Here are some interesting cultural differences I learned during my first weekend:
- Spaniards rarely ever use their hands, not even to eat an apple! They use a knife to cut off the skin and then eat it with a fork and knife.
- Here is proof: I got an apple at the school café, expecting to eat it while on my way back to the apartment, and this is how it was given to me:
- In the US, most people do not walk around their houses with their shoes on ALL the time. However, in Spain, it is actually considered rude to walk around the house barefoot. I had to go out and buy some "chanclas" (flip-flops) for this purpose.
- Spanish children usually meet up and play in the parks. It is unusual to invite a friend over for a play-date.
- It is polite to eat meals with both hands on the table and is impolite to put your hands in your lap. Today at lunch, Paulo had one and in his lap and was using his fork with the other. His mother scolded him, told him to put his hand on the table, and then said "No seas Americano" (Don't be American).
- Yes, that is the other thing, my family for some reason thinks if they speak quickly enough I won't understand, but I do. Hehe :)