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It would make more sense if the pic had something to do with Belgium, Germany, Italy or any other country she has actually written about, but not Mexico, unless she is really known as Casiedilla for a Mexico-related experience which we do not know about. Yes, we share the language, but definetely not the culture. I understand how there could be confusion. Here is an article I wrote explaining the background behind the Mexican theme.

I hope this clears things up for you! I think many aspects of your experience would have been different if you had lived in Madrid, for example. In Madrid, we mainly think about our own businesses, being so extremely friendly about your lost wallet as you describe is so surprising for me as was for you! As of course, saying hello to strange people in the street, in Madrid is a secure way to be clasified as a mad person! Another aspects, however, are common to Spanish culture as a whole, I agree. For example, being able to spend many hours with friends without thinking that being drunk is mandatory, or speaking in a very direct even rude way; however, politically correct language is more and more commonly used in my view, at least in Madrid and among more or less cultivated and politically-concerned people.

He payed for me I saw him take the 1,50 euros from his purse and said to me: I mean it not only happens this kind of nice things with the bus driver, but also with my pharmacist, or the neighbors on all of the floors in my community. They even buy some food or trinkets to her.

I know every people in all the nearby shops and sometimes I buy some stuff and pay for them later. You can also be friend of the street cleaner and chat with him or her for a while every day. Or with the lottery vendors in the kiosk or the street. My life in Madrid.. Reconozco esa puesta de sol, es la sierra del Castellar, en la que se encontraba un castillo arabe en Zafra , mi ciudad. Hasta me hice una foto con dos policias de nueva york. Y el metro era brutal, la gente iba cantando al trabajo.

It has been a pleasure to read this writing. I do not know why I have empathise with you this much, but really, what you share is a great piece of wisdom. What you say is true, sharing and caring, family matters a lot, we enjoy so much Xmas or easter gatherings for the people. One thing to say, thing are different in bigger towns. I live on torrevieja in alicante and it is a Living in another country is amazing, I did it 10 years ago in Southampton UK for 9 months, but the experience does not resemble yours at all.

Our nearest town in Almeria has 11k residents, but our village has less than Enjoy your next adventure xxx. I enjoyed it so much. I had exactly the same experience, but the other way around, I moved out from Madrid to teach for 3 years in a town in southwest Iowa. And actually, my parents hometown is very close from Fregenal!!! Really thanks for write this article.


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Maybe because I lived all my life here I had never thought about some of the things you wrote about but, now that I read them, I recognize some of those things and I cant help feeling proud about it. It is usually a good idea to switch living places in a different country. Also, about honesty, it really depends on the area of Spain you live in. This is just a small example. Of course, Spain is very different depending on the place you pick to live I think the most part of the differences is due to the size of the town rather than the country itself ; but really, I do not see that much difference between US or almost any other country in America and Europe countries, compared with the life at Japan or in Morocco, for instance.

All in all, I agree with other parts of your article, such as the drinking part. The same goes for other countries, I guess. Not everything is good in Spain hey, we are the people who gave a absolute majority to Rajoy!! Thanks for the post, I enjoyed quite a lot. It reminds me so much of when I first came to Spain when I was in my twenties.

It was the start of a 40 year love affair. Tomorrow is a bank holiday, so I guess you can. What a funny begin of my day reading you! Thank you for a so funny article. Obviously Spain is not the Paradise, but sometimes is relaxing hear about us and realize the big problems of nowday are less because of our way of life. Lot of Kisses from Madrid. Well, as we Spaniards say, Spain is different! Tu post me ha hecho sonreir y echar de menos mi Extremadura!

Well, as spanish I am, I have to say that life is not like that in the whole country. Is not the same living there than living in Madrid or Barcelona or any big city. As I am sure in the states is not the same living in NY than living in a little town. That town looks very rural, but in the cities we have aircon and dryers. And about NY I have to say I was surprised.

This reminds me of the 2yrs I spent in Raito, a tiny town in the south of italy.


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Not only the most beautiful place on earth check it out for yourself , but with the friendliest people. They took me as their own, and still keep there more friends than in my home town, near Barcelona. He visto tu cambio de chip en guiris de medio mundo: My girlfriend turned me onto your blog, and I loved this article. We live with mas o menos others in a Gomera village look it up for your next travelogue — small island in the Canaries , and totally resonate with your experience and learnings. How on earth you are going to be able to accept NYC after this experience is … beyond me, but I wish you tons of luck.

Spain is not mexico, there are I am actually not relating Spain and Mexico at all! Interesting read full of pertinent observations about living in a small community in Spain. As it happens I moved from London to an even smaller pueblo. That was twenty-five years ago. The problem with the pueblo way of life is that it is dying out.

The interior of Spain is being deserted in favour of life in the cities.

I Lived in A Spanish Village for 8 Months, and it Changed Me Forever.

This is something I do not understand. My book is available from Amazon. I dislike self-promotion but I think you might find we have a lot in common on this subject. I am Spanish and I really like the article but do not generalize. All the things you say are certainly truth, but in bigger cities in Spain this does not happen, for example in Barcelona where I am living nowadays. I am so happy you liked so much living in Extremadura and having such an amazing time there!

I agree with you. I was born in a Spanish town and the quality of life is incredible. Life is just that: Un abrazo muy grande. I really enjoyed reading this and could relate to so much!! Values we have long since forgotten in so many bigger cities. Best of luck with your new adventures Casie and thanks for sharing this. It really brightened up my day!! Happy to read so! Of course se are focused on mimetizing americano live.

Me ha encantado y me he reido mucho. Soy de un pueblo de Extremadura de habitantes. Me ha encantado tu articulo!! Me alegro de que te haya gustado esto. Great article — thank you! I really enjoyed reading your blog. My sister and I spent 2 weeks in the Costa Brava and then returned a year later for 6 weeks home exchange. I learned to appreciate the Spanish life-style. Enjoying life and having fun are not an age but a mindset!

The sunsets in Fiji are awesome too.

I Lived in A Spanish Village for 8 Months, and it Changed Me Forever.

You should share your story, take a look to this link http: Each passing year less and less Spanish people do it. And I agree with each one of your points. My cultural shock when I started living in England was tremendous. I think we are happier in Spain than in England or in the States. We take life less seriously, we enjoy sharing, we live slowly.

Life is not about the money. Thank you for expressing what I felt. I truly recommend you to pass by canary islands, a suave mix of Spain and South America! Dude, I had an extreeeeeemely similar experience last year! Lived in a little seaside village in Galicia called Malpica and taught in a high school in the next village and I loved every day of it! I totally relate to the sense of community and everyone in the village knowing who you are, and also using it as a time to prioritise in your life! However, I would make a pair of corrections: Was it in Spain?

That sounds more like Mexico!!! Like tea time in United Kingdom! Of course, I talk about Spain. I think the differences in the eating time is both part of the society and part of the family or behaviours you usually have. In my hometown we usually have lunch at 15h and dinner at 23h, whilst in the city I live, the people I know usually eat lunch at 13h and dinner at 20h.

I cannot help commenting your assertion: As a product of the Western world you use it to refer it to your country, the US and then the Spanish world. Spain is the original Western world, with the rest of Europe, a few thousand years before the US emerged. The US is a consequence of Western World expansion.

My comment of the Western World is even more interesting since you have been in Extremadura. I do not know if you konw about the unique role of Extremadura in the expansion of the Western World: Actually De Soto is from Jerez, just a walk away. You probably do not know that the first name given to the territory of present day Texas was New Extremadura, the same term applied to Chile, first. I thought these details can help you connect the Americas and the US better with that village.

My former comment was about you mentioning the Western world, refering to the US, and then the Spanish world. The original Western World is Spain and the rest of Europe. The US is a consequence of the Western World expansion. It is so true, I lived in the US and I could experience how politically correct everything was. I had to learn about how touchy things are over there compared to Spain. I live 30 minutes from Fregenal, I am quite a rural boy.

However, I love travelling and I just spent a few days in NYC, so the only thing I can say is that nothing is worse, nothing is better, it is just different!

Hola, encantada de leerte. Hay que viajar y conocer otros mundos. Curiously enough, being Spanish but coming from a big city Madrid I had a similar experience when I arrived to Athlone Ireland. I was used to get things done quickly but in rural Ireland things go slow and people always have time for catching up with neighbours in the middle of the street, even if they are driving their cars and they stop in the middle of the street. The bus to Dublin is always late, around 20 minutes, minimum. Life stops the days of the All-Ireland hurling final.

And of course, if you are walking or even driving in a small country road, passers by will say hello to you. Un abrazo y gracias. I promise to follow your blog, I love your point of view. Nice to meet you!! Espero que tu vuelta a la gran manzana vaya bien. Great article at your blog. Is great that you discovered the villages in Spain, going to Madrid or Barcelona would have been a change but not so much. Made me feel the time i moved to a village with 10 inhavitants and no electricity after all my live in Madrid.

Me he divertido muuuuuuuuuuucho leyendo tus aventuras en Frenegal de la Sierra. Cartagena es una ciudad grande, de unos People there are just incredible, and I have to find a least five days a year to visit them and enjoy life in Extremadura. Thank you so much for your post! My husband and I are considering moving to Spain to retire. We went there to attend TBEX and my husband and my son fell in love with the area. I totally agree with the everything you wrote about. I loved the eating times thing too. When I worked in Madrid it was a 2 hour lunch with your co-workers just enjoying each others company.

9 Ways My Village has Changed My Perspective on Life, Foreva’.

It was a shock to me but I grew to enjoy the break! We are pretty much done with New Jersey and ready for a new adventure! I totally know how you feel! It seems we are on the same path; from the Tri-State area, headed towards Spain! I adore Spain, though I have never spent time in any small town darn it! First went in to Madrid as an exchange student. First returned 27 years later and keep going back. It decided my career teaching Spanish and French and changed my attitude toward materialism not as much as visits to Honduras and Guatemala did, but hey!

At 70, on my bucket list is spending at least a month. Edging up to it this fall, with two weeks. Thank you, thank you, for the photo of the Cruzcampo beer! Eating off plates of other people! Loved reading this blog post. My daughter had an exchange student from Badajoz this year, so you can bet we will get to Extremadura eventually.

Spain: Paradox of Values/Contrasts of Confusion: A Foreigner's Personal Perspective

Good luck with that reverse culture shock! A mi me ocurre a la inversa. I can relate to all of this We moved to Extremadura just over a year ago, our village has about people, never have I felt more at home and more welcomed. We are older than you, but would not change our lives here for anythng. Lo de comer me ha hecho mucha gracia, tengo una amiga londinense, y comiendo una vez en Londres conmigo y mi familia, de repente nos mira y nos suelta: Excelent, real lovely blog!

I loved so much for post, thank you for such great opinions about my country. But for me it more interesting living in NY…btw I am from Valencia. Cassie, I know what you felt. I know exactly what you felt because I feel it every time we visit the town. Hope you can come back to Spain and visit Madrid.

Hey Casie, loved your post! If you need any info on moving to Madrid, my new home as well, feel free to email. Such an amazing text, so heartwarming! I read the Spanish version in El Pais this morning and it drew a huge smile on my face to start the day. I love the buzz of a big city, but oh I miss my little town, the life and the people. Good luck with your future! This post got me back to my culture, to the truly important things in live. Thanks for sharing with all of us your experience!

Your story really shaked things inside of me, Casie.

Water vs. Diamond(Paradox)

Thanks Cassie for your words. I really miss Extremadura. I grew up in Coria. I have been living in different cities like Salamanca, Valencia, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Milan and now I am living in London and nothing like Extremadura. Can you imaging how much do I miss the sun? I was in Philly and New York for one year and I felt like you but in the other way!

I like your post so much! This is my blog too, in Spanish. Want to meet you!!! Casie thank you very much. The frexnenses thank you your words for your recognition of our way of living. Thank you, friend, that you go well. Casiedilla has inspired me to visit the place where I was born. Thank you soooooooooo much!!! It puts everything into perspective — and I laughed my ass off about the laundry getting rained on. If the point of the post was communication, you did quite well. Better brush up on basic grammar and vocabulary before letting a future boss see it. A professional writer spends almost as much time editing as they do writing.

Edit, edit, edit until you get it right. Want to be my editor? Always room for improvement. And on your last point, I completely agree that travel is all about the people not the cities you go to or the things you do. To help connect travelers with matching styles and itinerary so they can share the trip together.

Give me a shout whether you find it useful! Unlike for people in some situations poor village or HS , they will not have the chance of doing such a life travel, living in the most famous city according to media — NYC, visiting Europe , they will live only out of dreams and that will not help them. Are we ALL aware of that? Finally, life is a small village, sometimes, is the same here or there, there or here. Have a nice day, [and just note that this comment is not personal or aimed to anybody].

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Thank you for your opinion! I would love the opportunity to teach and live in Spain. It has been my dream for a long time.


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And she is a teacher? Me alegro mucho de que hayas disfrutado y que tengas un pueblo a donde escaparte cuando la rutina y el ruido inundan tu espiritud. I loved your post. I have lived in USA for many years and now living in Madrid. It actually reminded me of this other one.

They both share key leassons learned. I guess that the time you safe not driving and not commuting you use by taking an extra minute to enjoy every bit of the day. Efficient Spanish way of living. Your article is outstanding. I went through exactly the same learnings when I moved places. I came from Mumbai — a very big busy city and moved to Memphis, Tennesse a couple of years ago. I have learnt so much in Memphis and given a choice I would not move back to big city life at all. Have a good time in Madrid. I spent my erasmus time in La Coruna… It was the best time of my life..

I agree with all you say having arrived here from London a few years ago. Moving there sounds really adventurous! I have lived in Spain for more than 5 years and nothing you have written about surprised me or shocked me. You will learn why the Spanish electric company refuses to discontinue service upon request and why customer service in Spain does not exist. You will understand the roots of Spanish behavior and why Spain has become the most anti-American nation of Western Europe.

Unlike tourists books, Arencibia's work shows what it is like to live in Spain and how it may be difficult for foreigners to adjust to Spanish ways. If you think Spain is about happy, carefree, gentle people who dance Flamenco and drink Sangria--think again. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Spain , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jan 21, Ryan Young rated it did not like it. Aug 29, Chris rated it did not like it.

To describe this book as a let-down would be an understatement. In truth it says more about the social mores and values of 21st century americans and their ignorance of Europe than it does of Spain. Far to often the authors own bitterness and disappointment mask some otherwise interesting and on occasion amusing observations. Its especially inaccurate when describing Spain compared to the rest of Europe. In fairness it is subtitled a personal perspective however I felt like Id been conned when I To describe this book as a let-down would be an understatement.

In fairness it is subtitled a personal perspective however I felt like Id been conned when I ploughed through to the bitter end only to discover that the rambling worsened toward the end of the book.