21 Things American’s Will Never Understand In Spain

Have you ever played the game called pin the tail on the donkey? You know, the one in elementary school when you are blind folded and spun around 10-20 times, tossed into an open room and then expected to somehow pin a paper tail on a paper donkey’s ass? Yup, that one.

Well, that is kind of how it feels when you  move abroad, with no idea what to expect. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome to dive in to a country blind folded and head first, it’s exhilarating, however, it is not always that simple.

After living in Spain for almost a year now, I have come to accept that there are just some things that I will never get used to. These are the 21 Things American’s Will Never Understand In Barcelona:

  1. Elevators: Sounds ridiculous huh? The first floor is actually the second or third floor and they have a floor zero which is either the ground floor or floor 1. They also have a floor E for floors that are in between other floors (entresuelo).
  2. Baking: Have you ever tried baking in a foreign country? Good god, it’s like an effing scientific experiment. Nothing and I mean NOTHING, makes sense when trying to measure liquids or anything for that matter.
  3. Temperature: I never know what temperature it is outside, I just know that after 18 degrees you won’t need a jacket.
  4. The fashion: Is the side pony tail back? Yup, it sure is, along with platforms, scrunchies and high water pants. It’s weird because some people actually pull it off quite nicely, but I just don’t understand it.
  5. Grocery stores: They are so tiny!
  6. Restaurant service: This one is by far the most confusing. Most restaurants don’t let you split checks even if you have a party of 5 or more.
  7. No Ranch Dressing: No comment needed.
  8. To-go boxes: Most restaurants don’t have to-go boxes so if you don’t finish your food you have to waste it.
  9. No mimosas: Whatever happened to 7 dollar bottomless mimosas for Sunday brunch? I have only found one place that makes mimosas here and it was insanely expensive. I miss those days.
  10. Eating so late: People in Spain eat dinner between 9-10pm and most restaurants don’t even open until 8 or 830, it is madness.
  11. Why no one gets fat: All people eat here is bread, cookies, and pastries and no one gets fat. Maybe it’s because people don’t drive as much here, but still, I just don’t get it.
  12. The apartments: Apartments are so old that I can hear my neighbors phone vibrate. The best part is getting woken up with their alarm every morning at 7:00. Say good bye to privacy 🙂
  13. Laziness: People here are lazy. Don’t get me wrong, being lazy can be good sometimes but as a lifestyle, it can be impossible to get used to.
  14. Pit pockets: I will never get used to always having to watch my back 24/7 to make sure no one secretly steals my phone or wallet out of my bag. People here are so sneaky and will take your stuff without you ever even knowing it.
  15. Drinking laws: Anyone can drink out here and no one gets asked for their ID. I have never once needed my ID to buy alcohol anywhere, and kids of all ages are doing the same. If you look old enough to drink then people just assume that you are old enough to drink.
  16. The news: Seeing all the blood and dead bodies that would otherwise be censored in the US.
  17. Water: Paying for water bottles all the time instead of drinking from the faucet for free.
  18. Public restrooms: Always having to pay to use the restroom.
  19. Light switches: Never knowing where the bathroom light switch is and having to pee in the dark. In Barcelona light switches are usually on a wall outside of the bathroom or hidden in a weird place.
  20. Poor customer service: In Barcelona customer service is rarely a priority.
  21. No tipping: Well, I can get used to that, but I always feel like I am doing something wrong when I don’t tip.
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2 Comments

  1. “19. Light switches: Never knowing where the bathroom light switch is and having to pee in the dark. In Barcelona light switches are usually on a wall outside of the bathroom or hidden in a weird place.”

    Of course, if you live in an old house. In my house, the switches are very beautifully disposed inside the bathroom, near the door, where you can see them.

    “6. Restaurant service: This one is by far the most confusing. Most restaurants don’t let you split checks even if you have a party of 5 or more.”

    Nope. That’s a lie. But if you’re a turist or look like not Spanish they’ll trick you.

    “The apartments: Apartments are so old that I can hear my neighbors phone vibrate. The best part is getting woken up with their alarm every morning at 7:00. Say good bye to privacy ?”

    Because you live in an old house, which probably is very cheap. In new and normal house this never happens. NEVER-HAPPENS. C’mon, Barcelona is Europe.

    “20. Poor customer service: In Barcelona customer service is rarely a priority.”

    Maybe you’re rude? All times I’ve been in NYC the customer service was worse tan here.

    “14. Pit pockets: I will never get used to always having to watch my back 24/7 to make sure no one secretly steals my phone or wallet out of my bag. People here are so sneaky and will take your stuff without you ever even knowing it.”

    Mmmmm… No? Probably just in the Underground. But this happens in London, NYC and Paris. Get over it.

    Before writing “an article” you should also know that Spain is very different. Madrid, Sevilla or Barcelona are sooo different. C’mon, it’s like comparing Mexico City, Dallas, LA and NYC.

    Att. A Spanish guy living in England that has visited USA several times who disagrees with you!

    1. Hey! I am so glad to see that I have some opposition! Thanks for visiting my page. Here are just a few things I have to say in response to your very nice comment:
      1. You are not American so it’s difficult to say that you know what its like living in Spain as an American, not just an American tourist (big difference).
      2. I am not from NYC. It is a common misconception for Europeans to only view the USA as NYC and LA but its just not true. In fact I have never even been to NYC 🙂
      3. I don’t know where you live in Spain but I live in Barcelona which is what I have written this post about, and I LOVE IT HERE <3
      Glad you liked my post! Check back for more updates soon! 🙂

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