In the spirit of annoying people who don’t like list posts we have decided to do a list post today. So here we have 10 things which we will never understand about Spain however long we live here, some good, some bad, some baffling. Make sure to read number nine and watch the video for number 10. To understand Spain you should try to understand the impossible 😉
1) The fact that that’s a café con Leche is not a café con Leche in certain parts of the country. in other words it changes wherever you go in Spain there are different ways to order coffee. Take a look at Lisa’s post here about what a coffee is.
2) The fact that the governments at a national regional and local level constantly shoot themselves in the foot and actively discourage development and advancement of technology and ideas. Recent examples include privatizing the sun, banning Uber, the anti protest laws, the closing of Google News and a huge litany of other cases that lead me to repeatedly bang my head against the proverbial wall. Don’t worry though, they may not be around for much longer as there are lots of elections this year.
3) The fact that people still talk in pesetas when talking about large amounts of money. Cars, houses, business deals and more are often referred to in terms of the peseta cost even though the Euro has been in place for over a decade. So 180,000 Euros is not 180K. It’s 30 million pesetas. Got that?
4) The fact that council taxes are so low. Our bins are collected every night, our streetlights and roads are excellent, our local services usually range from good to excellent. All of these costs are funded from the council taxes which are around 10-20% of those in other countries such as the UK. (Graham’s Note: My council tax is 340 Euros per year all in. My dad’s in the UK is 1500 pounds sterling and his bins are collected every two weeks.)
5) The fact that people still spend so much time in bars every day. There are cafes and bars everywhere and the crisis seems to have increased the number in the last few years as they are seen as a good way to at least have some income. Build it and they will come. My local coffee shop/ice cream parlour/ restaurant (Different things at different times of day and year) has a constant stream of people in and Manolo the owner works around 14 hours per day.
6) The fact that everyone still thinks they can make money from restaurants and shops when the costs of running those places are extremely high and the spreadsheets you produce before opening just have to suggest that they have no chance of working… I think all people going into these rather saturated areas just look at the market and say “well there a a million people living within twenty minutes of here, I only have to attract 5% of them to buy in my shop and we will do well” that type of mathematical reasoning has never ever worked anywhere.
7) The fact that there are still people who vote for the two main parties in Spain. They have proved to be a mafia with no thought for anyone rather than feathering their own troughs. Yet they still get around 40-45% of the intentions to vote in opinion polls. Amazing! Luckily it’s on the way down.
8) The fact that people don’t take responsibility for their actions at times. I have mentioned before that the language doesn’t help them to do this because “the cup fell over” not “I knocked the cup over” is the typical way to explain something that happened. This conditions the way people think and even when caught red handed people never admit it and take the consequences.
9) The fact that people don’t seem to realise how lucky they are to be living in a place that is relatively safe from crime, natural disasters, man made disasters and has one of the best climates on Earth. How often do people give thanks for that rather than complaining about the negatives? I find that oftentimes it is the foreign population that appreciate this because the Spanish are not aware of anything elsewhere and how life is for others.
10) The fact that fireworks! Just that. (Start the video at 5 mins 08 secs or watch it all of course)