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#46378 - 07/30/01 05:22 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
taravb Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 736
Loc: Ames, Iowa, USA
What does all of this do to young Españolas? I hate to think that they are all going to be suffering from eating disorders or saving for cosmetic surgery because of it. We've only begun to scratch the surface of body/image acceptance here in the US, and have so far to go...but how sad that, in Spain, they seem to be behind even us.

It reminds me of how I read somewhere that lots of VERY young Brazilian women have plastic surgery/liposuction to keep flat tummies and impossibly small backsides.

#46379 - 07/30/01 10:06 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Jaime Offline

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
My brother made an interesting observation when he was in Salamanca. He had a few months without school so he joined a local fitness club to keep busy a couple hours a day. He said it amazed him that there were never women exercising there and if they were, they had full makeup and it was almost like their activites were just for show. He was thinking that was the reason that many Spanish women "bottom out".....meaning while they are young they are thin as picks and then something happens later where they lose their looks and figures.(his observation -not mine) It was true though that I never saw a single Spaniard exercizing during my short time there. It's funny but the Latin women in my family are perpetually on some crazy fad diet but none of them has actually have considered the concept of excercise. They won't eat carbs for two months and then the next month they can only eat cabbage soup and grapefruit juice.

#46380 - 07/31/01 05:51 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
Anchovy Front Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 661
Loc: Southern Spain
Jaime, I think British men must bottom out, too. Could have something to do with the San Miguel in my case laugh

Anyway, I thought all Spanish girls hunted and got their man and then relaxed? eek

Have you noticed that all the Spanish board members seem to be males? Maybe this will bring the girls out of the woodwork .... rolleyes
Fantastic apartment to rent from less than $50 a night!!

#46381 - 07/31/01 12:22 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Miguelito Offline

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 603
Well, I think the main reason here in Spain for thin people to get a little bit fat as they get older is the change of life that you do when you beguin to work, you have kids, etc.. you make a more sedentary life, you have less time for yourself to do sports...and you are more time sat on a chair in a office.
Anyway, I would have also size problems in the UK or US probably, unless I wanted to go to the children section. I hope not to have them in Spain, as people here is taller each time.

#46382 - 07/31/01 02:32 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
SuePycroft Offline

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 138
Loc: United Kingdom
Who says "size doesn't matter"? as we are led to believe, seems to be very much of a problem in Spanish shops. Having read the reports on this thread, it would appear that "size does matter". What a pathetic world we live in!! I personally have not encountered any predujice as I am probably considered average by Spanish standards, so therefore have not encountered any crass remarks. I feel for you guys and dolls who have had the unfortunate experience of a callous tongue. Guess I'd better keep working out!!!!!!! rolleyes rolleyes

[ 07-31-2001: Message edited by: SuePycroft ]

#46383 - 07/31/01 04:20 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
mclarke Offline

Registered: 09/19/00
Posts: 179
Loc: Arlington, VA
My daughter and I enjoyed so much shopping in Madrid and Seville. I do feel for Sheba having to experience such rudeness from store attendants. I did not expect such comments regarding rudeness. With Sheba’s experience, I hope those reading this site are forewarned that “Size does Matter in Spain” (quoting SuePycroft’s comment) when shopping for clothes. I guess, my daughter and I were very lucky to have the dress size of stores like Zarah, Mango, and Amichi. My daughter who is in New York is so happy that there is a Zarah where she could shop. I cannot blame Sheba for not planning or even think of returning to Spain. I do feel so guilty because I posted so many positive comments on my recent Spain Experience. I guess, we should take heed of others comments because those experiences may not be transferable for we as individuals react or perceive to things differently. I could go to Paris, Rome and may have a negative experience and others might have positive experiences.

#46384 - 07/31/01 05:14 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Wolf Offline

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1235
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
Somewhere in here I read something about a person's eyes being too close together. I had to chuckle. It reminded me of a rude incident my wife had in a well known eye glass center when she was looking for a pair of glasses.

The young, gum snapping clerk, who was 5 ft. tall at best, told my wife she didn't look right in "young people's glasses." That she should pick out something more "matronly."

My wife smiled at her.

"I'll forget that one." My wife said. "I realize you probably got a concussion when your a** hit the curb when you crossed the street on your way into work." smile

That was in the U.S. Not Spain.... Rudeness is everywhere. Sometimes you just fight fire with fire.

Wolf (Whose wife is a source of many of his anecdotes.) rolleyes

#46385 - 07/31/01 07:04 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Tia Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 170
To start with: most of the Spanish people are unreserved, friendly, helpful and courteous (or possess any other positive attribute). But… there are a***oles (replace *** with ssh ;)) among all nationalities and why would the Spaniards be an exception?! Same goes with the size: it matters everywhere. Unfortunately! mad

My experiences are good as well as bad but I remember especially one occasion. It was my first visit in Madrid for six years ago. I don´t wear fancy clothes, I´m more “a jeans and T-shirt–person”. When I entered El Corte Inglés (la Puerta del Sol), I was quite unpleasantly affected by the treatment of the staff, more exactly their facial expressions. They seemed to think: “Does she really think she can afford buying something here?” or “ She looks like a shoplifter. I have to follow her wherever she goes.” Nowadays the gazing doesn´t bother me at all, but at that time I was not prepared. I wanted to buy a computer game to my son and didn´t know what it is called in Spanish. I spoke in English to a shop assistant who watched me and her rude answer was: “YO no hablo inglés!”. I was very surprised: how can she work there (a big store in the centre of Madrid!) if she doesn´t speak English??? Luckily a woman (Spanish, with good English skills) passed by and heard her answer and helped me out with the translation.

I don´t have very Scandinavian looks but I´m not as dark haired as the Spanish people and that can cause problems, too. Somehow the people take for granted that they won´t be able to communicate with a person who looks different… I can talk to someone in several minutes (in Spanish and my Spanish is not that bad!) and then suddendly the person brightens up laugh and seems to think: “I understand what she´s saying and she understands me. Great!”

I have also noticed that the shop assistants treat me very differently now that I´m quite fluent in Spanish. I can understand that they are pleased about that a foreigner speaks their language. I would be equally flattered if a foreigner spoke my mother tongue to me, but trying to learn Finnish would cause anyone a nervous breakdown… Anyhow, the more you chat the more the shopping cheapens, i.e. in smaller shops or “quioscos”. An excellent example is a bottle of water: the price varied from 75 ptas to 150 ptas eek in Ronda. I wonder how much the locals pay? They don´t drink bottled water, of course, but other things...

#46386 - 07/31/01 08:39 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
karenwishart Offline

Registered: 12/23/00
Posts: 280
Loc: York,PA,USA
I'm back to this thread because I just keep thinking about all the good experiences I had in Spain.I've lived and traveled in many countries and always tried to blend in..often by not opening my mouth.But not this trip.As I spoke no Spanish when I arrived I purchased a phrasebook(even that purchase was a challenge.The shopkeeper tried to sell me a dictionary which I promptly opened up and found the word for phrasebook to get my point across.In 2 weeks I was discussing such topics as how credit cards force shopkeepers to charge more(while he polished a $20 necklace I was buying til it looked like diamonds)as well as how unfortunately my hip size doesn't quite match my upper torso with a saleslady in a boutique, all with the help of my little book.I just loved the challenges of dealing with those shop keepers and they really appreciate the effort.Also, go to most East Coast resort areas in the US and see what the ratio is of friendly,helpful people there are in shops after being deluged with tourists day in day out.Rudeness is never justified but I just don't play ball on that court and life is good. I also noticed nice comradery amongst co-workers in stores and restaurants.

#46387 - 07/31/01 09:14 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
la maestra Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 373
Loc: Tucson, Arizona
I'm back tie in with your comment on the positive experiences we post on this board and the danger that it may mislead someone. We've ALL had bad shopping experience...probably in various countries, including our own. I think it's pretty amazing, actually, that so many people find clothes and shoes that they like and that fit when they go to another country, because I have a rough time doing it here! There are some stores I won't shop in because I know all their clothes are sized for girls without "child bearing hips." There are only two stores in town where I have any chance at all of finding shoes that fit...and one of them sometimes fits me in men's shoes! It's rough going somewhere new and magically stumbling upon THE store that can fit you. I know that when on a trip to a place we really get to like, we want to take all of it home...including the clothing. Unfortunately, that clothing may not look at all good on us (not all styles and colors flatter everyone!) and it just may not work out.

I also agree with Wolf in that sometimes you have to fight fire with fire!

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