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Seven habits you will never be able to truly master like a Spaniard

The Local · 21 Aug 2015, 15:00

Published: 21 Aug 2015 15:00 GMT+02:00

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Straight talking

Photo: Garry Knight/Flickr 

Otherwise known as "being blunt". While the thought of telling people what you really thought of them sends most Anglo-Saxons into a cold sweat, Spaniards don’t give two hoots about giving you their honest opinion whether it is asked for or not. So if you really are looking for the truth, trust a Spaniard. 


Photo: Lady May Pamintuan/Flickr


For many Spaniards, sunbathing isn't just a form of relaxation it is an art form bordering on obsession. Never setting foot on the beach without their tanning oils - or even olive oil - these Spaniards leave us pasty and oft-sunburnt guiris in the shade.


Photo: Nathan Rupert/Flickr

Swear words are the glue that hold many Spanish conversations together and are to be regularly found peppering the sentences of even the most demure-looking abuela. Swearing is such a normal part of Spanish vocabulary that even the strongest of curse words is used liberally in everyday conversation. 

Eating lunch

Photo: CPGXK/Flickr

In the fast-paced modern world, more and more people end up eating their lunch at their desks, or grabbing a sandwich to-go. Not most Spaniards, who still enjoy long lunches, sitting at actual tables and enjoying numerous courses. The classic menu del día - a fixed-price three-course menu - is still the lunch of choice for many in Spain. This is one habit that is we could all get used to.

Chatting quietly at the top of your voice

Story continues below…

Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simoes/Flickr

It’s hard enough to get your mouth around the Spanish r, but even if you master the language, it’s the pitch and frequency of the talking you’ll struggle to conquer. Spaniards are world champion chatterboxes and seem to talk with permanently raised voices. 

Taking summer holidays

Photo: Jessica Jones

If you ever visited Madrid and found it more ghost town than bustling city, chances are you landed in August – the month when seemingly every Madrileño leaves the stifling city for cooler coastal climes. And it’s not just the people, many bars, restaurants and shops close their shutters for the entire month, displaying a "cerrado por vacaciones" sign outside. So forget about getting mundane things like your dry cleaning done and instead take a leaf out of the locals' book and head for the pool. 

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