100 thoughts on “10 SPAIN CULTURE SHOCKS | Expat Life in Spain

  1. Hello from India 🙂 You guys are such a sweet, funny and polite couple! I love how both of you demystify certain cultural aspects of Spain. I absolutely love James respectfully mentions every cultural aspect of Spain without sounding disrespectful to Yoly and I also love how Yoly takes everything sportively without getting offended and explains/clarifies things to James.

    I am an Indian now living in the UK, I can relate to what most of the things which Yoly say because I after watching this video, I am convinced that Indians and Spanish are similar in so many ways hahaha!!! When I arrived in the UK, it was quite a shock to experience a different culture but thankfully my transition was smooth. It is just that we have to respect the local culture without getting offended ourselves or offending them. You guys are epitome of dignity and grace. I absolutely love it how both of you take time to understand each other's culture without stereotyping each other. We all have different cultural aspects, attitudes, mindsets, realities etc. which affect the way we behave – this is something you guys completely understand and I think which is why both of you have mutual respect and love for each other's culture. I hope all young people watch your videos and learn how we can respect other cultures without judging them or making fun of them. Lots and lots of love and respect to lovely people like both of you in Spain and New Zealand from India xx 🙂

  2. As I recall, American style toilet paper began showing up in Spain in the 70's, roll tin foil came later. Now almost everything is made here.
    People are very full of life in Spain, not much else is more important than close relationships, generosity, great times and food. Top it off with a carajillo around 5

  3. I lived in Madrid long time ago. Franco was still alive but it wasn't bad, arriving from Cuba and escaping Castro it was paradise. The bad was Franco Nationalism didn't let employment, well, plenty of Cubans worked but the goal was USA. I love Spain, visit many times.

  4. i've been watching your videos for like 3 hours straight 😀 as a spaniard who grew up in switzerland, I'm still learning a few details and you're giving me a sense of security in social exchanges like in bars when i'm back home 😀

  5. Once on a boat to Mallorca this english girl started screeching at the old guy who was helping people to find a seat because he touched her arm! She was screaming “ how dare you touch me, Im english” it was so embarrassing.. in the end I told her to stfu, the poor old guy had no idea what he had done. Stupid bitch and she was ugly so she obviously wasn’t used to being touched by anything,,,

  6. My cultural shocks moving to Spain (from UK, then 11 yrs in Wellington.
    1). The standard of coffee is horrendous. I ended up buying my own coffee machine
    2). Everything is possible, but only on the 2nd or 3rd visit to an official. You will never have enough or the correct paperwork 1st time
    3). Driving in Spain. Indicators are redundant, roundabouts are best avoided, and pedestrian crossings are parking bays!
    4). Spaniards in general don't seem to mind throwing rubbish on to the floor.
    5). People will drive an extra 10 mins to a cafe, because their local cafe has put the price up 20 c on a Tostada con tomate y cafe to 1.80
    6). How builders can function in 40 degree heat, when the rest of us are literally melting into the tarmac.

    Keep up the good work.


  7. I’m not from Spain but from an American country and as a kid my parents use to be horrified if I walk around the house without shoes, the floor was very clean but they use to claim I could get sick.

    As a grown up I walk around the house without shoes and don’t like my visitor to keep their shoes inside the house as they trail dirt from outside to the inside.

  8. Great videos and great vibes, feels like I'm just sitting around and chatting about Spain with you 🙂 I am moving to Madrid in September, so this info is SO helpful. Thanks! 🙂

  9. The kissing thing is so odd at first for all English speakers. You quickly grow to love it and wish your home country was more effection. Its the same over all the Spanish speaking world, as well as France and Italy. Even men air kiss.

  10. The Toxoplasmosis issue for pregnant women was interesting. It turns out it is unique to Italy and Spain. In the USA, the danger to pregnant women from this infection comes from exposure to feline fecal matter. I have never heard of the pork connection until now. It was interesting to read that cases of the infection in Spain and Italy were from pork.

  11. I just caught a cold…and I really believe is cause i wasn't wearing my summer slippers…not joking 🤣😭 also i'm the most loud person in my family…they always say to me "control your volume!!". I really try it…🤣 i think this comes from cause i'm the youngest and also the shorter of my family and I just tried all my life to make my voice heared in the family's reunions🤣

  12. This is very normal in "Hispanic" countries when they know you, we are close contact culture, unless you let them know that you do not want to be touch. There are cultures that are way more "arm length " cultures such as Japan, Switzerland etc. The women are not flirting, just talking. There is a difference in touch when a Spanish person is flirting.

  13. I lived in Barcelona until I was 17. Since I have lived in Australia for 33 years. Your videos are spot on. Great information for would be visitors. Your videos are very enjoyable to watch. Keep up the great work. Thank you.

  14. As for me the noise is on the top of the list. After coming back from Spain my voice changes because i have to speak so loud in oder to be heard. And once i traveled from Madrid to Valencia by train in "coche silencio". There were almost no people cause everybody preferred another cars in the train where they were playing guitar, singing, chatting, making so much noise. Really funny.

  15. My first shock was that you cannot get dinner before 10:00 pm , usually I am in bed by then and want/need to eat around 7:00 pm. The second was that if you order a hamburger, they always put a fried egg on it (not a bad thing but not expected) unless you tell them not to.

  16. As the daughter of 2 full-fledged Spaniards (but living in Los Angeles), I am on board with the NO BAREFOOT walking thingy. I despise when people are barefoot even in the house. God's big joke on my, I married a Vietnamese man and it is in their culture to take off your shoes and walk around barefoot. SO GROSS!!!!! I rebelled, however, I never took off my shoes when we went to his Mom's house (one other main reason is her house so was dirty) and to this day yell at him and his kids when they are barefoot. Get so sick and tired of stepping on shoes the minute I walk through any door in my house. He said is was customary to take shoes off and I told him in my culture only slobs walked around barefoot.

  17. 11:18 Excuse me, but as a Spaniard myself, I found that absolutely weird… a kid, sleeping under a bar, on benches? LOL, what the hell?

  18. What a great interaction between you two, truly beautiful, you should be hosting a morning breakfast TV show.

  19. I am so happy to have found your channel! My husband and I plan to retire to Spain (from the US), and while we have each traveled multiple times to Spain, committing to moving there is of course quite different. I appreciate all these insights!

  20. Oh wow, I'm glad they don't EXCEPT big bills. I work at a store and I despise getting big bills and breaking them because it holds up my line while I wait for my manager to break the bill for several 20s (I work and live in the States btw). Wow, I really like this!… 😀

  21. Maltese culture does not differ much from Spain’s big cities culture! We are loud people, love food and drinks too 😂

  22. Where can I meet you guys? It’s my first time in Spain. I’m glad to hear about the mixture of cultures, being from two different countries. I’m experiencing the culture shock which I find friendly and also rude at times

  23. 😂 I was born and raised in Hawai’i, and it’s the same thing as New Zealand where we don’t wear shoes in the house. But yup, every time I visit my mom’s whole side of the family in Spain, we stay at my abuela’s apartment and she insists I wear house slippers. She also gives me a fluffy robe, and I notice when they are at home, they are wearing pajamas, when I would regularly wear comfy loose clothing at home, they take it further by wearing pajamas in the day time. Hehe.

  24. Almost no personal space in Romania either u.u You're waiting in a long line to pay for stuff, and the next person comes and waits right behind you, almost touching you/r butt. it's more normal for people to touch while riding the public transportation, because often the buses and stuff are crowded. but at the store? come on! i advance 2 steps and the person behind me makes 3 steps… >.>

  25. I've lived my whole life in nz and in my experience majority of nzers DONOT eat the skin of a kiwifruit – its furry! Ew. Only minority of kiwis eat the whole thing.

  26. Hey, thanks a lot for this video! I'm from Prague coming to Malaga for this fall, and a majority of these is understandable to me, but the toilet paper and noise blew my mind. Also I eat kiwi from inside with a spoon lol. 😜 thanks a lot guys, can't wait to see your lovely country for the first time 💚

  27. Who gives a shit? Spain is a shithole now – greedy scum liked to sell properties to expats then knock them down. The only reason you get on there is because you are a snobby twat with money – that’s it! Now shut your yapping lying crap trap

  28. 😆Me pone los pelos de punta verte comer los kiwis con pelos !!! Yo por la mitad y con cuchara. Yo también llevo Kleenex en el bolso, como norma, ( siempre se acaba el papel 🧐 🤷‍♀️ ) ah….!! Los niños siempre con nosotros, disfrutamos con ellos…😉

  29. I love it that people in Spain actually look at each other. Yolanda said it beautifully… I am acknowledging your presence in my reality.

  30. Hey Chris I’m thinking of going to Spain and I’d like to go someplace that’s a little bohemian. I’m an artist myself and I enjoy café culture. Any suggestions?

  31. OMG… American here. I remember buying a chicken at El Corte Ingles while living in Barcelona, and when I got back to the flat to cook dinner I found out the head and feet were in side along with the usual giblets. Oh.. and the octopus beak in the middle of the paella platter! I loved Spain but boy there were a lot of things to get used to~!

  32. Love u guys. I’m going over from Aust. It will be a great culture shock! Can’t wait. Thanks again. Im learning heaps and will do your tours.

  33. I have lived in the US since I was 6 yearss old but I am Colombian. So I know spanish and am familiar with spanish culture. But I wonder if it would be a huge culture shock to me the closness of people. will I seem rude because I suffer from depression so I am uncomfortable with not having my bubble space.

  34. Have you made a video about Spain’s music, I can’t find a lot of Spanish artist. Just Enrique Iglesias and Julio Iglesias.

    Can you also make a video comparing Spain and Latin America. And Spanish cultural influences in those countries.

  35. In America we do the Anglo-Saxon way..You don't touch when talking unless you really know the person.Men dont touch each other but women do..You have to keep a distance when in public. enjoyed the video.

  36. Me ha gustado tu video y deduzco que te dedicas a traer gente de tapeo te recomiendo que vayas a León y visites el barrio húmedo y el barrio romántico y con las consumiciones te darán una tapa enorme y gratis en todos los bares de la ciudad y si vas en semana santa podrás matar judíos que consiste en beber limonada una tradición leonesa

  37. Spanish people are rude. They don't give a crap if they are too loud, or their cigarette smoke is choking you. I thought that this wouldn't be such an issue but after some years it just gets worse. I do not recommend anybody moving here if you are a civilized person.

  38. Culture shock number 11, when your boyfriend is a kiwi he always will support you lift you up and make you look good , if you have a spanish one he treat you like crap in front of everyone , talk down to you and make you look stupid when you are way much smarter….Yolanda …..lucky you

  39. I'm from Texas, and I feel that eye contact is very personal. I would go as far to say that it is very intimate. I wouldn't "lock" a gaze with a stranger.

  40. I am ukrainian and we are the same way. My american friends are always shocked of how close my family is. We are in each others lives, we are loud, and that we can all talk simultaneously and be on the same page :)).

  41. Not from spain or NZ. From Canada. There's a lot of ppl from France going to my university and they tend to do "la bise", like kissing both cheeks, even for strangers. and they're more keen to give hugs. and for us Québécois, it's like WOAH idk you. There's rules on who you're allowed to kiss on the cheeks as a hello or as a farewell. And hugs are for ppl you're close to. Men can't give la bise to other men. Men can give la bise to women. Women can give la bise to other women. When you meet new people, you shake their hands. And men shake the hand of other men.

  42. Sounds like I won't have to worry about my American loudness in Spain! I love that kids just come out with their parents, I feel like in the US I get the stink eye if I take my kids anywhere, even before they misbehave.

  43. The 9 (except the last 1, top 10) things are almost exactly what we have in the Philippines. 400 years of being a colony of Spain left quite an imprint in our culture.

  44. It's funny to see how pretty much all of them apply for Mexicans and probably the rest of Latin American people. Yes there are differences, but seems to be minimal.

  45. omg….spanish culture is very similar to culture of china or india…
    but BARS are for adults only and touching someone without any reason is not acceptable.

  46. I moved to Spain around 18 years ago with my Spanish wife. I'm an Anglo Welsh. I love it here. The Spanish are great, I'm fluent in Spanish and all that but I feel as foreign today as the day I got off the plane. Which is in fact Okay. I am foreign.

  47. I'm going to be hosting a foriegn exchange student from Spain very soon, I'm so thankful to find your videos so I can try my best to understand her culture and help her feel comfortable in my home in America. Thank you for sharing so much detail!

  48. Re the noise and speaking loud. Something super funny happens to me. When I speak in English I speak in a quieter tone, but the moment I change to Spanish, I automatically raise my voice and I start yelling (according to my American husband). LOL It's a cultural thing.

  49. About the toilet paper? On a Holliday at the Spanish coast, went to the toilet in a bar and there hang a well used cloth towel at the wall, no paper. How disgusting!

  50. We are hot, you are cold
    You are polite, we aren't (at least not much)
    We are too noisy sometimes, you are too quiet sometimes
    We usually don't peel the fruit, but kiwis? Come on! You crazy

  51. I've always loved going barefoot around the house. Now my kids do the same. Plus, all our shoes stay at the entrance….a habit I've imported from Asian countries. I have to admit though that my parents insisted and insisted on wearing slippers in the house!! :))

  52. The bank! Having to walk in and ask who the last person is because there's just a lot of people milling around with no formal queue! I've now also discovered that this principle also works for seeing the practice nurse at my local doctors.

  53. Peeled cucumbers taste much better. I got used to that in Spain and now, back in London people think it's strange.Also peeling apples stops those bits getting stuck between your teeth!

  54. As a spaniard and madrileño I have to recognize that we are loud. And not proud of it. Maybe that's one of the reasons I like my holidays in far away places were there's few Spaniards around.

  55. Mi primera impresión al llegar desde Suiza fue : mañana no trabajan??? Están siempre en los bares? Son alcohólicos!!! Y… Cuanto gana esta gente para salir casi a diario!!!….

  56. My cousin got a jamón ibérico as a present when she delivered her baby so she could eat it after 9 months of going without it. She said it was the best "baby gift" she ever received.

  57. One thing I have experienced – and this isn't necessarily a bad thing – is that you have to wear a plastic glove when picking through fruit at the store. Being from the USA, we do not do that, as it is common to wash the fruit anyway when you take them home.

  58. Yo desde que ya no hay mínimo para pagar con tarjeta en casi ningún sitio… ya no llevo nunca efectivo encima. Siempre con pago con el móvil. Sólo sacaba dinero para cosas en grupo con amigos hasta que descubrí bizum. Y ya ni para eso. Así que para mí el efectivo ha muerto. xDD

  59. Hey I have a question for you guys. What kind of slippers do they wear in Spain? Like, what sort of slippers do you commonly have at home? I'm asking because I want to adopt this custom for my own home. 🙂 But as a Spainophile, I want to mimic the tradition well. Help me, please.

  60. I was born in a village there in the Canaries and even though it is not common to be packed like that all the time, we do that in special ocasions, demondtrations or parties and we're fine with that

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