Let’s Get to the Point: Directness in Spain

Have you ever reacted late to a joke only to realize that everyone else already understood it way before you? It took me weeks to realize that people in Spain are very direct when talking to you. I was on a trip to Seville, about to order food, when the woman at the counter said, “Dime,” which basically means, “Tell me.” There was no “How may I help you?” nor “What would you like to order?”

At first I thought it was just this waitress who talked like that until I noticed that many Spaniards were doing it, including my host mom who would throw bread at me and say, “Toma más pan.” (More or less: Have more bread.) Many Spaniards speak directly, using commands such as: dime, toma, come, etc. For me, this was very interesting because I am not a very direct person. Many people I speak with in the U.S. are not direct, at least in the part where I am from. Even in Spanish class we never learned that people in Spain were direct. This was new to me and something that myself and some of the other students from my program had to adapt to.

In a week from today, I’ll be going back to the United States. I can’t believe how quickly three months has gone by. I’ve already said many goodbyes to friends from my program, but this feels far from over. It feels like it just started.

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