The first thing to do before visiting a country is to get to know it, but not only on a geographical or historical-artistic-monumental level. No—you also have to do your homework about the locals, their hobbies, their eating habits, how they are similar to Americans, etc.
That’s why in this article I want to introduce you to a Youtube and Instagram blogger who knows Spain (and Spaniards) very well, because she lived in Madrid for more than 5 years. And I think 5 years is more than enough to be able to speak with authority!
She introduces herself this way on her Youtube channel:
«I’m from the U.S. I’ve lived in Spain for more than 5 years. I make videos about cultural differences and what I experience between borders. I like to talk about the trivial but meaningful things that bring us together.»
What is MEGrisilano’s goal?
As she explains on her social media, she records all those videos (some are a bit absurd, but they’re all very funny) to help you, and to help all Americans compatriots who come to Spain.
It doesn’t matter if you come as a tourist for 15 days, as a student for 6 months to a year, or if you decide to stay and live. MEGrisolano’s videos will help you to make the most of your stay, because you’ll appreciate details that one normally wouldn’t notice.
What does he talk about in his videos?
In her videos she reviews Spanish customs, for example the famous «Plato del día» (dish of the day) in restaurants. Or even how Spaniards use cutlery—differently from how Americans use it! He also compares the Spanish lifestyle with the American lifestyle.
In one of her first videos 4 years ago, she teaches you easy-to-learn phrases so you can impress any Spaniard you come across on the street, adequately titled:
«6 frases para impresionar a un español | 6 Phrases to Impress a Native with Your Spanish in Spain».
The phrases she teaches are a bit hooligan, to be sure… but it’s true that they are used in everyday life and it is not unusual to hear them in bars all over Spain.
They are: man, it’s to eat it, it’s to shit, I shit in the milk, flipar, it’s the milk.
For an American it doesn’t make much sense, because «I poop in the milk» is not putting Colacao in the milk. It is an abrupt expression when something unexpected happens that makes us uncomfortable or changes our plans.
In another video, which is also from a few years ago, he makes 3 recommendations to go to eat «tapas» in Madrid without spending too much. Don’t worry, in Spain everything is cheaper. He titles it as:
«Top 3 Places for Tapas & Drinks in Madrid on a Budget: An American in Spain».
And these are the 3 places she recommends:
- La Chalana: Calle San Leonardo 12 (Plaza España) Madrid 28015
- El Tigre: Calle de las Infantas 30, Madrid 28004
- Cuevas Sésamo: Calle del Príncipe 5, Madrid 28012
Want more examples?
Visit her channel and immerse yourself in her strange and funny videos. It’s a very good way to immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture before even coming to Spain. I’ll tell you about a few more of her videos:
In one video, she explains the word «chulo» (and 9 others), which in America means «pimp», but in Spain often has a different meaning. The Spanish say «¡Qué chulo!» to express interest in something, that it is beautiful or striking or fascinating.
In another one she explains the curious pronunciation of «cerveza», which has a strange lisp. But don’t worry, she teaches you how to pronounce it correctly. And what’s even better, she explains how to order a beer.
Curious and unexpected resources
As you can see, you have lots of online resources to learn Spanish on your own—that way it will be easier for you when you come to Spain. Lose your fear of the language! And when you are here, you will go even deeper with one of our classroom courses.
In other articles we will explore more ways to practice this «cool» language.
To be continued…
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