20 Things I’ve Learned About Spaniards

Toledo, Spain

I’ve spent enough time in Spain to say I’ve learned a thing or two about Spaniards. Obviously, I know Spain is full of all sorts of people (like anywhere else in the world) and this list isn’t meant to be taken seriously in its generalizations. 

  1. A Spanish mother will never let you go hungry. She’ll also serve you generous portions at all meals. Generous is an understatement actually.
  2. That zest for life they’re so famous for? It’s true.
  3. The average Spaniard has a deeper appreciation of food and wine than the average person. I’m judging this by all of the food-related conversations I’ve had here with complete strangers.
  4. Their overall sense of style is impeccable. You won’t see them in the grocery store with sweatpants on like my fellow countrymen!
  5. Though their English may be generally a bit worse than their fellow Europeans, they place a huge importance on learning it, which is very admirable.
  6. They can take simple ingredients and make a killer meal from it. I’m looking at you, tortilla de patata!
  7. They make excellent wine and (maybe because of this?) super-cute babies. 
  8. For being as relaxed as they are about most things, don’t make them wait in traffic unless you want to hear what the sound of way too many car-horns at once is like.
  9. Though they will likely be late to tomar un café with you, they’ll make it up by staying with you for as long as they can before heading back to work.
  10. Their town ferias are very important to them. It’s best to avoid scheduling anything important with anyone during these dates.
  11. You will get scolded for not wearing shoes/slippers/sandals in the house. You’re risking catching a cold after all!
  12. You will discover their affinity for terrible napkins and cutting lines. *Side-eye at the old Señoras.*
  13. If you’re in a hurry, you will have to maneuver like a Formula1 driver around the abundance of slow walkers on the streets. 
  14. Regional/provincial pride usually comes first. They’re a feisty bunch! 
  15. They all have a village.
  16. They love to mix their wine and beer with all sorts of things.
  17. Their grandpas may be the cutest that exist in the world in their pressed slacks, sweaters, and caps. Can’t forget the clasped hands behind the back too!
  18. They have a certain way of making an everyday lunch feel special. Nothing is better than hours spent eating and chatting away at a Spanish table!
  19. Their preferred dog is the Yorkie. I’m judging this by the overwhelmingly large ratio of Yorkies to other breeds I see daily.
  20. They like their “erías” more than just a one-stop shop. If you want fruit, you go to the frutería. Meat? Carnicería! Bread? Panadería! Dessert? Pastelería! You get the idea.

What have you learned about Spaniards?

9 comments on “20 Things I’ve Learned About Spaniards”

  1. Fiona Reply

    Superb list, absolutely spot on. Love it. But I have to say, sweatpants are the most popular attire for taking kids to school in the morning!

  2. Julie Sheridan Reply

    Wow, was really taken aback by point four. Wear anything remotely stylish, fancy or elegant in Barcelona and you’ll be openly stared at. People here are BIG fans of dress down. Can’t even remember the last time I saw a guy in a suit on the metro. Was amazed recently at the Liceu Opera Theatre yo see people in jeans even there…
    Julie Sheridan recently posted…The magical La Mercè – best bits 2013My Profile

  3. Neila Reply

    While I do not see myself as a typical Spaniard (no, I do not have a village, I walk barefoot around the house and I can pretty much communicate in English :), there are several things that you pointed out that are SOOO deep incrusted into our culture!! I could not live without the “sobremesa” and I believe we all try to spread it wherever we go :)
    I am enjoying your blog, it is nice&funny to see how others live our (my) culture :)

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