Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Spain is Different

So...having now lived in another country (Spain) for 9 months I can officially give birth to some observations...

- No matter how slow I walk, there is an older Spaniard that I will have to pass

- I have not developed the mentality yet to know that the entire sidewalk is mine such as the locals do here.  Since I didn't pass the "walk slow" test, I am now finding that no matter how few a group of Spaniards are on the sidewalk, they can somehow manage to occupy and block me from going forward at my ridiculous American speed.

- In the USA we have 25 different EVERYTHING when you want it.  In Spain, you have one of a great many things that they would deem unimportant.  Those things that are very important, you probably have 4-6 choices.

- The great part about the rain is that it comes so little that when it does, nobody bothers to go to their shops and open them.  And because of that, everybody stays home anyway.  It's a win-win...unless you are out of food at your place.

- I used to have a "rain bike" to ride only when it rains.  Now I don't ride when it rains; don't need to because it'll be sunny again tomorrow.  Now I have a "wind bike".  This is a heavier bike that won't blow me off the bridge in a cross-wind.  That's a good thing...

- I thought I could learn some Spanish by translating Facebook comments, Twitter comments and other social media from here.  Nope...  They don't translate well when they use slang, local dialect and abbreviations.

- It's still amazing to wrap our heads around the fact that nearly everything here is so much less expensive than in the USA.  Dental office doesn't cover your private Spanish insurance?  No problem, just pay cash...it's less than your co-pay was in the USA anyway!!!

- Taking the train is more expensive than flying.  They have a lot of dirt cheap plane tickets around Europe.  I'm bummed about this because I love traveling by train.  It's such less hassle and I enjoy watching the countryside and being able to get up and walk around without every other person staring at you...

- All hills here (and they are seriously all over 10% grade going up to 30%) are always steepest right as you reach the top.  It's as if when they constructed it they said, "whoops...we are coming up lower than we expected" and they just increased the gradient!  Fun for biking...let me tell you!

4 comments:

Subby said...

Sounds like you're fitting in nicely, though. As for that sidewalk thing, yeah, we encountered something similar in Sardinia. But hey! At least those hills aren't as steep as the ones in Frisco, wot?

Ed said...

subby - Actually, the hills here are every bit as steep as San Francisco. I can go just over town and hit 30% grade in less than 5 minutes from our house. Had one road so steep I had to walk up it and down it! They are old donkey roads that are now paved and apparently they have no fear of steep hills here either...

ReformingGeek said...

It's true, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain!"

I wouldn't even try to bike on hills that steep. Crazy!

Love the cheap healthcare.

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