February 12, 2010

Compare and Contrast

When I came to Spain, I knew it wasn't going to be like the US. The people are different, the infrastucture is different, the language is different. But there are some staples in our culture and our everyday lives that I didn't even consider. Here are a few that have boggled my mind so far.


The bathrooms here are way weird. But it's something you use every day so you get accustomed to it. The faucets are different, the plumbing in showers is slow to warm up, and the toilets have about a cup of water in them. And almost every bathroom I've seen here has a bidet! They're such a rare occurrence back home that we act like kids on Christmas morning.


Ok, I know this is weird but one of the first things I noticed in Spain was the lightswitches. A lightswitch is one of those things that is always around and it always looks the same. It never occurred to me that they could be different. But they are. The electrical outlets are also different. They are bigger and bulkier than outlets in the States. I think they're just plain ugly.


How do I describe El Corte Ingles? It's like a Macy's meets Sears meets Sports Authority meets Barnes & Nobles meets Super Target meets Publix. It has everything! The one here in Malaga is about 8 stories with a supermarket below. It's truly ridiculous. My profesor told us today that many of his university-educated friends work at the Corte Ingles because it is so difficult to find a job here.


Because Europe is so densely populated, most people live in apartments. But apartments here make my dorm room look luxurious. There aren't a lot of clutter or decorations and everything is smaller to make up for the lack of space. And it isn't unusual for a 30-year-old to live with his or her parents. My profesor told us today that he has university-educated 35-year-old friends who still live at home with their parents and work at El Corte Ingles. The unemployment rate is obvi really bad here!

In other news, I bought another pair of boots for Carnaval this weekend in Cadiz. AND a group of us booked our tickets to LONDON today! I'm so excited! One of the guys has a discount at hostels around Europe so we booked ours for $9 a night! That's US Dollars too! And Tottenham is playing at home that weekend so hopefully I'll be able to go to an EPL game!

Hope you all are staying safe, warm, and dry! Love you lots and miss you tons :)


Kasey said...

In England the light switches were backwards. So you flip up to turn them off and down to turn them on. I never got use to it.

Kasey said...

Also, there's nothing wrong with living with your parents until you were almost 30 years old. :)