I wanted to share some of the things I noticed/ have been pointed out to me about Spanish culture in general, but also here in Logroño. Here's the list to read and enjoy:
1. Kids go to bars, regularly, with their parents. It's common to see the adults drinking wine and eating pinchos with their kids nearby, in strollers or on their laps.
2. Skinny jeans with New Balances are still popular in Spanish fashion, especially for the men.
3. Platforms are the alternative to stilettos for going out and yes I have already bought a pair that I love dearly.
4. The crosswalks are in the middle of street instead of the corners.
5. Pinchos is northern Spain's version of tapas.
6. The garbage cans are color coded. For instance, trash (residuos) is green, blue is for paper (papel), and containers/recyclables (envases) are yellow.
7. Wine was already cheap in Spain, but even cheaper in La Rioja, Wine Country. You can get a nice glass for as little as 80 cents depending on the bar, but normally no more than 3 euros a glass.
8. Spaniards will dress for the season, not the weather. It was 77 degrees the first day of fall and they were wearing scarves and jackets like it was mid-fall, early-winter.
9. Logroño has a much older and family-orientated population than Granada, which felt more like a college town. However the people Logroño still like to go out...a lot. They won't go to a club before 3:30am here.
10. Business clothes are not necessary when working in [elementary] schools. I wore ripped jeans, a t-shirt and converse the other day and no one batted an eye. That would never fly in the US! "Casual Fridays" are basically every day working with 3 to 12 year olds. Though I'm sure in a high school I would have been mistaken for a student...
11. Plastic bags at the grocery store cost money, which I think is an excellent way to reduce plastic usage and save money. I've bought my own to reuse!
12. Never say "quiero tu leche" or "estoy caliente" in public or if you really mean it (don't tell me, I don't want to know). They don't mean what you think. You'll thank me later, I promise.
13. There aren't many streets that have two-way traffic on the same side. I constantly look both ways when traffic can only go one direction on one street in Logroño, normally. There are also a ton of roundabouts, everywhere.
14. Siesta time is real in Logroño. Do not expect to get anything done between 2:30/3pm until 5/6pm during the week. Businesses close, including many restaurants unless they have a Menú del Día so I stock my fridge for lunch. Sundays are calm too; many businesses are not open at all and Saturdays have shortened hours (only open until 2pm). Embrace the Spanish lifestyle!
15. Spanish is a necessity here since it's a smaller city. In Granada a few people reverted to English if they could tell I was struggling, but not many. However in Logroño it's rare to meet a local who speaks both English and Spanish. This has made learning Spanish so much better and really tests just how conversational I can get!
I'd rather splurge on a good meal than a nice hotel, wine than water and plane tickets than club covers. Traveling and eating are my two favorite things, so follow my journey to see where I go and eat next! I'm just living my best life.