Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag No dejes de soñar
2 november 2014
No dejes de soñar
I've decided to write again, since everyone (including myself) liked it so much 4 years ago when I was in Asia with the dearest Anne. Though I figured this time it might be better to write in English, as most of my dutchies are able to read that (SORRY als je engels niet zo top is, klagen kan bij de reacties ;-) . Opa: mam en pap vertalen het met alle liefde) and no-dutchies might like to read something as well.
Imma start with this hilarious list of culture differences I've made during the last 3 months:
- First of all, I’ll greet you with two kisses, as all Spanish people do, also men, though a bit less. (funny fact: Italians do it the other way around, start with their left cheek.)
- The Spanish are just quite not as formal and neat as the dutchies, for example they do not move aside but just bump into you, like, always. And not even look up. Another example is that I would say ‘Can you please come’, they just say ‘come’ (‘ven’). To get the attention of the bartender you’d easily snap your fingers. On the streets nobody even smiles at each other (ok, I’m from Utrecht, so I know the difference is huge for me haha). In my building everybody does hold the door open for each other (even if I’m not with my bici) and says ‘hola, qué tal’ (random fact here, which gave them in the beginning a lot of time to greet me, is that the door locks work the other way around, to open the door you turn the key to the right instead of to the left, at least in my building).
- Los Madrileños do mountainbike, but only in the weekend, as a ‘sport’ (they go really slow and still have a huge beerbelly). But cycling to school/work is really weird to them, though there are more people who do than I expected (with helmets and all haha)
- Madrid is very often cleaned and washed down with a high pressure washer. But they have to because for example to set a perfect example the police on horseback, caballeros, just let the horses shit wherever, whenever they like. So it’s no surprise if in front of the Palacio Real is quite some horse shit, yum.
- On the streets there are a lot of handicapped people or musicians begging/asking for money. Beggars sleep on the streets and the police does not do anything about them. Musicians are quite often really good and amusing though, especially once you’re having drinks on some terrace.
- The next thing was really shocking to me in the beginning and I notice this is for most dutchies (and germans): Spanish people just kiss in public wherever, whenever they want to and even more interesting: sometimes for really, really long. Indepent of their age. E.g. I was sitting in the park (yup in the sun, sorry dutchies) when this couple decided to go for it. They were just standing in front of me (within a meter) for minutes and minutes and I wish I had a book or something with me, because I honestly had no idea where I was supposed to look. Was I supposed to walk away? Was a supposed to give some feedback? (a bit more to the right, yeah, hold her, haha) I felt so random. They also sit on top of each other all the time, like the girl sitting on the guys lap, but then with the faces towards each other. I still don't know what to think of this!
- Men are way more pushy when it comes to wanting your number. I was, again, sitting in the park, reading, when this guy from about 65 years old starts talking to me in spanish. I'm like fine, let's chat a bit, but then he wants my number (yes, seriously). So I tell him I find this a bit weird, when he reacts that we're not in Holland now, but in Madrid and here it's normal (I asked around and maybe it's more normal, but still not normal). So I again tell him I do not want to give my number, when he claims that if we would've been in a club, it would not have been weird. (What the hell?!) 'NO' and finally he gets up and leaves.
- Spanish people, in general again(!), think they work a lot if they work 7 hours a day, which would be a part time job in Holland. I've had quite some discussions about this and still haven't made up my mind whether this is a thing we should be jealous of or not.
- There are almost no swimming pools here. You might think ‘what does this have to do with work?’ Haha, well: I figure that the lack of swimming pools is because all the Madrileños leave the city in summer, as quickly as they can because from June – September it’s just about 40 degrees Celsius all the time. The most restaurants and shops close then for at least 4 weeks in a row, so their summer holidays are ridiculously long.
- On Sunday most shops in Madrid are still open, but leave the city centre and everything’s closed.
- I doubt anyone sleeps before midnight here, which explains the need of the siesta of something like two hours a day. This makes times so different here:
Holland: breakfast at 8/9, lunch at 12/1, dinner at 6/7
España: I doubt many of them have breakfast (which might also explain them not having breakfast in bigger packages than for one meal, super environment friendly. As well as the absence of bigger supermarkets than small Chinese shops. But hey basically nobody recycles in Madrid, so who cares?)
lunch is at 3, dinner start at 10/11, which according to me is always with alcohol and way too much pork, because… health? What’s that?
This also makes times for saying ‘buenas tardes’ and buenas noches’ really different.
(Another thing about the environment which really struck me at the beginning: I thought as dutch oranges come from España, they would have local oranges over here, but they don’t, they’re from Chile and stuff. I really do not see any logic in this.)
Studying at la uni
- Students just walk in and out of the classroom if they have to go to the bathroom or whatever. They find it so weird if I say that I’ll go the bathroom haha.
- Another thing, which also shows how much more ‘at ease’ they are in public: cursing, wow. Young and old, at uni or not (so yep, professors as well) they all curse. I went with my dad to a soccer game of Atlético Madrid for his birthday and they even had scarves which said 'Puta Sevila'
- Spanish youth has a lot of piercings. My all time favorite is the one in the nose, as if you’re a cow. There’s also quite some dreads and long hair on guys
- I’ve seen at least a hand full of hipsters with pigs or ducks as pets. I wonder if they do eat pork then, as someone with an dog or cat at home would never eat their meat.
- Students in my faculty are already DRINKING beer at 11 in the morning, yup AT school (sorry mom, uni). Also, and this is worse, they smoke INSIDE, cigarettes AND POT. WOW. (but then again, health, what’s that?)
- Los Madrileños in general don’t speak English. At all. Period. (maybe like 10% of the students excluded) And they talk so fast and mutter quite bad I still don’t understand shit. And there are so many tenses, such as when you would say, well ‘would say’, is in Spanish just another version of say:
The infinitive verb = decir. I say = yo digo. I would say = yo diría.
But still, enjoying it big time. Many culture difference are very enriching. I feel really good over here, even though I do miss you guys and our awesome country a lot. But this is not necessarily a bad thing <3
3 november 2014 21:17 | Door: Annie
Those crazy Spaniards.... But hey, i LOVED my visit last week!
Write us some more, Carlinaaa!
Can't wait to see you again in the rainy Netherlands xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
5 november 2014 15:20 | Door: Maurits
Leuk berichtje! Goed om te lezen! Ik ga het morgen wel beleven daar :)