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

USA – NC

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.

 

8 thoughts on “Comparison of General Things in USA and Spain

  1. Haha so funny! Well, 70ºF. is FREEZING!! What really cracked me up once though was once in the middle of winter, warm spell, temperatures around 80ºF. and I saw people running around with a T-shirt and a SCARF, hat and winter boots! I guess they figured since it was still wintertime, they HAD TO wear a scarf, hat and boots. But since it was hot, a T-shirt was okay!

    • That is too funny. I can picture it now, running around with shorts and boots. Well, we did a frantic shop this weekend for long pants and long sleeved shirts as well. We only came over from USA with our suitcases, so many winter clothes didn’t make it into the mix. The mid days have been pleasant, but the mornings/evenings really cool down. Without a clothes dryer, we need to stock up on a few things. So officially, we aren’t wearing shorts as often now.

  2. It sounds to me like your new neighbors use a lot more common sense when it comes to safety, speed and the work/life balance. It even sounds like you’re becoming a convert!

  3. I so appreciated this post! The real life specific comparisons are just so great, you are speaking my language, my favorite post so far! Checking out Serena’s too.

  4. Thanks Lucy. Just let us know if you have any specific questions that we haven’t covered and we will do our best to write something up. We are contacted often, so like to make sure we have info available.

  5. Great list. It actually seems similar to Chiang Mai, Thailand in many ways. Things are slower, fresher, and kids are more accepted.

    The dining hours aren’t late like Spain, though I’d generally say they’re a little later than in the States.

    We’re looking forward to making the comparisons ourselves – just 3 weeks away!

    • Wow! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by and you will be in Spain in just 3 weeks. Did you decide where you are going to go? We are currently house sitting in Estepona and it is a beautiful town. I know you were thinking of this area. Let us know and do contact us.

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