Wednesday, October 13, 2010

La lista

I've been composing a list of all of the bad things about Spain, and I'm finally going to type it up and expand on each item for your reading pleasure.

1. Weird smells

I'm sure you can say that all big cities have their share of weird smells... but let me elaborate. It's not just the giant garbage piles on the street, or the people who decide to light a cigarette in front of you while going up the stairs out of the metro. It is everything. You walk past someone here and their smell is left lingering for various seconds. It might not necessarily be a foul smell (although some definitely are), but the smell of too much cologne or perfume. Why must people douse themselves in these weird smelling liquids before going out and walking by me? I can deal with the cigarette smoke, at least I can see that coming... but the sneaky gross perfume smell? Really? Ugh...

2. Aggressive P.D.A.

Okay, I get it. You are 30-some years old and live with your parents. That's not because you're a bum, but rather because you are Spanish. I also understand that you probably don't want to take your significant other home with you because your parents would start thinking you should move out of the house and marry this significant other. So what are you to do? You can't take your S.O. home to snuggle and make out and whatever else you would normally do if you were a normal adult and not living at home... Does this make the metro, the park, or the street corner fair ground for your aggressive public displays of affection? The answer is no! No one wants to see you getting it on with your significant other, who, by the way, probably smells like gross cheap perfume.

3. Dog shit

Do the madrileƱos enjoy stepping in dog poo whenever they leave their apartment? I seriously can't imagine they do... but then again, I can't think of any other reason for why they would so adamantly neglect to pick up after their filthy pets. Perhaps it is like this everywhere else in the world except in the States. Can anyone confirm?

4. Sundays

I happen to enjoy leaving my house at least once per day and find it extremely depressing and unenjoyable to sit inside all day, especially when inside is a tiny crappy little apartment. My issue with Sundays is that nothing is open. You can't run errands, you can barely obtain food on Sundays. I must admit, Madrid is a lot better about this than the rest of Spain. There is actually an entire mall that is open on Sundays! Ikea is even open one Sunday a month. How the Swedes talked their Spanish employees into working those absurd hours, I don't know.

5. The children

I thought Mr. Storla's class was loud that one day that I was volunteering at Whittier. That would be considered almost silent in Spanish elementary schools. My voice doesn't get as loud as the normal volume of these kids' voices. It is difficult to get my point across, firstly because I'm not allowed to speak to them in Spanish, and secondly because while I am speaking English at a normal volume there are usually about 25 small Spanish children speaking Spanish at the top of their lungs, prohibiting any of the children to hear what I'm saying. I end up repeating myself about a thousand times a day, and for anyone who knows me even a tiny little bit, you know how much I like repeating myself. Oh yeah, and I'm not supposed to speak to the teachers in Spanish either even though most don't know that much English. The ones who have a decent level of English insist on speaking in English with me, which is fair. However, when I reply in English and they look at me blankly, obviously not understanding, all I can do is repeat myself in various ways until they get it. Or what I normally do: explain it in Spanish. It's such a roundabout way to do things, and especially infuriating when limited in time.

The list goes on but these are the big things. I've started a list of the good things about Spain, too. So far there are only two things on it: seeing fields of solar panels next to hundreds of wind turbines, and the tuna.

3 comments:

Megan said...

Saaarrraaahhh!!!! la lista e lunga! I'm excited for the list of good things. I'm sending you a pic of the babies, I tried to get a pic of Archie in the bow tie, but he wouldn't sit up so it's not very good.

Sonia said...

i love wind turbines!! there is a field of wind turbines on the way to chicago too, and i got to see them twice last weekend...

molly said...

sarah...my syntax homie...sorry spain is not that hot. my first suggestion would be to get out of madrid, but i know that you might be stuck there for work. however i do agree with many of you gripes. however a couple of good things you missed were the fact that it isn't the US full of stupid, fat people and they speak spanish there which is a gorgeous langauge. keep your head up and things will work out. if things get really bad just be thankful you aren't drawing syntax trees and suffering through edith's lecture in denny, while people ask asinine questions.