Spoiled Americans?

Posted on February 28th, 2008 by BreAnn

I finally got my luggage.  28 hours later.  Phew!  At least I got it all, right?  I was paranoid about my brand new RIDICULOUSLY expensive Canon digital SLR I just purchased that was in there… oh yea, and a hard drive full of files that I had been transfering for weeks before leaving the U.S.  Not to mention some personal and/or sentimental items that could never be replaced had they lost my luggage completely.  Of course all my bags came a couple hours after I finally got out and bought some clothes and more toiletries (bought some socks: calcetines, underwear, a shirt: camisa, toiletries and food, etc) Oh well, I guess I can still use it all eventually, and I’m hoping the airline will compensate me for most of the stuff I bought anyway. Stupid Iberia airlines. My sister and I are going to fly with them in April to Rome, so hopefully they won’t screw up our luggage then, too!

The area I’m living in is really close to a lot of stores nearby, so it was convenient to shop right down the road.  However, after waking up at 9am, and then taking a nap at 11am, then another nap at like 12:30pm (a little bit of jet lag), I finally made it out on the streets around 1:30pm, just to realize all the stores were closed!  Shit, I should have known that… I forgot how the stores in Spain close from approximately 1pm to 4pm (or 13:00-16:00 in Spain) due to “siesta” so Sonny and I just went on a LONG hour or two walk around the city, checking out places I would come back to buy stuff.  There were quite a lot of people walking their dogs, too, so it gave me comfort knowing I “fit in” with all the dog lovers.

Each store I visited was a small “ma-and-pa” type shop where there was only one worker, and you could assume that person had been working there for many years, if not most of their lives.  None of them knew any english, so I was surprised by how much Spanish I could come up with just to get me by, I would explain, “Aeropuerto . . . perdido . . . equipaje” –basically really broken “BreAnn spanish” for “Airport – lost – luggage.”  I guess when you are forced into the situation, you find out more about yourself then you knew.  One older woman was really sweet and really trying to help me find an electric adapter for my US plugs (I have about 3 of these damn things, but of course were all in my lost luggage) . . . from her broken english and mostly spanish she told me that she had only taken 2 months of English classes in her life, but damn was she determined to try to speak English to me. It was really cute.

It’s 2am here now and REALLY COLD in my room. The temperature outside is about 50 degrees, but it feels a hell of a lot colder! The guys never turn on the heat, especially at night. My feet are going to fall off they are so cold! I also notice my roommates constantly turn the lights off if they leave a room even for a minute. I’ve always been pretty lights-off-conscious in the past, but I think they have turned lights off after me, too!

AND the lights in the apartment hallways/stairways are always off, so it’s constantly pitch black until you stumble around for the lights. And when you flick them on, they are on like a minute timer, and are off in no time. Since we are on the forth floor, by the time I walk down all the stairs, the lights have turned off again.

My room in San Sebastian!I’m staying in a 2 bedroom apartment, and the two guys share the other room… I have two single beds in my room—weird. I figured these guys would be like 21 year old college guys to be sharing such a small room, but turns out one is 26 and the other is 31… seems strange they really wouldnt be able to afford their own room at this point?  Hmmm….  I also think it’s just kind of weird to have two single beds for me, but then again I know thats also a European kind of thing.

I was doing some work this evening, trying to catch up from Monday–Wednesday days I took off work, and was FTPing files to our server and the internet was pretty slow here. I asked the guys about it, and the one said, “Welcome to Espana!” and laughed.

I know I’ve been told from my German friend, Robby, that Europeans view American as rich and spoiled. I guess I can completely see their view.

I’m already understanding it, as I sit here at this tiny, cheap computer desk with my expensive purebread yorkie dog at my frozen feet in dim light with my really slow internet connection.  Spoiled?  hah!  😉


6 responses to “Spoiled Americans?”

  1. Carl says:


    You definitely need a new chair!


  2. MOM says:

    Better get yourself one of those key chair flash lights that you can hang on your purse. Will help alot in the dark hallways.

  3. Ann says:

    It’s definitely going to be an experience, that’s for sure! Glad to hear things are going well, regardless of the lack of luggage at first. You are an amazing person and I’m so excited for your journey out there! Miss you, love you!

  4. Natanya says:

    After you buy a few things to get used to the new place it should get more comfortable – luckily you have your job still and can do it!

    My sister has a space heater in her room, in Cordoba she said she was def. lucky to have it.

    For internet – any Starbucks around with higher speed connections? An idea to break-up your work day 🙂

    Enjoy good luck settling in!

  5. Jessers says:

    Glad you made it safe and sound. Tiny European rooms…ah…those were the days!! Glad you’re finding your way around town.

    You will get homesick, but it’s just temporary! By the time you’re done in Spain you won’t want to come home!!

  6. Julie says:

    Doesn’t sound like Spain has changed much since I’ve been there – small living space, “conservative” living style, slow/no internet, and not many peeps knowing English!

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