Traveler's Test

20 signs that you have lived in Spain for too long

20 signs that you have lived in Spain for too long

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Have you lived in Spain long enough as an expat to merge with the local ambiance? Here are 20 telltale signs to check:

1. You think it’s totally normal to put ice and lemonade in your red wine. 

2. It’s a sunny day in spring but you still wear a jacket because if it’s not summer then it’s not hot enough.

3. Ordering a beer before lunchtime is no big deal.

4. You don’t mind standing up to eat in a busy bar, you squeeze in, claim your spot and shout your order to the bartender.

5. You don’t go anywhere without your sunglasses and you even wear them in winter.

6. Waving and calling out to a waiter to get their attention is no longer embarrassing and you know they wont be offended.

7. When you meet someone, you kiss both cheeks instead of shaking hands.

8. You have no expectation of any buses or trains running to the timetable as advertised.

9. You expect free snacks with every drink you buy and if they don’t bring any, you ask for them.

10. You agree that talking loudly and being noisy is not disturbing anyone, it just shows you are having good time.

11. You watch football whether you like it or not. Might as well pick a local team as everywhere will show the games and everyone will talk about it.

12. Dog poop on the street doesn’t make you angry anymore, you just dodge round it.

13. You walk slower than you’ve ever walked before and you don’t do anything in a rush.

14. You’ve realised that having a big meal for lunch and small tapas for dinner is the right way to eat.

15. The bank, post office, supermarket etc all closing for 3-4 hours a day is no problem at all. You would never try to do anything important during siesta.

16. You would never dream of eating dinner before 9pm or going for a night out before midnight.

17. You like putting tomato puree and olive oil on your toast for breakfast instead of butter and jam.

18. You don’t expect a restaurant to serve paella unless you are in Valencia.

19. It’s no surprise when strangers approach you in the street to ask you a question, for directions or to just start a random conversation. 

20. You no longer fear for your life when you’re in a taxi or get concerned at the driver’s erratic lane changing and horn honking.


Perri Johnson is 34-year-old Brit living in Spain. She moved from London to Madrid in early 2017 and fell in love with the country. During her travels and exploration of Spain Perri shares everything she see’s and learns at Seeking the Spanish Sun

>>> Read more expat stories or read more about Spain.


  • comment-avatar

    That does remind me of my own situation, you don’t have to try and fit in with Spanish culture it just becomes your way!

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