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#46388 - 07/31/01 10:29 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1551
Loc: Madrid, Spain
This thread is unique!!! What a terrific source of how forgeiners think in our country smile

I understand that you may feel that spaniards are a bit rude, but think that the most of the time it is not made with a bad intention, it is just our way of saying things (in fact, there is nothing wrong with being a little overweighted or underweighted).

I have been in the States, in Ireland and in the UK (appart from other countries) and I have never had any problem while shopping (it might be luck or not). Only that I was not used to have the prices separated from the taxes (here they give you the price with the taxes included), so it drove me nuts...

Of course I have had problems while shopping in Spain, but it is normal since I have shopped here a lot of times.

If someone ever is rude with you just think he/she is not doing it with a bad intention, just for unknowledge.

If you ever want someone who speaks english (or any other language) to assist you ask for him. You will find that if any other customer hears you and he speaks english he will try to help you (and by the way practice some english). I've do it myself a couple of times (and the tourists seemed amazed, don't know why) smile

#46389 - 07/31/01 10:55 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
la maestra Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 373
Loc: Tucson, Arizona
It occurred to me while I was doing my hour long walk on the treadmill so as not to have to worry about size wink that there really are no other words in Spanish to say fat except gordo or one of its variations. That may be part of the problem! See, we have all kinds of ways to say things, depending on how mean/pc we mean to be. We have fat, of course, and chubby, husky, rubenesque, statuesque, stocky, zaftig, pudgy, plump, rotund, obese,fleshy, BMI challenged...good grief! If Spanish has only one adjective, they are pretty much stuck with calling a pudgy person fat...just because there are no other options. We'll have to talk to the Real Academia about this!

ALSO...Anchovy: I have noticed that as people age, they tend to migrate to the south. The same can be said for body fat! Coincidence?

La maestra(who will be munching on alfalfa sprouts instead of popcorn while watching tv!)

#46390 - 07/31/01 11:59 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
sheba Offline

Registered: 08/20/00
Posts: 118
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
in all my years of shopping in the states (i am a shopaholic), i have never had someone comment on my weight when trying on clothes. maybe it is because even though i'm a size large, i carry myself well, or maybe it's because i usually approach people with a smile, or maybe it's because size 12 is not the end of the line in sizes or maybe it's because i am usually dressed very well. size 12 is not large at all in real life. it is actually quite average, in fact, it's the national average of the u.s. and i am not fat, it happens to be a lot of muscle from running everyday. i am black, i have big thighs, a big ass, everything about me is big and black. so, i know that the way in which these comments were made, these were insults directed at me to hurt me or to make me feel big and black. hell yes, i'm big and black. so what? but it bothered them that i was even there, let alone trying on clothes, so they struck me where they thought it would hurt. it's true, women can be their own worst enemies. they can really make each other feel like crap over the most trivial of things. so now i'm back in my state and all around me i see these bovine women...and i feel o.k. again. here we need the fat to stave off the cold, there they don't need it...but you can be damn sure we have plenty of size 2's on our shelves waiting for them when they come, thanks to our screwed up body perceptions as well.

#46391 - 08/01/01 05:02 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
Anchovy Front Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 661
Loc: Southern Spain
Very astute observation, maestra! laugh Correct, too it seems! Did you say (Hostal) Aresols, Auntie Jo?

Listen, people, can we get back to the size doen't matter idea, because for the last 20 years I've been telling my wife this and I don't want her to think otherwise.....!! eek
Anchovy (Wandering off the topic of clothing)
Fantastic apartment to rent from less than $50 a night!!

#46392 - 08/01/01 06:44 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
SSFin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 7
Loc: Finland
no offense people, but its funny that you american folks are talking about fat like its not a problem inside your nation. Especially one thing that made me crack was the statement that “here (meaning states) we need the fat to stave off the cold, there they don't need it”, sound like you guys are bunch of nudists, not wearing clothes at all. smile

(If this is true, I'll head there on my next vacation)


#46393 - 08/01/01 07:48 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
Wolf Offline

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1235
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA

Hey! Come on over anyway SSF! We have lots of great smorgasbords where I live! laugh

I read something very interesting. According to studies, overweight people who exercise have a longer life expectancy than those who aren't overweight, and don't exercise regularly.

So there... skinny people! The scoop on physical fitness. Even us hippo types, who sweat our way through painful exercises, and walking, can live long lives. smile

I do like the skinny jokes too. Like;

"Did you know it costs less to x-ray a skinny person?"

"They don't use x-ray, they just shine a flashlight through them."

Wolf (Who's still trying to figure out what the doctor meant when he shined his light in my ear when I had an ear ache, and said, "Nope! Nothing there!") confused

#46394 - 08/01/01 11:02 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
la maestra Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 373
Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Sheba, I am not big and I am not black, so I can't say I share those experiences with you. I am truly sorry to hear that you or ANYONE has been verbally assaulted or insulted in any way because of any physical feature...race, gender, weight, height, hair color, etc. It should never happen. It does...frequently by people whose own insecurities can only be soothed by belittling others.

That said, I think you are lumping two different problems together. Weight is a relative thing. I had several Spanish people ask me if it was true that weight was a serious problem in the States...and we have gotten our share of press on this issue. We have more obese people in the US than there are in Europe. Fact, not perception. Some of this comes from our life style which includes lots of time sitting at the office, in our cars, and in front of the tube as well as our new trend towards super sizing all our meals. Our children are plumping up and diabetes is on the rise. You are obviously in good physical condition and not "fat". Our clothing manufacturers, however, are cutting to what they think women look like (sometimes this is done in 3rd world countries where the average woman is 5'tall/90 lbs!) Sizes don't mean squat. I have tried on 3 different outfits from THE SAME MANUFACTURER and found I needed 3 different sizes! It's insane. Some manufacturers seem to have realized the problem and have adjusting their sizes to more realistically fit the "average" female shape in the US....that does not mean that everyone in every country has adjusted to fit us! In addition, if larger sizes (and I mean larger relative to the size 2's you mentioned) don't sell in stores, they simply don't carry them. The stores in Spain are not going to stock items that fit tall, muscular American women just in case some of those women decide to shop there. If the store clerks were rude beyond this, then they were just rude. There are rude people everywhere, and you obviously hit the motherlode.

As for your being that's another issue. Victoria (see Asian thread) mentioned that she started to imagine blondes being called "rubia, rubia" as they walked down the street and that helped her deal with the "chinita" comments. I thought that was incredibly wise. No, I've never been a black woman and I can't know what that feels like, but neither can you know what it is like to be a white woman. Sometimes we are treated in the same way...not for racist reasons at all. Every single rude or inconsiderate word or action that comes your way is not based on your race...some of it is just plain ignorant behavior that is directed at everyone...or, perhaps, at everyWOMAN. If you want to argue that Spain is sexist, then maybe you're on to something since women's rights there are in a whole other place. But basing all your bad experiences on racism, in my opinion, is off base.

I am sincerely sorry that your experience in Spain was not what you had hoped for. It really is a wonderful country and I hope someday you'll feel up to giving it another shot.

#46395 - 08/01/01 11:20 AM Re: Rudeness in stores
Nicole Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/24/00
Posts: 583
Loc: Los Angeles
Sheba, sorry to hear that your trip wasn't what you would have wished. It is the great gamble of traveling. I do think one's experiences in a place are totally colored by the people he or she meets, and one trip can be totally different than the next. The first two times I visited Paris, I was thoroughly underwhelmed. When I had a chance to live there for a while, I totally fell in love with the city and am constantly dreaming about going back...

anyway, on the topic of comments about weight... When I lived in Chile, one of my English students was Spanish. She was constantly complaining that Chileans made her feel horrible about being overweight (she had a thyroid problem and was a/o 5'3" & plump). They would do things like hand out chocolates at work, and when they got to her, would say, "oh, you can't have any of these. You need to lose weight." Her perspective was interesting, due to the fact that the Spanish family I lived with nearly drove me crazy with all of the weight conscious comments. By the way, their daughter was bulimic, i heard her throwing up in the bathroom a few times.

Anyway, I know about buying out of anger. Remember the store clerk in Italy? I wasn't sure I wanted those sandals, until she implied that I was too poor to pay for them. I bought them - $135 - the most exhorbitant amount of money I have ever spent on something that wasn't a business suit...

What the store clerks said to you was definitely rude. I do think it almost tragic how body perceptions are totally screwed up, and it has taken me some time to get really comfortable with my body and its shape. Nonetheless, I think the tendency for sedentary lifestyles and obesity in the States are equally unhealthy. Both can be debilitating ways of treating your own body. That said, after biking to work and back, I will probably sit down to a dinner of chicken curry, made with butter and cream and smoke my after-dinner cigarette. so who am I to talk?

[ 08-01-2001: Message edited by: Nicole ]

#46396 - 08/01/01 07:06 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
sheba Offline

Registered: 08/20/00
Posts: 118
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
la maestra--hello again. i'm glad you wrote back. just to hopefully clear things up, i was not implying that the clerks were racist. i was just saying that i'm big and black. something i'm very proud of. i link the two together, because more often than not, black women are big and black: big thighs, big butt, big bones. just big and black. sorry if this was confusing. i'm just so dang proud of it now after being in spain. smile

#46397 - 08/01/01 08:24 PM Re: Rudeness in stores
Jaime Offline

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 147
Sheba, Maybe you should take a vacation to Milwaukee. I feel like a second class citizen in the looks department whenever I go out with my girlfriends of different cultures/races. My girlfriend from South Africa is as black as can be, not a Tyra type, wide hips, beautiful round curves and features and all guys .... white and black... are wacko for her wherever we go. All my Latin girlfriends get equal response. I don't think most of these guys would have remembered my name if I repeated it twenty times. At least in the area I live, exotic is in, curvaceous figures, etc... The days of the thin waif are on their way out...I hope.

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