1. How come you can’t dance salsa?
I know, I know, many Spanish people can dance salsa, but not all of us. Why should we, anyway? As big as Latin music is in Spain, salsa is a Caribbean style! We might understand the words they’re singing (sometimes it’s better not to, believe me), but that doesn’t automatically teach us to move our hips and feet and upper body the right way.
2. Can you dance some sevillanas for me?
I deserve this next one. Salsa is not from Spain, but sevillanas are. The trick? To start with, this traditional music and dance comes from and is typical in Sevilla, so there’s no reason for the rest of us to know anything about it. But don’t commit the next mistake and assume everyone from Sevilla is an expert in sevillanas. They might know how to dance and sing and play it, but they might also be as clueless as you are.
3. Are you from Barcelona?
Or, second guess, from Madrid? You’ve covered the two largest cities in Spain, so you could be lucky and the person you’re talking to might be from there. But you could also discover Spain is a big, big country with many people living in many different areas. Please, don’t lose interest when we say we are from a different place! We can be as cool as you thought we were when you asked if we came from Barcelona!
4. I would love to live in Spain, you’re always partying!
No, we’re not. It’s true that our party culture might seem wild to you, that we can stay up dancing until the morning and all that, but remember: you stay up until 2 am, but started at 8 pm. We stay up until 7 am, but all dance clubs were empty until 2 am (and that’s early). The amount of time actually spent partying, in the end, is similar. The day after is more difficult here, for obvious reasons. Oh, and we don’t party every night. Because, you know, sometimes we have to work the next morning and wake up early. Or because we’re just tired. That happens as well.
5. I would love to live in Spain, it’s always sunny!
It’s really not. Even in Spain’s sunniest places (some parts of Andalucía, Canary Islands) you could be greeted by rain, cold weather, and storms. It might come as a surprise, but winter does happen in Spain, with temperatures falling below zero in some places. It snows! And in some parts you could even spend several months without seeing the sun. Pack your coat. Just in case.
6. Oh, I know Spain, I’ve been to Mallorca!
Mallorca is a beautiful island, and if you have visited it you have certainly been to Spain. But don’t mind us if we crack a sarcastic smile at you (especially if you’re German), and joke that Mallorca has for a long time been German territory. All you have to do is explain that you’ve explored the island, its hidden beaches and its mountains, and we will like you again.
7. So do you have a job?
Who can blame you for asking that? The financial crisis hit Spain really hard, and unemployment is a big problem here. We ourselves talk about the topic constantly, so we get why you look at us with your sad eyes and utter the question. The thing is, we’re a bit tired of everyone assuming the answer will be no. There are still some employed people in Spain! Let’s just talk about something else. Like siestas or fiestas. We kind of miss the times when that was all you knew about us.
8. Española… caliente!
This only happens to girls (I think). A guy asks you where you’re from, you say Spain, and suddenly you hear “española… caliente!” What does that even mean? What does the guy who just uttered those words expect us to do? Take off our clothes? Jump on to him? Start twerking? Poor guy, he’ll be so disappointed.
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