Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cultural differences --- Happy late Valentine's Day

Happy belated San Valentín! :)

Valentine's day never really had any significance for me, except during middle school.  That's only because we had Valentine's Day party aka lots of candy, paper cards with heart stickers, and no class.

(I think it might be the first year in the past 13 years
where I didn't receive these candies...)

Maybe it's because I don't go into stores very often in Madrid, but I almost forgot that it was that time of the year! In America you are reminded that a major holiday is headed your way because approximately two months before the actual holiday, the stores are filled with insert holiday here themed candy and decoration. I mean think, Easter, Christmas, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day.  And think Walmart, Walgreens, CVS.  Classic.  And the day after the holiday, all the candy go on sale, so I've known people buying pounds and pounds of mixed chocolate bags (Twix, Snickers, Kit Kats, Milkway, M&Ms, the whole shabang.)

Stupid consumerism.  Glad that that mentality doesn't quite exist in Madrid.  (But that might be because there is no equivalent to a CVS here in Madrid---which at times is very inconvenient...)

Anyways, that's that. Another thing.

So today I randomly met an Italian foreign exchange student at an office for international students (please note my previous entry), and we got to talking about how we were both having the same difficulties with registering for classes.  And so we talk and leave the office together, and after a little bit of walking, we realize we're headed two different directions.  So we exchange "Mucho gusto," "Encantada," (nice to meet you, pleasure to meet you), and he extends his hand, so I take it thinking we're going to shake hands, but no, he goes for the double kiss.

Sigh, I don't know when I'm going to get used to greeting and parting with the double kiss!  Probably never.  Such an awkward thing.  Not just one, but two!!

BUUTTT the interesting part is, Spaniards kiss your right cheek first, and then your left.  So you move left, then right.  But for Italians, it's the opposite!  I got confused for a second, recovered myself and did the awkward two kiss, and said goodbye.

Interesting, huh? You say no? Well, I guess you're just going to have to deal with it.


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