Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some things never change

Most of my blogs the past two months have been about cultural differences between the United States and Spain. There are a lot of things that are really different, but as I have settled in over the last two months I have also noticed some things that are the same.

The biggest example of this is children. By children I am referring to what the Spanish call "jovenes" or young people. That includes teenagers all the way up into the mid to late twenties. The ages I am really talking about are 14-18.

In the first month working, a couple of students asked if we had a lighter. Neither the other auxiliar nor I smoke, so of course neither one of us did. But they were also too young to be smoking.

Last night I was walking, just to get out of the apartment. Not too long after leaving I had some 'jovenes' ask me something which I never quite understood. They were asking if I had something. After two times I didn't understand and I gave up. I just answered, "No, sorry." I think they may have been asking about a lighter or something.

And finally, when I was returning I ended up going to the market instead of going to a cafeteria. I bought a few items, but not long after I got there, three or four kids came up to me and tried to get me to buy alcohol or them. They were probably 15 or 16 years old. The legal drinking age in Spain is 18. My first response was simply no. Then they asked why not. So I told them I was a foreigner and pretended not to understand. They tried in English and actually did a pretty good job. Then I told them that I didn't have my I.D. with me either and couldn't buy any. With that they finally got the point I wasn't going to aid in underage drinking and left me alone.

They stayed in the store staying close to the alcohol isle to try and get other shoppers to buy. I am thinking if something like this happens again what I might do. I can go with the simple answer of no and I don't need any other reason. Or, maybe I should say I am a cop just to see the looks on their faces. Maybe I will go try that one on April Fools Day--I'm not sure if they know what that is.

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