Tones of Home (The Influence of Western Culture)
People often say that America is the greatest country there is. We are faster, smarter, stronger and any other adjective they used to describe "The Million Dollar Man" at the start of the show. Chris Rock has a bit where there is a conversation with an American and a foreigner and that all the American man says is. "I'm an American!!! I'm an American!!!!" I have spent the past few days walking around the city of Seville, Spain, looking at what we actually have given these wonderful people and taking into consideration what we have taken culturely from them. Here is what I have come up with. We take their food; make a theme restaurant and people flock but what I have noticed is we just don't get it right. Mexican food for instance: Taco Bell, Tex-Mex, Tias'. To me none of these places are real Mexican. I had real Mexican and it was so good that I forced myself to eat more of just so I could have the joy of knowing I was stuffed from hands down the most amazing tacos I have ever had. I am not saying there are not authentic Mexican restaurants in cities, but they are owned by people from that culture. Tapas restaurants, the kitchen closes before the bar does in America. I have spent a tad to much time in Tapas bars here, and will more than likely spend a lot more. As long as you're drinking then you will be eating. If you don't understand this theory go back and read the entry before this. We gave them Starbucks, Burger King that feels it needs three floors for seating because you never know when the king might bring his whole village, McDonalds and yes they really don't have a ¼ lb. with cheese, but they do have beer, Levis and a few other American stores. This is funny to me because if you walked past these places compared to the ones that are European stores and they were empty. After doing a little bit of shopping I think I know why. Their clothes kick ass!!!!
Greetings here are a little different as well. If someone here is talking to you and they are from here, they feel the need to be in your personal space and be extra friendly. This takes some getting used to because if you don't like people being close to you, it might very well freak you out. I have also noticed that children here seem like they have never seen a black person. This to me is entertaining, because I feel safe walking around exploring alone, but when I see a small child playing and I smile and wave at them they avert their eyes and freeze like a dear in headlights. I have also noticed with the adults they don't always say hello when passing, although the people are very friendly.
Music is a huge thing here. I notice that everyone walking, riding bikes or on public transportation all have headphones one. I greatly enjoy this because it makes me wonder what is pumping from their electronic device into their cerebral cortex. The down side to this however, is that you feel bad to as someone a question or start up a conversation, but don't be because more than likely they will be more than willing to pull out a head phone and try to help you if they know what you need.
If I could bring one thing back to the states with me from Spain, it would be their use of bicycles. Many of the people in Tampa know what I am talking about. The ease of using a bicycle as your main mode of transportation. Don't have a bike you say???? No problem here they have a system where you can get a card and rent a bike at point A and then once you get to point B you can drop off the bike. It is a relatively cheap and unlike America where you only have the shoulder and a three-foot rule to stay away from bikers, here in Europe they have separate lanes for bicycles with lanes going in both directions. I think if we could somehow adapt this program then we would not be as obese as we are and more people would opt to use bikes. I would love to be able to ride my bicycle when I go out with my friends, but I am a tad to far from them to ride. I do however now and then drive to my friend's house and then ride out to our destinations. There is something to be said about being able to cruise at a slow speed with your friends and recounting the events of you night as you ride through the cool breeze of the evening. If you have never experience this, I suggest everyone try to do this with your friends if you live in an area where you can do this. I do not how ever advise doing this as an alternative to drunk driving. There is a lot more to pay attention to when on a bicycle at 3 A.M. then in a car, also there is no shell around you to protect you, but if you just go out for a few drinks one night give it a try. My cities have bike groups that meet up for bicycle pub-crawls or you can just plan one with your friends.
When I first started this at the beginning of my trip this was supposed to be somewhat of a comical drinking rambling of my adventures in Spain, but it has become more of an informational blog about things around Spain. I think I need to start drinking more and writing when I am intoxicated because I think that's how all the great writers seem to do it……..