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

The Local Spain
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The habits you will never be able to truly master like a Spaniard
Spaniards are experts at making noise. (Photo by JUSSI NUKARI / LEHTIKUVA / AFP)

It doesn't matter how long you live here or how hard you try, there are just some things that you will never be able to do as well as a Spaniard.

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Straight-talking

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. 

Expect no-nonsense talk from Spaniards, without it being nasty. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP)
 

 

Tanning

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 often-sunburnt guiris in the shade.

Spaniards tan easily, although those who overdo it end up with skin like leather in older age. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)
 

 

Swearing

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. 

READ ALSO: What’s the worst possible insult you can say to someone in Spain?

Casual non-aggressive swearing is common in many social settings in Spain. Photo: Susanna Davtyan/Pexels
 

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Sitting down to eat lunch

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.

In Spain, lunch on the go is a big no-no. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)
 

 

Keeping conversations going

Part of the reason why lunch and dinner can drag out for so long in Spain is because Spaniards truly know how to talk; and they're experts at the art of la sobremesa. And these are genuine conversations, not just small talk about the weather to break the ice. Spanish people tend to be genuine and sociable, so chats can go on for hours in an enjoyable fashion. You'll also notice that when it comes to saying goodbye, this can also be dragged out for a long time, usually involving going up to each person individually and having one final talk before ending with two kisses or a hug.

Relax, don't look at the time and let the conversation flow in Spain. (Photo by CESAR MANSO / AFP)
 
 

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Speaking quietly at the top of your voice

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. As mentioned earlier, Spaniards are world champion chatterboxes and seem to talk with permanently raised voices. 

READ MORE: Why are Spaniards so loud?

Is King Felipe VI the country's most softspoken Spaniard? (Photo by Emily KASK / AFP)
 

 

Drinking without getting too drunk 

13 percent of Spaniards drink alcohol every day, making them the second nation that drinks the most frequently in the EU after Portugal. In fact, having a couple of small beers (cañas) or a glass of wine with lunch on a workday is perfectly acceptable and overall alcohol is common in most social gatherings. And yet you'll rarely see Spaniards getting blind drunk and falling over as is common in the city centres of the UK and Ireland every weekend. They pace themselves, often eat while drinking and on a night out they'll do plenty of dancing to sweat out the booze. Why? Perhaps because the objective is to have fun, not to get drunk. 

Pouring cider the Asturian way is an art, and although Spaniards drink the small serving in one gulp, you'll rarely see them drunk.  (Photo by RAFA RIVAS / AFP)
 
 

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Partying until the early hours and 'painting the monkey' the next day

Somewhat tied to the fact that Spaniards pace themselves when it comes to drinking is the fact that they're capable of partying until later than pretty much any other country in the world. The fact that they start late - dinner at 10pm, meet at 11pm, hit the clubs at 2am - no doubt helps them with their late-night antics, but overall Spaniards show great resilience when it comes to keeping the party going until the sun rises. They're also experts at sleeping in the next day until lunchtime or later, and then doing what's called pintar la mona (literally 'painting the monkey, but really means doing nothing) as they slowly recover from the night out. Oh, have we mentioned the thousands of local festivals that are held in every single village, town and city across Spain? Life here can sometimes feel like one constant fiesta.

Expect the party to go on until 6 or 7am with Spaniards. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)
 

 

Taking summer holidays

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. 

Practically nobody works during August in Spain. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP)
 

 

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