An article on our "rarities" in Spain

Old Sep 6th, 2020, 01:33 AM
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An article on our "rarities" in Spain

https://www.elcorreo.com/vivir/relac...0244-ntrc.html, this article talks about how foreigners see us Spaniards and our way of living. Among them, our meal schedules (big lunch at around 2pm or even later, dinner around 10pm), our loud talking, how much we like to touch each other, our greeting ways, our long "sobremesa" (that is, the loooong time we spend at the table after a meal, chatting and having coffe or a drink), the closing of shops from 2 to 5pm for lunch and a small nap, our long working hours...And the article refers to the common traits in Spanish behaviour...as a very heterogeneous country, our customs differ greatly from region to region, and that only makes things more complicated!!

To be honest, I hope we keep these as a distinctive sign of our way of life!
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Old Sep 6th, 2020, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mikelg View Post
To be honest, I hope we keep these as a distinctive sign of our way of life!
Absolutely! One of the greatest pleasures of travel is to experience different cultures and countries, though IMO basic human nature and goodness remains the same. What a boring world it would be if we were all cut out of the same mold...😬

BTW, is there an English version of the article? Would use google translate but it quite often leaves much to be desired.
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Old Sep 6th, 2020, 02:14 PM
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I hope you realize that article is full of stereotypes (of both Spaniards and foreigners) and isn't necessarily true. You can read articles like that now and again in various publications that are usually meant to fill space and are not necessarily accurate. It isn't clear what source they really have. Many Americans don't have those opinions at all, for example, and some are just silly. Like the cheek kissing, that isn't something unique to Spain, in fact, seems more common to me in France than in Spain. Also, I'm not a fan of garbage on the floor either (there is actually a crab restaurant near me that does the same thing, though, I don't know why as it is kind of disgusting) but that article claims Americans are "frightened" by that. Really? that's just silly. Also, a lot of those things aren't even true in bigger Spanish cities, that everything closes between 2-5 and that everybody is off taking naps, for example. I'll have to admit one thing it claims Americans all supposedly think is that Spanish waiters are rude or too aggressive or something like that, and that has never even occurred to me.

I would have thought they'd put the punctuality thing onto the Germans, not French, though.

Anyway, those kind of articles are written as if everyone is an ugly tourist and doesn't bother to learn anything about the country they are visiting (from Americans to Germans, etc.). Sure, there are some people like that who are amazed about basic things they could have learned before going, but a lot of tourists are not like that.
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Old Sep 6th, 2020, 11:03 PM
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Itīs not in English, sorry, but internet translators do a good job for a good comprehension. Well, the article is based on a survey done this year and the opinion and subjective view of the correspondants of the paper (audience, 500.000, the most important in the Basque Count.ry, pop. 2.2M) in every country, that have asked visitors to Spain of their country of correspondence. Obviously, itīs not what every visitor of every nationality thinks, but itīs a good way to see how foreigners react to how people live in other countries. I could add a few more cultural misunderstandings based on what my visitors have told me throughout the years, and that would only be true in some cases, of course. In any case, apart from Madrid and Barcelona, more touristy and cosmopolitan cities, in most of Spain most shops close from 2 to 4 or 5, our lunch time is still sacred!!

By the way, the two cheek kiss was absolutely normal in Spain (and it was practically lost in France, as per my experience, substituted by the more impersonal shake of hands), but with the pandemic it may be one of those Spanish things that may be lost forever...
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Old Sep 7th, 2020, 11:55 AM
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I did use Google translate and got a good idea of what the article says, and I agree with Christina that the writer appears to be talking about the archetypical ugly tourist. IMO most of us are much more aware of the customs and traditions of the places we visit.

The French greeting quite often includes three, or even four quick kisses on the cheeks, it would indeed be sad if this tradition falls prey to Covid...😟
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Old Sep 7th, 2020, 10:45 PM
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The aim of the article is just to show what aspects of our customs and traditions seems odd to what nationality of visitors. Thereīs no reference to "ugly" tourists or any disrespect. No offense intended, itīs just a recollection of what people say about us when they return home.
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Old Sep 8th, 2020, 03:52 AM
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I’m an Australian who visited Spain for four weeks five years ago. I loved everything about Spain except the meal times, as we are in the habit of eating much earlier. But when we came home I would tell everyone how wonderful Spain is. Most people we met were friendly and polite and the fact that Spaniards eat at different times to us was something we managed to work around.
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Old Sep 9th, 2020, 12:07 PM
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Lately I'm watching a TV serie named The Closer; I like it, it's interesting and fun, but from the point of view of a Spaniard catches my attention that they spend all fucking day eating sweets, packaged snacks, etc. Their lunchtime meal is usually some crappy sandwich from a vending machine or something. When the Deputy Mother, ahem, the Deputy Chief comes home for dinner, she eats fast food delivered by a Chinese or something. It is no wonder that when they visit Spain, our relaxed lunch consisting of a first course, a second course, fruit dessert, coffee and, if the chance arises, a glass of orujo or pacharán, catches their attention.
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Old Sep 9th, 2020, 12:48 PM
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Revulgo - your post made me laugh, as the main character of The Closer (played by Kyra Sedwick) has an obsessive relationship with food. Basing your impressions of the eating habits of Americans upon the character in a TV show is as bad as assuming all visitors to Spain are surprised by its customs.
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Old Sep 9th, 2020, 10:06 PM
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"Deputy Mother", very funny, not easy to translate...
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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 11:03 AM
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I included that as a dedicated personal joke for you 😊
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