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#46358 - 07/26/01 08:30 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
sheba Offline

Registered: 08/20/00
Posts: 118
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
i had to laugh about the horse and omar the tentmaker.

thanks to everyone for your comments. i really appreciated hearing that i was not the only one who has experienced bad shopping in madrid.

and i want to add that i don't buy the sugar-coating thing. there's being honest, and then there's being plain rude and most people know the difference no matter what culture.

all of the things i tried on actually did fit, as like most women, i do kinda know my body proportions by sight. they may have been a little too tight or rubbed where they shouldn't have or had some other thing going on that i didn't like, but they did fit. why would i waste my time with way too small clothes? i mean, most women try on things that they know are going to fit, but don't know how they are going to lay or move when on.

to be told by a total stranger that is just seeing me for the first time that i'm too big...well...that is just plain rude.

honest would have been:

those shirts (skirts, dresses, etc.) are cut so (way too, very, etc.)small.

rude is:

you are too big for those shirts etc.

the sad thing is that in many of the cases, and like a lot of women out there who have gone through bad shopping experiences, i bought the items out of anger.

i love them and will wear them to death now that i've spent so much on them, but i may not have bought them if i hadn't been so pissed off by the treatment, which is stupid of me i know because i not only lose my temper, but also my money to a total stranger. but dang they pissed me off.

#46359 - 07/27/01 10:08 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
Pookita Offline

Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 57
Loc: FL, USA
Sheba and others -

Thanks for the insight! Both my husband and I will be better prepared for the "cultural difference" you raised in this thread. (We've "plumped up" considerably since getting married and quitting smoking, and are a little sensitive on the subject of our newly lost sveltness.)

Pookita (+20 lbs. - mas o menos - but happy laugh )

#46360 - 07/27/01 11:46 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
kk49827 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Austin, TX
It's good to know everyone has their experiences in Spain. Besides a lot of staring I personally haven't had a lot of trouble. But, I do want to share one experience my fiance had.

During our times there, we had shopped many times for shoes in Madrid. One time, we went to a store near the Puerta del Sol. My fiance has what some may call large feet for a woman (size 10) Although this is somewhat unheard of in Spain(I think it's a 42) she found many pair to fit her. In this store, she asked the gentleman to help her. He acted amazed that there was someone with feet like hers. I spotted a pair on the shelf that was her size and when I went to get them, he shouted "No!" We tried to explain that we found her size and he kept saying" No!" Then he finally said in English "No shoes for you!" So, we left, laughing all the way out the door.

Just thought I had to share my fondest shopping experience.

#46361 - 07/27/01 12:40 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1437
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
laugh laugh laugh Love the skateboard and horse story!!!! and would ahve loved even more to have seen the expression on the man's face as he tried to determine if you were serious!
emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte

#46362 - 07/27/01 03:11 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Nic Offline

Registered: 03/30/01
Posts: 64
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA
I have to agree with most everything on this post. I also went to Zara, but only bought perfume and scarves. The place was a mad house and nobody acted like they wanted to help me, so, I just bought what I wanted and got out of there. I guess in the states I am what you would call a size large petite. I'm only about 5'4, but not a toothpick. I didn't buy any clothes in Spain, as I thought they were expensive and nothing that fabulous that I wanted to carry all the way home. To me, most everything was geared for the teens and twenty year old, much like here. In every shop I went into, including a home furnishings store called "Indigo", I didn't have one salesperson ask to assist me.I just thought it was the way they were. I minded my own business, picked up what I wanted and bought what I wanted. I did make one mistake at the produce market. I touched a fruit I had never seen before and the man came right over. I forgot you weren't suppose to touch the fruit, and my husband, was like," what was wrong with that guy?" I had to explain that it was my fault. My husband who fits comfortably in a XXl, had a salesperson at Cortes de Ingles help him for about an hour trying on leather and suede jackets, of course they were all very expensive, and the salesperson had a cousin in Chicago, so maybe he took a liking to us. Needless to say, even though the store had up to XXXl, none of them fit my husband, so he didn't buy anything. I also had good service there when I was picking out a purse. Which I haven't stopped carrying since I came back from there in April. My only regret wasn't buying more shoes, purses and olives. Let me tell you, cans of olives that are easy to pack and inexpensive made the best gifts. Everyone I gave them too has asked if I had more. :p

#46363 - 07/27/01 05:02 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Jaime Offline

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
I can totally relate although, my rude situation happened in the states. I was waiting on tables a few months after I had my daughter (implying heavier than usual) and my former Madrilena Spanish teacher came in to have tapas. I saw her and greated her pleasantly but her response to me was..."what happended to you? You're really fat! You used to be so skinny" I really couldn't believe her rudeness and politely informed her that I had recently just had a baby and was therefore still a little overweight. When she kept up with the comments I had had it and said...maybe I'm fat right now but I can lose the weight but I highly doubt if you will be able to lose your rude personality.

My suegra madrilena is a little bit better than this but she can still really dish it out too. She is the first one to tell me if I've put on weight or if my skin is broken out. One things to consider though, is that if Spanish women are that critical of strangers, then they must be 1000 times more critical of their own bodies. Spanish women are always obsessing about their weight and appearance. At least we don't have to deal with that to the same level in the states.

#46364 - 07/28/01 07:19 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
marval96 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland
I do agree that "some spanish" people just are too forward when it comes to commenting or expressing themselves. I am from spanish background (born in Havana, Cuba but both of my parents from Spain) and on a recent trip to Spain I visited with one of my cousins, in Madrid (she lives there). Well, at the time of our "social encounter" (my mother had passed on a couple of months before)she
did not say, sorry about your mom, etc.. (pretty normal thing to say), she went on to say however that the last time she spoke with my mom, about five years ago, my mom had told her that upon her death to contact me and tell me that "she could have all her jewlery"...and was telling me this.. while I was "buying her and her husband dinner" at a very expensive restaurant, I might add.
I could not believe that anyone in any part on this planet would make a comment like that. I proceeded to finish our diner date
(had indigestion all night, by the way)
and promised NEVER to speak or visit this individual EVER again!
This is in NO WAY the "general" experience that we had while there. Overall people were great and very helpful. The rest of our family there were just supper. It was just a shame that in some instances the likes of "some people" can spoil and turn a wonderful experience into a unpleasant and hurtful situation.
We still love Spain and all our family and friends but this lady saw the last of my family and I.

#46365 - 07/28/01 10:37 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
la maestra Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 373
Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Jaime, I was surprised to read that Spanish women obsess over their weight. I really didn't know that! It seems...from non-Spanish eyes...that men and women in Spain pretty much eat what they want when they want it. I assumed they stayed slim because of all the walking and because they don't seem to eat the truckloads of chips and other munchies that we do. I guess I also figured they had magic genes that enabled a person to eat and not gain weight!

I also wondered if what we call rudeness is just cultural. When I was young (and dinosaurs ruled the earth), it was not uncommon to have someone carry a nickname like Fats or Sticks based on some physical characteristic. This is still very true in Mexico and among Native American populations. I'd be taking attendance the first day of school and call "Antonio" only to have Antonio say "That's me, but I go by Gordo". The worst was a girl with hard core acne who was called Pil-Pil. Kids told me that's what they call those little round, white sprinkles on candy! Anyway, I never know for sure if I am dealing with rudeness or just having a choque de cultura.

#46366 - 07/28/01 01:53 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Jaime Offline

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
Sure, som expressions are cultural that just wouldn't fly here, like....gordita-for an avergae sized-fat girl, negrita darker skin-black, culona-having a nice plump *ss. When I first started hearing these things I told me family they were being rude. I didn't realize that they were expressions of carino and nothing is meant by them. Now I wear my nickname "culona" with pride because to the Spanish and Lat Ams it can be a very good J-LO. Anyways, this stuff aside, blatantly telling someone they are fat or too big to try on certain clothes would not be considered normal or polite behavior even from a Spaniard to another Spaniard.

#46367 - 07/28/01 07:21 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
sarah1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 3
Loc: New York
Hi SHeba,
Thanks for sharing your experience with us - aside from the staring part I did not encounter anyone making offensive remarks. I am going to be in Madrid for two months so reading about everyone experience is certainly a eye opening. eek

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