After spending 10 months in Seville, Spain, with the Erasmus exchange program, I could notice some (tiny or not) differences between Spanish and French cultures, especially in the daily life.
Let’s start with the more obvious, the Spanish lifestyle. It is indeed a well-known fact that Spanish people have a different lifestyle than ours, especially in the time schedules. Every meal happens later, they have lunch between 2 and 4 PM, have dinner from 10 PM… But it is actually quite pleasant.
All Spanish people have two names and two last names, the father’s last name comes first and after there is the mother’s name. Besides, on the Spanish ID you can see the name of both parents (“hijo de …y…”son/daughter of … and …”)
Everything is translated to Spanish. For example, a hot dog (a quite universal word) becomes “un perrito caliente”, …
Movies names are translated too. Star Wars becomes “la Guerra de las galaxias”, “Burn after reading” becomes “Quemar después de leer”…
What struck me too was that when you go to the cinema you have to choose your place at the entrance, when you buy your ticket, as if you were at the opera or at the theatre. I don’t really like it, it is less freedom, it is strange.
Moreover, there is another cliché about Spanish people. They have a reputation for being rude (speaking loudly, etc…) and for behaving badly. On the opposite, I have noticed that when they are waiting for the bus, Spanish people queue!
SPEAKING INFORMAL WITH ALMOST EVERYONE (the use of the “tu”)
Between teachers and students for example. I remember at the end of the year one teacher invited the whole class for a beer in the city centre.
In a Spanish bathroom you always find the shower or bath and the toilets, both in the same room while in France they are almost always in two separated rooms.
Besides, I have noticed that in Spain, in Seville at least, it is very usual to find a bidet in the bathroom. This is quite strange because a bidet is originally French but in France we don’t find it anymore. I have actually never seen a bidet in France!
In a Spanish flat you will always find tiled floor. It is also quite usual to find it in the bedrooms and living rooms!
I have noticed that Spanish people love dogs. Living in an apartment is not a problem. Almost every Spanish person has a dog, or even more! You can often see a Spanish person with 2 or 3 dogs on a leash.
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Cover photo source: https://goo.gl/VNg1rg