A lazy post today . . .
Tidying up my Mac today, I found this document. It's a Spanish resident's response to (standard) negative comments on life here. I don't have the source but the writer says he's a foreigner living here, very possibly an Italian. (S)he says the criticisms are the 'the most tendentious list that I ever saw in my life'.
1. Nobody listens in this country!: Partially true: the people here like to talk very loud. But the real problem is that Spanish speakers have to use a long line argumentation, and yes, it's the same in informal conversations. Their fault is not to be brief. 'To get to the point' is rare. If you want to have your Anglo-Saxon conversation experience here, you must to say: Vaaale. no me marees. Vete al grano.
2. Spaniards are always swearing: True: Like the Italians, the French, the Portuguese, the Brazilians and the Germans too. It's our way to express ourselves. Of course the English/North Americans do not say 'fuck' every 3 words and never say dirty words. They are all gentlemen and ladies. . .
3. Everything takes so long here. False (or not): It depends of your perception of 'takes so long'. I have done some things in minutes by internet. Others I have to get in line and wait 30/45 minutes. My personal doctor I can meet in 48 hours (max) via a previous internet appointment. Emergency cases at a moment's notice). The police, for granting permissions (I mean official papers for residence in Spain) can take 30/45 days. To me that doesn't look so bad. In Italy it is at least 60 days.
4. Do we really have to spend Sunday with your family again? False (not a real question): Sorry, if your family is crap (or you don't have one) don't blame us. If my family is a crap they are still are my family and I will see then as often as I like. And I will blame them how much I want! I love those guys. Cultural stuff. Period.
5. The food here is so fatty/greasy/salty: False: Here, you have 'healthy food', 'Mediterranean food', but, if you wish to have the most inexpensive menu you can find, you will have the same crap food as you have in your country. There is food for all tastes and pockets. By the way: fish and chips, cheese hamburgers and Eisbein with potatoes and sauerkraut are really nice models to follow)
6. Your compatriots are such drama queens. True: They are emotional people. If you don't like emotions, what are you expecting in Latin country?
7. I've been waiting for ages. Half true: In my work life here I always have the people on time. In my private life I, almost, always have people out of time (not so much; just the time to the party 'start'). You need to know the local usage: Dinner is at 22:00/23:00, after this, people go to drink at some place (And, if you wish, it will be at 10pm to 10am but it's not mandatory). There are exceptions. In the North people are more formal. In the South you can expect a variance. But not so much in the work environment.
8. Why can't I just go out and blow off some steam? True: To be a expat will always give you some scars. I can tell by my self. I don't have an excuse but to do the dull, as a drunk, is not far way of all English teenagers that come to Spain and Portugal in summer to avoid the pressure in their lives. People are not perfect. I'm sorry.
9. Can't we do something different for a change? ??? Also I think that's perception stuff . . . Where, in Europe, are the people who do not join to eat, drink, talk, laugh and have good moments together? I don't know all the world but the places that I know it's a sign of friendship and inclusion (I mean inclusion for foreigners like me). But, if you want, there a lot of people who want to see French noir cinema with you.
10. People here smoke too much: Half True: It's true that the Spanish smoke a lot. Period. It's false that the cafés and shops are smoker-friendly: We had a global master ban some years ago. So, in all places, you won't be corrupted by tobacco smoke. There are some places where, after hours, they close the door and you (and other fine people) can smoke and drink your beer.
Finally . . . I've finally figured about why I'm confused by the new Maverick OS; the touchpad and the Up and Down arrows go in opposite directions.