Friday, July 27, 2012

Last Whole Day in Spain

It saddens me to write that today was our last day to explore Salamanca and enjoy all that Spain has to offer.  We ventured a little farther out of the Old Town in search of a specially-requested gift for a classmate back home.

I'd like to leave readers with observations about the Spanish culture.

  • Although nearly every native Spaniard smokes, I was grateful to see they do not smoke inside buildings.  They probably have some law like we do in Indiana or Ohio.
  • I have never seen so many whole dead animals in one place as I've seen here.  No, I'm not talking about roadkill; these are the markets and meat shops.  Fish, shrimp, and today in the main market, we saw entire piglets.  (Yech!)  To make the yummy fresh sandwiches we've been eating, the Spanish just shave some meat off of a whole pig's leg sitting in the store and put it on fresh bread.  This is how you get jamón ibérico.
  • The Spanish like to stay out so late because their time zone is so messed up.  Poland and Spain are on the same time zone, as Andy previously mentioned.  The Spanish think nothing of taking their children--tiny infants up through teenagers--out for dinner around 10 PM or so.  'Tis the way of life.  It also looks like it's about 2 hours earlier than it should; for example, it looks like it's about 7PM when in reality the clock is chiming 9.
  • Olives always come with pits still in them.  I know of no graceful way to handle this situation.
  • Everyone seems to stop for us at crosswalks.  I don't know if they're just really nice or it's some law on the books that they have to stop.
  • You must ask for your bill in almost all restaurants.  If you fail to remember this, they will happily let you sit there all day and maybe all night. 
  • Sangria is the national drink.  It's like wine and fruit juice, and it's frequently cheaper than soda.
  • There is at least one well-dressed old woman glaring at the tourists in each church.  She's harmless, though.
We leave you with a photo of us and Megan having drinks in the Plaza Mayor.  Puffer joined in, too!  It is a beautiful image to remember a beautiful place.


Courtney (Quartny) Thornberry said...

For the crosswalk thing: (since I'm getting my British license at the moment, it's fresh to me), there are crosswalks here called Zebra Crossings (white markings on the road) and drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. (I.E. if they have one foot on it). However, it is polite to stop if someone is about to cross. I've been taught in my lessons to slow down and be prepared to stop at these crosswalks. There are other, informal ones that are not marked with white paint that are not required to stop for pedestrians, but the Zebra (there are also ones with lights called Pelican) crossings are required to stop as drivers. Don't know if there are similar road rules in Spain. I do know that an EU driver's license is good here (unlike my American one which is only good for one year before I'm required to get a British one.)

Andy said...

That makes sense. I thought that people were being a little too nice. My guess is that Spain has similar laws about the crossings. Thanks for the info!

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