Here are a few things I need to adjust to fit the Spain lifestyle-
They are big on recycling (or at least my host family is). You cannot find a trash can anywhere in the house besides the kitchen. So that’s no trash cans in the bedrooms, bathrooms or living rooms. In the kitchen, there are three trash cans. One is for leftover food, another is for plastic and the third is for paper. All three trash cans are tiny too! The average American family trash can is probably 10 times the size of the theirs. The family doesn’t accumulate much trash so that’s why they are so small. That’s something that I’m going to have to adjust to because sadly, I do not reduce, reuse and recycle as much as I should to help out the environment.
A lot of their food is fresh and comes from a local market and is not processed and packaged like American meat, cheese and bread. This is something that I could easily get used to! Today I went with the family to a local bread shop where there were probably 50 different kinds of bread. I’ve noticed just from being here for one day that bread can never be missing from the table when the Spanish sit down to eat (breakfast, lunch or dinner). I don’t mind though because it’s not the classic thin-sliced American bread I’m used to, it’s thick and rich tasting artisan bread that is always available at every meal. Tonight at dinner the family had a variety of cheese to sample. They were so excited about it too. The kids and parents would ask me if I tried all three and asked which one was my favorite. They laughed and carried on saying I picked the favorite of Javi and Laura (Swiss cheese) and Alex and Marta both like Brie.
I have noticed that both adults and kids alike always finish their meals and clean their plates! That’s something that I need to get used to because I am so accustomed to getting too much to eat and then wasting half of it. I noticed at every meal today we had three courses. An appetizer, main course and dessert. Even though an appetizer might just be some bread and butter or soup they always start with something before eating the main meal. Even for dessert, it’s always some sort of fruit they pick from to eat (kiwis, oranges, pears or apples). Alex and Laura were both talking a lot at dinner because they were excited to have me as their guest and hardly saved time to eat. The parents kept reminding them to eat or would pick up a piece of whatever they were eating and give to them. The kids ate just as much as the parents did (a full bowl of soup, bread, cheese, pork, and their choice of fruit). Laura ate her pumpkin soup and I thought she had finished it all but the dad scrapped her bowl and fed her the last spoonful. I felt bad because they were all eating their fruit before I was even finished with my bread and cheese. I guess I eat a little bit slower than what they do. One thing is that they are very dedicated to eating and don’t mess around with it!