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The Definitive Guide to Behave Like A Local in Spain

The Definitive Guide to Behave Like A Local in Spain

Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 06:48 PM
  #101  
 
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Nobody would ever take me for a local in Spain. My Danish/Irish ancestry shows in my complexion. When I was taking a class in Madrid in 2000, our teacher told us that a film company was looking for non Spanish-looking people to work as extras in a movie being made there.

She pointed me and another woman out as the kind of non Spanish-looking people they were looking for.

On the other hand, I am sometimes asked for directions or scolded for pedestrian infractions (in German) when I'm in Germany. Obviously I look German, though there's no German in my ancestry.

I seldom commit the clothing infractions you list in Europe. My style is international middle-aged frumpy, which is pretty hard to identify as to country.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 10:20 PM
  #102  
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Well, Bedar...I was born in the very late 60s, have visited over 40 countries in my life, have been to many excellent restaurants all over the world, I have a web page, a blog on tourism, another one on food...don´t know, maybe not enough? Oh, and I quit a job as Export Mgr to dedicate my life to tourism. And in Fodor´s since 2004...

Of course there´re always exceptions to what I say, but this post is directed at those people that want to know the local way, not to those that look how to rebate anything I say.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 11:24 PM
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When I heard it it was
A peasant is walking down a country road and walks right by Franco. Franco stops the peasant and says, "Don't you recognize me?"
"No," says the peasant.
"My name is on signs all over Spain."
"Oh yes, Senor Sanders ."
http://kfc.es/
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Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 11:36 PM
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Sanders? KFC is almost inexistant in most of Spain and we are not familiar with its establishments.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 11:52 PM
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And when I say "almost inexistant" it means it´s present in major cities, but not all over the country. And not very popular...
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 12:22 AM
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Mikel - "I was born in the very late 60s" Hey, you are a youngster, just a kid !! Take that as a compliment. No one wants to debate you, just add to your knowledge. BTW, I don't think your visitors want to act like a local. They just don't want to, as we say, stick out like a sore thumb.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 12:29 AM
  #107  
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Thanks again, Mikel, for your observations!

When I travel, I never assume that I will “fit in,” but I do want to be respectful. And while I don’t think one needs to fit in to be respectful – and I don’t think mikelg said anything that would suggest one does – sometimes knowing a bit about local norms can help. Knowing that dinner is typically not served until 10 p.m. or so (oh, how I love Spain!) is useful for those who think they can find good local dining experiences at 5 p.m. Knowing that ice is not always served in beverages in the Basque country should help people know whether to ask for it in advance, rather than getting upset when it isn’t there. Knowing that going to a fine restaurant in the Basque country in casual attire is generally OK is very helpful, as is knowing that tipping a nominal amount is OK, but not expected.

FWIW, I’ve only rarely seen chicken on a menu in Spain, but I love seeing the variety of different breeds of chicken (not to mention LOTS of other things) on sale in Spain’s markets. So unlike most markets in the US!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 12:48 AM
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AgainMikel, thanks for your post.
Your title was clear enough, but some obviously wil lwant to debate the fact that they want to drink coke at breakfast. It is totally ok, but not relevant to what you are describing.

You've been on Fodors since 2004, so you know how it goes on forums.

BTW, I was born in the 60's too and have visited 40 countries. Should I quit my job and go tourist ?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 01:05 AM
  #109  
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hahaha...not a bad idea, I´m much happier now...
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 01:08 AM
  #110  
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thanks Bedar...and yes, you may be true, they probably don´t want to stand out as tourists and would like to know a bit about our local customs and try to adapt to them
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 01:25 AM
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<Casa Mingo had turned up in some kind of search a couple weeks ago, and I marked it on my map>

Not a fine dining place, that's true, but an institution in town for very good reasons. Some of them are the atmosphere, the chicken, the tortilla and the cider. The whole roast chicken is 7.60€ in the bar and 10.60€ at the table. There are several vegetarian options, and they serve an excellent traditional Asturian fabada, the thick bean stew with chorizo, ham and morcilla. Also a terrace. A very good option for a special dining experience in Madrid:
http://www.casamingo.es/
http://www.casamingo.es/menu.htmlhtt...go-Madrid.html
Fabada in Casa Mingo: https://notesfrommadrid.wordpress.co...ada-in-madrid/
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 01:31 AM
  #112  
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One thing that only exists in the Basque Country (with few exceptions), and mainly in the province of Bizkaia, is the "cerveceras", places with tables outside and inside, where you queue to get your chicken, salad, morcilla, chorizo, french fries, fish, jug of beer, sodas...and then you have it with your friends or family, in a very, very informal way. And normally with kids, as these places have a big garden where they can play. Kind of a beer house, serving roasted chicken. Quite cheap, for 15eur a person you can have it all.

As an example, this old 1350 mill, converted into a cervecera, very close to my place, http://cerveceraelmolino.biz/?lang=es
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 02:16 AM
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We can have excellent chicken at home any time but what we cannot get
is perfectly prepared pulpo, tortilla de bacalao, salmorejo...etc..
So, when in Spain...

Some travellers prefer stick to the familiar, some are on the budget, some travel
with children who will not eat " foreign " food....

À chacun son goût
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 02:35 AM
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Didn't know about the cerveceras, must be great with kids.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 03:49 AM
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Casa Mingo must have showed up when I looked for restaurants near Real Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, perhaps with "vegetarian" in the search. That is on our "B list" of sites to visit, to see Goya's frescoes. According to a biography I just read, some church elders were displeased because his angels exhibited a little too much worldly femininity.

We also want to have a look at Debod. If we make it there then Casa Mingo is a good option. It's open all day too, none of this odd Spanish custom of closing in the middle of the afternoon.

Thanks for this thread mikelg, it's been interesting.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 06:07 AM
  #116  
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14- As Nelson says, most independent shops (in major cities, chain stores don´t do it) close at around 0130pm or 0200pm, and reopen again at 4pm or 0430pm. Siesta is more a myth than an actual fact, but it´s true that some people doze off for some minutes before going back to work.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 06:08 AM
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G&Ts are drank in Galicia I have to pour them out most nights. Usually served with ice. A local rock band is named (with a slight twist) after the drink.
Whisky with ice is also usually asked for(which is a no no for me). So I would stand out as tourist even in my local town!
https://www.facebook.com/Gin-Tonis-1...0753/timeline/
Guest here (of all nations and both sexes) have also proved that shorts are certainly warn in the summer months.
Flip flops only relaxing at the house. It is illegal to drive with them anyhow. Open toed shoes---tick that box too.
No cokes with meals, but a soft drink for adults is Gaseosa.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 06:37 AM
  #118  
 
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maitaitom, thanks for that. I suspect your views are very valid.

just as an aside and given the ages mentioned, I was making cocktails at 9 (also born early 60s) and from about 14 I had the pleasure of tasting a range of spirits warm (it was a simpler time then). Trust me warm gin puts you off cold gin for life, I now only touch wine and beer as a matter of choice.

Still, at least they stopped putting quinine in Tonic years ago.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 07:26 AM
  #119  
 
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"I was making cocktails at 9 (also born early 60s) and from about 14"

Saludos...I wasn't far behind you! I actually do enjoy a warm shot of Hendricks from time to time.


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Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 08:36 AM
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My husband wasn't able to find tonic last night so we had warm tastes of Hendrick's. Zowie, was that strong but not unpleasant. Then he made a drink for himself with club soda. Said the taste was very interesting, also without ice. I've got to go tonic shopping today. Men are hopeless at this sort of thing.
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