Saturday, September 22, 2012

Spain: Stray Observations

If England surprised me in ways I wouldn't have expected, Spain did and more.

  • Spaniards, at least in the Andalucia region, love to use the word for uncle/aunt as an exclamation, or to refer to a person (that guy/that girl). To my ear, most familiar with Mexican Spanish, it's such a weird way to use those words!
  • At times I felt as if I might as well have been somewhere in the Arab world. Arabic influence in southern Spain is in-your-face, especially when it comes to the landmarks in Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, and Sevilla. (Pretend those have the accents on them...)
  • In Barcelona, I felt very lucky to know both Spanish and Italian. It made reading and understanding the widespread Catalan much easier!
  • Europeans love to tan. I mean, at least those in the Mediterranean do -- or, better yet, Spaniards and Italians. You'd be surprised how often I've seen them sporting a shade equal to or darker than my skin tone. 
  • The lisp. Why, why? Hahaha.
  • "Italians are an extreme. It has to be something with Mediterranean culture. At least we know how to have fun." -- A Spaniard on corruption in Spain's government and a comparison to Italy/Greece
  • In Spanish, the word for lighthouse is always masculine (el faro). However, Malaga's lighthouse is referred to as feminine (la farolina).
La farolina.
  • The Great Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba was breath-taking. It was a lot smaller than I had imagined, but just so beautiful.
  • Eating at American fast-food places in Europe isn't such a good idea if you want to save money. True for Italy, as well as Spain.
  • Spanish churros and tortillas aren't like their Mexican counterparts!
  • Las Ramblas in Barcelona were spectacular. I regret not getting a picture. My favorite was La Rambla del Mar by far. 
  • I think I could live in Barcelona. I wouldn't be too upset if that happened. :)

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