Wear Your Shoes

Biqui: “Margarita, is there something I should know about that people do here in Spain that we might not do in the United States?”

Margarita: “Hmmm. No, not really. Oh! Well, I don’t know about the United States, but here people wear shoes when they go outside. It’s looked down upon if people don’t wear shoes.”

B: *confused and bewildered* “Wear shoes outside?”

M: “Yes.”

B: “We… do that… too.”

M: “Oh, good. I wasn’t sure. Well, that’s about it then.”

One of the first conversations I had with my host “mom” Margarita (in Spanish, of course)

The One of Shame

The One of Shame (La de la Vergüenza)

As promised [*coughJANNAcough*], here’s my post about the Spanish etiquette that had to do with the last bite of food (I love this).

In Spain, when you’re in a group setting and all are sharing from communal plates (think tapas-style), you must never ever EVER take the last piece. Not unless you’ve harassed everyone else around you (ask each person like five times) to take it instead.  It’s not that it’s considered rude or improper if you do eat it, it just gives the impression that you’re greedy and inconsiderate of others if you take it for yourself without asking everyone else first.

This dining practice and phenomenon is so common and widespread that it has earned a name for itself: La de la Vergüenza (English translation: the One of Shame). “The One of Shame” refers to that last piece of bread, or the last fruit, or last olive, or whatever, that nobody dares to take because they don’t want to be THAT GUY.

“Oh yeah, remember that guy who took the last chorrizo without even asking if I wanted it? What a jerk.” <— What caused the creation of La de la Vergüenza.

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