Now that I’ve been living in Galicia for over four months I decided to share a bit about this fine area and the fine people, preempting it with this article:
We’re just going to go through this one by one for entertainment purposes…
Number one: Ask about the Galician language, and refer to it as “your dialect.”
Galician is, in fact it’s own language, (don’t worry I didn’t know about Galicia, Vigo, or Galician before last November so it’s all good.) Spain in fact has five official languages Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Galician and Occitan, it sure does make things interesting. And if anyone asks it’s better than protugeuse. Just say yes. Do NOT argue with a Galician.
Number two: Assume we like flamenco and bullfighting, eat paella all day, and are outgoing.
Just like the north and south of the United States are DRASTICALLY different from ways of life to people, with some exceptions i.e. Ally Vitale, the north and south of Spain are drastically different as well. Weather tends to do that to people, as does distance. While we do eat a lot of seafood here paella has not happened yet though I have eaten pulpo (octopus). No not calamari that has been deep fried and disguised I’m talking about tentacles that have been slices up into nice big chucks with their little suckers still attached that have only been cooked in oil and dashed with paprika. Also the people here touch a lot less, yes they give two kisses but the constant need for touching and hugging aren’t really present. Works for me!
Pulpo. I ate that.
Number three: Say it always rains in Galicia.
Okay so yes, they are in fact right it does not ALWAYS rain in Galicia but yes the majority of the time it is raining. In fact, this winter they had a record-breaking amount of rainfall. The most rainfall in 40 years! Lucky me! Also, there was a lot of excitement this past week when it started raining again after a beautiful week of sunshine because it wasn’t just raining in Galicia but all over Spain! Yay!
Beautiful sunset from my house, because it was sunny!
Number four: Doubt the quality of Estrella Galicia.
I don’t drink beer, but I do have an affinity for Porto wine – don’t tell the Galicians!
Number five: Do an impression of our accent by adding -iño onto every word. And then say we sing when we speak.
I still trying to figure out Spanish so I don’t really attempt the Galician thing except Que fas!? (What are you doing?) Just because it’s so short and sweet and in a German sort of way you can’t really say it without sounding angry.
Number six: Get offered a shot of coffee liquor or some other homemade spirit, and don’t drink it.
I learned this the hard way. My first few weekends here were a bit interesting and since I was in Say-Yes-To-Everything-Mode because I was in a new place I ended up at in a lot of places that I would have otherwise never found myself. One of those places being a hole in the wall pub with delicious food, a lot of alcohol, and my host mom’s younger sister. I ate more than I should have, drank two beers (not that I enjoyed them), and decided I had played my extrovert part well while pretending I wasn’t dying of second hand smoke inhalation. And then the coffee liquor came out. There were two bottles; one dark and one that looked liked Baileys. Neither of them had labels. I knew nothing. And then the shot glasses came out and next thing I knew everyone was looking at the now full shot glass that sat in front of me and waited. I had to do it! I had no choice! No way out! There were too many of them against little old me. So I drank it and, and you know what it was damn good. So another! But this time I wasn’t allowed to pick it up with my hands I hand to grab the shot glass with my mouth and throw my head back to take the shot. This continued and the next time I found myself in this exact same situation there was a creepy toothless fat guy sitting in the corner of the pub that got WAY too much pleasure out of watching me and my host mom’s sister sit there and take shots with our mouths. Gross. Side note: The creamy colored one tastes better than Baileys the dark one will kill you. Just take a whiff and you’ll understand what I mean so if you get a choice go with creamy colored, if you don’t I’m sorry but you’re still going to have to drink it.
Number seven: Claim table football was invented by the Germans.
We have a foosball table in my house. I’m better than my host kids. We haven’t discussed it’s origin.
Number eight: Say you prefer Mediterranean beaches because the water is warmer.
Woah woah woah! Now coming from Long Island I know a thing or two about beaches and claiming that the Mediterranean beaches in Spain are better than the Galician beaches is comparable to saying that the North Shore or Connecticut has better beaches than the South Shore of Long Island. I went to Valencia this past summer and while it was a beautiful old city the beaches freakeded me out, you’re supposed to be able to go into the water to cool off not go into the water and feel like you’re in a bathtub with the immense amount of other people that are in the water AND no waves! It just felt like a breading ground for diseases.
Playa Samil, Vigo
Bairona with amazing people (Ally and Leni)
A Caruña (north of Vigo)
I know none of these pictures really show waves, but at least there are tides, and there are waves, I swear.
Number nine: After hearing where Galicia is, say, “Oh, so in the Basque Country.”
It’s like saying New York is in New England, New York is too big for New England and Vigo is too cool for Basque Country.
Number ten: Lose interest when you realize we are neither Basque nor close to the French border.
Vigo/Galicia is awesome! And yes they do play the bagpipes and wear skirts sometimes, don’t worry I’m still confused about that whole thing too.