Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Habla Espanol?

Now that you know the extent of my Spanish....okay fine. I also no No Habla English (with the accent included) and Si Senore and Senorita. All words any self respecting American should have picked up on but you get my point. I do not know Spanish lol. Unless you want me to count to 10. But my post isn't really about speaking Spanish. It's about a Spaniard.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting people from other cultures. I've been quite fortunate to meet several while on this trip. My last plane trip was no different.

I noticed when I got on the plane that I had been seated next to a strange man but I figured it wasn't a big issue because he looked like a teenager. So I asked him, and I was right. Turns out he was a 17 year old foreign exchange student from Spain.

Now, normally I don't engage in conversations with strange or random men but since he was really more like a kid and from a country I have previously been interested in I seized the opportunity to chat. I mean, who could blame me, those seats are small and we were stuck in them for a 90 minute flight.

I asked him a lot of questions and he asked me questions because he liked cultures too. We talked about America and India and Spain. He told me other than coming from a small city in Spain he didn't see a lot of difference between his home and Dallas, TX where he had been for the last 9 months for school. He said he had little trouble adjusting but was surprised that Mexican food was so different from Spanish food. He said he didn't like beans lol. There are a lot of beans in most of the commonly available Spanish food here.

He also said he had a little trouble adjusting to the Mexican version of Spanish. He loved the fruits and vegetables available and had made a lot of friends. He indicated that he hadn't felt mistreated by anyone, other than the normal high school drama that goes on everywhere. He was looking forward to going home but hoped to come back someday and see more of America. He wants to travel the world and work in different countries. He has big plans.

We talked about American pride and what was right and wrong with it. He told me that it's rare to see Spanish flags on the homes in his part of Spain (near Valencia) and that people don't have the same kind of pride in their country that he saw here. I had a little giggle and agreed that sometimes Americans have a little too much over-eager pride in the US. Like when you see that woman who wears the American flag shirt, earrings and hat on a holiday. She also has her house decked out in patriotic decorations and often her car and probably carries a matching purse and has decorations on her shoes. All in the red, white and blue theme. She's the same woman who beat you down if you dare to mention politics and don't agree with her. Be forewarned, this woman is likely a rifle toting redneck and should be approached only with caution lol.

It was a great conversation. We discussed temples in Spain and India and tourism and lifestyles and just about everything imaginable in that 90 minutes.

Oh, and before I forget. I think this young man had more pride in his country than he realized. A few times during our conversation he said "brown like me" referring to himself in a proud manner. I think being in the US for 9 months also made him appreciate his own heritage. Much like being in India taught me to appreciate mine.


  1. I'm glad you had such a nice experience :).And it's true, in my country being openly proud of your nationality still has a very negative connotation(because of the 40 year long dictatorship).If you say "Viva España!" people will automatically think you are a fascist.It'll take at least another generation for the sentiment to change.


  2. I wish it didn't take so long to change things and bring more positive attitudes to a country. I know not everyone can be happy all the time but it would be nice if no one looked down on any race/country (including their own when that happens).

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