Americans in Spain
Madrid is an extremely interesting place and there have been many cultural differences. These cultural differences are not necessarily good or bad, they are just differences and require a bit of adjustment for Americans who would like to move to Spain.
1. Customer Service has a different meaning here.
a. Employees aren’t in any rush to serve the patrons and the patrons don’t expect quick service, so it works for Spain.
b. There are two reasons for this. One is that the employees of restaurants do not get paid with tips, they get paid per hour. The second reason is my next point.
2. When you go out to eat, be prepared to stay for a much longer time.
a. In Spain meals are a big deal.
b. You don’t just go grab a bite here, you sit down for an event.
c. Schedules literally clear for meals.
a. I didn’t know this really existed in real life, I thought it was a myth.
b. Businesses literally shut down from 2-4 so you should as well.
c. I can’t lie, this is pretty awesome.
4. Everyone lives in apartments or “flats”.
a. I have yet to meet one person that lives in a house.
b. This might just be in the city, which is similar to big cities in the states.
5. Kitchen equipment is much smaller.
a. Ovens, refrigerators, and cabinets are all half, if not more, the sizes in America.
b. It’s because of this that you make many different trips to the grocery store and purchase foods in small quantities.
6. You don’t eat dinner until at least 8PM!
a. If you would like to go eat at nice restaurant, it won’t be open until 8PM in my experience so far.
b. I imagine it is because of Siesta that the night life begins very late.
7. You take the metro everywhere.
a. Everyone takes the metro here. People will often give you their address along with the closest metro stop.
b. Parking is almost impossible to find if you own a car and gas is extremely expensive, which explains why.
c. The Metro system is awesome and makes things much more convenient.
We are trying our best to make the adjustments and already this has been an amazing experience. Through God we are learning to be content no matter what situation we face.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation”