Life in a little Spanish village
When people from other countries go to Spain, they often go to relatively big towns, and very small villages are often ignored. Have you wondered how life actually is in those villages? In case you have, here is a list of things that often happens there. If you haven’t, well, take a look, you never know when life will take you to a tiny pueblo!
People say hello to everyone
The smaller the village is, the bigger the chance of knowing almost everyone there. What do you do when you know someone and bump into that person in the street? Well, you say hello. In those villages, you get used to it so much that even when you see someone you don’t know, you’ll say hello anyway, because things like that make people smile and, you know, smiling is good.
I know, most people have had a nickname at some point. However, I’m not just talking about having a nickname; I’m talking about inheriting nicknames. Let me give you a quick example: if someone is a baker, his son may perfectly well be called Baker by most people, and his grandson too. Who knows? It may go on for many more generations. If someone had a bicycle many, many years ago, when it was very uncommon, his descendants may inherit the nickname “Bicycle”.
Strong sense of community
I have a feeling this doesn’t only happen in Spain, but little villages often have a sense of community that bigger towns don’t have. People help each other much more and giving your neighbour something relatively valuable for a while, for example, doesn’t have to be a big problem. Also, probably because of this sense of community, people tend to participate more in associations, politics and so on.
You can be sober and have fun at the same time
Breaking news: being drunk is not a requirement to have fun! That’s one of the reasons why we Spaniards often party until sunrise. People drink when they want to drink and not because they feel it’s an obligation, so they often don’t get really wasted and they still have energy when it gets very late.
Don’t get me wrong, people still get drunk often enough, for example during…
Surviving those ain’t easy. Things get crazy there, and I mean crazy. Locals take their festivals very seriously and give their best party performance, if you know what I mean. When city people innocently go to these village festivals to have some fun, they find themselves in a spiral of music, dancing, alcohol, and new friends… most of them don’t know how exactly they survive.
Time and stress don’t exist
Life goes slow in small villages. If you are a person who needs to keep moving all the time, maybe Spanish pueblos are not for you. However, if you are patient enough and you don’t need things here and now, you should spend your holidays in one of them.
There are less smartphones and more balls
The smartphone virus is quickly spreading everywhere, including small pueblos (although people there are not so doomed yet). Sure, you’ll see some kids using them, but you’ll see them playing football or just running around much more often. Some city kids sadly seem to have forgotten what that feels like, and yes, I know I sound like a grandpa.
Kids have more freedom
This one makes a lot of sense. If you’re a kid and you live in a big town, your parents won’t let you do whatever you want because it can be dangerous. However, in a village where you know everyone and that has fewer cars, parents don’t worry about children a lot. The little ones are often free to wander around until lunch/ dinner time because…
Meals often have a fixed timetable
I don’t know if you have noticed, but food is good, and something as good as food needs a proper ritual. A fixed timetable, as you can guess, is part of that ritual. Food, however, is not the only reason for this schedule, as meals are often the part of the day when you catch up with friends or family. Making your stomach happy with yummy stuff while having a nice conversation can’t be done at any time!
Pueblos are the perfect place for family meetings
Your grandfather lives in Oldlostvillage, your parents live in a bigger town, you live in another town, and your cousins live in another one… where do family meetings take place? Oldlostvillage. Why? Because. You love that little village which has pretty much nothing because it’s the only place in which you can meet with your whole family at the same time.
There’s no need for planning
There’s no need for a long phone conversation or an endless facebook conversation to make plans. When you feel bored, just go to your friend’s and knock at the door. If you’re the kind of person who HAS to plan, you can make quick call and tell your friend you’ll be at his place in ten minutes. A friend of mine who was laying on the couch on a lazy summer afternoon suddenly found herself going to the river by quad with two more people, ready to eat some delicious fried peppers.
Staying unnoticed is not an option
Say you live in a bigger town but you go back to your pueblo a couple of times every year. Once you arrive and some old people at a bar spot your car, they’ll start telling everyone and before you finish unpacking, the whole pueblo will know you’re there.
No matter how often you go there, you’ll always be a stranger
This one is also for you bigger town folks. If you go to your family’s pueblo once a year and stay there for, let’s say, a month, you’ll be a stranger the first time and the fiftieth time. That’s how it is, don’t bother trying to change it. But hey, that doesn’t mean locals don’t like you!
These things may not happen in every single Spanish pueblo, but it gives you a general idea of how things work there. Finally, I’d like to thank Enrique, Gloria and Manu for their very useful ideas.