The Shame In Spain

“Es una vergüenza…”, “Así nos va”, “Normal, este país”

Last week, a nurse in Spain became the first person to catch ebola outside of Africa. Scary? Maybe. A cause for extra precaution, for more education? Definitely. Shameful? I don’t know if we should go that far. But during this past week, I’ve heard a lot of reactions from Spaniards—friends, Twitter personalities, politicians, newscasters, etc. Some offered support to a person who was risking her life to save someone else. But a lot of people talked about shame. Shame? Yes, shame.

La vergüenza ajena

I love Spain. I think it’s a pretty cool country—beautiful, with great food, open-minded people (mainly). It has its problems, but it’s overall a nice place to live. I am sometimes shocked by Spaniards’ views on their own country, the way they insult it, as if their problems made it a terrible country. As Spanish National Television put it in a blog post, “We Spaniards feel shame constantly.” As the blog mentions, everyone feels a twinge of shame when your drunk uncle does ridiculous things at a wedding. Of course! But Spaniards seem to feel shame where most of us wouldn’t, to feel shame when they personally haven’t done anything wrong. La vergüenza ajena, feeling shame on the behalf of another person.

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Spain or the US? The Ever-Present Question.

I prefer here. I don’t want to admit it, especially on the Internet (what with its permanence and omnipresence), but it’s true. For most of the year, I live in Spain, in Europe. And I prefer it here.

Kaley Shades State Park

But I want to say something, and I want it to be crystal clear: I think that my preference is okay.

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Spain Blogger Confessions

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.

You Wanted Patty Mayonnaise

…but you found me instead.

Recently, a lot of people have arrived at my blog hoping to find something about my dear friend Patty Mayonnaise.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m most definitely not blonde, super thin, and prone to wearing polka dot shirts all day, everyday. Weird, I know. Sorry, I can’t be the Patty Mayonnaise to your Doug. I’m taken, anyway.

Let’s play a game called –


Seriously, now:

  • Patty Mayonnaise – NO! (Besides one funny picture)
  • Bilingual – YES! YES AGAIN!
  • Happy couple – YES!
  • Happy couples – YES!
  • Brújula – YES! (And – funnily enough – Mario just met his favorite person, Carlos Rodríguez Braun at an economics conference. He was smiling from ear to ear.)
  • Patriotism – Um, sure, sorta, kinda.
  • Kaley y mas – Here I am.
Are you joking?:
  • 5’11” tall – Are you stalking me?
  • in castilian the j is like the h in hanukkah – You have to HAAAACK when you say it.
  • locker room nude – WTF?
  • angry mushroom Mario – Mushrooms don’t make my Mario angry.
  • saint bull – No words.
  • would you date a foreigner – Yes, I would…obvy. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues that go along with that.
  • why would you go to belgium – Waffles. Enough said.
Maybe my blog is helpful:
  • can you live in spain on 700 euros a month? Um, yes. Just ask any of my fellow auxiliares
  •  speaking spanish outside the classroom – Check out this post. You nailed it, my friend.
  • fun spanish expressions – Check out my friend Cat’s blog post on this.
  • why am i never cool enough – You’ve never had Spanish wine or food. No more Eyetalian stuff.
  • no jobs zapatero – Well, can’t help you there.
One of my favorite things to do is find the things that were only searched for one time, like Homer Simpson pantsless. Yes, apparently that did indeed lead someone to a blog post I wrote about the Simpsons in Spain. However, I never mentioned Homer pantsless. It really is not something that appeals to me.
What are some funny search terms that lead people to your blog?