February 4, 2014, by Guest blog

Why is everyone asleep when I want to go shopping?!

Post written by Georgia Brookes.

It is February 2014 and I am one week away from leaving Cádiz in Southern Spain forever; the setting of the first half of my Year Abroad.

Although at first I found the Andalucían accent next to impossible to understand, and the people rather rude and candid, as time progressed I have got used to the tiny city and its ways and have had an absolutely fabulous time.

The first cultural challenge I found as I have already expressed was the accent in which none of the words are fully pronounced, and speech is so fast I feel as if I am tripping over the words of the Caditanos I speak to. This made lectures at the university rather difficult and in some of them I had to just sit and watch in confusion.

However I have got used to the accent, and have managed to do a few exams with not too much difficulty and I have even picked up a few features of the Andalucían speech, unfortunately!

Another main cultural difficulty I faced was getting used to the idea of the siesta which, for an English national, breaks up the day and inconveniently cuts into the perfect shopping time of 2:30-5:00. Even now I go out at 3pm to buy something essential from the supermarket, and after seeing the streets abandoned, and finding the shops all closed, I have to return to my flat and wait for a few hours for the Spaniards to have their afternoon naps. Though this is a tad annoying I read an article on how important and traditional the siesta is to the Spanish people, and I suppose in Cádiz during the summer months it does get extremely hot and an afternoon rest would be welcome.

The abrupt nature of the people who live in this little city I have also become accustomed to, as I am the type of person who takes everything to heart and if someone is rude I will take it personally, so I have learnt to realise it is nothing personal, it is just the way they are here! And of course, not to generalise; I have met some very lovely Caditanos.

cadiz friends 2As my group of Erasmus friends has expanded and become very close I have begun to love Cádiz, and Spanish culture, and I am extremely sad to have to leave the place, and all of my lovely friends, who I will be sure to visit in the future in all of their different countries of origin.

Every place in the world has their different cultural quirks, and Cádiz comprises of many, and I am sure that any cultural challenges I have encountered here in Spain will not compare to the culture shock I am about to have in North East Brazil!


Posted in Cultural challenges