15 Things I Learned in Spain
In no particular order ...
1.) The best thing about discovering Spanish was the literal translations. These people are so cute. To 'get sick' literally meant "I put on me the bad," and "to like something," translated to "it fell on me well." It just happened to fall on me and it did so well.
2.) If you order in any restaurant that doesn't display the prices on their menu, you will get the "giddy" price, which is slang for "foreigner." A price that they will make up according to how giddy you appear to reap the the cost. Which is never too grievous because everything in Spain is cheap, but they will do it nevertheless.
3.) America is cool in Spain. French people wouldn't be caught dead in anything that resmembles America, but you see more American flags in Spain almost than you do in America. Spanish girls are covered in them - jean shorts and USA flag t-shirts. They will wear anything that displays an American looking word (and I say American instead of English, because let's be honest, the Queen's English is anything but American.) They show off t-shirts with American words that literally mean nothing; like a green shirt that reads plainly "everything."
4.) You can get your hair highlighted for 20 euros.
5.) Victoria isn't the only bitch with a secret. In Spain, the same store is called "Women's Secret," because we indeed, do all have them.
6.) Gypsy has a severe negative connotation here. Do not, for any reason, declare yourself as one.
7.) If Spanish people find out you used to be a professional American Cheerleader (or any type of cheerleader for that matter), you will watch them fall to pieces and lose their shit before your eyes.
8.) In my next life, I better be a dude. Send me back as a lady bug and I will be suicidal. Everything about traveling as a man is easier and better.
9.) The Portuguese are NOT Spanish. In fact, they would be hideously offended being lumped into this category, so let's hope that none of them are reading. Never have I met people so proud to be part of a country. They instantly list to you all the worldly things that they are responsible for that others took credit for - such as Tempora which they made up and Japan stole, and Christopher Columbus who most learn is Spanish but he is absolutely Portuguese.
10.) In Germany, you have to pay for your radio and regular tv whether you use it or not. Forever trying to make up for their past mistakes, Germany is welcoming of all languages, tourists and cultures and the students study them all during their education.
11.) People get paid to study in another country in Europe; and they visit each other on a whim. Denmark students have weekend trips in Spain. Germans drive to France for Lunch. And Spaniards take road trips to Portugal. You can travel such short distances and experience an entirely foreign culture and language. Ryan Air has flights cross borders for 20 euros and you can meet a vast array of international students in any European country from all over the world. Everyone speaks more than one language. In Portugal, they speak the most. You flip through menus by first picking out your language.
12.) You can get a beer for 50 cents and a glass of wine for 80 and most every drink comes with food. Fresh fish or a selection of meats. The people in Spain drink Vermouth as if it's their job. Straight or on the rocks. By itself.
13.) Hippies are referred to as "para floutas," literally translating to "dog flutes," because they are never without either. Also, the hippies are much different here. No flower power, prints, bright colors, flowing dresses, or head bands. No. Spanish hippies in Galicia dress in dark greens, browns, and blacks like anarchist grunge meets punk goth. Of course, the drugs and the music still bond them all together but it seems a much darker atmosphere.
14.) Dogs are EVERYWHERE. Just roaming the streets, with no collars and mixing with the people, none of these dogs are spayed or neutered so the male genitalia drag on the floor and the new female mothers have swollen utters that do the same. No one seems to notice or mind - not the dogs or the people.
15.) Children are also everywhere. Playing, laughing, screaming, climbing, throwing public temper tantrums and none of them seem to belong to anyone. Adults sit at outdoor cafes eating and drinking and paying them no mind. No one intervenes when the three year old gets rocked in the face with the soccer ball and topples over, or the seven year old girl is sitting in the middle of the square screaming in tears. They are just left to work things out amongst themselves.