I was walking down the Paseo Marítimo yesterday, responding to a text, when a light bulb went off. I KNOW WHY NO ONE HERE TEXTS WHILE WALKING! It’s not because they aren’t skilled in the field of technological multitasking, nor is it because they have personal adversities to it. The answer, my friends, lies on the sidewalk in the form of bonbons and golden rivers. These little mines are quite deadly and are scattered about even the busiest of promenades. One must be alert at all times as new traps are constantly being set. (Well, in actuality, I think people here are just not as addicted to the wireless high as we are. But people really do let their dogs shit and pee everywhere, and rarely do I see people make the effort to pick it up!)
The smoking ban is finally in place here, and so far, it is enforced. But I still have one gripe. Teachers smoking. I have walked into department offices and smelled and seen cigarette butts, but what bothers me more is there lack of discretion. Teachers head out to the recreo or between classes with cigarette and lighter in hand and smoke right outside the front gate of the school, often while chatting with students (most of whom are also smoking). Aren’t teachers supposed to be examples for our students?
Just for fun, here are some stereotypes about the US that I have been asked about/accused of…(I blame Hollywood)
- Everyone in the US has a gun in their house
- We are all naive
- We are racist and sexist
- We are all cold (I tell them only part of the year 🙂
Here are some interesting “facts” that people here have shared with me (please don’t be offended)
- Olive oil we buy in the US is actually from Spain…Italy just markets it under their name
- They’re not racist (although more than once someone in our group of non-European descent has been denied entrance to a bar)
- Their school system is far superior to ours (their compensatory system is its infant stage and my British co-worker admits they’re 30 years behind the US)
What does it mean to “look” American? People have told me I look French, Irish, and English (most likely just because I speak English). When I tell them I’m from the US, people usually respond with something like “I see it now.” What do they see? A mutt? Cuz that’s what I am, no? A fairly pure French-German blend of recently imported goods.
I had a few other menial pensamientos, but I can’t remember them now.
Over and out.