Searching, Searching...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Los Custumbres/The Customs

There are so many customs that I'm am not accustomed here. This post won't be long and drawn out, just a simple list. But check back often as I will be adding to the list daily, I'm sure.

1. I've seen many people eat fruit(bananas, pears, apples, etc), pizza, fried shrimp-almost everything!- with a knife and fork.
2. When eating out, they do not take their leftover food home. If you don't finish, you leave it there. Most places do not even have to go containers.
3. Only certain places that have caught on to the eat-on-the-go idea have to-go cups for coffee or tea. And these places have clearly marked signs in the windows.
4. Um, this one is personal. I LOOOOVE to eat oatmeal for breakfast in the winter and drink Chai Tea Lattes. I haven't seen Quaker Oats here, only a small bag of oats labeled DIET in the fiber section-scary...
*As for Chai Tea Lattes, I've only seen one place that serves them. Thank God I have an espresso machine in my apartment and I'm going to get some Chai tea mix soon.
5. I swear coffee is the national drink here. Red wine runs a close second. I get crazy stares every time I'm out and ask for tea.
6. The students don't call their teachers, Ms. or Mr. Instead they call them teacher or use their first names.
7. Their isn't a dress code for the teachers. Every day is casual Friday and I love it!
8. Hair Removal Prices: Eyebrows: 2.80euros=$3.90, AND the most surprising- Bikini Wax:3.80euros=$5.29!!! And a full Brazilian is only a few euro more.
**In case you didn't know a Bikini wax or Brazilian in the States is $50! What a wonderful treat here!
9. People go to the grocery store EVERY day. They really like to eat their food fresh, which is a very good thing. But I absolutely ABHOR  going to the grocery store. So of course I've purchased fresh fish TWICE and didn't eat it in 24 hours and it spoiled....note to self: Buy fresh, Eat today!
10. To Tip or not to Tip?? I was definitely confused by this one. I was told by a friend of mine, who travels for work, that most people in Europe don't tip and the service employees don't expect tips. But honestly it felt strange not to tip. All was cleared up by a teacher friend of mine. She said all service employees are paid a salary(sueldo or nomina) and tipping on beauty services is a good idea and rounding up your bill for restaurant visits is the most common thing to do. If you want to leave a tip, 10% is good enough.
11. Pushing & Shoving: This custom does not solely apply to Spain, it applies to the whole of Europe! To get around someone or to get past someone on the train, in a store, or simply walking down the street, everyone pushing their way through. And it's not rude not to say "pardon me" or even "coming through!"-It's something you just have to get used to... 
12. This really doesn't fall under Customs, but it's normal here and annoying to me! No one uses large garbage bags here. And the large trash bins are on the street. Good thing: Your house should never smell like garbage. Bad thing: You waste an enormous amount of plastic and you have to take the garbage out almost everyday-something I absolutely hate to do! 
13. The people of Spain like to conserve ENERGY!!! In just about every public bathroom and apartment building I have been in(and I've polled others...)the light switches are timed(you turn it on, after about a minute or so, maybe up to three, it automatically goes off!). Therefore, if you turn the light on you are liable to be in the dark at any given moment-not an ideal situation if you are using the restroom... Good Idea-Bad Idea
14. Free mini tapas with your drink at the bar. Whether it's in the morning and you are drinking tea or coffee or if it's at night; when drinking at a bar you are offered a pastry or mini tapas (olives, potato chips, sliver of a sandwich or pizza).  
15. Spanish people don't sleep. It's normal to go out at 2:30am and stay out until 5 or 7am. And wake up a few hours later to do whatever...
16. It's very common to eat dinner after 8 or 9pm. 


  1. when i came to states i ate pizza w/ knife and fork as usual, and ppl were thinking its funny ;)

  2. I have to admit, I've starting eating certain foods with a knife and fork, lol! I use a lot less napkins!