October 14, 2011

Things that are Different in Spain

I’ve noticed a lot of differences over here, a lot good, some not as good. I thought it would be interesting to share with ya’ll!

1.      They are very energy conscious over here. There are windmill like structures on the hills everywhere that capture solar energy to be used by the cities. In our hotel, the lights in the hallways are motion-sensored - which is kind of scary when you walk out of our room at night into a pitch black hallway. The lights slowly fade on, so they take a second to really light up. Also, (I think this one is so  smart!) we only have one room key, and it is attached to this long tab thing, and when we are in our room, the we place the tab into this pocket on the wall, which allows our lights to come on! So, when we leave the room, all the lights automatically turn off, and we have to be in the room to use the lights. Also, we never lose the key; we always know where it is! Very smart. Here is a picture of the key in the pocket thing in our room:

2.   The elevators are tiny! They say the limit is 6 people, but I don’t think you could comfortable fit more than four people in one. These are the elevators at the hotel I’m talking about, they are different in every building, but in general they are small. Matt said the elevators at the hotel are huge compared to the ones at the apartment he stayed at before I got here! Oh, and the other thing is the elevators stay open on whatever floor they are on. So if the elevator is already on the first floor, the door stays open until you go inside and push a button. Here is a picture (notice the floor space!):

3.     On most doors, the door handle is in the center of the door, not on the side. I think it’s kind of cute! Here’s a picture of a door from an apartment inside the wall:

4.   A lot of people are always outside walking around, which is really neat. On any given day (not between 2-5, siesta time!), there are lots of people just being outside. The other day I went for a walk in the city, and there is a big open square by the cathedral, and all these kids were rollerblading and playing soccer, with their parents talking. It made me want to buy rollerblades! 

5.     They greet everyone with a kiss on each cheek. I was knew this before I came to Spain, but I can’t ever remember it! Maybe it’s because I worked in an office for two years, but I keep sticking out my hand to shake hands when I meet people, and they lean in for a kiss, and it’s just awkward. But I’m getting better! Also, according to one of Matt’s teammates from Portugal (who speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English and Dutch, by the way – wow) the greeting depends on what country you are in. In some countries, its 3 kisses on the cheek, in some it is one kiss, in some no kisses and a handshake.  

6.     In Spain (at least in central Spain, where we are – not on the coast) they eat a lot of meat. You would have a tough time being a vegetarian over here. Pig, Lamb, Roast Beef, Ham, everything. I went about 4 days of my dinner being some slices of meat, fries on the side, and some bread. Finally I got some vegetables and fruit included! Of course, we are just eating at the hotel restaurant, but it’s a really nice restaurant, so I assume this is typical. Most of the food I’ve had though is really good. 

Obviously there are a lot more differences, but from my week and a half here, these are the most interesting ones I could think of.


Elle said...

I found your blog through Kanakuk Ashley :) I went to Spain for 2 weeks the summer in between my junior and senior year in high school and LOVED it. I went with a school group and the first week we went sight-seeing all over Spain (Madrid was my favorite!) and the second week each student was placed with a family. It was intimidating but so FUN!

Anyways, a lot of the things you mentioned bring back so many memories! I also remembered that they have a slightly different meal schedule than us. They eat breakfast like normal but lunch is their "big" meal of the day and people take a break to eat with their family. I LOVE that personally. :) Then dinner is smaller than ours and is eaten later like 8, 9, or even 10 at night.

I'll be quiet now. :) I just love Spain and enjoy talking with other people who have gotten to experience it! :)


Anne said...

Thanks for your comment, Elle! It is great to hear from someone who has been to Spain! I am liking it more and more every day as I learn more Spanish and become more familiar with Avila. We haven't had a chance to travel yet, but we are planning to go to Madrid soon! We want to see a Real Madrid soccer game if we can.
How do you know Ashley? I was a counselor at K2 for 2 years, from 2007-2008.

Elle said...

I don't personally know her. I went to K7 a couple of summers ago and one of my friends showed me her blog :)
When we went to Spain, they were playing in the World Cup and that was such an awesome experience! They are so serious about soccer!