Hello Goodbye: The Spaniard’s Impressions of the US

Welcome to Massachusetts Little Spaniard!

The first time my boyfriend husband visited the US was last summer. He came for three weeks and it was the longest he’d ever been away from home. Luckily, he also came with an open mind, doubting that the images and stereotypes he’d seen in movies could possibly all be true, and was actually surprised to see that some really were (high school prom, red solo cups, beer pong tournaments…) But last summer was a whirlwind. In three weeks we visited over ten different cities and stocked our wardrobes at different outlet malls. We practically force fed ourselves to make sure to “try everything” and managed to gain about 10 pounds each!

This summer was different. Alejandro and I were in the US for three months, exactly eighty-eight days as to not overstay his ninety-day tourist status. Besides the initial wedding related tasks we didn’t have any set plans. As my last post details, we had a great and busy summer—we were very lucky see many amazing people and places. But three months is a long time… enough, I believe, to really get a feel for the living in the US (or, specifically, Massachusetts). I was curious what Ale thought about the experience, and if, honestly, he’ll miss anything about my home country.

So here, bored in Newark International Airport, I’m going to ask him some questions about the good old US of A, a country I both praise and criticize, run away from and then terribly miss. Will I regret his honestly? Let’s see…

Before coming here for the summer what were you most excited about?

I’d say was most excited about getting married and getting to know the culture of the US.

What were you afraid of?

I was scared of getting bored there, of not being able to communicate enough and of people misunderstanding me.

What did you find you missed most from Spain beside family and friends?

I didn’t miss much… it was only three months! If anything the weather, the beach, the tapas bars, and maybe staying out late because in Spain people usually stay out much later (probably because of the weather)!

Did anything shock you about American culture?

The patriotism. I think American people are prouder of their country and they show that in many ways: 4th of July, the national anthem at sports games… Also the consumerism. You can definitely see that here. People buy many things that they don’t actually need since they have the opportunity to get them at such a cheap price. I thought that here everything was going to be more expensive than in Spain but, although the quality of life here is higher, it’s still easy to find cheap products.

What’s something Spain could learn from the US?

Businesses could learn how to offer better customer service with or without raising their prices. They would make more profits this way. People could also learn to be more respectful towards other cultures. At least in Massachusetts (which is the only state I know) people are really accepting of other cultures.

And vice-versa?

The US could make better public transportation options and should work to make cities more energy efficient.

What were the best foods you tried in the US?

Hmm… what come to mind are clam chowder, eggs benedict, and homemade burgers, but I’m sure I tried other things I loved and just don’t remember!

Were there any American stereotypes you found to be either very true or very false?

The idea that American people are cold is false. American people were so friendly once you knew them and so polite if you didn’t. It is true that Americans are consumerists. People are always buying! It’s also false that Americans don’t know how to eat… American’s love food so they have much more variety and options.

What are you going to miss about the summer?

I’ll miss staying in a big house with a huge yard, your father grilling burgers and your mother baking. I’ll also miss the beautiful places like Cape Cod and Maine. I won’t miss always being in the car though…

Do you love your in-laws? Just kidding, I know he does!

Well, there you have it. I wrote this in Newark but I’m posting it from Cadiz! Home at last? Kind of… Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures of our welcome feast—I love Andalucía!

Comments

  1. Lauren and Ale,

    It was an amazing summer! Having you both here with us was great. Wishing you the best as you enter the next phase of your life together. Lots and lots of love, Mom

  2. I love this post! I found your husbands thoughts and observations so interesting! My Spaniard spent 2 summers in the U.S. during college (many years ago) and then a few short trips with me. I wonder what his thoughts will be after we move back to the States next year. I sincerely hope they are as positive as your lovely husband’s. 🙂

  3. it’s so great that you asked him questions. maybe in 15 years you can look back and see what impressions have changed and what things have stayed the same.

    i wish my nov knew less of america before we got together. he’s already jaded by all the cool stuff we have because he used to summer in america to learn english.

    1. Haha that must be annoying for you! It will be interesting to see how his views change if we ever decide to live there for a time. He really only experienced a small amount of American culture and he has no idea what a Massachusetts winter is like (we’ll have to return!)

  4. Pingback: 5 Fun Ways to Kill Time at the Airport — Spanish Sabores

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