Hanging out with Spaniards is no picnic for us, foreigners. So if you are not too familiar with Spanish social life, you may want to read this post before attending an unofficial, friends-only gathering in Spain.
Read and learn (from my mistakes)! Thank me later!
First thing you should know, Spaniards love chatting. They love touching one another while chatting. They love drinking wine or beer while chatting, touching you and being verbally loud.
So here are the demands for a typical (and “successful”) Spanish hang out:
1. big group of people gathering together. The more people there are, the better your meeting will turn out. And it really doesn’t matter you don’t know 80% of them. Feel free to bring your second half cousin if you wish. Or your grandmother.
2. meet in a teeny tiny bar or restaurant with a small table. Actually, don’t mind tables. You will be standing on your feet all the evening anyway.
3. a lot of cañas and wine (don’t you dare order a Sangria, you “guiri”!!).
4. fried food. Say what? So think about the most horrifying food you could ever try. Yes, that one. Now, think of deep frying it and sprinkling with too much salt and spicy “salsa”. Now, imagine yourself eating it with a slice of artificial bread. Lovely, right?! That’s “tapas” (very bad tapas, but still, it can happen to you!) In that point you might probably understand why a huge amount of cañas are necessary, right? You will just need them to kill this awful taste in your mouth afterwards.
5. screaming. The louder you “talk”, the more interested in the meeting/conversation you will appear. I would recommend rehealing before attending a social Spanish gathering. Otherwise you will find yourself standing in a bar, not being able to drop in a single word into a discussion. And it’s not because you don’t care about the topic that is just being discussed enough. Your throat is simply not prepared to “talk” THAT loud. Not to mention, ordering a beer whatsoever. Oh, and don’t forget to always have some Halls with you. Your throat will need a couple after that!
6. arguing who’s paying for this round of beers. WORLD, read and learn: people won’t pay for their beer separately. Each round of drink is paid by different person. No chipping in, no splitting a bill. If you are lucky enough, and let’s say not loud enough to scream out that you want to pay for the next round, you may even get away with drinking for free the whole evening. But then, who would do that, right? 😉
7. you won’t be allowed to take a sit. So don’t even think about grabbing the only chair in the bar. Only tourists do that! And you are trying hard not to be one, right? So just put comfortable shoes on and keep staying on your feet.
8. laughing. No matter the subject being discussed, you will laugh a lot. You will have a blast with a Spaniard!
Now, how you know whether or not it went well? Easy peasy….if you visited at least 4 different bars, then it went pretty well. If there was only one caña involved and you found yourself coming back home after 40 minutes, oh dear God…you probably screwed the evening! For everybody! Did you unintentionally seat your butt on a chair while saying you hate olives and ordering Sangría with tiny pieces of oranges? Well that’s fine…you can still find new friends. Or move to other country (Norway maybe?).