Previously, my roommate and I compiled a list of a few hints to help you survive living in Spain (or just visiting us!). Click here to read part one. Below are a few more helpful hints…
- If you want American coffee, order an “americano” or you’ll get an espresso.
- Realize that alcohol is a big part of the culture. Social drinking is everyday life, but drunkenness is not (at least for most people).
- Never expect drink refills of any kind.
- Learn to ask your server for the bill. For some reason, giving a customer their bill isn’t a high priority. You almost may have to beg for it.
- Put your breath mints away. Having good breath isn’t as important in Spain. And Spaniards laugh at Americans for constantly freshening their breath.
- Beware of scammers. They aren’t limited to persistently calling your phone and tipping you off with a mispronunciation of your name. They may knock on your door with a fistful of official-looking documents.
- Don’t be surprised if the line between church and state is a bit blurred in Spain. More than 70% of Spaniards identify as Catholic. Even the schools teach religion, although there is often a variety of classes to choose from.
- When you forget a name, just guess. Many women have the name “María” somewhere in their name. Men often have “José” or “Juan.”
- Don’t assume that Mr. Smith’s wife is Mrs. Smith. Women don’t usually change their last names when they marry. And most Spaniards have two last names.
- Be aware that the word “husband” or “wife” is more inclusive than an official spouse. It might mean “partner.”
- When you visit the beach, prepare yourself to see more epidermis than you bargained for. In fact, you might be shocked by the billboards and TV commercials as well.
- Plan your laundry days with the weather. Most places don’t have dryers. And washing machines take longer to run a cycle.
- In the winter, dress warmly, even inside of the house… unless you’re running the oven while simultaneously doing aerobics.
- Keep your road rage in check. Apparently, double parking is permitted (and sometimes necessary). And street parking is still considered street parking as long as two of the wheels are on the street.
- Plan ahead. Public restrooms are hard to find.
Stay tuned! I’m sure we’ll find more things to add to our list!