Sunday, April 20, 2008

The quirks of Spain

Quirks about Spain, compiled by Paula and Kim from a tent in an olive garden one night:

  • in the Spanish food pyramid, ¨olives¨ is its own food group -- seriously -- and it´s close to the bottom of the pyramid, just one step above grains, and parallel with vegetables
  • all the houses have names, but stores (even the village grocery) aren´t labeled. Unless you peek through the window and see the fruit stands, you have no idea it sells food.
  • Love of ham! There´s ham everywhere, in every meal, all the time!
  • every small village is distinguishable by its dilapidated old church, which towers overhead and centers the town
  • there are iron gates around every house door; a curtain covering every doorway
  • narrow winding brick and stone city streets and adobe rooftops
  • brilliant bright colors -- the decor is a mix of vibrant orange, yellow, red, green and blue walls and floors, sometimes all in the same room
  • Los Dos Besos -- everyone, even kids, greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks
  • REALLY over-dramatic soap operas are shown in the early evening
  • the whole country shuts down from noon to 4 p.m. ..... nothing is open
  • Tapas are free! In America, going out for tapas is a plush dining out experience. Here, they come free -- often in all-you-can-eat quantities -- with the purchase of a small cheap beer!
  • little kids hang out at all the businesses and run small tasks, like doing the price-check on an item at the checkout stand