martes, agosto 03, 2010

El corazón del gentilicio

Go slow! Time is not important in Spain. Impatience is unknown and not understood. If you insist upon fighting the lethargy wich the climate and life induce, you will never adjust to or understand Spain. The Spanish people are friendly and take readily to Americans. They always take it for granted that foreigners like them, and are very rarely discourteus to them. There is no servility in the Spanish caracter, prince and peasant being treated with like dignity. By the same token you may approach any Spaniard freely, whatever his station. There is in Spain a variety of social equality wich is rare elsewhere. (...)

Spaniards are very generous. The phrase, "Your house is my house", is taken literally by them. You must never admire anything belonging to a Spanish friend unless you are prepared to accept it as a gift. It may be literally forced upon you, to your intense embarrassment. This is true even in shops. (...)

Above all else, do not try to analyze Spain and Spaniards while you are there. The English-speaking peoples, whether or not they are aware of it, are prone to adopt an attitude of condescension to those different from themselves. This attitude can prove singularity unfortunate when dealing with a people as proud as the Spain. At the very least it will frustrate your pleasure in the country, will prevent an understanding of the people. Just accept the fact that Spaniards are, in many ways, unlike us. Make no comparisons on the spot. Your judgement will be sounder in retrospect.
The New Europe Guides: All About Spain
Georgia Long, edited by Virginia Creed
Duell, Sloan & Pearce, Inc.
New York 1951