Torremolinos Tourist Information
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This page is going to be a bit of a mixture. Some of it will be about Spanish people and some will be about UK tourists. But it is not intended to be hurtful in any way. It's just things that I have noticed while walking about or while I have been sitting outside a bar. There are many 'groups' of people here and it isn't always possible to be sure which one you are watching. There are local Spanish people and Spanish tourists, British ex-pats and tourists, other nationalities such as Belgians, Dutch, French and others that either live here or are just visiting. I may also mention some 'traits' that I have been told about but that do not appear to be true.
Fast talking (Spanish)
The Spanish talk quickly. This is true and science agrees. In general they need to use fewer words or syllables to say something than we do in English.

However I'm sure that it isn't just that. Any language that we don't know very well sounds fast. To many Spanish people English sounds fast. This is made worse by the fact that we may understand simple phrases but more complex ones involving non-present tenses are bound to sound fast as we quickly lose the thread.

You can always try saying "Slow down, please" 'más despacio, por favor' but it rarely works.
Dialect (Spanish)
The fast talking makes it difficult to understand locals but the Andalucian dialect (Andaluz) makes it worse. There is a tendency to miss the 's' from the ends of words and to join words together and often to miss out some of the letters where the words join.

You might hear muchas gracias, mucha gracias, muchas gracia or even mucha gracia.

When asking for two more drinks we would say 'dos más' and the reply from the bar was nearly always 'doh mah?'.

Buenos días becomes all sorts of things like bon día and even sometimes sounds like 'bonarse'. Enjoy!
Friendly (Spanish)
The Spanish are friendly but also rather direct and this is sometimes misinterpreted as unfriendly or rude.

They rarely seem to say please. While the English say 'Can I have a red wine, please', the Spanish are more likely to say just 'Vino tinto'. They do say thankyou quite a lot, though not as much as the English. When the glass of red wine appears, they usually say 'Gracias' and the waiter replies 'De nada', usually translated by British waiters as 'You're welcome'.

It is said that if you see two Spanish men shouting at one another and waving their arms about, they are just discussing football. Not sure about that as I have seen some real arguments.

I have heard it said that the checkout girls in supermarkets are rude. I haven't seen that. Generally polite and smiling. And I've never met a grumpy one in the UK of course!
Lottery & Betting
(Spanish) The lottery is even more important here than in the UK. You can buy tickets in lottery shops and kiosks. You will also find people sitting at tables all over the place selling tickets. Then there are the mobile vendors with a credit card machine and tickets fastened all over their shirt and a few people wandering around with just three or four tickets and charging more than face value for these 'lucky ones'. Who would sell a lucky ticket?
(Brits) There aren't any Bookies here but visitors often find a bar where they will accept bets on the horses. Presumably this is illegal.
Fashion (Brits and Spanish)
There are, of course, the Brits who arrive in mid-winter wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sandals (with or without socks). I guess that it feels warm here for a short while but the locals all have long trousers, jumpers, jackets and scarves.

In summer fashion seems quite strange. I suspect that tourists bring clothes that they bought in the UK but then decided that they were too embarassing to wear so they wear them on holiday where nobody knows them.

In the evening it is common to see a couple going out where the woman has put on a nice dress, earings, make-up, hair cared for while the man is still in shorts, T-shirt and sandals. Hey Ho.

Spanish women tend to dress well except that some of them do seem to like very short skirts when their age might suggest something closer to the knee than the waist.
Loud (Brits and Spanish)
Spanish do tend to be loud though this certainly doesn't apply to them all. In groups, they all seem to talk at the same time, but this is probably just because I can't understand much of what they are saying.

If they are loud in conversation, they tend to be even louder when using a mobile. As if they don't trust the network to do its job.

Brits, of course, are quiet ..... sometimes. Stag and hen parties tend to get very loud as the drink takes hold. And they seem to think that it is fine to shout four-letter words loudly - it's not fine and it does no favours to UK tourists in general.
Walking (Brits and Spanish)
People here tend to walk very slowly and seem always to be able to fill the footpath so it is difficult to pass them. No not just locals, almost everyone. But many many people are on holiday or retired and are not in a hurry to get anywhere particular so they amble along, getting in the way. But, hey, you are on holiday too, so relax and amble along too and look in all of the shop windows.

Spanish seem to be unaware of other people around them. It is just as well that evertone walks slowly or there could be some nasty accidents. A friend described this as a "lack of spatial awareness" and I think that fits the bill rather well.
Driving (Brits and Spanish)
Spanish drivers are very impatient with other drivers. If someone doesn't move quickly enough when the lights turn green, the horns are soon pressed. But they seem very patient when it comes to pedestrians on crossings.

The use of indicators seems to be 'outlawed' and white stripes going across the road are car park markings. I guess that this is pretty much the same in the UK nowadays.

And as for hazard lights... Their main use seems to be when there are no parking spaces and you need to double park while you go for a few groceries. We jokingly call hazard lights, shopping lights.
More (Brits and Spanish)
I'm sure there are many other oddities. Let me know of any you spot but keep it friendly.

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Last updated 31st March 2020