• Katlyn Roberts

Where Can a Girl Get a Decent Bottle of Hot Sauce?

Updated: Jan 19

Am American griping in Europe.


Photo by Danila Giancipoli on Unsplash

People ask me all the time what the cultural differences are between the U.S. and Spain and when I say “people”, I mean “nobody” and when I say “all the time”, I mean “never”.


Nobody ask me never what the cultural differences are between the U.S. and Spain.


But I’ve been here for two years now and I’ve held on to my American pettiness as long as I possibly can. And the urge to assimilate is strong, so I figure I should warn other Americans before my will to bitch is gone completely. It’s only a matter of time before I’m happily waiting to eat dinner at 10pm like any other Spaniard.


I’m telling you, you guys would be shocked — SHOCKED — to know how upside-down it is over here. I’ve put together a list of some of the more egregious conduct I’ve witnessed but you should know that the tomfoolery is multifarious. I’m utterly flabbergasted. Spooked, even.


1. No big box stores.


Where the hell am I supposed to get my giant jugs of pickles, my buckets of ice cream, my mountains of toilet paper?


The woman who owns the little market across the street gave me the nastiest look when I bought all the toilet paper she had. It wasn’t nearly enough, though, so I also went to the market on the next block …and the market on the next block as well. Turns out, there are at least 28 little markets within a 5-block radius and not one of them sells anything in bulk.


So inconvenient.


2. Fellow passengers— PASSENGERS! — called me out when I tried to sneak onto the bus without paying.


Listen. In America, we mind our own business. If someone’s sneaking onto the back of the bus, they probably have a good reason.


Maybe they’re short on rent this month. Maybe they’ve been eating nothing but macaroni, crackers, and cereal for the past two weeks. Maybe they don’t have exact change and they can’t go back home and pull up couch cushions right now or they’re gonna be late for work. If they’re late for work, they’ll lose their job and really won’t be able to pay their rent or bus fees.


Or maybe they just wanna stick it to the man, alright?


Here, they chew you out and kick you off the bus for not paying! Can you believe that?!


Granted, it’s much cheaper to live here and you’re never more than a ten-minute walk from a metro station where you can buy a weekly pass. And drivers carry change. The pace is slower here too. If you’re late for work, it’s just assumed you were outside smoking or talking or something. So there’s really no reason to get onto a bus without paying…


They didn’t have to drag me that hard, though. Buncha goodie-two-shoes.


3. Children and old people.


I spent 8 years in San Francisco, where every single resident was between the ages of 18 and 42. You really don’t need anyone outside that age range in order to run a Post-Respectable Capitalistic Semi-Democratic Fascist State.


Kids and old people can’t be cogs in that wheel. They don’t have the ability to sit their butts in a chair and type at a computer for hours at a time. They have too much lust for life. They’re too unpredictable.


Anyway, why have a kid when you can have a dog?


Why have old people when you can have cats?


(To read the rest of this article, check it out where it was originally published in Initiate Abroad.)

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