In summer 2006, my family and I vacationed in Spain. EspaÃ±a. How excited I was to be there. I would experience a culture completely different from mine in America. I would also explore my Grenadian heritage.
Being in Spain was not like being in Mexico or Puerto Rico: close to US territory. Everything was different, from the language to the traditions. Bullfighting was as commonplace as baseball. We saw six fights at the Plaza de Toros. It consisted mainly of a matador, whose task it was to kill the bulls with one fatal stab wound between the shoulder blades. While the Spaniards thoroughly enjoyed the event, my family and I were sympathetic to the bulls. Secretly, we hoped the bulls would gore the matador some, before their fateful demise.
Then, there was the energetic Flamenco dancing. It could be considered the “tap dancing” of the gypsies. The art and beauty of this dance are the nimble dancers, the distinct Moorish music and the elaborate costumes. The dance is characterized by bold stomping and tapping of the feet.
Another advantage to Spain is its inclusion in my heritage. I am an American, born to Jamaican and Grenadian parents. Knowing that Spain colonized both Caribbean islands, my family and I were especially interested to see Spain’s renowned Granada. It was satisfying to compare Granada/Spain with Grenada/West Indies. Both places have similar topography and flora. It meant a lot to me to see both worlds.
There were a few disparities. The Spaniards’ day includes a siesta. While we were sleeping in the morning, they were about their daily tasks. When we were up and ready to tour, around noon, they were in their houses for lunch and rest. We found it difficult to find restaurants open for lunch. Neither did our cell phones work; we were forced to use calling cards to make contacts. Lastly, the exchange rate was a drag. Shopping was heaven, considering my mom and I are thoroughbred shopaholics. But, it was expensive! The US dollar is worth much less in Spain, only about $0.60US. We couldn’t buy as much as we wanted, which was probably a good thing for my dad!
I advise anyone who wishes to visit Spain to get an electrical adapter for 110 volts to 220 volts, as their circuitry requires 220 volts. Also, visit during the fall or spring in that the sun got pretty hot during the summer. It was literally scorching our skin and we could scarcely find any shelter, seeing that the establishments were closed for the siesta.
My visit to Spain really opened my eyes. It made me realize how large the serving sizes are in US! Our small drink, about 12ozs, is their largest size. So, if you were really thirsty, you would have to buy two drinks to feel really quenched.
I’m seriously considering moving to MÃ¡laga so I can ride my own motorcycle and be more eco-friendly. The hospitality there was great. Unlike impatient New Yorkers, I don’t recall hearing horns honking!
If you want to experience a stunning culture, visit Spain. To be like the locals, ride a motorcycle, drink less, party until early morning and take a nap during the heat of the day! You’ll love it!
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