What I observed in my first week in Spain
**Obviously these are just MY thoughts & observations, this no way means that everything I wrote is 100% true about the Spanish lifestyle.
- Drinking is acceptable anytime, anyplace. And no, this isn’t the drinking we participate in America where the goal is being belligerent. You spend so much time talking to the people you’re with that you end up nursing a beer or glass of wine for quite some time.
- LOTS of people have dogs in Spain, but they aren’t too keen on you trying to reach out and pet their pup. (Unfortunately for me this is something I need to remind myself of each and every day since i miss my puppers). **Side note I was told by one of my flat mates that you can pet other people’s pets so maybe I’m just acting too intensely… LOL
- People stare at me a lot. It’s not like a uh huh honey type of stare but more like why do you have blue hair and a nose piercing stare and are taller than the average spaniard and wearing yoga pants all the time with flip flops kind of stare. I remember this stare in Italy. I was seemingly the only blonde in the town so I was very obviously a foreigner. I don’t really even register the staring anymore, you just kind of get used to it and proceed walking.
- Spaniards don’t smile at you on the street or say “I’m sorry” after bumping into you. I’ve gotten pretty used to this too in the first week but It will forsure feel weird returning to the states and forgetting about that cultural norm.
- SIESTA’S ARE STILL REAL YALL, and pretty fabulous. After a rigorous day of working 9-1 I get to go home and take a nap. I wasn’t even a regular napper in the states unless I was REAALLY tired… but now it’s just kind of the culture so I’ll participate if I must. 😉
- Lunch is late, dinner is later. I think because the siesta usually falls mid-day and then Spaniards get back up and running again for a few hours before calling it a day and eating delicious food.
- Many times when I would tell someone I was in Palma to teach english they would ask me how to say certain things or if they were saying things correctly. This was always fun! I met so many people who genuinely wanted to practice their English with me.
- Public transportation and your feets are the primary method of traveling. People do have cars but you can get almost anywhere across the entire island on a train, metro, bus or by foot!
- Friends and family beat out responsibilities a majority of the time. I love that. I loved my job in the states but it was difficult at times working late hours. You can get the feeling here that Spaniards will do anything they can to see their friends or family during the day no matter what work they had. I felt like so many times I said “I’m sorry I can’t, I have to work” but haven’t said that yet!
- I feel less anxious here, and I think it’s due to the pace of life in Spain. It’s pretty nice for a change to focus on more important things like friendships and being active over working!
- I’ve RARELY seen someone walking around Palma with a coffee cup in their hand or food. I think because when people grab something to eat/drink they want to genuinely enjoy it. Whether it’s while sitting with friends or people watching sitting down was way more the norm than rushing to work with goodies.
OTHER THINGS ABOUT MY FIRST WEEK:
- So I have two schools I teach at, both for 6 hours a week. One is in Palma which is the main city here in Mallorca and the other is in Pollenca, about 45 minutes by bus.
- *JEALOUSY WARNING* I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off every week. (Which doesn’t even begin to include all the holidays Mallorca takes). Everyday I work for 3 hours with varying hours! Really doesn’t make me miss the crazy schedule of hospitality! AND IT LEAVES SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!
- There is always someone looking to take private English lessons. This is a way to gain extra income during my program to help pay for things like rent and travel! I haven’t quite set it up yet but hopefully that will come soon.
- I am more or less an assistant teacher. I am in the classroom to provide fluent English assistance to the teacher and give any information about the American culture I know.
Adios for now!