1) You’ve forgotten what personal space is or how to give it to anyone.
In England we don’t really adhere to showing affection. Good friends of ours might receive a kiss and a cuddle but if we aren’t that close than stay the hell back and give us a simple nod or a handshake. Maybe not even the handshake though, that’s quite a prolonged amount of physical contact going on. After a while of living in Spain your barriers will be completely ripped away from you and replaced with dos besos for everyone! You’ll forget that shit like that just doesn’t go down at home, and return completely invading your friends, families, strangers and even your best mate’s dog with kisses. Everyone’s going to feel uncomfortable. You won’t though; you’ll be too busy looking out for who you haven’t kissed on both cheeks yet to even notice.
2) You start to give directions even if you have no idea where the place that the person needs to get to is.
For most of us mere mortals, if we don’t know the direction of something then we will apologise to the person asking where it is and wish them luck along their journey – but this is not the Spanish way. When I first moved there and needed to find somewhere specific I would always ask for help. Nobody would ever tell me that they weren’t sure where to go, they would instead reward me with a lot of straight on’s and a lot of lefts – needless to say I would very rarely reach my destination with the help of a kind strangers directions. It won’t take you too long before a tourist is asking you where something is and you are telling them “straight on, left, left, straight on, left, straight on” when you have absolutely no idea what they are asking for yourself though.
3) You have no qualms with befriending strangers.
Us Brits tend to have an unspoken rule between ourselves that unless we have a drink in our hand, don’t come up to us and try and make casual conversation. Spaniards love a good chat though, and so the next time you find yourself visiting home your body will convulse and lead you to sitting and chatting to a stranger on the tube without any warning. I’m sorry to any/all of the strangers that have been stuck with me as I interrupt your journey back from work with idle chit chat.
4) You begin to lose your manners.
Although us Brits aren’t known for being the friendliest bunch, we are most certainly known for our good manners. We say “please” and “thank you” at the end of pretty much any sentence. At some point you will begin to notice that you completely forget to say “please” or “thankyou” for anything because you totally said it with a nod, eye contact or your tone of voice anyway.
5) Beer is beer, it knows no brand.
Asking for a beer and having someone ask me which type of beer I want throws me off my game completely now. In Spain they don’t care about your need for different types of beer from around the world, you will get one type, you won’t ask any questions, and you will like it.
6) Paperwork fills you with fear.
Want some papers for work? You can’t get it. Need anything important at all? Get it next week. Living in Spain makes it virtually impossible to get any important documents – and so even when you have left there you start thinking that any important documentation doesn’t really matter after all as you kind of get away without it in Spain – you are wrong. It does matter, and you are going to be in trouble without it.
7) You do a double take when your coffee comes in a cup.
Why’s this shit not in a glass?!
8) You become perfectly fine with everything becoming a sandwich.
Tortilla? Put that sweet glorious work of art in a sandwich.
9) You no longer waste time wondering what drink you will have to accompany your dinner, you automatically know that it will always be red wine.
Cerveza over after work drinks? Of course.
In the sun while taking a cheeky break from shopping or something cultural? Always.
Cerveza at pre-drinks, on your friends’ lovely terraza – hey give me a cerveza just because I’m bored.
But over dinner, catch up drinks with my best friend in our favourite hidden gem in Madrid or even just chilling at home watching a movie because we have some left-over ; It will always be red wine – bottle or carton doesn’t matter. White is just offensive at this point, and don’t even get me started on choosing a rose in Spain.
10) You go for a night out with your friends when you visit home and are both shocked and offended when there is nowhere to go after 3am.
WHY DOES EVERYTHING CLOSE SO EARLY IN ENGLAND??!