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After living in a certain place for a long enough time you adapt to that culture and way of life, but sometimes there will always be those things that you find funny and unusual; things that stay with you no matter the time, here are 8 of them:

  1. Sometimes, like in the picture above they like to clean the walls with a mop and on a more normal occurrence will mop the sidewalk/street in front of their door.
  2. Whenever somebody gets a haircut (guys), it’s custom for students to slap the back of the neck of the person whose hair has been cut.  Every time I get a haircut I have to fend off a wave of attackers, telling students they can lightly do it if they ask.
  3. Parents let their little children pee literally anywhere outside; walking down the street and little kid has to go to the bathroom…no problem pull their pants down and voila, they have a toilet.
  4. The lines at grocery stores.  This isn’t something rather the Spanish do, but a curious phenomenon at the supermarket.  There could be one person in line with one item and for some reason, only known to god, it’s as if they were buying the whole store.  You will be behind that person waiting for 10 minutes.  If you have to chose between two lines; always choose the one with fewer old people; even if the other one is twice as long.
  5. Spanish people love to say buenos dias “good morning” or buenos tardes “good evening” in public waiting areas where they don’t know anyone.  It’s never directed toward one person, always to the group; unless of course you are the only person there.  If you’re at the doctors office, be prepared to be greeted by every new person coming in to wait.
  6. They drive anywhere with their mopeds and stop anywhere with their cars.  It seems that if you are driving a moped normal traffic laws don’t apply; drive on the sidewalk only to pass a line of cars….sure; go down a one way street because it’s faster… of course; drive on pedestrian pathways when not many people are on them…why not; they use them like they are bicycles.  As for stopping anywhere, it doesn’t matter if they are in a single lane street or a busy highway they will stop and do whatever they have to do usually resulting in a line of cars stuck behind them; strangely enough, they rarely honk.
  7. Chuches, Chuches and more Chuches “sweets”.  They love sweets, obsessively, whole sections of stores and sometimes even small little shops are dedicated solely to sweets; allowing you to pick and choose among a plethora of sugary vices; they even let you make your own bag as big or as little as your sweet heart desires.  Imagine Willy Wonka without the factory.
  8. They are bag friendly, but litter freely.  They place a strong emphasis on reusing or bringing their own bags to the grocery store; it even costs you an extra 5 cents if you don’t.  You would think think this environmentally friendly consciousness aspect would expand to other parts of their lives, but it doesn’t seem to.  People freely discard wrappers and papers on the sidewalk and street; on too many occasions I have seen parents let their children throw their garbage on the ground without so much a second glance.

 

*Disclaimer: Obviously the things listed here don’t hold true for all Spanish people and is no way a generalization of the Spanish culture as a whole, but rather a collection of things that I find funny and have noticed that still have an effect on me after living in Spain for the last year and a half.

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