Readers Letter – Spanish Culture Shocks

Letters To Editor

Over the weekend we shared a funny TikTok video created by Patry Ruiz, expressing some of the main culture shocks that people endure when getting used to Spanish culture.

Amongst these are the common misconception for the afilador as the ice cream van, the late Spanish dinner time of 10 PM, and the custom to throw napkins and toothpicks on the floor at certain cafes or bars. Our honorable mention went to the conundrum that is successfully handling Spanish roundabouts.

We had a scroll through the comments section of this post on our Facebook page to see if our readers related to this comedic video as much as we did.


Steve Busby – “How time has no consequence.”

Jill Stevens – “Going all the way round a roundabout in the outside lane.”

Fred Harding – “Car indicators – lack of use.”

Richard J Dodds – “When boarding a ferry in Barcelona for the Canaries in 1976, even though you were first in the queue having slept half the night outside the ticket office one get’s shouted at (in Spanish so not a clue!) by the ferry boarding lady for apparently boarding before all the old ladies all wearing black, hauled out and told to stand over there, again, not a clue why, until everyone had boarded, the doors closed and ferry boarding lady just walked off without saying a word!!! I was both perplexed and fuming mad!!!”

Blanca Hermida – “Throw napkins on the floor??? Not everywhere in Spain! That’s weird!” I lived in Granada for a while (I’m from Galicia), and used to visit a bar before lunch, the floor was covered in peanut shells and napkins, I was in shock, they said this was done because it gave the impression that it was a busy venue 🤷 I have no idea if that was the real reason, I had never seen it before”.

Gordon O’Keeffe – “Blanca Hermida I still don’t get it and I’ve been here 20 years! Someone still has to pick them up!”

Paz Arboleda – “Roundabouts are way better than busy signaled intersections…we need more of em in the US, especially when multiple streets come together at different angles and ramps for freeways”.

Vivian Bolboreta – “Malaga is clean, no napkins on the floor or streets”.

“no, 10 is not dinner time….”, Paulo Leitao

“Nothing ‘strange’, I’m in their country”, Jimmy Simmons

“Think, why the roundabouts would have many lanes if you only can use the exterior one?”, Maximiliano Solórzano (with an attached article from the DGT)

“Maximiliano Solórzano don’t need to use only the external lane, but you can only exit from this lane. So think how to do it” Vicen Jimenez

“Vicen Jimenez of course external lane must be used for enter and exit… but here is used always…even if you need to do a U turning..”, Maximiliano Solórzano

“Maximiliano Solórzano and? The law says everytime you can travel and the right line you must. On any Road. Roundabout or not. It’s obligatory.”

“Paulo Leitao sure it is. Have your first beer and tapa at 8 and the last at 12… that averages out 😉” , Ben Merghart

“Maria Cruz I live in Granada and they do this as it shows it is busy (like you said). You are spot on.”, Stephen Proctor

“Steve Busby Time has a different consequence from the one you’re used to.”, Liz Rea

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