One of the major differences I’ve noticed about Spain compared to the United States is the emphasis on their meals. The Spanish believe in the importance of sitting down, enjoying your meal, and socializing with others. I saw multiple signs similar to this one throughout my stay in Spain. I also heard of cafes that didn’t allow people to use their computers while they’re eating. This was sort of a culture shock for me. In the United States, you’re always on the go. Everything is rushed, your sleep, your free time, and your meals. In middle school, we were only given twenty-two minute lunch periods. In Spain, many people sat and ate (and often drank) for about an hour at a time. I prefer this attitude to the one in the United States. Meals are important, and taking time in the day to socialize is as well. This picture of a sign in a restaurant represents this aspect of Spain’s culture. By not having wifi, people are less likely to be on their phones, and more inclined to talk to the person eating with them.
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City of Arts and Sciences in València, Spain
The City of Arts and Sciences in València was very beautiful to look at. The water, the building, and the statues made for gorgeous photos and I will remember what it felt like to stand there for the rest of my life. Tourist attractions such as this contribute greatly to Spain’s economy, and add to the aesthetic of where they’re situated. However, I have also recently researched some of the negative aspects of tourism. The City of Arts and Sciences is controversial amongst some Valencians. First of all, it holds no traditional cultural significance. You could situate the place anywhere in the world and it would not matter. There are also many valid reasons as to why locals don’t like tourists in general. Their hotels, hostels, and airbnbs drive up the price of the neighborhood, and they contribute a lot of noise pollution and other pollution as well. Although I still think people can enjoy these types of attractions, since that is why they were built in the first place, it is also important to consider how locals feel.