• That in a country where you don’t eat dinner until 11pm it’s illegal to sell alcohol in a shop after 10pm.
  • That in England people drinking in the street is an activity reserved for chavs and bums, but in Spain they call it “botellón” and it’s like a culture thing, complete with glasses, ice, mixers, spirits and snacks.
  • That Cataluña bans bullfighting, but keeps the ‘correbou’, which involves attaching fireworks to a bull’s horns and making it run around the town.
  • That I’ve only heard 3 Spanish people say ‘sorry’ and mean it. And that was in Barcelona, so maybe they don’t even think of themselves as being Spanish and see using this almost extinct expression to apologise as the ultimate rebellion against the Castilian occupation of Cataluña.
  • That the most popular Spanish football chant (“yo soy español, español, español, español”/”I’m Spanish, Spanish, Spanish, Spanish”) is set to the tune of the Russian song ‘Kalinka’.
  • That the National Anthem doesn’t have any words because they couldn’t agree on which language to use.
  • The casual racism both amuses and shocks me. In Spain ‘Scary Spice’ isn’t ‘La picante de miedo’ or something like that. Oh no. She’s ‘La Negra’. ‘The black one’.
  • That they translate everything! Even the names of The Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth becomes Isabel. Prince Charles is Carlos and Prince Wills in Guillermo. And they seem to think that’s what they’re actually called. As if Prince Charles introduces himself thusly:

    (In upper class British accent) “Hello people of Britain, it is I. Your Prince and future King, Carlos”

    In a similar vein U2 are called ‘U-dos’, Oasis is pronounced ‘o-AH-sis’ and my name, Jade, is ‘Ha-DAY’

  • That the name ‘Juan Carlos’ usually gets shortened to ‘JuanCa’. Teehee.

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