in the end, but there are still some things that trip me up, even after five years in the country. Perhaps Mario and I will always have our small miscommunications and misunderstandings. But they’re still fun to discuss! So let’s get it started …
How do you think your life is different being with me than if you were with a Spaniard or some other nationality?
We wouldn’t be talking in English! I wouldn’t visit the States so much, of course, and I doubt I would have gone to Indiana ever.
That would be a crying shame! Really. “Don’t mess with Texas,” psh, don’t mess with Hoosiers. What parts of the United States surprised you? The good and the bad.
- People living in houses and driving everywhere, not having a proper city.
- The high school was so big.
What do you like most about being with someone from the U.S.?
You get to talk a lot in English, so I improve my English. Eating new foods from the U.S. Getting to experience another culture through your partner. Having two teams to root for in sports competitions.
Yes! Go Spain! Go USA! What things are more difficult?
Because we come from two different countries, one of us has to be far from our home. Sometimes there are cultural or linguistic misunderstandings
What new things have you tried (foods, experiences, etc.)?
- Apart from going to Indiana, I’ve tried a lot of new foods, like: your dad’s smoked ribs, the cookies you make (the ones with oatmeal and dried cranberries) … I really liked the breakfast casserole your aunt made for us the morning after your brother’s wedding! [Kaley: This was your typical sausage and egg casserole a.k.a. hangover food.]
- We went to an IU basketball game and a football game. We tailgated before the game! That was fun.
- Having an American wedding was cool, even if it was the traditional wedding. Going to your brother’s was also a lot of fun.
- Thanksgiving was neat, because we were watching the football game on TV and then eating. I really like stuffing, and obviously the turkey. The ham was good too. I was at the Black Friday sales the next day. [Kaley: Note we did not go to the 3 a.m. stuff. Just the average next-day sales.]
- I got to go pick out a Christmas tree at the farm. I cut it down too.
- I’ve been to Chicago, and it’s so impressive with all its skyscrapers, and of course the lake. I tried Chicago-style pizza with my mom and dad when they visited.