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How to Become a Spaniard in 20 Easy Steps

Spain Languages
by Ana Bulnes May 7, 2015


Set your inner clock backwards or just trust the sun (Spain is in the wrong time zone). This way you’ll find it easier to have lunch at 2pm (it’s actually 1pm) or have dinner at 9 (it’s 8). Once you do this naturally, go back one extra hour to reach perfection.


Introduce sobremesas in your life until you’re able to connect lunch-coffee-supper-dinner in a continuum where you only leave the table to visit the bathroom.


If you’re under 35, go back to you parents place. If you don’t want to abandon your independence, have lunch with them at least once a week.


Have an opinion on Podemos (are they our salvation or will they turn Spain into a communist dictatorship?) and Catalunya (is Spain breaking or should they just leave if they want to?), and make it clear on every conversation you get into at the bus stop, with taxi drivers, among friends or in family meetings. Knowing what you’re talking about is not strictly necessary.


Master the art of fixing the world. It works better in the wee hours of the morning and after a few beers.


Study this year’s work calendar, memorize every holiday, and fight at work to get the best puentes (“bridges” – taking working days off when they fall between a holiday and a weekend).


Decrease your personal space until it’s almost nonexistent. Kiss on both cheeks every stranger you meet (only women if you’re a man!), touch the person you’re talking to, don’t be ashamed to hug people.


Look at pictures of Montoro until the sole thought of Hacienda (Spain’s IRS) sends shivers up your spine and gives you panic attacks.


Install window blinds at home.


Repeat the following sentences until you can easily introduce them into any conversation, and combine them. Ignore their contradictions:

a) “This would never happen in Europe.”
b) “Merkel is to blame.”
c) “There’s no place like Spain” (with its variants: “there’s no food like Spanish food;” “there’s no party like Spanish party;” etc.).


Complete the full cycle of bars (you don’t have to do it in one day) until you understand you can have breakfast, your morning coffee break, an appetizer, lunch, supper, dinner, and a drink in the same place.


Learn to see punctuality as a relative concept and arrange an appointment at las diez y pico (“ten something”) without feeling nervous.


Practice the art of desk warming prolonging your workday to make your boss happy, while decreasing your productivity as much as possible.


Train until you can dance the night away from 2am to 8am.


Increase your voice volume a few decibels. If the person you’re talking to cannot speak Spanish, speak slowly, and even louder and assume he or she will understand.


Go for a few beers with your friends during the week and enjoy your free time.


Choose a region to be yours, get angry when someone talks about it using stereotypes, and refer to the rest of regions doing exactly that.


Clap every time the plane you’re traveling in lands without major incidents.


Ask a mother to teach you how to make tortilla de patatas, and learn to make it almost as well as she does (accepting you’ll never reach her level of perfection).


Relax, laugh out loud, and enjoy life!

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