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Anyone else find Spain unfriendly to Americans?

Anyone else find Spain unfriendly to Americans?

Jun 28th, 2004, 05:25 PM
  #1  
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Anyone else find Spain unfriendly to Americans?

We were in Spain last week and found a lot of hostility toward Americans. I spoke to everyone in Spanish and it didn't matter. We don't expect friendliness in a major city, but we didn't expect hostility. We've been in Spain before so I don't know if it is because of the war. Anyone else experience this? We were in Italy the week before and they were great!
Vetty is offline  
Jun 28th, 2004, 06:55 PM
  #2  
 
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That's curious -- I was just there in March/April and everyone was pretty friendly to me (I'm American). Maybe we have different definitions of hostility, but I can't think of anything I'd call even close to that. What happened that you thought was hostility that you could specifically tie to being American?
Christina is offline  
Jun 28th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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I'm curious too. Marcy_ (a fellow Hoosier, hey Marcy!) was in Spain the first of May and had a great time.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...2&tid=34496105

What happened that was so bad? Were you physically assaulted? Were you shoved on sidewalks? Did people spit on you?
indytravel is offline  
Jun 28th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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We were in Barcelona last month and didn't experience any ill-will; however some friends came back 10 days after us and reported they had received some negative attitude (nothing dramatic, just rudeness) in Barcelona and Andlusia.

We saw a lot of anti-tourist grafiti in Barcelona which we hadn't seen before (not just Americans, but it was all in English); that's at least better than the anti-Semitic grafiti we saw in Italy.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jun 28th, 2004, 07:58 PM
  #5  
 
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We spent some time in Spain about a week after the train bombings. We did not meet with hostility, and several times were told "Welcome--thank you for coming." Otherwise, people seemed as friendly as they have been in other countries, when visiting them. In Seville, at a Flamenco event, even tho the tickets for the night were sold out, the clerk made some adjustments and got us two seats--which I thought quite nice of her.

Sometimes, it is just a matter of perception. We Americans sometimes seem unfriendly, on our home ground, because we are busy about our business and often pressed for time, and don't want to get involved. We did not notice any difference in our reception this year (2004) than when we were there in 2001, in virtually the same locations. mhm
mercy is offline  
Jun 28th, 2004, 09:01 PM
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We spend a lot of time in Spain and France and have never encountered any hostility toward Americans per say, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen as an isolated experience from time to time. Our friends and associates seem to be able to make a distinct difference between Americans in general and the current administration, but that line can blur at times, but I've never witness any open hostility.

It is also a fact that there are a number of Americans who should never impose themselves on others. We've all run across them in our travels, but in your case I don't understand. You didn't mention where you where when this happened, but didn't anyone explain to you why they felt the way they did toward Americans? It's very curious indeed.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 06:58 AM
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We were just in Spain the first part of June - Madrid, Seville, Granada and Barcelona.

Nothing negative towards anybody speaking English.
Myer is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:03 AM
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My sister and her husband were there the day after the bombings and also said they experienced no ill will directed towards them. They said they found everyone to be friendly.
Statia is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:14 AM
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People are too quick to jump on the racist bandwagon. People are offhand with you because they're in a mood, or just not particularly friendly. Fellow London residents are offhand with me in stores, restaurants etc. nothing racist just life. Stop being so paranoid about this "world against America" label, live life and enjoy.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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We found the people more friendly in the north of Spain. We felt uncomfortable in Seville during the semano santo when my friend was filming, decreetly, the proceedings. A lot of the Spanish were glaring at her and her camera in a rather hostile way. I wish I'd known how to to say 'Don't worry the camera won't steal your soul' in Spanish!!
lauralamb is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:49 AM
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We were in Madrid 4 days in April and found the people very pleasant. ABsolutely no feeling of hostility and we felt very safe wandering all over town and using mass transit. In fact many people were very friendly towards my kids when they tried to use their spanish, and chatted with my son when he wore his new Real Madrid soccer jersey (that he purchased in Madrid and wore almost everyday thereafter). We had a great experience and would love to explore more of the country.
MFNYC is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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Why do Americans, especially those who live in smaller cities and towns, expect the whole world to smile at them???? Go to any large American city and the locals will treat you in a very offhand manner. That is life in a big city.

I live in Philadelphia, and I very seldom get a smile from anyone, save the shopgirls at expensive stores who get a commission. They only smile to make a sale.

I have always noticed that the people of Barcelona became "miffed" if you spoke Spanish to them. They only like to converse in Catalan, and many are insulted by Spanish.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:55 AM
  #13  
ira
 
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>We felt uncomfortable in Seville during the semano santo when my friend was filming, decreetly, the proceedings. A lot of the Spanish were glaring at her and her camera in a rather hostile way. <

You should have felt uncomfortable. You were filming a religious service in a place where custom prohibits it.

>I wish I'd known how to to say 'Don't worry the camera won't steal your soul' in Spanish!!<

This insensitive, unthinking and odious remark doesn't even warrant a response.

No wonder people complain about ugly Americans.

ira is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 09:15 AM
  #14  
 
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We were in Spain (central, north, and Barcelona) in mid May. Many people were very friendly, many were neutral, and a few were downright rude, about what I encounter at home on a day to day basis. At one bar in Madrid my husband noticed that we were the only customers not given olives with our drinks and tappas, and we happened to be the only Americans. Coincidence? I think not, but no hostility.
Anika is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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You have to consider that the effects of decades under Franco linger still. Spain was effectively closed off from the rest of the world, resulting in an isolated people who, over time, became less aware of/interested in the rest of the world. This doesn't apply to all the Spanish people, of course, but I've spent a lot of time in the country and learning about its 20th century history really put this in perspective. They ain't the Italians folks! And I agree with M__Kingdom to stop worrying about anti-americanism. Be open to other people instead of worrying if they're open to you. So endeth today's sermon.
sera is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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Something strikes me on this type of post. Why do some of you "leap" at the O.P. as though she/he cannot detect hostility or anti-Americanism or unfriendliness in a given situation? We should have enough respect for each other to take the other person at his word. I think it's very rude to say to someone, "no, you didn't experience that" when you have no firsthand knowledge of the situation they describe. JMHO.
Leelani is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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May I point out that Vetty, who posted the question, never described the form that "a lot of hostility toward Americans" took? And he/she does not speak only for him/herself but about a generalized hostility toward "Americans" (plural).

Nor did most of the posters attack him/her; they simply stated that their recent experiences in Spain had been positive.
Eloise is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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Eloise, I didn't say that "most" of the posters did anything; I said "some"........
Leelani is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 12:58 PM
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I agree with the poster above...most people with insight and keen observation skills can pick up on negative feelings, glares...political hostility. No one said anything about hatred. We should give fellow travelers the benefit of the doubt. I was in eastern Europe when the war in Iraq began...Slovaks, Poles and others were all around and here I was, feeling embarrassed because of my president's decisions. Only once though, did anyone say anything. In a tour of the Wawel Cathedral in Poland, a very old man who was leading the tour turned to us and said, "I think God angry at what Mr. Bush doing." Of course, he continued the tour and treated us wonderfully. I felt weird for about a second, but realized that here I was in a poor country whose soldiers were part of this "coalition of the willing," and the Pope had just come out against the war. This old Catholic man just wanted a release for his opinion. It had nothing to do with me personally. I suppose there's much of the same right now in Spain.
susanteach is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 05:44 PM
  #20  
 
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I wouldn't waste much sympathy on Vetty, who since starting the discussion has since declined the opportunity to elaborate on what form the unlikely "hostility" took. Always assuming that there was a problem in the first place, and for that matter he/she was even in Spain.
Neil_Oz is offline  

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