Sunday, 30 October 2011

Lo que he aprendido sobre España

What I've learned about Logroño and Spain in my first month:

*  You shouldn't expect anything exciting to happen if you walk through Logroño between the hours of 2 and 5pm. All the shops are closed and you might as well make like a Spaniard and have a siesta. (I've been thoroughly enjoying my after-work napping sessions, but am slightly concerned it'll get to the point that I won't be able to make it through a day without one.)

*  Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and you should take as long as you bloody well like to eat it.

*  Spanish people can take a joke in a way that I found most French people can't.

*  A 'txamizo' is a place that young people rent with their friends so that they can hang out, chat and drink. It's called a 'cuarto' in the south of Spain.

*  You should stock up on everything you need before Sunday, because you won't be able to find a shop that's open when the day arrives.

*  If you have a large frying pan and about a gallon of olive oil, you should be able to make most Spanish dishes.

*  You should work to live here, not live to work. There are plenty of national holidays and they are often prolonged by a 'puente.' For example, Tuesday is a national holiday, but I'm getting Monday off as well to turn it into a long weekend!

*  It is commonplace for a night out to start at 2am.

*  People here are very friendly, so you can strike up conversation with a randomer in a bar without being considered a weirdo. (Although screaming 'OH MY GOD, ARE YOU SCOTTISH?' at a Glaswegian DJ in a local nightclub is probably not the best way to go about it...)

*  Eating dinner before 10pm is a typical foreigner faux pas.

*  Spaniards have no concept of the importance of tea to one's life. I have been on the quest to find a kettle for 4 weeks now and I still haven't procured one. If you ask a Spanish person where you might be able to buy a 'hervidor' or a 'caliente aguas', they don't actually know what you're talking about and they ask if you mean that you need a teapot. 'No,' I explain, 'I have a teapot, but I would like one of those things that you put water in to make it boil.' Puzzled looks inevitably ensue and then I'm told that I can always boil it in a pan on the stove or, heaven forbid, put a cup of water in the microwave. Somehow, 'I'm just going to put a cup of water in the microwave' doesn't produce the same comforting feeling in me as the phrase 'I'll just put the kettle on.'

*  An awful lot of the songs that are played in the clubs here feature someone saying 'ay, ay, ay' or 'oi, oi, oi.' Por ejemplo:
- Mark Anthony and Pitbull, 'Rain Over Me' – 'ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, let it rain over me, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, let it rain over meeee '

- Don Omar, La Mano Arriba - 'ninguém vai ficar parado, Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi…Vem para quebrar           kuduro, vamos dançar kuduro, Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi…Seja morena ou loira, vem balançar kuduro Oi, oi, oi… (this is Portuguese in case anyone was wondering)

- Juan Magan, La Chica Que No Sigue Modas – 'ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, quiero bailar contigo amarte a todas horas, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ven a bailar conmigo tu no bailes sola'

I suppose it's good that you can always join in with the chorus even if your Spanish isn't up to scratch!


Post a Comment