5 More Things I Hate About Spanish Culture

Reasons to hate Spanish culture

Last time I talked about a few things that I really make me hate Spanish culture sometimes. Before I continue, remember that, at the end of the day, I do love the Spanish people and I can’t wait to go back! Remember why I said I love the culture, here and here!

Texting style

Spaniards have a certain style of texting. And by that I mean they’ll send several messages to convey one thought. I’ll still panic that there’s an emergency when my phone buzzes 6, 7, or 8 times within 10 seconds, only to find out that the intercambio I had planned has to push the meeting back an hour. This drives me absolutely insane!

Undependable

For a couple months, I was meeting with Spaniards 3 or 4 times a week to practice my Spanish. Well, I was trying to. In reality, we would make plans to meet up, and probably about half the time, they would cancel. Now, I’m not sure if this is related to the passive aggression I made note of in my last post about culture faults, but I know it’s something I don’t like. While I will willingly take the blame for the days when I got sick or busy and had to cancel myself, it seems Spaniards either have really important family emergencies quite regularly and get sick a lot, or, for whatever reason, they’re an undependable culture.

PDA

Wanna make out with your boyfriend really intensely in the middle of everyone? Come to Spain! Public displays of affection are totally acceptable in Spanish culture, and nobody will bat an eye. I’ll never forget the time I was waiting for the metro, and there was a couple on a bench going at it pretty hard. A couple minutes later when the metro came I saw there was a girl sitting on the other side of the bench, completely unchanged by the tonsil-hockey happening next to her. Must’ve been the World Championship game going on in there! I know, I’m the classic afraid-of-affection American, but I’m still afraid to see that as a reason to hate Spanish culture.

Public urination

Yup. Also A-OK. If you’ve got the right tools, of course. I’ve seen public pee-ers range from small children (his mother was there making sure it hit the road, not the cars) to men in uniform. There seems to be absolutely no shame in this culture! If you gotta go, you gotta go! Just thinking of what’s been on the street I’m walking on really turns my taste to hate Spanish culture.

Inefficiency

The American culture is incredibly efficient. No doubt about that. The Spanish culture, on the other hand, really enjoys their relaxation, and doesn’t really care if there’s another way to accomplish some task in half the time. I still haven’t gotten the hang of figuring out certain things that you’re apparently supposed to just know, like if my bus is still at the station or I should have shoved my way to the front of the cola (line) and I’ve already missed it, but I only assume there’s a way. Want to buy a sandwich at the deli? Go pick it up, find out which random crowd of people is the right cola, and get in it. You’ll be served eventually! Maybe.

Jamie

I'm Jamie, and I have an unquenchable thirst for the world. I'm currently situated in Tampa, Florida with my boyfriend and his two little ones. I want to travel everywhere, experience everything, and learn as many languages as possible!

Comments

  1. I agree with the original post more than this one! I think the Americans do SO MANY THINGS backwards compared to people in Europe (can’t speak for spaniards maybe they do things diff?) And I also feel like not caring for the PDA thing comes from growing up in American culture where we are weirded out by boobies and Kissing etc. the second I landed in Italy last year people were having Makeout sessions everywhere infusing legit in front of the Vatican, on fountains etc. I personally found it refreshing! And I hate peeing on the streets but it’s kind of Europe’a fault because they charge for a basic public necessity!

  2. I think your posts on Spain are quite good and I say that having lived immersed in the culture for 12 years. The one thing I would disagree with is the passive aggressive point. Every culture has that aspect (we Americans are very passive aggressive), but what you are referring to comes from them being an event oriented culture vs. time oriented (as we are). Intercambios get cancelled or moved all of the time, I would have a number of weekly meetings set up for various reasons (beyond just intercambios) and it wasn’t uncommon for them to get cancelled. But, heaven forbid that you not show up for something considered a formal event (business mtg, etc.). You will never find a more committed friend than a Spaniard, but you have to understand that casual acquaintances are not considered friendships. They make decisions about who are friends and then they will be there for you through thick and thin.

    • That’s a really interesting perspective that I hadn’t thought about before. It’s definitely a lesson in stepping outside of your own brain and understanding someone else who thinks differently than you, instead of just being blindly blameful.

      Also, while I agree passive aggression is pretty common in general, I’ve found it moreso in Spaniards than anyone else; when I first moved to Spain, the organization I was working through provided us with a crash course to the culture, and they specifically mentioned Spaniards generally do not confront problems head-on.

  3. Baaah, peeing on sidewalks is disgusting. I can tolerate it if they at least go find a tree. I don´t remember seeing much PDA in Spain – Colombia though, that´s another story! I´m pretty careless myself, but my Colombian husband sometimes freaks me out and makes me feel like a nun or something 😀

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