Diferente (different)

So being in Spain for a while has made me notice things and wonder if I’m weird or are they. The fact is we’re either all weird or all sane. What I’m saying is nothing is strange or weird, but always different. I have to learn to embrace things and try to understand. I’m so thankful I decided to do a home stay. My host family isn’t poor but they are working to pay bills and stuff. The apartment is so small and it makes me appreciate my life. But I realize that’s how a lot of places are here in Spain, unless you’re rich or something. I’ve talked to a few students who are doing a home stay and they agree and say it’s nice to see how most Spaniards live and just embrace it and live with it. So these things are just different from what I’m use to!! Like I was saying, things are different here and I just wanted to mention a few difference that I’ve noticed:

1. There are cars and motorcycles, no trucks. The only trucks are work trucks for carrying cars or hauling trash. None have beds or are just for fun like in America. Also, there are as much motorcycles as cars.
2. Jumping off driving, motorcycles move in and out of traffic and around cars( which would annoy me back home). Here, driving is more of a get to one place and be done; there are lines on the road but aren’t really used for that, because cars just go where there’s a space to move.
3. Everyone in Spain smokes. I haven’t been to many European countries, but they smoke a lot here. And I think I heard someone say they let you smoke at age 16 here?! Whoa!
4. Food! So Karolina, Kelly and I talked about the food today. European food has a certain taste. You kind of have to get use to it. You also might not notice it but whatever. There are siestas here— lunch, a really big lunch. Everything closes from 1-4pm to have a siesta. They give you a 3 course meal. 1st dish, 2nd dish , and a dessert! It’s so much food, I didn’t eat it all because I’m not use to the amount that was provided!
5. Water and electricity is scare here. Water is not free! You have to pay like €1 or €2 for a bottle, which is like $2 or $3! And it’s respect to take short showers! Usually, lights are cut off in rooms unless someone is in there. My host mother cut the light off when I went to the bathroom yesterday, it isn’t rude it’s just respect to conserve energy (makes sense)! Also, water fountains are not common here. Actually, I haven’t seen one YET!!!
6. Time!!! America is behind on his trend! They use military time instead of AM and PM! I use military time because it helps me with my math brain. But I love that about Europe!
7. Shades: the shades/blinds are like doors. They block any possible light that can escape into your room. Therefore, you could sleep until 16:00 (4pm) and have no idea, if you were really tired. It’s great. The sun will not wake me up! And screens in the window don’t exist either. Haha
8. The toilet flusher lever is not the same. So in Madrid at the hotel it was a button the top of the toilet. Here at the house in Bilbao it is a chain pulley on the CEILING!!! Whoa, so crazy. I almost couldn’t find that thing haha!
9. Dinner is usually eaten at 10pm… That’s why lunch/siesta includes so much food. But really though, I need a snack!!
10. Coffee is so much stronger. I started to drink coffee once a day recreationally back home. I tried it a few times here and it’s like lukewarm milk with hot coffee. Not as good but interesting.

Fun fact: El Greco’s name is a nickname not his real name, because he was from Greece and his real name was difficult to say!

Hasta luego!

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