2 years later…and update on life and the pivot it’s taken incoming….
This afternoon my host dad (Jorge) asked me – Lindsey, what are the differences between Spain and America. I’ve had some time to think about this as this is my second go round in Espana (what can I say I love the Spanish)
The truth is there are waaaaay too many to count, but in an attempt to humor him and myself for that matter I decided to compile a short, but I think very accurate list.
- Structure. I grew up in a household where fast food was food group and the car was my kitchen. It didn’t matter where we were, what time it was or what the food was. We ate when we wanted, where we wanted and what we wanted. Here is a little different.
Pasta for dinner? No. Hamburgers for lunch? don’t even ask. Dinner at 6? you must be joking. The structure is intense. Soups, rice and pasta are to had for lunch. Burgers and salads for dinner. For snack (aka America’s lunchtime) fruit. I eat a small sandwich and still get weird looks from the teachers. One time I dared to bring pasta and it seemed like the pueblo was going to implode.
I. cant. stand. it.
For a fully grown lady (I say that only because I pay all my own bills, but by no means am I an adult) it’s extremely frustrating. If I want pizza for breakfast lemme have it, pasta at noon, take a chill pill, pero bueno. I digress.
The only good burger in all of Spain
Also what’s with always setting the table? I literally say down to eat solo style and the mesa was set to a tea, bread, water, glasses, forks and knives. It’s just not necessary and seems like a waste of energy.
2. The Food. Now I know a lot of people say “Omg Lindsey the food in Spain is so good!”. To which I respond, what do you think Spanish food is? Paella? yes, for special occasions – Birthdays, Holidays, and the occasionally visitor – so we’re talking 3-4 times a year. What else you got? Tapas? Ok good, so exactly what do you think is on your tapas? If you guess sardines, sausages, boiled eggs, octopus, morcilla (google it) and tuna, then you are in fact correct. They are, how do I say this gently, not all their cracked up to be. And just like with any other food, if you eat it everyday without change you will get sick of it. But Lindsey, what about the olive oil? Yes they do cook with a lot of olive oil, but not in a good way, my fish, hamburgers, vegetables and everything else is literally boiled in olive oil and let me tell you that shit is not pleasant. Unlike the grease in America that be blot of or that dries, olive oil does not, it pools into your plate, on the crevasses of your meat and especially in your skin. Greasy much? thank you, yes I am. Like really? Me muero.
My friends and I regularly sit down at our dinner tables only to find that our main course for the night is a plate of sausages, pig lips, a bowl of broccoli and other creations. Let me just tell you right now, that when I talk to you and I saw I miss American food don’t you dare judge me. Not until you’ve eaten chorizo everyday for 3 months.
Take a little guess at what this delicacy is.
3. Laundry. Like most European countries, the Spanish don’t necessarily use dryers, so our clothes are set out on racks or other things to dry. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind this at all, except when I do. After living in New York for several year and having to pay for my laundry I’ve learned to stretch things pretty far. This means doing laundry about once a month, so when I need clothes I need them like, yesterday. I don’t have time to wait 2 days for my underwear to dry Ineedthemlikenow. Another fun fact, because clothes aren’t always dried in a dryer they can get a little crispy so they like to use something I refer to as suavizante aka fabric softener aka natures perfume. Unlike the fabric softener of the States this shit reeks, it gets into every pore, invades every strand of clothing you own every hair on your body. It’s strong. Don’t want to use suavizante? Fine, enjoy your crispy pants! Let me know how it feels like have paper cuts on your legs 😀
Can’t live without it.
4. El Rollo. The culture of going out here is totally different than in America. We like shots, large glasses of wine, and to party. However, the idea here is completely different. If you try to drink 3 glasses of wine here like you do in America let me tell you, you will in fact regret it. Not only is the wine 3948903 stronger here but people will think you actually have a drinking problem. No one here drinks to get drunk, but rather to enjoy themselves. Hence why they stay out until the sun rises versus until they pass out. American’s take note. Also la marcha doesn’t end when you’re 30, 40 or even 50. Kids at the bar? no problem, staying out until sunrise at 40? totally acceptable, drinking everyday during descanso, lunch and dinner? maybe not so much, but I’m willing to take one for the team and give it a try.
5. Time. Now I feel like this should’ve been first but this is what I’ve had the most trouble with (living in New York and all) I’m usually always in a rush. But here no pasa nada. People don’t rush, lunch takes 2-3 hours (yes please) dinner the same, and going out to eat at a restaurant? don’t even attempt it if you’re in a rush. It’s just not worth it. I wake up as late as possible, grab breakfast to go (another thing they don’t get). Stuff my face during descanso and lunch (we don’t eat dinner until 9:30 most days) and siesta. That’s fucking right, I siesta every.single.day. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop. It’s honestly something we should bring back to the U.S. I feel better, I treat everyone around me better. Todo esta bien.
That being said, I love Spain, the people, the food, the lifestyle everything, BUT I also am super homesick, miss American food and most of all I miss butter.
Purpose: the reason for which something exists or is done, made or used, an intended or desired results; end; aim or goal.
I remember years ago when I was in high school I would rush home after the final bell so I could be home to watch Oprah at 4 p.m. It was literally the highlight of my day. There was one show in particular she did talking about purpose and your life’s purpose and how until she found her purpose she was just living life, instead of living life. There’s a difference.
When you do not have a purpose you’re lost, mentally, emotionally all of the above. I don’t want to say you begin acting out, but you do. There are stages; since you have not found yourself or who you are, you go looking in different places. Whether it’s a bar for a drink, a Bloomingdales, solace in your room with a TV remote or home with a stranger. The aimless wandering through life is much different than the enjoyment of life. The person who doesn’t have their purpose is selfish, they are trying to find themselves so they do not have time for anybody else. How was your day? What new stuff are you working on? Any plans this weekend? These are not things you will hear from this person. The person who doesn’t have their purpose is reckless; they don’t have a bigger picture for their life so all that matters is the now. What will bring me the most pleasure now? What will make for the best story tomorrow? What will make me feel good now, look the best now. They want what they want, when they want it with no regards on how it will affect the future. The person who doesn’t have their purpose has no compassion; this might have come off as a little harsh, what I mean is that they have trouble empathizing with others. When someone makes sacrifice in their life to fulfill their purpose, pinching pennies to travel abroad and teach underprivileged children, moving to a small town because they want to break into the news scene, or quitting your job to pursue a career in writing some people might not understand. Some people won’t get it.
People will ask “Why are you leaving your great career?”, “How are you going to accomplish all of this?”, “What if you meet someone?”, “How are you ever going to save enough money to buy a house?”. Sometimes your purpose doesn’t fall within the ‘norm’, you might not have a 9-5, or a nuclear family with 2.5 children, a dog and a husband, you probably won’t float along the path of life that everybody else does, you might break out and be a little different but that’s ok because at least you’re working towards a goal, a goal that makes you happy, fulfilled and gives you a reason to get up in the morning. Makes you excited about life, about meeting new people, doing new things, taking risks and living.
I think every year, someone is put in your life, someone who has the potential to really be with you. Whether you reciprocate the feelings or not is another story but every once in a awhile those feelings are returned, I’d say every five years or so, the stars align and you get a chance at a great love.
Waiting for that is so awful
These are my thoughts on surgery – don’t have it.
I had my first surgical procedure about 3.5 weeks ago and I am still at home recovering, and by recovering I mean struggling. Here’s a few things they don’t tell you before you go under the knife
1. Anesthesia fucks with you
Did you enjoy sleeping through the night? Feeling rested in the morning? Rolling out of bed at 10:30 or 11 to start your day? That’s nice, because I did too until I was put under for 3 hours. Granted the first few days I was completely out of it but one thing I do remember is the creeping insomnia. I feel so blessed that I am able to experience literally every hour of the 24 hour day. It’s a real hoot. For example did you know that 4 am darkness is darker than 3am darkness and that at 6am it’s the darkest of all right before the sun begins to rise at 6:30 am!
2. Get ready to rumble!
Did you once eat whatever you wanted with no consequence? could you sleep in any position you wanted? tossing and turning the night away? You can kiss that goodbye. Who knew the human body was so active. You want to sleep on your side? nope. Feeling like a second helping of ice cream? try again. Pizza for breakfast like old times? prepare for the worst heartburn of your life!! Oh and remember when you could eat whatever you wanted because your body ran like a well oiled machine? I’m sure you do, I’m sure you also remember the week and a half you spent in the hospital eating nothing but ice chips, well lets just say your body is going to hang on to every single calorie you put in your mouth as payback. You’re going to feel like you swallowed 5 lbs of cement and you are not going to like it.
3. Legs? What legs?
I miss walking to the kitchen to fix a snack, I miss skipping down the sidewalk, and running to a sale in the mall. Unfortunately my legs don’t to work like that anymore. They will deteriorate, become little, twigs, you’ll lose all your muscle tone and you won’t be able to wear pants…
4. Redbull gives you wiiiings!
Remember when you get sit down on the sofa for a nice TV marathon, get up, fix yourself a snack, get in your car and drive to meet friends for drinks? Yea, that was fun. Do you know how it feels to be out of breath after brushing your teeth? To need a nap after showering? It’s not fun and it makes me feel old.
There’s nothing worse than giving your girlfriends advice, then when it comes time that you’re in the same situation you can’t take that same advice you gave
When youre wearing a cute outfit in winter and someone is like “aren’t you COLD” excuse me you are weak and your crops will never last the winter with that attitude
Only weak people don’t wear black in the summer