US Navy issues 'How to live in Spain' guidebook

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Steve Tallantyre - [email protected]
US Navy issues 'How to live in Spain' guidebook
The guided missile destroyer troops will learn about aspects of Spanish life ranging from shellfish to shopping. Photo: Wikipedia

330 Marines on the guided missile destroyer 'USS Donald Cook', due to dock at the US military base in Rota, Andalusia, on Tuesday have been given tips to help them integrate in Spain, including advice against eating while walking and prior notice that beds are likely to be much smaller than those they are used to.


The 'Welcome to Rota' guide will be issued to a total of 3,000 US service personnel and family members when they move to Spain between now and the summer as part of NATO's missile shield program.

It has been put together jointly by the Pentagon and the town's local authority.  

The first arrivals to join the 20,000-strong American naval base will land already knowing that beds, bedrooms and doors are smaller than in the USA, and that big American cars won't fit into tiny Andalucian back streets and parking spaces.

Spanish daily El Mundo reported that the troops have been told that Spaniards are more "conservative" in their manner of dress, that they "rarely" eat or drink while they walk and that they eat pizzas "with a knife and fork".

But they are reassured that they will find a "little America" full of home comforts in the base which has existed for over sixty years.

And the nearby town is described as "a model of co-existence" with "a cosmopolitan touch" by its mayor, Eva Corrales.

Once ashore, the new arrivals will enjoy a week-long 'intercultural relations' course in the Fleet and Family Service Center to expand their local knowledge.

According to online daily El Confidencial Digital, vital nuggets of information will be imparted to the uniformed troops, such as the fact that shellfish is typically served "with head and feet still attached".

They will also learn more mundane necessities, such as where and how to buy a car, shop for groceries and negotiate the rent on an apartment.

There is also a strong focus on security, with briefings on how to respond to threats, alerts or incidents while on the base.

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