What is noticeable about living in Spain is how the Spanish love to talk. The art of conversation has become lost due to technological advances in recent years. Sending messages via Whatsapp or commenting on Facebook just isn’t the same as looking somebody in the eye and simply having a good old-fashioned conversation.
For many of the smaller towns dotted around Valencia, it’s surprising that anyone gets any work done at all, they’re so busy talking and catching up with the latest happenings!
The topics of conversation change as the seasons change, as the Spanish love to talk about the weather or their grandchildren, although it can be a little repetitive at times it’s still lovely to hear and makes you smile on some days. It’s strange to think that in other countries people are so blinkered as they go about their business, too busy to stop and communicate with anyone as they are deeply stuck in what is broadly known as the ‘rat-race’.
It has been scientifically proved that being sociable can have a positive impact on your overall well-being, making you a happier person. Feeling engaged with the world around you makes a huge difference to how well you can cope with day-to-day life.
Now, don’t think that you have to be fluent in the language to join in, oh no the Spanish will talk away regardless, a few nods and ‘si…..’s!’ from you in the right places will be enough to carry on a conversation for hours. It’s true, you should try it out sometime.
Paying somebody a compliment is one of the best ways to start a conversation and as we all know, flattery will get you everywhere. Keeping eye contact is polite in any country but here especially. Big hand gestures are always a winner, but you may want to leave those to the professionals.
Some of the best places to hear these conversations in full flow are in the doctors waiting room, or at the local post office. Quite often, you can find yourself impatiently going home with absolutely nothing accomplished due to waiting for a long-winded conversation to finish with whoever happens to be at the front of a very long queue! The Spanish haven’t quite mastered the art of efficiency yet, which is why you need to master the art of ‘keeping calm’ when confronted with this scenario.
The best way to handle these situations if you suddenly realise that you may be kept waiting, for whatever reason, is to learn to take some time out. Use this opportunity to try and improve your Spanish, and see if you can work out what the heck it is they’re talking about. Ten points for understanding their conversation and chipping in, even with a nod of the head.
Most of the people that live in Spain engage in conversation and socialize every single day of their lives without even thinking about it. There is no app that can replace the physical act of meeting and talking to others. Living in Spain helps you to become a more friendly, more open version of yourself that maybe you would never have discovered had you not come here to live. Embrace it and enjoy the benefits of being a part of the community of Valencia!