I’ve been in Spain for about two months now. It has FLOWN by cause I’m having a blast here. However, there are somethings we miss from the US. Here is a list that my friends Christine and MaryBeth helped me to create:
1. PEANUT BUTTER. En serio Europa, ¿Que tal? (Seriously Europe, what’s up with that?)
2. Toliet paper in public areas. You would think this goes hand in hand when there is a toliet. NOPE. How did we solve that? Stealing napkins from various bars and restaurants to stow away in our purses.
3. Spicy food…Vale (OK) more of a big deal for MaryBeth and Christine (Those who really know me, know I can’t handle spicy food, but I’m even missing it a bit).
4. FALL and everything that goes with it: pumpkin lattes, football games, pumpkin carving, fall deserts, apple picking, leaves turning color, a crispness in the air, crunchy leaves on the sidewalk, sweatshirts, pants in general (still wearing shorts!)…YOU GET THE PICTURE.
5. Customer service. No existe en España (Doesn’t exist in Spain). If you’re not pushy you will not get service at a bar/restaurant.
6. TARGET. Yes, the store. There is a department store called Corte Inglés that has literally everything in the whole entire world (Waconians, it’s essentially a giant Duebers, but 10x the price.), but sometimes a girl just needs a stroll through Target.
7. GOOD beer. No existe en España, tambien. Our ratings of Spanish beer: Alhambra-equivalent of BudLight, Cruzcampo- Miller light, Mahou-PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon).
8. Dryers. We are a little tired of our clothes being crunchy and stretched out.
9. American toiletries. Everybody and their mother needs clinical strength deodorant in this heat, AKA the deodorant here is terible (terrible). (HINT: if you send me love send me CLINICAL STRENGTH deodorant).
10. Our friends and family. BUT we are reaching out and making new friends and relationships with some awesome people. El gente de España es muy amable y paciente! (The people of Spain are very nice and patient!).
Now for the top ten things we LOVE about Spain:
1. El gente de España. They are truly another breed (not in derogatory manner), especially the Spaniards of Andalucia. They love their country and fellow country men and women. They are more than willing to help us out at anytime (hence our friend Coyote from Almonte who escorted us to Huelva)…and tell us a good joke or two.
2. FOOD. Let’s be real, my diet of helado (ice cream), jamón (ham), pan y aciete (bread and olive oil), y queso (cheese) is doing wonders for my figure. But really it IS, en serio. However, there is SO MUCH MORE FOOD: mariscos (seafood), choco (cuttle fish, YES I HAVE EATEN THIS.), tortilla español, espinacas con garbonzos, bacalao con tomate, falafle y kabab, postres (desserts), gambas (shrimps), paella, berenjenas con miel y salmorjo (Eggplant with honey), churros con chocolate, gazpacho, patatas bravas, atun…I digress.
3. The fashion. It’s amazing. And cheap.
4. People watching. WAY better here than in the states. Especially the active aging generation. We all have had plenty of encounters that make us fall in love with Spain even more. Por ejemplo (for example): Today an old lady stopped us in the street to tell us that we need to speak spanish while on the streets to be understood. She was SO concerned that she ask “how are we going to understand people in Barcelona with their Catalan dialect.” Dios mio (my god).
5. The drama. Everything is dramatic: the people, expressions, futbol games, the tv shows, telenovelas, everyday life problems (such as the printer not working or sleeping ONLY 8 hours). Madre mia!
6. SIESTA. American needs this. Enough said.
7. FOOD…wait. yeaahhh clearly all we do is eat, todos las horas del día (All of the hours of the day).
8. Drinking starts at lunch…it’s five o’clock somewhere!
9. Becoming Spaniards. Well Christine can cause she has the “Spanish look,” but Marybeth and I are in another boat with our luscious blond locks. Learning the Spanish language, the culture, and the mannerism have been an adventure in itself. However, we have loved the journey.
10. “No pasa nada.”/”Esta bien.” Nothing has passed, no worries/It’s all good. This is the life motto of Andalucians. No matter is pressing, it can all be done tomorrow.