Life in Spain as an American

Image After being in Europe since September 2012 I have had the chance to compare so much to our lives back home in the US. I haven’t really traveled that much, especially compared to Europeans, but for a 23 year old American I consider myself very lucky. I want to discuss the things I have noticed a lot about American life now that I have left.

My first months here I had a lot of frustration for Spanish life and culture, but I blame that mostly on my ignorance of their history. For an American, the first things you will notice is that Spain is not a service country or not nearly on a level of the United States. Especially, in Madrid you will notice that eating at a restaurant is not for the people with a day busy full of activities. Spaniards eat in a way that screams “seize the day.” They love to just sit down and talk with their family members. They aren’t worried about seeing every single church or museum there is in Madrid. A vacation is about taking it all in.

Waiters in Spain, especially Madrid, don’t serve to your every need. You order your food, they bring it, and then you hunt them down to pay the check. It doesn’t help when you have one waiter for 30 plus people, which is commonplace in all Spanish restaurants. One might think Spaniards are lazy and don’t care about other people, but this can’t be further from the truth. The truth is that the culture of Spanish life is centered on enjoying the small things in life. Walks, family gatherings, and good food. Spaniards simply want to enjoy their life modestly. They don’t have to own all the newest and greatest cars or gadgets to feel fulfilled. In other words they don’t want to die working too much and not living enough.

In a few weeks I want to focus my attention on life in Andalucia. This is where the heart of Spain lies. I have lived in a small pueblo by the name of Albox with my girlfriend since mid-September. This pueblo has brought many frustrating and pleasing experiences about life in Spain. We are glad to be living here because it provides and full experience of life in Spain, unlike living in a bigger city that can sometimes washout life of a country.

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