It happened when I noticed all the camo. When the waiter was so nice and attentive that it took me off guard. But perhaps there was nothing as striking as when I was at a bookstore and looked across the street at my next stop, realizing I would never walk there. No, I had driven my car and wouldn’t dare cross a small but treacherous stretch of road where the drivers were unaccustomed to pedestrians. I recognized this feeling: reverse culture shock.
Just as I miss American products and customs in Spain, there are irreplaceable Spanish items and mindsets that I miss when I visit the States. Even though I miss the people more (here’s looking at you, Andres), I do have material things that I miss as well:
20 Spanish Things I Miss in America
- Laid-back, money-isn’t-everything mentality
- Easy access to travel all over Europe
- Central meeting areas like town squares
- Awesome and affordable Spanish wine
- Spanish food such as: Olive oil, olives, cured meats and cheeses, fresh fish, croquetas…
- Terraces at bars and restaurants
- The way people dress a more formally
- Places with a ton of history – Not to say that the States don’t have their history–they do. But in this case Europe has just a few years on us.
Climbing through history at Almodóvar del Río (near Córdoba)
- Puentes and lots of vacation days
- Dry temperatures (read: little humidity)
- Weekend adventures in a place where I can always explore something new (an unknown neighborhood, a different park, a new store…)
- The mid-morning pause for coffee…and cafés on every corner
Coffee at Madrid’s Gaudeamus
- Dos besos
- Cheap meds
- Widespread public transportation
- Going out for dinner at 9 or 10 pm. - I love the way people are out and about until really late in the night, it gives the evening a social, festive feel.
Sevilla — Look at all these people out at night!
- Spanish/European pastries – Croissants! Apple puff pastry! Napolitanas de chocolate!
- Speaking a foreign language and the opportunity to learn more every day
- Being able to walk to the post office, the bank, the grocery store, etc.
What else would you add to this list?
P.S. On the flip side, here are 20 American things I miss in Spain.