In the streets of most cities across the world, you are no more special than the locals walking beside you. In some cultures the locals love visitors and will give you the special treatment but not so in Spain. It is advisable that you arm yourself with some street wisdom before you venture into the Spanish city jungle.
Crossing the Street
The pedestrian has the right of way. Technically, this is the rule that applies to zebra crossings across the world when there is no light. In Spain people take this rule seriously but still, it is not the green light for you to assume they will stop to let you cross. Rather than risk a Spanish holiday on a hospital bed, do as the Spaniards do. Wait for oncoming cars to slow down then establish your seriousness about crossing by stepping out onto the zebra crossing. You could pack a day glow yellow jacket for these occasions.
Walking on the Sidewalk
In Spain you will find that the theory of walking on the sidewalk by moving around people does not apply. You are facing a huge faceless army that rumbles on, ploughing everything on its path. There are only two options. You either tail this army or head into oncoming traffic. The most practical strategy, therefore, is the bulldozer strategy. Put on your helmet and get ready to hold your ground as you pass in full throttle, even hip- checking a few obstinate walkers.
When Smoking becomes a Solution
If you don’t smoke, it will be best you hang out in the open streets, outdoor cafes, and terraces. There are very few 100% non-smoking places thanks to a law that was passed a few years ago requiring restaurants larger than 100m sq to have non-smoking sections. Alternatively, you can take up smoking now and puff away almost anywhere when touring Spain.
A cold, refreshing glass of cava or some delicious tapa is going to be a big reason why you visit the bars on your tour of Spain. However, be warned. Patience will get you no tapas. No one will look at you; not the bartender, not other revellers. Just imagine “please ignore me” written on your forehead with neon colours.
You have to be aggressive yet passive. Hip-check a few people, signal the bartender with a raised arm, say “perdone”, and place your order. If you remembered to carry a blow horn, this is the time to blow it followed by a shout “Dos tintos por favour!” All through be polite and make sure “please” and “thank you” are in your vocabulary. Also don’t order when the person in front of you hasn’t ordered yet.
Living with the Noise
People in Spain have mastered the art of living life to the fullest. Their noise is a cultural attraction. Every hour of every day you see people out on the streets and on the terraces, seemingly addicted to open air. The decibel is almost deafening but it keeps you on the edge. You know any second you will hear some raucous laughter or be caught in the middle of an impromptu jam session. The trick is to go with the flow.
The Casa de limon is the best holiday villa on the Mediterranean coast. Call Helen today on 07989 959 008 and make reservations for a spot on the most epic tour of Spain.