Comparison of General Things in USA and Spain

As any of the comparisons we share, this is just our opinion of what we have seen or experienced. If you have any data to add, please feel free to comment.

General Topic


Spain – Andalucía Region

“To Go” mentalityMost Restaurants allow for Take-out orders.You are meant to dine and enjoy food at the restaurant. There may be the occasionally Chinese restaurant that will do take out.
AlcoholWith Dinner perhaps.Acceptable with any meal and inexpensive.
(example:  McDonald’s serves beer)
AttirePeople dress for the weather appropriately. (of course we always wear shorts)It gets below 70’F here and people put on the winter jackets, scarves and hats.  Who knew that was cold?
Coffee ShopsRun in/out, Drive Thru, paper cup, sit briefly and expensive!Enjoy in the café, with real ceramic cup, meant to linger, enjoy and savor, very inexpensive.
Common Appliances in most homesClothes washer/dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, AC, Big Fridge, 1-2 ovens, stove, Vacuum.SMALL – Fridge, Oven, Stove
Date / Time formatMM/DD/YYYY  and a 12 hour clock.DD/MM/YYYY and a 24 hr. clock.
Fast FoodJust about everywhere you look.Rare to see any. Our town has 1 McDonald’s and there isn’t another for about 20 miles.
Gas (in home)A feed from the ground, built into home (using natural gas).A bottle you purchase and hook up yourself, similar to BBQ propane tank (uses butane).
General safetyfences, railings, and signs are used to help one avoid danger (off a cliff or over a low wall with drop below).Low walls, below the knee and you are on your own for protection. Just use your smarts and don’t fall.
Grocery shoppingLikely a once a week big shopping trip (More likely to find everything at a single store. Many times in Bulk).At the market daily or every other day (small fridge).  Multiple stores are needed for various items.
KidsKids have a routine and typically aren’t out late and don’t belong in bars (excluding chain restaurant bars).Kids are loved by everyone and welcome everywhere. They tend to have late bedtimes and it is common to see them in Bars (Which aren’t like American Bars, smaller and more family oriented).
LanguageMajority just 1 language.Many are bi or multi-lingual.
Meal timesBreakfast 7am ish
Lunch  12 noon ish
Dinner  6pm ish (biggest meal).
Breakfast  7am or 8am
Lunch 2pm or 3pm (biggest meal)
Dinner  9pm or 10pm (not for us!).
Perspective on Age of “things”Old is 100 years or so.Old can be over 2000 years.
Ready made or “quick” foodsLarge supplies of “ready made” heat and go meals, canned and jarred goods as well.Mainly fresh foods, very few canned, frozen or preserved choices.
Salad DressingYou name it we got it! There are hundreds of choices.Vinegar and Oil…maybe the rare bottle of “American Caesar”, that tastes like nothing familiar to me.
Sense of timeStart / End promptly.Times are approximate, even for some stores.
Size mattersMore or Bigger is better mentality, buy bulk.Buy what you need, no room to store or too big to carry.
Store Hours9am-10pm or later 7 days a weeks (near 24/7 mentality).10am “ish” – 2pm, and 5pm – 8pm, Closed Sunday.  Even large stores are closed on Sunday.
TravelSome are well traveled in the world, some just in USA. Some only in “their” State.Many are well traveled and exposed to several other cultures.
Wearing colorsMen typically wear more neutral colors and the women wear bright colors.Women typically wear more neutral colors and the Men wear bright colored pants as well as neutral colors.
Work/Life BalanceWork more, so you can have more for your kids.Work enough to meet your needs, spend time with your kids and pay the bills.


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