Before I even start this post I want to point out that I’m completely and hopelessly in love with Spain. If there was a way to trade off my Australian citizenship for the right to abode here forever, I would do it in a heart beat. Don’t worry family, I’ll keep my NZ citizenship. I see beautiful Spanish people in the streets and I’m not that jealous of their year-long tans or their beautiful language, but I am jealous of the fact they are, quite simply, Spanish.
When I decided to move to Madrid, the only place I’d been in Spain before was Barcelona. That was during the winter, so it wasn’t much of a sight, but I loved it still. It was a blind move, based on some simple logic: Spain would be warm during the summer, I would be surrounded by Spanish speaking people (unlike in Barcelona), it was a big city, so it should be interesting, and my affection for naps (siestas) and tapas. I didn’t expect for it to fast become one of my favourite cities in the world. There’s no single thing I can describe about Madrid that could illustrate my affection for this city, it’s just so alive.
I’ve basically been here a month, with a quick trip to Bilbao and San Sebastian before venturing to Madrid. I also spent a long weekend in Marbella, which I’ll have to post about. I could see AFRICA from the beach – amazing! But since arriving I quickly noticed some weird things that the Spanish people do…
Here are my top weird Spanish Things I’ve seen:
Pick And Mix Frozen Vegetables
Okay, so I know frozen vegetables aren’t particular exciting, but in New Zealand (aka paradise) you can only really get Pick n Mix Candy, which suits me quite well. But this supermarket in Bilbao only had Pick N Mix frozen vegetables… I just don’t get it? Wouldn’t they get freezer burn or do people actually buy them often enough to avoid it. Either way, it looked kinda gross.
Spaniards aren’t the only people in the world to use bidets of sorts, but I was surprised by the prevalence of these in the average Spanish home. Every house I’ve been to has had one of these weird looking fake toilets. Often they’re so unused that they’re full of random bathroom things, but they just kinda creep me out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for clean bits and pieces, but the idea of hovering over a fake toilet in order to splash yourself from a tap… I don’t know, just seems a bit weird.
Spanish Woman Don’t Wash Their Hands
You’ll be grateful I don’t have a picture of this, although I’m tempted to set up some kind of secret camera experiment to name and shame these dirty… chicas. I’ve spent a bit too long in public bathrooms since arriving in Spain, mostly trying to cleanse myself of long bus rides, flights, or just general backpacker aroma (ugh, just kidding!). Seriously, the ladies go into the cubicle, do their thing, flush and then open the door and walk straight out, every single time. Okay, it’s like 99% of the time, but seriously? I’m always alone at the basin giving my hands a good wash while ladies walk out oblivious to the hate crime they are committing against humanity and basic hygiene! I’ve only spent a brief period of time in the men’s bathrooms in Spain and that was at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert with portaloos, so I couldn’t judge the men, but I’m sure there are as bad.
I suppose this isn’t that weird, it’s just pure genius. Meat in a cone is akin to happiness in a cone, well done Spain. To find this delightful treat, head to one of my favourite markets, ever – Mercado De San Miguel (Saint Michaels Market). It’s a swanky, modern market that is the epitome of cool, there are so many delicious treats make sure you go in with an empty stomach and a very full wallet. If you make a trip to Madrid you must visit that market otherwise I’ll hunt you down and force you to eat all the delicious
meat cones (especially if you’re vegetarian, haha).
Getting Freaky In Public
I think young love is cute, in a “I want to stab out my eyes” kind of way. But Spain just takes it to the next level. I’ve learned, since spending time in Europe, that New Zealanders are conservative when it comes to sucking off each other’s faces and being nude. Both of those things loosen up considerably after a few scrumpies, but for the most part we’re a little prudish and that’s my norm. Spain is just a whole new level, I’ve seen more naked people since I’ve been in Spain, than the total of my life leading up to visiting Spain. I’ve also seen more people humping in public, too. This couple in particular were a bit weird, they were laying there for a considerable amount of time just not moving. Numerous other couples had a little bit of a pelvic thrust going on. I uploaded this photo to Facebook, to share with my friends the best of Spanish culture and one of them told me that I was the weirdo for taking photos of them, but I have a blog, so I had to….
There are other little Spanish things that I’ve observed since I’ve been here, like how it’s perfectly acceptable for men to call out “guapa” repetitively at you, any time they please. I’m not sure what their goal is, but sometimes it can be quite hilarious, especially when they’re in a car driving down the street shouting at multiple guapas. But overall, Spain is lush and I’m so grateful that I’m living here for a while.
Have you ever noticed any weird Spanish things? I’ve only got a little time and I’m really keen to explore more. I’m still trying to finalise my summer plans, so if you have any suggestions send them my way.