30 signs that you've spent a year abroad in Spain

30 signs that you've spent a year abroad in Spain

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 24th July 2014 and has been read 13788 times.

As many of us can confirm, adjusting to life in a foreign country is no picnic. Yet, it sometimes gets even harder when you return to the UK after immersion in a completely different culture and have to try and adjust back to the way life was before… Here is our list of 30 clear giveaways that you’re suffering from reverse culture shock and struggling to shake off those (e)spanish habits!

1. Whilst everyone else is pre-drinking on cans of Stella, you merrily mix your red wine with Fanta lemon and are baffled when people call you a freak.

Tinto de Verano jpdaigle

(Tinto de Verano by jpdaigle)

2. You buy a coffee. It doesn’t come in a glass. It costs more than €1. You want to cry.

3. 11am is not just coffee time, it’s churros time. And yes, a long donut dipped in chocolate is a perfectly acceptable food with which to start your day, thank you.

Churros toolmantim

(Churros by toolmantim)

4. You forget to avoid eye contact on the tube and smile at a commuter. You feel suitably chastised when they instantly ignore you.


Crowded Tube pfig

(Crowded Tube by pfig)

5. Someone bumps into you. You don’t apologise. They look shocked. You feel confused.

6. You go out for a drink and it doesn’t come with a snack. You refuse to go there again on principle. You were banking on that to line your stomach. But…

7. …you quickly realise it doesn’t matter - it’s not like you’ll be able to afford more than one drink anyway.

8. Your friends rock up to your flat for pre-drinks at 10pm and find you in the middle of dinner and still in your work clothes.

9. You spend shopping trips dragging your heels and mourning the loss of el Corte Inglés.

Corte Ingles anthonysjennings

(Corte Ingles by anthonysjennings)

10. El Clásico is on and the streets are still full of people who seem oblivious. Not you of course; you’re in a bar, screaming at the TV.

Real Madrid Match aleks9

(Real Madrid Match by aleks9)

11. It’s your birthday and someone brings in a cake for you. You’ve already brought in your own cake. Awkward.

Birthday Cake wiphey

(Birthday Cake by wiphey)

12. Your younger brother has some friends over. You spring up and attempt to give them dos besos. They look baffled. Your brother looks like he wants to kill you.

13. You find it impossible to say words beginning with ’s’ without adding an ‘E’. Your friends think you are ‘estrange’.

14. You look down on jam, preferring your toast smothered in olive oil and tomatoes.

Tosta Tomate chefbusiness

(Tosta Tomate by chefbusiness)

15. You get depressed at the price of jamón in the supermarket. Then you buy some anyway and get depressed again. IT DOESN’T TASTE THE SAME.

Museo de Jamon gptonk

(Museo de Jamon by gptonk)

16. You take a three hour lunch break and are baffled when you return to 50 missed calls wondering if you’ve been hit by a car crossing the road on your way to Pret.

17. You wear three jumpers in October and keep asking your mate wearing ballet flats with no socks how she isn’t freezing.

18. You turn up at least half an hour late for every appointment and are still confused when you’re not the first one there.

19. You ask someone to do something and they do it. Then and there. You are immediately suspicious.

20. You go out clubbing and spend an hour trying to find the floor playing nothing but Reggaeton before being forced to settle for Rihanna. Again.

21. You spend your life complaining about the strength of Gin-tonic. If tonic fits in the glass, there’s not enough gin.

Gintonic yimix

(Gintonic by yimix)

22. Your friends pretty much have to drag you home from clubs at 2am. ‘But it’s so early!’, you shout. You then sit in your room buzzing until at least 5am.

Clubbing NikosKoutoulas

(Clubbing by NikosKoutoulas)

23. No one looks you up and down or shouts at you inappropriately in the street. You are immediately convinced that you look like the back end of a bus.

24. You don’t understand why you have to work three full weeks in a row with no strikes or bank holidays. Surely there’s a Saint’s day coming up?

25. You interrupt constantly, never bother to say please or thank you and answer the phone by saying ‘Talk to me’ or ‘Yes?’.

26. You check the news every day for strike warnings. When none come, you still leave for work half an hour early, just in case.

27. No, you’re not going home for the weekend to visit your parents/siblings/family pet, you’re heading back to your pueblo.


29. You flinch whenever people mention the World Cup and blink back tears. What happened Iker?!

Casillas Crying

30. You refuse to do anything between 2 and 4pm. No task is so important that it should interrupt a siesta.

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