Monday, September 20, 2010

Differences between Spain and the USA

I would just like to list and elaborate on some things I find wierd or funny.

1) Plugs look totally different here. You will definately need an adaptor and maybe even a converter too. This is a plug in my bathroom. The plug part is on the right. Left is a common type of square light switch.

*Tip: If you read on your appliance where it says "INPUT" if it reads up to 240V, you will NOT need a converter. If it is only around 110, then you will. Make sure you use a converter if you need one because your device will blow up. Neither my computer, cell phone charger, Ipod charger, or camera charger needed a converter, only an adapter.

*Tip: Do not bring a hair dryer or straightener. Buy those things when you arrive. (I accidently blew up my converter trying to use it with my straightener.)

2) Clothes dryers are not common. Even clothes washers are much smaller. So in order to dry my clothes I bought a cheap plastic rope at the supermarket to make a makeshift clothes line.

I dry my pants on the balcony. This was really an ajustment for me because I couldn't wait to the last minute to do laundry, which is normally my style.

3) Vending machines with pens! How cool.

4) There is gym equipment in the park, actually in the ground.

This is my roommate hillary, trying out the park ellipical.

5) You can't drive to a Walmart, load up your cart, put it in your trunk and unload it at your house. You walk everywhere, even to the market. So that means what you buy, you carry. For the first week I used a backpack and only bought the bare necesities. (You know like toilet paper, bread, and lunch meat... ok a little bit more than that but all of it fit into my back pack.) A few days ago I discovered an awesome invention. Its a long back with handle and wheels, with the sole purpose of buying groceries, putting them in the bag, and wheeling them home. So if you see one, I say buy it!

6) Siesta. Around 2 until 4 or 5, many business, restaurants, pretty much everything closes in order to eat lunch and rest. I have come to love siestas. It is just the nap you need after you got up at 7 o'clock for school. Also, everything, and I mean everything (well, except bars and restaurants) are closed on Sunday. So if it's Saturday and you're out of food, go to the grocery store because it will be closed on Sunday.

7) The eating schedule. Here is the typical Spanish eating schedule.

7:30-8:00 Breakfast (consists of coffee and a bagel)
11 ish Small snack to hold you over until lunch
3 ish Lunch (largest meal of the day, usually more than one course)
9:30ish Dinner/Supper (tapas or a smaller meal than lunch)

This is still difficult to get used to. My American tummy is always really hungry around 12 noon and 7 pm. Also the portion sizes are much smaller, which my tummy is already accustomed to.

No comments: