You know you’ve lived in Spain when….

10 February 2021

A Few Notes on Cultural Integration

A humorous look at how one's view of life, and life itself can change after living for a while in Spain.

You prefer UHT milk.

You know you’ve lived in Spain when….

  1. You think adding lemonade, fanta or even coke to red wine is perfectly acceptable. Especially at lunch time.
  2. You can’t get over how early bars & clubs shut back home - surely they’re shutting just as you should be going out?
  3. You aren’t just surprised that the Spanish plumber / decorator / electrician has turned up on time, you’re surprised he turned up at all.
  4. You think it’s fine to comment on everyone’s appearance. And to openly stare at strangers.
  5. Not giving every new acquaintance dos besos seems so rude.
  6. You’re shocked by people getting their legs out at the first hint of sun - surely they should wait until at least late June?
  7. On messenger you sometimes type ‘jajaja’ instead of ‘hahaha’
  8. You’re amazed when Spanish TV ad breaks last less than half an hour, especially right before the end of films.
  9. You’re not surprised that the Spanish TV programme info doesn’t match with what is actually being shown, unless it is “Prensa Rosa”.
  10. You forget to say please when asking for things - you implied it in your tone of voice, right?
  11. You know what a pijo / pija is and how to spot one.
  12. Every sentence you speak contains at least one of these words: ‘bueno,’ ‘coño,’ ‘vale,’ ‘venga,’ ‘pues nada’...
  13. You know how to eat boquerones.
  14. You know the difference between gambas, gambones, cigalas, langostinos, etc.
  15. You know the difference between jamón pata negra and jamón de York, and you prefer the first.
  16. You eat lunch after 2pm & would never even think of having your evening meal before 9.
  17. You know that after 2pm there’s no point in going shopping, you might as well just have a siesta until 5 when the shops re-open.
  18. You know you must take two days off when you have to do any official paperchasing, for cars, residence, etc.
  19. You know that those astronomical prices they’re talking about are actually in pesetas, and what that means in euros.
  20. If anyone insults your mother, they better watch out…
  21. You know how to change a bombona.
  22. It’s not rude to answer the intercom to your flat by asking ‘Quien?’ (or maybe that was just my flatmate…)
  23. You don’t accept beer that’s anything less than ice-cold.
  24. You know Bimbo isn’t a slutty woman, it’s a make of ‘pan de molde’ (which, incidentally, isn’t mouldy)
  25. You know the difference between cojones and cajones, tener calor and estar caliente, bacalao and bakalao, pollo and polla, estar hecho polvo and echar un polvo...and maybe you learned the differences the hard way!
  26. On some Sunday mornings you have breakfast before going to bed, not after you get up.
  27. Floors in certain bars are an ideal dumping ground for your colillas, servilletas etc. Why use a bin?!
  28. You know ensaladilla rusa has nothing to do with Russia.
  29. The doctor says you are constipado you don’t go and buy ExLax.
  30. You have friends named Jesus, Jose Maria, Maria Jose, Angel, maybe even Inmaculada Concepcion…
  31. You know that ‘ahora’ doesn’t really mean now.
  32. When you make arrangements to meet friends at 3, the first person turns up at 3.30…if you’re lucky!
  33. When women think that clear bra straps are in fact invisible.
  34. When it’s totally normal for every kitchen to have a deep-fat fryer but no kettle.
  35. Te cagas en la leche….
  36. To avoid that cheap Eristoff vodka you have to ask for ‘un esmirnoff’.
  37. You think J&B and Ballantines are OK to drink.
  38. When you know what a guiri is and have been called one.
  39. Blonde girls actually start to think their name is ‘rubia’.
  40. If something is great, it’s ‘de puta madre’.
  41. You can eat up to 5 times a day - first breakfast, 2nd breakfast around 11.30, almuerzo, merienda, cena.
  42. You know the jingles for Los Cuarenta Principales, M80, Onda Zero, etc.
  43. If you see someone wearing a T-shirt with something written on it in English, you can almost guarantee it won’t make sense.
  44. When you go into a bank/bakery etc, it’s standard practice to ask ‘Quien es la ultima?’
  45. When you have the habit of answering the above question “Ahora es Usted”.
  46. Who needs a dryer when you have a washing line outside the window of your apartment?
  47. You are more likely to call your friends tio/a, nena, chaval, macho or even tronco than their real name.
  48. You answer the phone by saying ‘Yes’. Or even ¿Diga?
  49. You prefer UHT milk.
  50. You prefer all the above to the way they do things back home.

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