The Spanish timetable is very different from the rest of the world. People usually have breakfast at 9 am lunch at 2 pm and dinner at 9 pm. Some people may wonder why this is that crazy because it´s about 2 hours later than most countries.
During the Second World War, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco shifted Spain’s time zone to align with that of Nazi Germany (GMT+1). This was meant to be a temporary thing, but Spain has never switched back. Therefore, this is one of the reasons why Spanish people are used to eating later.
Another reason is the sun sets around 10 pm here, so people stay up later than those in other countries.
2. Languages and dialects in Spain
Spanish is without doubt the official language of Spain. However, in some autonomous regions, they have another dialect that is also accepted as an official language of the region. They are:
Catalán: Cataluña, Valencia, Islas Baleares
Vasco: País Vasco, Navarra
If you will be living in one of the autonomous regions above such as Cataluña, you might find it harder to adapt to the local language because the dialect might have major dominance.
In addition, although English is taught in school, it is not an official language. In most places such as shops, supermarkets, or restaurants, you might find it very hard to communicate if you don´t understand Spanish.
3. Nothing gets done in August
This is a somehow exaggerated way to express the fact that August is the most common month people have vocations. It is hard to get the paperwork done because governmental offices and schools are usually on vacation in August. It would be hard to even contact the entity.
Somehow, this expression is like a stereotype because more and more Spanish companies do not give vacations in August. However, most people still use their vacation quota in August to rest on the beaches and spend time with families.
4. Deal with paperwork
Dealing with paperwork is an annoying but necessary task for expats. Sometimes, you can be frustrated with the process of the resolution of a single document. The most annoying one is NIE/TIE application and renovation because it usually takes you a lot of time to even book an appointment. After submitting the document, you need to wait again several months to have the final document.
Our suggestion for this: Be aware of the necessary documents and bureaucratic processes you need to carry out. And try to start as early as possible to book an appointment once you have all the documents ready. One of the important documents needed for NIE, and TIE application is medical insurance. We want to offer our expat insurance, the eligible insurance that fulfills all requirements for the visa and NIE/TIE application.
5. Siesta: yes or no?
Siesta is another famous stereotype foreigners hold about Spanish people. They usually accused the Spaniards of being lazy due to the siesta custom. However, siesta is not common in modern companies and organizations. Most companies only permit employees to rest for 1 hour for lunch and rest, which is obviously not enough for a proper siesta.
However, Spaniards do love a good siesta at the weekend by having a big lunch with all the family.
6. Crazy nightlife
In some countries, people usually enjoy a quiet nightlife with bare noise and shouts from the streets. However, Spanish people can have crazy nightlife and make a lot of noise in the streets, plazas, or around some famous meeting points. Botellón and discotecas are two famous noise production occasions.
Botellón is an activity where usually a group of people buy alcoholic drinks and drink in an open-air place. It´s normal to hear shouts and noise after a group of people get drunk in the streets.
Discoteca or clubs is another famous place where people gather to drink, dance, and sing, which might cause a lot of noise in the neighborhood if it´s not designed very well.
For people sensitive to noise, it would be a good idea to research the neighborhood before renting a house. And for party animals, you will not be alone because you can always find a party somewhere.
7. Different cities, different holidays
In Spain, there are national holidays shared among all autonomous regions. Also, there are regional holidays only enjoyed by the people in the specific region, such as San Esteban in Barcelona (Dec. 26th). Before moving to Spain, you should be aware of all the bank holidays you are granted in case of any inconvenience and misunderstanding.
8. The cultural combination is history
Spanish history is a combination of diverse cultures and most Spanish people are proud of this. The Spanish culture and history are a fusion result of Catholic, Moorish, Arabian, and other minority cultures.
Córdoba is a famous travel destination in Andalusia, famous for the Moorish architecture Mezquita-Cathedral and its Jewish district. Granada, another beautiful city in Andalusia possesses the precious La Alhambra, the Arabian-style palace, constructed in the ruins of an ancient Roman fortress.
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