Since I went on exchange during university my life has been one big chain of living abroad. In between, I have been periods back in the Netherlands but mostly that was just for a couple of months, half a year max, before taking off again. The journey started in Spain, and then via India, Ireland, Denmark and Germany here I am, back living in Spain. Let´s just say that when the bug bites, it really bites!
What always surprises me about Spanish mothers (and especially also grandmothers!) is the amount of screaming that happens during a day. I always associated screaming with panic or stress situations but here it seems to be a normal way of communicating with your offspring.
Being (bilingual) parents with a different nationality inevitably raises the question of which language to raise your kid in and which language to speak at home. When we started dating C and I spoke mainly English (because my Spanish was barely good enough to ask where the closest panadería, or bakery, was. To illustrate, when I came to Spain I wrote an email to the local field hockey club in my best Spanish to see if could join, and C, as responsible for the club, replied in Spanish but below that “in case you don´t understand I will repeat in English”, so I guess the Spanish was just politeness to thank me for the effort).
On Friday I was working from home but C had the day off due to a local bank holiday. At some point he took the bichin out for a walk and when he came back he told me how two older ladies came to him to compliment him with the amazing thing he was doing. So I asked him what amazing thing he was doing to attract the attention of random ladies on the street.
I guess most of us in the North of Europe know that life down south has a different schedule in terms of work, eating and bed times, going out etc. It is pretty well known that Spaniards for example have dinner quite late (in Dutch standard the “quite” can be replaced by “very”) but I had never realised what this means when you have kids.