I mean, do what you want. But I already tried it and it didn’t turn out so great. J-walk. You know when you’re in California and you see the crosswalk like 10 feet away and you’re like…”Yeah that’s way too far, I’m just gonna do me.” Well, do that in Spain and it’s like an unspoken death wish. You see, in California, while you’re doing you the car speeding towards you is like, “Stupid j-walker. Whatever I understand,” and will stop. In Spain, the driver sees you and is like “Stupid j-walker. Ten points,” AND THEN SPEEDS UP. If you’re lucky, they will come to a screeching halt approximately one centimeter from your now-paralyzed-with-fear body. If you aren’t lucky, you die.
Get drunk before dinner. In Spain, it’s common to have a few rounds at lunch or at tapas before dinner. It is uncommon for those rounds to turn into shots, chugging random drinks, and getting sloppy. Spaniards party hard, and they are proud of it. They are also proud of the fact they can drink for 18 hours straight and still be standing. Let your purse out of your site. Something that only a drunk person or tourist (probably both) would do, leaving your purse when you go get a drink, go to the bathroom, or dance are the easiest ways to get thieved. Like, too easy. Like, the thief would probably be confused, laugh at his friends, videotape the whole thing, and then dance away using your purse as a castanet. Order chocolate a la taza con churros…and then drink it. It looks like hot chocolate, and smells like hot chocolate, but it’s not hot chocolate. It’s like, super thick actual chocolate that’s melted with a little bit of milk. Take a sip and it might solidify in your throat. Go home before 4am. A normal Thursday and/or Friday and/or Saturday night out starts around midnight for a few drinks at a relaxed tapas bar. You have a few rounds, eat some snacks, and prepare your body for the night. The clubs don’t even open until after midnight, so getting there before 2am is out of the question. Also, Spaniards can party. Thanks to their national nap time, getting tired is really not a thing in the middle of the night, so leaving the club before morning is flat out lame. Around 5:30, the streets are PACKED with drunk people leaving the club and around 6:30, the subways are packed with people trying to get back to their pisas. Leaving before 4 means you missed out on the peak of the night, which you don’t want to do, because the peaks could involve a “bar crash” where drinks become practically free, someone embarrassing themselves, or some other epic moment.
Say Adios. Weird right? But, seriously the word “adios” is not used in Spain. Generally, you say “hasta luego” or “ciao.” Saying “adios” is the equivalent of saying “Goodbye I’m a tourist.”
Look forward. So in America, when your dog poops, the owner is supposed to embarrassingly get out a bag, pick it up, and dispose of it in the nearest garbage can. Not only is it a courtesy to your neighbors and unsuspecting passerbys, it’s a law. Like, you can get a fat fine if a cop even sees you walking your pooch without a bag. In Spain, this is not a law or a courtesy. In Spain, if your dog poops in the park, the street, the side of the road, at the bottom of the stairs, it’s the government’s problem and the government should take care of it. Oh ya, dogs are also everywhere, so this means walking with your head up is is like playing roulette with the road. Ask for hot sauce. When people think Spanish food, they auto think spice. Well, sadly, that’s like the most untrue thing ever. You can get hot sauce in one place – the Chino markets located on busy street corners. There you can find about three brands of hot sauce that apparently is the Euro version of Tapatio. I say apparently because, though I have located the stores and the hot sauce section, I have yet to find a bottle that isn’t already expired. And whatever you do, don’t mention it’s expired. You’ll get some really weird incomprehensible spiel about how hot sauce doesn’t expire. Two things on that: 1. If it’s labeled as expired, I aint risking it and 2. Spanish with a Chinese accent is like…I wouldn’t even try.
Call Barelona Spain. When you travel to Catalonia, you should definitely not think you’re in Spain. Catalonians are VERY proud of not being Spanish. It’s sort of like if you call someone a Bostonian a New Yorker and then tell them they all sound the same. They will be very upset and you will look like a ignorant tourist. Also, don’t mention Real Madrid or Atletico in Barcelona…and don’t mention FC Barcelona in Madrid And last but not least…
Don’t say you’re embarrassed. Unless you actually speak Spanish. We English speaking peoples have this horrible tendency to speak Spanglish with an air of knowledge that makes people actually believe we know what we’re talking about. How do we do this? We take our English word and add some sort of Spanish sounding ending. So naturally, if you make a mistake and want to express that you are quite sorry and embarrassed, it only makes sense that you’d say “Lo siento, estoy embarazada,” right? And then you’d be totally happy because the people you are talking to are suddenly not only super understanding to your mistake, but start smiling and speaking super rapidly back. Well, it wasn’t your flawless Spanish that made them assume you speak fluently; it’s the fact that you just apologized and then said you’re pregnant. “Embarrassed” is “avergonsada. “Embarazada” is “pregnant.” Now learn from your mistakes and enjoy the fact you have been handed chocolate. Good luck out there!