Things you only understand if you live in (are from) Spain

  • The tracksuit is not to be used for running or at the gym; with the tracksuit you make paellas and climb on a mountain.
  • The expression “esto sólo pasa en España” (this only happens in Spain) is a mantra which you always repeat when something happened of what you “freak out” (no matter if it´s good or bad)
  • For lunch you don´t eat à la carte, you eat the daily special menu for 10,95. With its first course, main course, dessert, bread and drink. And a coffee, you ask whether it is also included.
  • So incomprehensible that it seems, only in our country I have seen shutters ¿Ein? ¿Really?  Yes. At best, there are curtains over curtains (nearly as the carol) black, gloomy, and more or less do their function. And three quarters of the same happens with the la maid. Another thing that I don´t understand that everyone of the entire world doesn´t have at home. Let´s see if you can find it, but it is not frequent.
  • The older the bar is the more authentic it is. These bars are where you can´t avoid to throw the napkins (as Piedrahíta would say, of these that are impermeable, that more than they extend to clean) into the dustbin, but they are landing directly on the floor of the bar (de chapa), with the heads of shrimps and stones of olives. They are dirty, they smell strange, are aesthetically ugly, but they are ours and we love them.



The stools, the bar, the display case, the blue sign… how much of Spain is just in one photo…


  • In the queues in the supermarkets, if you only have one item, you have the right to pass the line. And if they don´t let you through, you become annoyed and you snort: ” ugh, what more do you need. You egotist. But still takes the cart full, what a kid.”
  • Table talk to connect lunch and dinner. I promise you, for the amount of what I have travelled in any place, I have seen people talking for two and a half hours after dinner without eating or drinking, when someone wants to leave, someone else stands up and says “But are you already leaving man? Why don´t you take another beer?”. And when you leave, it is because of the bartenders as they need to go home, and not because you are finished.
  • It is strange to eat bread with tomato, olive oil and salt for breakfast. At least if you are not from here. And they dunk  sweet muffins, sponge cake (sobaos), heart shaped puff pastry (palmeritas) or a sponge cake with lemon in milk mixed with Cola Cao. I don´t even need to tell you how good they taste.




– In Spain, until you don´t reach 25, you don´t know that café olé, actually is café au lait.

– We are speaking loud. Very loud. And the worst thing is that we are not aware of this.


  • Football takes over everything. over everything. If it is necessary to install screens during the wedding banquet, they will.  If it is necessary to return earlier from holiday so you don´t   end up catching the final during the flight then you will move your ticket forward. It is fair to do this as this also happens in India with the cricket, in the US with American Football or in Star Wars with their street racing.



  • To insult between colleagues is not only offensive but indicates a very high level of confidence: Cabr**azo, qué cacho ´jo p*** estás hecho. Also, to call someone tío (uncle) doesn´t indicate they are blood related.


  • When you order something to drink and they don´t give you something to snack on, you get angry. Even if they are only some almonds or olives. Only in Spain you can leave full with the Tapas which they have served you by ordering a riojita, “tinto de verano” or some beers. After this the typical battle between communities to see where they serve you the biggest, most delicious and most greasiest Tapas occur.
  • Kisses and more kisses: When you arrive, when you leave  your family or friends or the girls you´ve met, you got to know during waiting for the metro (it is not rare, after 10 minutes of random conversation with a foreign person, having an input and saying “by the way, I am so-and-so” and give him two kisses). This shocks a lot to those who come to Spain, and of course it starts to get even more  funny when the person of Malaga born is going to give two kisses and the girl is from Amsterdam who interposes the right hand between both bodies with a mix of surprise (of the gesture of the other one), and a little bit of shame (because she only remained with the hand).




  • Our national anthem does not consist of any lyrics. But it doesn´t need to. Of course, in the World Cup we fall short because of this “lo,lo,lo,lo, lo,lo….”
  • To finish your meal with  mint tea? That is nonsense. The true way to digest is the orujo (strong Spanish liqueur made from residue of grape skins after pressing) and brandy. Yes sir, drinks of more than 40º and we find them healthy for the stomach.
  • Long weekends. And I am talking about the good long weekends; the ones of vacations. The ones with (bank) holiday on Tuesday, so I am taking Monday off, I am getting sick on friday, y me bajo a Tarifa los 5 días”. So if we have a holiday on Thursday, it´s normal that our level of productivity plummets already from Wednesday in the afternoon.


  • We don´t know how to dance “Sevillanas” (flamenco). Well, maybe downwards from Despeñaperros they know a little more. How it is in the rest of the Península (and islands), NO IDEA.




  • Tomarse la penúltima (have one for the road). Finish working at 18:30 on a Thursday, go out to drink some beers (cañas) and “they tie you up” until 1 o´clock. Come back home drunk (tocadillo as un euphemism) and you spend the entire Friday judging yourself that you will never  go out during the week again. Nowadays it is called Afterwork. previously it was called Drinking some beers after finishing work.
  • If you are not from here you won´t understand that you can support Madrid and Rayo, but not Sevilla and Betis. You can support Espanyol and Madrid but not Madrid and Atletico at the same time.
  • You push away with bread. And if there is none (that is crime), they push furtively with the thumb. As a last resort, with the knife. But only when you eat in the house of your in-laws.
  • To go out at 23:30: in half of  Europe, people begin to switch off the light, the girls are getting dressed and the boys are putting on Axe in Spain. Having dinner at 21:30 and having lunch at 15:00 are ideas which are made completely incomprehensible for them. It´s nearly the same for us when a Dutch or a Canadian are preparing their dinner at 18:30. ¡¡But this time is our time for having a snack!!



  • We have airports in cities with less than 20.000 inhabitants, a network of high-speed train of more than 3.000 km (we are the second country of the world: Oé, oé), a “Caja Mágica” for 300 million which is used 10 days a year (Madrid’s Olympic Tennis Centre), a “Ciudad de la Luz”(city of light) (film studios) for 274 million where they have shot 30 movies (IN 10 YEARS!!), a city of environment which will even after investing 50 million never open in the nearer future and a city of culture which cost 400 and less than 80.000 people came to visit it in 3 years. All of that you can only understand, of course, if you live in Spain … well, maybe not even then…